BIG3 Announces NFT Debut In Advance Of 2021 Season Tip Off


LOS ANGELES, June 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Today, the BIG3 announced the league’s premiere collection of non-fungible-tokens (NFTs) that will highlight all-stars and award winners from previous seasons as teams prepare for the 2021 season tip off on July 10 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. The drop will take place starting Thursday, June 17 at 5pm PT/8pm ET and remain open for bidding until Friday, June 18 at 5pm PT/8pm ET.

NFT Auction prices will be denominated in Ethereum (ETH) and require a wallet to be linked with OpenSea to purchase. Fans and collectors will be able to bid for items here: https://mementonft.com/

The collection will comprise of 11 separate BIG3 player moments including the 1-of-1 series stand out which is a replica of the Triplet’s 2019 championship ring. Bidding on the ring will begin at a minimum of $5,000 and the owner will receive a carbon copy ring identical to the ones awarded to players. Each digitally hand signed NFT includes a portrait with unique frame art on the front and a collection of exclusive video moments with statistics and a description on the back. The NFTs are also numbered according to edition and contain unlockable features specific to the rarity.

Fire (1-of-1)

Four unique NFTs include:

  • Portrait of League Commissioner, Clyde Drexler
    • Within 60 days of purchase, owners will also receive a FIREBALL signed by Clyde Drexler, Ice Cube, and Jeff Kwatinetz.
  • 2019 Championship Winners, Triplets
    • Within 60 days of purchase, owners will also receive two courtside seats to any one game during the regular BIG3 season with three weeks’ notice provided on chosen game.
  • MVP, Joe Johnson
    • Within 60 days of purchase, owners will also receive two courtside seats to any one game during the regular BIG3 season with three weeks’ notice provided on chosen game.
  • Championship Ring
    • Within 60 days of purchase, owners will also receive two courtside seats to the championship game at Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahama’s (travel not included).

Legendary (1-of-5)

Seven unique NFTs include:

  • Coach of the Year, Lisa Leslie
  • Defensive Player of the Year, Amar’e Stoudemire
  • 4th Man of the Year, Nate Robinson
  • 2H2G, Will Bynum
  • BIG3 Community Award Winner, Ricky Davis
  • Trash Talker, Gary Payton
  • Scoring Champion, Joe Johnson

“As a league that prides ourselves on innovation, it was only right that we took NFTs and made them even more high-class. We aren’t just throwing these against the wall for money, but rather making NFT’s an exclusive and artistic experience. This collection showcases pivotal league moments for players, coaches, and teams since the BIG3 first began,” said Jeff Kwatinetz, co-founder of BIG3. “When fans buy a BIG3 NFT, they are also receiving the opportunity to share that moment on the court with legends of the game and that’s what this league is built on.”

Known as a ground-breaking league that focuses on innovation, BIG3 implemented notable rule changes following the 2019 season which included lowering the minimum age of athletes from 27 to 22 and opening the league to all nonprofessional and professional athletes that want to try out. The league’s fourth season regular games will be played in both Las Vegas and New Orleans. The final two weeks of the championship will be held at Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas.

For more information on creating an OpenSea account and purchasing currency, please visit https://openseahelp.zendesk.com/hc/en-us 

ABOUT BIG3:

BIG3 (BIG3.com) is who we are, FIREBALL3 is what we play. It’s not your grandfather’s 3-on-3. The premier global BIG3 league features many of the greatest, most popular and skilled professional athletes of all time. Founded by producer, actor and music legend Ice Cube and entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz, the BIG3 combines highly competitive, physical, fast game experiences and incredible fan experiences.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Jeremy Watkins (Hiltzik Strategies for BIG3)
[email protected]

Alyx Sealy (Hiltzik Strategies for BIG3)
[email protected] 

SOURCE BIG3



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TSA looking to hire additional workers for busy summer travel season | News


NASHVILLE (WSMV) – Summer travel is officially upon us and the TSA is scrambling to keep up. 

