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US Congresswoman Writes to Biden Over COVID-19 Situation in India



Expressing concern over a massive surge in COVID-19 cases in India, a Congresswoman has written to US President Joe Biden urging him to accelerate America’s assistance to India in terms of oxygen cylinders, ventilators, BiPAP machines and surplus vaccines.

”Over the past several weeks, I have heard from constituents who fear for the health and safety of their family members in India. They worry that their loved ones will join those who are unable to locate oxygen or seek the care they need from overwhelmed hospitals and a healthcare system on the verge of collapse, Congresswoman Deborah Ross said in a letter to Biden.

In her letter, Ross thanked Biden for ordering the delivery of supplies worth more than USD 100 million to provide urgent relief to India. From oxygen systems and personal protective equipment (PPE) to rapid diagnostic tests and therapeutics, the US support for India is a testament to the seven decades of partnership between the two countries, she said.

”Helping India respond to this latest wave is in our national interest, as this pandemic will not end anywhere until it ends everywhere. As India continues to combat this surge, I hope you will consider providing additional shipments of oxygen cylinders, oxygen concentrators, oxygen generator plants, remdesivir, tocilizumab, and ventilators/BiPAP machines, Ross said. India, she said, desperately needs health supplies, most notably oxygen and oxygen production equipment. The images and stories of patients in desperate need of oxygen with nowhere to turn put a human face on the country’s urgent need for this equipment, she added.

Ross represents the Second Congressional District of North Carolina, which has a sizable number of Indian-American population. Observing that the US must also work to ensure vaccines are accessible in India, the Congresswoman welcomed recently announced plans to make available sources of raw materials to help the country manufacture more vaccines.

She urged Biden to share with India surplus doses of vaccines purchased by the US as soon as possible. ”I also understand that India is eager to domestically produce high-quality US vaccines, and I hope that you work with the private sector to assess how the US can best support India in this effort, she said.

Ross said as long as COVID-19 persists in India, there is a potential for the emergence of new variants that could pose a serious threat to a vaccinated America. ”We all must do our part to quell this virus around the globe. I thank you again for your commitments to date to support our ally India through this COVID-19 crisis, and I look forward to continuing to work with you to advance the US-India relationship, Ross said.

Chair of the Committee on Science and Tech Congresswoman Eddie Bernice on Tuesday had a virtual meeting with India’s Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu. ”A strong relationship between the United States and India is critical to address the broad range of challenges we face today. Pleased to speak with Indian Ambassador Sandhu about our shared values and priorities in the fields of science and technology,” Bernice said.

The two among others discussed India-US partnership in the areas of scientific R&D including in vaccines, therapeutics, emerging technologies and climate change, Sandhu said in a tweet. ”My heart breaks for all who’ve lost their lives and been impacted by the surge of COVID19 in India, said Senator Gary Peters.

”I support President Biden’s decision to send emergency assistance and resources to support the people of India. We should continue to provide support, as India works to slow the spread,” he tweeted.

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Karnataka Temporarily Suspends Vaccination For 18-44 Age Group, Will Prioritise Second Dose



Owing to the short supply of Covid vaccines, Karnataka on Wednesday decided to ‘temporarily suspend’ vaccination drive for those aged between 18 to 44 years.

In a series of tweets, the Karnataka Health department said that the state government has decided that the vaccine procured directly by the state government for vaccination of persons between 18 and 44 years too will be utilised for vaccination of beneficiaries who are due for the second dose.

“Therefore, all vaccines available with the state government i.e. supplied by union government and procured directly by state will be utilized for vaccination of beneficiaries due for second dose,” the Karnataka health department tweet explained.

The Health department added that vaccination drives for the 18 to 44 age group, including those who have already booked appointments will be temporarily suspended from May 14 till further orders.

According to the health department, the state government on May 7 had decided to utilise the complete supply of vaccines provided by the union government for vaccination of persons above 45 years, for vaccinating beneficiaries who were due for second dose.

“But under the changed circumstances and severe shortage of vaccine, the vaccine procured directly by the state government for vaccination of persons between 18 to 44 years too will be utilised for vaccination of beneficiaries who are due for second dose,” a senior health department official told reporters on the condition of anonymity.

The health department added that this order will be applicable for Covid vaccination at all state-run Covid vaccination centres in the state.

As of now, only two vaccines manufactured by Pune based Serum Institute of India (SII) and Hyderabad based Bharat Biotech are allowed in India for mass inoculation programme, but these companies are struggling to meet the country’s overwhelming demand for vaccines amid the ferocious second wave that has seen India’s Covid burden go up manifold.

