Catch all the recent news in the Himalayan region with our weekly newsletter (18 May to 24 May), A week in the Himalayas. We bring you the recent updates on mountains, northeast, environment and much more!

Over 50 million Indians lack handwashing access, highlights a new study

According to a study done by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington in the US, more than 50 million people in India do not have access to effective hand washing, putting them at a greater risk of acquiring and transmitting the Novel Coronavirus. Researchers have found that without access to soap and clean water, over 2 billion people in low- and middle-income nations — a quarter of the world’s population — have a greater likelihood of transmitting the coronavirus than those in wealthy countries.

Cyclone Amphan destroys Sunderbans 

Sunderbans, in West Bengal, which is home to several Tigers and saltwater crocodiles has been hit badly by the cyclone Amphan. It is the first super cyclone to form in the Bay of Bengal since 1999. The impact of the cyclone on the wildlife has not been known till now. Control rooms have been set up by the forest department to monitor the movement of animals especially the Tigers, if any, in the nearby region. A large number of people like beekeepers, fishermen are also affected due to cyclone creating havoc in Sunderbans.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 22 May announced relief packages of Rs 500 crore for cyclone-hit Odisha and of Rs 1000 crore for West Bengal. The announcement came after he undertook an aerial survey of both states along with respective Chief Ministers to review the aftermath.

Tripura professor builds a robot to help COVID-19 frontline warriors

An assistant professor from Tripura University has devised a robot which can help frontline health workers serve COVID-19 patients without human contact. The device is called ‘COVID-19 WARMOT’. It can be used to serve food, medicines to COVID-19 patients without physical contact. The robot is equipped with a two-way communication device in the form of a Wi-Fi-controlled camera with an inbuilt microphone and speaker to help both the doctors or nurses and patients to communicate directly and that too, remaining at a safe place.

Manipur government sets up quarantine center for transgender persons

The Manipur government has set up dedicated quarantine centers for stranded members of the transgender community who are returning to the state amid a nationwide lockdown. Director of state’s Social Welfare Department, Ngangom Uttam, in a statement, has said that two separate quarantine spaces, including a dedicated center for the trans community have been set up in Imphal. This is possibly the first such instance in the country. The move has been welcomed by the state’s transgender community and has been termed as remarkable.

Biggest single-day spike for Uttarakhand, tally reaches close to 250 

On Saturday, Uttarakhand registered the highest single-day spike in the cases – 91. Out of these, 55 were found positive in the Nainital district who returned from Maharashtra. The recovery rate has also gone down drastically in the state. It has reduced by almost 30% in the past ten days. The recovery rate now stands at eight days for the past seven days. So far, Uttarakhand has performed 160 tests per one lakh people while its neighboring state has done 354 tests per lakh. All the necessary arrangments are being done by the state administration to manage the sudden and high influx of cases in Uttarakhand.

(By: Gautam Kumar)

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