Have these foods to naturally increase your stamina
Have these foods to naturally increase your stamina

#HealthBytes: Have these foods to naturally increase your stamina

Are you eating and exercising well yet feeling drained out and low on energy? While almost every food that we eat will give us an energy boost, certain nutrients will help build our stamina, help us stay alert, and increase our productivity. Here are a few foods to consume regularly if you’re looking for foods that can naturally improve your stamina.

Nuts: A fistful of nuts is an instant power booster

Nuts are capable of immediately boosting our stamina and making us alert. For getting results, you need to have just a fistful of nuts on a regular basis. This is because nuts contain proteins, bioactive compounds, omega-3 fatty acids, and polyunsaturated fatty acids that improve the health and energy of muscles. Have almonds, cashews, and raisins every day for improved stamina.

Fatty fish: Fatty fish is nutritious and prevents chronic fatigue

Fish is a natural source of protein, vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids: all of which helps in improving energy and stamina. Studies suggest that decreased levels of omega-3 fatty acids can give way to chronic fatigue and reduce immunity as well. Including salmon, tuna, and mackerel in your diet is an ideal way to reduce fatigue and build stamina in the long run.

Coffee: Your daily dose of coffee is good for you

Do you reach out for a strong cup of coffee when you feel tired and low? It has its reasons. Coffee not only is an instant energy booster but also contains alkaloid caffeine that helps in improving your stamina. While excess coffee isn’t good for health owing to its caffeine content, consuming it in limited quantities daily is a great way to build stamina.

Beetroot: Beetroot is a low-calorie vegetable that also increases stamina

Beetroot is a low-calorie vegetable that is also an energy-booster. This is because the vegetable contains high levels of inorganic nitrate that provides energy and helps in building endurance as well. Beetroots are also rich in natural sugars that provide you with ample energy and hence starting your day with a glass of beetroot juice is the perfect kickstart to a long day!

HealthBytes: Effective ways to reduce the risk of chronic inflammation
HealthBytes: Effective ways to reduce the risk of chronic inflammation
#HealthBytes: Effective ways to reduce the risk of chronic inflammation

27 Jun 2021: #HealthBytes: Effective ways to reduce the risk of chronic inflammation

Inflammation is nothing but the body’s natural defense against infections and diseases. However, when it lasts for weeks, months, or years, it can damage your arteries, organs, and joints. This condition is called chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation can lead to heart diseases, fatty liver, and cancer, among other diseases. But there are effective ways in which you can reduce its risk. Here’s how.

Anti-inflammatory foods: Mediterranean diet: Considered one of the healthiest diets globally

The Mediterranean diet includes several anti-inflammatory foods and is considered one of the healthiest. It primarily follows the dietary pattern of Mediterranean countries: Vegetables to have: Broccoli, kale, tomatoes, onions, cauliflower, spinach, etc.; Fruits to have: All fruits, especially grapes and cherries; Nuts and seeds: Almonds, cashews, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.; Fatty fish, poultry, and dairy are other healthy foods to have.

Avoid: Avoid foods that aggravate inflammation, like sugary drinks, snacks

Limiting or cutting out certain foods from the diet can have a profound impact on the way you feel and your body functions: Sugary drinks can aggravate inflammation and should be avoided. Here’s a list of some other foods to limit: Snacks like crackers and chips; Processed meat like bologna, sausages; Refined carbs like white bread, white pasta; Desserts like cakes and ice cream.

Tips: Physical activities and sleep assume importance in this case

Being physically active is of utmost importance for your overall health, and especially when you are trying to reduce your inflammatory markers. Do cardio workouts for 30 minutes and resistance training for 15 minutes at least five times a week. Studies have linked poor sleep to increased chances of inflammation. Make sure to sleep for at least seven or eight hours every night.

