News and views across the globe.

Sunday, 19 April 2020

19 APRIL NEWS: OIC urges India to take ''urgent steps'' to protect rights of Muslims, stop incidents of "Islamophobia. Indian hospitals refuse to admit Muslims as coronavirus causes Islamophobia surge: Telegraph UK. Preventing food shortages is a high priority for South Asia:World Bank economist. Some economic activities related to healthcare, agriculture, horticulture, fisheries, animal husbandry begin from tomorrow

NEWS DIGEST EVENING

19 April 2020: 24 Shaban 1441: Vol: 12, No: 185

www.newsdigestdaily.in

*CORONAVIRUS - LOCKDOWN : INDIA*

OIC urges India to take ''urgent steps'' to protect rights of Muslims, stop incidents of "Islamophobia

https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/oic-urges-india-to-take-urgent-steps-to-protect-rights-of-muslims/1807858

Jeddah:Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Sunday urged India to take "urgent steps" to protect the rights of its minority Muslim community and stop incidents of "Islamophobia" in the country. OIC''s Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission in a tweet also said the Indian media was negatively profiling the Muslims and subjecting them to discrimination."OIC-IPHRC urges the #Indian Govt to take urgent steps to stop the growing tide of #Islamophobia in India and protect the rights of its" Muslim minority, it tweeted.There was no immediate reaction from the Ministry of External Affairs.PTI

 

UP Hospital Bars Muslim Patients Who Don't Come With Negative Test for COVID-19

https://thewire.in/communalism/up-hospital-bars-muslim-patients-who-dont-come-with-negative-test-for-covid-19

A cancer hospital in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut has published an advertisement in the Dainik Jagran newspaper that it will no longer accept new Muslim patients unless patient and a caretaker come with negative test results for COVID-19. The hospital is a dedicated cancer hospital with 50 beds and caters to the population around Meerut including Mawana, Sardhana and Muzaffarnagar. “Several Muslim patients are not following the guidelines (like using a mask, maintaining hygiene) and they are also misbehaving with hospital staff. For the security of hospital’s staff and patients, the hospital administration requests all new Muslim patients that they and one designated caretaker get tested for COVID-19 and visit the hospital only if their reports are negative,” a part of the advertisement issued by the Valentis cancer hospital in the Meerut edition of the Hindi daily on Friday read. Advertisement placed in the Meerut edition of Dainik Jagran by the Valentis Cancer Hospital, Meerut, on Friday, April 17. This policy adopted and publicised by the hospital is a violation of the National Human Rights Commission’s charter of patient rights which was adopted by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and circulated in March 2019. According to point 8 of the charter, titled ‘Right to Non-Discrimination’, no patient can be denied treatment on the basis of his/her religion or illness. “Every patient has the right to receive treatment without any discrimination based on his or her illnesses or conditions, including HIV status or other health condition, religion, caste, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, linguistic or geographical /social origins. The hospital management has a duty to ensure that no form of discriminatory behaviour or treatment takes place with any person under hospital’s care. The hospital management must regularly orient and instruct all its doctors and staff regarding the same,” the charter says. The hospital’s advertisement claims that the number of COVID-19 patients has grown ‘unexpectedly’ due to Tablighi Jamaat gathering in New Delhi. It says that most of the patients in Meerut too are connected to the gathering.  A day after placing this advertisement, the hospital paid for a second notice in the Dainik Jagran. “It has come to our notice that some people of the Hindu and Jain faith have been hurt due to our notice yesterday. A wrong message has gone and we regret it and ask for forgiveness,” the clarification said.  However, the ‘clarification’ stayed clear of any apology or regret on its stance towards Muslim patients. Hospital continues to say that it will not admit Muslim patients ‘living in Muslim dominated areas’ unless they come with a COVID-negative test result.  Apart from violating the patient charter of rights, doctors at the Valentis Cancer Hospital who discriminate against Muslim patients would appear to be violating  point no. 4 in the Declaration every doctor in India must sign under Indian Medical Council Regulations 2002.Meerut district administration on Sunday directed the hospital to tender an apology, or its license would be suspended.thewire

Indian hospitals refuse to admit Muslims as coronavirus causes Islamophobia surge: Telegraph UK

FIR against UP hospital which refused to admit Muslim patients without Covid-19 test

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/fir-against-up-hospital-which-refused-to-admit-muslim-patients-without-covid-19-test-1668710-2020-04-19

Aprivate hospital in Uttar Pradesh's Meerut had recently put out an advertisement in a Hindi newspaper, asking Muslims to visit the hospital only if they have got a Covid-19 test done and their results turned out negative.Uttar Pradesh Police has filed an FIR against the owner of Valentis Hospital over the matter.PTI

 

‘Abused in Hosp on Basis of Religion’: Pregnant Rizwana Loses Child

https://www.thequint.com/coronavirus/jharkhand-pregnant-muslim-woman-told-to-clean-blood-loses-child-alleges-discrimination-on-basis-of-religion

A pregnant and bleeding woman, accused of spreading coronavirus, was asked to clean her own blood at a hospital in Jharkhand’s Jamshedpur. The incident culminated in the woman losing her child.The aforementioned woman, Rizwana Khatun, said she had started bleeding on Thursday, 16 April, following which she rushed to the MGM Hospital. She has now written a letter to CM of Jharkhand, Hemant Soren.Rizwana, in her letter, has alleged that she was abused on the lines of her religion at the MGM hospital. She has also accused the hospital authorities of ignorance, stating that had they taken timely action, her child could’ve been saved.“When I reached MGM hospital, I was still bleeding. The hospital staff abused me on the lines of my religion and I was asked to wipe the blood. I was beaten up with slippers. I was shocked and rushed to a nursing home. There I was told that my child had died,”Rizwana Khatun in her letter to CM Hemant Soren. Rizwana’s mother also accused the hospital staff of discriminating against them on the basis of religion. thequint

 

'Covid-19 Does Not See Race, Religion, Colour Or Caste Before Striking:PM Modi

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/india-news-covid-19-does-not-see-race-religion-colour-or-caste-before-striking-says-pm-modi/351078

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday asserted that COVID-19 pandemic affects everyone equally. "COVID-19 does not see race, religion, colour, caste, creed, language or border before striking. Our response and conduct thereafter should attach primacy to unity and brotherhood. We are in this together," Modi said in a post in LinkedIn."Unlike previous moments in history, when countries or societies faced off against each other, today we are together facing a common challenge. The future will be about togetherness and resilience," PM said.outlookindia

 

Screening of Rohingya Muslims for COVID-19 underway in Jammu; 12 samples taken for testing

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/screening-of-rohingya-muslims-for-covid-19-underway-in-jammu-12-samples-taken-for-testing/article31382075.ece?homepage=true

Jammu:Stepping up COVID-19 screening of Rohingya Muslims living at various slums here, Health Department in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday collected a dozen samples for testing, officials said.Also read: Stranded Kashmiris post videos for help The samples were taken randomly during screening of Rohingya Muslims residing at Kargil colony and Beeru plot in Bhatindi, a red zone, by a team of doctors deputed to check for the symptoms of coronavirus among the population, the officials said.They said over 540 Rohingyas, settled in 2 plots, were screened since Saturday and all of them were found with no symptoms of COVID-19.The screening process will continue to cover all the settlements housing the foreigners.In a related development, eight persons, including seven from Rohingya settlement at Kargil colony, were booked after they turned up at a mosque to offer prayers at Karyani Talab near Bhatindi in violation of the lockdown on Saturday, the officials said.PTI

 

‘Nizamuddin event has not led to rise in Covid-19 cases, some doing politics,’ : Jharkhand CM

https://theprint.in/india/dont-blame-tablighis-for-coronavirus-disease-doesnt-see-religion-jharkhand-cm-soren/404636/

Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren has rubbished allegations that the Tablighi Jamaat is the main factor behind spread of coronavirus cases in India. In an interview with ThePrint, Soren said: “If the number of coronavirus patients in India has gone up only due to Jamaatis, then what about rest of the world? Why is the situation so bad there?“Diseases and ailment do not differentiate on the basis of caste or religion. Some mentally deprived people are doing politics on this issue and spreading all kind of confusion.”Soren’s state has so far reported 32 cases of Covid-19, with Hindpirhi area of state capital Ranchi being identified as a hotspot. Jharkhand’s first case — related to Tablighi Jamaat event — was reported from this locality, and there have so far been 17 cases in this area, which has a population of about 1.25 lakh.This has led to all kinds of rumours in Hindpirhi over the last several days, with incidents of alleged attacks on medical teams and cleaning staff also coming to fore. Several FIRs have been lodged, and the entire locality has been sealed.the print

 

Jharkhand: 10 Tablighis from Indonesia sent to jail for flouting Visa & Disaster Management Acts

https://www.financialexpress.com/india-news/jharkhand-10-tablighis-from-indonesia-sent-to-jail-for-flouting-visa-disaster-management-acts/1933418/

