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Monday, 30 March 2020

30 MARCH NEWS: ‘Bigger problem than coronavirus’: SC seeks Centre’s response on migrants’ exodus as 22 Migrant Workers, Kin Have Died Trying to Return Home Since Lockdown Started. Bodies of Those Who Died of COVID-19 Will be Cremated Irrespective of Deceased's Religion: Mumbai Municipal Corporation. Parts of Delhi’s Nizamuddin West cordoned off after Covid-19 cases traced to area



NEWS DIGEST, EVENING
 30 March 2020: 4 Shahban 1441: Vol:12, No:168
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*Coronavirus india*
 ‘Bigger problem than coronavirus’: SC seeks Centre’s response on migrants’ exodus
New Delhi :Taking note of the exodus of migrant workers from the national capital and other cities, the Supreme Court on Monday said that the panic and fear among citizens is becoming a “bigger problem than coronavirus”, and sought a response from the Centre by Tuesday on the measures taken to prevent travel during the lockdown period.Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justice L Nageswara Rao, who were listening to 2 separate pleas via video-conferencing, said it would wait for the Centre’s status report before passing any direction.In their pleas, advocates Alakh Alok Srivastava and Rashmi Bansal sought relief, including food, water, medicines and proper medical facilities, for thousands of migrant workers who have been leaving for their native places after being rendered homeless and jobless due to the 21-day lockdown over coronavirus pandemic.Appearing for Centre, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said the mass exodus needs to come to a halt to prevent the spread of the virus which has infected over 1,000 across the country so far. He added that both the central and state governments have taken requisite steps to deal with it.The bench said, “We would not deal with the things, which govt is already doing. We would like to wait for the report of Centre”.In his petition, Bansal suggested that sanitisers can be sprinkled on groups of migrant labourers to disinfect them, and mid-day meal providers should be roped in to provide food.To Bansal’s remarks, the bench said, “You are assuming that government is not doing anything. It is advising us on what steps to be taken. Let us see what they are doing. Let them file a common reply on both these petitions?. Bansal also said that counsellors could be deployed for these migrant workers, who are trying to leave cities due to fear and panic.“This fear and panic is a bigger problem than this virus”, bench observed, adding, “we are not going to add to the confusion by issuing directions which are already being taken care of by govt.” Indianexpress
22 Migrant Workers, Kin Have Died Trying to Return Home Since Lockdown Started
New Delhi: The total number of lockdown-related deaths stands at 22.Aside from these deaths, and those of 2 others who were not migrant workers, an 11-year-old boy also reportedly died of hunger on March 27 in Bhojpur area of Bihar as the family could not arrange for food due to the strict implementation of the lockdown. The total number of deaths due to the lockdown is now 20.On March 23, Modi announced 3-week national lockdown at 8 pm. Since stores and vendors selling essentials typically bring their shutters down in many parts of the country by that hour, particularly in small towns and villages, Modi’s sudden announcement triggered considerable panic among public countrywide, forcing people to stepout of their homes to procure food and other necessary items that night itself – thus overturning the very principle of social distancing PM had advocated. thewire
Bodies of Those Who Died of COVID-19 Will be Cremated Irrespective of Deceased's Religion: Mumbai Municipal Corporation
As Mumbai battles the coronavirus pandemic, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Monday said all Covid-19 casualties will have to be cremated to minimise possibilities of spreading the virus.“All bodies of #COVID19 patients should be cremated irrespective of religion. Burial will not be allowed. The funeral should not involve more than 5 people,” Praveen Pardeshi, Commissioner of BMC said in statement.According to the circular, the bodies of persons who have died of COVID-19 will be cremated irrespective of their religion.Rituals of touching the body should be avoided, the statement said.Under Epidemic Diseases Act, local authorities are empowered to decide on the steps, including disposal of bodies to curb the spread of disease. BMC also said that 47 more people tested positive for coronavirus in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) on Monday. 38 of them are residents of Mumbai, while 9 are from outside Mumbai but got tested and are being treated in the city. The death toll in Mumbai rose to 8.HT/PTI
Parts of Delhi’s Nizamuddin West cordoned off after Covid-19 cases traced to area
Early Monday morning, Delhi Police sealed portions of Nizamuddin West area — a day after six of the 23 fresh COVID-19 cases in the Capital were traced to the area. They had attended an event held at a mosque in the area last month.DCP (Southeast) RP Meena said, “All of Nizamuddin West has not been sealed. We have cordoned off an area, starting from the mosque, to the Dargah, right up till the police station.”He said apart from barricading, at least 80-100 police personnel have been deployed to ensure that no one steps out at all. “We are also using one drone to keep track the movement of people in this area,” Meena said.A police officer said that apart from police personnel and health department officials, no one in the area is allowed to move around.On Sunday, it came to the fore that six of the 23 people, admitted to AIIMS, Jhajjar, are part of the Tablighi Jamaat outfit, and had attended an event at mosque in Nizamuddin West last month. The authorities are tracing around 1,000 people that these six people, who are not Delhi residents, have been in touch with. Nizamuddin West was zeroed in after an 80-year-old resident was tested positive Saturday. A resident of the area said, “Since last night, there has been heavy police presence, and we haven’t stepped out of the house at all. We are scared since there are several people still inside the mosque… None of us are stepping out to even buy ration. There is also a drone here.”An official from the Nizamuddin Dargah — which is a few metres away — said that the premises are being sanitised at least thrice a day and announcements are being made to ensure that no one visits the Dargah.
