News and views across the globe.

Saturday, 28 March 2020

28 MARCH. NEWS: Coronavirus cases cross 900 mark in India/ Thousands At Delhi Bus Station Amid COVID-19 Risk, Wait For Ride Home/ Post lockdown, waves of migrants head for home states on foot, a situation reminiscent of Partition exodus/ Global cases top 600,000 with over 27,000 deaths; Europe's Death Toll Surges Past 20,000


NEWS DIGEST, EVENING
 28 March 2020: 2 Shahban 1441: Vol:12, No:166

*Coronavirus india*
Coronavirus cases cross 900 mark in India
New Delhi : Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Saturday said that a total of 918 cases of novel coronavirus were reported in India, with 819 active cases, 79 patients being discharged, and 19 fatalities. Kerala on Saturday reported its first COVID-19 death. The deceased (69) had returned from Dubai and was admitted to Kalamassery Medical College on March 22nd following symptoms. He later tested positive. He’s a resident of Chullikkal in Kochi.Maharashtra on Saturday reported eight new cases with the tally rising to 167, while Gujarat reported six new cases with the total number in the state at 53.In Gujarat, a 46-year-old woman from Jamalpur-Astodia area of Ahmedabad has died due to the coronvirus. The woman was admitted on March 26 and was tested psoitive for the virus next day. She had co-morbid conditions incluidng hypertension, pulmonary fibrosis leading to partial lung function. Ahemdabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has said they are unsure who would conduct the last rites of the deceased as her family of 4 has been kept under home quarantine. The source of the infection is unknown as the deceease had no travel history. "It may be local transmission," the AMC said.Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that he has been told to “prepare for a potential Stage 3 outbreak of Covid-19 in Delhi” and was, therefore, taking steps to handle the situation even if it gets to 1,000 COVID-19 cases a day. In other news, an 85-year-old general surgeon died hours after he tested positive in Mumbai. indianexpress
Over 10% with Serious Respiratory Illness Test Positive for Covid-19, Most Had No Overseas Travel History
New Delhi: In what could be first signal of community transmission of Covid-19 in the country, nearly 11 per cent of those patients who have been tested so far due to severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) have been found positive for Covid-19.Of the 110 such people who were tested due to SARI hospitalisation, 12 have tested positive for Covid-19, top government sources confirmed to News18.com on the condition of anonymity. Those who were tested due to SARI hospitalisations are largely without any foreign travel history. The age and geographic profile of the 12 positive cases could not be ascertained. Indian government, however, said these cases of people who were without travel history or did not come into contact with an infected patient were too “sporadic” to conclude there was an onset of community transmission. news18
Ground Report: Chaos at Anand Vihar as Buses Prepare to Take Migrant Workers Home
Ghaziabad: At the Anand Vihar Bus Terminal, the mass evacuation of thousands of daily-wage labourers and migrant workers is underway.Over the last five days, the national lockdown imposed to tackle COVID-19 has left the a multitude of workers stranded, with nowhere to go. After days of dithering by the Centre and the Delhi and Uttar Pradesh state governments, an evacuation plan is finally being implemented.In Ghaziabad, the Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation has since last night started to arrange buses at the terminal. On Saturday afternoon, when The Wire visited, thousands of people had gathered in packed lines along a two-km stretch of NH-24 that runs parallel to the entrance of the bus terminal.“Our incomes have stopped since the Delhi riots. I stay in Bhajanpura and work at a cloth factory. We get paid only on a piece-rate basis, we do not have fixed salaries. Since the riots, we haven’t got any work. Holi came after and now the new coronavirus. We tried staying here but we have no money left. I have two children. What will I do? We live in rented accommodation and did not have any money or food left,” said 30-year old Neeraj Kumar, who wants to go to Budaun in western UP.Most workers The Wire spoke to repeated similar stories, saying they had no choice but to return to their homes, even if it risked passing the virus on to their village.They say they have no faith in the government, and would rather rely on their community when in need.THE WIRE
Thousands At Delhi Bus Station Amid COVID-19 Risk, Wait For Ride Home
New Delhi: Amid the chaos, fear and uncertainty spreading across the country because of COVID-19 outbreak, a distressing narrative has emerged from Delhi, where thousands of migrant workers, left without jobs, shelter or money after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 21-day nationwide lockdown shut down almost all commercial establishments, are still trying desperately to return to hometowns and villages across the border in UP.The centre's "total lockdown", meant to halt the spread of a highly infectious novel coronavirus that transmits rapidly in crowded spaces, had suspended all interstate bus and railway services, leaving migrants and their young families no option but to walk hundreds of kilometres foot in searing heat.ndtv
Groups of Migrant Workers Planning to Walk 700 km From Delhi to Dungarupur
New Delhi: A group of about 40 migrant workers in Delhi are planning to leave for their homes in Rajasthan’s Dungarpur, more than 700 km away.“All work has stopped for three weeks. What will we do here? What will we eat. So we want to go back,” said one of the workers, Devatram Raut.While some state governments like Uttar Pradesh have arranged buses to bring back their workers from other states, Rajasthan is yet to announce any such move.“We were hoping that since other states have announced buses, Rajasthan will also do the same. But that has not happened. So, we don’t have any option but to start walking back. We can’t stay here,” Raut told The Wire.The group of workers is right now staying at the three-room house of one of their contractors in Delhi’s Rohini. Most of them worked as food vendors and cooks in central Delhi and old Delhi, earning daily wages between Rs 300 and Rs 400.“We don’t have any money left. The contractor is feeding us right now. But how long can he do that?” said one of the workers. thewire
Coronavirus lockdown: Running out of food, no money left, say stranded migrants from Bengal
Kolkata :Stranded away from their homes with no aid on the horizon, migrant workers from West Bengal are fast running out of money and food as the nationwide lockdown enters its third day. Many of these migrants, who put up in cramped accommodations, work as construction labourers or hawkers in states like Haryana and Rajasthan.The Indian Express reached out to several workers in these two states who—caught unprepared by the announcement of a 21-day lockdown for “fighting some disease”—are looking for a way out, and finding none.Even venturing out to the market or highway earns them the wrath of the police, Sheikh Moidul, from Kaliachowk in Malda, said over the phone. Moidul, 30, is part of a group 50 construction workers, including 16 women, which is stranded in Rewari district of Haryana. They used to earn a daily wage of Rs 350 along with food for building a warehouse in the district. indianexpress
India lockdown: 12 walk 200 km, down hills and past forests, on biscuits, one meal
Dehradun :In 4 days and 200 km of walking, Pravin Kumar, 46, was stopped at every checkpoint. Police checked whether he and 11 others with him had their Aadhaar cards and then waved them on, with an instruction to maintain “social distancing”.So, for their only proper meal in 65 hours, offered by a voluntary organisation, the 12 sat one metre apart in Dehradun on Thursday afternoon.Kumar, employed like the others at the Char Dham Road Project’s Hanuman Chatti site in Uttarkashi, says he knows the value of hygiene in the time of coronavirus. So, every time he found a source of water along the route, he ensured he washed his feet at least. That also gave some relief from the footsores he developed from the long walk, with 60 km more to go, to home in Kutubpur village of Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh.indianexpress
