With its biggest single-day spike in Covid-19 infections, India became the world’s seventh worst affected country, having over 1,90,500 cases and 5,394 fatalities. India’s caseload rose by 8,392 infections along with 230 deaths in the last 24 hours.
The country Monday entered its “unlockdown 1” phased opening allowing most activities across the country and limiting the lockdown only to containment zones for a month till June 30. States have been empowered to prohibit certain activities and put suitable restrictions if they deem it necessary.
In the first phase, the Ministry of Home Affairs has allowed re-opening of malls, hotels, restaurants and places of worship from June 8. Whereas in the second phase, schools, colleges, educational/training/coaching institutions would be re-opened in consultation with states and Union Territories.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his gratitude towards the contribution of healthcare workers in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic while addressing the health workers at Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Karntataka. “The virus is invisible, but our medical workers are invincible. And in this fight between invisible and invincible, our doctors will win,” he said.
Here is how states are planning to open up in lockdown 5.0
Kerala: The Kerala government allowed bus service between neighbouring districts and marriage functions with 50 people. Film shoots inside studios are allowed while outdoor shoots have not been allowed by the government.
Maharashtra: The Maharashtra government has extended the lockdown till June 30, but has announced easing of restrictions and phase-wise resumption of activities.
Delhi: Partially open malls, restaurants and hotels with strict social distancing norms and reduced capacity, and permission to operate salons and barber shops with ample space between customers.
Tamil Nadu: As lockdown is extended in the state till 30 June, curbs on religious places, inter-state bus transport, and metro and suburban rail services will continue.
Karnataka: The state government on Sunday lifted restrictions on inter-state and intra-state movement of people and goods but may restrict travel from specific states.
West Bengal: Almost all outdoor activities will begin from June 8 in West Bengal, except in containment zones or affected areas.
Uttar Pradesh: The state government extended lockdown till June 30 and said that people coming from hotspot areas in Delhi will not be allowed to enter Ghaziabad and Noida.
Telangana: Telangana government said the existing lockdown orders will continue till June 7. Shopping malls, multiplexes and restaurants will also remain closed.
Rajasthan: Under the new guidelines, the government has done away with the zone system for classification of districts according to cases.
Chhattisgarh: The state government will allow inter-district and inter-state travel only for e-pass holders.
Madhya Pradesh: The state government extended the lockdown till June 30 in containment areas, lifted travel restrictions from Monday and allowed reopening of religious places, shopping malls, hotels, restaurants and other services from June 8
Haryana: The Haryana government decided to open its interstate borders, including those with Delhi from June 1 and places of worship, hotels and malls from June 8.
Naidu, Birla discuss holding monsoon session, favour e-Parliament as option in the long run
Arrangements to hold Parliament’s monsoon session with norms like social distancing and exploring ‘virtual Parliament’ as an option in the long run were discussed by Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla during a meeting on Monday, sources said. Both the presiding officers underlined the need to adopt technology to enable Parliament sessions to adapt to situations in which regular meetings are not possible. However, they opined that it would be necessary to refer the issue of virtual meetings of parliamentary committees to the Rules Committees of both the Houses in view of maintaining the confidentiality aspect of the deliberations.
Railways’ first isolation coaches deployed for treatment of coronavirus patients in Delhi
Lying unutilised for almost two months, the Indian Railways’ first COVID-19 care centre consisting of 10 modified coaches with 160 beds has been deployed in Delhi, officials said on Monday. These coaches have been stationed at the maintenance depot of the Shakur Basti railway station in the national capital. In addition to the 10 non-AC coaches with 160 beds, the COVID-19 care centre will have three AC coaches, for healthcare staffers, including doctors, a railway official told PTI.
Earlier, the government had earmarked 215 railway stations for the deployment of railway coaches to be used as COVID Care Centres for suspected or confirmed patients. Shakur Basti is one of those stations. According to sources, the request was initially to deploy these rakes at New Delhi or Hazrat Nizamuddin station, but the railways rejected it as special trains were being run from these two locations.
In a bid to boost the fledgling MSMEs, which has been hit the hardest due to the Covid-19 lockdown, the Union Cabinet on Monday approved an infusion of Rs 20,000 crore into the sector besides announcing a slew of measures to help alleviate the distress in the farm sector.