Coronavirus | 200 people from Nizamuddin develop symptoms; area cordoned off
Coronavirus in India: With over 80 new cases, tally crosses 1200-mark
New Delhi:The number of novel coronavirus cases in India has climbed to 1,190 after over 50 fresh cases were recorded on Monday morning. The death toll due to Covid-19, meanwhile, has crossed the 30-mark.The total number of Covid-19 cases stands at 1,190 at 3 pm on Monday, while 110 people have been either cured or discharged and deaths in Maharashtra, West Bengal, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, taking the death toll to 35. Maharashtra, the worst hit, has reported the most deaths (seven) so far, followed by Gujarat (six), Karnataka (three), and Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, West Bengal and Jammu and Kashmir (two each). Kerala, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh have reported a death each.Maharashtra and Kerala remain the states with the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country.The highest number of confirmed cases of the pandemic has been reported from Maharashtra with 216 infections so far, followed by Kerala at 213. Karnataka has reported 83 cases till now, while the number of cases has gone up to 70 in Telangana. UP and Delhi have reported 76 and 72 cases respectively, Gujarat 69, while the number of cases in Rajasthan has climbed to 60.Tamil Nadu on Monday saw 17 new cases. The state tally which was at 50 on Sunday now stands at 67.Punjab has reported 39 cases, while 35 Covid-19 cases have been detected in Haryana. There are 46 cases of coronavirus in Jammu and Kashmir, followed by Madhya Pradesh (47), AP (23), West Bengal (22) and Ladakh (13).Bihar has 15 cases, while 10 cases have been reported from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Chandigarh has eight cases, while Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand have reported seven cases so far.Goa has reported 5 coronavirus cases, while Himachal and Odisha have reported three cases each. Puducherry, Mizoram and Manipur have reported a case each.India Today
Tamil Nadu frets over coronavirus risk from 1,500 who attended religious event in Delhi
Tamil Nadu on Sunday saw a sudden surge in the number of novel coronavirus cases. The number jumped up to 50 cases on Sunday, as four members from one family were infected. 4 were indirect contacts of 2 Thai nationals admitted at the IRT Medical College in Perundurai near Erode.Thai nationals had reportedly come to India to attend a conference organised by the Thowheed Jamaath, an Islamic organisation, in Delhi. The event was held in the first week of March. Thowheed Jamaath conference in Delhi saw participation by Islamic preachers from across Asia, including countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan and China. At least 1,500 people from Tamil Nadu attended the conference, out of which the state government has finally arrived at a list of 819 persons to trace.“The names have been given out to the police officials and we are tracking these 819 people as we suspect that they could be infected,” tells a senior official in the health department.The number of attendees has, literally, become a cause of concern for the authorities as these people, along with at least 50 Islamic preachers from Thailand, Indonesia and Kyrgyzstan, had fanned out to various places in Tamil Nadu such as Chennai, Kancheepuram, Chengalpet and Adirampattinam in Thanjavur.The preachers are reportedly staying in local mosques in these districts to visit the homes of the Muslims there and preach Islam. According to authorities in Thanjavur, at least 32 Muslim pilgrims—12 from Indonesia and 10 each from Bengaluru and West Bengal—have been quarantined and are being monitored closely.Another group of 10 Malaysian pilgrims, who arrived in Chennai, left for Malaysia on March 20 after staying in the Mamood Masjid at Mannady in Chennai. theweek
No plan to extend 21-day lockdown: Govt
Govt today said there was no plan to extend 21-day lockdown which came introforce on Tuesday. PIB of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting tweeted, saying Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba has denied media reports claiming that government will extend the lockdown. “There are rumours & media reports, claiming that Govt will extend #Lockdown21 when it expires.Cabinet Secretary has denied these reports, and stated that they are baseless,” it said. 21-day lockdown is aimed at checking the spread of the coronavirus.Following the lockdown, there has been a massive exodus of migrant workers from big cities to their villages after being rendered jobless. PTI
'We can still fail, if even one person fails to cooperate:Govt
India has reported 39 deaths and cases count has crossed 1000 so far, Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary- Health & Family Welfare tells in a virtual media conference.It has taken 12 days for India to reach 1000 cases, while in several nations has seen even up to 8000 cases in this time period, he adds.We have been able to achieve this because of cooperation of public, our collective preemptive action, social distancing and lockdown, he says. However we are dealing with an infectious disease. We can still fail, if even one person fails to cooperate, he warns.We have given guidelines on how public places ought to be disinfected, he says. 38,442 tests have been conducted so far. 3,501 of were done yesterday.Below 30% of testing capacity,says ICMR Chief Dr. Raman Gangakhedkar. thehindu