A Dhanbad court on Sunday sent ten nationals of Indonesia, who were caught hiding in a mosque here on return from Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi last month, to jail after they completed mandatory 14 days of quarantine, the police said.Gobindpur police produced them before the court of Judicial Magistrate, Ritwika Singh, which sent them in 14 days judicial custody, officer-in-charge of the police station Surendra Prasad Singh said. They were charged with violation of Foreign Visa Act and Disaster Management Act, 2005, he said.PTI

 

Haryana: Inquiries against Tablighis from abroad expedited

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/haryana-inquiries-against-tablighis-from-abroad-expedited/articleshow/75231057.cms

As the quarantine period of foreigner Tablighi Jamaat members is nearing end, the Haryana Police has intensified investigations into the criminal cases registered against them.“Investigations have been intensified now. The accused will certainly be chargesheeted and will have to undergo the procedure in accordance with the law of the land,” Haryana DGP Manojj Yadava said. Meanwhile, Haryana Police has registered more cases of attempt to murder against Tablighi Jamaat members in Palwal and Yamunanangar. They were caught by police after April 8. Sarpanches and chowkidars of some villages have also been booked for concealing information about their stay.As of now, Haryana has detected around 1,500 Tablighi Jamaatis, who allegedly attended Markaz in Nizamudeen in New Delhi.TOI

 

Media Blitz Against Tablighi Chief, Police Yet to Provide Him A Copy of the Offence

http://www.indiatomorrow.net/eng/media-blitz-against-tablighi-chief-police-yet-to-provide-him-a-copy-of-the-offence?fbclid=IwAR3962UdEeUth2CXmdk1PKO6i66keRrLDXXPem6lvyF1y9Zr_0Ytvno1WNM

While Govt of Delhi as also Central govt carried out a lot of propaganda  through media against Tablighi Jamaat’s congregation at its Nizamuddin HQRS blaming it for spreading coronavirus at a time when Modi government had come under lot of criticism from all quarters owing to unplanned lockdown implemented from midnight of March 24, the police have yet not given the copy of FIR it registered against Tablighi Jamaat chief Maulana Saad 19 days ago.Advocate Fuzail Ahmed Ayyubi said that neither the crime branch nor the police had given him the FIR copy despite repeated requests from him. Adv. Ayyubi is the advocate for Maulana Saad.He said that he did not know the reason behind police not making the copy of FIR available to his client.Adv. Ayyubi said that while all the charges levelled by the police in its FIR registered  by Delhi Police Crime Branch on March 31 on the complaint of Nizamuddin Police Station were less serious and bailable, the report about addition of Section 304 of IPC pertaining to “culpable homicide not amounting to murder” was the serious one. He said that he had come to know about addition of Section 304 IPC only through media. “My client has not received any copy of the FIR, neither the previous one nor the additional charge of 304 IPC so far”, said Ayyubi.India Tomorrow

 

Rizwan dies after allegedly being beaten up by police for stepping out to buy biscuits in UP

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/coronavirus-youth-dies-after-being-beaten-up-by-police-in-uttar-pradesh/article31375836.ece

Lucknow:Rizwan Ahmed, 22, a daily wage worker, died in UP’s Ambedkar Nagar district,3 days after he was allegedly thrashed by police when he stepped out during the lockdown period.In his police complaint, Rizwan’s father Israil said he had stepped out in Chajjapur locality of Tanda town in Ambedkar Nagar to buy domestic items on April 15 at around 4 pm According to a relative, he went to buy biscuits as he was hungry. When Rizwan reached the local post-office, he was intercepted by a woman inspector and some constables, said Israil. Police got down from their vehicle and “beat him with lathis,” said Israil, adding that Rizwan was badly injured.An inconsolable Israil told reporters that when Rizwan had come back home, his body was blue with injury marks.Afraid of police and the lockdown, the family treated Rizwan with ‘desi’ remedy at home. Since his condition did not improve, they shifted him to a hospital in Asopur but doctors there referred him to the district hospital where he died at 2 am, said Israil.Avanish Kumar Mishra, Addl. SP, said the allegations against the police were being probed. Thehindu

 

Delhi: Daily wagers forced to sell vegetables, being asked to show Aadhaar before entering colonies

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/delhi-daily-wagers-forced-to-sell-vegetables-being-asked-to-show-aadhaar-before-entering-colonies-1668727-2020-04-19

Day laborers who are forced to sell vegetables in Delhi colonies, now have to their names and Aadhaar cards checked. Aadhaar cards are being sought from vendors of vegetables these days in many colonies in Delhi.With this, their names are being asked and only then are they allowed to enter the colony. People associated with RWAs are checking Aadhaar cards or identity cards of these people every day along with asking them several questions. Allowing the sale of fruit and vegetables during lockdown is an essential service which is proving to be a big relief for the people. This has also given a big support to all the poor people who live on daily incomes, whose earnings were stalled due to Covid-19.However, these people are facing a new problem, to let them work through their name and base.A while ago, a video from Delhi went viral in which vegetable vendors were being given entry into the colony after asking their religion and a case was also registered in this regard.Sahil Khan, who sells vegetable and fruits on a cart, said that earlier there was no problem, but the inquiry has become stricter since a few days. If someone asks for his name, then he is not allowed to enter the colony. Sometimes someone asks for an Aadhaar card.indiatoday

 

‘Saw News, Can’t Trust You’: Man Accosts Muslim Civic Worker in MP

https://www.thequint.com/news/india/covid-19-muslim-civic-worker-accused-of-spitting-madhya-pradesh-bhopal

A Muslim civic worker of Bhopal Municipal Corporation was accused of “intentionally spitting” to spread Covid-19, when he went to spray sanitizers in Bhopal’s Jamalpura area on Friday. Shoaib’s co-worker, Rahul Dongar, who belonged to Valmiki community, came to his rescue but was also accused by the man of “spitting in the area” to spread the infection. Rahul captured the entire incident in a video.A man in a pink shirt, in the video, says he “cannot trust one particular community because of the various media reports that show them spitting in 50 different places and spreading coronavirus.”The man in the video constantly accuses the civic workers saying he has “seen” them spitting. When Rahul countered asking for evidence, the man said, “I have seen you spitting. I don’t trust you people. There is one such community whom nobody trusts.” Shoaib said, “I was wearing a skull cap. The man realised I am a Muslim and came out of his house. He held me by my collar and started asking me for my Aadhaar card. That is when Rahul intervened and started shooting the video.”thequint

 

Hoshiarpur’s Muslim Gujjars Denied Entry Into Himachal Pradesh to Supply Milk

https://thewire.in/communalism/lockdown-muslim-gujjars-milk-himachal-pradesh

Himachal:On April 14, Sadiq stood at the Sansarpur Terrace border check post from where he has regularly crossed over to Himachal Pradesh from Hoshiarpur in Punjab for over a decade to supply milk to his long-time customers. But the Himachal policeman, who was standing at the check post with an entry register in his hand, denied him permission to cross over, shaking his head in warning.One could be forgiven for thinking that Sadiq and fellow Gujjar Yaqub Ali were not being allowed to cross over because Himachal, like the rest of the country, was in a state of lockdown. However, that did not explain why the policeman was allowing non-Muslims to cross over to the Himachal side to sell vegetables and milk but denying permission to the Muslim Gujjars to do so. When The Wire pointed this out, the policeman replied, “You better talk to the chowki in-charge, I will give you his number.” Seeing that this correspondent was taking photographs, a look of annoyance crossed his face. “Don’t click any  pictures here, we are on duty,”  he said testily.thewire

 

UAE-based India businessman says sorry for hurting Muslims' sentiments

https://www.khaleejtimes.com/coronavirus-pandemic/uae-based-businessman-sohan-roy-says-sorry-for-hurting-religious-sentiments

Sharjah-based Indian entrepreneur is in the dock over a short poem, which has hurt the religious sentiments of Muslims.Sohan Roy, CEO of Aries Group of Companies, is also a film director and regularly produces short poems on social issues, which are shared on social media platforms. However, Roy faced backlash over his recent work 'Viddhi Janman', which was produced following Nizamuddin Tablighi Jamaat event, which, experts say, became India's worst Covid-19 vector.Even though Roy's poem didn't target any particular religion, the background visual used for the title showed a Muslim preacher leading followers who are all blindfolded.It was assumed the preacher was Tablighi Jamaat chief Muhammad Saad. However, Roy in a Facebook video clarified that his poem was not about any particular religious leader or community. He has tendered unconditional apology for his mistake.khaleejtimes

 

J&K: FIR against charitable NGO ABABEEL for distributing ration to people in remote areas amid lockdown

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/jk-fir-against-ngo-for-distributing-ration-to-people-in-remote-areas-amid-lockdown-6368392/?fbclid=IwAR1pL2rhIG53u25ze4YsUeg5OQ6Ak5H8hh71tIJ5zvTPfVeOsqiUivPgL_Q

