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Sunday, March 29, 2020

fight against Corona - TN does well; JCT Phagwara achieves ! & China sells and ...

In a month or two – Corona, Pandemic have become common names, read, shared and more so, feared by millions.

US  President Donald Trump has repeatedly referred to the “Chinese virus” when talking about the pandemic. Some  of his critics insist the term is racist, echoing official Chinese talking points.  World Health Organization officials warned against calling COVID-19 the “Chinese virus” saying that it could unintentionally lead to racial profiling.  Since emerging from Wuhan, China, just over three months ago, the new coronavirus has spread to almost every country around the world. To some Western media, the crisis is inherently political because it was caused in part by incompetent, malicious, and corrupt politicians. To ignore the political dimension of the coronavirus pandemic is an excellent way to ensure it happens again. If we do not want another global pandemic, we have to hold accountable the politicians responsible for making it worse, chief among them Chinese President Xi Jinping. He did not create the novel coronavirus, but his government’s missteps are directly responsible for its global transmission and uncontrolled spread, with all its terrible consequences to populations and economies around the world, wrote a popular media.

A global pandemic is not a blind force of nature independent of human agency. It is a failure of governance. An analogy with famines is useful.

For some positive news – TN Govt – CM and Health Minister are doing great job in trying to contain spread of virus.  Health Minister Mr C Vijaya Baskar is virtually everywhere – travelling, being with people, with health officials and personally supervising the arrangements.  Another good news is that Phagwara-based Jagatjit Cotton Textiles (JCT) Mills Limited is all set to supply personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical professionals and frontline workers engaged in testing and treatment of COVID-19 patients.  The PPE suit, also known as hazmat (hazardous materials suit), by JCT Mills has been cleared and certified for production by SITRA (South India Textile Research Association (SITRA) Coimbatore) — an industry sponsored, Union government supported renowned research institute in the textiles sector.

Caveat emptor is Latin for "Let the buyer beware". It has become a proverb in English. Generally, caveat emptor is the contract law principle that controls the sale of real property after the date of closing, but may also apply to sales of other goods. The phrase caveat emptor and its use as a disclaimer of warranties arise from the fact that buyers typically have less information than the seller about the good or service they are purchasing.

An Airbus plane landed in Spain on Saturday (Mar 28) carrying a cargo of more than 4 million face masks from China, the European planemaker said, as countries race to source more protective gear as they battle the coronavirus pandemic. Low on supplies or money, traditional American allies like Spain, Italy, France and Japan have had to turn to China for help. "China creates the poison and sells the solution to it," foreign affairs expert Gordon Chang told Fox News. China has used its money, medical equipment and teams of doctors and nurses in a high-stakes campaign to show the world that while the United States scrambles to contain the novel coronavirus within its borders, China is busy moving in on some of America's closest allies.

"Never let a good crisis go to waste," a senior fellow in the Atlantic Council's Eurasia Center, wrote. "There is no better illustration that the medical supplies and crews of doctors China has been supplying to Italy and other European countries battling COVID-19. Beijing does carry a large share of the blame for the global pandemic... but now it seeks to shape the narrative of the crisis unfolding before our eyes.  China has also been floating the idea that it has donated all of the medical supplies out of concern for the world. That's not the case, Chang said. "A lot of the stuff that China claims has been donated has not been donate," he said. "It's been sold." China has come through for several countries but, in some, it has fallen short of expectations.

People in the United States  and Europe  are wrong not to wear face masks in public during the Covid-19  pandemic, according to the head of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. “The big mistake in the US and Europe, in my opinion, is that people aren’t wearing masks,” Gao Fu, the agency’s director general, said in an interview with Science Magazine, one of the world’s leading academic journals. “This virus is transmitted by droplets and close contact,” he said. “Droplets play a very important role – you’ve got to wear a mask, because when you speak, there are always droplets coming out of your mouth.” Not everyone agrees with Gao’s assessment, however. The World Health Organisation  (WHO), for instance, says that only people showing symptoms of infection or those caring for someone that has Covid-19 needs to wear a  face mask.  The European and US disease control and prevention centres take a similar view to the WHO. But Gao said people should err on the side of caution.

But Beijing’s efforts – which state media has called “China’s solution to fight the pandemic” – have had a mixed response, and analysts say its “mask diplomacy” will do little to convince critics in the West. The US Army Europe said it had delivered medical supplies and equipment – including hospital beds, mattresses and adjustable IV poles – from its base in the Italian port city of Livorno to the hard-hit region of Lombardy. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said earlier that the country had offered more than US$100 million in medical aid to other nations – including long-time enemy Iran.

