Andhra Pradesh govt pays Rs 1,829 cr toward crop insurance

VIJAYAWADA: As many as 15.15 lakh farmers got Rs 1,829.23 crore as crop insurance in the state. Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy noted that the government has taken the responsibility of supporting the farmers at all hard times and thus brought in the free crop insurance scheme, without levying the burden of premium on them.

The CM on Tuesday credited Rs 1,820.23 crore under YSR Free Crop Insurance scheme to the bank accounts of 15.15 lakh farmers who lost their crop during the 2020 kharif.  He said that unlike the previous regime, under which forced a farmer was forced to pay his share and both state and central governments equally bore the premium amount to avail insurance, the YSRC government revamped the scheme and was paying the entire insurance premium on its own, ensuring that all the farmers who enrolled themselves on e-crop platform got their share of insurance directly with no middlemen.


The Chief Minister said that a total of Rs 3,788.25 crore was spent on the crop insurance scheme in the last 23 months, including the pending dues of Rs 715.84 crore left by the previous government. Besides these, the State government had spent Rs 83,000 crore towards farmer welfare in the last 23 months. For Rythu Bharosa alone, an amount of Rs 17,029 crore was spent.

The CM said that his government was working to safeguard the interests of the farmers. It established 10,778 Rythu Bharosa Kendras (RBKs) and integrated them with village secretariats to benefit the farmers. He said that the loss in kharif 2020 was being compensated by the onset of next kharif, ensuring that no farmer suffers from losses. Taking transparency in governance to the next level, all these details, compensation for the crop loss etc, will be displayed at RBKs for social audit and those missing out from the list can get enrolled at RBK itself. Not just from seeds to marketing, RBKs also double up as crop purchase centres, he said.


The Chief Minister said that the state government had credited Rs 1,038 crore as input subsidy for those farmers who lost their crops in natural calamities, with no delays ensuring that every farmer gets compensated in the same season. He mentioned that besides these, the government had spent Rs 18,342 crore for procuring paddy and Rs 4761 crore towards purchasing other crops and support the farmers.

In order to provide free nine-hour electricity to farmers during daytime, Rs 17,430 crore was spent. He further mentioned that additionally, the government had cleared Rs 960 crore paddy procurement arrears and Rs 384 crore seed procurement arrears left by the previous government.


Jagan Mohan Reddy said thus: “Supporting the farmer community, the government set up agriculture advisory committees at village, zonal, district and state levels in connection with the RBKs to guide the farmers in crop planning. In order to benefit dairy farmers, the state signed an MoU with Amul to give a better price with an additional of Rs 5- Rs 15 per liter to the farmers. Taking another step forward for the farmers, the government is setting up multi-purpose centers under each RBK, with a total outlay of Rs 14,000 crore. Under the YSR Jala Kala scheme, the government had provided over two lakh bore wells at a cost of Rs 4,932 crore, besides providing motors to poor farmers. The government has kept every promise made during elections and strictly implemented the election manifesto.”


Ministers K Kannababu, Special Chief Secretary Poonam Malakondaiah, AP Agri Mission Vice Chairman M.V.S. Nagi Reddy and other officials participated in the programme.

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Hammer attack on SA govt headquarters

Two large windows at Adelaide’s State Administration Centre have been smashed with a hammer, with police searching for the man responsible.

Riding a pushbike, the man stopped in front of the Victoria Square building early on Friday morning before attacking the glass panels and then riding off.

He is described as having a beard and wearing black Adidas track pants, a black vest with grey top underneath, a grey beanie and black and white shoes.

He was also carrying a large backpack.

The State Administration Centre includes a number of ministerial offices, including those of Premier Steven Marshall and Treasurer Rob Lucas.

Police have asked anyone with information about the incident to come forward.

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Third wave of the pandemic can be handled if stringent steps taken on time: Govt

New Delhi: Rising number of infections continues to grip the population in fear which is still struggling hard to find hospital beds and oxygen to survive this second wave of pandemic. As per reports, the current wave is expected to peak by June end and thereafter there may be some respite. Dr K. Vijay Raghavan, chief scientific advisor, said on Friday that the third wave of the pandemic can be handled if stringent, necessary steps are taken on time.

