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One case confirmed from Tamil Nadu and two from Ladakh

Safety cover: Many people opted for masks in New Delhi on Saturday over COVID-19 fears. SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

Three more cases of COVID-19 were confirmed on Saturday — two from Ladakh and one from Tamil Nadu — taking the total number of cases in the country to 34.

“Two cases have been reported from Ladakh with travel history to Iran while one case has come in from Tamil Nadu with travel history to Oman. All the cases are stable,” said a Union Health Ministry release.

The Tamil Nadu patient, a 45-year-old man from Kancheepuram district, with a history of travel to Muscat in Oman, has been admitted to the isolation ward at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital in Chennai.

Senior State health officials said the man was advised home quarantine after he landed and reported symptoms. His samples were sent for testing and the results were received on Saturday.

His family is under home quarantine, and efforts are on to isolate anyone else the patient might have come into contact with. The patient has become asymptomatic, according to Health Secretary Beela Rajesh.

The Union Health Ministry added that in the case of the two American nationals found positive in Bhutan with a travel history of various places in India, more than 150 of their contacts had been put under surveillance.

Thirty-one cases are being treated in hospitals and are stable, a senior health official said.

“In addition, 108 samples have been received from Iran on Saturday morning,” the Health Ministry said.

All birds in vicinity of infected area to be culled

Alert sounded: A farmer inspecting a chicken coop at Vengeri in Kozhikode district on Saturday.K. RAGESH

All birds within 1 km radius of the bird flu infected areas in Kodiyathur grama panchayat and Vengeri in the Kozhikode Corporation limits will be culled in the coming days. This follows confirmation of the avian influenza in Kerala after a gap of four years.

The Animal Husbandry Department said in a release on Saturday that precautionary steps had been taken and the infection was unlikely to spread among humans. Samples of chicken from a farm at Kodiyathur were sent to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases, Bhopal, after a large number of birds were found dead in a short span. The presence of bird flu was confirmed on Friday.

Bird flu or avian influenza is the infection of birds by H5/H7 strains of avian influenza Type A viruses that occur naturally among wild aquatic birds around the globe. They can affect domestic poultry and animal species, said experts.

Infected birds can spread the virus through their saliva, nasal secretions and faeces. Birds get infected when they are exposed to the virus after they are shed by those infected, or through surfaces that are contaminated.

Under surveillance

M.K. Prasad, Director, Animal Husbandry, said areas within 1 km radius of the spots from where the infection had been reported would be kept under surveillance. A list of birds within another 9 km radius had been collected, and those areas too would be under observation. Right now, the infection was likely to affect only birds, he said.

The Department has set up a 24-hour control room to contain the outbreak (phone number 04952762050).

A rapid response team was set up to coordinate the response in Kozhikode district. It would be led by K. Sindhu, District Animal Husbandry Officer, and V. Sunil Kumar, Additional Director, Animal Husbandry, would be in charge of the containment works.

Personal protection kits would be made available across the State and another 5,000 kits would be urgently sought.

District Collector S. Sambasiva Rao on Saturday held a meeting and members of the rapid response team were trained.

‘36% of respondents — women in media — have experienced sexual harassment’

Many hesitate to report sexual harassment. Getty Images/iStockphotoGetty Images/iStockphoto

Over 70% of respondents who had approached an internal committee to report sexual harassment at the workplace were not completely satisfied with the outcome, said a survey report released on Saturday by the Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI), and Gender at Work.

The survey found that 36% of all respondents reported having experienced sexual harassment at the workplaces. Of the respondents who experienced such harassment at work, 53% did not report it.

A small percentage made a report to the internal committee (IC) of their media houses. But 70% of those who made a complaint were not completely satisfied with the outcome, the report found. Among the women who said that their organisation did not have a mechanism to deal with sexual harassment, 47% had faced sexual harassment.

Kinds of harassment

In the report titled ‘Creating safe workplaces: prevention and redressal of sexual harassment in media houses in India’, the two organisations found that in terms of the kinds of harassment experienced by the respondents, the most common were sexist comments, unwelcome sexual jokes, embarrassing gestures or body language, attempts to establish unwanted romantic and/or sexual relationships, and pestering for dates.

The promise of rewards for compliance, accompanied by threats of mistreatment following a refusal to engage in sexual behaviour, were also reported. In addition, unwanted touching, fondling, sexual assault and rape were documented.

The online survey conducted to assess whether and how effectively media houses across India responded to the issue of sexual harassment at the workplace found that a large percentage of respondents had never attended a training workshop on sexual harassment, as required by the law.

“The results of the survey underscore the need to step up awareness raising and other preventive measures to bring about a change in the work culture in media houses,” said Laxmi Murthy, one of the authors.

‘Looking within’

“While calling out sexual harassment in other spheres, as they should, the media industry must also look within and set its own house in order,” said Aayushi Aggarwal, another author.

The survey had 456 participants, including journalists, journalism educators, trainers and researchers. Most respondents were based in metropolitan centres such as Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Pune.

More than 70% were full-time employees and about 11% were freelancers, the report stated.

Selection made from the museum’s Indian art collection

Celebrating womanhood: The unique painting by an unknown artiste is being displayed for the first time.SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

The Victoria Memorial Hall (VMH) will display a unique Rajput miniature painting of Rani Padmini (Padmavati) of Chittor to mark International Women’s Day.

Jayanta Sengupta, secretary and curator of the VMH, said the unique painting by an unknown artiste is being displayed for the first time in the museum’s galleries. “The painting was purchased by the VMH on October 3, 1913, from Ganeshi Lall and Sons, art traders. It is just out of our reserves. It will be on display in the Prince Hall on the southern side of the museum from next week,” he said.

The painting shows the queen trying on a turban and surrounded by women. The miniature measures 33.7 cm X 27 cm. “In our collections, we have certain other iconic paintings like the Bharat Mata by Abanindranath Tagore and that of an Indian woman dancing with an English gentleman by Gaganendranath Tagore from the Bengal school of art that celebrate womanhood. But this miniature is also unique,” he said.

The curator said the museum made a choice from its Indian art collection for Women’s Day.

“Usually the VMH is known for the collection of its Western paintings like Daniells and Zoffanys. But not many people know that we have a good collection of Indian art, including hundreds of miniatures, which we will be slowly bringing to display,” Mr. Sengupta said.

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