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Monday, May 25, 2020

Coronavirus HIGHLIGHTS: India turns off lights at 9 pm on PM Modi’s appeal

Globally, the COVID-19 virus has infected over 1.2 million people and has left nearly 65,000 dead. In India, there are 3,577 cases and 83 deaths.

By: Express Web Desk | Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Mumbai, New Delhi | Updated: April 6, 2020 7:56:06 am
People light lamps, torches and flashlights of their phones from 9 pm to 9.09 pm in Ahmadabad on Sunday. (Express photo: Javed Raja)

At 9 pm on Sunday, the country participated in the nine-minutes ‘lights-off’ exercise as per Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to display the country’s “collective resolve” to defeat coronavirus. While Diyas and candles were lit in most houses, many people also burst crackers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had appealed to people to light candles and diyas, or switch on torches or mobile phone flashlights, for nine minutes at 9 pm today, to “illuminate the common purpose we are all fighting for”. “The light from the lamps will show that we are together in this battle,” he said.

The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country climbed to 3,577 and the death toll rose to 83 on Sunday after 505 new infections were reported in the past 24 hours, according to the Union Health Ministry. The active COVID-19 cases stand at 3,219, while 274 people were either cured or discharged and one had migrated. Seven deaths have been reported in the past 24 hours, the ministry data stated. Earlier today, the Indian Council of Medical Research said there was no evidence of COVID-19 being an airborne infection. “If this was an airborne infection not droplet infection, every person in a family would be infected, same would apply for other patients in a hospital,” an ICMR official said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday spoke to former presidents Pranab Mukherjee, Pratibha Patil; former prime ministers Manmohan Singh, Deve Gowda and opposition leaders including Sonia Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee, Akhilesh Yadav, Naveen Patnaik to discuss the COVID-19 situation in the country, sources said.

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Positive cases in India stand at 3,577. Read highlights

22:51 (IST)05 Apr 2020
Gujarat: 16 more Tablighis traced, total count at 126

Sixteen more Tablighi Jamaat workers who had attended the Markaz gathering at Nizamuddin in New Delhi earlier this March were traced from Gujarat on Sunday, taking the total number of people who attended the congregation to 126 in the state. Of these, eight have tested positive for COVID-19 till now.

According to police, on Sunday, 11 workers were identified in Junagadh, three in Chhota Udepur and two in Ahmedabad by the respective Special Operations Groups (SOG) of Gujarat Police. READ MORE

22:41 (IST)05 Apr 2020
‘Will lift lockdown in phases from April 15’: Adityanath seeks help from religious, political leaders

During a video-conference with religious leaders of different communities Sunday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said lockdown would be lifted in the state in a phased manner, and sought their suggestions to maintain social distancing after that. Earlier in the day too, during an interaction with MPs and ministers from the state, he had asked for suggestions to stop sudden crowding on roads once the ‘lockdown is lifted on April 15’.

“14 tarik tak lockdown hai, 14 ke baad yani 15 april se lockdown humlog phase wise khulwayenge. Is mamle mein koi sujhav tatkalik roop se ya mere karyalaya ko bhejna chahenge to main aapke sujhav ka swagat karunga” (The lockdown is till April 14 and from April 15, it will be lifted in a phased manner. In this regard, if you have any suggestions to given at present or to my office, it would be welcomed),” Adityanath told religious leaders.

22:36 (IST)05 Apr 2020
In Photos | India responds to PM Modi's appeal; lights candles and diyas

Millions of Indians across the country switched off lights at their homes and lit candles and diyas or turned on mobile phone torches on Sunday night, responding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal to show the nation's 'collective resolve and solidarity' in its fight against coronavirus with this symbolic gesture. Much before the designated time of 9 pm, people turned off lights at their homes while lamps and candles lit up the streets as people stood in their balconies and at entrance doors in unison. Fireworks, sounds from beating of thalis, conches, whistles and police sirens were heard.

