Free Press Bulletin
Free Press Bulletin

Here are the top 5 news updates of May 8, 2021:

1. COVID-19: Centre revises policy for admission of patients in hospitals, says positive test not required

Amid an alarming situation of the COVID-19 in India, the Union Health Ministry today announced a revised national policy for admission of COVID-19 patients to COVID facilities. As per the ministry, henceforth requirement of a positive test for COVID-19 virus is not mandatory for admission to a COVID health facility.

It also said that a suspect case of COVID-19 shall be admitted to the suspect ward of CCC, DCHC or DHC as the case may be. "No patient will be refused services on any count. This includes medications such as oxygen or essential drugs even if the patient belongs to a different city." it added.

2. COVID-19: As Maharashtra continues to report daily cases above 50,000, state govt may extend stringent curbs beyond May 15, says Rajesh Tope

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope has said that the stringent curbs imposed by the state government may be extended beyond May 15 to control the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in Maharashtra as on daily bases cases are still reported above 50,000.

Over three weeks have passed since the Maharashtra government imposed strict restrictions to check the spread of coronavirus but the daily average of cases is still over 50,000 which is a matter of concern.

COVID-19 cases have dipped in 12 out of the total 36 districts in Maharashtra, but in some other districts, the cases are on a higher side. The lockdown-like curbs announced by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray came into effect on April 14 that included the ban on inter-city as well as inter-district travel and the closure of non-essential services in the state.

These measures, including the weekend restrictions on the movement of people, were later extended till May 15.

3. PM Modi speaks to MP, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra CMs to take stock of COVID-19 situation in these states

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday spoke to chief ministers of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu on the COVID-19 situation in their states, government sources said. Modi has been interacting with various chief ministers over telephone for the last couple of days to take stock of the pandemic situation in their states.

PM Modi on Saturday spoke to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on the COVID-19 situation in the state. He applauded efforts taken by the Maharashtra government in tackling the second COVID-19 wave.

Thackeray also thanked the Centre for its cooperation and guidance in the management of the COVID-9 pandemic.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said Modi expressed satisfaction over the declining infection rate in the state and assured Chouhan of all possible help from the Centre.

4. DRDO's anti-COVID-19 drug gets DCGI nod for emergency use; can help moderate to severe patients

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage, the Drugs Controller General of India has approved an oral drug developed by the DRDO for emergency usage. The anti-COVID-19 medication can be used as adjunct therapy in moderate to severe patients. According to the Defence Ministry, the 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) drug was developed in collaboration with Hyderabad-based Dr Reddy's Laboratories.

According to officials, the 2-DG drug had been shown to help ensure faster recovery of hospitalised patients as well as reducing supplemental oxygen dependence during clinical trials. The drug accumulates in infected cells, preventing virus growth by stopping viral synthesis and energy production. The Defence Ministry contends that its selective accumulation in virally-infected cells makes this drug unique.

The drug has been developed by Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), a leading laboratory of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), in collaboration with Dr Reddy's Laboratories in Hyderabad. It comes in a powdered form in sachets and has to be consumed orally after dissolving in water.

5. Assam govt formation: BJP holds meetings with Sarbananda Sonowal, Himanta Biswa Sarma in Delhi

The BJP may have won the Assam Assembly polls, but it remains unclear as to who exactly will assume the mantle of Chief Minister. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma remain the top contenders. However, nearly a week after the BJP-led alliance won the people's mandate, nobody is quite sure who will assume the post.

On Saturday, the two leaders made their separate way to Delhi, having been called for a meeting with top BJP leaders. Visuals shared by news agency ANI show them emerging from the airport and convening with other party leaders.

The BJP had not announced a chief ministeriaThe BJP had not announced a chief ministerial candidate ahead of the polls. Both Sonowal and Sarma are viable candidates, with the shifting dynamics at the ground level making it a tough choice. Sonowal is considered a leader with clean image and belongs to Assam's indigenous tribal community. However, a section of the party feels that Himanta would be a better choice considering his strong organizational skills and appeal with the masses.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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