Jammu :Over half a dozen volunteers of a well known charitable Trust called ABABEEL landed in police lockup for distributing ration to the poor at their doorstep in remote areas of Jammu and Kashmir’s hilly Kishtwar district on Thursday.Following Kishtwar Deputy Commissioner Rajinder Singh Tara’s intervention, the arrested volunteers were later released on bail by police, but by then they had already spent four-and-a-half hours in police custody. The vehicle used for carrying ration packets, which too had been seized by police, was also released from a Kishtwar court on Friday.Set up in 2015, over 200 strong ABABEEL volunteers have been always there to help people and the administration in all emergencies, be it road accidents, earthquakes, landslides, or rescuing people drowned in Chenab. Last week also, it had procured nearly 500 personal protective suits from a Srinagar-based business establishment and distributed them among doctors, ambulance drivers and policemen on naka duties in Doda, Bhaderwah, Thathri and Kishtwar areas.Giving details, Burhan, who was heading an eight-member team with ration loaded in three vehicles and an ambulance for support, said they had a list of 60 families from both Hindu and Muslim communities who needed ration. To ensure that every family gets at least one month’s ration in view of continued lockdown, they had made food packets containing rice and atta (15 kg each), ghee, nutria, salt tea, sugar and salt (2 kg each), besides two litre of refined oil.indianexpress

 

Actor Ajaz Khan arrested in Mumbai for backing Muslims

https://www.siasat.com/actor-ajaz-khan-arrested-mumbai-backing-muslims-1876169/?fbclid=IwAR2wzOjgNJNf5Cg7TC_L4k8wYNEfj_SyyjnBuGRZ_t4f-IxEF2XBxC-ZsHg

Mumbai: Actor Ajaz Khan has been arrested & case registered against him at Khar Police Station on charges of defamation, hate speech & violation of prohibitory orders.“If an ant dies, a Muslim is responsible, if an elephant dies, a Muslim is responsible. If there is an earthquake in Delhi, a Muslim is responsible. A Muslim is responsible for any incident. But have you ever thought who is responsible for this conspiracy?,” said Khan in his live video on facebook.“This was also pre-planned by BJP to defame Muslims and in turn defame CM Uddhav Thackeray and Aditya Thackeray. BJP is trying to snatch Maharashtra from Uddhav Thackeray by playing communal politics,” Khan said about the recent incident of migrant workers coming out on streets of Bandra demanding to go back home amid unplanned lockdown which has already killed several migrants out of hunger.siasat

 

Muslims are feeding you and carrying your dead bodies, stop hate campaign against them : Bollywood actress Rakhi Sawant

http://muslimmirror.com/eng/muslims-are-feeding-you-carrying-your-dead-bodies-stop-hate-campaign-against-them-rakhi-sawant/?fbclid=IwAR1nxcqfL7j4zesDqZ7CY09OMLZbKMJ2QztKcZBoRG3NbrERwcm6eoYZUaQ

Bollywood actress Rakhi Sawant has criticised the individuals and media outlets, which are allegedly spreading hatred against Indian Muslims while blaming them for the spread of Covid-19. In a video uploaded on social media platforms, she said, “Do not set Hindus and Muslims against each other. Shame on you. Do not spread misinformation.”She added, “Don’t even by mistake say that Muslims have brought Corona. Muslims have not done it. People from every community are affected by Corona. It has come from the above for those barbarians who have committed sins against Prameshvar, Allah and Jesus”.She also lauded the efforts of Muslims who are doing relief work amid the coronavirus lockdown in India. “Look how much help a Muslim is providing. He is providing food items as well as lifting the bier,” she said while referring to the recent incidents wherein Muslims performed last rites of Hindu persons.muslimmirror

         

COVID-19: Dalit Woman Says She was Beaten up, Denied Rations in Saharanpur

https://www.newsclick.in/COVID-19-Dalit-Woman-Beaten-Denied-Rations-Saharanpur?fbclid=IwAR07FaSjnzRyAIPF22jtIltlqBOnSitXoopomyucXyKWywFQFXjWnI80P14

In times of COVID-19, when across the world, people are coming together and responding collectively to survive and make both ends meet, the dalit community has been pushed to edge yet again in India, especially in North India, when it comes to getting relief in the form of free rations during 40-day countrywide lockdown that has been necessitated to prevent the spread of COVID-19.In a recent incident in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur, Mamta,a 44-year-old dalit domestic worker, was reportedly beaten up badly when she raised her voice against not being given rations that were supposed to be distributed among all the residents of Abhishek Nagar. Mamta, a widow and mother of two sons, one of whom is physically challenged, has blamed the area’s Councilor Meenakshi Sharma for the incident.newsclick

 

Hyderabad Prof Files PIL against Religious Profiling of Muslims in Covid Cases

https://clarionindia.net/prof-rao-files-pil-against-religious-profiling-of-muslims-in-covid-cases/

Hyderabad: Prof PL Vishweshwar Rao, Vice-President of Telangana Jana Samithi, has filed a PIL in Telangana High Court  on Saturday , against ‘maliciously’ profiling Muslim Community in the Covid-19 issue which violates several constitutional provisions.The PIL sought directions to restrain Telangana CM, Telangana Home Minister and Mass Media from classifying some Covid-19 cases as ‘Tablighi Jamat’ or ‘Masjid’, ‘Markaz’ cases. It noted that such classification amounts to religious profiling and discrimination on basis of religion which is against rights guaranteed by the Constitution.clarionindia

 

Former HP CM Shanta Kumar calls for ban on Tablighi Jamaat

https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/former-hp-cm-shanta-kumar-calls-for-ban-on-tablighi-jamaat/1807766

   Shimla: Senior BJP leader in Himachal Pradesh Shanta Kumar on Sunday sought an immediate ban on the Tablighi Jamaat, claiming it is responsible for spreading coronavirus in half of the country."Their insolence has not stopped. Stones were pelted on health workers. I want to say to the government that enough has been tolerated," Kumar, a former chief minister, said in a Facebook post."It is because of the Tablighi Jamaat that the disease spread to almost half of the country. Hundreds will die," he said."Now immediately ban this Jamaat," politician added.PTI

 

Preventing food shortages is a high priority for South Asia:World Bank economist

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-preventing-food-shortages-is-a-high-priority-for-south-asia-says-world-bank-economist/article31382013.ece?homepage=true

New Delhi:In a report, World Bank has predicted a ‘dire’ situation for South Asia due to economic impact of measures to counter the novel coronavirus pandemic, suggesting that the eight SAARC countries will experience their worst economic performance in 40 years, with at least half of them falling into a deep recession. In an interview to The Hindu, author of the report and Chief Economist for South Asia Hans Timmer says managing migrant returns, service sector revenue losses and ensuring food security for the poorest are major priorities for region. She said, "Containment of the pandemic is especially challenging among slum dwellers, domestic migrant workers and refugees. An additional complication is that the lockdown deprives the most vulnerable people of their income. The conclusion is that the lockdown is necessary, but not sufficient. It has to be complemented with food distribution, temporary work programmes and a system of testing and tracing, which is needed to reopen the economy. The temporary work programme could focus on food delivery, production of protective equipment, disinfection of public spaces and on the testing and tracing system. It is commendable that the Indian government is rolling out a tracing system now." The economist stated. "It is likely that migrant workers, especially in Gulf countries, will return home, even if many are still stuck abroad at the moment. It is the consequence of the global recession and the sharp drop in oil prices. They will need to find work at home and will indeed compete with domestic migrant workers. That is why govt should create conditions under which the economy can be reopened and should play an active role in job creation." She further said, "This is one of the big concerns. Disruptions in the supply chain and panic buying can lead to price spikes. That, together with loss of income of many informal workers, can lead to food shortages for the most vulnerable. This is high priority. Releasing strategic reserves is one tool in the toolbox. Work programmes and food deliveries are other tools. Export bans will backfire as they will disrupt food supply chains in the region further."thehindu

 

Hunger and uncertainty under Delhi's coronavirus lockdown:aljazeera

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/04/india-hunger-uncertainty-delhi-coronavirus-lockdown-200418095253032.html

New Delhi: 2 weeks into India's initial 21 day-lockdown - which has since been extended to six weeks - to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Sunita Devi, a domestic worker in Nilothi area of Delhi is worried how to feed her four daughters through the rest of the shutdown.Devi is one of the thousands of casual workers in Delhi who have run out of cash and are now surviving on food distributed by the government at public schools. "We get small portions which I divide among four children. There is barely enough for all of us," Devi, a single parent, said.Devi is from Fatehpur in northern Uttar Pradesh state about 560km from New Delhi.Her husband, a driver, died of tuberculosis two years ago. Before lockdown, she earned Rs 5,500 monthly cleaning and cooking for three middle-class families in Paschim Vihar.Paying Rs 2000 in rent, she and the girls survived on less than $2 a day for food and school expenses. Devi had barely any savings, and the lockdown had come as a blow. Her employers, who run businesses, had asked her to stop coming to work during this period without providing any pay to tide her over these six weeks."I worked inside their houses, and now they have closed their doors on me. They claim I may infect them. I have a few rupees left. Do I use it to pay rent or do I buy milk, vegetables for my children?" Devi told Al Jazeera.She stood outside a school building in Nilothi at 4pm local time, an hour before long queues started forming - a common sight these days in big cities across India - for a meal of rice and legumes that evening.In Kapasheda, 14 miles from Nilothi, Seema Sardar and Kanika Vishvas, both domestic workers, said their employers had turned them away without any pay to live on during the lockdown.Sardar's employers, who live in an upscale urban "farmhouse", had left for US in early March without paying her for April. Vishvas, whose husband works as a waste-picker, said she swept and cooked for three men who shared an apartment in Surya Vihar a mile from the slum she lived in.They had not paid her for March or April. She cannot try to to walk to speak to them, because policemen had blocked the highway.Nearly half of India's workforce of 467 million is self-employed, 36 percent are casual wage workers, while only 17 percent are regular wage workers. Two-thirds of them work without contracts and more than 90 percent lack any social security or health benefits in the workplace. Coronavirus lockdown has made survival difficult for them.Al Jazeera