TSA officials say this is the busiest sustained travel period of the year, so they’re looking to hire more people to make it easier for travelers. 

So far, they’ve hired 3,100 additional TSA officers in preparation for the higher volume of travelers. 

At Nashville International Airport (BNA), they have 50 positions open. 

“I actually just got back from Arizona and the lines are… they’re pretty significant,” a traveler said to News4 at BNA. 

TSA says it’s even offering a $1,000 signing bonus for new employees. 

To learn how to apply for a job at BNA, click here.

 

WSMV.com is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, 4WARN weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from News4 Nashville.

>> Click/tap here to download our free mobile app. <<


Copyright 2020 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

 





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2020-21 End of Sports Season Recap – The Clipper


Coach+Cheryl+Sorenson+%28white%29+in+a+pre-game+huddle+before+tip+off+of+the+first+game+of+the+season+at+Peninsula+CC+on+April+3%2C+2021.+EvCC+won+48-43.

Courtesy Photo from Daniel Acosta.

Coach Cheryl Sorenson (white) in a pre-game huddle before tip off of the first game of the season at Peninsula CC on April 3, 2021. EvCC won 48-43.

After a whole year of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and having to postpone sports until the spring, the 2020-21 sport season has finally come to an end. With COVID-19 tests, frequent changes in the size of group trainings, mask mandates and canceled games, four teams ended with winning records

Here is an update on different athletes and their decisions for next year, as some have chosen to return next year while others will be moving on.

Below are perspectives from coaches, a player, and the athletic director on the positives and negatives of the 2020-21 season and their takeaways.

What were the highs and lows for the team and as a coach? 

Women’s head volleyball coach Whitney Williams said, “One thing we are really proud of … is the team culture we created in a very short period of time. During our last practice, we each discussed our highlight of the season. Each highlight shared was evidence of the relationships and unity that were created during a really challenging time. Practices were an escape from the hard things and a safe space for our players.”

“The biggest benefit of being able to practice and play has been the mental health and community feeling,” women’s co-head coach Cheryl Sorenson said. “Without a tribe or team, lows seem lower and highs don’t feel so high.  Going into the season, we mentally prepared to just practice and feel blessed if we got to compete.  That mentality helped us navigate several game cancellations.”

Head men’s basketball coach Mike Trautman discussing tactics during a game against Edmonds CC on May 15, 2021. EvCC defeated Edmonds winning 115-87.

Men’s basketball head coach Mike Trautman was very pleased with his players’ performances on and off the court during this season. “Overall, we had a very productive season.  I was proud of the players for sticking it out. The guys were here in fall for workouts and in late May and still playing two or three games a week. The high point for me was our overall team GPA of 3.22.  It just shows the character of our team and our willingness to get it done in the classroom.” 

What are the takeaways from the circumstances that players and coaches had to deal with? 

Brycen Dillworth, one of two basketball captains, said that one of his takeaways from this season was that the team couldn’t take any game for granted. “Every game should be played as hard as you can play, because in just seconds your season can be taken away from one positive test.”

Head track and field and cross country coach Julian Bardwell said, “The athletes had to be very headstrong. There were a few instances where meets were canceled the day before competition due to positive tests or government phase regulations. As a competitor, that’s pretty tough mentally because you’ve spent countless hours training and want something to show for it.”

What are players, coaches and the athletic director looking forward to this summer and next school year?

Dillworth said that he is looking forward to continuing his development as a basketball player in the offseason so that he can make an impact on the court again next season. He is excited for the NWAC tournament and having a chance for the team to win a ring, while also meeting the new additions who will help the team win games.  

Freshman point guard Brycen Dillworth shooting the ball against Peninsula CC on May 26, 2021. EvCC won 74-72. (Courtesy Photo from Daniel Acosta.)

Sorenson said, “I am excited to have an off-season to work on skill development, strength and conditioning and to work together with the student-athletes to put a plan in place that enables them to get to their next chapter.”