See more photos here

22:19 (IST)05 Apr 2020
Maharashtra: Enthusiastic response to PM Modi's call from people, Bollywood

People from across Maharashtra responded enthusiastically to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal to defeat coronavirus by switching off lights in their premises for nine minutes at 9 pm on Sunday amid the national lockdown. People lit landles, diyas and flashed lights of their mobile phones by standing in balconies of their houses. Prominent personalities such as NCP chief Sharad Pawar, family of renowned singer Lata Mangeshkar, actor Amitabh Bachchan as well asseveral oher actors and celebrities too responded to the PM's call.

21:46 (IST)05 Apr 2020
PM Modi lights diya, shares photo on Twitter

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who appealed to the people of India to light diyas and candles today, took to Twitter to share his photo lighting diya.

21:27 (IST)05 Apr 2020
Millions of Indians respond to PM's appeal; light candles, diyas, turn on mobile phone torches

Millions of Indians across the country switched off lights at their homes and lit candles, diyas or turned on mobile phone torches on Sunday night, responding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal to show the nation's "collective resolve and solidarity" in its fight against coronavirus. As the clock struck 9, lights went out in most houses and people gathered in balconies and at doors, flashing mobile lights while many lit candles and diyas. Fireworks, thalis, whistles and police sirens were heard. At some places, Hindu devotional songs, mantras and national anthem were also played.

21:13 (IST)05 Apr 2020
Lights off, candles and diyas on

At 9 pm on Sunday, the country participated in the nine-minutes ‘lights-off’ exercise as per Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to display the country’s “collective resolve” to defeat coronavirus. Earlier in the day, PM Modi had reminded people to light up lamps on Sunday night. “#9pm9minute”, the PM tweeted to remind people of the exercise. While Diyas and candles were lit in most houses, many people also burst crackers.

20:53 (IST)05 Apr 2020
Nation to take part in PM Modi’s nine-minutes ‘lights-off’ exercise at 9 pm

At 9 pm on Sunday, the country is set to participate in the nine-minutes ‘lights-off’ exercise as per Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to display the country’s “collective resolve” to defeat coronavirus. Earlier in the day, PM Modi had reminded people to light up lamps on Sunday night. “#9pm9minute”, the PM tweeted to remind people of the exercise. Meanwhile, grid operators across states have planned an elaborate set of contingency measures to avert any crisis caused by the sudden massive load reduction due to the exercise quickly followed by a sharp increase.

20:44 (IST)05 Apr 2020
Amitabh Bachchan to provide monthly ration to 1 lakh daily wage workers

Megastar Amitabh Bachchan has undertaken an initiative to provide monthly ration to 1 lakh daily wage workers, whose livelihood has been severely hit by the nationwide lockdown following the coronavirus outbreak. Bachchan is the latest Bollywood celebrity to lend support to daily wage workers. The initiative is supported by Sony Pictures Networks India and Kalyan Jewellers.

20:41 (IST)05 Apr 2020
Indore reports two more deaths, MP's death toll climbs to 13

A 50-year-old man and a 53-year-old woman, both residents of Indore, died of the coronavirus disease on Sunday taking the total death toll in Madhya Pradesh to 13. The man tested positive on Thursday and was under treatment at a designated COVID hospital where he died early in the morning. The woman who was under treatment at a government hospital since March 29 died soon after noon. She tested positive on Wednesday. MP had reported three deaths on Saturday, including two from Indore and one from Chhindwara. Indore, the state's biggest city, has reported maximum number of positive cases. In a video bulletin on Sunday, Madhya Pradesh's principal secretary (health) Pallavi Jain Govil said the state has so far reported 193 positive cases.

20:20 (IST)05 Apr 2020
Drastic rise in covid-19 cases in AP, total in state now at 252

Andhra Pradesh reported 62 new Covid-19 positive cases Sunday, all of them related to the Tablighi Jamaat meeting held in Nizamuddin in Delhi mid-March. The number of cases rose to 252 Sunday even as results of more than 600 samples are awaited. Officials said that those who tested positive were all those who attended the meeting or those who came in close contact with them. The AP Government started random sampling in the worst affected districts of Kurnool, Nellore and Guntur, and Visakhapatnam. As the state recorded a drastic rise in cases, Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy held a high level review meeting on COVID-19 and discussed among other things the preventive measures, preparedness and testing of primary contacts. ``Almost all the new cases since last one week are of those who returned from the Jamaat meet. Afte returning they had contact with several people besides their family members. All of them are being traced and screened,’’ Health Minister A Krishna Srinivas said. The Chief Minister has asked the officials for screening in clusters in red zones and complete the testing of people who were in contact with those who returned from jamaat, Srinivas said. 

20:17 (IST)05 Apr 2020
83 deaths, 3,577 cases — state wise list of casualties and infections

With India reporting 11 new deaths Sunday from Rajasthan, West Bengal, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh, the toll has reached 83 in the country. The total number of infections rose to 3,577 . Of this, 274 people have either recovered or discharged. According to the ministry, Maharashtra has reported the most coronavirus deaths at 24, followed by Gujarat 10, Telangana 7, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi 6 each and Punjab 5. Also, the government has said that over 33 per cent of the cases have been linked to a religious gathering of the Tablighi Jamaat at Nizamuddin Markaz in the national capital last month and that such patients are spread across 17 states and Union Territories. Here is a state-wise list of the number of deaths and infections across the country

20:14 (IST)05 Apr 2020
Explained: The Japanese anti-influenza drug being tested for treating COVID-19

Last week, the Japanese conglomerate Fujifilm announced the start of phase III clinical trials of Avigan, an influenza antiviral drug that is being experimented with in many countries for the treatment of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). As there is still no specific cure for COVID-19, medicines used for other ailments are being repurposed around the world for it. Drugs for malaria, HIV, arthritis, among others have been administered to COVID-19 patients, with varying degrees of effectiveness. Read more here

20:13 (IST)05 Apr 2020
Maharashtra: Four more positive in Buldana

Four more from Buldana district have tested positive for corona virus, taking the total number of corona cases in the district to nine. Incidentally, the four new cases are of those who had participated in the Tablighi Jamaat programme in Delhi last month. "We received four more positive reports on Sunday. They have history of travel to Delhi in connection with the merkaz programme there," Collector Suman Chandra told The Indian Express. Two of the new cases are from Chikhli tahsil town, one from Khamgaon and one from Deulgaon Raja, according to Buldana Civil Surgeon Premchand Pandit. Of the nine corona cases, one had died on March 28. With this, Buldana has emerged as the second biggest corona hotspot in Vidarbha after Nagpur which has 17 ceases so far with four cured ones. Yavatmal has three cured cases, while Washim and Gondia have one active positive case each.

20:01 (IST)05 Apr 2020
Lockdown stories from a Kolkata slum, far away from social distancing

In a bid to flatten the curve and stop the spread of coronavirus, around the world if there is one measure being adopted by all, it’s social distancing. However, for people residing at slums — cramped together in shanties, there is anything but space. Indian Express photographer Shashi Ghosh visited one such slum located in Barasat’s Kazipara in West Bengal and saw how daily wagers and their family members are struggling to survive.

19:48 (IST)05 Apr 2020
Maharashtra COVID-19 tally jumps to 748

The COVID-19 tally in Maharashtra mounted to 748 Sunday. The total number of fresh cases throughout Sunday increased by 113.

Here is the tally-

Mumbai - 81
Pune - 18
Aurangabad - 4
Anagar - 3
Kdmc - 2
Thane - 2
Osmanabad - 1
Vasai - 1
Others - 1
Total today - 113

19:19 (IST)05 Apr 2020
Confirmed cases in India climb to 3,577, death toll at 83

The total number of confirmed cases in India rose to 3,577 on Sunday, according to Union Health Ministry data. The earlier data recorded a total of 3,374 confirmed cases. The current data has added 203 more cases, while the death toll has increased to 83 and 274 patients have recovered from coronavirus. 

19:17 (IST)05 Apr 2020
In Pics | Visuals from Kolkata on Day 11 of India's lockdown

Essential grocery items being distributed among the locals at Beliaghata in Kolkata.

