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India lockdown diary, Day 9: Attacks on health workers, devotees assemble in temples on Ram Navami and more

From incidents of health officials being attacked to devotees defying lockdown to assemble in temples on Ram Navami, here is a list of striking stories from across the country on the ninth day of the lockdown.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: April 2, 2020 11:09:41 pm
coronavirus covid-19, coronavirus news, coronavirus india news, covid-19 india, maharashtra, india lockdown, indian express lockdown diary A priest wearing a mask performs prayer rituals at the Ram Mandir on the occasion of Ram Navami at Wadala in Mumbai. (Express photo by Prashant Nadkar)

As India entered the ninth day of the 21-day lockdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hinted at a “staggered” exit after the period ends on April 14 while pitching for efforts on a war footing to identify and isolate COVID-19 hotspots. The number of confirmed cases, as per the latest Health Ministry update, has crossed the 2,000 mark in India, including 53 deaths and 155 of those who have recovered. Maharashtra is the worst affected state with 355 cases and is followed by Kerala (265), Tamil Nadu (234) and Delhi (219).

With a huge congregation of Tablighi Jamaat in the national capital’s Nizamuddin area emerging as the biggest hotspot of the coronavirus outbreak, authorities said nearly 9,000 people — members of the Jamaat and their primary contacts — have been identified and quarantined across the country. This includes 1,306 foreigners who are associated with the Jamaat.

Here is a curated list of striking stories that happened across the country on Day 9 

Mob attacks health officials, chases them away in Indore

The Indore police have arrested four persons from Tatpatti Bakhal locality who were part of a mob that allegedly pelted stones and chased away health officials when they went to screen relatives of a man who died of COVID 19. A video of the attack on Wednesday showed a large group of residents shouting and chasing away a team comprising health and civic officials. No one was injured in the stone pelting but the health and civic officials had a harrowing time in leaving the locality. Read more here

ASHA workers ‘manhandled’ in Karnataka over coronavirus survey

ASHA workers engaged to conduct the coronavirus survey in certain minority-dominated areas in Bengaluru were allegedly manhandled on Thursday, prompting the Karnataka government to issue a stern warning to the offenders. The Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) workers along with health officials were conducting a door-to-door survey in the minority-dominated areas in view of the virus spreading through those who returned to the state after attending a religious congregation in Delhi.

Condemning the incident, Karnataka Health Minister B Sriramulu shared the video of an ASHA worker detailing what happened. In the video clip, the ASHA worker said, “During our survey at Sadiq Layout, an announcement was made over loudspeakers by a local Mosque, then people rushed outside and surrounded and heckled us. I request the government to arrest the person who has announced in the loudspeaker. There were no buses and we went there in our own vehicle without having food to spread awareness about the coronavirus, but the residents there troubled us.”

Liquor thefts in time of coronavirus baffle Maharashtra cops

Amid the prolonged lockdown prompted by the coronavirus, a spate of thefts at liquor shops in Nagpur has left the local cops baffled. Four such incidents were reported within 48 hours from liquor shops and beer bars which are shut from March 18 after the government ordered the lockdown. The thefts have led to enhanced patrolling near liquor shops, an official said. Inspector of State Excise Department Raosaheb Kore said in the four cases, thieves decamped with liquor worth over Rs one lakh at each of these places. (PTI)

9-year-old girl, poor widow lay bare heart of gold in fight against corona 

She is small with a big heart that beats inexorably for those sick and dying from coronavirus. The other a poor widow who ekes out a living doing menial jobs and selling groceries part-time. The common thread that binds Zorintluangi, a class 3 student of Faith Academy in Aizawl, and Mailoki, a destitute widow, is that both have hearts of gold. Zorintluangi donated her entire savings of Rs 1,107 to Luangmual local-level task force to aid the battle against the deadly virus and those in desperate need during the 21-day lockdown the disease has brought in its wake. (PTI)

Teachers roped in to trace migrant workers in Gujarat

The Gujarat government has roped in primary school teachers to trace migrant workers and provide them free ration during the unprecedented lockdown in view of the coronavirus outbreak. Teachers from government-run schools were called-in on Wednesday for door-to-door survey of villages to find the migrant workers there and inform about their whereabouts to the authorities concerned. Lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus has turned into a humanitarian crisis as it resulted in exodus of migrant workers, who have lost their jobs and have been walking to their native places in the absence of any transportation facilities.

Devotees assemble in temples on Ram Navami in Bengal defying lockdown

Amid chant of ‘Jai Sri Ram’, thousands of devotees assembled in temples in various parts of West Bengal on the occasion of Ram Navami on Thursday, giving a thumbs down to social distancing norms prescribed by the government during the ongoing nationwide lockdown period.Long queues of devotees were seen outside temples across the state, while the annual Ram Navami rallies were not held this year as the VHP and other saffron groups have called off the programmes due to the coronavirus pandemic. Read more here

Kolkata: Devotees offer prayers outside a closed temple on the occasion of ‘Ram Navami’ during a nationwide lockdown in the wake of coronavirus pandemic in Kolkata, Thursday, April 2, 2020. (PTI Photo)

Kerala govt not considering salary cut for its employees now

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday said his government was not considering salary restriction for its employees as of now in the wake of the severe financial crisis being faced by the state due to COVID-19 pandemic.

He was responding to questions from reporters about a Facebook post of Finance Minister Thomas Isaac, indicating salary restriction while citing measures in several states, including Telangana where the government has decided to defer payment of salaries to several categories of its employees. “Salary restriction issue is not under the government’s consideration right now”, Vijayan said.

Shah Rukh Khan announces series of initiatives to help citizens

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan on Thursday announced a series of initiatives to help the central and state governments in their fight against the coronavirus pandemic. The actor has taken the help of his companies — Kolkata Knight Riders, Red Chillies Entertainment, Meer Foundation and Red Chillies VFX — to provide support to the governments. Shah Rukh said he along with his wife Gauri Khan and business partners — Juhi Chawla and Jay Mehta — will be contributing to the PM-CARES Fund through IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).

Shah Rukh and Gauri will also making a donation to the Maharashtra CM’s Relief Fund through their film banner Red Chillies Entertainment.

Day 9 of lockdown: At a glance

A drone carrying a pack of 5 litres of disinfectant being used by officials to sanitise parts of Nizamuddin, which has emerged as one of the biggest COVID-19 hotspots in the country. A lady standing inside her shop during the lockdown at Barasat, West Bengal. Locals at North 24 Parganas’ municipal town Barasat in West Bengal

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