23 more COVID-19 cases in Delhi: ‘Likelihood of a surge in the coming days’
Delhi recorded a 47% spike in coronavirus cases as 23 more people tested positive for the disease Sunday, taking the total number of cases in the capital to 72.This is the highest single-day jump in the city so far.Of the 23, six people, who have been admitted to AIIMS Jhajjar, are part of Tablighi Jamaat outfit and attended an event held at a Nizamuddin West mosque last month, a Delhi health dept official said, adding that more people who were part of the gathering or may have been in touch with the group are being identified and quarantined. 6 are not residents of Delhi.IndianExpress
Mosques must create awareness about coronavirus 4 times a day using loudspeakers: K'taka Waqf Board
Karnataka State Waqf Board Chief Executive Officer has instructed Mosques administration committees across state to use loudspeakers and announce precautionary measures to be taken to contain the spread of coronavirus.It has been instructed that the Mosques administration must playv trilingual audio clip given to them every day.UNI
K'taka: 19 booked for violating lockdown
Bagalkot: The district police have registered criminal cases against 19 people who had allegedly participated in a community prayer at a mosque in the town last night, police said on Sunday.According to police, the accused had assembled in a Patteshawali Darga on Saturday night to offer 'Namaj' (prayers) and were disbursed. The police have also registered cases and filed FIR for violating the nationwide lockdown announced by Union Government to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 disease.UNI
Gujarat: 34 booked for gathering to offer namaz in Rajpipla
 34 men were booked in Rajpipla town of Narmada district on Sunday for assembling to offer namaaz at a local madrassa.All of them had gathered in a small room near the market area at about 2pm and were spotted in the drone being used by police to catch those violating prohibitory orders in the ditrict, said the cops.Police said they will also start the process to arrest them in groups of three.According to the police, prohibitory orders are in place and people have been asked not to gather at one spot due to lockdown.“We began using the drone from Sunday in town areas. When the drone captured the images of so many men gathering near madrassa, our team reached the spot and booked them for violating prohibitory orders,” said A M Gamit, PSI, Rajpipla police station.“Inside the madrassa, 34 persons led by the maulvi, were offering namaz. All of them were detained and a complaint of flouting police notification was registered against them. We haven’t arrested them in groups yet due to health department advisory,” Gamit told TOI.TOI
After 277 km in 6 days, group of 16 labourers starts 600 km trudge to reach hometown
The walked 277 km from Amritsar to Sadul Shahar in Rajasthan, from where they set off for Gangapur city, their native place, another 600 km away. A group of 16 including two women and two toddlers reached Sadul Shahar around 11 am on Sunday – their sixth day on foot. As the borders were sealed, they entered through the forest area. One of them, a man who had covered his face with a towel, said, “villagers (in Sadul Shahar) provided us food and a place to rest. We had reached Amritsar on March 20 for labour work. We were supposed to work there throughout the summer season. But then lockdown was announced and we got stuck there itself. Hence we started walking from Amritsar on March 24. In between, we took lifts on some tempo or truck to get some rest. We slept on the roadside wherever we stopped. On the way, some people were nice enough to offer us langar. Whatever little money we had is finished, so we had to come back.” As they walked, the group took turns to carry the two children. Another man said, “We didn’t know that the borders had been sealed so we walked through the forest area. If Rajasthan govt can help us reach our village, it would be a great help. Past few days have been an ordeal for us.”indianexpress
Surat: Police fire tear gas shells as textile workers turn violent after being barred from going home
Surat city police lobbed 30 tear gas shells to disperse an angry mob of textile factory workers who attacked the cops when stopped from leaving for their homes in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and other states late Sunday.A mob of around 500 came on to the streets confronting the police, which charged at them with lathis to drive them back to Pandesara, where they live in colonies. This led to stone-pelting, where three police vehicles were damaged by the angry crowd. The police later arrested 96 people on charges of rioting.All the arrested are textile labourers who wanted to walk back to their native places in UP, Bihar, and so on. Due to the lockdown and shortage of food in the textile labour colonies in Surat city, thousands of workers left their rented rooms and started walking to the reach national highway around 20 km away.Near Sachin, these labourers walking in groups were stopped by the police and told that there were no other transport services running on the highways. However, the workers, mostly working in the powerloom factories and dyeing and printing units in Surat city, insisted on continuing their journey.indianexpress
COVID-19 impact: Rising financial crunch hampers Haj plan for many Chhattisgarh Muslim families
RAIPUR: First it was the economic downturn and now the lockdown, several Muslim families in Chhattisgarh, jubilant finding their names in the selected list through the draw of lots (known as Haj Qurrah) in January this year, are apparently disillusioned struggling with financial crunch.Their sound financial planning required ahead of the Haj pilgrimage virtually collapsed. With the ongoing recession having impacted the sources of earning and the expenses of many, over 40 out of 469 Muslims selected through transparent online process are not responding to Chhattisgarh State Haj Committee's repeated reminders to pay their instalments.The apprehension is many more might call off their plan for Haj, which is fifth pillar of Islam. “Such situation never arose before. Surprisingly there is already low response for Haj compared to previous three years, with only 908 applications received. 469 finally selected through Qurrah in January this year. But so far 40 not deposited their first instalment and the passports with the Haj Committee. We fear the number of persons opting for cancellation of their Haj pilgrimage might be the highest ever by June when the departure for Makkah and Madina begins”, said Sajid Memon, chief executive officer of Chhattisgarh state Haj Committee. Those who couldn’t pay their instalments to the Haj committee, admitted the poor decisions on their financial planning is now forcing them to prioritise saving of their income for the coming months as they are badly hit both by economic slowdown and coronavirus concerns.
Lack of coordination with Centre, Bihar govt wakes up to migrant crisis
Patna :With more than 30,000 migrants reaching border towns of Bihar via Uttar Pradesh and another one lakh likely to arrive by Monday evening, the Bihar government now seems to have woken up to the challenge of the return of migrants.When the Prime Minister announced the 21-day lockdown, the Bihar government neither anticipated this crisis nor prepared for this challenge. While it was trying to prepare its district and sub-division towns to gradually screen migrants reaching villages and small towns, it seemed to be in denial about the scale of the crisis.Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, who was upset at UP and Delhi govts for allowing migrants to violate lockdown and expressed apprehensions about the spread of COVID-19, has spoken to his counterparts from at least five states, including Maharashtra, requesting them to hold people where they are by setting up camps to provide them food, shelter and medical aid.Bihar disaster department principal secretary Pratyaya Amrit said, “We are setting up six transit camps along Bihar and UP borders. By Monday, we are expecting 1.30 lakh people to reach the borders of the state. We would provide food and stay and would take them to schools in their villages and panchayat bhavans where there are arrangements for their food, stay and self-quarantine.” indianexpress
Organisations Write To Rajasthan CM, Urge to Provide Food and Shelter to Migrant Labourers
 Several civil society organisations have the state govt to provide food, shelter and medical facilities to migrant labourers during 21-day lockdown in view of coronavirus.They said that since most of the industries in the country stay shut due to lockdown announced by Central govt, workers from unorganized sector have been struggling to arrange food for themselves and their families.These demands have been made in a joint letter by PUCL, Centre for Equity Studies, Construction and General Labour Union, Majdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan, Indian Knowledge and Science Committee, Helping Hands Jaipur and AUMA Foundation. The letter has been addressed to CM Ashok Gehlot and state chief secretary.India Tomorrow
Coronavirus: In Bareilly, migrants returning home sprayed with 'disinfectant'
Migrant labourers returning to their homes from cities were forced by the administration in Bareilly to take an open bath in groups with disinfectant before they were allowed entry into the district.As per a footage of the incident, a group of migrants, including women, were seen squatting on the road near a checkpoint in Bareilly as officials in full protection gear spray a solution through a hose pipe on them. The migrants are not only clothed but also have their luggage strapped onto their bodies even as they get drenched. While at least 2 officials film the incident, one of them can be heard asking the migrants to keep their eyes closed. thehindu
Last call of man who died walking: Lene aa sakte ho toh aa jao
Morena (mp) : The audio file is 42 seconds long. On one end is a loud, animated voice. Screaming, beseeching. “Ask someone to give you a lift till Morena. Hello? Hello?” Silence.Then more urgently: “Call 100. Is there no ambulance? Can they not drop you? Hello?” Still silence.Then, a heavy breath crackles through. Defeated by the lockdown that made him walk over a hundred kilometres from Delhi in a desperate bid to reach home in MP. And, perhaps, the knowledge that these were the last words to his family. “Lene aa sakte ho toh aa jao (Come get me if you can).”This was the last time they heard the voice of 38-year-old Ranveer Singh, before he collapsed due to exhaustion and died of a heart attack Saturday in Agra, well over 100 km still to go.Ranveer was one among countless migrant workers walking home from big cities to their villages, where new rules of isolation and quarantine await.indianexpress
