| New Delhi |
Updated: May 18, 2020 5:47:48 pm
A child is seen resting on the luggage of the migrant labourers. (Express Photo by Gajendra Yadav)
CoronavirusIndia Updates:On day one of the fourth phase of the nationwide lockdown due to the novel coronavirus disease, the number of infections in the country rose to 96,169. The death toll also saw a jump from 2,872 to 3,029. With this, India registered it’s biggest one-day spike. Currently, India has 36,824 recoveries and 56,316 are active cases.Follow coronavirus endemic LIVE updates
Meanwhile, the lockdown restrictions were extended till May 31, but with considerable relaxations in non-containment zones. While all markets, offices, industries, and businesses will be allowed to open, inter-state and intra-state movement of “passenger vehicles and buses” will be permitted with the consent of the states involved. The restrictions on air travel (domestic and international) and Metro rail services will continue, and schools, colleges, and other educational institutes will remain closed.
In this phase of the lockdown, the government has decentralised the step by asking states to take charge of the details while implementing its guidelines for the next fortnight. At the same time, the guidelines assign greater ownership of theCovid-19response to states.
Here are the top developments of coronavirus in India:
Barbershops, spas and salons to remain closed in Delhi
Delhi Chief MinisterArvind Kejriwalannounced that buses will be operational in Delhi, but will carry maximum of 20 passengers at a time. All passengers will be screened before entering.Social distancingwill be maintained at bus depots. “Barbershops, spas and salons to remain closed in Delhi for now,” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced. “Stepping out of homes between 7 pm to 7 am, except for essential services will be prohibited. Taxis and cabs will be allowed but only 2 passengers at a time in a car,” he said.
No official night curfew in West Bengal, says Mamata Banerjee
No official night curfew in West Bengal, but people are requested not to venture out after 7 pm, says CMMamata Banerjee. Hawkers will be allowed to reopen shops in non-containment zones in the state from May 27.
The Uttar Pradesh government on Monday accepted the proposal of Congress leaderPriyanka GandhiVadra to deploy 1000 buses for migrants. In a letter to Vadra, Uttar Pradesh Additional Chief Secretary (Home) said the government has accepted her proposal and asked her to provide the details of 1000 buses and drivers without delay.
This comes hours after the Congress leader tweeted a video of thousands of migrants assembled at Ram Leela Maidan in Ghaziabad wanting to return home. “A crowd of migrant workers have assembled at the Ram Leela Maidan in Ghaziabad. The UP government cannot manage anything. If they would have made proper arrangements before a month, the migrants would not have had to face the hardship. Yesterday we proposed to deploy 1000 buses and brought them at the UP border. But we were not allowed. Neither the government is helping the migrants nor is it allowing others to help them,” tweeted Vadra.
A lot is going to change for Uber customers in the coming days as India slowly eases out of the lockdown. Uber’s new safety features for riders and drivers announced today, makes regular disinfection of the cabs and masks mandatory.
To start with, Uber has made it mandatory for all drivers and riders to wear a face mask at all times. Starting today, all Uber drivers will first need to clear an “online checklists” to be able to take pick a trip. Drivers will be required to confirm that they have taken all the COVID-19 safety measures and are wearing a face mask. Riders will also need to go through a similar checklist before booking a ride the next time.
From today, before drivers are able to start accepting trips, they will be asked to take a selfie with a mask on and the photo will be verified by a new technology developed by Uber especial for the COVID-19pandemic, said Sachin Kansal, Global Senior Director of Product Manager at Uber. Any selfie uploaded without a mask will not be accepted, hence, drivers will be unable to accept any trip. For all selfies uploaded without a mask, Uber app will show a warning message that states “We’re unable to confirm your face cover or mask. Place it over your nose and mouth and try again.”
Leading the charge against the government over the economic package announced to overcome the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Congress leader P Chidambaram on Monday called it “hopelessly inadequate” while seeking a revised and comprehensive package of 10 per cent of the GDP.