Spain’s capital has stopped using a rapid Covid-19 test kit made by a Chinese company after research suggested it was not accurate enough.   In Spain, Health Minister Salvador Illa announced Wednesday that the country had bought $467 million in medical supplies from China, including 950 ventilators, 5.5 million testing kits, 11 million gloves and more than half a billion protective face masks. Soon after receiving the supplies, the Spanish government announced plans to return 9,000 "quick result" test kits to China, El Pais reported, because they were deemed substandard, specifically the sensibility of the test was around 30 percent, when it should be higher than 80 percent. China admitted that the kits they sold to Spain were bought from Bioeasy, a Chinese company not licensed to make them. The time and money Spain wasted on faulty supplies could have devastating effects on a country that is now in its second week of a national lockdown after cases of COVID-19 spiked.

The Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology (SEIMC), one of Spain’s leading research institutes, said on its website it had found that nose swabs developed by Shenzhen Bioeasy Biotechnology had an accuracy rate of less than 30 per cent.  It is not Spain alone.   Dutch officials have recalled 600,000 face masks manufactured in China because they did not meet quality standards, the government’s health ministry said on Saturday. The news shocked frontline medical staff in the Netherlands, who rely on high-quality products to protect them from contracting Covid-19, Dutch public broadcaster NOS said. Half of the shipment of 1.3 million supposedly top-of-the-line face masks – known as N95 in the United States and Hong Kong – had already been distributed to doctors and nurses treating the most critical Covid-19 patients, the government said.

Sad – the acts of China seems outrightly  bad and are highly condemnable!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Saturday, March 28, 2020

do not overstock - leave food items for everyone ! - life is all about sharing

When there is National crisis, the first victim is truth – never hear rumours, never spread them – in fact never post anything without checking its veracity and usefulness.  I have become a great fan of Dr C Vijayabaskar, Health Minister of Tamilnadu.  Just follow him on twitter – such factual updates – he is visiting Hospitals, is found with health-workers and is virtually everywhere – very positive man, energetic and extremely effective.  Appreciate your efforts Sir !

For those at home and those who are unable to move – first concern other than the spread of virus is food.  For us, the staple food is rice.  It is imperative that people do not hoard or stockpile food material thereby making lives of others miserable.  See it as a short-term crisis, this shall pass over in a few days is the hope.  Here is some news on rice.

Vietnam’s rice traders have halted overseas shipments after the customs department ordered a temporary suspension of exports on Tuesday to ensure food security during the coronavirus pandemic. The country is the world’s third-largest exporter, behind India and Thailand.

Back in Tamilnadu the Govt headed by Chief Minister Edapaddi K Palaniswami is taking lot of measures.  The Govt is providing financial assistance of Rs.1,000 to all ration card holders.  The Govt is also providing free rice, cooking oil, sugar and other essential commodities.  The communique said that these essential items will be issued on a token basis to avoid the long queue.  Those who could not get the ration items in March can get them in April, the CM added. Severe restrictive measures are in place across the State - all the district borders have been sealed. Only vehicles carrying essential commodities are being allowed.

In Hongkong, two people were  arrested for allegedly stealing rice from a supermarket amid fears of a food shortage in Hong Kong due to the coronavirus pandemic  and the government’s social-distancing measures for restaurants. The men, from Nepal and Bangladesh, were stopped by officers outside Aeon supermarket on Tak Hong Street, Hung Hom.  Six packs of rice, weighing 12kg in total, were found on them. Officers believed they had been stolen from the supermarket. The cases came to light as many Hongkongers thronged supermarkets to stock up on rice, amid worries that Vietnamese authorities might ban rice exports to ensure domestic food security.

In Vietnam,  Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc  ordered the suspension of new rice export contracts through at least March 28. The country is the world’s third-largest exporter, behind India and Thailand. The department of state reserves will also stockpile 80,000 tons of paddy rice this year. In 2019, the department put in storage 200,000 tons of rice and 80,000 tons of paddy rice for the entire year, he added.  Vietnam said on Friday it planned to stockpile rice and suspend new rice export contracts by the end of the month to ensure it could feed its own population through the public health crisis. Thailand’s declaration of a nationwide state of emergency on Tuesday to fight the pandemic also added to fears over rice supply.

The move comes amid worldwide food security concerns as the virus threat spreads, with some governments contemplating restricting the flow of staple food out of their countries. In Russia, the vegetable oils union has called for a restriction on sunflower seed exports, and Kazakhstan has suspended exports of goods such as buckwheat, sugar, and sunflower oil until the middle of next month. Reuters reported that Vietnam’s export ban would have a significant short-term effect on global rice supply. “If Vietnam maintains the export ban, we will suddenly have about 10-15 per cent less available supply in the world market in the near term,” one European rice trader was quoted as saying. “Africa especially could face disruption from this.”

