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Student from Indian origin gets invited to Apple WWDC-20 after developing social distancing stimulator: June 20, 2020 20:53

A student of Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, Dave Jha has been invited to one of the biggest tech company Apple’s developers conference also known as WWDC 2020. Dave Jha is of Indian Origin but is from California. Apple’s WWDC 2020 is a Worldwide Developer’s Conference organized by Apple. It is an event where developers can attend sessions and meet with the engineers at Apple. Apple’s WWDC 2020 event is going to be a little different than the others as it will be online because of the coronavirus pandemic. It is the first time ever that the event has gone online. Dave Jha, a student of Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, US applied for the prestigious Apple WWDC scholarship. For this scholarship Dave has submitted software which he had developed himself and is very much needed in the current times. He developed a Covid-19 social distancing simulator for this scholarship. The good news is that after the submission of his simulator he got invited to this prestigious event by Apple itself. Dave Jha took to twitter to announce his excitement of being selected for the Swift Student Challenge Award and being invited to the Apple’s WWDC. He also mentioned how this is a dream come true as he has been watching those keynotes since middle school. Dave Jha is a computer science and business student who designed a social distancing simulator keeping in mind how much essential social distancing has become in these current times. He also wants to encourage the young and the old to follow social distancing. The Covid-19 simulator developed by Dave is able to toggle speed, asymptomatic conditions, social distancing, forced distancing and the number of people around us in a fun game mode. Dave Jha has also uploaded a 4 minute demo video where he demonstrates the working of the simulator and all its diverse features like enabling asymptomatic people, forced or social distancing among others. In the simulator people are demonstrated as tiny little dots. In the simulator there is also a game that lets the user of the software control the dot in order to avoid contact with other people in the simulator. Dave has been active in finding solutions in these tough times. He has been working on various projects that will help the people in these times of a pandemic. One of his main projects is also providing the scare surgical equipment’s like the PPE kits or the Personal Protective Equipment kits. This particular project is called the PPE4NYC. This projects aims in providing the PPE kits in the midst of this coronavirus outbreak. He wasable to raise 5000 dollars for his PPE project which was used in providing masks to local police and hospitals. Apart from this, Dave Jha has also been working on various projects. His main focus has always been entrepreneurship. He has also been working on several projects apart from minoring in Entrepreneurship. Apple conducts this WWDC every year. This year it is going to be a little different as it is mainly going to be virtual. It is going to start on the 22nd of June and also it is free for everyone. The expectation from this event include 100 engineering sessions and one on one developer labs that will enable developers to work on a new range of Apple devices. Apple is also expected to announce the information related to an Arm based Chip, IOS/ iPadOS 14, MAC OS 10.16, watch OS 7 and TV OS 14. This is going to be the 31st Worldwide Developers Conference. There is going to be a keynote event that’s set to take place on June 22 at 10:00AM. The event is going to be streamed directly from Apple Park and can be watched on various Apple platforms including the website, app, TV app and even YouTube. The Apple’s WWDC started happening in the year 1987 and since that this is the first time that the event is going to be virtual.By Deepika Agarwal

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Indian American to become ambassador to Ethiopia: President Trump June 16, 2020 18:25

U.S President Donald Trump announced on June 15, 2020 that he intends on nominating an Indian American under his administration as the ambassador to Ethiopia. The most probable option at the moment is Geeta Pasi from New York who would likely be the ambassador if her nomination is cleared. She might become the next Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.Pasi is currently working as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs at the State Department. She has been working since October 2018. She is also a career Senior Foreign Service officer.She has previously served as “United States Ambassador to Chad from 2016 to 2018 and as United States Ambassador to Djibouti from 2011 to 2014.”Aside from these achievements, Pasi has also worked under the Director of Career Development and Assignments for the State Department. Her services have been used in South Asia including India. She also served as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh from 2006 to 2009. As for her degree, she earned her B.A from Duke University in 1984. She later pursued and acquired her Masters from New York University in 1986. Before her contribution to the Foreign Service, Pasi had worked as an Institutional ork.Pasi has acquired a number of accolades for her contribution from the Department of State performance award including the prestigious Matilde W. Sinclaire Language Award. She can also speak multiple languages including French, German, Hindi, Romanian, and Russian.By Somapika Datta

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White House: Consuming Hydroxychloroquine Makes Donald Trump Feel"Absolutely Great" May 29, 2020 12:13

