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Sunday, June 07, 2020

India lockdown diary, Day 41: DRDO develops UV disinfection tower; Memes flood social media as liquor shops reopen

Here is a list of striking stories from across the country on the 41st day of the lockdown.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: May 4, 2020 11:56:14 pm
There was a noticeable increase in road traffic as non-essential stores lifted shutters, including liquor shops, which people made a beeline for, throwing social distancing norms to the wind.

As India entered the second extension of lockdown with considerable relaxations in orange and green zones, the total number of Covid-19 cases jumped to 42,835 and toll to 1,389 with 2,553 new infections. In the last 24 hours, a record 1,074 recoveries were reported, taking the total number of cured patients to 11,761 and the recovery rate to 27.52 per cent. Kerala, too, set a record with 61 new recoveries in a day, with case count dropping from 95 to 34.

Non-essential businesses and cab services resumed today in zones barring red, leading to an increase in traffic on roads. E-commerce websites also began taking orders for non-essential items but only for areas with less or nil Covid-19 cases. There was a noticeable increase in road traffic as non-essential stores lifted shutters, including liquor shops, where people threw social distancing norms to the wind. The easing of the lockdown measures came with its own set of challenges for police personnel as they struggled to manage the crowds outside liquor shops, and in some areas in Delhi, they resorted to lathi charge to bring the situation under control.

Stating that the government will facilitate the return of Indians stranded abroad on “compelling grounds”, the Ministry of Home Affairs on Monday said the process will start from May 7 in a phased manner. “The travel would be arranged by aircraft and naval ships. The Standard Operating Protocol (SOP) has been prepared in this regard,” said a statement from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

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Here is a list of interesting stories from across the country on the 41st day of the lockdown:

Video of youth dancing at UP police outpost goes viral, official removed

After a video of a youth dancing to the song of popular Haryanvi singer Sapna Chaudhary at Nayashahar police outpost here went viral, an official of the outpost was removed for maligning the image of the force.

“Naya Shahar outpost in-charge Vishwanath Mishra has been sent to police lines for maligning the image of the force on the orders of SSP Akash Tomar, Superintendent of Police, City, Ram Yash said.

The action came after the 1.14 minutes video of the youth dancing to the famous song of Sapna Chaudhary “Teri Aakhan Ka Ye Kajal…” went viral on social media.

DRDO develops UV disinfection tower for sanitising coronavirus-prone areas

The Defence Research and Development Organisation has developed an ultraviolet (UV) disinfection tower for rapid and chemical-free sanitization of areas that are highly prone to the coronavirus infection, the Defence Ministry said on Monday.
“For a room of about 12×12 feet dimension, the disinfection time is about 10 minutes,” the ministry said, adding a 400-square-foot area can be sanitized within 30 minutes if the device is positioned at different places within the room.

The disinfection tower can be used remotely through a laptop or mobile phone using a WIFI link, the ministry said. It has six lamps each with 43 watts of UVC power at 254 nanometre wavelength for 360-degree illumination.

The device — named “UV blaster” — is designed and developed by Laser Science & Technology Centre, the Delhi-based premier laboratory of the DRDO, with the help of Gurugram-based New Age Instruments and Materials Private Ltd, the ministry said.

Memes, videos flood social media after liquor shops open across India

After staying shut for the 40-day lockdown to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, alcohol shops across states that met the government’s conditions began opening their shutters Monday. On social media, people from across the country shared photos and videos of the long queues that were visible outside these stores, not always with adequate physical distancing.

As this Explained piece pointed out, the sale of liquor is part of the overall opening of economic activity that the government is attempting in the third phase of the lockdown, and is expected to earn states much-needed revenue.

After select stores opened across states, videos and photos emerged of the long queues outside them:

Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala booked after shooting video surfaces

Acting swiftly against controversial Punjabi pop singer Sidhu Moosewala, the Barnala police on Monday registered a criminal case against him and eight others, including five police personnel, after a video showing the singer shooting at a firing range went viral on social media.

The case was registered on the directions of Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta, who also ordered immediate suspension of DSP (Headquarters Sangrur) Daljit Singh Virk, pending an inquiry on the charge of delinquency in duty.

After the video went viral, the DGP directed the Sangrur SSP to conduct a preliminary inquiry, which prima facie established that the DSP had facilitated the shooting at the firing range at Badbar village, at a time when the entire state is under curfew. On the receipt of the report, a departmental inquiry was initiated against the DSP and cases were registered against the accused.

The DGP took a stern view of the DSP’s act of deputing police personnel attached with him at the shooting range unauthorisedly, and acting in a manner unbecoming of an officer.

A criminal case was registered under Section 188 of the IPC and Section 51 of the Disaster Management Act at Dhanaula police station in Barnala district against Sidhu Moosewala and eight others, including five police officers. All the police officers are posted in Sangrur district and further investigations are in progress, an official spokesperson of the police department said.

Quack caught prescribing medicine to control breathlessness in Delhi containment zone

An FIR has been filed against a man who was pretending to be a doctor and prescribing medicines to those complaining of breathlessness in a New Delhi containment zone. The man was running a clinic in Gautam Budh Nagar area, which is among the 96 containment zones in the city.

According to sources, the person running the clinic was not qualified and was prescribing Deriphyline, a medicine used to manage difficulty in breathing. “Breathlessness is among the few symptoms of Covid-19 and he was giving it to the people without any medical degree. He was suggesting steroids as well,” said a senior officer from the district administration.

On further inquiry, it was revealed that he was giving medicines on behalf of a doctor who is not registered with any medical council. “Many such complaints have been coming in from several resettlement colonies as well. We have requested the authorities concerned to issue a notice regarding such quacks who are still operating in the city. An FIR should be registered against all of them,” said Dr Girish Tyagi, president of Delhi Medical Association (DMA).

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