Karnataka symbolically launched anti-Covid vaccination drive on May 1 but ever since it has failed to take off due to short supply of vaccines.

Karnataka Health minister, K. Sudhkar was first to state on April 30 that it was better to put off the launch of the drive on May 1 as the state had not received required stock and this was even endorsed by Chief Minister, B.S. Yediyurappa on that day. But, Yediyurappa the next day launched the vaccination drive symbolically on May 1.

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Check Out Tithi, Shubh Muhurat, Rahu Kaal and Other Details For Thursday



(Representative pic: Shutterstock)

(Representative pic: Shutterstock)

Panchang: The day Guruvara is dedicated to Lord Brihaspati who is known as the priest of Gods

May 13 will mark the Shukla Paksha Dwitiya Tithi of Hindi month Vaishakha in Vikram Samvat 2078 and the day is Guruvara (Thursday). The Dwitiya tithi will prevail up to the full night on May 13. The day Guruvara is dedicated to Lord Brihaspati who is known as the priest of gods. Devotees observe fast and worship Lord Brihaspati by offering yellow flowers, sandals, clothes, jaggery and gram pulse. He is also believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Know about the tithi, timings, Nakshatra, and other details for May 13.

Sunrise and Sunset time for May 13:

Sunrise time – 05:32 am

Sunset time – 07.04 pm

Moonrise time – 06.26 am

Moonset time – 08.33 pm

Tithi, Nakshatra, and Rashi Details for May 13:

Dwitiya Tithi will prevail up to a full night on May 13. The Nakshatra will be Rohini up to the full night. Sun will remain in Mesha Rashi while Moon will transition to Vrishabha Rashi.

Shubh Muhurats on May 13:

The most auspicious muhurat of the day i.e, Abhijit Muhurat will prevail between 11:51 am and12:45 pm on May 13. This time period is believed to be one of the most auspicious muhurat to perform any puja or to start any work. There are some other shubh muhurats which also prevail for a certain period of time almost every day. These are Vijaya muhurat andGodhuli muhurat which will take place between 02:33 pm and03:27 pm, 06:50 pm and 07:14 pm, respectively. There will be no Amrit Kalam for today.

Inauspicious timings for May 13:

The most inauspicious muhurat Rahu Kalam will prevail between 1.59 pm and3.41 pm on May 13. It is said that any auspicious work during this time is interfered with by planet Rahu. Other inauspicious muhurat like Gulikai Kalam and Varjyam will last from 08:55 am to 10:36 am and 08:44 pm to 10:32 pm.

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Yogi Adityanath Takes Cognisance of Bodies Dumped in Ganga; UP-Bihar Govts Blame Each Other



Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday took cognisance of bodies found floating in the Ganga in Ballia district and said the last rites should be done according to the deceased’s religious beliefs. He also noted that the dumping of bodies in water causes pollution.

At least 45 bodies were seen floating in floating near the Ujiyar, Kulhadia and Bharauli ghats in the Narahi area on Tuesday evening. Late on Tuesday night, seven more bodies were found, taking the total count of bodies to 52, an official said. District officials have begun performing the last to avoid Covid-19 contagion. The dumping of bodies also increases the risk of spreading infections in communities inhabiting the banks of rivers, officials said.

Meanwhile, the Bihar government on Tuesday said altogether 71 bodies have been fished out from the Ganges in Buxar district and were later cremated as per protocols. Some samples were, however, collected for DNA testing.

Bihar Additional chief secretary (home) Chaitanya Prasad said that the bodies in Buxar had flown downstream from neighbouring Uttar Pradesh. Speaking to News18, he said, “All these dead bodies were being dumped in Ganga from Uttar Pradesh, which flowed and stopped at Chausa and Mahavir Ghat in Buxar (Bihar border). An investigation has been launched on the orders of the Bihar government regarding the issue.”

Officials of both UP and Bihar have discussed the issue with their counterparts, including the Chief Secretaries, Additional Chief Secretaries, DGPs and District Magistrates, sources said.

Bihar authorities have raised strong objections to the dumping of bodies amid Covid-19 pandemic concerns. However, both the states have agreed to implement strict Covid-19 protocol in bordering districts. As per reports, a huge net has also been put up in the Ganges near Raniganj, Buxar.

A video of bodies found buried in shallow pits near the banks of the Ganga had also gone viral. The viral video showed dogs nibbling on the corpses.

The Allahabad High Court had earlier expressed concern over the under-reporting of Covid-19 deaths and has asked the state to record the deaths of those who died with Covid symptoms even if their tests could not be done.

Uttar Pradesh reported 329 more Covid-19 deaths and 18,125 fresh cases in the last 24 hours.

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