Tuesday, June 23, 2020

PM Narendra Modi greets Kutchi community on Ashadhi Bij

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Representative Image)

New Delhi (ANI): On the occasion of Ashadhi Bij, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday extended wishes to the people of Kutchi community and lauded the group known for its rich culture.

"On the special occasion of Ashadhi Bij, greetings to the Kutchi community. This is a community known for its great culture and bravery. I pray that the coming year is filled with happiness and good health," the Prime Minister tweeted.

Ashadhi Bij is the second day of Shukla paksha of Aashaadha month, of Hindu calender, which is associated with the begging of rains in the Kutch region. (ANI).

WHO suggests dexamethosone usage for critical COVID cases

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (Representative Image)

Geneva [Switzerland], June 23 (ANI): The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Sunday (local time) emphasised on a rapid increase in production of dexamethasone, a cheap steroid which after clinical trials has shown life-saving potential for critically ill COVID-19 patients. According to researchers from Oxford University, a low-dose regimen of dexamethasone, which is typically used to treat certain forms of arthritis, severe allergies, asthma, and certain types of cancer, for 10 days was found to reduce the risk of death by a third among hospitalized patients requiring ventilation in the trial.

The preliminary trial was conducted over random 2,100 hospitalised COVID-19 patients, and about 4,300 hospitalized COVID-19 patients who were randomized to receive the usual standard of care at their hospitals. Their findings are preliminary, still being compiled and have not been published in a peer-reviewed journal -- but some not involved with the study called the results a breakthrough, as per CNN's report.

Meanwhile, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 on Sunday said that although the data is still preliminary, the recent finding that the steroid "dexamethasone has life-saving potential for critically ill COVID-19 patients gave us a much-needed reason to celebrate". "The next challenge is to increase production and rapidly and equitably distribute dexamethasone worldwide, focusing on where it is needed most," he said.

"WHO emphasizes that dexamethasone should only be used for patients with severe or critical COVID-19 under close clinical supervision," he informed people through a virtual conference further. He said there is no evidence that this drug works for patients with mild disease or as a preventative measure, and it could cause harm. Tedros, however, ignored the fact that the side effects can include conditions such as upset stomach, headache, dizziness, insomnia and depression.

He said the demand for the steroid has already surged and as this is an inexpensive medicine and there are many dexamethasone manufacturers worldwide, "we are confident we can accelerate production". Guided by solidarity, he noted, countries must work together to ensure supplies are prioritised for countries where there are large numbers of critically ill patients, and that supplies remain available to treat other diseases for which it is needed. (ANI)

India, China Corps Commanders hold talks for nearly 11 hours

Representative Image

New Delhi (ANI): The meeting between Indian Army's 14 Corps Commander Lt Gen Harinder Singh and his Chinese counterpart is still on after more than 10 hours, Army sources said. The meeting started around 11:30 am at Moldo on the Chinese side of Line of Actual Control (LAC) opposite Chushul to defuse the tensions in Eastern Ladakh sector due to Chinese military build-up, the sources said.

This is the second meeting between the two corps commanders. They had met on June 6 and had agreed to disengage at multiple locations. India had asked the Chinese side to go back to pre-May 4 military positions along the LAC. The Chinese side had not given any response to the Indian proposal and not even shown intent on the ground to withdraw troops from rear positions where they have amassed over 10,000 troops.

India is also likely to discuss the change in rules of engagement on the LAC where the forces have been empowered to use firearms in extraordinary circumstances, sources had said. They said India will also ask China to honour the commitment given during June 6 talks to disengage in the Galwan valley completely and other places.

The build-up of Chinese air assets including strategic bombers by the PLA Air Force in fields near Indian territory close to Ladakh is also likely to figure in discussions. India and China have been involved in talks to ease the ongoing border tensions since last month.

However, last week as many as 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives in the face-off in the Galwan Valley after an attempt by the Chinese troops to unilaterally change the status quo during the de-escalation in eastern Ladakh. The Indian intercepts have revealed that the Chinese side suffered 43 casualties including dead and seriously injured in the violent clash. (ANI)

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