Concerns have been compounded by India, the top global rice exporter, entering a three-week lockdown  that brought several logistics channels to a halt, disrupting food supply chains. Some critics stated that export ban  would damage Vietnam’s credibility as a reliable supplier of rice in International market, an effect that could outlast the outbreak, undermining Vietnam’s ability to secure international sales well into the year, if not longer.

In all these, what is required is not to resort to panic buying and having stockpile of more than what is necessary.  Data from the US Department of Agriculture shows that combined global production of rice and wheat is expected be 1.26 billion tonnes this year, which would surpass the total combined consumption of those crops. But these projections assume normal crop flows, and prices for rice are already rising due to expectations of a further squeeze on exports.

Let it be a simple logistics issue and nothing farther as we sit at home and fight the dreaded virus.  Here is a citizen Garima Gupta sharing food items to the needy – appreciate noble souls like her.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Thursday, March 26, 2020

man who fashioned famous Indian win ~ now fights Covid on the streets of Haryana

India at home – our Prime Minister has requested us to remain at home for 21 days in our fight against the dreaded Corona.  We are expected to simply follow and be at home ~ yet, some fools go around, forget the need for ‘social distancing’ – they are exposing themselves as also other citizens to Covid-19 threat.  A video showing a Police Office pleading to fall at the feet of people requesting them not to venture out went viral – there are some where police punishes those straying – punishments perhaps work better.

The job of law enforcing agencies and that of Medical fraternity is the toughest now – as they brave the virus and fight to save the Nation.  A top  Haryanvi Police Officer   has posted some photos on Twitter, in which he is seen doing service on roads.  He  has also advised everyone by posting a photo and has written in the caption that ' defending oneself can save us from coronavirus, fight together and help us by staying at home' – can you identify this famous personality ? – here is another photo of the same person with folded hands standing in front of holy Kedarnath.

That picture froze in the minds of Indian cricket lovers ~ an Indian win in the World Cup –  that too the inaugural one ~ and the man in the frame, little known ……….  .. ..  For some life is always difficult ~ one falls quite often but still contrive to stand up tall !  Quite often, we think that some achieve greatness easily and for some greatness is thrust upon.  Tinseldom is one place, where we assume that people rise to the top so easily and sports, especially Cricket is another.  India cricketers go through a grind ~ they play at University level, play league cricket; rise to play for the top teams in 1st Div league; represent their State and Zone and eventually would get to play for the Nation.

Certainly not easy ~ though we hear some rise meteorically – beating their components and getting Indian jersey.  May be a good opener, middle order, good fielder, good wicket keeper, spinner, pacer, swing bowler, all-rounder – you are spotted by a IPL franchisee, play a couple of matches, swing around swivel to the top, earn a lot of money in the process ~ luckier enough if you get an opportunity of an Indian cap ~ perform well in a match, rise to starhood, become a permanent fixture in the squad !! – Sounds so sweet and so easy.

Not many of us would have followed that match at Chinnaswamy stadium on 29th Sept 2004 between India A and Indian Seniors – the Cricinfo caption read “India A take charge despite Ganguly's efforts”.  The score card read : India A 302 and 47 for 1 (Jadhav 27*) lead India Seniors 213 (Ganguly 65, Joginder 3-42, Bhandari 3-56) by 136 runs.  If you read it even now, you may not observe that  unheralded Joginder Sharma, playing as a substitute for Ashish Nehra, who went over on his left ankle again, embarrassed the cream of India's batting talent as India A took charge of the warm-up game against India Seniors. With Amit Bhandari, who removed both the openers, and Murali Kartik providing sterling support, the Seniors were bowled out for just 213 in reply to India A's 302.

At New Wanderers way back on 24th  Sept 2007, that one delivery remains frozen in the memories of all cricket lovers – Misbah bends to play that fatal scoop; ball going high on the air, landing in the hands of Sreesanth ~ the bowler was Joginder Sharma……………. later played for Chennai Super Kings too…….  Surprised to see that the bowler who bowled that last over in the nail-baiting traumatic finals did not play a single T20 after that !!!! ~ that is not all – you have more surprises when you read to follow the Haryanvi all-rounder’s career.  He has played 4 One dayers and 4 T20s for the Nation.  His last match was epochal – the finals of inaugural T20 World Cup; India won by 5 runs.  India scored 157 ; there was Rudra Pratap Singh, S Sreesanth, Yusuf Pathan, Irfan Pathan and Harbhajan. 

