At Sion Hospital, They Gird Their Hearts with Silent Fortitude
Sion Hospital, a major tertiary hospital, is strategically located at the junction of two express highways, in the middle of three major railway tracts and adjacent to the biggest slum of Asia, namely, Dharavi.
 
Hence, every possible casualty is directed to the hospital -- whether they be highway accidents or railway accidents or disasters - natural as well as manmade! People falling out of running trains, and road accident victims are also taken to the Sion Hospital and are treated on an emergency basis. 
 
The hospital is the main source of medical help for a huge population of Mumbai living in the slums, the “poorest among the poor”, who opt for this free of charge hospital for every illness and emergency. All these factors lead to a disproportionately large demand on the emergency services of the hospital even at normal times. 
 
 
Twenty years ago, an idea was floated to upgrade the Casualty to Emergency Medical Services (EMS). The work on building an EMS began in 2000 and it was ready by 2003. The existing 10,000 sq. ft. lobby was modified and every room and space was built in conformity with the highest quality medical care specifications.
 
Yet, with a burgeoning population, the EMS, like the rest of the city, is now overcrowded and faces a space crunch. We learn that a total reconstruction of the hospital was planned, but the idea has not taken off yet. To demolish a functioning hospital that is already over-crowded and under pressure and to rebuild it, without inconveniencing patients, is a huge challenge! 
 
 
So, the EMS bravely continues with its herculean task, with doctors of all departments -- medicine, surgery and anaesthesia, working together 24x7, to stabilise, investigate and manage all emergency patients. With four operation theatres running, all beds full and more waiting for admission, the work at the EMS, continues non-stop. Crowded government and municipal hospitals and a dearth of beds has been a reality for decades; but those who did not need these services never knew or cared. 
 
With Covid-19, and the fear that anyone infected may be taken to a government facility, you see a hue and cry on social media over videos leaked to sensationalise the issue. 
 
 
With Covid-19, the number of admissions has increased exponentially.  This further overloads the already over-worked EMS, leading to approximately 16 patients being admitted in a space meant for four persons.  Yet, every time there is a challenge, it is the Sion Hospital that rises to face it – the hospital is also adding 200 beds to its already overstretched capacity. 
 
 
The Golden Rule at the hospital is “Never say ‘No’ to anybody”.  Sion Hospital never refuses admission, unlike private hospitals, which turn away patients, when full.  It has always made it a policy to accommodate everybody and that requires medical attention.  Most often, the patient does not complain, they are relieved to get admission and wait for a bed to become available. 
 
The number of patients has skyrocketed due to Covid-19 (today’s figures are not available). Yet the doctors continue to work relentlessly, with no fuss, with whatever space and facilities are available and silently fulfil their duty to society.
 
P.S: A total of 1,075,871 patients had been treated at the EMS, till May 2019, including 1,72,188 major emergency surgeries.
 
(Dr Neela Patwardhan, an ophthalmologist is an alumnus of Sion Hospital and Dr Shanti Pantvaidya is the former HOD Anaesthesia, Sion Hospital)
 
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    177 new mandis integrated with eNAM
    With the launch of 177 additional mandis, the total number of eNAM mandis across country reached 962 as Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar on Monday launched integration of new mandis with the National Agriculture Market (e-NAM).
     
    These 177 new mandis are from 10 states and UT namely, Gujarat (17), Haryana (26), J&K (1), Kerala (5), Maharashtra (54), Odisha (15), Punjab (17), Rajasthan (25), Tamil Nadu (13) and West Bengal (1) which will strengthen agriculture marketing and facilitate farmers to sell their harvested produce through the online portal.
     
    Launching the new mandis through video conference, Tomar said efforts should be made to strengthen eNAM further to benefit the farmers.
     
    He said eNAM portal has been envisioned by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi as an ambitious use of technology for the benefit of farmers.
     
    Earlier, 785 mandis were integrated with eNAM across 17 States and 2 UTs, with a user base of 1.66 Cr Farmers, 1.30 lakh traders and 71,911 Commission Agents.
     
    As of May 9, 2020, total volume of 3.43 Crore MT & 37.93 Lakh numbers (Bamboo & Coconut) collectively worth more than Rs. 1 lakh crore has been traded on eNAM platform. Digital payment worth Rs. 708 Cr have been done via eNAM platform, benefitting more than 1.25 lakh farmers. eNAM facilitates trade beyond mandi/ state borders. A total of 236 mandis participated in inter- mandi trade across 12 States whereas 13 States/UT have participated in the inter-state trade allowing farmers to interact directly with distantly located traders.
     