No more essential and non-essential: curbs on goods transport lifted
New Delhi :In yet another change in guidelines for enforcing the lockdown, Centre on Sunday allowed transport of “all goods” and not just essential commodities. Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla sent a letter to chief secretaries of all states and UTs clarifying what is allowed as per the latest order. This followed a video conference of trade and industry stakeholders with Railways and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday, where they said a protocol must be set in place so that factories can start production again, and that existing stocks would last only around three more weeks.The Home Secretary’s letter said, “transportation of all goods, without distinction of essential and non-essential, (has) been allowed”. “Groceries include hygiene products such as handwashes, soaps, disinfectants, body wash, shampoos, surface cleaners, detergents and tissue papers, toothpaste/oral care, sanitary pads and diapers, battery cells, chargers etc,” it said, adding that newspaper supply chain was also included in this.indianexpress
Jammu: Thousand miles away from home, without job, shelter
Jammu : A labourer from Chhattisgarh, Rajan Singh, 25, has made the verandah outside a closed shop in faraway Jammu his temporary shelter for the last nine days.After celebrating Holi with his parents and children back at home, he arrived in Jammu by train on March 21. Instead of heading to his rented accommodation at Talab Tillo, nearly 10 km from Jammu railway station, he decided to wait on the platform for his wife, Sunita, who was to arrive on March 23.That was not to be.On march 22 came the public curfew, followed by the 21-day countrywide lockdown announced on March 24. After trains got suspended, the police started clearing the railway station area, and Rajan said he took refuge under the verandah of a closed shop nearby. Nine days on, he still waits for his wife, who is held up at Pathankot.indianexpress
Coronavirus | J&K decongests jails, after holding 700 lockdown ‘violators’ in lock-ups
In a major step to decongest the territory’s prisons, the J&K administration revoked the Public Safety Act (PSA), a law dealing with preventive detention, of 31 prisoners in J&K. “Eleven [of those] to be released were lodged in the Kotbalwal Jail, 14 in the Srinagar Central Jail, four in a Rajouri jail and two in Kathua,” an official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.However, at least 700 civilians, who were designated as ‘violators’ by the police and booked for their movements on the roads, were detained for hours together in police stations across the region, with many allegedly detained for days.Police sources said Block Development Council (BDC) Chairman Muhammad Yasin Sheikh from Handwara’s Dolipora was arrested and detained for at least three days for “his movement in Dolipora and arguing with the policemen”. He wad lodged at the Police Station Vilgam, Handwara, and booked under Sections 353 and 506. Vilgam police detained 15 “violators” on March 24 and held them together in the police station. A total of 35 civilians were arrested across the entire Handwara area on that day. thehindu
Part of religious group, man from Ivory Coast and NRI from France test positive in Ahmednagar
2 foreign nationals— one from Ivory Coast and other an NRI from France— tested positive for novel coronavirus  in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar on Sunday. The duo, members of a Muslim Jamaat involved in Islamic preaching and education, had come to India with another group of nine persons on January 4 via Mauritius. The group, with members between 30 and 50 years of age, travelled in two different trains and reached Ahmednagar on March 16.The group of 14 people included three from East Africa, 6 from Ivory Coast (West Africa), NRI from France and one from Iran. Three others from Tamil Nadu and one from Mumbai joined them later.District Civil Surgeon Dr Pradeep Murambikar said as per their travel history, the group had travelled to Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai from January till March. On March 13, they were joined by 3 others, and the group travelled via Nizamuddin Express and another train to Ahmednagar. They stayed at a local mosque in Ahmednagar and then went to Jamkhed. indianexpress
Covid-19: India pulls out all staff from consulates in Herat, Jalalabad
New Delhi: India has shifted all personnel at its consulates in Herat and Jalalabad to the Afghanistan capital of Kabul because of concerns related to Covid-19 pandemic, people familiar with developments said on Sunday. People cited above said on condition of anonymity the decision to move the diplomats and other staff was made because the consulate at Herat is located very close to the border with Iran and the region has seen a massive influx of Afghan refugees and workers from the neighbouring country that has been hit hard by Coronavirus. It was also felt that the medical facilities in both Herat and Jalalabad were not as good as those available in Kabul, the people said. This is probably the first step taken by the Indian government to relocate its diplomatic staff due to Covid-19-related concerns. It also came in the wake of attack on Sikhs worship place in Kabul due to the strong security measures at the Indian mission in the Afghan capital.HT