That scoop of Misbah-ul-Haq is history now. Pakistan started the final over needing a manageable 13, though with their last pair at the crease. Dhoni surprised everybody by asking Joginder to bowl that last over.   That became 12 from six after Joginder Sharma bowled the widest of wides, then 12 from five after Misbah played and missed. He played and hit next time, launching Sharma's nervy full toss down the ground. Six from four; one stroke would do it.  Joginder was only of modest pace but  Misbah's shot proved too ambitious ; the Wanderers erupted in deafening ecstasy.

Back home, he was rewarded with a IPL cap, that too for Chennai Super Kings ~ but could not get enough opportunities in the starpacked side.  Eventually, he found himself alongside, George Bailey; Doug Bollinger; Suraj Randiv; Scott Styris; Yo Mahesh; Abhinav Mukund; Sudeep Tyagi; K. Vasudevadas and Ganapathi Vignesh ~ the unfortunate ones to be released by the Franchisee, left out of the squad.

Life was tough for this mentally tough Haryanvi.  In Nov 2011, Joginder was seriously injured when his car rammed into a BPO vehicle in Dwarka in south-west Delhi.  Joginder was reportedly driving, suffered head injuries and was taken to a private hospital in the area. He was later shifted to another hospital in Pashim Vihar where he underwent a surgery. "I had a major head injury, fracture and clotting, was in the ICU, needed head surgery and about 40-45 stitches," recounts the Haryana allrounder Joginder Sharma, talking about his car accident last November which nearly ended his cricketing career.

A year on, he  returned to the Ranji circuit, signing autographs as a knot of kids surround him before the day's play in the cricketing outback of Hubli. It was a difficult journey back to the field for the man who has been the cornerstone of Haryana's Ranji side for several seasons.  Doctors had remarked at that time ‘Kuch bhi ho sakta hain (anything can happen).’ But Joginder was man possessed, determined to play again.  He attributes a lot to  physio Amit Tyagi who has helped him recuperate.  Perhaps more than the stress of the final over, the mental trauma of getting back was a bigger challenge ~  breaking down the psychological barrier was the most important thing. Joginder has had plenty of injury problems in the past couple of years, even before the accident: an ankle problem that needed surgery and a neck injury as well, and there was more trouble on the comeback trail.

The man in uniform at the start is, none other than ‘Joginder Sharma’. a Deputy Commissioner with Haryana Police.  The man who bowled India to victory is now fighting fit in khaki uniform, fighting the Corona virus on the streets. 

Salute the indomitable spirit of Joginder ji.  Hats Off to you Sir

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

#Socialdistancing - Lockdown - Vijayawada shows the way !!

One picture seen on twitter made me post this ~ and am really moved by this thoughtful act by the people and Govt.   River Krishna,  is the fourth longest river which flows entirely in India, after the Ganges, Godavari and Narmada. One for sure would not miss the long bridge on this river nearer Bejawada [Vijayawada station]. 

Covid-19 – imperative that you stay at home ! ~ no reasons are good enough. Just be at home.   BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has come forward in support of those affected by the 21-day lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic, pledging to donate rice worth Rs 50 lakh for the underprivileged.  Ganguly along with Lal Baba Rice will provide for the needy people who have been put in government schools for safety and security, the Cricket Association of Bengal announced in a statement.

"Inspiring to see people across India coming together despite being physically apart to applaud workers on the frontlines combatting COVID-19," Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Alice G Wells said in a tweet on Monday.  The UN has expressed solidarity with India in its fight against coronavirus, with a top official at the world body's health agency praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 21-day nationwide lockdown as a "comprehensive and robust" response to the raging COVID-19 pandemic.

In one country after the other, lockdowns have emerged as the key response against the coronavirus pandemic. There are, however, significant differences between lockdowns across the countries, and these variations have an impact on a nation’s ability to contain the spread of Covid-19 and reduce fatalities.  China, the epicenter of the coronavirus, implemented the harshest form of lockdown in Wuhan after nearly 30 deaths had occurred. In about two months, China  managed to bring down the number of daily new cases to single digits.  In contrast, Italy — the new epicenter — implemented a gradual and less stringent nationwide lockdown that began only after 800 deaths. As a consequence, Italy is nowhere close to China when it comes to bringing the outbreak under control.

At least 3,700 persons were arrested on charges of violating the island-wide police curfew currently in effect in Sri Lanka as a preventive measure against the coronavirus pandemic, according to the senior officer on Thursday. A total of 702 vehicles, including motorcycles and three-wheelers were also seized by the police, he further added. On Friday, the Sri Lankan government had announced a nationwide curfew until March 23 as a preventive measure against the coronavirus pandemic.

We the citizens of India must abide by all the instructions and ensure that our Nation emerges unscathed – winning the dreaded Corona Virus and here is how one city shows us the way .. if our city is not so, we should feel ashamed !