Exodus of migrants from Delhi: But UP police drive them back
While the national capital wore a deserted look on the fourth day of the country-wide lockout, a steady stream of poor, desperate people kept walking towards Delhi-UP border. With no transport available and with no work and daily payments, their only option, they said, was to try and walk home. They braved a light drizzle, carried children on their shoulder and marched on.The exodus continued throughout Friday and had not stopped till late in the evening. Heart-rending videos flooded the social media but Union Govt passed buck to the states. In an advisory, MHA asked states to arrange for food and shelter for the labourers and stop them where they were working. A warning to builders and the contractors earlier might have worked better but the advisory was too little and too late. Nationalherald
UP Govt Arranges 1,000 Buses For Stranded Migrant Workers
US authorities has organized for 1,000 buses to ferry migrant labourers who’re stranded on the border districts owing to a national lockdown, an official spokesman mentioned on Saturday.Officials of Transport Dept, bus drivers and conductors have been contacted on Friday night time to assist individuals who have been stranded in Noida, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahar, and Aligarh, amongst different locations, he mentioned.trendinindia
COVID-19 spawns humanitarian crisis: 2,000 textile workers plan to trudge 1,400 km from Mumbai to UP homesIn Focus
Mumbai: Several incidents have come to light from various parts of the country where the migrant workers have decided to take the journey on foot due to non-availability of public transport amid 21-day lockdown imposed in an attempt to contain the deadly coronavirus spread. Lives have been completely uprooted and the people are reeling from poverty and hunger due to loss of livelihood and closure of shops.In Mumbai, nearly 2,000 migrant workers employed in cloth manufacturing units have been deprived of their income due to closure of the commercial establishments after the promulgation of the lockdown. The textile units have been shut for around 20 days now. They have run short of funds and have no other option than marching 1,400 km on foot to their hometowns in Uttar Pradesh. Coronavirus outbreak has unleashed a humanitarian crisis.The men work in the small-scale cloth manufacturing units in Mumbai’s National Market- one of the oldest markets in India for readymade garments. Initially, owners of the textile firms promised to feed them if they keep paying for their rented accommodations. However, after feeding them for around three weeks, the employers' association had stated that it will not be able to continue the charity.While speaking to the Times of India, one of the workers said that he would prefer dying in his village than because of coronavirus and starvation in Mumbai.  He said that only Rs 5,000 are left in his bank account and won’t exhaust it by staying there.timesnownews
Sent Back from Border, 4 Migrant Workers Crushed to Death by Tempo in Maharashtra
Palghar: 4 migrant workers from Rajasthan were crushed to death and three seriously injured when a tempo ran over them as they were walking along a highway in Maharashtra's Palghar district on Saturday. The victims were among hordes of migrants who were stopped at Maharashtra-Gujarat border and sent back as they were trying to return to their home states amid lockdown to contain the coronavirus pandemic.The incident took place on Mumbai-Ahmedabad Highway near Parol village in Vasai tehsil around 3 am, police spokesperson Hemant Katkar said. The deceased were identified as Ramesh Mangilal Bhat (55), Nikhil Pandya (32), Naresh Kalasuva (18) and Kaluram Bagore (18).PTI
Post lockdown, waves of migrants head for home states on foot, a situation reminiscent of Partition exodus
Lockdown without plan: Congress slams Modi govt over thousands being stranded without food or water
Amid tens of thousands of citizens stranded in urban centres and many taking a long walk home without food and shelter, Congress has alleged that the government is unable to control the reverse migration.The party has said that lockdown has been imposed without proper planning as citizens, particularly migrant labourers, are facing extreme difficulty in day to day life.IANS
In UP, daily wagers are engaged in an unequal war with lockdown and hunger
Unmindful of the filth strewn around, Sonu Kumar Mishra rolls a roti as he, and 3 of his colleagues, get ready for dinner on the pavement in front of a shop in Azad Market in Lucknow where they earn their living. While Mishra is a mason by profession, the others are helpers. They are all residents of Bahraich, 130 km south-east of Lucknow.“There is no work. Construction work has stopped all of a sudden. We have not got any work for the last three days. Now, we want to go back home but there is no vehicle. Buses, trucks and jeeps are off the road. We are just stranded here,” Mishra said.His colleague, who also goes by the name Sonu, interjects to say that they have no money either to purchase ration. “No earning means we will sleep on an empty stomach if we fail to get work or any transport to go home by tomorrow,” he said.nationalheraldindia
Covid-19 cases will rise if people migrate: Delhi CM urges people to not leave capital
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has urged people, including the migrant workers, to follow the 21-day lockdown to contain the spread of the virus. "I have asked MLAs to request migrant workers to not leave Delhi as we have made arrangements for all. I will appeal that initiative of lockdown taken by PM is necessary to contain this epidemic. If people will migrate then COVID-19 cases will rise," he said.Kejriwal assured that food is being served to the needy at nearly 800 centres set up by Delhi government.
EMIs put on hold, big-bang interest rate cut as RBI joins fight against coronavirus
RBI on Friday put on hold EMI payments on all term loans for three months and cut interest rate by steepest in more than 11 years as it joined the government effort to rescue a slowing economy that has now got caught in coronavirus whirlwind. RBI cut repo to 4.4 per cent, the lowest in at least 15 years. Also, it reduced the cash reserve ratio maintained by the banks for the first time in over seven years. CRR for all banks was cut by 100 basis points to release Rs 1.37 lakh crore across banking system.The reverse repo rate was cut by 90 bps to 4 per cent, creating an asymmetrical corridor.RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das predicted a big global recession and said India will not be immune.The liquidity measures announced include auction of targeted long-term repo operation of 3 year tenor for total amount of Rs 1 lakh crore at floating rate and accommodation under Marginal Standing Facility to be increased from 2 per cent to 3 per cent of Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) with immediate effect till June 30.Combined, these three measures will make available a total Rs 3,74,000 crore to the country's financial system.PTI
No need to pay EMIs of home, auto, farm loans till May 31
Health Ministry evening briefing: 44 pvt labs approved for testing Covid-19
Health Ministry affirmed that social distancing and a nation-wide lockdown could play an important role in breaking the chain of transmission. "We have been preemptive and graded in our response to arrest spread of coronavirus," Joint Secreatary fo the ministry Lav Aggarwal said.ICMR official said 44 private laboratories have been given approval so far for testing the coronavirus. "Reduction in viral load has been observed in COVID- 19 patients who were given Hydroxychloroquine drug," he said.