Addressing a media briefing, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said the Cabinet had approved modalities and road map for implementing two packages for MSMEs. “This includes a Rs 20,000 crore package for distressed MSMEs, which will benefit 2 lakh stressed MSMEs and Rs 50,000 crore equity infusion through Fund of Funds,” Gadkari said.
In a move that will help farmers, the Centre increased minimum support prices (MSP) for 14 kharif crops by 50-83 per cent. The government also hiked MSP for paddy by Rs 53 per quintal to Rs 1,868 per quintal for the 2020-21 crop year while the MSP for cotton has been increased by Rs 260 to Rs 5,515 per quintal.
Kejriwal announces a seal of Delhi borders for a week
Announcing a slew of relaxations through a press conference held Monday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced the sealing of Delhi borders for a week. “We are sealing Delhi borders for one week, only essential services will be allowed,”he said, seeking suggestions on opening of borders with Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. Kejriwal said people having passes and engaged in essential services will be allowed to enter the national capital.
501 domestic flights carrying 44,593 passengers operated on Sunday: Puri
A total of 501 domestic flights carrying 44,593 passengers operated in the country on May 31, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Monday. Domestic services were suspended in India due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown and resumed after a gap of two months on May 25.
Puri tweeted Monday, “Domestic operations on 31st May 2020 (Day 7) till 2359 hrs. Departures 501. 44,593 passengers handled. Arrivals 502. 44,678 passengers handled.”
Over 250 trains wasted, states couldn’t get passengers, says Piyush Goyal
The Railways will continue to provide states “as many (trains) as they want,” to transport passengers returning home amid the lockdown but over 250 trains have been “wasted” because states that requested for them could not bring in passengers, Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal told The Indian Express.
“Sad part is after notifying trains, more than 250 trains they could not use… Maharashtra…it alone could not use more than100 trains as they could not bring passengers. Still, we never complained,” Goyal said in an interview Sunday (Full interview to be published tomorrow). “We have never refused a single train to any state. And as many as they want, we will continue to provide them (trains),” he said.
Surge in Delhi cases but it’s better equipped than Mumbai
Possibly because of the opening of several activities, including limited public transport, after the third phase of lockdown ended on May 18, Delhi has been witnessing a surge in its novel Coronavirus cases in the last one week.
But, till now, Delhi is not faced with the kind of hospital or manpower shortage that Mumbai is staring at. Mumbai, which has close to 40,000 infections has already begun converting large public premises, like one in the Bandra Kurla complex, into makeshift hospitals, at least parts of which are equipped to handle even patients requiring.
In Gujarat, over 20 lakh people in containment, micro zones
Over 20.8 lakh people living in 4.42 lakh houses are placed under containment and micro-containment zones across the state on Sunday. The total population of the state is 6.5 crore. This is nearly 2 lakh less houses that were placed under containment zones by the state government on May 19, after the lockdown 4.0, thus also bringing down the population from over 31 lakh to 20 lakh.
Bengal govt says migrants’ influx may shoot up count
As West Bengal recorded the highest single-day increase in Covid-19 cases on Sunday, reporting 371 new patients, government officials said they were expecting a massive surge in cases in the next two weeks as at least five lakh migrant labourers are expected to return to the state.
According to the health bulletin, in which figures are updated till 9 am, eight people died of Covid-19 in 24 hours, taking the toll to 245. If deaths due to comorbidities are counted, the toll is 317.
Madhya Pradesh to set up commission for migrant workers, ‘try to provide jobs locally
The Madhya Pradesh government on Sunday announced that it would soon form a commission to work for the welfare of migrant workers. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said attempts would be made to provide employment to unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled workers locally.
He added that if workers decided to move to other states for work, they would first have to register themselves with the collector of their district, so that they could be contacted in times of difficulty.
Over 100 Kerala doctors, nurses to help Mumbai fight COVID-19
More than 100 doctors and nurses from Kerala are expected to reach Mumbai in the next few days to join the medical staff here in the battle against COVID-19 pandemic, PTI reported.
Mumbai needs more human resources in terms of medical staff. A team of 16 doctors from Kerala is expected to reach Mumbai on Monday, Dr Santhosh Kumar, Deputy Superintendent of Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram said.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines