With only three days left for the 21-day lockdown to end in India, positive cases in the country have surpassed the 7,500 mark as the death toll rose to 242. As the growth curve has shown an uptick, a broad consensus on extending the lockdown emerged out of an over four-hour meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Ministers of various states on COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, the health ministry reported 1,035 fresh infections across India and 40 deaths in the last 24 hours. Shedding light on the importance of the lockdown to tackle the spread of coronavirus, the ministry said that after restrictions were imposed, the growth rate of infections is down to 29 per cent. Which means, in numbers, that the total positive infections which stood at 7,529 could have been 45,000 without the lockdown, the ministry said. Follow Coronavirus LIVE UPDATES
Here is a curated list of some striking stories from across the country on Day 18
In a clear violation of the 21-day nationwide lockdown, a BJP MLA in Karnataka was spotted celebrating his birthday with 100 others in a government school in Tumakuru district on Friday. Media reports suggested that police was also present at the spot to provide security to the legislator. Turuvekere MLA Masale Jayaram held a grand celebration, photos of which have now gone viral, in a government school in Idaguru village, CS Pura Hobli in Gubbi tamluk, six kilometres away from the state capital.
According to reports, the MLA delivered also delivered a speech on coronavirus and how to contain the spread of the infection.Speaking to indianexpress.com, Pradeep Kumar Hiremath, Tahsildar, said, “We have received information about the incident and I have issued a notice to the circle inspector.”
Quote circulating on WhatsApp on COVID-19 impact on economy not mine: Ratan Tata busts fake news
“We are not just fighting an epidemic; we are fighting an infodemic”. These are the words of WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who asserted that “fake news spreads faster and more easily than this virus, and is just as dangerous”. At a time when the world is struggling to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, fake news, unsubstantiated facts are doing the rounds on social media, adding to the problem.
Recently, former Chairman of Tata Sons, Ratan Tata, took to Twitter clarify that a quote on the coronavirus impact on the Indian economy was wrongly attributed to him.
This post has neither been said, nor written by me. I urge you to verify media circulated on WhatsApp and social platforms. If I have something to say, I will say it on my official channels. Hope you are safe and do take care. pic.twitter.com/RNVL40aRTB
— Ratan N. Tata (@RNTata2000) April 11, 2020
After he called out the fake news piece, Ratan Tata explained that he will say it on his official channels, if he has something to say.
Tamil Nadu police in Rameswaram mark lockdown violator vehicles with paint
With police across the country using different tactics to ensure lockdown is maintained, the Tamil Nadu police in Rameswaram are using white paint to mark vehicles of the people who are violating the nationwide lockdown in place to tackle the spread of coronavirus.
— ANI (@ANI) April 11, 2020
Manipur relaxes curfew for a day, shops petrol pumps open
As Manipur relaxed the lockdown for a day on Saturday, people gathered at markets across the state to buy and stock up on essential commodities amid the coronavirus outbreak. The state government allowed opening of markets, shops, petrol pumps for one day in view of Easter and Cheiraoba (Lunar New Year) festival which falls on April 12 and 13 respectively.
Manipur: People gathered in the markets in Imphal today to buy essential commodities amid #COVID19 outbreak. The state government, only for today, has allowed opening of markets, shops for the sale of essential commodities in view of Easter and Cheiraoba(Lunar New Year) festivals pic.twitter.com/nbB75ZWDdP
— ANI (@ANI) April 11, 2020
Even with markets open, people had to ensure social distancing and strictly abide by the health advisory as issued by the district administrations.
Amid lockdown, parents undertake over 2,000 km journey for Army officer’s funeral
Amid the nationwide lockdown, parents of a gallantry award-winning officer had to undertake an over 2000-km-long journey by road to attend the funeral of their son in Bengaluru, according to a family member. Colonel N S Bal, who had earned a Shaurya Chakra and ran marathons despite battling cancer, died on Thursday at a hospital in Bengaluru, officials said.
The late officer’s brother, Navtez Singh Bal, had been writing about the journey undertaken by the family starting from Amritsar. “Thank you sir. At the moment my parents are in Delhi figuring out a way to reach Bangalore to perform the last rites! I hope that The Forces will also be able to say ‘they can’ and not force them to drive 2000+ km to get to Bangalore,” he tweeted on Friday.
Lockdown: Become anti corona police, Latur collector to kids
In a move to get people to adhere to the lockdown norms, the Latur collector in Maharashtra asked children to become “anti corona police” or ACP and question elders when and if they are stepping out of homes and stop them if the trip is not necessary. Collector G Sreekanth on Saturday said the administration had taken several steps to enforce the lockdown but some people were still coming on to the roads without adequate reason.
“Children in every house must become anti corona police or ACP to stop elders from going out of the house without reason during the lockdown,” Sreekanth said, adding that in his own household, daughter Shaswati had taken on the
role of ACP.
IIT-KGP advises students to apply for internships in its departments
With the lockdown only showing signs of extending, the IIT Kharagpur has advised its students to apply for summer internships in its departments, an official of the institute was quoted as saying by PTI on Saturday.
It said the students can also approach companies that offer online internships, he added. Students of the IIT-Kharagpur will do internships from April to July this year. “We are allocating students to work as interns in ongoing projects in the institute,” Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Professor Debasis Deb said.
@IITKgp has set up a #placement taskforce to liase with companies & ensure that placement offers remain consistent amidst #COVID19. 1306 offers were made in 2019-20 with no cancellation till date due to #COVIDー19. @PIBHRD @HRDMinistry @DrRPNishank @PMOIndia @SanjayDhotreMP
— IIT Kharagpur🇮🇳 #StayHome #StaySafe (@IITKgp) April 11, 2020
Meanwhile, the IIT-Kharagpur has formed a placement task force to liaise with companies to ensure that placement offers remain consistent amid the coronavirus outbreak, the institute tweeted.
India footballer Vineeth joins COVID-19 helpline centre in Kerala
Popular in his home state of Kerala for football, India and Jamshedpur FC winger C K Vineeth has joined a government helpline centre to advice people on how to face the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vineeth, who has played for the national team and was a part of Jamshedpur FC in the Indian Super League 2019-20, was contacted by the Kerala Sports Council about the helpline in Kannur and he immediately jumped into the thick of things. “After I came back here (in Kerala), I got a call from the Kerala Sports Council, asking whether I would like to help with the COVID-19 helpline, so I joined in,” Vineeth told PTI.
Kerala has emerged to be the state in India which has been effectively flattening the coronavirus curve.
After tweet from desperate mother, Railways delivers camel milk for her autistic child
After a Mumbai resident tweeted regarding the requirement for 20 litres of camel milk for her three-and-a-half year old autistic child tagging Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Indian Railways transported the milk to the family.
The good deed of the railways came to light when senior IPS officer Arun Bothra wrote about it on Twitter. “20 litres camel milk reached Mumbai by train last night. The family has kindly shared part of it with another needy person in the city. Thanking Sh.Tarun Jain, CPTM, North-West Railways who ensured an unscheduled halt to pick the container,” Bothra said in a tweet.
Renu Kumari, the mother of the child, had tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a tweet, in which she highlighted her son’s plight who has severe food allergy, PTI reported.
Covid-19 mars festival season: At a glance
With a number of festivals lined up over the next couple of days including Easter, Baisakhi, Vishu, Bihu and Mesadi, most people will be facing the brunt of the lockdown and spending holidays at home.
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