Coronavirus April 15 Highlights: Death toll touch 392 as cases near 12000-mark
Coronavirus: With India entering the 22nd day of a nationwide lockdown, the Health Ministry in its daily briefing said that districts across the country have been divided into hotspots, non-hotspots, and green zone.
The lockdown was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday for another 19 days till May 3. (Express photo: Amit Chakravarty)
Coronavirus Updates: With India entering the 22nd day of a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Health Ministry on Wednesday classified 170 districts as hotspots and 207 districts as non-hotspots. In a press briefing, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Health Lav Agarwal said that states have been asked to classify districts which have reported a higher number of cases as hotspots, the districts where cases have been reported as non-hotspots, and green zones where no cases have been reported.
The death toll due to the virus, meanwhile, increased to 392 and the total number of infections neared the 12,000-mark, including 1,343 people who have recovered. Maharashtra continued to be the worst affected state with over 2,800 cases. Besides, the Ministry of Home Affairs issued revised guidelines for the extended lockdown, in which it gave relaxation to agriculture, e-commerce and select industrial activities from April 20. The government also granted exemptions to all health services, financial services, MNREGA works, public utilities, supply of goods and cargo services, saying strict action will be taken against those violating it. The lockdown was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday for another 19 days till May 3.
Coronavirus LIVE news updates: The iconic India Gate unusually quiet and barricaded amid the lockdown (Express Photo by Praveen Khanna)
Coronavirus LIVE news updates:
With Prime Minister Narendra Modi announcing an extension of the lockdown, migrant labourers, rendered homeless and without jobs, came out on roads in Mumbai's Bandra, asking to be sent back home. In Surat too, hundreds of textile labourers came out on the streets demanding to go back to their home states because they were not getting enough food.
Underscoring that there was no alternative to saving human lives even though India might have paid a big economic price, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced that the lockdown across the country would be extended till May 3 to ensure that the coronavirus pandemic does not spread to non-affected areas.
With no job or money, migrant labourers long to reach home amid the nationwide lockdown
Longer lockdown brings 2,000 angry workers out on the street in Mumbai
Upset over the extension of the national coronavirus lockdown till May 3, nearly 2,000 migrant workers gathered outside the suburban Bandra West station in Mumbai Tuesday demanding the right to return home, and access to food and rations. The police had to resort to a lathi-charge to disperse the crowd.
The gathering comprised largely of migrant workers and their families residing in the adjoining slum settlements. Many of them said they had been hoping that the 21-day lockdown that was to end Tuesday would be lifted — or that arrangements would be made to transport them to their homes in UP, Bihar and West Bengal.
India reaches out to China for 15 million PPEs
Meanwhile, to meet its requirement of 15 million personal protection equipment (PPEs), which includes gowns, masks, gloves and goggles, India has now reached out to China and has placed orders. New Delhi is also in the process of procuring 1.5 million rapid testing kits from China, some of which have already been delivered.
These were revealed by Indian ambassador to China Vikram Misri in an online briefing from Beijing on Tuesday. This essentially means that India is depending on China for the PPE overalls as Indian doctors have complained of shortage of PPEs in the hospitals.
Trump halts WHO funding over handling of coronavirus; UN says ‘not the time to reduce resources’
On the international front, US President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he was cutting off U.S. payments to the World Health Organization during the coronavirus pandemic, accusing the organization of failing to do enough to stop the virus from spreading when it first surfaced in China. “The WHO failed in its basic duty and must be held accountable,” Trump said at a briefing. He said the U.S. would be reviewing the WHO’s actions to stop the virus before making any decision on resuming aid.
In this file photo, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization speaks during a news conference on updates regarding on the novel coronavirus (AP, file)
As India reels under the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Tuesday projected a GDP growth rate of 1.9 per cent for the country in 2020. But the IMF, in its latest edition of the World Economy report, has named India as the fastest-growing emerging economies of the world.
The IMF’s projection for the country’s GDP growth came as countries around the globe are witnessing the worst recession since the Great Depression of 1929, owing to the coronavirus pandemic that has brought the industries to a grinding halt.
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