Coronavirus: Jammu launches drive to find people hiding travel history
Jammu :As part of the drive to locate people who have hidden their travel history, UT Police along with civil administration have identified 1,200 people in different places who either have international travel history or have come in contact with such persons.Disclosing this,UT’s DGP Dilbagh Singh said about 300 police personnel who were outside Union Territory for training purposes have been put under quarantine, “No one is being spared as this is the only preventive measure in our hands to check each and every one,’’ he said, adding people must understand that one infected person can be harmful for the whole community. indianexpress
COVID-19 Outbreak: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Asks Govt to Allocate Funds for Workers
Maharashtra chapter of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind urged the state government to set up a special fund to help daily wagers and unorganised workers who are left without a livelihood due to the COVID-19 lockdown.In a letter to CM Uddhav Thackeray, president of JIH Maharashtra Rizwan-ur-Rahman Khan suggested that the government set up a special fund for daily-wage workers and allocate money from its budget. The government can ask industries to divert their corporate social responsibility donations of the first quarter for the cause and also appeal to the general public to chip in, Khan suggested.The JIH also proposed a series of measures to help those who were hit the hardest by the nationwide lockdown, which has been imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus.The organisation asked the state government to double the distribution of food grains and other essentials at ration shops. It has also proposed that the state government allocate a monthly compensation of Rs 5,000 to approximately 3.65 crore unorganised labourers in Maharashtra or provide them free meals and shelter.PTI
Coronavirus Outbreak: Mumbaikars Go The Extra Mile To Ensure No One Goes Hungry
With the lockdown in place and no jobs to earn their livelihood, the poor and homeless in the city have found hope in the good samaritans who are ensuring that no one sleeps hungry while the country fights the deadly Coronavirus.Help for the needy — homeless people, beggars, daily wagers — is pouring in from all corners of the city; not just organisations, individuals, too, are going the extra mile to keep their fellow citizens fed. One among them is a businessman from Chembur, Waseem Ahmed Shaikh, who loads his 4-wheeler with biscuits, bananas and water bottles, and drives till Bandra distributing them to the needy, twice a day."I started this on Sunday, on the day of Janata Curfew. I could see many people on the roads with no option to arrange food and water. Now with the 21-day lockdown, the situation is going to get worse. So I decided to do my bit," said Shaikh, who spends about Rs 2,000 every day to buy bananas, mineral water bottles and Parle-G biscuits for the needy.Several organisations have also been delivering food to the helpless. SIO and Jamaat-e-Islami Hind have joined hands to provide food to the daily wagers, who are currently out of jobs. In Kalyan alone, 10 different organisations have come together to deliver ration kits to around 600 needy families.Haseeb Bhatkar, president of the Mumbai branch of Jamaat, said, "We feel it is our responsibility to take care of the underprivileged and are fighting bigger battles in this time of crisis. While we are providing food packets to daily wage workers who have lost their jobs; we appeal to the citizens to connect with us if they want to contribute." Bhatkar said the volunteers have been proper instructions to take precautions when leaving their house.Meanwhile, Sree Kutchi Visha Oswal Jain Seva Samaj in Kurla has been distributing about 800 food packets to people working in essential services. MID DA
Mumbai: NGOs and citizen groups turn Hunger Heroes, feed the needy
Mumbai: Stepping up to the plate
Muslim elders appeal to brethren not to frequent mosques for prayers
After the complete lockdown announced by the Prime Minister, places of worship of all denominations are to be closed for three weeks. Realising that some people could still be trying to go to mosques for offering daily prayers, leading Muslim seminaries, bodies and clerics have issued an appeal to the community to stay indoors and offer prayers at home.Leading the way, Darul Uloom Deoband issued an appeal to people to avoid congregations. Islamic seminary encouraged people to establish prayer at home. Maulana Arshad Madani of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind added his weight to the call by asking the faithful to pray at home. “The jamaat in masjid can be done by the imam, muezzin or any other staffing staying within the mosque precincts. The cycle of establishing prayers can be kept in motion this way. Others need not drive down to masjid,” he said.“In the light of the government directives on corona virus, I would like to appeal to all mosques to find a solution to large congregations. A possible solution is that the azaan (prayer call) should be pronounced as usual but only imam, muezzin and other staffers participate in the obligatory prayer. Everybody should offer sunnah at home,” he said.Recounting a Hadith wherein Prophet told people not to go for a congregation if there was a danger of others catching the infection from him or vice-versa, a Jamaat-e-Islami Hind functionary asked the community members to establish prayer at home with spouse and children. The appeal followed a large congregation at the Jamaat headquarters last Friday.Imam Ahmad Bukhari of Delhi’s historic Jama Masjid used a loudspeaker to appeal to Old Delhi residents to stay indoors and avoid coming to the mosque. While most mosques shut the doors on worshippers from outside, in some mosques under the influence of Tablighi Jamaat skirmishes broke out between those in favour of continuation of prayers in collectivity and those asking for prayers in seclusion. Finally, it needed a word of caution from the internationally known scholar Tariq Jameel for the faithful to retreat. In a recorded appeal, Jameel asked them to avoid large congregations and instead pray at home. frontline
Bengal Muslim bodies urge people not to pray in mosques