Benefits: Changes to expect by making these dietary changes

An anti-inflammatory diet, along with daily physical activity, can be beneficial to you in the following ways: Reduces the risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, depression, cancer, etc. It can relieve arthritis pain, inflammatory bowel syndrome, and other autoimmune disorders. Significantly reduces the inflammatory markers in the blood. An overall improvement in blood sugar and triglyceride levels. Improves levels of energy and mood.

About Gypsy religiosity (2)
About Gypsy religiosity (2)

Infinitely pragmatic in their religiosity, the Gypsies eclectically connect (eclecticism from the Greek language – a philosophical current that attempts to select and combine opposing views and ideas; close to religious syncretism) have developed a cult of the hero, which is present in our country and in the Thracians (the cult of the Thracian horseman), and in Orthodox Christianity (St. George and the Dragon).

An interesting interpretation is offered by Prof. Dr. Halis Okan (cf. H. Okan, “Gypsies or the North Side of Life”, Sofia, 1994, p. 42): most Gypsies signified the highest sky with a bow and arrow – the weapon with which the many-headed dragon was killed; Considering the special attitude of the Gypsies towards Chong (the moon) and the fact that he is associated with the youngest son in heaven, Dundra, so it was Dundra who killed the dragon and was revered as a cultural hero, as the ancient Greeks revered Prometheus, who introduces people to the use of fire and imparts to them the knowledge of certain crafts.

The great friend and researcher of the Gypsies in Bulgaria, the publisher of the first newspaper of the Gypsies since the beginning of the 90s of the 20th century, Prof. Okan tells us about another religious-syncretic custom, which is performed on the back of the Prince’s Church. in Sofia, next to the tomb of Bali Effendi, called by the gypsies “Ali Baba”. When a dispute arises between gypsies – infidelity or defamation – both parties go there to swear their rights.

The oath is usually made by women. Both appeared naked in front of Ali Baba in the presence of witnesses and pronounced their defense or accusations. Each party swears by its rights and determines the punishment that will befall it if it has not told the truth. Gypsies believe that every unjust oath comes true within a day. The same rite can be performed before the hodja. There have been many cases of performing the custom by Orthodox Roma (of course without the element of natural nudity of the sworn) in an Orthodox church in front of a priest (especially often in front of the miraculous icon of the Virgin in the Bachkovo Monastery near Plovdiv, southern Bulgaria).

Perceptions of the soul are also a key point in defining a culture and influencing it. In an earlier period of the development of gypsy customs and rites, it was widely believed that man had more than one soul, and here we could allude to the long-standing dispute between the dichotomy (soul and body) and the trichotomy (spirit, soul and body) in Orthodox theology. Gypsies define the human soul as multifaceted (“butyankhengo”).

The human soul for the Orthodox Christian is the immortal image of God locked in man. Man was created through the union of body and soul (spirit): after creating the first man Adam from the earth, God breathed life into him, i.e. a soul, a spirit and immortal being (Gen. 1: 26-27). After man’s death, his spirit will return to God, who gave it to him (Ecclesiastes 12: 7). In the Bible, the word “soul” most often means life, properties of a living creature, the life force with which the living being (both animal and human) dies, but in relation to man it sometimes means the properties of his spirit, which should not to kill (Matt. 10:28).

Sometimes “soul” means a property of character and state of mind (Acts 4:32) or simply a person, a person (Ezek. 27:13, Acts 2:41, Rev. 18:13). The soul is often synonymous with the concepts of spirit (Ecclesiastes 12: 7; Luke 1: 46-47), heart (Ps. 18: 8-9; 2 Pet. 1:19; Eph. 1:18), life (Ps. . 25: 9; Ps. 87: 4), the whole being of man (Ps. 34: 9-10), I, i.e. man (Ps. 129: 5). But sometimes the soul is different from both the heart (Deut. 4:29; Deut. 6: 5) and the spirit (1 Thess. 5:23; Heb. 4:12).