Two days ago Dr Raghavan had said the third wave was “inevitable given the high levels at which this virus is circulating”. He, however, did not give a timeline of the third wave. But on Friday he clarified that the third wave may not take place everywhere in the country if sufficient precautions are taken. “The pandemic has different peaks and falls across the country. The only condition for third wave waves is the presence of a susceptible population. If we take strong measures, the third wave of Covid-19 may not happen at all places or even anywhere. It depends much on how effectively Covid guidelines are implemented at the local level, in the states, districts and in the cities everywhere,” Dr Raghavan said.


Several states and UTs have imposed strict lockdowns to break the chain of transmission. Goa on Friday announced a 15-day curfew from Sunday during which only essential services, including medical supplies, will be allowed while grocery shops will be allowed to remain open only from 7am-1pm.

The Centre has said it has so far provided more than 17.35 crore vaccine doses to states/UTs and more than 90 lakh doses are still available with states/UTs to be administered. It added over 10 lakh doses in addition will be received by the states/UTs in the next three days. 


The Centre has decided to deploy AYUSH professionals to boost availability of medical personnel to fight Covid-19. The Union health ministry said AYUSH doctors are institutionally qualified professionals, well-trained in various aspects of medical care and have proven their competence in various Covid-19 management roles in different institutions across the country. States/UTs have trained nearly 1.06 lakh AYUSH professionals in different aspects of Covid-19 management, and 28,473 professionals have been deployed for Covid-19 activities.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with the chief ministers of Manipur, Sikkim and Tripura on the Covid-19 situation in their states. Mr Modi had on Thursday spoken with the chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand and Telangana besides the lieutenant governors of Jammu & Kashmir and Puducherry in this regard.


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VUI-21APR-02 reclassified as ‘variant of concern’, says U.K. govt.

Move aimed at alerting health authorities all over the world to the threat the mutations on the variant pose

Public Health England (PHE) has declared a coronavirus variant, closely related to the Indian Variant (B.1.617) as a Variant of Concern. While such a labelling is specific to the United Kingdom as scientists there are seeing the variant making up a growing proportion of cases in the United Kingdom, it is more aimed at alerting health authorities all over the world to the threat the mutations on the variant pose to the future evolution of the pandemic.

Dr. Anurag Agrawal, Director , Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, told The Hindu that an advisory group in India, INSACOG (India SarsCOV Genome Consortium), concerned with the genome details of Indian coronavirus variants, too had classified B.1.617 and all its sub lineages as VOC.

“Following a rise in cases in the U.K. and evidence of community transmission, PHE has reclassified VUI-21APR-02 (B.1.617.2), classified as a Variant Under Investigation (VUI) on April 28 as a Variant of Concern (VOC), now known as VOC-21APR-02. This is based on evidence which suggests this variant, first detected in India, is at least as transmissible as B.1.1.7 (the Kent variant). The other characteristics of this variant are still being investigated,” the government authority said in a statement as part of its weekly updates on the coronavirus variants.

Insufficient evidence

“There is currently insufficient evidence to indicate that any of the variants recently detected in India cause more severe disease or render the vaccines currently deployed any less effective. PHE is carrying out laboratory testing, in collaboration with academic and international partners to better,” their statement further noted.

While there are several coronavirus variants identified as ‘variants of interest’, only a few such as the U.K. strain (B.1.1.7) or the South Africa variant (B.1.351) the Brazil variant (P.1) are globally considered VoCs because of their ability to rapidly spread globally, infect easily and pose a threat to the efficacy of existing vaccines as well as treatments.

The Indian variant, (B.1.617) also known as the ‘double mutant’ was characterised by two mutations L245R and E484Q in the spike protein of the coronavirus, the region that plays the most significant role in gaining entry into lung cells. However there are now at least 3 affiliated lineages: B.1.617.1, B.1.617.2 and B.1.617.3 and Health Ministry officials and experts warned this week that these lineages were becoming the dominant variants in India. India doesn’t yet officially classify B.1.617 as a VOC, though a scientist connected with India’s genome sequencing efforts told The Hindu that India’s Health Ministry may now classify it so. “B.1.617 should be a VOC but 617.2 doesn’t have E484Q whereas there are a whole set of other mutations in the spike protein in 617.2 that are helping it proliferate,” the person cited earlier added.