Muslim organisations in West Bengal have urged people not to offer prayers in mosques in wake of COVID-19 pandemic. Tomorrow being Friday, Muslims offer congregational prayers in mosques in the afternoon.Bengal Imams’ Associations has asked all imams across the state to close mosques for the public. "In view of the present situation arising from COVID-19 pandemic, we are requesting all imams, secretaries and other members to close all gates of mosques for the public. Imams will give azaan (call for prayer) and offer namaz with their staff as usual. However, do not allow anyone to enter the mosques. Tell them to offer prayers at home. This is a temporary arrangement in the given situation. This will remain effective till Shab-e-Barat on April 9," the association said in a statement. Nakhoda Mosque in Kolkata will remain closed for the public. "Responding to central and state government guidelines to discourage large gatherings in places of religious worship, our managing committee has decided to close the mosque for public from Friday onwards. This has been done to fight the COVID-19 pandemic," Imam Shafiq Qazmi of Nakhoda Masjid said.Abdur Rafiq, president of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, West Bengal, said that imams are required to shorten their sermons. "We are not asking imams to stop holding namaz. We are asking them to shorten their sermons in case people come to offer prayers in mosques. We have asked them to ensure there are no large gatherings. We are also requesting our community members to offer prayers at home and not come to mosques.”West Bengal State Jamiat-e-Ulama said people should spend less time in mosques if at all they pay a visit. Indian Express
Vadodara mosque staff, 25 others booked for violating lockdown rule
Vadodara police Friday booked the maulvi and trustee of Gulmisra mosque in Wadi area of the city along with 25 others for offering Friday prayers in congregation at the mosque — in violation of the lockdown prohibitions imposed in the wake of COVID-19.According to the complaint filed, the police had received a tip-off about the congregation for the prayers at the mosque. When the police reached there, the accused allegedly locked the front door and fled from the rear gate. indianexpress
Delhi Minorities Commission asks Muslims to obey coronavirus lockdown orders
 Amid the nationwide lockdown to keep a check on the spread of coronavirus, the Delhi Minorities Commission has asked Muslims to strictly obey the curfew orders in force, practise social distancing and approach hospitals if they develop symptoms of COVID-19 infection.Zafarul-Islam Khan, chairman of the minorities’ panel, on Thursday issued a detailed statement in response to information that in Muslim-dominated areas such as Old Delhi, Zakir Nagar, Seelampur, Jaffrabad and Old Hyderabad, rules stipulating movement restrictions weren’t being followed to the letter.A noted Islamic scholar, Khan said Imams and mosque committees have been told to adhere to the restrictions, reduce congregational prayers to no more than four persons, including the Imam and muezzin. Everyone else has been asked to pray at home. “Preservation of human life is a primary duty of all. People must not pay attention to fake videos offering dubious advice and cures,” Khan said.newindianexpress
Muslim cleric, 27 others booked for defying COVID-19 lockdown
Bhopal: An offence was registered against a Muslim cleric and 27 others, for allegedly defying the COVID-19 lockdown, by offering prayers at a mosque in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal city, police said on Friday.Imam of Zainab Masjid in Islampura and others organised a prayer at 8 pm on Thursday, defying section 144 of CrPC and the nationwide lockdown, which is put in place to contain the spread of coronavirus.An FIR was registered against the Imam and 27 others, Talaiya police spokesman Babu Singh said.
Panic grips Deoband after reports of Kashmir COIVD-19 deceased's visit to Islamic seminary
 Panic gripped Islamic seminary Deoband in Saharanpur district of western Uttar Pradesh when it was revealed that the coronavirus positive patient who died in Kashmir recently had allegedly visited Deoband between March 9 and 11.As per the sources, the deceased, 65, from Hyderapore in Srinagar had visited Deoband, which is the seat of Asia biggest Islamic seminary, Dar-ul-Uloom. He had visited Deoband with a group five persons and had stayed in a mosque.The sources claimed that all those five who had visited Deoband with the man had also been quarantined at a special quarantine facility in Saharanpur.  Moreover, two cops, who had also offered namaz in the same mosque on March 13, were also sent on leave for home quarantine. Meanwhile, in another major development, a manhunt has been launched by UP police to track down a Kerala cadre IAS officer Anupam Mishra, who is a native of Sultanpur in UP, after he was suspended for violating quarantine norms while in the southern state.newindianexpress
Coronavirus: Uttar Pradesh To Release 11,000 Prisoners On Parole To Decongest Jails
UP govt has decided to free 11,000 prisoners lodged in 71 jails in the state amid COVID-19 outbreak in the country, an official statement stated on Saturday.The decision comes after the Supreme Court earlier this week directed all states and union territories to constitute high-level committees to consider releasing on parole or interim bail prisoners and undertrials for offences entailing up to 7-year jail term to decongest prisons in wake of coronavirus pandemic. SC had said overcrowding of prisons was a matter of serious concern, particularly in present context (of coronavirus).PTI
‘Despite Sporadic Cases, No Concrete Proof’: Govt Says No Community Transmission Yet as Cases Cross 900-Mark
The number of coronavirus cases in India crossed the 900-mark on Saturday but the government has ruled out the that the country is in stage-3 of the virus transmission, also defined as the community-transmission phase.Saying there was no concrete evidence yet, officials of the health ministry and the Indian Council of Medical Research, however said there have been “sporadic” cases where no foreign travel history or contact history with infected patients was established.As of now, the country has reported 918 confirmed coronavirus cases and 20 deaths.“We will not over-interpret the situation unless there is significant evidence of people getting infected,” said Dr R Ganga Ketkar, a senior official with ICMR said during the central health ministry’s daily briefing on the pandemic on Saturday.