The Gypsies call the soul “gi” and “di”, probably from “didalo” (spirit, heart). It lives in the human body, but can leave it. As long as a person is alive, this happens during sleep, illness, or if the body is possessed by evil spirits (this is how they explained mental disorders). The soul finally leaves the body with the onset of death, but lives around it until it decomposes and then goes to the land of the dead. In some groups of gypsies, the custom of burning the body of the dead was preserved until late, as it was believed that the soul could not be freed until this custom was fulfilled. Gradually, this custom fell away under the influence of Christianity and Islam, which did not accept cremation. Today, when the Roman Catholic Church raises its voice in their defense, it is logical to ask whether the local Orthodox Churches are doing enough in their own countries, its role could be crucial for their integration and demarginalization.

The Bulgarian Orthodox Church, for example, does not have a clear policy towards this minority, even with regard to the Bulgarian Gypsies professing Orthodox Christianity – tinsmiths and others. On the fingers of one hand we can count the clergy and clergymen of Roma origin in the synodal department in the country. This is a consequence, we must admit, of the attitude of the laity themselves – the Orthodox Bulgarians – to this extremely stigmatized ethnic group, not accepting the possibility of its representative to be their parish pastor. For years there have been translations of St. Chrysostom Liturgy in Romani, but not published, without using at least a small part of the millions scattered during the decades of transition in hard currency for “Roma” projects.

Hence, combined with the spiritual vacuum of decades of state atheism, explains in part the conversion of many Roma to Pentecostal and evangelical Christianity or to new religious movements, a phenomenon we see in all former Central / Middle and Eastern religions. -European countries of the former socialist bloc.

“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful”! (Luke 6:36)
“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful”! (Luke 6:36)

Be merciful! – This means: have hearts filled with mercy. To whom? – To others, to people, their neighbors and their own kind! Mercy is a great thing – it warms and gives life like the Sun, heals like balm. What is life without mercy? Cruelty is something devilish, uncharacteristic of the destiny of the human race.

Human needs are innumerable, human weaknesses are many, human suffering is innumerable. And if there was no mercy, if there was no mercy, what torment would the Earth be ?! That is why the Lord commands us to be merciful, to warm mercy in our hearts and to show it in life. We are created in the image of God and are called to be like God. Therefore, our mercy must be similar to God’s. God Himself is “kind to the ungrateful and to the wicked; He lets His Sun shine over the bad and the good, sends rain to the righteous and the unrighteous.

To do good without expecting anything in return – “when you do alms, do not blow the trumpet in front of you, as hypocrites do in synagogues and streets to be praised by men … let your left hand not know what your right hand does.” Thus we do not even know the name of the good Samaritan in the Gospel Parable of the Good Samaritan. No such medical prescriptions for physical and mental health and peace have been found, which piety seeks and finds in faith. As we look at the needs and sorrows of the people around us and try to alleviate their fate, by enriching their lives with good, we will enrich our own souls.

Good is done with a joyful heart and kindness to those in need, with tact and respect for the dignity of those we help, with the awareness that by helping them, we have actually done good to Christ.

Charity develops only with the advent of Christianity, only it convincingly enough to incite it. For according to the Christian religion all men are created in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:27); all people are descended from one parent; all people are brothers and as brothers they must support their neighbors. And our Christian conscience will show us how much to sacrifice. One, swimming in luxury, will say that there is nothing superfluous to give, and another, by limiting his needs, will find, in his own scarcity, superfluous for himself to share with those in need. All selfish purposes, all praises and human glory must be far from us. We must benefit unselfishly, out of compassion for the poor. “Do good, and lend without expecting anything,” says Christ (Luke 6:35). Elsewhere, He adds: “When you make alms, do not blow your trumpets in front of you, as the hypocrites do in synagogues and in the streets, so that people may praise them … let your left hand not know what your right hand is doing, so that alms may be alms. you be a secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly ”(Matt. 6: 2-4).

And really people who would never give a penny for the unfortunate or the starving, in front of the smile of an actress or top model are ready to sacrifice hundreds of levs.