PM appreciates Omar Abdullah’s call for social distancing following his uncle’s death
PM Narendra Modi on Monday condoled the death of Omar Abdullah’s uncle and appreciated ex Jammu and Kashmir chief minister’s call to supporters to respect guidelines and not gather at either his residence or the graveyard. Prayers from home will give peace to his uncle’s soul, Abdullah tweeted on Twitter on Sunday night while announcing the death of Dr Mohammed Ali Mattoo in Srinagar following a brief illness. PM offered his condolences and said, “In this hour of grief, your call to avoid any large gathering is appreciable and will strengthen India’s fight against COVID-19.” Replying to the prime minister, Abdullah said, “My family joins me in thanking you very much for your message of condolence jenab.Your prayers for the departed soul are much appreciated.”indianexpress
Coronavirus lockdown | Dairy, vegetable farmers count losses in Assam
The inability to transport their produce because of the coronavirus lockdown has forced small dairy farmers in Assam throw away hundreds of litres of milk while vegetable growers are letting their crop rot or dumping nearby for animals.Some 1,500 members of Sitajakhala Dugdha Utpadak Samabai Samiti Ltd in the Morigaon district dumped about 10,000 litres of milk in rivers and streams during the first two days of the lockdown. This was because the milk could not be consumed locally after efforts to transport them to the urban centres had failed. The milk processing plant of the 58-year-old cooperative society is situated about 65 km east of Guwahati. thehindu
*Coronavirus World*
Coronavirus Pandemic: Global Death Toll Crosses 35,000-mark as Infections Top 7 Lakh
 The global death toll rising from the coronavirus pandemic has crossed 35,000-mark today, according to a report by John Hopkins University, with the number of positive cases crossing 7 lakh. The global death toll due to the coronavirus pandemic has crossed 35,000, according to US' John Hopkins University.Italy has 10,779 deaths and has recorded 97,689 cases, Spain 7,340 deaths out of 85,195 cases, mainland China 3,304 deaths and 81,470 cases, Iran 2,757 deaths and 41,495 cases and France 2,606 fatalities and 40,174 cases.A Greek woman aged in her 70s became the first person to die of COVID-19 on the Greek Aegean island of Lesbos, where the overcrowded Moria migrant camp is based. AFP
Coronavirus | Spain announces 812 virus deaths in 24 hours, death toll at 7,340
Spain confirmed another 812 deaths in 24 hours from COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the total number of deaths to 7,340, according to health ministry figures.It is the first decline in the number of deaths in a 24-hour period since Thursday in Spain, which has the world’s second most deadly outbreak after Italy. Spain recorded 838 virus deaths on Sunday. The number of confirmed cases in Spain has now reached 85,195 - after the one-day increase of 8%.However, officials have pointed to a slower growth rate for both deaths and confirmed cases and expressed hope that the peak of the outbreak was approaching.The percentage increase in the number of deaths on Monday over the previous day was of 12.4%, less than half increase of 27% recorded on Wednesday.AFP
Iran reports 117 new coronavirus deaths, toll at 2757
Iran had 117 new COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 2,757, a health ministry spokesman said on Monday, prompting the Middle East's worst-hit country to consider tougher curbs on movement.The total number of infections climbed to 41,495.“In the past 24 hours we had 117 new deaths and 3,186 new confirmed cases of people infected with the coronavirus,” Kianush Jahanpur told State TV, calling on Iranians to stay at home.To stem the spread of the virus in crowded jails, Iran's judiciary on Sunday extended furloughs for 100,000 prisoners. On March 17, Iran said it had freed about 85,000 people from jail temporarily, including political prisoners.REUTERS
Coronavirus | Israeli PM Netanyahu enters quarantine after aide tested positive
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said on Monday that he will enter quarantine after an aide on Knesset affairs tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). Neyanyahu’s office said the step was a precaution and is being taken even before the epidemiological investigation has been concluded, Haretz newspaper reported.Israel is under total lockdown with people not allowed to even walk beyond 100 metres from their homes and have been generally advised to go out only to stock up food.So far, 4,347 Israelis have tested positive for the coronavirus, with the vast majority of cases mild and 134 recoveries. 16 patients have died and 95 are in serious condition. One Israeli tourist died in Italy, the paper said.PTI
UK's Prince Charles 'out of self-isolation and in good health'
British heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles, 71, who had tested positive for coronavirus, is out of self-isolation and is in good health, his spokesman said.“Clarence House has confirmed today that, having consulted with his doctor, Prince of Wales is now out of self-isolation,” spokesman said.- Reuters
Tokyo Olympics rescheduled for July 23 to August 8 in 2021
