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India lockdown diary, Day 37: Telangana man develops foot-operated handwash machines; crime down in Kerala; and more

Here is a list of striking stories from across the country on the 37th day of the lockdown.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: April 30, 2020 11:39:22 pm
Mupparapu Raju’s (in blue shirt) pedal-operated liquid soap and water dispenser machine has a 500-litre water tank and 5-litre container for liquid handwash.

The number of positive Covid-19 cases crossed 33,000 Thursday, with over 1,000 cases reported since Wednesday evening.  According to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, of the confirmed cases, 8,324 have been cured and the number of fatalities rose to 1,074 from 1008.

Also, over the past three weeks, there has been a significant change in the growth curves of the states. Some states, such as Kerala (495 cases), have done well to contain the pandemic, while Maharashtra (9,915 cases) and Delhi (3,439 cases) have seen a steady rise in numbers.

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In terms of increase in number of cases, Tamil Nadu witnessed its biggest spike Thursday, with 161 people testing positive.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry has identified 129 of the country’s 736 districts as hotspots. Curbs are expected to be eased in districts where cases are tapering. In a statement, the Ministry said, “New guidelines to fight COVID-19 will come into effect from 4th May, which shall give considerable relaxations to many districts. Details regarding this shall be communicated in coming days.”

Here is a list of striking stories from across the country on the 37th day of the lockdown — 

Telangana man develops foot-operated handwash machines to keep Covid-19 at bay

When 30-year-old Mupparapu Raju was restricted to his home in Telangana’s Warangal Rural district, following the announcement of a nationwide lockdown to fight the spread of novel coronavirus, he decided to put this break to its best use. The result was a pedal-operated liquid soap and water dispenser machine, which has caught everyone’s attention in a matter of days.

In the last few weeks, Raju has built 10 such machines, which are presently installed outside offices of district collectors, municipal corporation, municipality offices, and police checkpoints.

This couple plans to produce 1 lakh Covid-19 testing kits a day

Dr Nadeem Rahman, a bio-chemist at Nu Life consultants and distributors, and his wife Afifa Rahman, a pharmacist at the same company, have spent the past few weeks working through the nights to fulfill their goal of producing 1 lakh rapid anti-body kits per day, meeting the pressing demand for such kits in India. “It feels good to have a purpose and be able to contribute to the country during these times. We are lucky we have found our purpose even through this hopeless period,” says Afifa, who adds that the couple have lost track of the time they spend in their office and laboratory since the company decided to begin manufacturing these kits.

No, eating ice cream doesn’t spread coronavirus

The government on Thursday dismissed claims that the consumption of ice cream or frozen food items can facilitate the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Taking to Twitter, the Press Information Bureau said, “Claim: There is some information going rounds that eating ice creams and other chilled products can lead to spreading of Covid-19 infection. Reality: No. WHO has already clarified that there is no scientific evidence to support this claim.#IndiaFightsCorona.”

Lockdown in Tripura will be fully lifted only after Covid-19 vaccination: CM Biplab Deb

Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb said the lockdown in the state would continue in some form or the other till a vaccine against Covid-19 is invented.

Deb made the remarks after an all-party meeting on Wednesday night. The meeting with eighteen political parties including ruling BJP, Congress, CPIM, ruling ally IPFT, INPT, among others started at  4 PM and continued till 8:30 pm.

Unintended gains: Fall in crime rate, fatalities on roads, suicides

In Kerala, a top police officer confirmed that there has been a significant fall in the number of murders, suicides, unnatural deaths and road accidents in the state between March 25 and April 14, the period of the first phase of lockdown, from the same period last year.

“We saw a 40% fall in murder cases in the period between March 25 and April 14 this year as opposed to the same period last year. Similarly, there has been a 70% fall in rape cases and a 100% fall in cases of violence against women and children. Naturally, since there are fewer vehicles on the road right now, accidents have come down too,” said Karunakaran, deputy superintendent at the state crime records bureau in Thiruvananthapuram.

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