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Showing posts from April, 2021

A Much Needed Comic Relief: The Distanced Senior Citizen!

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Nowadays I choose a slot when the nearby park is almost empty and so is the market on the other side, for my morning walks which I think is quite important, despite the deadly times we are living in. I satisfy myself with the precautions thus taken. That morning too, properly masked up, I combined the intended walk with the essentiality of buying a few fresh fruits for our wellbeing. After taking my predetermined rounds in the park which was empty as the rising summer sun, at this hour, made it relatively hot for the walkers, I went to the fruit shops in the market.   I found a senior citizen occupying the whole of the front-side of the shop with a lady waiting patiently behind him on his right keeping an appropriate distance. That shop was my favorite because it offered better-quality fruits at relatively cheaper prices. Therefore I joined, behind the senior citizen on his left, again keeping a good distance. In fact, I was very pleased that the social norms were maintained strict

COVID-19 Second Wave: India Continue To Reel Under A Spell Of Death And Disease!

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It has been the most horribly painful and depressing week of my life. There has been the spectre of death and unimaginable sufferings of fellow countrymen across India, from which you cannot turn away; reports are there in all news channels, something even the decidedly pro-government media cannot but report, reports and personal accounts across all social media platforms, the dread of the sudden telephone calls and so on. I am reminded of the horrors suffered by Italy and Spain last year, and shiver to imagine a full repetition in a vast and densely populated country like India; the saving grace so far being that the fatality rate here is fortunately still much lower than witnessed in Italy, Spain and other European countries; but even then, in terms of population the Indian numbers in infections and deaths are numbing, and the mutants are more lethal taking toll equally on the young and the old.         The heart wrenching scenes are everywhere to behold: people crowding the hosp

Light In The Gloom: India Opens Up Vaccination For All Above 18 From 1st May!

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The Government of India has announced opening up of the vaccination drive to all persons above the age of 18 with effect from 1 st May 2021; this momentous decision coming after a marathon meeting by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with doctors, medical scientists and experts on 19 th April 2021, significantly the day that saw the highest ever rise in new daily COVID-19 cases to the tune of over 2, 73,000. An important aspect of a liberalized format under this decision is that the COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers can sell 50% of their doses to the Government of India and the rest 50% doses to the Indian states directly in the open market. This effectively means that all the states can now purchase vaccine doses directly and can prioritize how and to whom they would want the jabs administered. The concerned pharmaceutical firms have said that they would come with the pricing within the deadline of the 1 st of May.   In view of the acute shortage of vaccine doses in several states and

COVID-19 Second Wave: India’s Worst Ever Health Crisis That Nobody Prepared For!

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For the 5 th consecutive day India’s daily new COVID-19 cases have been more than the unbelievable 2, 00,000 or 2 Lakh mark, with over 2.73 Lakh cases in the last 24 hours. Compared to the first pandemic peak of around 97,000 reached in mid-September 2020, we are staring at the mind-boggling fact that the daily numbers have almost tripled and are scared to guess the second peak even if it comes sooner than later, hopefully. Fatalities have also crossed the daily 1000 mark again as more 1600 people perished in the last 24 hours. However, the eternal chest-thumping self-styled ‘saviors’ of our country say that as per the deaths of around 1000 when the daily cases were less than 1 Lakh the fatalities now could have been three times higher, around 3000 per day, the negation of which means that the fatality rates are still low or even lower. Yes, numbers don’t matter for them; it is only their rates that have always been important, and they were boasting of India’s low fatality rate last y

DCGI Approves Russia’s Sputnik-V Vaccine: Finally India Gets The Third COVID-19 Vaccine!

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  Amid an unprecedented rise in new COVID-19 cases across India and reports of a shortage of vaccines in inoculation centers in at least 10 states about which the Government of India has been in a constant denial mode, the Indian drug regulator, Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), has accorded its final approval to Russia’s Sputnik-V COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use. It is to be noted that the drug regulator had earlier approved Covishield (the Indian version of the Oxford AstraZeneca) and the indigenously produced Covaxin (even before its completion of the third phase of human trials) in January 2021 and a national vaccination drive had been launched from the 16 th of January 2021. However, in the past three months the jabs administered have been falling far short of the Government’s goal of vaccinating 300 million people by July 2021 (just over 100 million jabs so far which needs to be much increased now as the vaccination drive opens up to all above the age of 45) amid dema

The IPL-2021 Charge Amid The Second COVID-19 Surge!

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It is always debatable to have a major cricket tournament in the midst of an unprecedented surge of the pandemic, even though it is to be played behind closed doors, the new normal cricket variety, and with the imposition of a strict bio-secure bubble. As it has been seen so far several cricketers and support staff have contracted the COVID-19 virus, and since the tournament is being held across six venues—Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Kolkata—it would entail constant air travel and change of hotels for the eight participating teams. Further, the venues are the capitals of the worst affected states, except perhaps for Kolkata in West Bengal where the rising trend of new cases has not yet caught up with the others. It is to be noted that the IPL-2020 had to be taken out of India to the UAE due to strict lockdowns across the nation, and this means that within six months another IPL is being held, now in India where the second surge has reached unprecedented levels, but

COVID-19 Second Wave In India Threatens To Overtake The First Pandemic Peak!

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The fear has always been there about the Pandemic not saying quits in a hurry, be it in India or in the US or in Europe or anywhere. Yet, people, even governments, everywhere have been loath to carry on with the COVID-19 protocols and appropriate behavior. India, after the United States, has been marked out in this care-a-hoot mentality. And both of these countries are suffering heavily, apart from others where new Corona variants have created more havoc than inappropriate behavior. New daily cases of COVID-19 have been rising exponentially in at least eleven states of India since mid-March 2021. Personally speaking, when I left Mumbai in that period for domestic reasons daily cases in Maharashtra, the worst affected state, were around 6000-8000 and in the financial capital daily cases were hovering around 1000 per day. And now, new cases have reached nearly 50000 in the last twenty-four hours in Maharashtra while in Mumbai daily new cases have crossed 9000 in the last twenty-four hour