The Assam Health department has issued a new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Black Fungus or Mucormycosis after it has been suspected to have detected in a 27-year old boy who succumbed to the disease at Apollo Hospital in Guwahati. An order, issued on Thursday by the principal secretary to the health department of Assam government said the SOP has been issued after a "suspected case of mucormycosis (black fungus) has been detected in a hospital at Guwahati". The order said "a large number of similar cases have been reported from other parts of the country" and "there is likelihood of increase in number of such cases in the near future". "Therefore in order to screen, diagnose and manage such cases of mucormycosis (black fungus) in COVID patients, the Standard Operating Procedure" is notified with immediate effect "in order to contain the further spread of the disease and in order to provide treatment as per protocol to the patients affected by such disease," the guidelines said.
In a major development, the abducted ONGC employee Ritul Saikia has been released by the United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I) on Friday morning. Saikia was released by the banned outfit at Mon district in Nagaland-Myanmar border. Ritul Saikia's family thanked ULFA (I) Chief Paresh Baruah and Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for releasing their son after a couple of months. It may be mentioned that the ULFA (I) in a release on Fridaysaid that Ritul Saikia will be released soon. The declaration was made by the outfit chief Paresh Baruah to an Assamese news channel after Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma urged at a press conference to release Saikia at the earliest. Dr. Sarma appealed to ULFA-I and Paresh Baruah, that Saikia's wife and parents are suffering immensely and are distressed since his abduction. Dr. Sarma as an Assamese requested Baruah to release him.
The first session of the new Assam Assembly of Himanta Biswa Sarma-led Government began on Friday with the swearing-in of the newly-elected MLAs. Pro-tem Speaker Phani Bhushan Choudhury is administering the oath to the MLAs. Choudhury was administered the oath of secrecy on Wednesday by Assam Chief Secretary Jishnu Baruah in the absence of the Governor. Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had designated Choudhury as the pro-tem speaker. Chief Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma was the first one to take the oath. He was followed by former CM Sarbananda Sonowal and former Assembly Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami. Raijor Dal leader Akhil Gogoi, who had contested and won the polls from behind bars and is yet to get bail in multiple cases against him, including sedition charges, was brought to the Assembly under police cover. He had earlier procured court order to take oath as a first-time MLA.The three-day session will conclude on May 24.
Newly-elected MLA and Raijor Dal leader Akhil Gogoi alleges misbehaviour while being escorted to the Assam Assembly by police for his swearing-in on Friday. Gogoi alleged that the police flouted COVID-19 protocols. Akhil Gogoi had been in judicial custody since December 2019, when he was arrested for allegedly inciting anti-CAA protests. He had won the recently concluded state polls from Sivsagar LAC and is being sworn-in today. He had earlier procured court orders to attend the swearing-in. Akhil Gogoi, who had contested and won the polls from behind bars and is yet to get bail in multiple cases against him, including sedition charges, was brought to the Assembly under police cover. He had earlier procured court order to take oath as a first-time MLA. Gogoi has been administered the oath by the Pro-tem Speaker Phani Bhushan Choudhury.
Journalist Dhurba Mahanta has been appointed as principal press secretary to Chief Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma, an official notification by CMO informed on Friday. Mahanta will be serving as the principal press secretary to CM Sarma after terms and conditions of his service is finalized. It is to mention that Mahanta is a consulting editor of Assamese news channel News Live. Meanwhile, journalist Naba Patgiri was appointed officer on special duty (communication, public relations and protocol). Notably, the first session of the new Assam Assembly of Himanta Biswa Sarma-led Government was held today morning with the swearing-in of the newly-elected MLAs. Chief Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma was the first one to take the oath. He was followed by former CM Sarbananda Sonowal and former Assembly Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami.
The highest package offered in this year's Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati Placement 2021 is Rs 70 lakh per annum, its placement report stated. The program, which concluded today in virtual mode due to the COVID-19 pandemic, saw a total of 686 students being placed for the academic year 2020-2021. Notably, the average package offered to the students increased to Rs 21.43 lakh per annum this year. According to the head of IIT Guwahati Centre for Career Development, Abhishek Kumar, the average package received by the students last year was Rs 20.62 per annum. Meanwhile, out of 584 B.Tech and B.Des students, 444 of them got job offers during the placement program. A total of 140 companies participated in the recruitment drive. The maximum offers were made from the information technology and software sector.
Noted environmentalist Sunderlal Bahuguna died of Covid-19 at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh on Friday. Bhuguna breathed his last at 12.05 pm, AIIMS Director Ravikant said. Sunderlal Bahuguna is survived by his wife Vimla, two sons and a daughter. The 94-year-old environmentalist known for his pioneering role in the Chipko movement was under treatment for Covid-19 at the hospital for over a week, a PTI report said. Admitted to the hospital on May 8 after testing positive for the infection, Bahuguna had been critical since last night with his oxygen level dropping drastically, the report said. He was on CPAP therapy in the ICU of the premier hospital. Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat condoled his death describing it as a big loss not just for Uttarakhand and India but for the entire world.
An Indian Air Force pilot was killed after a MiG-21 Bison aircraft crashed in Punjab's Moga district, officials said on Friday. The aircraft was on a routine sortie from Suratgarh when it crashed near a village in Moga, they said. "There was an aircraft accident last night involving a Bison aircraft of IAF in the western sector," the Indian Air Force (IAF) said in a tweet. The pilot, Sqn Ldr Abhinav Choudhary, sustained fatal injuries. "IAF condoles the tragic loss and stands firmly with the bereaved family. A Court of Inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident," it said. The incident took place around 1 am on Friday when the Mig-21 of the IAF crashed at Langiana Khurd village of Baghapurana in Moga. The IAF aircraft was on a routine training sortie when the accident happened, the air force officials said. A court of inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident, said IAF.
