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India lockdown diary, Day 61: Subdued Eid celebrations, Kerala police stops migrants trying to cycle to Assam; and more

Here is a curated list of some interesting stories from across the country on Day 61 of the nationwide lockdown.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: May 24, 2020 11:33:16 pm
India lockdown diary, Day 61: Subdued Eid celebrations, Kerala police stops migrants trying to cycle to Assam; and more Zakaria Masjid in Mumbai lights up on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr on Sunday evening. (Express photo by Nirmal Harindran)

As India entered the 61st day of the lockdown, the number of Covid-19 cases in the country rose to 1.3 lakh mark, including 3,867 deaths. While there are 73,560 active cases, as many as 54,440 patients have recovered so far.

Maharashtra continues to be the epicentre of the Covid-19 in the country with over 50,000 cases and over 1600 deaths. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, earlier in the day, hinted at a possible extension of lockdown in the state after May 31, saying that it was wrong to impose the lockdown suddenly and that it cannot be lifted all at once.

Here’s a curated list of some interesting stories from across the country on Day 61 of lockdown: 

Subdued Eid celebrations in India in shadow of coronavirus pandemic

Celebrations on Eid-ul-Fitr were subdued in Kerala and Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday with no major congregational prayers and community feasts due to the coronavirus lockdown. While Eid will be celebrated in the rest of the country on Monday, the festive buzz was missing as markets and other public places remained deserted, whether it was in Lucknow, Kolkata or the old Delhi areas as people mostly remained indoors.

Major mosques and idghas, which see tens of thousands of people offering namaz on Eid and then embracing each other, remained mostly empty perhaps for the first time on the festival as the government has prohibited all kinds of religious gatherings to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Migrant worker’s wife delivers baby onboard Shramik Special train

En route to her home in Uttar Pradesh’s Balrampur, a nine-month pregnant woman gave birth to a baby girl as fellow women travellers assisted her with the childbirth, PTI reported. Her husband, Sandeep, a construction worker in Bengaluru, told PTI that they boarded the train on Friday. His wife went into labour on Saturday evening, following which the other women gathered around her and facilitated the birth of a healthy baby. Sandeep said his wife gave birth to the baby girl as the train approached Bina station in Madhya Pradesh. Doctors there medically examined her and certified her fit for her onward journey.

Inspector General of Police and Additional Commissioner of Police (Administration), Bengaluru city police, Hemant Nimbalkar, said the woman had boarded the Shramik Special train without informing the authorities about her condition. “Her relatives too did not inform the authorities about her pregnancy. In fact, the pregnant woman insisted on going back to her home town,” Nimbalkar told PTI. Sharing the joy along with the photograph of the woman, Nimbalkar tweeted, “We made it @BlrCityPolice (Bengaluru City Police)! The mother and baby are fine & healthy.

PTI reported that 30 children have been born on board the Shramik Special trains since the start of May.

Nagaland church gives gift packs to frontline workers, migrants

The Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) on Sunday gave gift packages to the inmates and frontline workers at the two quarantine centers in Kohima district. The two state-run quarantine centers in K Badze and Meriema have been set up for those returning to the state from other parts of the country.

The gift pack, which is named ‘Prayer Pack’, consists of a prayer letter from NBCC, its newsletter, Gideon Bible, face mask, besides basic needs such as toothbrush, paste, soap, toilet rolls, chocolates, biscuits and juice, among others.

Quarantined migrants to make space for Amphan-affected people in Odisha

Cyclone Amphan may have brought trails of misery for many, but it also did pleasantly surprise some migrant returnees who were asked to vacate the shelter homes in Odisha and undergo home quarantine to make space for the storm-hit people. Around 2,000 migrants in the coastal districts of the state were exempted from the mandatory institutional quarantine after they tested negative for COVID-19.

“The returnees in temporary health camps (THCs) were subjected to COVID-19 test. And those who tested negative were sent to their respective homes,” Jagatsinghpur District Collector Sangram Mohapatra said. “They were directed to remain under self isolation for 28 days.”

The move was aimed at vacating some of the temporary quarantine centres, which have now doubled up as cyclone shelters, too, he said.

Kerala: Migrant workers trying to cycle to Assam stopped by police

Desperate to reach their home during the COVID-19 lockdown, five migrant workers from Assam set out from Thiruvananthapuram on their bicycles hoping to pedal the over 3500-km journey to the north-eastern state, but were stopped by police.

The police team, on night patrol, stopped the five in their 20s at Chadayamangalam in Kollam, nearly 65 km from here on Friday night. “They desperately wanted to go home as it was quite some time since they met their kith and kin”, a police officer said.

They had a route map and planned to go via Tirunelveli and Chennai. The police official said since they suspected the guest workers might have entered state from an area bordering Tamil Nadu, they sent them for 14 days observation. The workers did not carry any travel pass for their destination,the officer told PTI.

The health and revenue authorities were immediately informed and the workers were sent on 14 days quarantine at a centre near Kottarakara. “We told them there will be trains to Assam and they can board them either from Kollam or the state capital once they complete the quarantine,” the official said.

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