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15 women among 32 dead in Assam hooch tragedy

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At least 32 persons, including 15 women, have died and over 40 others taken ill after consuming spurious liquor in two separate incidents in Assam’s Golaghat and Jorhat districts, the police said on Friday.

While one incident took place on Thursday night at Salmora Tea Estate in Golaghat, 300 km from here, the other incident occurred in two remote villages under Titabor sub-division of Jorhat district.

“Twenty-five persons, including 15 women, have died in Golaghat. While 18 persons died at the Golaghat Civil Hospital, the rest breathed their last at the Jorhat Medical College and Hospital,” said Rathin Bordoloi, Joint Director of Health, Golaghat district.
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He said the deceased were taken to the hospitals with complaints of severe vomiting and chest pain. “We tried our best, but it was too late.”

“A total of 55 persons had been referred to the Jorhat Medical College and Hospital for treatment. Seven of them have died, while 48 others are still undergoing treatment,” said the doctors at the hospital.

In the Jorhat incident, 12 people were taken ill after consuming spurious liquor, of whom seven died at the local hospital. The rest four are undergoing treatment, the police said.

The locals said many consumed liquor at the tea estate on Thursday night after procuring the stock from a particular seller. Several of them took ill immediately and were rushed to the hospital.
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The locals complained about a nexus between the police and illegal liquor sellers.

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has expressed grief over the incident and sent a team to the district to take stock of the situation.

State Excise Minister Parimal Shuklabaidya has ordered a probe.

“The state government has suspended two excise officials after holding them responsible for the tragedy. We have also asked a four-member team, led by Additional Commissioner of Excise Department Sanjib Medhi, to probe the incident,” said Shuklabaidya.

The probe committee has been asked to submit its report within three days.

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Link medical facilities with virtual ICUs: Yogi

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UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has asked officials to start the process to link medical institutes with virtual ICUs by using technology in such a way that the serious patients may get treatment from experienced doctors.

He also asked the officials to keep ventilators/high flow nasal cannula (HFNC) functional in all districts.

At a meeting of Team 11, the Chief Minister has directed officials to adopt an effective strategy to control spread of Coronavirus in districts where 100 or more positive cases are being found every day for the last one week.

He asked the Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretaries of Home (health and medical education) along with medical experts to hold a detailed discussion to finalise the action plan in this regard.

The Chief Minister reiterated that nodal officers be nominated in these districts with deployment of special secretary-rank officers with each of nodal officer.

Yogi also asked officials to maximise contact tracing for effective control on Corona infection. He asked them to target high risk groups and put them to tests.

He stressed on taking up enforcement exercise to check observance of social distancing and use of masks by people.

“Create micro-containment zones as and where required. Public address systems should be functional all the time to spread awareness about protection from Corona virus and the prevailing traffic rules,” he said.

He said one-third of the total Covid tests per day should be conducted through RT-PCR and the rest by rapid antigen method.

He further directed officials to increase the number of beds in Covid Level-2 and Level-3 hospitals.

The Chief Minister said that the people should be sensitized about protection from Covid-19 in view of coming festivals. He said the festivals had to be celebrated at home and no public functions should be organised and all the norms of social distancing and use of masks should be followed strictly.

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