Bezawada (as Vijayawada was known then) was founded around 626 A.D. by Paricchedi Kings. Vijayawada was ruled by King Madhava Varma  of Vishnukundina dynasty).   Chinese  traveller Xuanzang stayed a few years in Bezawada in around 640 A.D.

Earlier known as Bezawada, Vijayawada is a Commercial city with a hot climate – you can feel the heat as the train enters this region ~ Indian Railways has assigned the station code - "BZA".  This politically active city is well connected by road, air and more specifically by rail.  It is a major Railway junction located in South Central Railway.  Trains from Tamilnadu towards Hyderabad pass through ~ trains to Howrah & beyond; the National Capital and beyond – all have to compulsorily pass through this Junction.  The station has 10 platforms and is one of the busiest with more than 250 express and 150 freight trains passing through it.  The station was constructed in 1888 when the Southern Maharatta Railway's main eastward route was connected with other lines going through Vijayawada. By some accounts, an average of 70,000 people board different trains each day and an equal number of commuters exit trains at the station.

This is not about the history or of the culture of the people but how the people of Vijayawada and the Govt has reacted positively to lockdown announced by the Govt.  The ever busy Railway station, the city streaming with visitors from neighbouring State and districts – all appeared a thing of the past – as lockdown was announced.

Andhra Pradesh Govt has swiftly shifted Rytu bazaars (Govt run vegetable markets) where farmers directly sell vegetables in Vijayawada to nearer open grounds to ensure Social distancing among people.  Photos on twitter show demarcations clearly made to keep distance between people while they stand and people faithfully following them.

Hail thy people; hail their discipline – Vijayawada is a shining example.  Let us follow them.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
PS  :  In 2011 a Telegu film based on vijaywada gang war - directed by Vivek Krishna and produced by Ram Gopal Varma, featuring  Naga Chaitanya and Amala Paul was released.  It reportedly was a disaster in box office.

Brazil creates sandstorm in beach to disperse crowds

In 1987, India reached the finals of Davis Cup but lost to a superior team at their home.  It was a time when Sweden was dominating with players like Stefan Edberg, Mat Wilander,  Joakim Nystrom, Andres Jarryd – alongside was a player by name Henrik  Sundström (I used to read him wrongly as Sand storm) nicknamed Henke, Sundström was at his best on clay and achieved his strongest results on this surface, with his solid and heavy topspin groundstrokes from the baseline. He reached a career-high singles ranking of World No. 6.n   In 1984, Sundström contributed  for the victorious Swedish Davis Cup team – that all  of these matches were on clay was in his favour.   His  opponents included the reigning French Open champion Ivan Lendl who was still playing for Czechoslovakia at the time. Sundström turned around a 2-sets-to-love and 0–3 (0–40) deficit in the third set, and won the match in 5, which gave the Swedes the edge and they made the final against the United States. The US team included John McEnroe who had lost only 2 matches for the season, Jimmy Connors, and Peter Fleming, John McEnroe's long-term doubles partner. 
Team India 1987 (S Vasudevan Anand Amirtaraj Ramesh Krishnan; Vijay Amirtaraj not in pic)

In geology, saltation (from Latin saltus, "leap") is a specific type of particle transport by fluids such as wind or water. It occurs when loose materials are removed from a bed and carried by the fluid, before being transported back to the surface.  As the force of wind passing over loosely held particles increases, particles of sand first start to vibrate, then to move across the surface in a process called saltation.

Sandstorm also called a dust storm -   is a meteorological phenomenon common in arid and semi-arid regions. Dust storms arise when a gust front or other strong wind blows loose sand and dirt from a dry surface. Fine particles are transported by saltation and suspension.  The term sandstorm is used most often in the context of desert dust storms, especially in the Sahara Desert, or places where sand is a more prevalent soil type than dirt or rock, when, in addition to fine particles obscuring visibility, a considerable amount of larger sand particles are blown closer to the surface.

Such sand storms can carry large amounts of dust, with the leading edge being composed of a wall of thick dust as much as 1.6 km (0.99 mi) high. Dust and sand storms which come off the Sahara Desert and an area covering the confluence of Mauritania, Mali, and Algeria.  Saharan dust storms have increased approximately 10-fold during the half-century since the 1950s, causing topsoil loss in Niger, Chad, northern Nigeria, and Burkina Faso. Downunder, Sydney was shrouded in dust during the 2009 Australian dust storm. Dust storms have also been shown to increase the spread of disease across the globe.  Virus spores in the ground are blown into the atmosphere by the storms with the minute particles and interact with urban air pollution.

Dust storms cause soil loss from the dry lands, and worse, they preferentially remove organic matter and the nutrient-rich lightest particles, thereby reducing agricultural productivity. Also, the abrasive effect of the storm damages young crop plants. Dust storms also reduced visibility affecting aircraft and road transportation. In addition dust storms also create problems due to complications of breathing in dust.