Shahid Jameel, virologist and head of an advisory committee to India’s genome consortium, said the U.K. naming a variant as a VOC could be seen as “request” by a country to the World Health Organisation (WHO) to classify a new variant as a VOC. “India too could have done so. This variant is rapidly rising in India and would likely promote efforts by other bodies to test the efficacy of our vaccines against the mutations in this lineage.”

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Despite defeat, Didi to take oath as CM on May 5, meets Governor for govt formation

This is a rare instance in the state’s history when a two-time CM is on her way to take the oath to head a govt despite losing in the polls

Kolkata: Trinamul Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, undeterred by her controversial defeat by a narrow margin to protege-turned-adversary Suvendu Adhikari of the BJP in Nandigram, is all set to take the oath as chief minister for the third consecutive time on the morning of Wednesday, May 5, after the TMC won a record two-thirds majority in the Assembly once again, with 213 MLAs, against 77 of the BJP, that will sit in Opposition.

This is, however, a rare instance in the history of the state when a two-time CM is on her way to take the oath to head a government despite losing in the Assembly polls as her party was elected by a landslide. On Monday evening, Ms Banerjee met governor Jagdeep Dhankhar at Raj Bhavan and pledged to form her government after she was unanimously chosen as the TMC’s legislature party leader.


Mr Dhankhar tweeted: “Hon’ble CM @MamataOfficial called on me and submitted her resignation as CM and the same has been accepted. She has been requested to continue till alternative arrangements are made. Congratulations @MamataOfficial for victory in the Assembly polls and wished her a fruitful third term in office to serve the people of the state with dedication and commitment so that state regains past glory.”

He added: “Taking note of communication @AITCofficial electing @MamataOfficial as leader of 17th WB Legislative Assembly have invited her to take oath of office of chief minister on May 5 at 10.45 am at Raj Bhavan. In view of current Covid situation, function will be with limited audience.”


A day after Ms Banerjee’s oath-taking, all the newly-elected TMC MLAs will be sworn in by Biman Banerjee, who has been selected as pro-tem speaker, before he assumes the office of Speaker, said party secretary-general Partha Chatterjee. He added that the CM would decide on the Cabinet’s portfolio allocations later.

Asked about the seat the TMC chief would contest from to enter the West Bengal Assembly, following her defeat, Mr Chatterjee said: “The matter is pending before the Election Commission. Ms Banerjee will be the CM as per the Constitution.” Mr Mukherjee pointed out that Ms Banerjee can stay as CM after contesting and winning a seat within the next six months.


Once again alleging foul play in Nandigram, the TMC supremo referred to an SMS sent by the returning officer in which he apparently said he feared for his life if he had ordered a recount of the votes. “I have no other option but to commit suicide,” the RO reportedly wrote in the SMS to one of his family members on Sunday night.

“The RO had found his life under threat in case recounting would have happened. The server was deliberately slowed down, machines were changed and power was cut. He worked under gunpoint. Why didn’t the EC order recounting of votes? The result was announced by the EC. All journalists got the news of my victory. The governor called me. But suddenly everything changed. I have never seen such a big mafiosi. We will go to court,” she claimed at her residence in Kalighat.


Ms Banerjee added: “VVPATs, postal ballots and EVMs will be kept separately in custody to avoid tampering. If tampering has happened, forensic tests would be conducted.”



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SC directs UP govt to shift Siddique Kappan to Delhi hospital for treatment

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Wednesday directed the Uttar Pradesh government to shift Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan, arrested last year on way to Hathras where a young Dalit woman had died after being gang raped, to a hospital in Delhi for better medical treatment.

A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana also made it clear that Kappan be sent back to Mathura jail after recovery.


The apex court granted him liberty to approach appropriate forum challenging his arrest or any other relief and disposed of the plea filed by Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ).

“Taking into consideration facts of the case, we dispose of the writ petition. Even though Solicitor General Tushar Mehta very seriously opposes, we are directing the state to shift the accused to RML or AIIMS or wherever treatment can be done,” said the bench, also comprising Justices Surya Kant and A S Bopanna.

Mehta strongly opposed the top court’s suggestion saying 42-year old Kappan is COVID-19 negative and can be treated at a jail hospital in Mathura.


He also asked the bench to mention in its order that a hospital bed be vacated in Delhi for Kappan as the health care facilities are already full of patients.