Coming soon: Blood tests to map the scale of India’s coronavirus outbreak
India will soon start testing blood samples of people who do not have symptoms of coronavirus disease in an attempt to find the scale of the outbreak. Indian Council of Medical Research, which is overseeing the country’s testing regime, is procuring 10 lakh kits for these serological tests. “We will start [testing] as soon as we get the kits,” said Nivedita Gupta, a senior scientist at the ICMR.These testing kits will not be used by the ICMR for diagnostic purposes. To identify active Covid-19 patients, India employs RT-PCR or reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction test on nasal or throat swab samples of suspected patients. RT-PCR tests look for the presence of the virus in the DNA.In comparison, serological tests identify disease-fighting antibodies in the blood, and are useful to map the spread of the virus among those who may not have shown any symptoms at all.scroll
ICMR Study Suggests ICMR COVID-19 Testing Strategy Was Flawed
Bengaluru: As public health experts continue to wonder why India has such low rates of diagnostic tests for COVID-19 per capita, a recently published study by ICMR scientists indicates the council may have ignored its own analysis on the need for more aggressive testing.A mathematical model prepared by ICMR scientists almost two months ago suggested that simply isolating symptomatic international air passengers could not have helped delay a COVID-19 epidemic in India.In the model, published in a paper this month, scientists from ICMR compared a scenario of ‘no airport screening’ with three other scenarios in which airport screening detected all symptomatic cases. The researchers found that even flawless screening couldn’t have delayed a COVID-19 epidemic in India by more than 2.9 days because such screening wouldn’t capture infectious people who weren’t yet showing any symptoms (a.k.a. pre-symptomatic cases).The model also suggested that the only strategy that could appreciably ‘flatten the curve’ for India would be extensive testing of symptomatic people with no travel history, allowing up to 50% of all COVID-19 infections to be identified.thewire
'Super-spreader' Preacher Baldev Singh Puts 15 Punjab Villages on High Alert, Over 15,000 at Risk of Coronavirus Infection
At least 15,000 people who may have caught the coronavirus from a 'super-spreader' guru are under strict quarantine in northern India after the Sikh religious leader died of COVID-19.70-year-old guru, Baldev Singh, had returned from a trip to Europe's virus epicentre Italy and Germany when he went preaching in more than a dozen villages in Punjab state.It has sparked one of India's most serious alerts related to the pandemic and special food deliveries are being made to each household under even tighter restrictions than 21-day nationwide stay-at-home order imposed by the govt."The first of these 15 villages was sealed on March 18, and we think there are 15,000 to 20,000 people in the sealed villages," said Gaurav Jain, a senior magistrate for the district of Banga, where Singh lived."There are medical teams on standby and regular monitoring," he told AFP.19 people who were in contact with the preacher have already tested positive for the new virus, said Vinay Bublani, a local deputy police commissioner.Results are being awaited from more than 200 others.AFP
Meat vendors face restrictions, suffer losses amid virus outbreak
Vadodara :Ever since the announcement of the lockdown – first by the Gujarat government and then the nationwide by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 — meat shop owners have been apprehensive about running their business. Despite being in the list of essential services released by the Ministry of Home Affairs, meat shop owners say they are faced with restrictions by the local authorities on opening shutters as well as the unavailability of new stock in times of the COVID-19 lockdown.The market in Gujarat is largely unorganised with most meat shops running with licence from the local civic bodies but selling poultry does not need a licence, according to those in the business. The lockdown has meant totally downed shutters since the beginning of this week, resulting in most butchers staring at bleak days ahead.Faizan Warsi, who runs a shop in Jetalpur in Vadodara and earns a profit of about Rs 1,500-2,000 per day, says, “The police is not allowing us to move around to conduct our business. The moment we say we are meat sellers, policemen shoo us away from the roads. If we have goats, we also need to buy fodder until we rear them. We usually source this through sellers coming from villages in some parts of the city. Most of us decided to finish selling our stocks and close our shops until the lockdown situation is over.”indianexpress
All districts in Chhattisgarh to get 100 beds each for COVID-19 cases
Chhattisgarh government will provide 100 beds each to all districts of the state to deal with coronavirus cases, a senior official here said on Saturday. As many as 6 persons have tested positive for COVID-19 in Chhattisgarh, while swab reports of 81 people are awaited. Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel chaired a high-level meeting with his cabinet colleagues and officials late on Friday to review the steps taken to prevent the spread of the pandemic and to ensure supply of essentials during the 21-day lockdown, the official said. PTI
Assam: Stones pelted at policemen for enforcing lockdown, 12 arrested
Guwahati :12 people have been arrested for allegedly pelting stones at policemen during the lockdown in 2 separate incidents in Assam, officials said Saturday.In Bongaigaon district, when policemen went to shut down shops, they were pelted with stones on Saturday morning. In retaliation, police had to fire aerially.Singha Ram Mili, the SP Bongaigaon said, “They have not been following the orders, and shops other than the ones exempted, had opened. Police went to ask them to shut the shops. Once the market closed, a group of persons came out and pelted stones. We had to fire eight rounds in the air.” Four persons have been arrested till now in the incident.indianexpress

High-speed internet ban hampering journalism in Kashmir
At the day break photojournalists in Kashmir pack their bags with cameras and equipment to film the stories of coronavirus outbreak.With hardly any protective gear but with a never say no attitude these brave journalists are always on the move. They are going to hospitals and vulnerable places to bring the stories of hope and despair in the times of this enormous crisis.The government has banned high speed internet in Kashmir shut again after a prolonged lockdown since August 5 making the job of journalists even more difficult."We want that a similar lockdown is enforced in Kashmir as it is in the rest of the country, but we want that high speed Internet should be restored," Firdous Ilahai, a Srinagar based journalist. IANS
Job of police to facilitate journalists, not impede work: Editors Guild
Responding to the multiple cases of police stopping journalists from reporting in different parts of the country since the 21-day lockdown came into effect, the Editors Guild of India has said police needs to be reminded by the governments that journalists provide an essential service and are exempted.The Guild also said there should be regular minister-level briefings where the media gets the opportunity to ask questions.In a statement, the Guild said, “The job of the police is not to impede journalists’ work, especially under current circumstances, but to facilitate their functioning. The State and Union Territory governments and the police also need to be reminded that media has been exempted as an essential service under the current lockdown guidelines of Union Home Ministry.”indianexpress
Netizens agree as Omar Abdullah shares message that says barbers should be ‘essential service’
Many are finding solace in humour during the three-week lockdown in India, and since his release National Conference leader Omar Abdullah has been tickling the funny bone of people often with his “tips on surviving quarantine or a lockdown”. Now Abdullah has shared a bitmoji of himself and a message that jokingly says barbers should be an ‘essential service’ .The message that the National Conference leader shared read: “Govt should add barbers to essential service list, otherwise after quarantine there will be Omar Abdullah in every house [sic].” It was a reference to his long beard that grew while he was in captivity following the abrogation of Article 370 of the constitution, creating a buzz on social media.
