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India lockdown diary, Day 34: 5-yr-old connects with mother via video calls; ‘Ambassadors of Hope’ contest for Punjab kids; and more

Here is a list of striking stories from across the country on the 34th day of the lockdown.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Published: April 27, 2020 8:57:41 pm
coronavirus test kit, coronavirus latest update, coronavirus today news india, covid-19 latest news india, IIT Ropar, iit news, iit admissions, Coronavirus thermal testing being conducted. (Representational image/Express photo: Jasbir Malhi)

The number of COVID-19 cases climbed to 28,380 and the death toll due to it rose to 886 in the country on Monday, registering a record increase of 60 deaths in 24 hours, according to the Union Health Ministry. There has been a spike of 1,463 cases since Sunday evening.

The number of active COVID-19 cases stood at 21,132, while 6,361 people have recovered, the ministry said. Thus, around 22.41 per cent of patients have recovered in the country so far.

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Following Monday’s meeting of Chief Ministers with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, sources have told The Indian Express that the lockdown will be extended in the hotspots, while restrictions will be eased in districts not affected by the infection. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wanted the lockdown to be extended by one more month. According to sources, Patnaik who led the chorus for extension of lockdown, said it has to be extended on May 3 to June 3. Sources said at least two states backed him.

Here is a curated list of striking stories from across the country on 34th day of the lockdown.

Punjab minister launches ‘Ambassadors of Hope’ contest for school students

Punjab Education Minister Vijay Inder Singla on Monday launched “Ambassadors of Hope”, a massive online competition that would cover over 18 lakh students in the state. The first-of-its-kind competition invites students from all the schools to share positive ideas in the time of COVID-19 pandemic.

The minister, while launching the competition on his Facebook page, asserted that children are the most optimist part of society and play a significant role in bringing positivity in their families and community.

Three winners from every district will be shortlisted who will get an Apple iPad, laptop and Android tablets as first, second and third prize respectively. All the participants in the campaign will get an appreciation letter in the form of “Ambassadors of Hope” certificate.

Away from her mother for over a month, 5-yr-old tries to connect via video calls, bedtime stories over phone

Five-year-old Divisha Lal has lost count of the days she has been away from her mother. “It must have been five months,” she says. Her grandmother corrects her, “It’s been one month and 10 days!”

5-year-old Divisha Lal and her 10-year-old brother Tanmay Lal during a video call with their mother. (Express photo by Arul Horizon)

Divisha, her 10-year-old brother Tanmay and their grandparents, who live in Delhi, had travelled to Pune on March 17 to meet her aunt Shalini Mundada and spend a few days away from the Delhi heat. They were supposed to return to Pune on March 23, but the nationwide lockdown has extended their brief visit to an extended and enforced holiday, which is particularly hard for the five-year-old girl, who has been away from her mother, Rachna Lal, for a long time.

“We were celebrating my husband’s 50th birthday. So, my parents decided to surprise us by making an unannounced visit and also brought along my younger sister’s son and daughter. My father returned to Delhi on March 19. My mother and the children had tickets for March 23,” says Shalini.

UP: Coronavirus patient dances to ‘drive away’ infection

COVID-19 is not a serious illness and it can be defeated.  This is the message at least a patient in Bahraich’s Chitaura area has tried to give through a video shot in an isolation ward.  Hailing from Uttar Pradesh’s Shrawasti, he can be seen dancing and singing that ‘this is neither a serious illness, nor am I having any problem. As soon as I am discharged, I will go back home’. To which, other patients say wah-wah.

The patient then says, “We will dance to drive away corona, play our mobile phones and no one will stop us.”

Kolkata: Business correspondent reaches doorstep of customers to help them withdraw money

Sumi Khatun, a ‘business correspondent’ of State Bank of India, moves around several villages in West Bengal’s Birbhum district to help people make modest withdrawals or deposit money during the COVID-19 induced lockdown. Sumi, who has been given permission by the administration to cover around 50 km in the district having a large number of farmers and labourers, travels in an e-rickshaw criss-crossing Lohapur-Nalhati-areas.

Sumi saw how the elderly and infirm had to wait for hours at her kiosk in the scorching heat and decided to herself reach out to them at their households.

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