Dust storms are not limited to Earth and have been known to form on other planets such as Mars.  .. .. as we read along the natural phenomenon – in Brazil, it was created artificially .. yes – A  police helicopter in Brazil created a sandstorm on a beach in an attempt to remove sunbathers flouting coronavirus restrictions, footage has shown. The incident took place on Friday on Galheta beach in the city of Florianopolis, Santa Catarina.  Although Brazil is not under a national lockdown, the state of Santa Catarina has been under emergency measures since 17 March.

Now, many of Brazil’s 850,000 indigenous population are worried about the spread of the disease and have called for miners, missionaries and other outsiders to leave the Amazon rainforest.  Health experts worry that the illness could spread even quicker among tribes, as they often have weak immune systems !!  caused by malnutrition and diseases such as hepatitis B. In 2016, hundreds of indigenous people in Brazil were killed by the H1N1 epidemic.  Brazil has so far recorded 46 deaths from the disease, with the total number of infections standing at 2,247.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
Sandstorm pic credit :

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Stay at Home ! ~ Don't cross Lakshman Rekha #NationalLockdown

After the self-imposed Janata Curfew comes the 21 day curfew announced by Prime Minister of the Nation Shri Narendra Modiji.  He spoke of the need of remaining at home, not crossing the Lakshman Rekha – it is imperative that we follow the directive.  Stay at Home for your sake; everyone's sake, for the sake of our Nation.  #StayHomeIndia,  #NationalLockdown

In the great Ithihasa purana ‘Ramayana’ when  Lakshmana fell unconscious, near death, hit by an arrow from Ravana’s son Meghnad, Hanuman approached the Lankan Royal Physician Sushena for advice.  Sushena asked Hanuman to rush to Dronagiri Hills and fetch four plants: Mruthasanjeevani (restorer of life), Vishalyakarani (remover of arrows), Sandhanakarani (restorer of the skin) and Savarnyakarani (restorer of skin colour) (Srimad Valmiki Ramayana, 74th chapter, Yuddakanda, Slokas 29-34). Hanuman, not able to pick the four from the multitude, brought back the entire hill. And Lakshmana was revived from near death back to life, and to victory.

गत्वा परममध्वानम्     उपर्युपरि सागरम् ।
हिमवन्तं नगश्रेष्ठम्       हनुमन् गन्तुमर्हसि ॥
கத்வா பரமமத்வாநம்    உபர்யுபரி ஸாகரம் ।
ஹிமவந்தம் நகஸ்ரேஷ்டம்  ஹநுமந் கந்துமர்ஹஸி ॥

You shall, O Hanumān, go to Himavān, the best among the mountains, flying a long way high above the ocean!  .. .. just as Hanuman performed this wondrous deed, We too as servants of the Nation shall simply follow the Golden rule, stay for 21 days at home, work for the Nation, by being at Home and prevent the spread of the dreaded virus.

Today @ 8 pm again the Nation sat glued to TV sets.  Prime Minister Narendra Modiji  announced a complete lockdown of 21 days for the entire country. The lockdown will start at 12 am on Tuesday, said PM Modi during his address to the nation. PM Modi urged every Indian to stay indoors and self-isolate.  He said that if India does not manage the lockdown for these 21 days then India will be pushed back by 21 years. The Prime Minister added that this lockdown is more important than the janta curfew announced for Sunday. PM Modi urged the importance of social distancing during his address. He added that social isolation is important for everyone and not only the sick. "Social distancing is for everyone, for everyone in the family. Social distancing is even for the Prime Minister," said PM Modi.

"It took 67 days for the first lakh people to be infected from coronavirus. It only took 11 days for the next 1 lakh to be infected. Even more scary is the fact that it took only four days for the figure to rise to 3 lakhs," said PM Modi. He added that India will bear the financial consequences of the lockdown. "But to save the lives of every Indian is my, the state government and the central government's biggest priority," said PM Modi. "I urge you to stay wherever you are in the country," he added.

"Forget what it is like stepping out of the house for 21 days. Stay at home and only stay at home. Today's decision of countrywide lockdown has drawn a Lakshman Rekha around the door of your house," he emphasised.

Just to add some history to not so comparable lockdowns - Madras was well prepared to face an air raid from the Japanese during World War II. Air raid shelters were built, sirens installed, slit trenches dug and pamphlets that told residents how to stay safe pasted everywhere. Yet it is reported that  when a Japanese plane finally bombed the city on the night of October 11, 1943, no one knew about it for three days.