University of Hyderabad faculty develops potential vaccine for coronavirus
A faculty member from University of Hyderabad (UoH) has designed what can be a potential vaccine against the coronavirus, called T-cell epitopes. To be studied in vitro for conclusive evidence, the research has been shared with the scientific community, the university stated.Seema Mishra of the Department of Biochemistry, School of Life Sciences, has created small coronaviral peptides or molecules used by cells to trigger an immune response to destroy infected cells. The university claims these potential vaccines are designed to not destroy human cells or proteins, while acting as an immune response against the virus. However, these results have to be investigated experimentally in order to provide conclusive evidence.indianexpress
*Coronavirus World*
Global cases top 600,000 with over 27,000 deaths; Europe's Death Toll Surges Past 20,000
The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 20,000 people in Europe, according to a tally of official figures gathered by AFP at 1415 GMT on Saturday. Europe is now the most affected continent with 20,059 deaths from a total of 337,632 cases. COVID-19 disease has killed 9,134 in Italy and 5,690 in Spain -- the two hardest-hit countries in the world, accounting for three quarters of all deaths in Europe.Spain's death toll from the coronavirus pandemic jumped to 5,690 on Saturday, with 832 patients dying in the past 24 hours, according to health ministry.The announcement came as the number of people infected with the virus in US hit more than 104,000, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally, with deaths surpassing 1,700. Italy, meanwhile, announced 919 new deaths from the coronavirus, the highest number of fatalities any country has reported in the space of 24 hours since the outbreak began late last year. The total number of people who have died as a result of COVID-19 in Italy now stands at 9,134. Worldwide, the number of cases has reached more than 600,000, of which more than 131,000 people have recovered. More than 27,000 have died. aljazeera
UK death toll passes 1,000
United Kingdom said 1,019 people had died after testing positive for coronavirus by 17:00 GMT on Friday, a rise of 260 in 24 hours.The number of people testing positive for the virus was 17,089 as of 09:00 GMT on Saturday, compared with an officially corrected number of 14,543 on Friday. Hello, this is Linah Alsaafin and I will be taking over the live blog.
Coronavirus: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Health Secretary Matt Hancock test positive
UK PM Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Friday. Johnson, 55, is the first head of government to have contracted the infection.“Over the last 24 hours I have developed mild symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus,” the prime minister wrote on Twitter, along with a video. “I am now self-isolating, but I will continue to lead the government’s response via video-conference as we fight this virus. Together we will beat this.”Johnson said he would continue to communicate with his team and lead UK’s fight against the pandemic. He also thanked doctors and volunteers for their work.Meanwhile, Matt Hancock, 41, announced on Twitter that he had also tested positive.
Swiss death toll reaches 235
The Swiss death toll from coronavirus has reached 235, rising from 197 people the previous day, according to the country's public health ministry. The number of confirmed cases also increased to 13,213 from 12,161 on Friday, it said. The Alpine country of 8.6 million is deploying army medical units at hospitals to help in crisis regions like Ticino, which borders hard-hit Italy, and has begun tapping its strategic stockpile of pharmaceuticals to cover rising demand.
Iran records 139 fresh Covid-19 deaths, toll goes over 2,500
Iran reports 139 new coronavirus deaths, raising total to 2,517. The confirmed cases are over 30,000. Iran’s health infrastructure is strong and ready to cope with a possible escalation in coronavirus cases, President Hassan Rouhani said.
Turkey suspends all international flights, expands restrictions
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has imposed additional nationwide restrictions to contain the spread of coronavirus in the country.While stopping short of declaring a lockdown, Erdogan on Friday announced the suspension of all international flights to and from Turkey as well as strict monitoring of domestic travel.As of Friday, the number of coronavirus-related deaths in Turkey had risen to 92, while total cases reached 5,698.aljazeera
Shrimp seller in Wuhan market may be Covid-19 patient zero: Report
A shrimp seller at the wet market in the Chinese city of Wuhan believed to be the centre of coronavirus pandemic, may be the first person to have tested positive for the disease, a media report said on Saturday.The report by the London-based Metro newspaper said that 57-year-old woman, named by the Wall Street Journal as Wei Guixian, was selling shrimp at the Huanan Seafood Market when she developed what she thought was a cold last December.Chinese digital news outlet, The Paper has said that she may be epatient zero'.Wei was told by doctors her illness was "ruthless" and other workers at the market had come to the Wuhan Union Hospital with the same symptoms, the Metro newspaper report quoted the outlet as saying. "Every winter, I suffer from the flu, so I thought it was the flu," the woman was quoted as saying by The Paper news outlet.The shrimp seller added that she believed she contracted the coronavirus from the shared toilet in the market.She said the fatal disease would have killed fewer people if the government had acted sooner.Wuhan Municipal Health Commission has confirmed that Wei was among the first 27 people to test positive for the coronavirus.It said she was one of 24 cases with direct links to the market, the Metro newspaper reported.IANS
China to send medical supplies to Pakistan
China's foreign ministry says the country is sending a plane containing medical personnel and supplies to aid Pakistan in the fight to contain the spread of COVID-19. Pakistan is a key link in China's ambitious multi-billion dollar, one-road project linking South and Central Asia to China. China is also a key military supplier for Pakistan, having supplied the country with missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons. Pakistan currently has 1,321 confirmed cases, 10 deaths and 23 patients who have recovered. Most of the infected people returned from Iran where the confirmed cases are more than 30,000 with more than 2,300 deaths. AP
Germany: COVID-19 measures in place until April 20
The measures taken in Germany to stem the spread of the coronavirus will continue to remain effective until at least April 20, a government minister said. Helge Braun, the head of the Chancellery and federal minister, said the government’s top priority is to not allow the blockage of the health system. “We are not going to alleviate the extreme measures until at least April 20. We will then re-negotiate the necessary steps to be taken for future,” Braun told daily.According to data compiled by the US-based John Hopkins University, more than 53,300 cases have been reported in Germany, with the death toll reaching 399 and over 6,600 recoveries.
COVID-19: Germany sees low fatalities despite high infection rate

Coronavirus: IMF says global economy has entered recession worse than the one of 2009
IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said on Friday that it is clear that the global economy has entered a recession worse than one of 2009, AFP reported. Georgieva added that worldwide economic activity has suddenly stopped due to the coronavirus pandemic, and that developing countries will need help worth trillions of dollars from the developed countries to revive their economies.IMF managing director said that the fund’s estimate “for the overall financial needs of emerging markets is $2.5 trillion”. However, she also warned that the estimate is on the “lower end” of the scale.