The apex court however declined to say anything on the issue.

Mehta, appearing for the UP government, vehemently opposed the top court’s suggestion earlier in the day and said that several similarly placed accused were getting treatment in hospitals in the state and Kappan should not be given special treatment just because a journalistic body is a petitioner here.

People with multiple organ failure are also being looked at by jail hospital in Mathura, he said.


The bench said it was confined to the limited prayer of granting better health facilities to Kappan and asked whether he could be allowed medical treatment in Delhi.

“We are confined to health issue. It is in the interest of the state also that the accused gets better treatment,” the bench observed.

On November 16 last year, the top court had sought a response from the Uttar Pradesh government on the plea challenging the arrest of the journalist.

The FIR has been filed under various provisions of the IPC and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) against four people having alleged links with the Popular Front of India, or PFI.


Kappan was arrested on way to Hathras following the death of a 19-year-old Dalit woman who was allegedly gang-raped on September 14, 2020 in a village in the district.

Her cremation at night by the authorities, allegedly without the parents’ consent, had triggered widespread outrage.

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Cart before horse: Govt seeks visitors while staff critically short


After a hectic Easter period, the shortage of skilled labour continues to wreak havoc in tourism operations across Central Australia and has some within the industry asking where the help is going to come from.

Put simply by one source, if this were 500 jobs in the Central Australian mining sector, the government would be falling over themselves to lend a helping hand to fill them.

But this is far more than a 500 job hole in the job market. As reported last week by the News there are more than 7000 job vacancies in the Northern Territory hospitality sector.

At the Ayers Rock Resort, CEO Mathew Cameron Smith, the sole spokesperson for Central Australia’s largest tourism operator, has been unavailable to answer questions regarding staffing shortages.

Anecdotal chats with staff shows fractures in the staffing levels: One security guard was finishing up his shift, only to head to the kitchen to help out.

Walkers at Kata Tjuta (the Olgas).

At bars, flustered managers served customers. This all with only three of the five hotels and restaurants operating.

One bar manager said that while they too have at times been left without the required staffing, they have seen an uptick in job applications since the end of JobKeeper at the end of March.

Still, Mr Cameron Smith says that 150 staff are needed for the resort to reopen the newly refurbished Desert Gardens hotel.

After their survey into staffing shortages, with no direct answer to where the workers needed for these, Hospitality NT has launched another survey, this one to assess the economic damage.

The results to that survey should be known next week.

CEO Alex Bruce says the situation is worse in rural and remote parts of the Territory.

Tourism and Hospitality Minister Natasha Fyles says the government is “investigating further incentives and initiatives and we are working with industry and local businesses to find practical ways to assist and support them”.

Minister Fyles also points to preexisting measures such as JobTrainer and user choice funding which provides funding for job training services, but does not offer any new measures.

While the government continues to spruce their support of the industry, it remains unclear whether they say this shortages coming at all.

A media release from the March 29 boasted of a multitude of ways to bring in more tourists, but no target to bring in workers to service them.

Some within the industry think that perhaps the government never believed their campaigns would work to such a great extent.

While inaction persists, owners and managers cannot benefit of what should be a good thing: A much needed surge of interstate visitors.

At the Ross River Resort (pictured), the popular campground 83 kilometres east of Alice Springs, Lee Donal is struggling to staff the restaurant and bar ahead of next weekend’s Wide Open Spaces music festival next week.

The festival brings around 2000 people to the resort and is usually a great financial start to the season.

This year, the venue will be pared back: “The reality is that this year that will be severely limited, which of course, reduces our income. Our first aim is to look after the festival goers.”

As for future festivals at the resort, such as Blacken, a heavy metal festival planned for August, Ms Donald is unsure.

“You know we can’t plan business ahead we can’t plan bookings ahead because I can’t be sure that I’m going to have staff.”

If Ms Donald is relying on the return of backpackers, Ronald Sterry, the owner of the popular Alice Springs accommodation for Working Holiday Makers, Ronnie’s Bush House, has bad news: “They’re not coming, they haven’t come since the virus.”

In normal circumstances, the Bush House would be full of travellers working their way around Australia, but since these workers were excluded from JobKeeper payments there have been nearly 100,000 of them leaving the country.