“I am looking forward to hitting the reset button,” Studer said. “We are already starting to plan for fall of 2021 with scheduling of games and planning as if we will have a ‘normal’ year in terms of season length, lightened travel restrictions and postseason play.  All of that is to be determined, but if this year has taught us nothing else it’s that we can be flexible, we can control what is within our control and we can make the most of the opportunities given to us.”



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Cape York businesses expecting busiest tourist season in 10 years


It is billed as the isolated final frontier of Queensland, but Cape York is expected to be anything but quiet this winter.

This time last year, the region was a veritable ghost town after it was put under a biosecurity declaration to protect its remote communities, which excluded the area from the rest of the state. 

The region has just reopened after wet season and tourists have already started to flood in, with many investing in camping equipment in lieu of overseas travel. 

After 18 months of downtime, the Cape is back and it is booming. 

A woman watches a sunset from a mountaintop
Cape York has had very few visitors since late 2019, with the COVID-19 pandemic sandwiched by two wet seasons (

Supplied: Tourism Tropical North Queensland

)

Weipa could see busiest year in a decade

Weipa is something of a pit-stop for hardcore fishers and four-wheel-drivers on their way to the Tip of Queensland. 

Less than a month after the arterial Peninsula Development Road opened, the manager of the local campground, Brooke Quartermaine, has already started to feel the difference. 

“I think this will be the biggest season we’ve ever witnessed in the 10 years that we’ve been here,” Ms Quartermaine said. 

“Already our bookings are quite solid, even right now we’re sort of sitting at around 80 per cent. 

“Generally at this time of year we’re around about 60 per cent occupancy.”

A woman stands in front of the camera with campers in the background
Brooke Quartermaine runs the Weipa Camping Ground and says it is nice to see the site busy after it was left a “ghost-town” by pandemic restrictions last year.(

ABC Far North: Jemima Burt 

)

Ms Quartermaine said last year was tough for the business. 

“Business-wise it was really difficult, difficult as well mentally to see what would normally be a busy business just be a ghost town basically,” she said.

She said she is feeling hopeful, but that it would take more than one good season to make back last year’s losses. 

“Whilst we’re going to have a really big season I don’t think you can ever recoup a full season’s loss,” Ms Quartermaine said.

Dave Hill operates a marine wildlife tour out of Weipa, which could not operate last year. 

“We were pretty much shut down ….100 per cent lockdown for tourism on Cape York,” he said.

Mr Hill said his bookings are strong until October with the impossibility of international travel driving a Cape York tourism boom. 

“Cape York is one that people always want to tick off the list and I think they see this year and potentially the next two or three years as a great opportunity to travel, especially to remote areas like Cape York,” he said.

A man stands next to a car with the bonnet open
Weipa mechanic Sam Nolan said his crew respond to multiple calls for help weekly.(

ABC Far North: Jemima Burt

)

Overconfidence dangerous on remote tracks

Many travellers making their way to the Cape for the first time, but mechanic Sam Nolan warns the trip is not suitable for the overconfident or the under prepared. 

He said this year already two cars had been totaled due to flooded engines. 

“We’ve got two cars behind me that have already drowned, and a lot of repairs we’ve done,” Mr Nolan said.

“It’s starting to get busy.”

He said he sees about a handful of travellers needing rescues each week, often due to fundamental errors. 

“Probably over confidence, not driving to conditions, driving too fast, driving in people’s dust, just generally a lack of experience I think,” Mr Nolan said.

“Slow down, stay out of other people’s dust, be courteous.

Hughes family
The extended Hughes family are making their way to the Tip of Cape York and Thursday Island for the first time and have invested in new equipment to do so.(

ABC Far North: Jemima Burt

)

The Hughes family are among those travelling Cape York for the first time. 

Gold Coast brothers Lester and Dennis Hughes have invested in RV and camping equipment for the trip. 

“We decided to go RVing after we couldn’t go overseas anymore which we did a fair bit, so we decided to buy an RV,” Lester Hughes said.

He and his wife Sandra had planned to travel to Africa, New Zealand, Hawaii, and Europe this year and last, but took the opportunity to holiday at home. 