 *OTHERS*
Outrage as Adityanath Govt Uses Epidemic Diseases Act to Arrest CAA Dissenter
A case that reeks of brazen abuse of power at a time when citizens are hard pressed to place full faith on the state machinery to contain coronavirus pandemic has come to light in Uttar Pradesh. The police arrested Dr. Ashish Mittal on March 23. At the time, chief minister Adityanath had already imposed a lockdown. Mittal, who was one of the many supporters of the women-led anti-CAA protests had received warnings from the state police to get the dharna in Mansoor Park area of Prayagraj stopped, failing which “lawful action” could be taken against him. However, when he was arrested 2 days later, Uttar Pradesh police bizarrely slapped the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, against Allahabad-based doctor and another activist Umar Khalid, who was also put in police custody.Ashish, who graduated from AIIMS, New Delhi, is the general secretary of trade unionists’ body, All India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha (AIKMS).On March 23, district administration issued a notice to him to “immediately get the dharna by women stopped and fully cooperate with administration” and that if he does not do so, the authorities would assume his “full involvement” and “lawful legal action will be taken” against him. Curiously, two days later, Epidemic Diseases Act was invoked against him, despite the fact that the colonial era law that has been continuing in independent India had little bearing on charges against him. AIKMS feels that at a time when the state has a mammoth task to contain the spread of coronavirus in the state, the Act has been deliberately abused to shut down a democratic voice like Dr. Ashish Mittal’s. “…provisions of this Act have been abused against Dr. Ashish and Umar Khalid.  The provisions of the (Epidemic Diseases) Act have no bearing on the case against Dr. Mital,” trade union’s president, V. Venkataramaiah, said. Since Ashish’s arrest, several doctors from AIIMS too have registered their protests against such arbitrary police action against couple. thewire
Named, shamed, and living in fear: On Lucknow anti-CAA protests and the accused
On March 16, the Lucknow administration served a ‘demand notice’ against 20-year-old Osama Siddiqui and 12 others stipulating that they deposit ₹21.76 lakh, plus a 10% collection charge, within a week. If they did not, they faced confiscation of their property or even arrest under UP Revenue Code of 2006. As the family wasn’t home, officials pasted the bill on the door of their house in Khadra locality in old Lucknow.Yasmin Siddiqui, Osama’s mother, was agitated. Osama was accused of vandalism and arson during the protests against the CAA on Dec.19 in Lucknow. He is out on bail after spending three weeks behind bars. “Without any query, you have made him guilty. Our boy was not involved,” she said. The notice was issued after an ADM Court fixed liability against 13 persons for damaging public and private property in Hasanganj police station area during the protest. This particular demand notice was in continuation of the series of notices and orders served by the administration on 57 people, including 13 persons accused of vandalism with a “common object” in the city since late Dec.Those listed have been asked to cumulatively pay ₹1.56 crore as fine to the government or risk confiscation of their property. Even as the accused were trying to recover from the shock of receiving the notice, the administration escalated matters in a dramatic fashion on March 5, when, under the cover of the night, it erected around 100 large roadside hoardings at key parts of the city, showcasing names, photos and residential addresses of the accused. Scarred by the episode, Osama, a third-year B.Com student, declined to be interviewed. Siddiqui family’s ordeal offers a snapshot of the overall situation of the 57 accused. The unusual orders for recovery of damages and name-and-shame hoardings were an extension of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s call for “revenge” against those who vandalised public and private property on Dec.19.As an overwhelming number of the accused (52 out of 57) are Muslims, there is a strong feeling in community that UP govt’s action is disproportionate and discriminatory, and that it is indulging in excesses out of vendetta. The list also has 2 Ambedkarite Dalit activists, including a retired IPS officer. Many of those arrested in the case reported they faced communal slurs while in custody.A look at the profiles of 57 persons named and shamed indicates they are not as privileged as the government argued in court while opposing the suo motu notice. Barring a handful of social activists and clerics, most of those implicated are those struggling to make ends meet. Many are daily wage earners and labourers, with little political or social influence.thehindu
Temporary Retreat? Anti-CAA Protesters Want To Strike Back At Shaheen Bagh, Again
For over 3 months now, part of Shagufta Ahmad’s daily routine was to pass through the mirror between two worlds. On one side was the crushing banality of life in the ‘ghetto’—no wonderland. On the other, call of history. And as if on a mission, she toggled between the two. After winding up her household chores, the 43-year-old would join thousands of women at the Shaheen Bagh protest site at 6 am and leave for home at 7pm. Her beauty salon was temporarily closed and her school-going children’s life was in chaos. But her children are proud of their mother being a part of an iconic protest. It unfolded “in a corner of Okhla”, as a right-wing commentator had scoffed, but it was a corner that attracted international attention, and will lure historians in the future.Now that the Delhi government cleared the Shaheen Bagh protest site on March 25—everyone seemed to be itching for it—Shagufta’s salon may start functioning soon, the lockdown permitting. But there’s one thing she’s certain of: the protests have only hit a comma, not a full stop. It merely goes into hibernation for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. She wants the government to revoke the new citizenship law, and NPR/NRC process: she sees them as the enemy of her future, and that of her children. She is among lakhs of debutante protesters in India—none of them career activists—who behold the CAA as a discriminatory law, a harbinger of statelessness. Shagufta is affronted that the question is even asked. They had shifted to a symbolic protest, with only 5 women, during the ‘janata curfew’ on Sunday, she says. Political activist Kavita Krishnan tweeted that the police cleared away “a protest site that the brave women had already cleared”. Ritu Kaushik, a protester, wonders why the government removed them since they adhered to all the COVID-19 protocols. “We used to sit in small groups, followed all the guidelines. If the government was concerned about us, why didn’t they discuss our demands?” she asks.Women’s right activist Kalyani Menon Sen sees it as part of the state’s hostility. For Syed Taseer Ahmad, Shaheen Bagh is not a traffic-stopper but a path-breaker for all of India.Syed Irfan Habib, the historian, belongs to the first lot. He believes the Shaheen Bagh women have “made their point” emphatically. outlookindia
Shaheen Bagh Protests: 'Muslim Women Don't Need Saviours, They Were Saviours of the Idea of India'
Anti CAA Activist Akhil Gogoi Granted Bail By Gauhati HC After Hearing Via Video Conferencing
The Gauhati High Court has granted bail to Akhil Gogoi, who is facing charges of 'waging a war', for his involvement in protests against CAA.Justice Ajai Lamba heard his bail plea in a 'virtual court' in wake of Corona virus outbreak.Akhil Gogoi, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) leader and anti-CAA Activist, was accused of having 'committed various criminal acts with intent to facilitate design to wage war against the State, by means of using the passage of CAB  in Parliament as a cause.'The Judge said that Public Prosecutor was not able to show any actionable evidence or material that would indicate waging of war against the State, other than the accusations and contents of the document filed in opposition of bail. livelaw