Tokyo Olympics will open next year in the same time slot scheduled for this year’s games.Tokyo organizers said the opening ceremony will take place on July 23, 2021 — almost exactly one year after the games were due to start this year.Last week, the IOC and Japanese organizers postponed the Olympics until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.This year’s games were scheduled to open on July 24 and close on Aug. 9. But the near exact one-year delay will see the rescheduled closing ceremony on Aug. 8. - PTI
Coronavirus a product of evolution, may have been in humans for years: Study
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve, infecting millions worldwide, a team of scientists has discovered that Covid-19 could have spread among humans for years or even decades before now. According to findings published in the journal Nature Medicine, the virus could have possibly been transmitted from animals to humans much before it was first detected in Wuhan province of China. In fact, there are speculations that it could have been as long as a decade.The study, which was conducted by an international team of scientists from Australia, Britain and US, was released on March 17 in the scientific journal.“Then, as a result of gradual evolutionary changes over years or perhaps decades. The virus eventually gained the ability to spread from human to human and cause serious, often life-threatening disease,” Dr Francis Collins, director of US National Institute of Health, said in an article.indianexpress
 Origin, symptoms, causes, treatment, precautions and other details about COVID-19
*OTHERS*
Officers to get in touch with Delhi riot victims to ensure basic needs, Delhi govt informs HC
Delhi govt Monday informed Delhi High Court that its officers were going to get in touch with the 275 families of the victims, who were displaced after the northeast Delhi riots, to ascertain whether they require food or medicines.A bench of justices Sanjeev Sachdeva and Navin Chawla was also informed by the AAP govt’s counsel that mohalla clinics of northeast district are functional and representatives of each of families will be provided with details of nodal officers who can be contacted in case of requirement of medical assistance.T he court, which conducted the proceeding through video conferencing in view of restrictions due to coronavirus, was hearing a plea by Shaikh Mujtaba Farooq seeking direction to the authorities to re-open the relief camp at Idgah in Mustafabad and provide proper food supplies, adequate water, sanitation and security to the victims.Delhi government standing counsel Rahul Mehra submitted that keeping in view the present situation and also the directions with regard to lockdown issued by the central govt, the officers shall get in touch with the representatives of each of the 275 families.He said their names and telephone numbers have been provided by the petitioner along with the additional affidavit, and ascertain the number of family members and whether they require assistance of food or medicines or curfew pass.He said that as per their needs, the families will be provided with food packets and medical kits containing over the counter medicines for basic ailments can also be provided to them as per their requirement.Mehra added that in case any of the families require accommodation, efforts shall be made to immediately place them in appropriate accommodation or relief camps.Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for the petitioner apprised the court about the issues faced by the riot victims. He submitted that they were initially staying at a camp set up at Idgah but the Delhi government has cleared the camp and the victims have been forced to relocate themselves.He added that while some of them had to go back to their houses, others have had to accommodate themselves with their relatives and due to the lockdown they are facing severe problems with regard to food and medical help.The court said, “Without getting into the controversy as to whether the families of the riot victims which were living at the camp at Idgah vacated the camp voluntarily or they were forced to vacate, the fact of the matter is that they are no longer there at the camp at Idgah.”The court listed the matter for April 3 for directions or reporting compliance of its order.PTI
Delhi riot refugees live on prayers as coronavirus lockdown forces them to leave relief camps
Suffering for the riot-hit victims of the communal violence that took place in Northeast Delhi is far from over. First the riots destroyed their houses and now the lockdown due to outbreak of novel coronavirus is forcing them to leave the refugee camps. One of these twice-displaced people is 56-year-old Shama Parween who shares a room with 13 other women and children.As of now, officials say that the relief camps were to be continued for some time more but with the outbreak of novel coronavirus, the removal of camps became inevitable. “We did try going back 4 days ago but people there threatened us of dire consequences. They say they won’t let Muslims return. What do we do? We have no money. No one can go to work,” Parween says. Parween’s younger sister Zarina has a similar story to tell. Zarina said, “We do not know how we will survive if we’re forced out of this small space too. My husband can’t earn anything during the lockdown.So we can’t afford a new place...”Another family of 5, which came here from the relief camp at Al-Hind hospital, has a similar story. They would rather die of corona than by the rioters. “How do they expect us to go back? Will the government and the police protect us if the rioters attack us again? No, they will save the rioters and let us die,” says 18-year-old Arshi (name changed), whose family has a house in Shiv Vihar, one of the worst affected areas in the recent riots. In another corner of the hall, men of the families sit in a huddle.newindianexpress