 

Can’t allow hunger to kill what we saved from COVI: Kerala Minister

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/national/cant-allow-hunger-to-kill-what-we-saved-from-covid-19-says-kerala-minister?fbclid=IwAR0f7UPHxcKC2EBKxNqN2lWUUBuCq3SWJkmmLUyzoL2kOH7h5OjR7l20PZ0

Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja has said that the state is reaping the rewards of the hard work that has gone in overall containment of the spread of Covid-19.In the state the total number presently under treatment is 138 and in the past week, the number of new cases was in single digits and there are around 78,000 people under observation in the state.IANS

 

Sikkim Only State With No COVID-19 Cases, to Partially Lift Lockdown on April 20

https://science.thewire.in/health/sikkim-no-covid-19-cases-lockdown-april-20/

Gangtok: So far, Sikkim is the only state in the country without a single reported positive case of COVID 19. This is largely due to 2 factors: early preparedness and discipline.While the rest of the world was arguing over the legitimacy of the pandemic, Sikkim had authorised screening of all individuals entering Himalayans State as early as January 29 with over 6 lakh individuals screened as of April 18. The same has paid dividends – after 80 samples were sent for testing, all results came back as negative.This is despite the fact that the state does not have its own COVID-19 testing lab or viral lab, which has been one of the foremost demands of the state to the Centre.Now, the state is prepared to partially lift the lockdown from April 20 on, while keeping its borders sealed and imposing a ban on inter and intra-state travel till May 3.thewire

 

Telangana extends lockdown till May 7

https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/telangana-extends-lockdown-till-may-7/1807910

Telangana govt has decided to extend the lockdown till May 7 and not to give any relaxation.CM K. Chandrashekhar Rao made the announcement on Sunday night after the cabinet meeting.The state had earlier extended the lockdown till April 30. Though the Centre subsequently extended the lockdown by May 3, the state cabinet decided to extend it further by four days.IANS

Report to hospital if you have flu symptoms even without travel history: Telangana govt

https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/report-hospital-if-you-have-flu-symptoms-even-without-travel-history-telangana-govt-122869

Telangana government has asked people to report to the nearest hospital if they show any flu-like symptoms, even if they have no travel history or have not met anyone who has tested positive for coronavirus."In case of any flu-like symptoms, irrespective of travel history and contact history, the public is requested to report to the nearest government health facility," the state said in its medical bulletin on Saturday night.

 

Covid-19: States ask medical stores to keep record of people buying medicine for cold, fever

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/covid-19-states-ask-medical-stores-to-keep-record-of-people-buying-medicine-for-cold-fever-1668745-2020-04-19

In the wake of rising coronavirus cases, authorities in several states have asked medical shops and pharmacists to keep a record of phone number and address of customers who buy medicines for fever, cough and cold -symptoms similar to Covid-19.Advisories have been issued in this regard to chemists in states like Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and parts of Bihar. While in some states the officials have been clear that the information will be shared with authorities to ensure that people are not hiding symptoms of coronavirus, others said it was just a precautionary measure.PTI

 

No special concession for Ramzan in Punjab as curfew to remain imposed till May 3: Capt. Amarinder Singh

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/no-special-concession-for-ramzan-in-punjab-as-curfew-to-remain-imposed-till-may-3-capt-amarinder-singh

Ruling out any relaxation in curfew till May 3, Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder on Sunday ordered strict enforcement of the lockdown. He ordered the Deputy Commissioners in all districts to enforce the order strictly with no relaxation or concessions whatsoever even during the Ramzan period beginning this week.He, however, asked them to ensure free procurement of wheat across the state.nationalheraldindia

 

Maharashtra allows printing but bans distribution of newspapers

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/coronavirus-maharashtra-allows-printing-but-bans-newspapers-distribution/article31377471.ece

A day after exempting a number of economic activities and goods transport services after April 20, the Maharashtra government on Saturday prohibited door-to-door delivery of newspapers and magazines while allowing them to continue printing.A notification signed by Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta issued on Saturday said, “Print Media is hereby exempted from lockdown from 20 April. However given the extent of the spread of COVID-19, door-to-door delivery of newspapers and magazines is prohibited.”The government’s move has attracted the ire of the newspapers and journalist unions and media houses, already struggling under the direct impact of the lockdown. In Maharashtra, the newspaper vendors had already said they would not be able to deliver newspapers. Many cities including the majority parts of Mumbai do not get the hard copies.thehindu

Majority of GoAir's 5,500 Employees to Be on Leave Without Pay Till May 3

https://thewire.in/banking/go-air-leave-without-pay-lockdown

New Delhi: Majority of 5,500-odd employees of GoAir will now be on “leave without pay” (LWP) till May 3 as its entire fleet remains grounded in the wake of the extended lockdown, the airline has said.In March, Wadia Group-owned airline asked its employees to go on LWP on a rotational basis besides cutting their salaries.“The lockdown has been further extended till May 3, and with this extension, our fleet continues to be completely grounded. Hence, we are constrained to request you to proceed on ‘leave without pay’ till May 3,” GoAir said in a communication to its employees on Saturday.thewire

 

Covid-19: 15 million export jobs at stake

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/flick-past/covid-19-15-million-export-jobs-at-stake

More than 15 million jobs could be lost in India’s export sector due to lockdown.Half of all orders are getting cancelled and units are unable to repay loans. The apex body of exporters fears an irreparable damage in the industry due to Covid-19.The cancellations and postponement of shipments have impacted exporters’ fund-liquidity position. Sharad Kumar Saraf, president, Federation of Indian Export Organisations, said the future seems gloomy. “With cancellation of over 50% of orders,we expect 15 million job losses in exports". "Rising NPAs amongst exporting units are hitting the economy badly,”.Labour-intensive sectors such as leather, gems and jewellery, handicrafts and textiles will be worst hit. The apparel exports sector estimates 2.5-3 million job losses because of order cancellation.nationalheraldindia

 

No Inter-state Movement Of Migrant Workers Allowed During Lockdown: Centre

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/india-news-no-inter-state-movement-of-migrant-workers-during-lockdown-centre/351060

Home Ministry on Sunday said that no inter-state movement of migrant workers will be allowed during lockdown period.Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said that labourers, who are stranded in different parts of the country due to the ongoing lockdown, will be, however, allowed to go to their respective places of work within a state with certain conditions.outlookindia

 

 Some economic activities related to healthcare, agriculture, horticulture, fisheries, animal husbandry begin from tomorrow

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/india-news-coronavirus-lockdown-these-economic-activities-will-begin-from-monday/351067

Union Home Ministry has released a new list of services and activities which are being allowed to open from Monday.The exemption will be applicable from April 20 in those areas of the country where the effect of coronavirus is negligible, or which are less affected areas.One such list was tweeted by Union Law and Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. This includes healthcare, agriculture, horticulture, fisheries and animal husbandry. Prasad has said that in some cases the government has given exemptions, and the list has been released. However, these services will not be allowed in Containment Zones. But state govts can also strictly enforce rules on their own.The govt on Sunday prohibited e-commerce platforms from selling non-essential items during the lockdown, 4 days after allowing the companies to sell mobile phones, refrigerators and ready-made garments. The govt has exempted projects and activities related to co-operative credit societies, non-banking financial institutions, water supply, electricity and communication in rural areas.Apart from this, the government has also said that bamboo, coconut, betel nut, cocoa, spices cultivation, harvesting, processing, packaging, fruit and vegetable carts, shops selling sanitary items, grocery and ration shops, dairy and milk booths, poultry, Shops selling meat, fish and fodder, electricians, IT repairs, plumbers, motor mechanics, carpenters, couriers, DTH and cable services are allowed with certain restrictions.Data work and call centres for govt activities, offices with IT and related services have also been approved. But the condition is that they should not have more than 50 per cent staff.Activities will also be increased on highways from Monday. Motor mechanic shops and dhabas will also open on the highway for truckers with some restrictions.The rural area is being given huge relief. Work in brick kilns and food processing has been approved in the villages. Cold storage and warehouse service will begin.The fishing business will also be started, which will allow fish feeding, maintenance, processing, packaging, marketing and sales.Hatchery and Commercial Aquarium will also open.Work under MNREGA has also come under exemption from restrictions.Construction work on roads, irrigation, building, renewable energy and all kinds of industrial projects outside the city will also start from Monday. It has also been said that if a construction project is to be started in an urban area, labourers should be available on site for this.outlookindia

