Is the bio-bubble in the world of sports a myth? There are several instances to show that even a highly secure environment can’t stop coronavirus from penetrating this so-called bubble and this is what happened with the IPL because of which the tournament got postponed. Talking to The Sunday Guardian, well-known sports commentator, Rakesh Thapliyal, said that it is no secret that players, organizing staff and even administrators don’t follow Covid protocols during matches, different championships and training camps. “On the ISSF Shooting World Cup 2021 held in March in New Delhi’s Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range shooters from over 40 countries were in a secure bio-bubble but still there were a few cases of not following Covid-19 guidelines. The entry of common spectators was not encouraged by the National Rifle Association of India, but relatives of a few participating shooters were present in the spectators’ gallery all days.”
Thapliyal says that shooters were meeting freely with their family members who were given accreditation cards. Sports journalists were supposed to go through the mandatory Covid test before the start of the championship, but no one checked them. A similar scenario has been witnessed in the IPL matches; no one was reportedly checking the driver or cleaner of the buses that ferried the players from hotels to stadiums, and the hotel staff serving them.” The IPL was postponed after 29 matches were played. 31 matches are yet be played.

Gayatri Mantra for Covid-19 patients?
Many scientists and doctors are waiting for the findings of an AIIMS Rishikesh (Uttarakhand) study that was launched some time back to evaluate effect of Pranayama in Covid-19 patients with moderate symptoms. The clinical trial research was funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) to find out whether the chanting of the Gayatri Mantra and Yoga practice of Pranayama can help the quality of recovery as well as cure Corona patients quicker.
The clinical trial has been registered with the Indian Council of Medical Research. It is being done on 20 Covid-19 patients with moderate symptoms. They have been divided into two groups: while one gets the standard treatment and the other, along with the standard treatment goes through regular chanting and breathing exercises for 14 days. Their results will be compared at the end of the exercise.
Dr. Ruchi Dua, pulmonologist and Associate Professor at AIIMS, says that the outcome of this study should be available soon. She had applied for Rs 3 lakh funding from the DST in a response to an open call for applications to fund projects to develop Covid-19 relevant therapies, drugs and interventions.

Cows being protected in UP
The Uttar Pradesh government has taken up special initiatives “to safeguard and ensure the well-being of cows” across the state. Instructions have been sent to every gaushala (cow shelter) to adhere to Covid-19 restrictions. Usage of masks and thermal screening have been made mandatory in the gaushalas. The state has over 5,268 cow protection centres housing 573,417 cows. Cow shelters will be equipped with oximeters to ensure that the cows are being taken care of properly.
While several Twitter users expressed shock over this, a close aide of Yogi Adityanath told The Sunday Guardian that “the CM is doing his best to take care of the Covid-19 situation. But as he is a pious man, he cannot shut his eyes to the issue of cows’ welfare…cows also need protection as they are part of our eco-system.”

Landmark Israel-India-UAE deal
The Israel embassy in India has proudly announced a first-of-its-kind trilateral cooperation between Israel, India and the UAE. Under the leadership of Dr. Ron Malka, Israeli Ambassador, this trilateral partnership has been initiated by the International Federation of Indo-Israel Chambers of Commerce (IFIICC) through which an Israel-based company, Ecoppia, is producing an innovative robotic solar cleaning technology in India for a project in the UAE.Ecoppia, world leader in robotic cleaning solution for solar with its manufacturing base in India and over 2,700MW of global projects, became the first-of-its-kind success story of a multilateral collaboration with the UAE-Israel-India Trilateral by signing this deal in the UAE with the support of the IFIICC.
Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin, President of Israel, Ron Malka, Pavan Kapoor, India’s Ambassador to the UAE, Dr. Ahmed Abdul Rahman AlBanna, UAE Ambassador to India, Sanjeev Kumar Singla, Ambassador of India to Israel, who are all founding patrons of IFIICC and Jonathan Miller, Special Envoy for Energy, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs congratulated Ecoppia’s CEO Jean Scemama and IFIICC Founder & Chairperson Merzi Sodawaterwala for this landmark achievement.
Ecoppia’s innovative fully autonomous, water-free robots will allow the UAE’s dusty and arid region to achieve optimal productivity while saving precious water resources.