Divided Delhi under lockdown: 'If coronavirus doesn't kill me, hunger will':theguardian
New Delhi:It wasn’t possible for Mohammed Idrish to watch Narendra Modi’s address to the nation last Tuesday exhorting 1.3 billion Indians to stay at home. His TV was looted along with everything else in his home in Delhi during the recent anti-Muslim riots in the Indian capital.When Idrish, a carpenter, heard about Modi urging Indians to stay at home to stop coronavirus spreading, he shook his head again and again. “I don’t understand … I don’t understand.Doesn’t he know we have no home?”On 25 February, his house in Shiv Vihar was among many reduced to a charred ruin by mobs. The ferocious violence that engulfed the north-east of the city for four days – mostly Hindu mobs killing Muslims and destroying property – left 53 dead and thousands injured.Families ran with only the clothes they were wearing and mobile phones in their pockets. Hundreds were housed in the Eidgah relief camp, a collection of tents set up in the courtyard of a mosque in Mustafabad.The camp was a temporary home for Idrish, his parents, wife and four children. It gave them shelter and safety while they waited for compensation to renovate their home. But on Monday the Delhi authorities ordered families to leave the crowded camp for fear it provided the ideal conditions for a perfect viral storm. The camp’s days were numbered even before Modi imposed an unprecedented nationwide lockdown last week, as Delhi had already banned any gathering of more than 30 people.theguardian
Dr Kafeel Khan Was Among Prisoners to Be Released on SC Order But His Name Was Dropped: Wife Claims in Video
LUCKNOW: The wife of imprisoned Dr Kafeel Khan has issued a video wherein she has appealed to the Supreme Court for release of her husband. Dr Shabista Khan has alleged that even after the order for release of prisoners (in the wake of Coronavirus outbreak), her husband has not been released.In view of the spread of Coronavirus, the Supreme Court had on March 23 ordered all states and Union Territories to consider release of those prisoners who have been in jail up to 7 years on parole and this benefit could be extended also to those prisoners who are awaiting trial for offences entailing maximum sentence of seven years.In the video released on Sunday (March 29), she claimed that her husband’s name was in the list of prisoners that were to be released on Saturday (March 28) from Mathura jail in UP but his name was dropped after a call from an official from Lucknow. “My husband Dr Kafeel Khan, who is currently lodged in Mathura jail, was to be released along with other prisoners on March 23 order of the Supreme Court. My husband’s name was in the list yesterday (Saturday) and he was to be released along with others in the evening. But some official from Lucknow called to Mathura jail and stopped his release,” said Dr Shabista.She said that her husband himself shared this information with her by calling her from the jail PCO.“My husband called me from jail PCO at 3:16 PM today (Sunday) and told me that his name was in the list of to-be-released prisoners and he was to be released in the evening. But some official from Lucknow called the jail official and prevented my release,” she claimed in the video.In the end of one-minute long video, she said: “I want to appeal to the Honourable Supreme Court that my husband is released from jail the earliest and we are granted justice.”Dr Kafeel’s brother Adeel Ahmed Khan said: “Earlier also, Dr Kafeel Khan was kept in jail even after release order and later he was booked under NSA. The case is now pending in the court. In the wake of the Coronavirus, he was to be released on conditions but now Mathura jail officials have told us that he would not be released.”India Tomorrow
Fire at Furniture Market in Shaheen Bagh, Fire Tenders Rushed to Spot
NEW DELHI: A fire broke out at a furniture market in Shaheen Bagh in South Delhi on Sunday evening. The fire is being brought to control by units of the fire brigade.Fire broke out at a furniture shop near Zayed College on Abul Fazal Enclave-Kalindi Kunj Road in Shaheen Bagh. The place has a furniture market and it is one of these shops in the market that caught fire. The reasons for fire are still unknown. No casualties are reported.Hearing the news of fire, many people gathered at the spot. Police had to resort to mild force to disperse the crowd.indiatomorrow
*views, Articles, FEATURES*
Keeping poor and vulnerable safe in lockdown is state responsibility, not an act of charity: Christophe Jaffrelot
Disruption in economic activities in urban areas has pushed migrant labourers back to their villages: Manoj Mohanan
Even 20,000 COVID-19 Deaths Don't Justify Crippling Economy, Endangering Crores of Daily-Wagers':by Karan Thapar
A Government Without Strategy, and Also Without Humanity:Sidharth Bhatia
Lessons from China: What India can do to flatten the Covid-19 curve despite limited state capacity:Namit Choksi  & Akshay Shah
 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:22 PM). 


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