Now the Bush House is a little over half full, and the clientele has changed. What was once a place for working holidaymakers is now primarily filled with migrants trying to find their feet in Alice Springs.

Mr Sterry says that for him the saddest part about this situation is the number of unemployed people in Alice Springs who cannot or will not fill these roles.

He says that a combination of “sit-down money” and a reliance on a foreign workforce which was left unsupported when push came to shove, has left Alice Springs and Central Australia in the situation it finds itself in today.

This sentiment of lack of governmental support for the tourism industry has also been seen in the comments section of this paper.

IMAGE AT TOP: The government’s Tourism NT, under a scheme worth $16.2m, is offering vouchers worth up to $200 o a $1 for $1 basis, providing “an incentive to support our struggling tourism industry and to experience our great Territory lifestyle”. The government appears to be just realising that money would be better spent on attracting staff – 7000 are estimated to be needed – not tourists, for the moment.


UPDATE 6.35pm

This memo from the NT Government was released today at 4.42pm by Minister for Jobs and Training, Paul Kirby. That is three hours and eight minutes after we published this report and eight days after we first raised these issues.

Mr Kirby says in his release: “Today, the Territory Government has announced a $2m Critical Worker Support Package aimed at attracting hospitality and tourism workers to the Territory to alleviate current pressures around a worker shortfall.

“The Territory Government’s support package will immediately boost skills and job opportunities for Territorians, and attract workers to the Territory through a variety of strategic incentives and initiatives including travel and accommodation reimbursements, and upskilling opportunities.

“We have listened to local industry and we know they’re struggling to find workers – that’s why the Territory Labor Government is stepping up to assist our hospitality and tourism operators to find staff now.”

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Morrison govt slammed for teaching consent with tacos and milkshakes

Rape prevention campaigners have slammed the Morrison government’s “confusing” new consent education campaign for schools featuring bizarre videos of a woman smearing a man’s face with a milkshake.

Warning the videos fail to meet the National Standards for the prevention of sexual assault through education, advocates say expert revision of all of the current content is needed to ensure it actually works, and isn’t harmful.

The consent videos include “examples” of a woman being concerned about swimming in a beach because of sharks and a man with a spear gun trying to convince her to get in the water, and in another using an example of a man eating a tacos to explain sexual assault.

Fair Agenda and End Rape on Campus Australia’s Karen Willis told the government’s newly released school resources are concerning and confusing.

“Young people are more sophisticated than this content gives them credit for. And sex and consent is far more complicated than videos about milkshakes and sharks at the beach,” Ms Willis, a prevention educator with 30 years experience, said.

“These resources fall well short of the national standards, and what experts know is needed to actually change behaviours and prevent abuse.”

End Rape on Campus founder, Sharna Bremner, said another major concern was the videos might re-traumatise rape survivors in the classroom.

“We know that in classrooms of senior students, there will be many who have already experienced rape,” she said.

“This resource fails to properly consider there may be a survivor in the classroom, and even includes inaccurate and inadequate information on avenues for support and reporting.” .

The resources were launched by Education Minister Alan Tudge last month and followed Brittany Higgins’s allegation of a rape at Parliament House and the national outcry that followed.

Former Sydney school student Chanel Contos, 22, has also launched a petition called Teach Us Consent, calling for earlier and improved sex education.

Fair Agenda and End Rape on Campus Australia are calling for the government to engage violence prevention experts to replace the site’s modules on consent and to review all content to ensure it meets the National Standards — including challenging the gender stereotypes that help enable gender-based violence.

Ms Bremner said: “Young people want and deserve training that practically and explicitly helps them understand how to ethically navigate relationships, and to recognise — and feel armed to challenge — unacceptable or coercive behaviour. As well as how to navigate non-verbal cues. It’s clear these resources weren’t written by people with expertise in violence prevention.”

Advocates say there are multiple issues with the Good Society site’s content, including:

• A bizarre ‘Yes No I Don’t Know’ video about going into water with sharks

• Often, instead of directly addressing the kind of behaviours a student is actually likely to be trying to navigate, the site provides confusing videos, including about milkshakes and tacos.

• Includes concerning messages like ‘sexual desire can really distort our thinking’

• Provides incorrect and inadequate information about abuse.

