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97% BSF personnel satisfied with food: DRDO study



New Delhi, April 4 (IANS) Ninety seven per cent of BSF personnel are satisfied with the quantity and quality of food provided to them while they are deployed on the borders, a DRDO study said.

The Border Security Force (BSF) had last year decided to get an independent study conducted regarding the food and nutrients provided to its personnel deployed on borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh after a trooper aired grievances regarding the quality of food.

The study — conducted by the Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Science (DIPAS), with participants under eight frontiers with different terrain and geographical area — showed that 97 per cent are satisfied with quantity and quality of food, the BSF said in a statement.

“The study has recorded average energy expenditure to be 3,400 to 3,500 kilo-calories per day, while energy intake was around 3,450 (plus/minus 335) kilo-calories per day.

“The report registered that food was able to provide all macro and micronutrients as per recommended dietary allowance of ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research),” it added.

In January last year, a BSF trooper had publicly complained regarding the quality of food made available to soldiers deployed on borders. The issue caught media attention and received wide coverage.

In February, DIPAS had initiated the study for determining nutrient requirements of BSF personnel and adequacy of their diet under condition of deployment along with determination of their food satisfaction level.

For the study, data of food preference and satisfaction level was collected from 6,526 personnel from eight frontiers (four each of Western and Eastern Command) and focused group discussion was conducted at 37 different unit mess and cook houses visited by the study group.

The security force said the assessment of food and nutrient intake was done by food analysis, body composition, haematological profile, biochemical variable analysis, clinical examination and handgrip test.

“The complete data were put to statistical analysis to draw conclusions,” it said.

DIPAS is the nutritional advisory to Indian Armed Forces in terms of determining calorie nutrient requirements of soldiers deployed under different environment all over the country.

The institute, under the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), also does periodical reviews of ration scales of nutritional adequacy.


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China coronavirus toll reaches 908, 40,171 infected




Beijing: The death toll due to the novel coronavirus in China on Monday increased to 908, with 40,171 confirmed cases, the country’s National Health Commission said.

Until midnight, 6,484 severe cases had been recorded while 3,281 people, who had recovered from the illness, had been discharged, Efe news reported citing the Commission as saying.

As of now, 399,487 patients in close contact with the infected have been traced, out of which 187,518 are under observation, according to the Chinese agency.

Among those under observation, 23,589 were suspected of having contracted the virus.

The latest figures indicate an increase of 97 deaths over the previous day – when 632 people were also discharged – and 3,062 new infections.

Of the 97 deaths, 91 were recorded in Hubei province, whose capital is Wuhan – the epicentre of the outbreak -, and which has been under de facto quarantine since January 23.

It total, 2,618 of the 3,062 new coronavirus cases have been detected in Hubei.

Until now, all deaths but one – which occurred in the Philippines – have been in China, which accounts for about 99 per cent of those infected, although about 20 countries have confirmed cases.

The virus has already claimed more lives than the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003.

Despite both the novel coronavirus and SARS originating in China, the geographical distribution of deaths is radically different.

SARS emerged in the southern Guangzhou province, while the coronavirus appears to have originated from a seafood market in the central-eastern city of Wuhan.

With SARS, 349 people died in mainland China, 299 in Hong Kong, 43 in Canada, 37 in Taiwan and 33 in Singapore, to mention only the most affected places, according to the figures from WHO.

Coronavirus has spread to at least 27 other countries and territories.

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