In order for our charity to be organized, it needs to be organized. The great success of charity in the ancient Christian church is largely due to its communal character. Both the church and the state, and especially the former, must take an active part in it. Occasional and at the same time unsystematic charity, giving help to everyone who meets us and extends a hand “for Christ’s sake”, is not only useless, but often harmful.

Charity that is done in order for people to see us is not real charity. Nor is this charity real, which allows only pleasure, pleasure, to be connected with the deeds of charity. All kinds of concerts, balls, lotteries given for charity have nothing to do with Christian charity. We do not dispute that the purpose for which these entertainments are given is good and useful, but the means are not those recommended by Christianity. This kind of charity is justified and testifies only to our rudeness and hardness of heart and that something can be taken from us with cunning for the poor and needy.

And really people who would never give a penny for the unfortunate or the starving, in front of the smile of an actress or top model are ready to sacrifice hundreds.

In order for our charity to be organized, it needs to be organized. The great success of charity in the ancient Christian church is largely due to its communal character. Both the church and the state, and especially the former, must take an active part in it. Occasional and at the same time unsystematic charity, giving help to everyone who meets us and extends a hand “for Christ’s sake”, is not only useless, but often harmful.

Such charity becomes alms, humiliating for the person to whom it turns out. At the same time, we often find ourselves unwittingly supporters of laziness and laziness, or vices, such as various drug addictions and other ungodly acts. But even in organized charity, we should not be satisfied and think that we have fulfilled our duty to our neighbors by contributing a certain amount to a charity, but we must enter into personal communion with those in need. In this way we will know their needs better and it will be easier for us to be able to satisfy those needs without affecting their human ambition. Often these people value our brotherly sympathy for their misfortunes more than material help.

Development of “self-love” and formation of “healthy selfishness”
Development of “self-love” and formation of “healthy selfishness”

This is a very common topic in the psychological literature. The concept of “self-love” in the sense that modern psychology puts into it is not found anywhere used in a positive context in the patriarchal literature. On the contrary, the holy fathers had a negative view of self-love. For example, St. Caesar of Arelat, who lived in the sixth century, writes:

“As through self-love one destroys oneself, so through self-denial one is saved. Self-love was man’s first fall. “

This thought becomes understandable if we remember the Savior’s words:

“He who loves his soul will lose it; but he that hateth his soul in this world shall keep it unto life eternal ”(John 12:25).

Elsewhere, the Lord calls His disciples:

“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23).

That is, the love of one’s own soul (in this case, one’s own life) is condemned by the Lord; we must hate ourselves and deny ourselves in order to follow Christ. What is this really about?

The patriarchal thought usually makes an anthropological distinction between the nature of man and the sinfulness introduced into him. In the quoted passages of the Gospel, where self-hatred and self-denial are spoken of, it is precisely the rejection of sinfulness and vicious passions that is spoken of. Since they are deeply rooted in people, they have become habitual and even seemingly natural (how can we not remember the saying: “Habit is second nature”), getting rid of them requires a lot of effort and radical determination. And although the sinful addition to human nature is cut out, subjectively this process is experienced very painfully, sometimes even as self-destruction, as approaching the edge between life and death.

To theologically justify “self-love” and “healthy selfishness,” psychologists often try to use the gospel words of Christ: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matt. 22:39). This leads to the conclusion that you must first love yourself and only then can you learn to love your neighbor. We will immediately say that nowhere in the holy fathers is such a reading of these gospel words found. This interpretation was introduced into the Christian tradition by psychology, by the neo-Freudian Erich Fromm. In his treatise The Art of Loving (1956) he wrote:

The idea expressed in the biblical “love your neighbor as yourself” implies that respect for one’s own wholeness and uniqueness, love for oneself cannot be separated from respect, understanding and love for the other individual. The love of one’s own self is inextricably linked to the love of every other being. “

An important difference between the views of modern psychologists on this issue from the view of Fromm, who saw love of self and love of neighbor as a whole and indivisible phenomenon (unlike Freud, who believed that these things are opposite and incompatible), is in the fact that now in psychology the opinion dominates that in the beginning you should love yourself, and then learn to love the other, ie. these two aspects of love are placed in chronological order. At the same time, no clear answers are given to the question: when, at what stage of the development of love for oneself is one able to begin to love one’s neighbor? It is also not clear: will not love for oneself become such a fascinating activity that there will simply be no time or energy left for other people? This danger was also noticed by Oscar Wilde: “Self-love is the beginning of a romantic relationship that lasts a lifetime.”