“We need to actively challenge the notion that sex is about men pursuing women and persisting until they relent. We need to set an expectation that everyone should be seeking affirmative, enthusiastic and informed consent, and arming young people to understand consent is not just a once-off yes/no conversation. It needs to be present the whole time,” Ms Bremner said.

Renee Carr, executive director of Fair Agenda, said despite the Morrison Government’s claim the program has been developed in conjunction with Our Watch and the Foundation for Young Australians, this was not the case.

Ms Carr said Our Watch did not help develop these resources.

Along with other organisations Our Watch was engaged to consult on a confidential basis and she said was unable to share the advice they provided to the department on the creation of these materials.

“We need national investment to ensure the people we’re asking to stand up and act as an authority, and to drive these important but awkward conversations, are appropriately trained and delivering content that will actually work,” she said.

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Hospital patients under guard as govt misses key mental health target

Up to 10 patients a day who may have “committed violent crimes” are being turned away from the state’s specialist forensic psychiatric facility due to a lack of beds – and are being kept under guard in emergency departments and hospital wards.

They are often handcuffed to beds that should be available for other patients and monitored by multiple security guards, putting further strain on the state’s overcrowded hospital system.

Leading South Australian forensic psychiatrist Dr Paul Furst has told InDaily there is a “well recognised shortage” of forensic mental health beds – a problem the doctors’ union says is having an “enormous” impact on hospitals.

It’s also the first concern highlighted in outgoing mental health chief John Mendoza’s 10-point plan for urgent action, released yesterday.

Figures provided by SA Health show there are 60 inpatient forensic mental health beds in South Australia – 20 short of what is recommended in the state’s Mental Health Services Plan.

James Nash House – SA’s high security forensic psychiatric facility – has 50 inpatient beds, while Glenside has 10.

There are also 10 “step down” beds at Ashton House at Oakden.

Furst, who is the SA branch chair of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, said the number of forensic mental health patients in South Australia had grown from about 12 in 1995 to 250 today.

“We’ve had significant growth in prisoner numbers but also significant growth in the number of patients who are what we call ‘forensic patients’ – those who are either found not guilty (of a crime) by reason of mental impairment or mentally unfit to stand trial,” he told InDaily.

“Not all are of them are in inpatient care, many of them are in the community on supervised release.”

Furst said there were “anywhere from five to 10 patients per day” unable to access James Nash House and instead kept in hospitals.

“It’s probably closer to 10 most of the time,” he said.

“So there are a significant number of patients who are outliers as such.”

Furst said they were kept primarily in locked wards at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and Lyell McEwin Hospital and sometimes at Flinders Medical Centre and Glenside.

“Obviously if you have a forensic patient in a psychiatric intensive care unit (in a hospital) you’ve got one less bed for people who are very acutely unwell,” he said.

“So it places significant pressure down the line and that trickles down throughout the system.

“We are significantly under at the moment.”

SA Salaried Medical Officers Association president Dr David Pope, an emergency doctor at the Lyell McEwin Hospital, said forensic patients were also commonly kept in emergency departments.

“It’s extremely serious because we essentially have to have emergency cubicles occupied for many days, essentially for people who are under continuous guard,” he said.

“It’s a very difficult environment for that person as well so it’s completely counter-therapeutic, it usually makes people worse.

“Imagine being confined to a small cubicle space that’s lit all the time, that’s noisy, no access to any sort of exercise or even food.

“You don’t get much food in that sort of environment for days on end.”

Pope said it was an “extremely common” occurrence at the Royal Adelaide Hospital while at the Lyell McEwin “it probably happens on average every week or so, either one or two patients”.

“That’s just in the ED,” he said.

“Across the hospital, it would be more than that.

“Across the hospital, you’ve probably got two or three most of the time.”

Pope said the union often received phone calls from “distressed doctors about the numbers of forensic mental health patients stuck in the ED for long periods of time”.

“They usually have two guards, and they’re essentially tied to the bed, handcuffed to the bed,” he said.

Pope said they were “kept like that for days until they go to James Nash or sometimes if they are lucky enough to get to one of the locked wards”.

He said it put “enormous” pressure on hospital staff.

Adjunct Professor John Mendoza, who has resigned as Adelaide’s mental health chief in protest at a lack of government action, yesterday released a 10-point plan for urgent action to reform the system.