Alfred the Great was King of Wessex from 871 to c. 886 and King of the Anglo-Saxons.  He ascended the throne when his father died at his young age.  After ascending the throne, Alfred spent several years fighting Viking invasions. He won a decisive victory in the Battle of Edington in 878 and made an agreement with the Vikings, creating what was known as the Danelaw in the North of England.

Read that there was ‘curfew bell’ -   a bell rung in the evening in Medieval England as the curfew signal for everyone to go to bed.  Reportedly a bell was rung usually around eight o'clock in the evening which meant for them to cover their fires - deaden or cover up, not necessarily put out altogether. The usual procedure was at the sound of the curfew bell the burning logs were removed from the centre of the hearth of a warming fire and the hot ashes swept to the back and sides. The cold ashes were then raked back over the fire so as to cover it. A benefit of covering up the fire in the evening was the prevention of destructive conflagrations caused by unattended live fires, a major concern since at the time most structures were made of wood and burned easily.
The curfew bell with the associated curfew law is recorded by history as having been started by Alfred the Great; the law associated with the curfew bell is a custom that history records as being adopted by William I of England  in the year 1068.   The curfew law imposed upon the people was a compulsory duty they had to do or be punished like a criminal. During World War II, the Air Ministry had forecast that Britain would suffer night air bombing attacks causing large numbers of civilian casualties and mass destruction. It was widely agreed that navigation and targeting would be more difficult if man-made lights on the ground could be extinguished.  Blackout regulations  imposed in  1939,   required that all windows and doors should be covered at night with suitable material such as heavy curtains, cardboard or paint, to prevent the escape of any glimmer of light that might aid enemy aircraft.

The present scenario is far different – it is imperative that all stay at home, avoid social contact, fight the dreaded Corona virus.  Together we must triumph, prevent the spread of virus in the Nation and get back to streets with happy message of having conquered the killer virus

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
24th Mar 2020.

Paracetamol (supplied by India) in short supply in UK

Do you know what it is -  going by its chemical data which would read : ~ and before that - British colonized many Countries and ruled them for centuries including India. Here is something relating the subject matter below with India .. .. !!

Formula  -  C8H9NO2
Mol. Mass  -  151.17 g/mol
Physical data
Density - 1.263 g/cm³
Melt. Point - 168 °C (334 °F) and is soluble in water.
Solubility in water : 12.78 [1] mg/mL (20 °C)

It is the one that most of us with some little knowledge consider as a panacea for all illness. In fact, in India there is a common brand called ‘Fepanil’ – which my Medical representative friend representing Citadel Fine Pharma  told to mean  ‘fever pain nil’  -  it is ‘Paracetamol’ – most commonly bought over the counter drug used by adults and children as best seller.   Paracetamol is also known as acetaminophen. 

Paracetamol has been in use as an analgesic for home medication for over 30 years and is perceived to be effective treatment for the relief of pain and fever in adults and children. Paracetamol is available in a tablet, capsule, liquid suspension, suppository, intravenous, and intramuscular forms. The common adult dose is 500 mg to 1000 mg. The tablets are designed to dissolve or disintegrate rapidly upon contact with saliva to eliminate trouble of digesting – this is ODT (orally disintegrating tablet) property.  Some have the habit of swallowing without taking water which is not advisable. Paracetamol is chemically 4-hydroxyacetanilide, is a centrally and peripherally acting non-opioid analgesic and antipyretic.  

Though some tend to supplement one with another, the following are some of the brand names of the same drug, manufactured and marketed by different companies in India.  They are : Calpol, Crocin,  Cetanil, Cemol, Disprin, Dolo, Febrex,  Lotemp, Thermol, Taurpol, Ultragin, Paxol,  Pacimol, Metacin  and much more…….  There are many bulk manufacturers and other product makers.  Globally, Panadol is the, GlaxoSmithKline trade name for the pharmaceutical paracetamol.  In many countries, it is marketed under various trade names which include : Crocin, Dolex, Panado, Tylenol, Acamol. Though this is an OTC - ‘medicines are safe only when prescribed and self-medication is often dangerous’.  Always believe your Physician who is better qualified to diagnose and treat human health through study.  Leave the job to the specialists is what they say…………  now read this article in Daily Mail

Shoppers in desperate hunt for paracetamol as supermarkets and chemists run out after India restricted exports of painkiller to UK amid coronavirus pandemic.  There are fears that Paracetamol could run out in the UK within days during the coronavirus outbreak.  MailOnline reports that desperate shoppers all over the UK are hunting for paracetamol with supermarkets and chemists facing running out of the painkiller by this weekend amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Exports of the world's most popular painkiller, which the government is advising Brits to use to combat the symptoms of the killer virus, are being restricted by India while production in China dries up. Indian authorities fear a shortage of paracetamol in their own country and have restricted its export to the rest of the world, along with several other drugs. The nation leans on China for almost 70 per cent of the ingredients in its drugs, with the outbreak of the virus leading to significant supply issues.  This has also affected the NHS and UK pharmacies, with India being one of the main suppliers of its generic drugs.