 

No relaxation in Delhi lockdown for at least a week, Kejriwal announces as coronavirus cases climb to 1,893

https://www.firstpost.com/health/no-relaxation-in-delhi-lockdown-for-at-least-a-week-arvind-kejriwal-announces-as-coronavirus-cases-in-national-capital-climb-to-1893-8275721.html

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday announced that in view of the current coronavirus situation in the national capital, no relaxation will be given in the lockdown for at least a week."We have decided to keep people of Delhi safe. The lockdown will remain and there will be no relaxation. We will review the situation again after a week," said the Chief Minister.ANI

Covid-19: Delhi paid the price of markaz incident, says Kejriwal

https://www.hindustantimes.com/delhi-news/covid-19-delhi-paid-the-price-of-markaz-incident-says-chief-minister-kejriwal/story-QoeGBpQ8GVlK5wUbfYVjTO.html

New Delhi :Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said that the national capital paid the price of the markaz event where thousands of Tablighi Jamaat followers had gathered last month.  “Delhi paid the price of markaz incident and inflow of travellers from other countries,” Kejriwal said at a press conference.He stated that Covid-19 was spreading rapidly in the national capital but the situation was “still under control”.HT

 

'Need to start economic wheels again': CM says Maharashtra govt to allow industries to resume in some areas from tomorrow

https://www.firstpost.com/health/coronavirus-outbreak-need-to-start-economic-wheels-again-uddhav-thackeray-says-maharashtra-govt-to-allow-industries-to-resume-in-some-areas-from-tomorrow-8276011.html

Maharashtra, India’s largest regional economy, will allow a limited number of sectors to resume business on Monday, after a weeks-long shutdown to slow the spread of coronavirus left millions out of work.Maharashtra, home to financial centre Mumbai, has the biggest share of India’s caseload of 15,713 infections, including a large number now ripping through its densely-packed slums. CM Uddhav Thackeray said that some activity would be permitted in the least-affected parts of the state while observing a strict lockdown in the red zones that have the maximum number of cases.“We need to start the economic wheels again. We are giving selective permissions from tomorrow, especially in orange zones and green zones,” he said, referring to areas with lower levels of infection.Reuters

 

No Relief from Lockdown in 19 UP Districts with Over 10 Covid Cases

https://www.news18.com/news/india/no-relief-from-lockdown-in-19-up-districts-with-over-10-covid-19-cases-2584253.html

Lockdown will not be lifted in 19 districts that have reported more than 10 Corona positive cases, UP CM Yogi Adityanath said in a meeting conducted through video conferencing with all District Magistrates and police chiefs on Sunday evening.He said that in the remaining districts, the District Magistrates will take a decision whether or not to allow relaxation in lockdown rules. No relaxation will be permitted in the sealed hotspots.IANS

 

India's Covid-19 count crosses 16,000-mark, death toll at 519; at least 2,230 people recovered

https://www.livemint.com/news/india/coronavirus-update-india-s-covid-19-count-crosses-16-000-mark-death-toll-at-519-state-wise-tally-here-11587292360332.html

With 1,324 fresh cases registered in the last 24 hours, the total number of novel coronavirus count in India reached 16,116 confirmed cases so far, according to latest Ministry of Health data. Along with that, the country's death toll has increased to 519, it said. According to Sunday data from health ministry, at least 2,230 people have recovered from the infection, showing that the recovery rate has gone up to over 14.2%, an improvement over 13.85% on Saturday and 13% on Friday. There are currently 13,295 active patients in the country while 2,301 patients have been discharged or cured from the highly contagious disease. One patient has migrated from the country. There are also 77 foreign nationals who are affected by the virus. The mortality rate for COVID-19 cases in India is around 3.2%. It also said that there are 755 dedicated COVID-19 hospitals and 1,389 dedicated healthcare centres set up in country. The latest state-wise data shows that with more than 3,600 positive cases, Maharashtra remained the worst hit state with 211 deaths. The highest number of cases were reported from Mumbai with more than 2,110 positive Covid-19 patients. Maharashtra was followed by Delhi, which is now 1,893 cases and 43 deaths, according to the latest data. The other states that crossed 1,300-mark in the number of coronavirus cases in descending order are Madhya Pradesh, Gyujarat, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan. UP became the next state in the country after these to top 1,000 cases. Apart from Maharashtra and Delhi, the other most-affected states according to the deaths recorded are Gujarat (58), Telangana (18), MP (70), Punjab (16), Karnataka (14), West Bengal (12), J&K (5), UP (17) Kerala (3), Jharkhand (2), Andhra Pradesh (15) Rajasthan (11) Haryana (3), Tamil Nadu (15) and Bihar (2), Meghalaya, Odisha, Assam, Himachal Pradesh and have reported one death each. livemint.com

 

Stranded in Valley since March due to lockdown, mother and son from Mumbai say 'Kashmiri hospitality has restored faith in humanity'

https://www.firstpost.com/health/stranded-in-valley-since-march-due-to-lockdown-mother-and-son-from-mumbai-say-kashmiri-hospitality-has-restored-faith-in-humanity-8273041.html

  As the world is gripped by the coronavirus pandemic and people are consumed by thoughts of their safety and how to arrange for supplies, a mother and son from Mumbai stranded in Kashmir since March due to lockdown say the hospitality of a Pulwama family has "restored their faith in humanity."Javed Rashid Sheikh and his mother Khatija say that Nazir Ahmad Sheikh and his family, residents of Pampore's Patalbagh, in south Kashmir's Pulwama district, have been playing host to them over the past few weeks.Sheikhs, who'd intended to take in the most picturesque locations in the Valley, found themselves looking for accommodation after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for a pan-India lockdown on 25 March.Javed, 28, the owner of a turf ground in Mumbai, said he has visited Kashmir on several occasions and has an abiding love for the Valley. “I last visited Kashmir when I was planning to open up a ground in Chandigarh in September. Unfortunately, the Article 370 issue had Kashmir on the boil so I had to cut my visit short,” he said.Javed, wanting to show his 59-year-old mother the beauty of the Valley, brought her here on 5 March. The plan was to spend a couple of weeks visiting the most scenic places. “We spent a couple of days at Yusmarg. Then we went to Charar-i-Sharief, one of the Valley's most famous shrines. We also went to Shalimar, one of the famous Mughal gardens, but it was closed.”firstpost

 

Extend lockdown for entire Ramzan month:MANUU Chancellor Firoz Bakht

https://telanganatoday.com/extend-lockdown-for-entire-ramzan-month

Hyderabad: MANUU Chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed has stirred a hornet’s nest with a letter to PM Narendra Modi, not just asking him to extend lockdown for the entire Ramzan month till May 24, but also apologising for the acts of violence allegedly by Muslims against healthcare workers across the country.In a letter, titled ‘extremely pressing! SOS!’ addressed to the Prime Minister, MANUU Chancellor said “care should be taken that the lockdown should not be lifted till May 24, day when Ramzan month ends. If it is lifted on May 03, a time when Corona will be ripening to its peak in India, overenthusiastic Muslims (as seen in the case of uncontrollable Tablighi Jamat followers) will start crowding markets, holding Iftar parties and prayer gatherings, giving rise to Corona clusters by disobeying the Prime Ministerial instructions and thus nullifying the government’s never say die, hard work. It is my very humble submission in community, national and humanity interest.” (Sic)telanganatoday

 

Maharashtra: 29 Tablighis held as quarantine ends

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nashik/maharashtra-29-tablighi-jamaat-members-held-as-quarantine-ends/articleshow/75229122.cms

Ahmednagar police arrested 29 attendees of the Tablighi Jamaat conference in Delhi after their quarantine period ended on Friday night.Among those arrested are 26 foreign nationals from countries like Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Ghana, Benin and Tanzania. Of 3 Indians, two are from Tamil Nadu hail and one from Mumbai. Police inspector Dilip Patil told TOI an Ahmednagar court remanded the 26 foreign nationals in police custody till April 24 and sent the 3 Indians to judicial custody Police sources said the foreign nationals would be interrogated about the reason for their visit to India and whether they violated visa conditions.TOI

 

Action against Tablighis who flouted visa rules: Maharashtra minister

https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2020/apr/19/action-against-tablighis-who-flouted-visa-rules-maharashtra-minister-2132433.html

 Members of Tablighi Jamaat who violated visa norms will be dealt with strictly and action will be taken after several of them complete their quarantine period in connection with coronavirus outbreak, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said .PTI

 

News24 shares old broadcast of namaz at Jama Masjid multiple times to portray mass gathering

https://www.altnews.in/news24-shares-old-broadcast-of-namaz-at-jama-masjid-multiple-times-to-portray-mass-gathering/

