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Sunday, July 05, 2020

India lockdown diary, Day 62: Akhilesh asks for free chyawanprash supply; Kolkata artisans hope for turnaround; and more

Here’s a curated list of some interesting stories from across the country on Day 62 of lockdown.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: May 25, 2020 9:02:59 pm
delhi coronavirus, delhi lockdown, delhi coronavirus deaths, delhi covid hospitals, delhi gtb hospital, arvind kejriwal, delhi city news Hundreds of people reached airports across the country to take morning flights.

The total number of coronavirus infections in India rose to 1,38,845 on Monday. Of these 77,103 are active, while 57,720 patients have been discharged. The death toll stands at 4021. Data from Johns Hopkins University show that the total number of cases in India has surpassed that of Iran (with 1,35,701 confirmed infections). India now has the 10th highest number of confirmed cases worldwide.

The government devised an “intelligent testing strategy” and scaled up its preparedness against the COVID-19 pandemic, taking lessons from the 2009 swine flu outbreak that had “exposed glaring gaps” in the diagnosis infrastructure of the country, the ICMR said Monday. The health research body said to cater to the increasing need for testing, India developed an “intelligent testing strategy to remain ahead of the virus” by significantly strengthening its diagnosis infrastructure.

Meanwhile, after a hiatus of two months due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown, India opened up its domestic flight operations Monday. Hundreds of people reached airports across the country to take morning flights. At airports, thermal screening, social distancing measures were put in place. The Delhi airport saw its first departure at 4.45 am to Pune while Mumbai airport’s first departure was at 6.45 am to Patna, the officials said.

Here’s a curated list of some interesting stories from across the country on Day 62 of lockdown:

Supply chyawanprash, kadha to people for free if these can prevent Covid-19: Akhilesh

‘Chyawanprash’ and ‘kadha’ (decoction) should be supplied to people for free if these are scientifically proven remedies to prevent coronavirus infection, Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Akhilesh Yadav said on Monday.

“The Ministry of AYUSH is showing on TV that decoction and chyawanprash should be taken to avoid coronavirus. If these are scientifically proven remedies, then in times of crisis the government should supply them free of cost,” he said in a tweet in hindi.

“People will be encouraged if these are given as an award for using ‘Arogya Setu’ application,” the SP leader added.

Muted Eid celebration in Assam due to COVID-19 outbreak

Assam transport commissioner Adil Khan had never thought that there would be an Eid-ul-Fitr without any celebration and feast. But it has happened this time.

With flights resuming from Monday, Khan had to leave his home early morning for the airport. He kept shuffling between the railway station and the airport the entire day to ensure smooth movement of passengers coming by the two modes.

While the entire Assam had a muted Eid-ul-Fitr celebration this year because of the lockdown to contain the spread of novel coronavirus, the bureaucrat could not even get time to celebrate the festival with his wife and little daughter, because he chose duty over family.

Very few people visited the markets for Eid shopping in the last few days due to a rise in COVID-19 positive cases in Assam.

Despairing but proud, West Bengal’s rickshaw puller will not take money for no work

Santosh Shaw doesn’t make even Rs 50 a day these days, pedalling his cycle rickshaw through a warren of lanes on the eastern fringes of Kolkata during the lockdown. But he will not accept Rs 100 for no work. Life was never easy for the 45-year-old native of Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. The continued lockdown and cyclone that battered West Bengal last Wednesday only made it harder.

But his pride of labour is evident whenever he pedals his machine to ferry customers to their destination. When offered Rs 100 as help, his answer is firm: “I am not a beggar. You tell me if I have to take you anywhere…. Shyambazar, Barrackpore, Sodpur wherever you ask me, and then pay me my due,” says Santosh, pushing back the hand holding the Rs 100 note. “I don’t want it,” he says resolutely. PTI

No celebrations amid coronavirus as Pinarayi govt sails into fifth yr in office

Sans any celebration,the Pinarayi Vijayan-led LDF government in Kerala sailed into its fifth year in office, resolving to steer through the Covid-19 crisis and assuring that development would not be affected. Five people have died due to coronavirus in Kerala so far and over 95,000 are under observation. The total aggregate tally of Covid cases is 847, while 322 are presently under treatment.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the unprecedented challenges faced in the last four years in the form of Ockhi cyclone in 2017, Nipah virus of 2018 which claimed 17 lives, the two devastating floods in 2018 and 2019 in which hundreds of people were killed, and the COVID-19 this year had not deterred the government from achieving its goals.

Kumartuli artisans hopeful of turnaround despite lockdown and Cyclone Amphan

Kumartuli, the famed hub of claymodellers in Kolkata, is facing a double whammy — the lockdown trigerred by COVID-19 pandemic and the Cyclone Amphan — but are nonetheless hopeful of a turnaround and are getting busy ahead of Duga Puja.

The clay modellers, known world-wide for their signature lifelike Durga idols, are hopeful that the autumn festival will augur well for them. Kanchi Paul, a modeller, told PTI that her studio was whiplashed by the extremely severe cyclone when it struck the city and its neighbourhood on Wednesday.

But there is a ring of confidence in her voice. “We have seen Cyclone Aila (in May 2009) and floods in the past. We had picked ourselves up to make idols again. This time too we have left the memories (of Amphan) behind,” Paul says.

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