COVID-19: Basic Yoga Exercises One Must Do Every Day to Stay Fit
COVID-19: Basic Yoga Exercises One Must Do Every Day to Stay Fit

Yoga promises several health benefits along with keeping the body fit. As the ongoing pandemic has confined everyone to their homes with gym and parks shut, one can maximise health benefits by following simple yoga asanas at home. Here are simple yet effective yoga exercises that you can do every day to keep your body fit and mind relaxed.

Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)

This pose improves balance along with increasing focus and concentration. Stand straight, to begin with this pose. Then move your hands up and join palms together. While maintaining the balance on one leg, bring the other up close to the thigh of another leg. Hold the position for a few seconds. Remember to keep your posture straight, while keeping your back aligned and hips wide to feel a slight stretch.

Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

For this pose, begin with standing straight with feet apart. While keeping the arms straight up in the air in Namaste mudra, raise your ankles and release shoulder blades away from your head. This basic pose is the foundation of almost all poses and includes muscle stretch of almost all parts from legs to hands.

Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)

Exhale and fold your legs into a forward bend. If the hamstrings feel a little too tight at first, bend the knees. Keep the legs wide apart and let your head hand down with your hands touching the floor. This pose helps strengthen thighs, helps relieve the symptom of menopause, reduces insomnia, and improves digestion.

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

This backbend is extremely energising. Start by lying down on the floor facing the ground. Keeping your legs straight, lift your upper body off the floor with the support of your hands. Hold the pose for few seconds and gently bring your abdomen, chest, and head back to the floor and relax. This pose opens up the entire front body and helps keep the spine flexible and healthy.

source  — News 18

Relaunching French Anti-Cult Hostilities to Support State Covid 19 Policy
Relaunching French Anti-Cult Hostilities to Support State Covid 19 Policy

By Patricia Duval attorney and a member of the Paris Bar

On 9 April 2021, the Minister of the Interior’s Delegate for Citizenship, Marlène Schiappa, gave an interview on France Info announcing a vigorous relaunch of MIVILUDES, the inter-ministerial mission for monitoring and fighting against cultic deviances[1] which now falls under the Ministry of the Interior.

After a gradual disappearance of the Mission over the past years, especially since 2015 when priority was given to counter Islamist terrorism, Marlène Schiappa has now decided to multiply its budget by ten to reach a sum of 1 million euros yearly.

The explanation she gave was that “new health gurus have appeared on the internet, with alleged miracle cures against Covid-19” and that over 500 new small groups have emerged following this trend.

Anti-cult hostilities in support of Conventional Medicine

It should be noted that unconventional therapies have been characterized as “cultic deviances” (“dérives sectaires”) and included in MIVILUDES’ targets since 1996.

As part of the fight against “cultic therapeutic deviances”, the National Council of the Medical Doctors’ Association has been invited to join the Advisory Board[2] of MIVILUDES since its creation in 2002.

In their Handbook on Health and Cultic Deviances published in 2012, MIVILUDES addressed the issue of “unconventional therapeutic practices”. [3]

According to MIVILUDES, these practices, whether done by medical doctors or non-doctors, have in common the fact that they are not “scientifically recognized by conventional medicine and therefore are not taught during health practitioners’ training.”

MIVILUDES explained that “therapeutic deviances become cultic when they try to make the patient adhere to a belief, a new way of thinking”. [4]

Therefore the criterion for being labeled “cultic” is “deviant belief”, “deviant thinking”. The Handbook cites a number of “risky situations”, such as fitness retreats or the vegetable juice cleanse of Rudolf Breuss. 