“We decided to stay in Queensland where we’re safe,” Mr Hughes said.

Bush camping the only option for some 

The Department of Environment says some national park campgrounds across the Cape are already booked at 75 per cent capacity over the next three months.

Keen anglers have already made their presence felt in the Aboriginal Shire of Mapoon, just north of Weipa. 

Manager of environmental services Kelly Letham said the camp ground was recently completely full. 

“Pretty well once the road opened this year, they streamed in,” she said.

“We have a lovely place up here and we enjoy visitors coming and sharing it with us.”

Ms Letham leads a team of land and sea rangers that manages the impact of visitors, who she said are mostly well behaved. 

“We just sort of monitor them, let them know where they can and can’t go restricted areas, what beaches they can drive on, what campgrounds are closed, checking they have a permit and making sure all the facilities are cleaned and ready for them to camp,” she said.

“It is really about awareness and if we can get onto that straight away, and we have the visitor management brochure – so that gives them a little bit of an insight into the areas.”

Elim Beach at Cape York
Elim Beach near Hope Vale in Cape York is a popular four-wheel drive destination.(

Supplied: Tourism Tropical North Queensland

)

Tour operator Dave Hill said he hopes with campgrounds booked out, visitors partaking in bush camping leave the environment in the same condition they found it. 

“Hopefully every looks after it and cleans up after themselves,” Mr Hill said.



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Tofil wins eighth Travel League stop of season | News, Sports, Jobs



RUSSELL, Pa. — Ed Tofil won for the eighth time this season in the Wednesday Travel League, posting the low round of 79 at Blueberry Hill Golf Course.

Mike Wolfe finished a stroke behind with an 80. Wayne Stoughton was third with an 83.

Tofil, Wolfe and Stoughton all had the low front nine of 41s while Tofil led the back nine with 38.

The B Flight champion was Bob Thompson. The winner of the Bruce “Java” Chrabasz Commissioner’s Award was Bob Kujawa.

Untied birdies were recorded by: A Flight — John Waterman (No. 1), Wolfe (Nos. 2, 13), Pete Gawron (No. 3), Stoughton (No. 4), Joe Bifaro (No. 9) and Ed Tofil (Nos. 14, 16); B Flight — Bill Aldrich (Nos. 1, 5), Mick Dunning Sr. (Nos. 4, 7), John Tofil (No. 6), Don Kujawa (Nos. 8, 13) and Pete Pinkoski (Nos. 11, 12).

Closest to the pin were Dunning (No. 4), Don Kujawa (No. 8), Waterman (No. 11) and Ed Tofil (No. 16).

Top point winners were Ed Tofil (47), Dunning (41), Pinkoski (34) and Don Kujawa (29). Season points leaders: 1. Ed Tofil (215), 2. Stoughton (186), 3. Dunning (160), 4. Pinkoski (123), 5. Wolfe (120), 6. John Tofil (102), 7. Dave Criscione (98), 8. Dennis Gawronski Sr. and Don Kujawa (93 apiece) and 10. Waterman (91).

This week the league plays at North Hills Municipal Golf Course in Corry, Pennsylvania. The first group tees off at 10 a.m. To inquire about openings, text or call 785-2291.



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Dayton police warning drivers, motorcyclists to be cautious ahead of busy holiday travel season – WHIO TV 7 and WHIO Radio


MIAMI VALLEY — Traffic is expected to be heavier than anything drivers have seen in the past 18 months as families travel for Memorial Day. Dayton police are warning drivers and motorcyclists, asking them to take precautions as the hit the road this holiday weekend.

Sergeant Gordon Cairns told News Center 7′s Mike Campbell that motorcyclists, in particular need to keep their focus on the roads.

“On the motorcycle, you don’t have the luxury of a big steel compartment around you,” Cairns said.

>> 6 injured in Bethel Twp. accident

On the road, troubles for motorcyclists develop quickly and they only have milliseconds to react. Because of that, Dayton police recommend riders wear helmets and protective clothing.