    At present, 150 commodities, including food grains, oilseeds, fibers, vegetables and fruits, are being traded on eNAM. More than 1,005 FPOs have been registered on eNAM platform and have traded 2900 MT of agri-produce worth Rs 7.92 Crores.
     
    To de-congest mandis during COVID-19 lockdown situation, FPO trade module, Logistics module and eNWR based Warehouse module were launched by the Union Agriculture Minister on 2nd April 2020. Since then, 82 FPOs from 15 States have traded on eNAM with total quantity of 12048 Quintals of commodities worth Rs 2.22 Cr. Nine (9) Logistics Service Aggregators have partnered with eNAM having 2,31,300 transporters providing availability of 11,37,700 trucks to service transportation need of eNAM stakeholders. 
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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    Here is what you want to know about trains starting Tuesday
    The Indian Railways which announced it will run 15 pairs of air conditioned trains from Tuesday said on Monday that all the passengers will be thermally screened at the station and they will need to arrive at the station 90 minutes prior to the departure of the train.
     
    The Railway Ministry in a statement said that the national transporter in consultation with the Ministry of Health and Family welfare (MoHFW) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has decided that train services shall be partially restored from May 12 in a graded manner.
     
    "These special trains which are being started presently, will have only air conditioned classes -- First, Second and Third tier AC. The fare structure for the special trains shall be applicable for the regular time table as Rajdhani trains, excluding catering charges," it said.
     
    The ministry said that only online e-ticketing will be done through the IRCTC website or through Mobile App. "No tickets will be booked across the reservation counter on any railway station. Booking of tickets through agents', both IRCTC agents and railway agents shall not be permitted," it said, adding that the maximum advance reservation period (ARP) will be of seven days.
     
    These trains will be run as special trains from New Delhi Station connecting 15 important cities of the country -- Dibrugarh, Agartala, Howrah, Patna, Bilaspur, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Madgaon, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad and Jammu Tawi. However, soon after the bookings of the train opened the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) site was slowed down.
     
    The ministry said that only confirmed e-tickets shall be booked and no booking of RAC or waiting list ticket and on board booking by ticket checking staff shall be permitted. Even the current booking, tatkal and premium tatkal booking shall not be permitted and no unreserved tickets (UTS) shall be allowed in these 15 pairs of trains, it said.
     
    The railways also said that no catering charges shall be included in the train fare and provision for pre paid meal booking, e-catering shall also be disabled. "However, IRCTC shall make provision for limited eatables and packaged drinking water on payment basis," it said.
     
    The railways also urged the passengers to bring their own cooked food and drinking water. Dry, ready-to-eat food and bottled water shall be provided on demand inside the trains on payment basis, it said.
     
    The Railway Ministry said "The passengers shall reach the station at least 90 minutes in advance to facilitate thermal screening at the station. Only passengers who are found asymptomatic will be permitted to travel."
     
    The railways also said that the passengers need to wear face covers or masks at the entry and during travel and they need to observe social distancing both at the station and on trains. On arrival at their destination, the passengers will have to adhere to such health protocols as are prescribed by the destination state or union territory.
     
    The railways said that as per MHA guidelines the movement of the passengers as well as the driver of the vehicle transporting the passengers to and from the railway station shall be allowed on the basis of the confirmed e-ticket. Pointing out at the rules for the cancellation of the tickets, the railways said that online cancellation shall be permitted up to 24 hours before scheduled departure of train. "No cancellation will be permitted less than 24 hours before departure of train. Cancellation charge shall be 50 per cent of the total fare," it said.
     
    The railways added that no linen, blankets and curtains shall be provided inside the train. "Passengers are advised to carry their own linen for the travel. The temperature inside AC coaches shall be suitably regulated for this purpose," it said, asking the passengers to download the Arogya Setu mobile application.
     
    The railways said that the zonal railways have been instructed to ensure that there are separate entry and exit gates at railway stations to the extent feasible so that there is no face to face movement of passengers. "Zonal railways will be guided by standard social distancing guidelines on stations and trains and observe the safety, security and hygiene protocols," it said.
     
    It said that no stalls or booths on the platforms shall be opened. "No train side vending would be permitted and passengers are advised to travel light," it added.
     
    The railways has announced to partially start the train services almost 45 days after the train services were suspended amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The national transporter started running Shramik Special trains from May 1 and till date it has operated over 468 trains and transdported over 4.7 lakh people.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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