In March 2004, a conference entitled “Health and Undue Cultic Influences” [5] was organized by GEMPPI,[6] an anti-cult group subsidized by the French State, in Marseille, in the South of France.

The Honorary Secretary General of the National Council of the Medical Doctors’ Association gave a speech at the conference on how they were faced with cults and their relationships with unproven medical practices.

In France, the Medical Council is assigned, by the State, the role of ‘a mission of public service’ with administrative and jurisdictional functions with regards to practicing doctors.

As such, they send substantial information to the medical doctors and health care professionals on the dangers of “deviant” practices.

With regards to healthcare professionals tempted by “esoteric medicine”, the disciplinary jurisdiction of the Medical Council can be activated when the practices of medical doctors do not conform to the Code of Medical Ethics, in particular Article 39 of the Ethical Code: “Doctors may not present any fraudulent, insufficiently proven remedy or procedure as being beneficial to the health to any patient or their family”.

Also, the Representative of the Medical Council stressed that the reprehensible activities of “cults”, whether involving a medical doctor or not, can be referred to courts, criminal and civil.

One can wonder then, why would further action be needed by the MIVILUDES and the anti-cult groups in this area.

The answer was given during the same speech. According to the Council’s representative, a study of the complaints submitted to the professional courts regarding harmful medical practices resulting from cultic deviances brings about two aspects for consideration:

  • Complaints are uncommon, and rarely come from the victims themselves. More often, they arise from information brought by their families and friends.
  • They are generally not specific complaints, but are often worrying because of the relatively systematic nature of harmful practices expounded in the ideology of the cultic movement concerned.

So, we can understand that followers of such practices rarely complain as they freely made the choice to follow unconventional treatments – the law of 4 March 2002 guarantees the right of patients to choose or refuse certain treatments.[7]

However, the Medical Council can investigate and take action based upon denunciations from relatives or friends who disagree with or are worried by the choice of certain therapies.

The inclusion of unconventional therapies in the anti-cult campaign and the involvement of the Medical Council in conferences where such practices are stigmatized seem then to belong more to an ideological fight rather than the defense of victims.

A new Circular to increase repression of “unproven remedies”

In order to combat “new health gurus” with “alleged miracle cures against Covid-19”, the Minister of Interior’s Delegate for Citizenship, Marlène Schiappa, issued a new Circular to all police executives on March 2nd, 2021 amplifying the French « policy to combat cultic deviances ».

It gives instructions to detect “high risk situations”, based on reports received from “persons linked to persons subjected to the undue influence of cultic groups, or in the process of being so, who might be worried and report their concerns: family, neighbors, friends, teachers or colleagues, health professionals, social, cultural, sports or leisure workers, etc.”

The purpose of « reporting » on someone is, according to the Minister, to “ensure, if needed his/her protection and that of society”. She states that “the rules of professional secrecy are not systematically incompatible with the reporting of an identified problematic situation”.

The Minister apparently considers that health professionals can be exempt from the rules of professional secrecy and make such denouncements, even though violation of professional secrecy is liable to criminal sanctions.

According to her, the policy based on denunciations is part of the “fight against all forms of separatism”.

Cultic deviances are then considered as dangerous as other forms of separatism, such as violent Islamic extremism, that the new law currently going through the legislative process is intended to counter.

This is why she recommends applying Article 212-1 of the Internal Security Code which allows the dissolution of combat groups and private militias by the Executive.

The Circular also gives instructions to systematically refer to the Prosecutors reported cases of « mere suspicion of deviant practices ».

It recommends using MIVILUDES’ files (consisting of denunciations and derogatory press articles) to « enrich the reports sent to the judicial authorities ».

Not only does this interference of the Executive (MIVILUDES) in the Judiciary infringe fundamental rights, but the instruction to prosecute “mere suspicions” of “deviant practices” is a serious problem due to the vagueness and the arbitrary nature introduced by this notion.