“That will increase life-saving potential if you’re involved in an accident,” Cairns said.

Cairns said police are asking drivers to give motorcyclists more space on the roadways.

As this is the first major holiday families can travel for since the pandemic, Cairns said Dayton police will have extra patrols out looking for extreme speeds, impaired drivers, reckless driving and distracted driving.





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Alaska Summer Cruise Season May Be Saved Thanks To U.S. Congress


Cruising is on the verge of returning to Alaska this summer as a result of legislation passed Thursday that will allow ships to bypass Canadian ports on their way to the state.

The Alaska Tourism Restoration Act is now awaiting the signature of President Biden and final approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) before everything is a go, but neither appears to be a hurdle.

“The Alaska Delegation has been working every angle to help find a path forward for struggling Alaskans who rely on the tourism industry,” Senator Lisa Murkowski, one of the bill’s sponsors, said in a statement. “Passage of my legislation sends a strong signal that we will not stand idly by, withering on the vine, until another country catches up to our level of readiness. This shows that the health and restoration of our economy cannot be held up by Canada.”

The bill temporarily changes a law that requires any cruise ship traveling from Washington to Alaska to stop at a Canadian port. Canada has banned cruise ships from its waters until February 28, 2022.

The cruise industry is expecting no hold ups from Biden or the CDC and immediately began planning for summer cruises. Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, and Norwegian Cruise Line all announced summer itineraries for Seattle to Alaska cruises.

“We have been working towards this moment to return to service for over a year, and starting with our Alaska cruise vacations is incredibly gratifying,” Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises, said in a statement. “Our passion has always been to provide our guests with a truly remarkable travel experience. We are thrilled to be able to do that again, safely with confidence.” 

Holland America Line will begin cruises from Seattle to Alaska starting July 24 for anyone fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to departure. Their seven-day cruises will make stops in Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, and a day cruising Glacier Bay National Park.

Norwegian Cruise Line will begin seven-day sailings in August, with stops including Ketchikan, Juneau, and Icy Strait Point.

Princess Cruises will begin its cruises July 25 with stops in Ketchikan, Skagway, Juneau and Glacier Bay National Park.

“The return of the cruise industry to Alaska is great news for anyone hoping to experience the rugged beauty of the Last Frontier,” Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy said. “More importantly, it signals a hopeful new chapter for the dozens of communities and tens of thousands of Alaskans who rely on cruise industry partners to help them share Alaska with the world.”

Carnival Corporation, which counts Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, and Carnival Cruises among its properties, said the health and safety of its guests is the top priority.

“As we continue to work with the CDC on requirements for sailing in the U.S., we remain committed to returning to service in a way that serves the best interest of public health and provides our guests with a great cruise vacation at an exceptional value,” CEO Arnold Donald said in a statement.



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BBB says rental car scams cranking up just as travel season starts


Your Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns that vacation season is approaching, and scammers are taking advantage of an unusual development. During the pandemic, rental car companies sold off significant portions of their fleets as the demand dropped for their cars.

Those companies’ efforts to buy more cars are being slowed by the shortage of computer chips. Scammers, ever watchful for such opportunities, are inserting themselves into the equation. It all adds up to potential trouble for rental car customers.

Americans are ready to travel again but fleet shortages mean higher prices (not to mention the rise in gas prices) and more frustrations. Enter the scammers. It works like this: An online search for rental car companies results in your calling the top search result. A “customer service representative” answers your call and just happens to have a special promotion for you. All you have to do is pay your rental fee up front using a prepaid debit or gift card and you get a huge discount from the large fees now being charged.

They claim that the “deal” is a partnership with the debit card or gift card company, making the odd payment request sound legitimate. You buy the cards and share the PIN with the representative. Sometimes they claim the money didn’t transfer and you need to purchase yet another card. Since the entire scheme is a scam, no rental car ever becomes available, and you have lost all of the money you turned over to the crook.