Delhi Riot Victims Suffer Double Whammy of Homelessness and Lockdown
NEW DELHI:After pm Narendra Modi announced 21-day nationwide lockdown in order to contain the spread of COVID-19 or Coronavirus, the condition of Delhi violence victims has become pitiable. Even as they were busy in filing forms for riot relief, the lockdown has just shaken their life.In view of the epidemic, the Eidgah relief camp in Mustafabad area where hundreds of victim families were staying for 3 weeks was shut down by Delhi govt on March 24, making the families shelterless once more. Even though the government and NGOs have made arrangement for their stay in rented houses, they are facing problems of daily life.Talking to India Tomorrow, Sharique from Shiv Vihar, one of the worst affected localities in the northeast Delhi, said: “Our problems have gone manifold after the lockdown. After the violence, we were busy in removing debris of our destroyed home and awaiting monetary support from government, but now we have become dependent on our relatives. Till lockdown is in place, we cannot rebuild our home, nor look for source of livelihood.”Sharique’s home was torched by rioters on February 25. He is now living on a rented house in Govindpuri and awaiting government help.India Tomorrow
Delhi violence: Court dismisses bail pleas of 3 arrested for murder charges
New Delhi:A court Friday dismissed the bail pleas of three persons arrested in connection with the murder of a person during the recent communal violence in northeast Delhi over CAA.Metropolitan Magistrate Rakesh Kumar Rampuri dismissed the bail application of Chand Mohhd, Raiees Khan and Firoz on the ground that a magistrate court does not have the power to grant the relief to them as there were murder charges against them in the case.As per the provisions of law, a sessions court can hear a murder case. 3 were arrested for allegedly murdering Shahid, who died of gunshot injuries and his body was found on the roof of a building in Bhajanpura area where the violence took place.The police informed the court that Chand had confessed to raising anti-religious slogans and was present on the roof of the building when Shahid received gunshot injuries.Advocate Abdul Gaffar, appearing for the accused, argued that the 3 persons were falsely implicated in the case and were not involved in the murder of Shahid or Ratan Lal.PTI
Indian Airlines in Immediate Danger of Insolvency: Industry Body In Letter to Modi
New Delhi: Indian airlines are currently in “grave and immediate danger” of insolvency as a result of disruption in air travel due to the coronavirus pandemic that can reduce about 5.75 lakh jobs in Indian aviation industry, global airlines body IATA has told Prime Minister Narendra Modi.In a letter to the PM dated March 24, Alexandre De Juniac, director general of International Air Transport Association (IATA), said, “IATA estimates that COVID-19 could result in a 9 per cent loss in passenger volumes and US$2.1 billion loss in passenger base revenues for the air transport market in India in 2020”.India is currently under a 21-day lockdown from March 25 to curb the spread of coronavirus. Therefore, all domestic and international commercial flights have been suspended during this period.“The disruptions in air travel from COVID-19 could reduce about 575,000 jobs and US$3.2 billion in GDP supported by the air transport industry in India,” Juniac said in the letter.IATA has around 300 airlines as its members, comprising around 82 per cent air traffic globally.PTI
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind condemns attack on Sikhs in Kabul
New Delhi:A day after the attack on a gurudwara in Kabul left at least 25 Sikhs dead, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) on Thursday condemned the attack.The Jamaat said that the Muslim community of India stands shoulder to shoulder with their Sikh brothers and sisters in their hour of grief and extend condolences to the families of those who died in this attack and prays for the speedy recovery of those who are injured.JIH President Syed Sadatullah Hussaini said: "We are extremely saddened by the brutal attack on Sikh community in Kabul. These types of attacks are an open violation of human rights and international humanitarian law and deserve maximum condemnation by all. Those who are behind this attack must be brought to justice and deserve strict punishment.""The targeting of religious minorities must end immediately. The Afghan govt must ensure the security of the Sikh community that has played a stellar role in the building of Afghanistan," he said.Praising Sikh community for its humanitarian work, JIH said that it is at the forefront of relief and rehabilitation activities all over the world in times of national calamities and injustice perpetrated on innocent people.IANS
Punjab CM, pro-Khalistan outfit request MEA to evacuate Sikhs from Afghanistan after attack: timesnownews
New Delhi: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh who had called CAA divisive and passed a resolution against it has now sought help from the MEA for the evacuation of Sikh families stranded in Afghanistan."Dear S. Jaishankar, there are a large number of Sikh families who want to be flown out of Afghanistan," the Chief Minister tweeted. Requesting the MEA to airlift the Sikhs at the earliest, Singh said, “In this moment of crisis, it's our bounden duty to help them.”Jaswant Singh Thekedar, the founder of Dal Khalsa - a Sikh separatist organisation, has also requested the Indian government to shelter the remaining families of Sikhs and Hindus from Afghanistan.
Former union minister and SP leader Beni Prasad Verma passes away
Former union minister and Samajwadi Party leader Beni Prasad Verma passed way in Lucknow on Friday.He was 79.“The demise of senior Samajwadi Party leader, Rajya Sabha MP and former Union Minister Beni Prasad Verma is an irreparable loss. Condolences to the bereaved family,” Samajwadi Party tweeted.A founding member of the SP, Verma was considered close to party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav. The Rajya MP had not been keeping well for past few days. He was admitted to a private hospital in Lucknow, where he died around 7 pm.Verma was the telecom minister between 1996-1998 in then prime minister H D Deve Gowda’s cabinet and was the steel minister in Congress-led UPA government.indianexpress
Brahmakumaris chief Dadi Janki passes away
Jaipur:Rajyogini Dadi Janki, the chief of Brahmakumaris Sansthan, the world’s largest spiritual organisation run by women, passed away at the age of 104 after prolonged illness.She breathed her last at 2 am on Friday at a hospital in Mount Abu. She was suffering from respiratory and stomach-related problems for the last two months, an official statement said.PTI
*views, Articles, FEATURES*
State’s measures to fight coronavirus are stripping the poor of dignity and hope:Harsh Mander
US-China Spat Ensures UN Security Council is Missing in Action on COVID-19 Pandemic:Jay Manoj Sanklecha
Is the National Lockdown in India Constitutionally Valid?by Sanjoy Ghose
A thousand die of Tuberculosis every day, now coronavirus likely to accelerate the number:Soroor Ahmed
Lockdown impact: Depression, angst, anxiety sets in; know how to deal with it
Relatively unscathed by the pandemic: Curious cases of Germany and Japan:Ashis Ray
“This BJP govt is more cruel than the British Raj”
CAA, Coronavirus, And Civil Rights At The Bar Of The High Courts:Gautam Bhatia
 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:22 PM).



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