On Friday, April 17, Hindi media outlet News24 shared a video on Facebook titled, “कोरोना ने बदला इबादत की तरीका,दिल्ली के जामा मस्जिद का माहौल क्या है?” This translates to – “Cororna has changed the ways of worship, what is the atmosphere in Delhi’s Jama Masjid?”The broadcast started with anchor informing that coronavirus scare has caused Islamic nations across the world to alter ways of offering prayers. “People are being advised to offer namaz at home. But today we are at Delhi’s Jama Masjid and here Friday namaz is being offered as usual.” The channel gave its viewers the impression that worshippers gathered at the mosque on Friday despite the lockdown imposed due to coronavirus pandemic. News24 took down the video after it was pointed out that the broadcast was over a month old. It was first aired on March 13. In its response, channel claimed that an “old video was shared by mistake” and that it can assure its users that this was “totally unintentional”. Channel claimed that it made a genuine mistake. But did it really? News24 wasn’t lying that the broadcast was first aired on March 13. However, it is difficult to believe that sharing the clip on April 17 was an inadvertent error when this was the third time that the same broadcast was uploaded after its initial airing.The channel had also shared the broadcast on March 19 and on April 1. News24 conveniently misled its audience that worshippers unfazed by the coronavirus outbreak were gathering in large numbers at Delhi Jama Masjid, putting themselves and everybody else at risk.altnews

 

False claim suggests Bandra mass gathering accused Vinay Dubey’s father is Muslim

https://www.altnews.in/false-claim-suggests-bandra-mass-gathering-accused-vinay-dubeys-father-is-muslim/

A photograph of Navi Mumbai-based self-proclaimed labour leader and activist Vinay Dubey, along with a man and a woman, was posted by one Shiv Yadav on Twitter. Yadav claimed that Dubey’s mother had married a Muslim man (his father) named Mahmood.  Alt News found that the claim made along with the image is false. As per MyNeta’s database, Vinay Dubey’s father’s name is Jatashankar Dubey and not Mahmood as claimed on social media. On April 15, Times Now had identified Vinay Dubey as an NCP leader, however, NCP’s national spokesperson Nawab Malik refuted the claim and said that Dubey is not a member of the party.Dubey was arrested along with 10 others including ABP Majha reporter Rahul Kulkarni by the Mumbai police for their alleged role in “rumour-mongering” that led to a mass gathering of migrant workers at Bandra station. He had reportedly made a video which went viral where he asked migrants to assemble at Kurla railway terminus on April 18.  While Kulkarni was granted bail by a court in Mumbai, Dubey has been remanded to police custody till April 21.altnews

 

Fact Check: Unrelated Video Shared With Claims That Tablighi Jamaat Member Spat On Police Personnel

https://thelogicalindian.com/fact-check/tablighi-jamaat-police-spitting-20667

A 27-second video post claiming to show a Tablighi Jamaat member, linked to the congregation at Markaz Nizamuddin, spitting on police officers is being shared extensively on online platforms. In the video, the accused can be seen in a white coloured t-shirt spitting on the police in a van. The Logical Indian received several fact-check requests about the video on the dedicated Fact check WhatsApp number.thelogicalindian

 

Airlines Told to Stop Bookings for Flights From May 4, Train Services Also Unlikely After Lockdown Ends

https://www.news18.com/news/india/flights-trains-unlikely-to-begin-after-covid-19-curbs-end-on-may-3-but-govt-may-help-ferry-migrants-2583751.html

In a disappointment to people stranded outside their hometown, air and train services may not start even after the 40-day coronavirus lockdown comes to an end on May 3.Aviation regulator DGCA has directed airlines to stop taking ticket bookings for May 4, and said it has not taken a decision regarding when to commence the operation of domestic and international flights. "In these circulars, there was no direction/clearance, which allows the airlines to start ticket bookings for the journeys to be undertaken w.e.f 4th of May 2020. In this respect, it is brought to the notice of all concerned that no decision to commence the operation of domestic/international flights w.e.f the 4th of May 2020 has been taken yet," a statement from the regulator read.news18

No decision yet on resuming passenger flights post lockdown: Civil aviation minister Puri

 

Kerala Covid-19 infection curve flattens as fewer cases crop up: Minister

https://www.livemint.com/news/india/kerala-covid-19-infection-curve-flattens-as-fewer-cases-crop-up-minister-11587184118374.html

Kerala’s coronavirus infection curve is getting flatter, with fewer fresh cases and more people recovering in hospitals, state Finance Minister Thomas Isaac tweeted. He tweeted along with a graph showing total positive cases so far reported in the state (red line), positive cases at present in Kerala (yellow line), and people recovered so far shown with a green line. He further added that hopefully we shall be counting them on finger tips by May 3rd. "Kerala Covid curve is getting flatter. Of 395 cases, 255 have recovered. Only 2 deaths. The active cases have declined from 266 cases on April 6th to 138 as of today. Hopefully we shall be counting them on finger tips by May 3rd."livemint

 

*CORONAVIRUS – WORLD*

Pakistan lifts limit on mosque congregations as Muslim holy month approaches: Reuters

https://in.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus-pakistan-mosques/pakistan-lifts-limit-on-mosque-congregations-as-muslim-holy-month-approaches-idINKBN2200OW

Pakistan has lifted restrictions on congregational prayers at mosques, but put in place a host of safety conditions to avert the further spread of the coronavirus in the country, a statement said. Pakistan imposed the restrictions less than a month ago, allowing only 3 to 5 people at mosques for prayers.The decision to lift restrictions, taken in a meeting between Pakistani President Arif Alvi and religious leaders, comes less than a week before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in which size of congregations typically increases.“Mosques are given permission conditional to taking due precautions,” a statement following the meeting said, adding that it was mandatory for mosque visitors to wear masks.  According to the statement it was also decided worshippers would maintain a 6-foot distance from each other instead of the usual Muslim practice of praying shoulder-to-shoulder and that mosque administrations will disinfect premises regularly. Earlier this week renowned clerics threatened to violate the restrictions, saying prayers were essential for Muslims and should be allowed as long as safety measures were observed. Pakistan has registered 7,638 cases of the virus and 143 deaths.

 

Coronavirus: Global death toll crosses 160,000 with near 140, 000 deaths from Europe, US;  Over 500,000 recovered

https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/coronavirus-global-death-toll-crosses-160000/article31381744.ece

The worldwide death toll from the coronavirus pandemic rose to 160,685 on Sunday, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP. Over 2,334,130 declared cases have been registered in 193 countries and territories since the epidemic first emerged in China in Dec. Of these cases, at least 518,900 are now considered recovered.The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from WHO, probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. In US, now the worst-hit country, the death toll stood at 39,090 with 735,287 infections. At least 66,819 patients have recovered. Italy is the next most-affected country with 23,227 deaths and 175,925 confirmed infections.It is followed by Spain with 20,453 fatalities and 195,944 confirmed infections, France with 19,323 deaths and 151,793 infections and Britain with 15,464 deaths and 114,217 cases.China — excluding Hong Kong and Macau — has to date declared 4,632 deaths and 82,735 cases. Europe has listed 1,153,148 cases and 101,493 deaths to date, US and Canada together have 768,670 cases with 40,619 deaths, Asia 162,256 cases with 6,951 deaths, Middle East 122,819 cases with 5,559 deaths, Latin America and Caribbean 98,202 cases with 4,915 deaths, Africa 21,165 cases with 1,058 deaths and Oceania 7,879 cases with 90 deaths. AFP

 

Spain's coronavirus deaths lowest since March 22

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/04/protests-coronavirus-lockdowns-brazil-live-updates-200418233435533.html

Spain’s death toll from the new coronavirus outbreak rose by 410 on Sunday, down from 565 on Saturday, the Health Ministry said, bringing the total to 20,453 deaths in one of the world's hardest hit countries.The number of overall coronavirus cases rose to 195,944 on Sunday from 191,726 on Saturday, it added.This is the lowest number of daily deaths since March 22.On Saturday night, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced in an address to the nation his plans to extend the lockdown until May 9. From there, he said there would be a “cautious and progressive” relaxation of quarantine measures. aljazeera

 

UK Coronavirus: People left with nothing because of lockdown

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/coronavirus-care-worker-no-recourse-public-funds-nrpf-home-office-a9446211.html

Care worker Sara* doesn’t know how she’s going to support herself and her young son over the next 10 weeks. The Ghanaian national, who is in her late twenties, is 27 weeks pregnant so is having to self-isolate – but is receiving no pay at all and cannot access state benefits.“I don’t have enough money to even buy food. I’m relying on a charity for food each week,” she tells The Independent. “Boris Johnson said pregnant women shouldn’t work for 12 weeks, but how am I supposed to support myself? There’s no support for me.”Sara, who also needs to stay at home to care for her British son because his nursery has closed and she is a single mother, has “no recourse to public funds” (NRPF) – a rule, attached to the immigration status of thousands of people across UK, that stipulates they can live and work in UK but are not entitled to state support. The care worker, who has lived in UK for 7 years, is on a 16-hour contract, which means even though she usually works considerably more than that – between 25 and 35 hours a week – she is not eligible for statutory sick pay, which is worth £94.25 a week.  Department for Work and Pensions has informed people who are ineligible for statutory sick pay during the coronavirus pandemic that they can apply for universal credit or other state benefits.However, those with no recourse to public funds, like Sara, are not eligible for this state support unless they successfully apply to remove the NRPF restriction – but this is a complex process and can take months.independent.co.uk