“The fiscal stimulus package is hopelessly inadequate given the gravity of the economic crisis as it amounts to only Rs 1.86 crore, which is 0.91 per cent of the GDP,” the former finance minister said.
The Centre has unveiled a Rs 20 lakh crore economic relief packageannounced by Prime MinisterNarendra Modias part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign while pushing new reforms in sectors such as agriculture, public sector enterprises, and defence production.
Some cases of the so-called “Covid toe” were reported fromSpainand the US earlier this month.
While fever, cough and difficulty in breathing are some of the most common symptoms of COVID-19, the disease has been known to affect different parts of the body. There have been reports that the disease may overstimulate the immune system and lead to a cytokine storm, and in some other patients, doctors noticed a swelling on their patients’ toes.
Further, it is still not clear why some individuals infected with the disease remain asymptomatic, while there are others who develop mild or moderate symptoms and some who get critically ill and succumb to the disease.
Last week, the President of the Public Health Foundation of India, K Srinath Reddy, said one of the reasons the pandemic was unpredictable was due to the virus affecting different parts of the body as a result of which different clinical manifestations were being noticed. “Other viral epidemics have not had this speed of transmission, or this level of body involvement of multiple body parts…” he said.
For the thousands of migrants going from Maharashtra to their homes in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the bypass checkpoint at Madhya Pradesh’s Vidisha-Raisen border comes as a relief. No one walks past this point, or goes ahead empty stomach. Maybe because it is set up just below the hill that houses Emperor Ashoka’s Sanchi Stupas, but this checkpost seems to practice the ancient king’s preachings.
“Daily, we see about 10,000-15,000 people pass by, mostly from Maharashtra. We are making sure not a single person passes by on foot, or even bicycle. We accommodate them in empty buses and trucks,” says Ishwar Baghel, Sub Inspector, Vidisha. “If the need arises, the collector arranges for a bus. But no one is passing on foot.” Baghel, who has been deployed at the state border since March 28, says the number of walkers have reduced in the past few days. “But whoever comes walking is provided with transportation.”
Other checkpoints in MP are also advised to help passing migrants. “For over eight days now, we have been distributing free food items like khichdi, dal-chawal and poori-sabji. We provided food to 5,000 people daily when this migration was at its peak,” explains Dinesh Saxena, an employee of Vidisha’s Municipal Committee. Now, he says, they offer tea and biscuits, “as passersby have decreased in the last couple of days”.
The Covid 19 ‘spread analysis’ has revealed that on an average a root patient infected with the coronavirus in Karnataka spreads the infection to 6.87 persons or seven persons in rounded off terms. (ANI)
The Covid-19 has spread in Karnataka mostly through patients with Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) and Influenza Like Illness (ILI) — with as many 9.68 persons persons being infected on an average by every root patient with SARI/ILI compared to 6.16 persons infected by domestic travellers and 2.26 by international travellers, according to early analysis of infection data carried out by the state Covid -9 war room. Follow coronavirus pandemic LIVE updates
The Covid 19 ‘spread analysis’ has revealed that on an average a root patient infected with the coronavirus in Karnataka spreads the infection to 6.87 persons or seven persons in rounded off terms.
The analysis identified 62 root patients (index patients or unique spreaders) across the state from whom the disease spread to others and found that they infected a total of 426 others — with 29 SARI and ILI index patients infecting 281 persons (at an average of 9.68), while 18 patients with domestic travel history infecting 111 persons (at an average of 6.16). Among international travellers, the analysis has found that 15 index patients infected 35 others at an average of 2.26 persons.
The legacy of social exclusion is deeply entrenched in his conscience. As he begrudgingly hauls this stigma every day of his life, door-to-door, picking up waste from households in Southeast Delhi, 36-year-old Pawan stands at a crossroads yet again: as pots and pans rung out loud from balconies to boost morale of doctors, nurses and frontline workers fighting coronavirus, where’s the round of applause for him?
“We don’t get the same respect as doctors, other medical staff even when we put our health at risk everyday. Our work is still not considered as an essential service,” said Pawan (name changed), a migrant worker from Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, who handles garbage of more than 100 houses.