According to a top house official, with a two-week dose ofantimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine, US President, Donald Trump is feeling "absolutely great”. He will continue taking a two-week dose if he is doubtful about being exposed to the virus. What is Hydroxychloroquine? It is a vaccine. Since 1946, Hydroxychloroquinesulfate has been used to treat and prevent malaria. In times now, this vaccine is being approved by US Food and Drug Administration to treat malaria, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, childhood arthritis, and other autoimmune diseases. Although the FDA hasn’t proved that it can be used for treating Coronavirus, yet it is being identified as a possible treatment for the infection. It is requested to be immediately available by the US Government. In this fight of coronavirus, Trump has called hydroxychloroquine a "game-changer" drug. On Thursday, Kayleigh McEnaney, Press Secretary of the White House asked the US President about how he felt after taking the antimalarial drug and he said, "I went to him just before coming out here and I asked him that. And he said, ''he’s feeling perfect'', he is ''feeling absolutely great'' after taking this regimen. And, he would take it again if he thought that he was exposed” Across the world, many experts didn’t find this vaccine suitable. However, one paper written by Tina HesmanSaey, an author at Sciencenews.org mentions about nearly 200 clinical trials around the world and 28 were healthcare workers, she said. This vaccine is being taken by 3000 healthcare workers at Henry Ford Hospital in Michigan. The Press Secretary says, there’s some really excellent information there about the use of prophylaxis for this. On a question being asked to McEnany, he said that a number of doctors and researchers are supporting hydroxychloroquine. He said that it is not specific to the President, they just talk about what they’ve seen in general. At the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis, an infectious disease doctor, Sarah Lofgren said, they are testing hydroxychloroquine there to prevent COVID-19. She adds saying ''When used alone, we’re not seeing major issues. Out of the thousands of patients, we’re not seeing things that some people are concerned about''. She says that doctors need to be prescribing this. On hearing this, McEnanymentioned that it was always important to get a prescription from doctor if one wished to take hydroxychloroquine. Further, he said, “I think that some of the hyperbole around this drug that has been on the market for 65 years - been approved for use in three other maladies and has been approved for off-label use - when there’s a lot of hyperbole about this being unsafe - some of the things I've seen reported out there - are consequences, deterring people from being recruited into actual clinical trials," To this, she said "I have some quotes from a New York epidemiologist and others conducting trials, saying they’re having trouble recruiting people because some of the myths that are out there. So, it's important to note that this drug has been safely used by millions of people for a long time," Early this month, after Trump announced that he was taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventive measure against coronavirus, a number of Indian-American doctors have written to the Trump Campaign about the usefulness of this antimalaria drug in the fight against COVID-19. Some of them said that they were using this drug and it is safe for decades now. American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) president Dr Suresh Reddy said in a recent letter to Al Mason, co-chair of the Trump Victory Indian American Finance Committee that this drug had been used by him and his friends. Mason said Trump started to take remarkable steps to respond to the coronavirus crisis. Although Trump repeatedly touted that hydroxychloroquine is a "game changer" cure for the virus, yet the FDA issued an advisory warning that the drug has not been "shown to be safe and effective for treating or preventing COVID-19." As of now, million doses of hydroxychloroquine have been purchased by the Trump Administration and kept in a bulk. On the grounds of humanity, India being the major manufacturers of this drug has sent several millions of doses to the US. By Neha Makhija

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State and Centre in a fued surrounding quarantine for NRIs May 12, 2020 14:27

With one of the biggest repatriation process already underway, it looks like the state and central government of India are not on the same page concerning the quarantine process for the rescued NRIs. The repatriation process has initiated from May 07 and with the disagreement that both these governments have been showcasing, it is likely going to end up causing a dispute with the process.The Kerala government has clearly mentioned that the NRIs returning from outside will mandatorily have to stay in the state-run quarantine facility for 7 days irrespective of their Covid-19 infection status. On the other hand, a standard operating procedure (SOP) that has been released by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs reported that the returnees will have to give an undertaking clarifying that they are willing to undergo the institutional quarantine for a minimum of 2 weeks on their own expenses. They have also been asked to submit the results of the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test that they have to undergo. This should be submitted to the Indian missions where they have particularly registered themselves.Rules for the symptomatic casesAccording to the SOP, the symptomatic patients will be immediately transferred to a medical facility and the remaining asymptomatic or the healthy individuals will be kept in quarantine facilities that are going to be arranged by the State government.If the individuals test negative for Covid-19, they will be free to go home otherwise they’ll be shifted to the medical facilities as per the requirements. Even if they are free to go home, the individuals will be under strict guidance of self monitoring for the next 14 days as well.On the contrary, the State Government has issues rules suggesting that the RT-PCR test will be conducted on them in 7 days after their arrival. The ones who test positive for the test will be immediately hospitalised while the individuals who test negative will be allowed to go home.They will be advised with home quarantine for another week as a mode of precaution.The health authorities have reported that the containment program of the State will have to be changed against the backdrop of the decision made by the Union Ministry.The authorities are planning to follow the same protocol for all the returnees from 10 other states which have been classified as the intense disease transmission zones and the ones coming around from the sea ports.“It may take at least 6 to 7 days or more for the virus to show up in the lab test. Around 30% to 40 % of people who test negative within seven days may test positive subsequently,” reported a senior official.It is also likely that a small section of the returnees might take more time to test positive for Covid-19. When questioned about the decisions, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the 7-days quarantine and containment program was decided based on the expert suggestions.By Somapika Dutta