A cultic deviance is defined in the Circular as an undertaking to undermine one’s freedom of thought, opinion or religion which infringes public order, laws and regulations, fundamental rights, security or integrity of the individual.

It is characterized by the implementation by an organized group or a single individual, whatever their nature or activity, of pressures or techniques designed at creating, maintaining or exploiting a state of psychological or physical subjection by depriving the individuals of part of their free will, with prejudicial consequences for them, their relatives or society.

So “health gurus” can be accused of creating a state of psychological subjugation and depriving their followers of their free will when they promote non-conventional treatment of Covid-19.

An easy way of getting around free choice of treatment

The concept of loss of free will for adults with full mental capacity who simply make the choice to use remedies that are “not politically correct” contradicts the basic fundaments of civil law. It amounts to an invalidation of freely made choice in health matters. 

It seems then that the “cultic” label is nothing more than a backhand way of discrediting unwelcome (by the State) alternative health solutions proposed by some health practitioners accusing them of exerting “undue influence” on the public.

France has adopted the 2002 law to guarantee the rights of patients and especially the freedom of choice of their treatment.

To label “cultic” the treatments unwanted by the French authorities so that their authors get prosecuted even in the absence of complainants seems nothing more than a way to circumvent patients’ free choice in these matters.

The resurgence of the anti-cult hostilities against “health gurus” who propose “miracle remedies” for Covid-19 appears to be more a political move at a time when the government choices about handling the pandemic are subject to a major controversy.

Patricia Duval is an attorney and a member of the Paris Bar. She has a degree in public law from La Sorbonne University, and specializes in international human rights law. She has defended the rights of minorities of religion or belief in domestic and international for a, and before international institutions such as the European Court of Human Rights, the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the European Union, and the United Nations. She has also published numerous scholarly articles on freedom of religion or belief.

[1] Mission interministérielle de vigilance et de lutter contre les dérives sectaires.

[2] Conseil d’orientation.

[3] Pratiques non conventionnelles à visée thérapeutique (PNCAVT).

[4] « La dérive thérapeutique devient sectaire lorsqu’elle essaie de faire adhérer le patient à une croyance, à un nouveau mode de pensée. » Guide Santé et dérives sectaires page 13.

[5] Santé et emprises sectaires.

[6] Groupe pour l’Etude des Mouvements de Pensée pour la Prévention de l’Individu,  Study Group on Movements of Thought for the Prevention of the Individual.

[7] Law n° 2002-303 of 4 March 2002 relating to the rights of patients and the quality of the health system

India’s COVID-19 situation turning from ‘bad to worse’
India’s COVID-19 situation turning from ‘bad to worse’

The Centre on Tuesday said the COVID-19 situation is turning from “bad to worse” and is a huge cause for worry, especially for some states, warning that the whole country is at risk and any complacency at this stage, and at any level, will have “heavy costs”.

Asserting that hospitals and the ICUs have to be readied, the Centre also cautioned that if the coronavirus cases increase rapidly, the healthcare system in the country would be “overwhelmed”.

The Centre simultaneously asked all states and union territories to adopt a district-centric approach to fight the upward swing in cases. Each district, irrespective of whether it is seeing a surge or is with low burden, should formulate an action plan with clear timelines and responsibilities, it said.

Two top Central officials sounded the warning about the country facing an “increasingly severe and intense” coronavirus situation, as the Union Health Ministry reported that India”s COVID-19 tally climbed to 1,20,95,855 with 56,211 more people testing positive in a span of 24 hours, while 271 more fatalities pushed the death toll to 1,62,114.

“COVID-19 situation is turning from bad to worse. In the last few weeks, especially in some states, it is a huge cause for worry. No state, no part of the country should be complacent,” NITI Aayog member (Health) VK Paul told a media briefing.

“We are facing an increasingly severe and intense situation, more so surely in some districts. But the whole country is potentially at risk and therefore all efforts to contain and save lives should be taken.”

