Mumbai Buzz: New Covid Variant | Punitive action for dumping waste in drains and more…

And in other news in Mumbai: Age criteria for school admissions; JJ Hospital doctors postpone strike; Cyber fraud victim recovers money.

Mask up but no need to worry, say docs 

Just as we were gearing up to celebrate Christmas and New Year, a new Covid variant called JN.1, has been reported. As of now Mumbai has the maximum number of cases in the state. 

Chief minister Eknath Shinde informed that the decision to form a task force to manage isolation, medication and other requirements in case of increase in the cases, will be taken soon. He emphasised that people should reinforce “Covid Appropriate Behaviour” such as masking up and testing. Maharashtra has not imposed any restrictions as of now.  

Doctors have also opined that the slight increase in positivity could be because of increased testing in the wake of the new variant and winter season. They said that the patients have mild infections and are very much manageable. However, exercising caution is important.    

Source: The Indian Express, Hindustan Times 

Record waste collection during deep cleaning drive in Mumbai

Even as the deep cleaning drive by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation continues, a press statement by the civic body stated that it was considering punitive action to prevent people from throwing waste in drains. Reports said that the BMC collected 1,042 metric tons of debris and 139 tons of solid waste during the two weeks of the drive. 

The drive that will go on for a few more weeks includes cleaning and washing of roads, footpaths and waste collection. 

Around 3,700 workers were employed for the deep cleaning drive, besides 33 JCBs, 148 dumpers, 21 compactors, 69 water tankers, nine road sweeping machines, seven misting machines, six suction machines, and three litter picker machines,” Mid-day reported. 

Further, the BMC plans to start biomethanation plants at the five civic hospitals in Mumbai.  This is expected to generate energy from organic wet waste that is collected in the city on a daily basis. 

Source: Mid-day, Mumbai Live

Read more: Mumbai’s no.1 source of trash: Food waste

Resident doctors at JJ Hospital postpone strike 

The resident doctors at JJ Hospital, who were to go on strike demanding removal of the head of dermatology department, have postponed it to December 28th. The person in question, Dr Mahindra Kura, has been sent on leave for 15 days. The two-member committee completed investigations into the allegations of medical negligence and harassment of resident doctors by Dr Kura. The allegations include the cases of at least five avoidable deaths due to incorrect treatment. 

Earlier reports, which highlighted the statement by Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors in this matter, said, ““The above-mentioned professional misconduct by Dr Kura, combined with several instances of mental health abuse, a toxic work culture, and a discouraging and humiliating demeanour towards resident doctors, has led to many residents opting for antidepressants and mood stabilisers to combat suicidal ideations. This is unforgivable.”

Source: Mid-day

NEP compliant age criteria for school admissions

From 2024, children will have to be three years old to get admission in nursery class. Last year parents and school authorities were concerned about the confusion over minimum age for admissions in nursery class. The National Education Policy 2020 mandates that a child has to be six years of age before starting Class 1. Different states are in the process of complying and had earlier relaxed the rules for a couple of years.

two students studying and writing
Representational image: School admissions for coming academic year will have to be in accordance with the National Education Policy. Pic: Pixabay

While most of the schools gave relaxation for children who were already enrolled, now the state government has issued a notification saying new admissions from 2024, will be done in accordance with the NEP age requirements. Until now children who were 2.5 years of age were given admissions in nursery, leading to a six-month gap. 

Educationists have said that it is beneficial for a child to be at least three years old to be able to cope, communicate and learn in the first year of schooling.  

Source: The Times of India

Cyber fraud victim gets his money back 

The cases of cyber frauds have been rising multifold in India and the investigations and convictions are far from encouraging. However, in Mumbai, in a case of thorough investigation, a cyber fraud victim has recovered Rs 9.85 lakh that he lost in July. 

Debayan Das, fell into the trap of “task fraud,” where you get money for small tasks to be done online, such as writing reviews or liking content. Eventually victims end up investing their own money and the fraudsters cannot be traced. After Debayan was asked to pay taxes on the investments he had made, he started doubting the whole deal. When he visited the office address in person, he realised he had been cheated. He registered his complaint immediately with the cyber crime police. After four long months of investigation into various layers of the scam, the police were able to recover the money. 

“Most people hesitate to involve the police in cyber frauds. If you go to the police at the right time, it is possible to recover your money, partly or in full,” Debayan was reported as saying about his experience. 

Source: Hindustan Times

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