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Coronavirus Kills Two Indian American Doctors Treating Patients In The US May 11, 2020 17:58

Constantly striving to take care of patients suffering with COVID-19 killed two Indian American doctors in New Jersey. Satyender Dev Khanna was 78 years old and he worked as a surgeon. Across New Jersey, in many hospitals, he was the head of surgical departments. Priya Khanna was 43 years old and she had a double certification in internal medicine and nephrology. In the Residents at Union Hospital, she was the Chief and worked with RWJ Barnabas Health. Governor Phil Murphy described their demise as "particularly tough" and honored them for dedicating their lives for others. "Dr. Satyender Dev Khanna and Dr. Priya Khanna were father and daughter. They both dedicated their lives to helping others. This is a family dedicated to health and medicine. Our words cannot amply express our condolences," New Jersey Governor Murphy tweeted on Thursday. "Both dedicated their lives to helping others and we lost both of them to COVID-19." Satyender Dev Khanna worked for 35 years at the Clara Maass Medical Center.  where he had worked for more than 35 years. He was a "pioneering doctor" and one of the first surgeons to perform laparoscopic surgery in the state. His colleagues are recollected memories with him stating that he was a gentle and caring physician. The doctor was passionate about bicycling, and he loved biking along the Jersey Shore. Priya Khanna completed her medical training in New Jersey. With Cooper health system, in South Jersey, she finished her fellowship in nephrology. Even she worked at Clara Maass, where she died. Apart from this, she was even a Medical Director at two dialysis centers in Essex County and "took pride" in teaching the next generation of doctors. The physician who took care of Priya in the ICU was trained and taught by her. "Priya will be remembered as a caring and selfless person who put others first. And even while in the hospital, fighting her own battle, she continued to check up on her mom and dad and her family," Mr Murphy said. The entire family is dedicated to health and medicine. The other family members are Pediatricians. - Neha Makhija

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Relief For NRIs Who Stuck In India- They Won't Lose NRI Status and Don't Need To File Returns May 11, 2020 15:14

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman declared that NRIs don't need to file returns. It was ordered by the income tax department to make it an exception for the NRIs who are stuck in India due to lockdown. Indians who are residing abroad are not considered as a resident for tax purposes by the income tax department if they spend less than 120 days. The point to be noted is, many NRIs exceeded the limit of 120 days stay in India as per COVID-19 condition and they may have to extend for a few more days. An official from the financial ministry said that the Finance Minister received many people who are concerned about their stay in India as they need to file returns as Indian citizens. So, the minister addressed the issue of such people and extended their stay to determine their residence status. The Finance Minister confirmed that the Central Board of Direct Taxes would extend the stay of NRIs without any tax returns in India as it is unsure about when the international flight will start. This exception is applicable for the financial year 2020-21. This exception is for both the categories of NRIs who are staying back in the country from an evacuation flight or were already in the country. - Ramya

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India Permits The Foreign Citizens To Travel Back their Country- For OCI and green Card Holders May 07, 2020 15:01

The Government of India passed and started allowing the foreign citizens to travel to their country. The travellers must be holding the OCI or and Green Card. Under the condition of travelers holding a visa of at least one-year duration of that foreign country and in case of medical emergency or death in the family of those Indian nationals holding six-month visas are also permitted to travel- declared by Standard Operating Protocol (SOP) issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)They need to complete the formalities by applying to the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA). The application includes the purpose and the particular details. It is mandatory to mention the departure and arrival destinations. Before the ticket book for the travelling, it includes the process where the destination country allows the person’s entry. This is clarified by SOP to MoCA as it is responsible to confirm the entry in the home country.The condition must be fulfilled by the citizens to start and land in the destination country. Confirmed by SOP stating “The conditions, if any, imposed by the destination country, will have to be fulfilled by the persons intending to travel,” the SOP reads.” Along with this confirmation it stated “The travel from India shall be on the non-scheduled commercial flights that are being arranged by MoCA for bringing back stranded Indian nationals from abroad and the cost of travel, as specified by MoCA, will be borne by such travellers.”Before boarding the flight from India, the travelers must undergo the thermal screening as per the health protocol and the health check process is handled by MoCA. The thermal screening results COVID-19 negative, only then the person is allowed to board the flight. While traveling, everyone needs to follow the health protocol that includes wearing the mask, sanitizing hands, and environmental hygiene. Staff, crew and passengers, everyone must strictly follow this health protocol while the flight is on board.By Ramya C

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Indian-American psychiatrist fined over opiod violations May 01, 2020 17:57

An Indian-American psychiatrist was recently fines with $145,000 for prescribing excess dosage of opiod medication, as per the reports from the Justice department. The accused, Prakash Bhatia, who practised pain control medication San Diego area in California was ready to pay the fine following the threat from the Drug Enforcement Agency to begin an investigation into whether or not he prescribed opiods to his patients in an improper way in violation of the Controlled Substances Act. Robert Brewer, the federal prosecutor for Southern California further stated saying, “Overprescribing opioids to patients who need treatment for their pain has contributed to the opioid epidemic in this country.” The US has been facing an epidemic with the drug abuse from the illegal use of the medications that should only be prescribed with a doctor’s prescription and not otherwise. As per the released government statistics, over 15,000 people have died because of drug overdose in 2018. The prosecutors have reported that Bhatia prescribed medications like hydromorphone, morphine, methadone, oxycodone, fentanyl and oxymorphone to his patients without any legitimate need of the same. He had also prescribed those said medicines along with anti-depressants including benzodiazepines and muscle relaxants which further deteriorate the abuse and cause even worse implications of the condition. By Somapika Dutta

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Over 1 Lakh NRI Keralites register to return home April 28, 2020 14:13

Following the announcement made by the Kerala government about opening the online registration for the Non-Resident Keralites who are stranded in foreign countries, over 1 lakh registrations have been submitted so far. The same happened just after 12 hours of the registration being open. Majority of the registrations have poured in from countries and nations around the Middle East countries. Maximum of the registrations are from UAE. The registration was being conducted on www.norkaroots.org which is the official body of the diaspora in the state. This new facility was finally opened by the State followed the flood of messages that they received from the NRIs stranded all across the globe. The Union Cabinet Secretary has also asked on the ways that the state governments are going to work to make arrangements for the returning diaspora, especially if they are coming from some of the most infected parts of the world. The efforts and strategies suggested and imposed by the Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan were highly praised by the Union Minister cabinet and they have also suggested the other states to follow through with the same process. Vijayan reported that all the necessary arrangements were sorted out in all four airports in Kerala. The people who are going to arrive are going to be screened. While the ones with no signs of Covid-19 will be allowed to return to their homes and isolate there, the other will be quarantined in the facilities that the government has arranged and with all the necessary precautions. According to the reports from the state government, several of the hostels, hotesl, and even private hospitals will host the accommodation facility. Some of the floating houseboats at Alappuzha will also act as quarantine facilities. Some of these quarantine centres are going to function for free. But, in case some wants better facilities and comfort, they will be levied with charges for that. Out of the 2.5 million non-resident Keralites in the world, 90% of them are based out of the Middle East Countries. Around 3-5 lakh people are likely going to return following the resuming of the air services in the country. By Somapika Dutta

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Kerala initiates online registrations for NRIs wanting to return to India April 27, 2020 13:20