“Hospitals and ICUs have to be readied. If cases increase rapidly, the healthcare system would be overwhelmed,” Paul warned.

Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said eight of the top 10 COVID-19 high-burden districts of the country are from Maharashtra and that Delhi, taken as one district, is also on the list.

He said the 10 districts with maximum active COVID cases are Pune (59,475), Mumbai (46,248), Nagpur (45,322), Thane (35,264), Nashik (26,553), Aurangabad (21,282), Bengaluru Urban (16,259), Nanded (15,171), Delhi (8,032) and Ahmednagar (7,952).

Though technically speaking, Delhi has many districts, but it has been taken as one district, he said.

Bhushan dashed off a letter to to all chief secretaries saying public health measures can be used by states to contain the virus by quarantining and testing individuals suspected to be positive including close contacts of positive persons (at least 25 to 30 such contacts per positive person), isolating all those who are positive tracing their contacts, quarantining and testing them.

“Where there are clusters of cases simply quarantining individuals or families will not help. In that case, larger containment zones with clear boundaries and stringent controls must be implemented,” he said.

Any complacency at this stage, and at any level, will have heavy costs, he warned.

He said many districts in the country are seeing clusters of cases emerging because of specific events and/or places where crowding happens, or where a large number of people are in close physical contact coupled with lack of Covid appropriate behaviour.

He stressed that efficient implementation of “Test Track and Treat” remains the only proven strategy for control of transmission

Bhushan said some districts that saw a high number of cases in August-November are again reporting a high growth rate.

” In addition, a number of new districts that saw a limited prevalence earlier are worryingly showing a surge in Covid cases. States, UTs and Districts that have current low levels of cases, however, cannot be complacent.”

About the surge in case positivity rates, Bhushan said Maharashtra last week had an average of 23 per cent, followed by Punjab 8.82 per cent, Chattisgarh 8.24 per cent, Madhya Pradesh 7.82 per cent, Tamil Nadu 2.5 per cent, Karnataka 2.45 per cent, Gujarat 2.22 per cent, and Delhi 2.04 per cent.

The average national positivity rate during last week was 5.65 per cent.

The states and UTs that are reporting a surge in cases need to exponentially increase the number of COVID-19 tests. The proportion of RT-PCR tests need to be increased too, Bhushan said.

The daily rise in COVID cases in the worst affected state of Maharashtra has increased from 5,493 on February 17 to 34,456 on 24 March. The average daily deaths have also increased from 32 on 10 February to 118 on 24 March.

This means, simple public health response activities are not being followed, Bhushan said.

About the coronavirus situation in Punjab, Bhushan said in the second week of February 332 daily new cases were recorded which increased to 2,742. The average daily deaths were eight in February which has risen to 52.

“This signifies that neither are you doing an adequate number of tests nor are you able to promptly isolate (COVID-19) positive people,” the health secretary said.

The Punjab government, meanwhile, extended COVID curbs for another 10 days.

According to an official statement, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh ordered to keep schools and colleges shut by another 10 days till 10 April after officials informed him at a meeting that a fall in daily cases is expected only by mid-May and the infection numbers likely to peak around 6 April.

In his letter, Bhushan said that in most states people are not being properly isolated. “Their close contacts must be traced within three days. Close contact does not mean just the family but all those an infected person came in contact with.”

He said states have been also advised to strengthen their healthcare resources.

“Those hospitals which were made non-COVID facilities must be converted to dedicated COVID facilities. There should be no delay in strengthening private as well as public health facilities,” he added.

Registering a steady increase for the 20th day in row, active cases rose to 5,40,720 comprising 4.47 per cent of the total infections, while the recovery rate has further dropped to 94.19 percent, the Health Ministry said.

According to some experts, the relatively low count of daily jump in new cases (56,211) reported on Tuesday could be because of lower testing on account of Holi festival on Monday. India has been recording a daily spike of over 60,000 cases for a few days until Monday.