As India entered it’s 59th day of the nation-wide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus, the health ministry said Friday that the decision to shutdown early has helped avert at least 14-29 lakh coronavirus cases and between 37,000 and 71,000 deaths.
In a routine press briefing, Praveen Srivastava, a senior officer with the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), said the government has shared publicly available data with independent experts to model the impact of lockdown, adding that “in pandemic like this there are no parallels to compare”. “Two independent economists have estimated that we have averted 23 lakh cases and 68,000 deaths. According to some retired scientists about 15.9 lakh cases and 51,000 deaths have been avoided, my ministry worked with Indian Statistical Institute and found 20 lakh cases were averted,” said Srivastava. “The way we are opening up economy, the way people are sensitised, it will have significant impact,” he added.
Here’s a curated list of some interesting stories from across the country on Day 59
It was a video of migrant workers clashing with the police in Surat that convinced Vipin Kaushik of the mission he had been mulling over for the past several days. “I kept wondering why these people are being harassed unnecessarily. They just want to go home. Why can’t the government let them go home?” asks Kaushik in a telephonic conversation with Indianexpress.com.
The 61-year-old resident of Dwarka in Delhi had been following the tragedy faced by migrants in the wake of the country-wide lockdown on television, newspapers and social media. As the country entered the third phase of the lockdown, he decided to put together a team that can help facilitate movement of the migrants stranded in different parts of India.
With the help of his family members scattered across continents, LockdownMovement.in was finally born on May 6 with the tagline saying ‘aa ab laut chalein’ (come let’s go back home). The objective of the project, as Kaushik explains, is to connect stranded migrants to local authorities, and ensure they reach their home destination.
It was a suicide attempt by a middle-aged harmonium player Suhas Das (name changed) in Howrah late last month that sent shock waves in the performing artistes community across India. There was no food at his home and no resource to get any.
In a conversation with Kolkata-based sarod player Tejendra Narayan Majumdar, the musician somehow managed to mention how he was depressed since the lockdown began. There was no work, no stipend and the savings were already gone. Then there was the matter of dignity. Majumdar, who was shaken by the conversation, called his friend, Kolkata-based flautist and additional superintendent of police in Baruipur, Indrajit Basu, and requested that this artiste be reached and provided financial assistance.
Basu arranged for some ration and money so that Das could tide over the next few months. He also created a WhatsApp group ‘Musicians for Musicians’ and approached several West Bengal-based artistes — including Bengali vocalist Haimanti Shukla, percussionists Bickram Ghosh, Subhankar Banerjee, Tanmoy Bose, sarod player Pt Alok Lahiri and Majumdar among others — to put together a fund for artistes in need. News of santoor player Tarun Bhattacharya’s guru, Dulal Roy, being in the hospital and his bad financial situation was also being spoken about in the music circuit at the same time. Soon, a list was made of the struggling musicians who needed immediate help. Help began to pour in as many artistes made contributions and continue to save the day for some artistes in Bengal.
Frontline Covid-19 volunteer helps 5-yr-old speech-and-hearing impaired child reunite with family
Hours after going missing from his locality in southeast Delhi’s Kalindi Kunj area, a five-year-old speech and hearing impaired child was reunited with his family with the help of a frontline Covid-19 volunteer, the police said on Friday.
On Wednesday evening, while constable Ravi was on his beat duty, he found a child weeping near Lakkad Market at Agra Canal Road in Kalindi Kunj. When the cop found that the child was speech and hearing impaired, he informed his senior officers who then formed teams to trace the child’s parents. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Southeast) RP Meena said child’s photographs were shared on different Whatsapp groups including those of Covid-19 volunteers. Public address system were also used to make announcements in the nearby areas and enquiry was also conducted, the police said.
With the help of a frontline Covid-19 volunteer, Amit Awasthi, the parents of the missing child were traced and the child was reunited with his family. The boy’s father works as auto driver and the family live in J J Colony at Madanpur Khadar in Kalindi Kunj.
Delhi Police helping migrant labourers book train tickets online
With migrant workers facing trouble in booking tickets online to their home states amid the lockdown, the Delhi Police stepped in. The officials on Friday said a total of 38 labourers were sent to their native places through “Shramik Special” trains with help from the police. Since the nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus was put to place on March 25, migrant labourers across the country have been facing difficulties and several of them have opted for arduous journeys on foot in their desperate attempt to reach their native places.
The police said that last week a total of 92 migrant labourers were convinced to stay put at their homes in Sriniwaspuri till the arrangements were made by the government for them to return.
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