Top Headlines of the Day
1. Rain gain for Chandigarh’s air quality
The rain late last evening improved the air quality of the city drastically, bringing it to the “good to satisfactory” level.
In the past 24 hours, the air quality index (AQI) was between 40 and 55 — as recorded at the real-time monitoring station in Sector 25. On Diwali, it was 140, while last year on the festival, it was 341.
“Due to rain and a ban on crackers, the AQI dropped to 55 in 24 hours. It is the lowest AQI recorded after the lockdown when it had dropped to 25. However, such a low AQI has not been recorded during the festive season since 2011 when we first started evaluating it at the Sector 25 station,” said Ravindra Khaiwal, Additional Professor of Environment Health, Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health, PGI.
The AQI value was 25 in March-end and early-April when the lockdown was imposed across the country. The region did not witness rain for the past two months. So, the AQI was moderate.
2. Panchkula Fire Department lacks firepower
The fire that ravaged around 80 jhuggis in Saketri village has brought to the fore shortcomings in the Panchkula Fire Department, affecting fire operations and emergency response, with fresh allegations of reaching the spot late and limited machinery.
Even though the department has denied the charge of responding late, officials admitted that they lacked adequate fire engines and machinery for a population of around six lakh. “On Diwali, we had deployed fire engines at several spots across the city to meet any eventuality in time. Had these been stationed at the Sector 5 station, it would have taken lesser time,” an official of the department said.
Officials said the biggest concern for the department was the shortage of staff.
Against the required strength of 48, the department has manpower of just 32 — facing a crunch of 16.
3. Corridors, wards overflow with trash as sanitation workers strike for Diwali bonus at Chandigarh’s GMCH
The corridors and wards of the Government Medical College and Hospital in Sector 32 on Monday wore a picture of gross neglect as the 300-odd sanitation workers, who have been hired through a contractor, went on a strike demanding the grant of Diwali bonus.
Till Monday evening, the floors had not been cleaned and the garbage was not picked for more than 12 hours.
‘Bonus not granted first time in a decade’
Om Kailash, the chairman of the GMCH-32 Safai Karamchari Union, said it was only three days ago that they were told that the Diwali bonus will not be granted. “The bonus amount had never been suspended in the last decade,” he said.
5. Amid rising Covid cases in Chandigarh, museums, Rock Garden thrown open
Having remained out of bounds for nearly eight months, Rock Garden, Tagore Theatre, and various government museums will be reopened for the public from Tuesday.
These were closed off in March in the wake of the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. Except for the Rock Garden, which is expected to be opened on Thursday, the other centers will be accessible from Tuesday.
- Government Museum and Art Gallery, Sector 10
- Natural History Museum, Sector 10
- Chandigarh Architecture Museum, Sector 10
- Rock Garden, Sector 1
- Capitol Complex, Sector 1
- International Doll Museum, Sector 23
- Le Corbusier Centre, Sector 19
- Tagore Theatre, Sector 18
- Museum Maison Jeanneret, Sector 5
- Social distancing
- Face mask mandatory at all times
- Sanitization of premises on a regular basis
- Availability of hand sanitizers
- Use of audio guides to be suspended
- Elevator operation to be limited
- Use of touch-based technology to be limited
- Digital payments advised for purchase of entry tickets
- Floor markers for social distancing
- UV sanitization boxes at counters for tickets and cash
- Temperature screening of all visitors.
6. Chandigarh sees 82 fresh cases, 2 deaths
The city today recorded 82 fresh cases of Covid-19, taking the tally to 15,886. Two more deaths were reported, taking the toll to 150. As many as 116 patients were discharged today. The total number of patients cured is 14,584 and the city has 1,052 active cases
7. Panchkula reports 53 cases, 2 deaths
As many as 53 fresh Covid cases were reported from the district in the past 24 hours, taking the tally to 7,939. While 7,388 patients have recovered from the disease so far, 432 cases are still active
8. 104 new cases, one fatality in Mohali district
One more fatality was witnessed due to Covid in the district during the past 24 hours, taking the toll to 255. As many as 104 fresh cases were reported, taking the tally to 13,678, while 57 more patients were cured of the disease. Among the fresh cases, 86 were reported from Mohali (urban), 11 from Dhakoli, six from Gharuan, and one from Kharar.
9. Rising Covid cases suggest a rebound in Tricity: Experts
Medical experts have warned that with the number of cases increasing in the Tricity, the second wave is proving to be more severe than the first one and there is a need to take all precautions.
“Winter, anyways, is known to be harsh and unforgiving for the elderly. This winter is going to be especially risky for those with compromised health. Staying indoors in enclosed spaces is very likely to enhance virus transmission from one person to another. The only thing that can work in the stage of community transmission is community action, each individual’s action,” said Dr. Chawla, Fortis Hospital
Preventing the second peak will therefore need individual and family responsibility with the mantra being “Self-protection, self-isolation, and reverse-quarantine”, she added.
10. Virus spread in Haryana again nears peak levels
The coronavirus infection trajectory in Haryana continued its renewed escalation for the third week in a row with the state reporting 3,146 more infections last week (November 9-15) in contrast to the week before. With 17,070 fresh cases last week, the virus spread is close to the all-time high of 17,616 infections reported in the second week of September when the virus spread had hit its peak in the state.
After a four-week drop, a fresh increase in cases during the festivities started in October end when 10,576 infections were reported between October 26 and November 1 followed by 13,924 the next week (November 2-8).
11. PGI finds abnormal liver profile in Covid-19 patients
In what may be a lesser-known fact to many, researchers at the PGI have found that more than half of patients admitted to the hospital with SARS-CoV-2 infection had an abnormal liver function.
The PGI evaluated the liver function test results and inflammatory marker levels along with the medical history obtained from 170 adult patients of both genders with confirmed Covid-19 from March 15 to June 15. All Covid-19 positive patients of 15 years of age and above were included in the study. Patients suffering from chronic liver diseases, alcoholism, hepatitis, pregnant women, and children (below 15 years) were excluded from the study.
- Of 152 Covid-19 positive patients, 89 (58.5%) had abnormal liver tests, of which 43 (48.31%) had a liver injury during hospitalization
- Severity in terms of ICU requirement was more pronounced in patients with raised liver enzymes and liver injury
- Elderly patients had a preponderance towards severe liver injury
- SARS-CoV-2 may possibly cause liver damage