 

Trump warns China of consequences if found responsible for COVID-19

https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/trump-warns-china-of-consequences-if-found-responsible-for-covid-19/article31380413.ece?homepage=true

U.S. President Donald Trump has warned China of consequences if it was “knowingly responsible” for the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic.Trump, who has expressed his disappointment over handling of the coronavirus disease by China, alleged non-transparency and initial non-cooperation from Beijing with Washington on this issue.“If they were knowingly responsible, then there should be consequences,” he told reporters at a White House news conference.PTI

 

Virus cannot be man-made: Wuhan virology lab chief denies Covid-19 originated from institute

https://www.indiatoday.in/world/story/virus-cannot-be-manmade-wuhan-virology-lab-chief-denies-covid-19-originated-from-institute-1668658-2020-04-19

Apremier Chinese virology laboratory in Wuhan, which is in the eye of the storm for allegedly being the source of the novel coronavirus, has for the first time refuted the charge, including those of US President Donald Trump, that the deadly virus originated from his lab before it spread across the world and wreaked havoc.Ever since the virus came to light in Wuhan in December last year, speculation has been rife on whether the viral strain originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) or from its nearby Huanan Seafood Market.PTI

 

Nobel winning scientist claims COVID-19 virus originated in lab: Report

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/international/nobel-winning-scientist-claims-covid-19-virus-originated-in-lab-report

French Nobel prize winning scientist Luc Montagnier has sparked a fresh controversy by claiming that SARS-CoV-2 virus came from a lab, and is the result of an attempt to manufacture a vaccine against the AIDS virus.In an interview given to French CNews and during a podcast by Pourquoi Docteur, professor Montagnier who co-discovered HIV claimed the presence of elements of HIV in the genome of the coronavirus and even elements of the "germ of malaria" are highly suspect, according to a report in Asia Times."Wuhan city laboratory has specialized in these coronaviruses since the early 2000s. They have expertise in this area," he was quoted as saying.The Fox News, in an exclusive report, based on unnamed sources has claimed that though the virus is a naturally occurring strain among bats and not a bioweapon, but it was being studied in Wuhan laboratory.His fresh claim on coronavirus, however, received criticism from scientists, including his colleagues."Just in case you don't know. Dr Montagnier has been rolling downhill incredibly fast in the last few years. From baselessly defending homeopathy to becoming an antivaxxer. Whatever he says, just don't believe him," tweeted Juan Carlos Gabaldon.IANS

 

Growing protests in US call for lifting state lockdowns

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/04/growing-protests-call-lifting-state-lockdowns-200419103011408.html

The vexing question of when to ease coronavirus lockdown restrictions is dividing epicentre of the pandemic.US President Donald Trump keeps pushing a positive message, saying there are signs COVID-19 has passed its peak as pressure mounts to get the world’s biggest economy rolling again.

 

Coronavirus toll hits 2-week low in New York, but hospitals report 2,000 new cases per day

https://www.firstpost.com/health/coronavirus-toll-hits-two-week-low-in-new-york-but-hospitals-report-2000-new-cases-per-day-170-million-plan-announced-to-feed-residents-8275171.html  

New York's daily toll of coronavirus deaths hit its lowest point in more than 2 weeks, but Governor Andrew Cuomo warned Saturday that the state isn't ready to ease up on shutdowns of schools, businesses and gatherings. For those looking for something to celebrate, however, the state is untangling some red tape around tying the knot: New Yorkers will be able to get marriage licenses online and wed via video during the crisis.The daily increase in coronavirus deaths in New York state has dropped under 550 for the first time in over two weeks as hospitalisations continue to decline, Cuomo said Saturday.But the crisis is far from over. Hospitals are still reporting nearly 2,000 new COVID-19 patients per day, and nursing homes remain a “feeding frenzy for this virus,” he said. Nearly 13,000 New Yorkers in all have died since the state’s first coronavirus case was reported 1 March, the governor said. The state total doesn’t include more than 4,000 New York City deaths that were blamed on the virus on death certificates but weren’t confirmed by a lab test.AP

 

Coronavirus: China classifies Wuhan as low-risk area as cases, deaths abate in pandemic's epicentre

https://www.firstpost.com/health/coronavirus-outbreak-china-classifies-wuhan-as-low-risk-area-as-cases-deaths-abate-in-pandemics-epicentre-8276181.html

Wuhan: China has classified the coronavirus epicentre Wuhan as a low-risk area, days after it revised the city's death toll by 50 percent, even as 16 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the country, health officials said on Sunday.According to the risk criteria defined in a guideline issued by China's State Council, cities, counties and districts with no newly confirmed cases in the last 14 days are categorised as low-risk areas.Those with fewer than 50 cases or those with over 50 but without a concentrated outbreak are classified as mid-risk areas, and those with over 50 cases as well as a concentrated outbreak are classified as high-risk areas.China's NHC said on Sunday that 16 new confirmed COVID-19 cases were reported in the country on Saturday, with nine imported cases and seven local transmissions.PTI

 

40 Of Afghanistan President's Palace Staff Test Positive For Coronavirus: Officials

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/world-news-40-of-afghanistan-presidents-palace-staff-test-positive-for-coronavirus-officials/351082

At least 40 workers in Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's palace have tested positive for the coronavirus, but so far, there is no indication the president himself has been infected, New York Times reported.The infected officials work for the administrative wing of president’s office, national security council and the office of Ghani’s chief of staff.Kabul is currently on a coronavirus lockdown, which authorities recently extended for 3 weeks, and all government offices are shut.Afghanistan has officially reported only 933 cases of coronavirus, including 33 deaths.outlookindia

Turkey's coronavirus cases overtake Iran, highest in Middle East

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/04/global-virus-deaths-154000-cases-700000-live-updates-200417234910029.html

Turkey's confirmed coronavirus cases rose to 82,329, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said, overtaking neighbouring Iran for the first time to register the highest total in the Middle East.An increase of 3,783 cases in the last 24 hours also pushed Turkey's confirmed tally within a few hundred of China, where the novel coronavirus first emerged.Koca said 121 more people have died, taking the death toll to 1,890.A total of 1,822 people have recovered from coronavirus so far, and the number of tests carried out over the past 24 hours came to 40,520, minister said.

 

Iran partially reopens Tehran as coronavirus death toll falls

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/04/iran-partially-reopens-capital-coronavirus-death-toll-falls-200418150831638.html

Iran has allowed some businesses in Tehran to reopen as the country's daily death toll from the new coronavirus fell to 73, its lowest in more than a month.So-called "low-risk businesses" including many shops, factories and warehouses resumed operations in the capital on Saturday, a week after reopening in the rest of the country, state television reported.However, the move was welcomed with scepticism by some among the public who preferred to remain home leaving most shops in northern Tehran and the city centre empty.The reopening, announced earlier this month, came as official figures showed daily deaths from the new coronavirus fell to 73 on Saturday, the lowest since March 12.That brought the total death toll to 5,031, health ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpour said. Saturday marked the fifth consecutive day with a death toll under 100 in Iran, one of the worst-hit countries in the Middle East.aljazeera

 

 

*OTHERS*

Over 20 film personalities release Statement Against Delhi Police Arresting Jamia Students

https://www.thequint.com/news/india/artistes-release-statement-against-witch-hunt-of-students-by-delhi-police-2

Over 20 film personalities, including Anurag Kashyap, Vishal Bhardwaj, Mahesh Bhatt, Ratna Pathak Shah, on Sunday, released a statement raising their voice against the arrest of students and activists by Delhi Police for protesting against CAA and also demanded their release. A Delhi court on 15 April sent a student of Jamia Millia Islamia, arrested for allegedly hatching a conspiracy to incite communal riots in northeast Delhi, to judicial custody for 14 days.Another student, who was arrested by the local police last week in connection with protests against CAA in Delhi's Jaffrabad in February, was sent to two-day police custody."These actions of the Delhi Police are utterly inhuman and undemocratic. Making several people travel to police stations every day and then throwing some of them to jails also defeats the purpose of the lockdown and makes a mockery of social distancing.The signatories include directors Aparna Sen, Hansal Mehta, Ashwini Chaudhary, Onir, Vinta Nanda, Neeraj Ghaywan, actor-directors Nandita Das, Konkona Sen Sharma, actors Sushant Singh, Zeeshan Ayyub, Sandhya Mridul, music composer Vishal Dadlani, among others.PTI 

 

After Arrests of Two Students, Spectre of Police Crackdown Looms over Jamia Community

https://clarionindia.net/after-arrests-of-two-students-spectre-of-police-crackdown-looms-over-jamia-community/

