India on Wednesday entered its tenth day of unlock 1.0 with the country reporting 2,003 deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the coronavirus toll to 11,903. However, of the 2,003 new deaths, Maharashtra accounted for the highest 1,409 fatalities taking its COVID-19 death tally to 5,537. But all these deaths did not happen in the last two days. These numbers are actually a result of a massive data matching exercise which has revealed large numbers of deaths that have remained unreported so far.
Also, with 10,974 fresh cases, the Covid-19 infections in the country rose to 3,54,065, which includes 1,55,227 active cases and 1,86 934 recoveries, according to the health ministry. Prime Minister Narendra Modi held the second round of meeting with the chief ministers today to discuss the road ahead amid coronavirus pandemic. Modi said that timely tracing, treatment and reporting have helped India to control the coronavirus situation in the country.
The prime minister’s virtual interaction on day two of his consultations with states was attended by the chief ministers of Maharashtra, Delhi, Karnataka, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar among others, and assumed importance as some of these states account for a majority of the cases in the country. However, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee did not participate in the meet as her name was reportedly missing from the list of speakers.
Here are other interesting stories across the country on day 10 of unlockdown:
Carpet exporters plan virtual fair
Carpet exporters are looking to hold a virtual fair in August to attract buyers following the cancellation of the India Carpet Expo scheduled in Delhi in March due to the outbreak of Covid-19.
“There is a proposal to hold a virtual carpet fair from August 21 to August 25. A proposal seeking help in this regard has been sent to Union Textile Ministry and Union Commerce Ministry, and their nod is awaited,” Carpet Export Promotion Council Chairman Siddh Nath Singh told news agency PTI.
The India Carpet Expo is one of the largest handmade carpet fairs in Asia which serves as a unique platform for buyers to source the best of handmade carpets, rugs and other floor coverings under one roof. It is held bi-annually to showcase the cultural heritage of Indian handmade carpets and other floor coverings and promote the weaving skills of Indian weavers to visiting overseas carpet buyers.
Coca-Cola to provide essentials to vulnerable groups
Beverages major Coca-Cola Wednesday said it has partnered with CARE India to provide food and other essentials to underprivileged and vulnerable groups. The company said that the move is part of its commitment of Rs 100 crore towards various Covid-19 relief programmes in India.
Under the initiative, Coca-Cola and CARE India will provide dry-ration kits with curated food items to meet specific nutritional needs of various marginalised groups such as migrant workers, daily wage earners and people living with HIV/AIDS across various parts of the country, the company said in a statement.
The three-month-long programme starting June aims to benefit over 1.5 lakh people and will be rolled out across Delhi-NCR, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Bihar and West Bengal.
German drug company to provide PPE to 4 lakh farmers in India
German drug and agrochemicals major Bayer on Wednesday said that it will support four lakh farmers across 17 states in India through its new global initiative ‘Better Farms, Better Lives’. Through this initiative, Bayer will support 20 lakh smallholder farmers in Asia, Africa and Latin America, with free Better Life Farming care packages, the company said in a statement.
These packages will be designed for farmers’ local needs and will include a combination of Bayer’s hybrid seeds, crop protection products, personal protective equipment (PPE) and safety and training materials.
In India, the initiative will support 4,00,000 smallholder farmers in 204 districts across 17 states, spanning key crops such as rice, corn, vegetables and millet.
IIT-Kharagpur develops AI system to track social distancing
IIT-Kharagpur’s Autonomous Ground Vehicle (AGV) research group under the Centre of Excellence for Robotics Research has developed a low-cost AI-based cyber-physical system for monitoring social distance in public places, said a statement issued by the institute on Saturday.
The students have developed a device, which can visually detect the gap between individuals and play a proximity alert sound through audio output, for any violation of the social distancing norms. The device uses images in the field view of a camera and computes the distance as per criterion set by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.