Pawan is part of India’s indispensable 40 lakh waste pickers in the informal sector, and garbage collectors employed by states, the backbone of the waste management system. Yet, despite providing an essential public health service to residential colonies, hospitals, and commercial establishments, most work without safety gear, have no social security, face rampant discrimination, but still keep our cities clean. Now, they are also at risk of exposure to Covid-19 from handling unmarked medical and contaminated waste.
As the number of COVID-19 positive cases in Maharashtra crossed 33,000 as of Monday morning, the number of positive cases in Maharashtra Police reached 1,273 with 11 having lost their lives to the viral disease.
As of Monday morning, the count in the SRPF personnel was 384. (Express photo: Pradip Das)
According to the numbers shared by officials from the Maharashtra Police headquarters, among the 1,273 cases, 131 are officers and 1142 are constables. Of these, a total of 291 — 34 officers and 257 constables — have recovered. A majority of these cases are local police personnel from Mumbai, Thane and Malegaon or personnel of the State Reserved Police Force (SRPF) who were deployed in these high-risk areas and later repatriated to their home units.
As of Monday morning, the count in the SRPF personnel was 384. Most of these cases are of the companies of the SRPF deployed in Mumbai and Malegaon have gone back to their unit’s headquarters in Hingoli, Aurangabad and Jalna district of Maharashtra.
As migrants pour into their villages from urban Covid hotspots, they pose a growing challenge to states fighting to keep the viral load down: how to quarantine them, in large numbers, for at least 14 days and how to maintain social distancing during that quarantine given that most of them are asymptomatic.
A Shramik Special train leaves Hubbali for Azamgarh on Sunday afternoon. (Photo: Twitter/ @SWRRLY)
Defining the challenge, AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria, member of the high-level Covid committee, said: “We must remember that these migrants can be asymptomatic but are carrying the infection. That is why isolation is most important. Only that will prevent the spread, rather than just testing symptomatic patients. Also, the number of migrants is huge. Testing will run into lakhs.”
The numbers are a challenge. An analysis of the train network opened for the migrants shows that of the 1000 Shramik Special trains that have run since May 1 to May 15, until over two-thirds of them, or 668, originated from Red zones and as many as 508 of them moved passengers to Green or Orange zones.
Karnataka to observe complete lockdown on Sunday
The Karnataka government on Monday barred people from Kerala, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu from entering the state till May 31. The state will also observe total lockdown on Sundays, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa told reporters.
Morning crowd at a market in Navi Mumbai on day one of Lockdown 4 on Monday, May 18, 2020. (Express Photo by Amit Chakravarty)
The state has allowed buses of all the four state transport corporations to operate, except in red and containment zones, from tomorrow. Private buses have also been permitted to run their services.
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Only 30 people would be allowed to travel in the buses and wearing of face masks and maintaining physical distancing are mandatory, he said. Bus fares would not be increased, he added. Inter-state transport would not be allowed, except in emergency cases. Auto and taxis were also given green signal to get on to roads, but there should be only three passengers, including the driver. In maxi-cabs, the maximum number should be four passengers, including driver. Trains can operate within the State but not inter- state services till May 31.
CBSE announces schedule for pending board exams
Crowd at NIBM Kausar Baug road in Pune’s Kondhwa market on Monday, May 18, 2020. (Express Photo By Pavan Khengre)
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Monday announced the date sheet for the pending class 10 and 12 board exams, which will now be held from July 1-15. The exams were postponed due to the nationwide lockdown imposed on March 25 to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The class 10 board exams are pending only in the North East Delhi. “The class 10 exams will be staggered on four dates, starting July 1. The first paper will be of Social Sciences, while the next day students will be required to appear for Science exam, Sanyam Bhardwaj, the Controller of Examination, CBSE said. On July 10, exams will be conducted for both courses of Hindi and on July 15 for both courses of English,” he said.
More than 5,000 new cases of Coronavirus infections were reported on Sunday, the maximum till now