At the top of his list, he wants all forensic patients transferred out of general hospitals and into forensic mental health services by the end of April.

He’s calling on SA Health and the Correctional Services Department to set up additional capacity “now” – “not in two or three years”.

You’ve got people who have committed violent crimes in general mental health wards

Mendoza told InDaily that “virtually every day of the year” there were up to seven forensic mental health patients in non-forensic mental health beds across the Central Adelaide Local Health Network.

He said there was currently one patient who has been at Glenside for more than 110 days, who should have had a bed at James Nash House.

Mendoza said he had written to SA Health chief executive Dr Chris McGowan about the “forensic overflow” problem.

“I said, ‘you cannot, under any ethical basis or duty of care to staff, allow the forensic mental health patients to be treated by non-forensic mental health staff in non-forensic mental health facilities’,” he said.

“I said, ‘you allow this to happen knowingly’. I said ‘I will not allow it to happen’.

“It’s damaging to staff, it’s damaging to other patients because you have security guards everywhere to ensure that they are safe.

“You’ve got people who have committed violent crimes in general mental health wards.

“This is unacceptable. You would not do this to any other group of patients.”

Mendoza blamed successive governments for failing to establish enough forensic beds.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Northern Adelaide Local Health Network said “we acknowledge there can be high demand for forensic mental health beds – particularly for high-risk offenders who may only be suitable to be treated at a particular facility”.

“While the majority of forensic mental health patients are managed in the community, a number of measures are being put in place to stem the flow from prison and the courts, and also to facilitate more rapid admission to James Nash House including a court diversion program,” the spokesperson said.

In a statement sent to InDaily recently, Chief Psychiatrist Dr John Brayley said that in response to the COVID pandemic, “an additional $15 million was provided to fund a temporary surge in mental health services, with some of this funding being used to increase mental health in-reach services to young people in youth justice facilities and to adults in prison”.

“Discharge decisions for forensic patients are mostly made by courts,” he said.

“It is possible that a change of legislation that came into effect in late 2017, which altered the principles to be followed by the courts, has slowed discharges.”

Health Minister Stephen Wade said the government had “brought ten extra forensic beds online at Glenside” and would continue to expand a program linking specialist mental health staff with paramedics.

“Mental health services will continue to be a focus of this government,” he said.

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akhilesh yadav: Uttar Pradesh govt spreading false propaganda on controlling COVID-19: Akhilesh Yadav

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday accused the Yogi Adityanath government of spreading false propaganda on the issue of controlling coronavirus, saying there is a “shortage” of beds and vaccines in Uttar Pradesh.

There is a crisis in Uttar Pradesh due to coronavirus, he claimed.

“There is a crisis in UP caused by corona. The BJP government has to answer as to why it indulged in false propaganda on controlling corona. There is a shortage of vaccines, tests, doctors, beds and ambulances. There is delay in test reports, and black marketing of medicines. Why is the BJP government silent on this?,” he said in a tweet in Hindi.

  • All
  • West Bengal
  • Tamil Nadu
  • Assam
  • Kerala
  • Puducherry

  • “Where is the star campaigner?” he said without naming any one.

    In another tweet, Yadav termed the Election Commission’s move banning TMC chief Mamata Banerjee from campaigning for 24 hours from Monday 8 pm as a “sign of disappointment of the BJP, which is facing defeat in the polls”.

    “The banning of the election campaign of Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal is a sign of disappointment of BJP, which is facing defeat in polls. As a token gesture, the SP is with Mamata Banerjee. Hope that the impartial Election Commission will impose a ban on those giving the statement ‘shamshan-kabristan’ communal divide,” the SP chief said.

    The Election Commission had barred Banerjee from campaigning for 24 hours from Monday 8 pm for her remarks against central forces.

    Banerjee had slammed the poll panel’s decision as “unconstitutional and undemocratic”.

    Thanks for dropping by and checking out this story involving International and Indian Political updates named “akhilesh yadav: Uttar Pradesh govt spreading false propaganda on controlling COVID-19: Akhilesh Yadav”. This story was posted by My Local Pages Australia as part of our local and national news services.

    #akhilesh #yadav #Uttar #Pradesh #govt #spreading #false #propaganda #controlling #COVID19 #Akhilesh #Yadav

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