Shoppers were pictured queuing up outside chemists around Britain, with people in Reading adhering to social distancing rules as they waited.  It is reported that several UK companies produce paracetamol to supply to businesses but rely on imported materials in from Asia. Unlike over-the-counter medicines, paracetamol 'is not price controlled' and therefore the cost has increased, it  added.   NHS however stated that the  UK is well prepared to deal with any impacts of the coronavirus outbreak and we have central stockpiles of commonly used drugs like paracetamol. Earlier this week, it advised people to use the painkiller instead of ibuprofen, admitting it did not yet know whether ibuprofen worsened the impact of Covid-19.

The coronavirus outbreak has led to a slew of supply issues. Paracetamol is one of them, with fears the supply of the popular drug could run out in the UK.   India and China, the two countries are believed to supply 80 per cent of Europe's medical material. Ingredients are cheaper and manufacturing is subject to fewer regulations in both countries, making them an attractive choice. The raw main ingredient of paracetamol is also mainly manufactured in China. But with the virus hitting Chinese manufacturers, India have decided to limit exports of its supply to protect citizens, as it relies on China for about 70 per cent of all materials. Amid the current crisis, the EU is thought to be examining its dependence on drugs from the two countries. However, their cheapness and the cost of opening up new facilities in the UK and Europe to produce the materials makes it a difficult change.

Sandra Gidley, RPS President, told MailOnline today: 'Pharmacies are experiencing much higher demand for paracetamol than usual, with people buying in supplies in preparation for any period of self-isolation they may face. 'Pharmacies have been told that they can now break down larger packs of paracetamol, usually only available on prescription, to prepare smaller packs for people who need them.

'It is important that everyone remembers to only request what they need and not to stockpile medicines as this makes it difficult for others and creates the very shortages people are worried about.'

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Covid-19; Curfew - Sec 144 - Social distancing - all in our interests only

Covid 19 is threatening and Govt is taking strong measures rightly.  Epidemics and diseases are not new – centuries ago plague haunted the humanity. Very little was known about the disease at that time. It was said to be transmitted by a bacteria, but it was not known where it emanated from.

In an effort to control the spread of coronavirus, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, on Monday, announced that prohibitory orders under section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) will be imposed in the state from 6pm on March 24 till March 31. He also announced that all the district borders in the state will be sealed. Essential services will be exempted.
File photo of famous Mahabalipuram deserted (pic Ramanujam Pillailokam)

Put simply, the administration is empowered under Section 144 to impose restrictions on the personal liberties of individuals. This means the fundamental right of peaceful assembly provided under Article 19 of the Constitution is curtailed by the administration, which is a rightful measure.   Restriction under Section 144 is different from curfew. In the areas where curfew is imposed, all public activity is barred. Civilian traffic is also stopped. Curfew warrants much graver situation posing bigger danger of rioting and violence.

This is preventive jurisdiction, urgent in their character, of either nuisance or apprehend danger. The nuisance referred to is public tranquility, or riot, or affray.
Section 144 in The Indian Penal Code :  deals with : Joining unlawful assembly armed with deadly weapon; the one referred to here is *Sec 144 of Code of Criminal procedures 1973 (CrPC)*

This Section provides for power to issue  order in urgent cases of nuisance of apprehended danger.  This written order   directs people  to abstain from a certain act or to take certain order with respect to certain property in his possession or under his management.  This is an emergency order directed against persons residing in a particular place or area, or to the public generally when frequenting or visiting a particular place or area.

The Govt Order issued by the State Govt specifically states ‘any congregation of more than 5 persons in public places is prohibited’ – to understand this better, the GO allows a tea shop to remain open and sell tea but will prevent people (more than 5)  assembling there.  The GO also specifies which services are deemed essential and exempt under the directive.

Interestingly the GO cites an age-old statue of 1897, called the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 which primarily states that  any person found violating the  measures shall be deemed to have committed an offence punishable under section 188 and other relevant sections of Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).

British Govt used the provisions differently is not relevant now.  In 1897, the year the law was enforced, freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak was punished with 18 months’ rigorous imprisonment after his newspapers Kesari and Marathaa admonished imperial authorities for their handling of the plague epidemic.

The Govt is forced to this extreme step in protecting us – it is our duty to be at home, cooperate with Govt in all possible manner and help them fight the dreaded disease – it is in our interests and of the Nation too

With regards – S. Sampathkumar