H1N1 cases spurt in February
Since January, 603 positive cases of H1N1 have been reported in Karnataka, according to the State Health and Family Welfare Department. Of these, the highest number of cases, 141, were from BBMP limits.
Reported cases shot up suddenly in February – cases almost doubled from 49 in the last week of January, to 91 in the first week of February. Overall, 400 people tested positive in the state in February alone, of whom 14 have succumbed to the infection.
Bengaluru Urban District Surveillance Officer, T K Sunanda, said at a press conference, that areas such as Whitefield, Marathahalli and Electronics City that have migratory populations were the worst hit. Last year 3260 cases were reported, but this year’s sudden spurt in spite of the early summer has surprised many. Doctors say the rise in numbers may be due to fluctuating climatic conditions. S Sajjan Shetty, Joint Director (Communicable Diseases), said that a circular alerting doctors to take preventive measures would be sent. He said that people need not panic, as the disease was not new and could be treated.
Meanwhile, health officials quashed rumours of the spread of monkey fever or the Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD), which is endemic to the Western Ghats. Rumours had intensified after a couple of bonnet macaque carcasses, thought to be infected, were found in Dommasandra on February 3rd. But when the carcasses were sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune for testing, the results came back negative.
HC notice to Centre on online streaming platforms
The High Court of Karnataka ordered the issue of notices to the Centre, YouTube, Google India, as well as platforms like Hotstar, Amazon Prime, Netflix and Alt Digital. This was in response to a PIL seeking regulation of films, serials and other multimedia content transmitted on the Internet, reported The Hindu.
Bengaluru resident Padmanabh Shankar had filed the petition, complaining about the lack of statutory mechanism regulating the transmission of movies and other multimedia content online. Shankar petitioned that the Cinematographic Act, 1952, should apply to the broadcast or transmission of such content on the Internet, till suitable legislation was made.
Cyber crime lab upgraded
More than 5000 police personnel will be trained to investigate cyber crime at the newly upgraded Centre for Cyber Crime Investigation Training and Research (CCITR) at the CID headquarters in Carlton House, Palace Road. The centre can accommodate 100 staff, and has separate training rooms equipped with advanced technology. High-tech equipment, imported from the USA, would enable the tracing of IP addresses, recovering deleted memory and salvaging data from damaged mobiles.
The centre is being funded by Infosys Foundation. CCITR will be a resource centre for digital forensics, forensic investigation support, malware research, and legal and policy research. In addition to police personnel, students from different institutes will be trained here.
100-year-old banyan tree felled
A 100-year-old banyan tree has suddenly and mysteriously been cut in Whitefield. Indignant residents have registered a police complaint against “unidentified persons” for axing the tree. They have also marked 35 trees that seem to be under threat of being felled for construction of new buildings.