How to guard yourself from such scams

Here is BBB’s advice to help you steer clear of rental card scams:

· Never make payments with prepaid debit cards or gift cards. A request that you do so should be a giant red flag that a scammer is trying to steal your money. Don’t believe their claims that it’s a special promotion. Legitimate companies always accept credit cards as payment, and you are always safer using one in case disputes arise.

· Be sure you are on a business’s real website then look for their customer support phone number while there. Don’t trust the first search results you get online.

· Fake websites are easy for crooks to set up. Verify that the company is legitimate and has a positive marketplace history by visiting bbb.org

· Check separately with the company if you are told they are offering a special deal by getting their customer service number (from their official site) and calling it.

· Remember that rental car locations near airports are less likely to have cars available. Look for their locations elsewhere in the city or town.

· Use discounts that may be available to you such as through AAA, AARP, Costco and your credit card companies.

· Check into package deals when booking a flight that also include the rental car. Do it as early as possible.

Predictions are that the rental car shortage will last well into the summer. Don’t fall for a scammer’s crooked deal in your frustration. If you have questions or concerns about renting a car that are not covered above, contact your BBB at (800) 856-2417 or at bbb.org.



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Travelers should prepare for a busy travel season as COVID-19 cases fall and travel demand rises – WSB-TV Channel 2


ATLANTA — Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is preparing for record crowds this summer, as falling COVID-19 cases and an increase in vaccinations are fueling travel demand.

The TSA is in the process of hiring 6,000 airport screeners nationwide before the end of May. Officials at Atlanta’s airport tell Channel 2 Action News they expect the agency to provide enough staff before the summer.

In a transportation summit last month with some Metro Atlanta congresspeople, TSA staffing was brought up as a priority for the airport.

“It is important to ensure that our federal partners are ready with staffing that is adequate to meet the demands,” said Balram Bheodari, Interim General Manager of the airport.

Travel agents say that their clients are not only booking trips for the summer, but even months or years in advance.

“Get your trips booked you’re interested in right now,” said Lindsey Epperly with Epperly Travel, “because I don’t see the prices going down.”

TRENDING STORIES:

For many travelers, they say they’re eager to get out more as traveling becomes safer with more vaccinations and declining cases of COVID-19.

“We hope that we’ll be traveling some more this year,” said Mary Struttman, who is in Atlanta to visit her daughter. “We had some vacations we couldn’t take in 2020.”





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Chicago Sky Tip Off Season On Saturday With High Expectations


The Daily Beast

Indian Generals Blast Government for Withholding Life-Saving Army Aid From Its Own People

