Coronavirus (Covid-19): India observed its 23rd day of the nationwide lockdown Thursday even as the number of infections in the country rose to 12,759 and the death toll stood at 420, as per the Union Health Ministry. Addressing a daily briefing to give updates on COVID-19 situation in the country, the ministry said a total of 2,90,401 samples have been tested so far, of which 30,043 were tested on Wednesday itself. Follow Coronavirus LIVE Updates
Assuring that the fatality rate in the country was much lower than the recovery rate, the Health Ministry denied any evidence on summer’s impact on the spread of the virus. Citing global testing numbers, an ICMR official said that one cannot say India was testing less as 24 people are being tested for one positive. Meanwhile, later in the day, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued an advisory which said that Zoom, a platform for video calling, was not safe to use apart from issuing several other guidelines.
Here’s a curated list of striking stories that happened across the country on Day 23
For the first time in 167 years, Indian Railways did not ferry passengers on its birthday
The Indian Railways, which turned 167 on Thursday, for the first in its century-and-a-half life, lay idle on the tracks, not ferrying passengers across the country, as the country observes nationwide lockdown. It was on this day, 167 years ago, that the first passenger train ran between Thane and Mumbai’s Bori Bunder.
The Indian Railways, known for its network, connects every part of India— rural and urban— through trains which ply around the clock. It was in 1974, that Indians had experienced a phase without trains as Railway staff had gone on strike which lasted over three weeks bringing all services to a halt. Only freight trains supplying essential goods had run at that time but it was the first time that the services have been halted on its birthday.
Uttar Pradesh: Man hosts party on son’s birthday, booked as lockdown norms violated
A Gorakhpur resident has been booked for allegedly hosting a party on his 10-year-old son’s birthday in his housing complex, thus defying the lockdown imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus, police was quoted as saying on Thursday by PTI. A case has been registered against the man, who is a trader, and some unidentified persons after a video of the event went viral on social media, they said. The accused went ahead with his plan to host the party despite opposition from some residents of the residential complex. The video purportedly shows around 50 invitees socialising and having food from stalls set up outside the apartment located in a posh area of the city, a police official said.
Woman travels 2,700 km across six states to meet ailing son in hospital
After a Telangana woman rode 1,500 kilometers to and fro to bring back her son, a 50-year-old woman travelled 2,700 kilometers in a car across six states—starting from Kerala through Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat— to meet her critically ill son, a BSF jawan in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur, despite the nationwide lockdown, PTI reported. The mother was accompanied by her daughter-in-law and another relative during the journey, which they covered over a period of three days.
After reaching Jodhpur, Sheelamma Vasan told PTI the health condition of her son, Arun Kumar (29), who was suffering from myositis, (inflamation of muscles), was improving. “Due to god’s grace we have reached here without any problems anywhere,” she said.
Vadodara cop’s humorous couplets on lockdown violators leaves residents wanting more
A top cop in Vadodara, who is also a literary writer off duty, is using his humourous couplets to make the lockdown violators in the city understand the importance of social distancing. His satirical tweets are proving to be a comic relief for Vadodara residents who clamour for more updates on lockdown violators.
“We are filing portrait photography and face sheet records in addition to the mandatory anatomical (black) slates for those who are stepping out of their homes to assess the ongoing situation.” The message above is one among the many satirical tweets from Deepak Meghani, Deputy Commissioner of Police in Vadodara for Zone 1.
Pizza man who tested COVID-19 positive in Delhi also delivered food for us: Zomato
The pizza delivery employee, who tested positive for COVID-19 in New Delhi, had also delivered food for Zomato, a statement issued by the popular food delivery app stated Thursday.
According to the south Delhi district administration, the man tested positive on April 14. He developed symptoms such as fatigue and cough in March, but since he did not have any history of international travel or known contact with someone else who had tested positive, he continued working. The 72 houses he delivered food to have been identified and residents put under quarantine. The online food delivery business is expected to take a major slump following the news of the delivery agent testing positive.
Coronavirus brings Kannada film industry to its knees
The coronavirus induced lockdown in India has turned out to bring a knee-jerk reaction from the Kannada film industry as schedules have gone awry following the stay-at-home curbs and operators in Sandalwood, as the industry is popularly known as, say about 100 films under production are affected, PTI reported. Some big budget movies like ‘Raja Veera Madakari Nayaka’, ‘Kotigobba 3’, ‘Robert’ and ‘Yuvaratna’ have also been stalled. Noted producer Rockline Venkatesh told PTI that the loss to the industry is to the tune of hundreds of crores of rupees.
Eagle in the sky: Drone operators and Kerala Police are a winning combination to enforce lockdown
Nearly two years after the calamitous floods in 2018 when they helped the Kerala Police to rescue agencies in locating those trapped in their homes, hundreds of drone operators and technicians in the state joined hands once again for a public cause: tracking those evading the lockdown put in place to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Over the last three weeks, the Cyberdome division of the Kerala Police has enlisted the services of over 300 drone operators as part of ‘Project Eagle Eye’ to maintain tight surveillance especially in areas where police vans find it difficult to physically clamp down on violators. The idea was mooted by the Cyberdome division and it was percolated to district police chiefs who scouted for volunteers who can operate drones.
People across the world are dabbling in a wide range of home activities in the midst of the coronavirus-induced lockdown. But what about those who are staying alone, away from their own family members? U.K Sanjul, a 27-year-old who has recovered from COVID-19, tried something new while in self-quarantine.
If it had not been for the coronavirus lockdown, the artistic side of Sanjul, a native of Kozhikode’s Narikkuni, would not have come out so prominently. Halfway into the 14-day quarantine following his recovery, the art aficionado has already produced several striking paintings. Unable to step outside, Sanjul says he uses this time to learn more about painting and drawing from YouTube.
More stories at a glance:
16 people arrested after Gurgaon police stopped 2 ambulances at a checkpoint today, & discovered they were being used to transport people to Bihar by misrepresenting them as patients & their attendants, amidst the lockdown. Drivers, helpers, passengers arrested. @IndianExpress pic.twitter.com/CNqbSC29se
— Sakshi Dayal (@sakshi_dayal) April 16, 2020
In a single room flat in Abu Dhabi, 6 roommates and a COVID patient
On April 4, a 25-year-old migrant from Kerala, working as a technician in an electronic company in Abu Dhabi, returned to his shared accommodation to his roommate struggling with a fever. The temperature was 101 degrees Fahrenheit. The number of coronavirus positive cases in United Arab Emirates (UAE) had already crossed 3,500 by then. However, the seven roommates, all from Kerala, decided to wait another day. With no signs of improvement, on April 6, he called all the helpline numbers set up by the Kerala government in the UAE to facilitate access to medical care. He also reached out to the embassy. Read full story
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines