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2 health workers show Nipah symptoms in Kerala’s Kozhikode

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Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 5. After a 12-year-old boy succumbed to Nipah virus attack on Sunday, two health workers who were in contact with the boy are now under surveillance.

State health minister Veena George, who reached Kozhikode in the morning along with state PWD minister P.A. Mohammed Riyaz and state Transport minister A.K. Saseendran held a meeting of the health, revenue and police officials to review the situation.

The review meeting mainly revolved around the steps to be taken to manage the situation arising after the death of the 12 year-old boy and the return of Nipah after it was contained in the state on June 10, 2018.

In the last Nipah attack in 2018, 17 people had lost their lives and the government and health department are now not taking any chances.

According to the health department officials, two health officials, who were on the contact list of the boy, have developed symptoms of the virus. A total of 188 people are in the contact list and 20 of these are from the index list or high-risk category.

State Health Minister Veena George told media persons that one of the health workers is from the Kozhikode Government Medical College hospital and the other is from the private hospital where the boy was treated earlier.

The health Minister while speaking to the media persons after the review meeting at the Kozhikode government guest house said, “There is no reason to worry but have to be highly alert. A ward at the Kozhikode Government Medical College has already been converted to Nipah ward and a control room is opened.”

She said that the three-storied pay ward at the Kozhikode Government Medical College will be allotted for Nipah and high-risk patients and the health workers will be soon shifted in that facility. The minister also said that a team from National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune will reach Kozhikode soon and set up a virology lab at Kozhikode Government Medical College hospital. This lab is for initial screening for Nipah virus.

The minister also said that medical teams are visiting Chathamangalam panchayath to find out the contact source of the disease. She said that all necessary precautions were taken by Saturday evening itself before the test result of the child was announced.

Meanwhile the authorities have declared a high alert in Kozhikode district. The roads within 3 km of the residence of the deceased boy were cordoned off with a heavy police posse being deployed for duty.

The health department has already closed Ward no 9 of Chathamangalam panchayath and restrictions imposed in wards 8, 10, and 12.

The staff of the local hospital at Omassery in Kozhikode district where the child was first taken for consultation after he developed fever are also put under alert.

Health authorities have already informed the local people to immediately report any instances of fever, vomiting and other health ailments.

Technology

BYJU’S announces launch of new innovation hub

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New Delhi, Oct 5: Edtech company BYJU’S on Tuesday announced the launch of BYJU’S Lab — an innovation hub based out of the UK, the US and India.

The hub will redefine the role of technology in learning and transform powerful ideas into solutions.

It will create an exciting and fulfilling environment for machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) professionals, both experienced as well as new graduates.

For the new venture, BYJU’S will hire AI and ML specialists in the UK, the US and India, who will focus on projects with longer gestation cycles that involve deep analysis to gain valuable insights into the learning habits of children.

“By combining the ability of computing, technology, and data, we at BYJU’S Lab want to explore the power of information and technology to create a more personalised, enhanced, and democratised learning,” BYJU’S Chief Innovation and Learning Officer Dev Roy said, in a statement.

“As we continue to grow and experiment, we will operate at the intersection of business and technology to make innovation real and relevant for our end-customers. We are looking at strengthening our team and look forward to working with bright and curious minds to transform the way children learn,” Roy added.

The company is also paving the way for geography agnostic learning tools that sit at the intersection of mobile, interactive content, and personalised learning methodology.

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Hubble spots spiral galaxy with celestial eye

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Washington, Oct 4: The Hubble Space Telescope, an international cooperation between NASA and ESA (European Space Agency), has detected a spiral galaxy around 130 million light-years from Earth that showcases a celestial eye.

Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) captured the galaxy — NCG 5728 — which appears to be an elegant and luminous, an ESA statement said.

WFC3 is extremely sensitive to visible and infrared light and thus beautifully captured the regions of NGC 5728 that are emitting light at those wavelengths.

However, there are many other types of light that galaxies such as NGC 5728 emit, which the WFC3 cannot see.

NGC 5728 is also a monumentally energetic type of galaxy, known as a Seyfert galaxy.

Powered by their active cores, Seyfert galaxies are an extremely energetic class of galaxies known as active galactic nuclei (AGNs). This AGNs at its core shines bright due to the gas and dust hurled around its central black hole.

There are many different types of AGNs, but Seyfert galaxies are distinguished from other galaxies with AGNs because the galaxy itself is clearly seen, ESA said.

Other AGNs, such as quasars, emit so much radiation that it is almost impossible to observe the galaxy that houses them.

In the new image “NGC 5728 is clearly observable, and at visible and infrared wavelengths it looks quite normal”, ESA said.

“It is fascinating to know that the galaxy’s center is emitting vast amounts of light in parts of the electromagnetic spectrum that WFC3 just isn’t sensitive to! Just to complicate things, the AGN at NGC 5728’s core might actually be emitting some visible and infrared light — but it may be blocked by the dust surrounding the galaxy’s core,” the statement said.

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National

UP cabinet expansion to see 7 new faces, allies to be accommodated

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Lucknow: Cabinet expansion of the Yogi government will take place on September 27 with seven new ministers taking oath of the office. This is the second cabinet expansion of the Yogi government.

Earlier on August 22, 2019, the Yogi cabinet was expanded for the first time. This expansion is being done keeping in mind the upcoming Assembly elections in 2022, in which the focus will be on creating caste equations.

Sanjay Nishad, A K Sharma, Jitin Prasad, Paltu Ram, Sanjay Gaur, Dharamveer Prajapati, former cabinet minister Chetan Chauhan’s wife Sangeeta Chauhan are among some names likely to get a place in UP’s new cabinet. At present, the Yogi government has 53 ministers including 23 cabinet ministers, nine ministers of state (independent charge) and 21 ministers of state. So, it can accommodate seven more.

The expansion would also indicate how the BJP prefers to deal with its allies ahead of the UP assembly elections. It is most likely that both allies Apna Dal (Sonelal) and the Nishad Party could be accommodated in the Yogi ministry. Leaders with a clean track record are expected to be given priority in the election year.

All discussions on the subject have reportedly been held with chief minister Yogi Adityanath and other senior UP leaders, including state BJP chief Swatantra Dev and general secretary (organisation) Sunil Bansal.

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