Delhi stops displaying notices at homes of COVID-19 patients because of stigma

By Sanjeev Miglani

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Delhi authorities have stopped putting notices outside the homes of people infected with coronavirus because this has amplified the social stigma associated with the disease and in turn caused others to hide their illness, officials said on Monday.

Early on during the outbreak in the Indian capital, officials would paste a poster on the homes of people in quarantine after they had tested positive for the virus to make sure everyone in the neighbourhood was careful. It also deterred people from violating the quarantine.

But more than six months into the pandemic people were fully aware of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus, and there was less need to publicise the cases, city officials said. Instead it was important to instil confidence in people to come forward and test themselves.

“There is a stigma with the coronavirus disease and posters outside the house amplify that. By doing away with this, we are aiming at increased testing. We want more people to get themselves tested without thinking of stigmas,” said Delhi environment minister Kailash Gehlot.

India’s total coronavirus cases stood at 7.12 million on Monday, health ministry data showed, behind only the United States which is approaching the 8 million mark.

The country recorded 66,732 new infections in the last 24 hours, a decline from last month’s highs, but still the world’s highest daily rise.

Deaths from COVID-19 infections rose by 816 to 109,150, the health ministry said.

Delhi makes up a little over 4% of India’s total caseload, the second highest after the western city of Pune, and ahead of Mumbai and Bengaluru.

Some residents in Delhi said that such was the fear over the disease that people tried to distance themselves from patients even after they had recovered.

“Discrimination is

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Some Gresham MAX stops to close starting Sunday

The Blue Line Improvement Project is nearing completion, but the final steps require a week-long closure of five Gresham stations.

GRESHAM, Ore. — Heads up for riders of the MAX Blue Line: TriMet is finishing some upgrades to the east end of the line in Gresham, starting this weekend. Part of the work involves rebuilding the only wooden trestle bridge in the entire MAX System.

The nearly year-long Gresham Max Improvement Project is in the home stretch, but that means there’s a week of station closures and shuttle-bus detours for riders who typically use stops from Ruby Junction to Cleveland Avenue — that’s the east end of the Blue Line.

Starting Sunday, TriMet will close those five stations to finish signal upgrades, improve the rail crossing at Eastman Parkway, which will close a section of the parkway for one day, and make repairs to a nearly 80-year-old trestle bridge over Fairview Creek, the only one of it’s kind in the entire MAX system.

Tyler Graf of TriMet says, “We acquired it in the early 80s as we were developing the MAX Blue line, and this will be the first significant refurb of that trestle in almost 40 years.”

In recent months, TriMet says about 2,100 riders a day commute on this part of the Blue Line. Shuttle buses will follow the normal MAX schedule closely, but it’s still good to plan ahead.

“We still encourage people to plan up to 15 extra minutes for their commutes, and understand that due to COVID-19 precautions, we are limiting the number of passengers on buses to between 19 and 24 passengers,” said Graf.

Regular service resumes Sunday, October 18, once the project is wrapped up.

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Austerity measure: Panjab university stops hiring contractors | Chandigarh News

CHANDIGARH: For the first time, Panjab University will not hire contractors for construction and repair works on the campus but engage labour depending upon the job.
This has been decided by the university’s finance department, considering the budget crunch that the institute faces during the financial year 2020-21. It also took a few austerity measures for the teaching department but this is the first cut imposed on the public works department of the campus.
Until last year, the university used to adopt the practice of hiring labour on contract for a year or so, without reviewing the jobs that those workers were required to do. Due to this, the institute ended up paying a hefty amount each time to the contractor concerned. But now, the institute will hire labour after a mandatory review of each project. For every project, the university will also first find out how many days the branch concerned required the engage the labour, and what work those workers will do. This will reduce both the days of engagement and the project cost.
University’s finance department officer Vikram Nayyar said his office had shared the information with all the campus branches. “The basic idea is to cut down the expenditure of various branches,” he said. The construction department has used this formula in some of the projects but now the idea will be applied to all works on the campus, Nayyar has said.
Already the finance department has shared a sevenpoint formula for budget cut with all the university department heads, directors of the regional centres, and principals of the constituent colleges. The finance department imposed a 30% cut on its expenses, which includes a 20% cut in administrative cost and 10% reduction in the repair work. The leave travel concession and home town concession to the
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