Even before the resumption of the flight services that have been halted in the country due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, Kerala has started their online registrations for all the NRIs of the state who want to return from abroad.The Kerala Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan held video conferencing sessions with some Non-Resident Keralites yesterday regarding the steps that the government is taking to bring back some of the people who have appealed to return to the country.The CM then announced that the Department of Non-Resident Keralites Affairs (NORKA) has opened up the online registration process for the individuals who want to return home due to the rising crisis surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic.Those stranded in other countries are going to be brought back to safety to India after the Centre resumes the flight services and gives this a green signal."Those returning should undergo screening at airports. All those returning should undergo mandatory home quarantine for 14 days. Arrangements of isolation wards will be provided for those unable to go home," CM Pinarayi Vijayan exclaimed.The Kerala government has been working extensively to bring back the expatriats with a lot of elaborate arrangements. All of these individuals will have to follow a minimum of 14 days of self-quarantine after they land in India.CM Vijayan has also written an appeal to PM Narendra Modi about arranging some flights to bring back the NRIs who are stranded abroad, especially around the Gulf nations.The state government has also clearly mentioned that the online registration process is to get a ballpark figure for the isolation facility that needs to be created, if there is a need for one. The same is not going to impact any priorities on flight bookings. Once every NRK fills out the registration form, the Kerala government is going to draw up the list and try and get as many people back to the country once the lockdown is removed and things get back to normal. Kerala currently has around 120 active cases and had a total of 458 confirmed cases and 2 deaths.By Somapika Dutta

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Miss England gets back to her duty as NHS doctor during pandemic April 08, 2020 11:30

Beauty with brains is a term that is often misused, especially for women. Crowned as Miss England in 2019, Bhasha Mukherjee kept aside her beauty crown and returned to the United Kingdom from her charity work to continue her career as the NHS doctor to help patients during the coronavirus pandemic. Mukherjee took a break from her career after winning the Miss World pageant wherein she represented England. Owing to her intellect, she was asked to be part of a number of charities across the world, which is where she was planning to be in until August of this year. In an interview with CNN, she stated saying, “I was invited to Africa, to Turkey, then to India, Pakistan and several other Asian countries to be an ambassador for various charity work.” She started her tour with India on March 04 and was there for four weeks on behalf of Coventry Mercia Lions Club, which she was an ambassador for. The charity mainly focused on development and community charity. They worked with orphaned kids and abandoned girls to provide them with a home and education. But, with the coronavirus pandemic hitting UK pretty bad, Mukherjee was consistently getting calls from her former colleagues to come back as the hospitals were in need of more doctors. She got calls from her old hospital, the Pilgrim Hospital that is located in Boston, eastern England. Responding to the crisis, Mukherjee contacted the management of her old hospital to let them know that she wanted to come back home during this time and take on her responsibilities. She said to CNN that it doesn’t feel right to wear a crown when she can’t even do any good that she was touring the world for. Mukherjee said that after hearing everything that was happening back at home, all that she wanted to do was come back home and get straight to work. Mukherjee has been a resident of the United Kingdom after moving from Kolkata, India at the age of 9. She further stated saying, “I felt a sense of this is what I'd got this degree for and what better time to be part of this particular sector than now." She was elated to see how the world was celebrating the key workers and appreciating their efforts and knowing that she could add more value to it because of her degree and skills, she wanted to come back and do that. Mukherjee was in contact with the British High Commissioner in Kolkata and talked to them to arrange a flight back home. She returned on Wednesday in a flight from India to Frankfurt and then to London. She believes that there is no better time to stand up to her crown of Miss England and save people’s lives now. Mukherjee is currently self isolating for the coming one or two weeks as protocol following which she will be able to return to work. UK has already reported over 55,000 confirmed cases with over 6000 deaths. By Somapika Dutta

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Three Indians among 42 confirmed Covid-19 cases in Singapore March 30, 2020 19:20

Among the 42 new cases reported in Singapore, three Indian nationals have been identified in them. This has taken up the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 844. Out of the 42 new cases, 24 of them are imported and have international travel history from some of the hotspots across the globe. The three Indians who have been identified as positive for the coronavirus infection include a 35 year old female, 34 year male with a work pass of Singapore and a 43 year male who is a permanent resident of Singapore. One of the latest cases in the country also includes a 42-year old permanent resident who is a nurse in the local hospital. She contracted the virus possibly at her workplace as there are no reports of international travel. She started showcasing the symptoms of the disease on March 24, 2020 and finally got the confirmed test results on March 27, 2020. According to reports from a local news channel, she is kept in isolation in the hospital that she works in. Of all the 423 cases in the hospitals in Singapore, 19 are currently in critical condition. The others are either stable or improving from the state that they were admitted in. 14 patients have recently already recovered from the condition and have been discharged from the hospitals in Singapore. In total, 212 of the infected patients in Singapore have already recovered from the virus. By Somapika Dutta

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