NEW DELHI:The arrest of 2 Jamia students, Meeran Haider and Safoora Zargar, has sent shockwaves in the student community. Many students are in the grip of fear and insecurity. Kavita Krishnan, a women activist, feels the ongoing lockdown enforced to by the government to check the spread of novel coronavirus has provided Delhi Police an “opportunity” to suppress dissent.Both the arrested students happen to be members of Jamia Coordination Committee (JCC) and leaders of the anti-CAA movement organised at gate no 7 of Jamia Millia Islamia. The duo were invited to address gatherings at different protest sites in Delhi during recent anti-CAA agitation.Delhi Police is contacting other members of JCC and asking them to report at Lodhi Road police station. One of the members told Clarion India, on condition of anonymity, that he is being escorted to and from police station daily in a police vehicle. “Cops repetitively ask the whereabouts of my location on and before the Delhi riots”, he said.According to the sources, police are trying to link anti-CAA protesters with Delhi riots. Meeran and Safoora had been slapped with charges of hate speeches at Jafrabad and other protest sites of North East Delhi.Many of the members believe that their phones are being traced and put on surveillance.clarionindia

 

Ramachandra Guha to stop writing for ‘Hindustan Times’, says his column was censored

https://scroll.in/latest/959603/ramachandra-guha-to-stop-writing-for-hindustan-times-says-his-column-was-censored

Historian Ramachandra Guha on Sunday said in a tweet that he would no longer be writing his fortnightly column in the Hindustan Times, explaining that the newspaper had decided not to publish his article about the Central government’s Central Vista project to reconstruct an iconic section of New Delhi.“For print and online readers of my regular ‘Past and Present’ column in The Hindustan Times –for this Sunday’s issue I had written on the folly and vanity of the Central Vista project,” Guha said in a tweet. “The newspaper has censored the column.”In a separate tweet, Guha said the editors that he worked with were “happy to publish the piece” but had been overruled by the management. “I was given the option of junking this piece and continuing the column. I have chosen to stop writing for them altogether,” he added.scroll

 

Jammu and Kashmir administration releases five people held under Public Safety Act

https://scroll.in/latest/959604/jammu-and-kashmir-administration-releases-five-people-held-under-public-safety-act

J&K govt has released five people detained since August under the stringent Public Safety Act, the Greater Kashmir reported on Sunday. Under the PSA, a person may be detained without trial for up to two years if charged with threatening national security or up to one year if booked for maintenance of law and order.5 detenues ­­– Muhammad Maqbool Malla, Farooq Ahmad Shah, Ajaz Shamed Parray, Adil Farooq Bhat and Firdous Ahmad Shah ­– had been kept at the Kotbalwal Jail in Jammu.scroll

 

US special envoy for Afghan Khalilzad reaches out to Jaishankar on troubled Afghan peace process

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/khalilzad-reaches-out-to-jaishankar-on-troubled-afghan-peace-process/story-4AKXLb2jNbr6eBqVDhIrJK.html

New Delhi:US special envoy for Afghan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, has sought India’s engagement in international efforts for a lasting peace in Afghanistan against the backdrop of growing concern in New Delhi over US-Taliban deal.Khalilzad, who has been pushing the Afghan government to facilitate the implementation of US-Taliban deal by releasing more Taliban prisoners, tweeted he had reached out to external affairs minister S Jaishankar to discuss latest developments in Afghan peace process.“We talked about the urgency of resolving the internal political crisis and the importance of Afghan leaders forming an inclusive government,” he said, in an apparent reference to differences between Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and former chief executive Abdullah Abdullah.“We also discussed the need for both the Afghan government and the Taliban to accelerate prisoner releases, support a prompt reduction in violence, and start intra-Afghan negotiations,” Khalilzad said in a separate tweet.Khalilzad said he had told Jaishankar that “US welcomes Indian engagement in regional and international efforts for a lasting peace in #Afghanistan” and that US is “committed to a sustained engagement with #India on this objective”.HT

*WORLD*

Egypt puts 13 people including Zyad Elelaimy on 'terrorism' list

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/04/egypt-puts-13-people-including-zyad-elelaimy-terrorism-list-200418200113754.html

Egypt has added 13 people, including former legislator Zyad Elelaimy, on the country's "terrorism list" for collaborating with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.Saturday's decision, published in official gazette, stated that their "placement on the terrorism list will be for a period of five years". Elelaimy, a key figure of Egypt's 2011 popular uprising that toppled longtime President Hosni Mubarak, was arrested in June 2019.Also put on the list was Ramy Shaath, a prominent activist who holds Egyptian citizenship and was arrested two months after Elelaimy. Since their arrest, the pair have been charged with joining a "terrorist group", namely the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been outlawed following the 2013 overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi.In its ruling Saturday, the court said Brotherhood members had tasked "other members of group ... including Ramy Shaath and Zyad al-Elaimy" with carrying out activities against the state.Defence lawyer Khaled Ali told AFP the decision was taken in the absence of the lawyers and would be appealed.AFP

 

Iraq: Oil price drop fuels economic crisis

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/04/iraq-oil-price-drop-fuels-economic-crisis-200419094214853.html

Iraq has been hit by political instability that has effectively left it without a government.The country has also been caught in the middle of escalating tensions between the United States and Iran. Now, the sharp decline in oil prices is affecting its economy.

 

Dozens of suspected Boko Haram fighters found dead in Chad prison

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/04/dozens-suspected-boko-haram-fighters-dead-chad-prison-200419084108879.html

At least 44 suspected members of Boko Haram who were arrested during a recent operation against the group have been found dead in their prison cell in Chad after apparently being poisoned, the country's chief prosecutor has announced. The prisoners were found dead on Thursday, Youssouf Tom said on television, and an autopsy carried out on four of the dead prisoners revealed traces of a lethal substance that had caused heart attacks in some of the victims and severe asphyxiation in the others, he said. The dead men were among a group of 58 suspects captured during a major army operation around Lake Chad launched by President Idriss Deby at the end of March. A security source told the AFP that "the 58 prisoners were placed in a single cell and were given nothing to eat or drink for two days".Mahamat Nour Ahmed Ibedou, secretary-general of the Chadian Convention for Protection of Human Rights (CTDDH), has made similar accusations.   Aljazeera

  

Malaysia Turns Away Boat With 200 Muslim Rohingya Refugees

https://www.news18.com/news/world/malaysia-turns-away-boat-with-200-muslim-rohingya-refugees-2581973.html

 Malaysian authorities said they have turned back a boat carrying about 200 Muslim Rohingya refugees, including children, that was attempting to enter the country illegally.The air force said in a statement that one of its surveillance aircraft had spotted the boat about 130 kilometers off the northern resort island of Langkawi earlier in the day.It said 2 navy vessels intercepted the boat amid concerns that the refugees might bring the coronavirus into the country. The air force said the navy distributed food to Rohingya on humanitarian grounds before escorting the boat out of the country's waters. It didn't say where the boat was heading or describe condition of the refugees.AP

*views, Articles, FEATURES*

When the BJP and the media teamed up to peddle rumours and got exposed:Sujata Anandan

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/when-the-bjp-and-the-media-teamed-up-to-peddle-rumours-and-got-exposed

It’s time for PM Modi to go out of his way to win back Muslims’ trust:Tavleen Singh

https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/tavleen-singh-coronavirus-lockdown-pm-narendra-modi-rahul-gandhi-6368641/?fbclid=IwAR0uxBqdBaezFVunR71BfPrVAVXLljVNkRWikSPGlp2cXS7_gcvEt0qg_JU

Shobhaa De: Should Muslims vanish? Shun hate amidst crisis

https://www.deccanchronicle.com/opinion/columnists/180420/shobhaa-de-should-muslims-vanish-shun-hate-amidst-crisis.html

Muslim Lifestyle Bloggers Are Frustrated With Hypocrisy Of India’s ‘Influencers’:Piyasree Dasgupta

https://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/muslim-lifestyle-bloggers-are-frustrated-with-the-hypocrisy-of-india-s-influencers_in_5e9ac36fc5b63639081efef4?utm_hp_ref=in-entertainment

View: Islam’s contribution to agriculture:Devdutt Pattanaik, ET

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/agriculture/view-islams-contribution-to-agriculture/articleshow/75210169.cms

Is Rahul Gandhi Back In Command Of The Congress Amid Coronavirus Crisis?Puneet Nicholas Yadav

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/news-analysis-is-rahul-gandhi-back-in-command-of-congress-amid-coronavirus-crisis/351087

How the coronavirus outbreak in India was blamed on Muslims:Apoorvanand 

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/coronavirus-outbreak-india-blamed-muslims-200418143252362.html

Lockdown protects well-off, but what about those who face hunger, homelessness or poor health?Krithika Srinivasan

https://www.thehindu.com/society/lockdown-protects-the-well-off-but-what-about-those-who-face-hunger-homelessness-or-poor-health/article31373630.ece?homepage=true

Hindutva fake-news factories spreading hate-virus at the time of Corona:Biswajit Roy

https://enewsroom.in/indian-media-fake-news-muslims-corona/

 Why Is the Police Stonewalling The Wire’s RTI Queries on the Delhi Violence?Dheeraj Mishra

https://thewire.in/government/delhi-riots-police-rti

India’s ‘Ghost Towns’ Saddle Middle Class With Debt—and Broken Dreams:WSJ

https://www.wsj.com/articles/indias-ghost-towns-saddle-middle-class-with-debtand-broken-dreams-11579189678

 

 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 11:00 PM). 

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