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 even as the total number of cases in India went past 3500 while the death toll touched 83. On Sunday, the nation entered the 12th day of the three-week lockdown to break the transmission chain of the infection.
Asserting that there was no evidence that the coronavirus was airborne, the Health Ministry, in its daily briefing, also said the rate of doubling of COVID-19 cases in India was 4.1 days currently. “If the cases linked to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation would not have happened, it would have been 7.4 days,” Lav Aggarwal, Joint secretary, Health Ministry said. Follow LIVE Updates
Here is a curated list of striking stories that happened across the country on Day 12
* Citizens should practice social distancing: President
In his message on the eve of Mahavir Jayanti, President Ram Nath Kovind said citizens should follow all government guidelines and practice social distancing to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Kovind said Lord Mahavira’s noble teachings of non-violence, truth and renunciation are relevant in every age and for every person. “Let us get inspiration from Lord Mahavira’s life and his teachings for spreading peace, love, virtue and harmony in the world,” he said.
By following these teachings, an inclusive and egalitarian society can be created where everyone gets equal opportunities by promoting mutual coordination and harmony, the president said.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday held a discussion with former presidents, former prime ministers as well as opposition leaders on the coronavirus pandemic. According to sources, Modi spoke to former presidents Pranab Mukherjee and Pratibha Patil and former prime ministers Manmohan Singh and Deve Gowda.
The Prime Minister also spoke to Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Odisha’s Naveen Patnaik, Telangana CM K Chandrashekhar Rao, DMK chief M K Stalin, Samajwadi Party leaders Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav and Shiromani Akali Dal chief Parkash Singh Badal.
* Vadodara bars distribution of aid after volunteer tests positive
With a volunteer testing positive for COVID-19 in Vadodara, a week after the last case was reported in the city, authorities Sunday prohibited volunteers and police officials from distributing food to those stranded in the lockdown to avoid community transmission of the virus. This was the city’s 10th positive case.
Officer on Special duty Vinod Rao said the government will appoint a professional agency to distribute the food kits so as to maintain hygiene and social distancing, which is not seen during distribution of food by individuals albeit with good intentions.
* Suspected Covid-19 patient attempts suicide at Delhi hospital
A 37-year-old man, suspected to be a coronavirus patient, suffered injuries after he allegedly tried to commit suicide by jumping from the third floor of Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital in the national capital. The man was admitted to the hospital on March 31. The police said the incident took place on Saturday around 11:30 pm.
Sanjay Bhatia, Deputy Commissioner of Police (central), said, “The man jumped from the third floor of the hospital and fell on the tin shed below before hitting the ground and fracturing his leg. The doctors said that he is stable now. The results of his coronavirus test are still pending.”
* Candies, baby suit for 2-year-old Covid-19 patient on birthday
A coronavirus positive child, who turned two on Saturday, got a “surprise gift” from the staff of Punjab’s Nawanshahr civil hospital where he is admitted, officials said here. The two-year-old boy and his mother, who has also tested positive for the infection, are undergoing treatment at the isolation ward of the hospital, they added.
On learning that it was his birthday, the staff at the hospital bought him candies, chocolates and a baby suit as a gift, senior medical officer Harwinder Singh said. Staff members wanted to get him a birthday cake but could not arrange one because of curfew restrictions in place, he added.
* ‘We’re proud of you’: Pakistan ATC praises Air India
Air India recently received praise from the Air Traffic Controller (ATC) of Pakistan for the global relief work that the national carrier has been undertaking during the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking to news agency ANI, one of the senior captains of the special flights said, ” It was a very proud moment for me as well as the entire Air India crew when we heard from Pakistan ATC praising our special flight operations to Europe.
Amid the lockdown, about two hundred people gathered at the residence of BJP MLA Dadarao Keche on Sunday in Maharashtra when he celebrated his birthday. Although Keche denied he had invited people to celebrate his birthday, the local sub-divisional officer has issued a notice under various provisions against the MLA for violating the rules under the Epidemic Diseases Act.
WATCH | Amid lockdown, 200 people gather at residence of BJP MLA Dadarao Keche in Maharashtra on his birthday pic.twitter.com/7bHK70n829
Keche told The Indian Express, “I had invited only 21 labourers who have lost their livelihood due to coronavirus and distributed food grains to them. After that, I left to visit my guru Bhikaram Baba at Ashta around 11 am. But my political adversaries took advantage of the situation to spread the word that I am distributing food grains, leading to several people thronging my residence. When I got the information, I rushed back and dispersed the crowd with the help of police.”
The statue, a towering memorial dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was put up for sale for Rs 30,000 crores to donate the money for medical and health care equipment for COVID-19. The description read, “‘Emergency! Selling Statue of Unity because of urgent money required for the hospitals and healthcare equipment.’
Taking suo moto cognizance, after an article appeared in a local newspaper, the Statue of Unity authorities on Sunday approached the police to file a complaint against an unknown person for the listing.
The water of river Yamuna is gradually turning transparent in the wake of the national lockdown imposed to arrest the spread of coronavirus. The pollution control board officers, social organisations and other nature lovers have credited the lockdown for the clean waters of Yamuna.
Normally, Yamuna river gets polluted due to bathing by floating population, throwing flowers, garlands and other worship material as well as the industrial affluent, District Pollution Control Board officer Arvind Kumar said.