Express photo: Partha Paul
18:52 (IST)05 Apr 2020
COVID-19 lockdown effect: From deficit, dairies suddenly grappling with excess milk supplies

Before the nationwide lockdown to curb coronavirus, Dodla Dairy Ltd was selling around 13.5 lakh litres per day (LLPD) of pouch liquid milk, curd and butter milk, while planning to step it up to 15 LLPD during the peak April-June summer consumption period. The Hyderabad-based company, however, was struggling, with its average milk procurement at only 9 LLPD. To meet the gap, it was sourcing 2-2.5 LLPD of milk from other private as well as cooperative dairies, apart from buying skimmed milk powder (SMP) and ghee/white butter for reconstitution. But post the lockdown, the equation has completely changed 

18:50 (IST)05 Apr 2020
‘Every recovery is a triumph’: Kerala man cheered while leaving hospital after being cured of Covid-19

Despite Kerala being one of the worst coronavirus affected states with 309 cases, on the brighter side, it has also seen 49 people recover from the infection. Recently, a video of a man in Kerala being cheered by medical staff and patients after completely recovering from COVID-19 has gone viral on social media. The 35-second clip, which was tweeted by Minister for Co-operation Kerala Tourism and Devaswoms Kadakampally Surendran, features a patient walking out of the hospital as the medical staff cheered and bid him farewell.

Vidarbha coronavirus, Vidarbha coronavirus death toll, india coronavirus, india coronavirus latest death, maharashtra coronavirus deaths Shiv Sena volunteers sanitise the area at Kamathipura in Mumbai. (Express photo/Nirmal Harindran)

Globally, the COVID-19 virus has infected over 1.2 million people and has left nearly 65,000 dead. In the United States, which is among the worst-affected countries with 3 lakhs cases, President Donald Trump said, "There's going to be a lot of death," and added that the country faces what he called the toughest two weeks of the pandemic. Dubai imposed a two-week lockdown Saturday night and Saudi Arabia sealed off parts of the Red Sea city of Jeddah as Gulf states tightened measures in big cities to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

So far, 1,023 of the 3,072 positive cases in India have been traced to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation. The cases have come from 17 states and Union Territories — Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Assam, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Arunachal Pradesh, Jharkhand and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

According to the Ministry of Health Affairs, more than 2,000 of the Tablighi Jamaat participants were foreigners. After the gathering, over 800 of them toured various parts of the country. On Thursday, the MHA blacklisted 1,320 foreigners associated with the Tablighi Jamaat for violating visa rules even as it cancelled tourist visas of all such visitors to India.

At 9 pm today, PM Modi has asked people to light candles and diyas, or switch on torches or mobile phone flashlights, for nine minutes. “Amidst the darkness spread by the Corona pandemic, we must continuously progress towards light and hope. We must continuously strive to take those of us most affected, our poor brothers and sisters, from disappointment to hope,” the Prime Minister said. “And that is why”, Modi said, “this Sunday, on the 5th of April, we must all together, challenge the darkness spread by the corona crisis, introducing it to the power of light. On this 5th of April, we must awaken the superpower of 130 crore Indians. We must take the super resolve of 130 crore Indians to even greater heights.”

Meanwhile, a group of Union Ministers are discussing the possible steps after India's 21-day lockdown ends on April 14. Directions have already been issued relaxing movement of farm labour given the necessity of farm operations and also the broad pattern so far that rural areas and smaller towns with low population densities are not reporting any significant outbreak.

READ | After two test positive at Delhi’s Ganga Ram hospital, 108 staff quarantined

READ | Modi, Trump: Use India-US partnership to jointly fight COVID-19

READ | In quarantined Bengal village, fear of stigma as big as that of corona

READ | Lokpal member tests positive for virus, admitted to AIIMS trauma centre

Here’s a quick Coronavirus guide from Express Explained to keep you updated: What can cause a COVID-19 patient to relapse after recovery? | COVID-19 lockdown has cleaned up the air, but this may not be good news. Here’s why | Can alternative medicine work against the coronavirus? | A five-minute test for COVID-19 has been readied, India may get it too | How India is building up defence during lockdown | Why only a fraction of those with coronavirus suffer acutely | How do healthcare workers protect themselves from getting infected? | What does it take to set up isolation wards?