Samuel Rajkumar/ReutersNEW DELHI—With India ravaged by an unprecedented second wave of the COVID-19 virus—and its health-care system on its knees—some public health and former military officials are voicing outrage over the government’s apparent refusal to use the full force of the army to assist with the crisis.“The army is not being utilized to the fullest extent,” even though it has “tremendous capacities” to ease the current disaster, Deependra Singh Hooda, former chief of the Indian army’s strategic northern command, told The Daily Beast.For weeks experts have been pleading with the government, urging it to rope in the military to help with a health crisis never before seen in India’s modern history.Earlier this month, the deputy chief minister of the country’s capital, Delhi—which is facing the worst COVID situation in India—asked the defense minister to lend the services of the armed forces to help it set up and run COVID-19 health facilities. But the request was turned down, even after the local government reached out to Delhi’s high court, which claimed that Indian forces were stretched.Why Biden’s Push for Vaccine Patent Waivers Won’t Save IndiaWhile the army has set up a few hospitals and provided limited supplies of oxygen, most forces remain uninvolved even as the country’s health-care system is on the brink of collapse. India’s armed forces have around 13,000 officers who are medical professionals and an additional 100,000 medical support staff, whose expertise could save countless lives.“We are going through an emergency situation. The network and infrastructure of the armed forces need to be leveraged,” public health expert Anant Bhan told The Daily Beast. “It will minimize the loss of life.”The demand is being echoed after the top U.S. public health official, Dr. Anthony Fauci, suggested last week that India should marshal all of its resources, including the armed forces, to handle the situation.For India, the army may be the last resort. On Wednesday, 4,205 Indians died of the virus, and 348,421 tested positive for COVID, pushing the total number of confirmed cases so far in the country to 2.5 million. The total death count climbed to 25,8351—which experts say is a massive undercount. Hospitals in the country have been running at capacity for weeks, and hundreds of people have died because they did not get oxygen in time.The downward spiral is showing no signs of plateauing anytime soon, with new variants toting up the intensity of India’s second wave, and the prospect of a third wave that is likely to follow. The virus is also rapidly engulfing India’s rural areas—home to 65 percent of the country’s population—where health-care systems are even worse than in the already overwhelmed cities.Mass Grave Dug on Banks of Ganges for 100 Possible COVID Victims Found Floating Down River“This is the first time we have gotten into a situation like this,” General Ved Prakash Malik, former Indian army chief, told The Daily Beast. “There is scope for the civil administration to use the services of armed forces. Other than the medical services, engineering services can be utilized to set up quick infrastructure.”Even though most of India’s population is still struggling to get a first dose, India’s 1.5 million armed personnel were first to be vaccinated. This is one of the reasons why experts are pressing the demand that their services should be utilized quickly.“The army is trained to deal with such situations,” said General Hooda, “We have seen in the past, whenever there has been a crisis, you call the army to [help]. Not only are they trained, but they are very well equipped to handle the crisis.”Hooda says that the focus of the government has been mostly on utilizing the health services of the armed forces, but there’s much more it could do. “The army has tremendous engineering skills to build infrastructure,” he said. “If you need to build infrastructure, like hospitals, and other medical facilities in rural areas, the army can do it as quickly as possible.”Experts also blame the lack of coordination amongst civil authorities for worsening the crisis in the country, and say that it has created tremendous panic and stress among the public. One of the key areas, which most of the health officials and former military commanders agree on, is the need for a centralized communication system so that essential medical supplies are transported and utilized efficiently.“For communications, the army can set up war rooms and certain expertise of the commanders who manage these war rooms can help immensely,” said General Malik, who was head of the Indian army during the war with Pakistan in 1999.General Hooda agrees.“Some emergency links can be set up with a dedicated emergency centre… we have the Indian-wide Movement Control Organisation (MCO), which is used in wars to mobilize and track the military,” said Hooda, adding that that MCO could be utilized to keep track of essential resources like oxygen tankers. Besides engineering and communications, a large fleet of armed forces could also be employed for the transportation of medical supplies.“The armed forces have the capacity to create 100 field hospitals with 100 beds each,” Harcharanjit Singh Panag, a former lieutenant in Indian army, wrote for The Print. “With the help of private doctors, medical students and additional medical equipment, many more temporary facilities can be made operational in a short span of time. It is these resources which can be superimposed on the civilian hospitals to take on the overload.”Some believe that India is not using the services of the military because it would be an embarrassment for the civil government—an acknowledgment that they haven’t been able to handle the situation. Another reason cited is tensions at India’s borders with China and Pakistan, making authorities reluctant to transfer troops stationed there.A Right-Wing Demagogue Is Letting COVID Ravage His People“If the army is brought in it would be somewhat of an admission that [the civilian government] is not able to do this,” General Hooda said. “Second is, there is also talk that we need force preservation [at our] borders.”Last year, the Indian army cancelled its border exercise in Ladakh due to the first wave of the novel coronavirus. But around the same time, violent skirmishes took place when Chinese troops reportedly intruded into Indian land. Both countries reinforced their positions with tens of thousands of troops, and an altercation ensued, killing 20 Indians and an unknown number of Chinese nationals.Given the intensity of the crisis, it’s clear to much of India that there is no other option but to bring in the armed forces if the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to quickly take control of the situation.“The fact is, when you are facing a sort of national emergency, this idea of force preservation needs to be put on the backburner, ” Hooda said. “Once the army comes in, if nothing else, it could bring some degree of hope for people.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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