Tarun Tejpal, former Tehelka Editor-in-chief has been acquitted of a rape charge by a Goa court on Friday. He was accused of sexually assaulting a colleague in 2013 on the sidelines of a conference at a five-star resort in Goa. A trial court charged Tarun Tejpal with rape, sexual harassment, and wrongful confinement in 2017. He challenged the charges in the Supreme Court which had ordered the trial in Goa to continue. Tarun Tejpal's daughter Cara Tejpal read out a statement on her father's behalf, which said he was "falsely accused" of sexual assault. "It is with profound respect that I thank this court for its rigorous, impartial, and fair trial and for its thorough examination of CCTV footage and other empirical material on record," said Mr. Tejpal, thanking his lawyer Rajiv Gomes, who died of Covid. He also said, "The past seven -an-a-half years have been traumatic for my family as we have dealt with the catastrophic fallout of these false allegations on every aspect of our personal, professional and public lives," reported NDTV.
Thirteen Maoists were killed in an operation carried out by the elite C-60 commandos in Gadchiroli in Maharashtra, said Gadchiroli Deputy inspector general police (DIG) Sandip Patil. He said the police operation was carried out in the forest area. The encounter started at around 4 am in Paithi jungles under Kotmi outpost of the district in Maharashtra, the official said. The Maoists had gathered in the Paithi forest for a meeting, news agency PTI reported. Patil told the news agency that the commandos launched a search operation in the forest on the basis of specific inputs. "Based on specific inputs, the police party, comprising C-60 commandos, had launched a search operation in the forest," said Patil. He added that the Maoists spotted the police party and opened fire forcing the C-60 commandos to retaliate. The 13 slain maoists were all killed in the retaliatory firing.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi paid floral tributes to late Rajiv Gandhi, former prime minister and his father on his on his 30th death anniversary. On Friday, he visited Veer Bhumi Rajiv Gandhi memorial in Delhi and paid tributes. Taking to twitter, he wrote, "Truth, Compassion, Progress, #RememberingRajivGandhi," along with a photograph of Rajiv Gandhi. Meanwhile, Priyanka Gandhi took to twitter and also paid tributes to her father along with a photograph of him speaking to patients in a hospital. "There is no greater strength than love, no greater courage than kindness, no greater power than compassion, and no greater teacher than humility. #RememberingRajivGandhi," she tweeted. Priyanka's husband, Robert Vadra, also paid tributes to the former prime minister.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will contest by-election from the Bhawanipore Assembly seat, said a Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader on Friday. Senior Trinamool Congress leader and party MLA Sovandeb Chatterjee resigned from the Bhawanipore seat on Friday. "Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had won twice from Bhawanipore. All party leaders discussed and when I heard she wants to contest from here, I thought I should vacate my seat. There is no pressure. Nobody else has the courage to run the government. I spoke to her. It was her seat I was just protecting it," Chatterjee told mediapersons after his resignation. West Bengal Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee also confirmed Chatterjee's resignation and said that it was the TMC MLA's voluntary decision. "I have enquired from him if he has resigned voluntarily and without coercion. I am satisfied and I have accepted his resignation," Speaker Biman Banerjee said.
In the backdrop of Black Fungus infection reports from across the country, the Union Ministry of Health on Friday advised all states and union territories to review their preparedness for infection prevention and control, as well as hygiene and sanitation in hospitals amid rising COVID cases. In a letter to Chief Secretaries and Administrators of all states and UTs, the ministry stated that cases of Mucormycosis, popularly known as Black Fungus, have increased in recent days and has become "a cause of concern". In view of the same, a number of activities/practices were laid out by the ministry to ensure "robust infection prevention and control practices in COVID hospitals and other healthcare facilities."
Assam on Friday logged 6,066 new cases of COVID-19, taking the active caseload in the state to 52,816. Today's positivity rate is 5.88 per cent. The new cases were reported out of 1,03,158 tests conducted in the last 24 hours. The state also registered 4,987 discharges and 81 deaths today. Of the new cases, Kamrup metro recorded 907 cases, Cachar (436), Nagaon (433) and Kamrup Rural (420). The total deaths counts district-wise are: Kamrup Metro (24), Dibrugarh (7), Sivasagar (7), Jorhat (5), Darrang (4), Tinsukia (4), Golaghat (3), Hojai (3), Nalbari (3), Barpeta (2), Cachar (2), Kamrup Rural (2), Lakhimpur (2), Sonitpur (2), South Salmara (2), Baksa (1), Chirang (1), Dhubri (1), Dima Hasao (1), Goalpara (1), Hailakandi (1), Karbi Anglong (1), Nagaon (1), Udalguri (1).
"We had a meeting with senior officials and ministers. We have taken a decision on lockdown. We had strict restrictions till May 24. As per the opinion of experts, we are extending the strict restrictions till June 7," Yediyurappa told the media."We had a meeting with senior officials and ministers. We have taken a decision on lockdown. We had strict restrictions till May 24. As per the opinion of experts, we are extending the strict restrictions till June 7," Yediyurappa told the media. Saying that the people roaming after 10 am is creating a lot of problems throughout the state, the CM informed the same set of guidelines will continue to be in force. He further urged people to stop unnecessary movements.