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Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Unlock 2.0, Day 26: Restaurants reinvent for corona times; Covid ties rakhi celebrations to post, video call

On Day 26 of unlock 2.0, here are some interesting stories from across the country.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Published: July 26, 2020 10:19:51 pm
unlock 2.0, unlock diary, unlock stories, coronavirus unlock, coronavirus lockdown, covid 19 lockdown, indian exress A medic waits to collect samples for COVID-19 testing at an MCD dispensary in Khajuri Khas, New Delhi, on Friday. (Express Photo By Amit Mehra)

With daily coronavirus cases (48,661) coming close to 50,000 for the third consecutive day, the total tally in India rose to 13,85,522 on Sunday. The toll rose to 32,063, with 705 deaths in the last 24 hours. Currently, India has over 4.6 lakh active cases, while 8.8 lakh people have recovered. More high-risk areas were brought under lockdown on Saturday for varying periods, including weekends, by states in a bid to check the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases in India.

Addressing the nation in his monthly radio address ‘Mann ki Baat,’ Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while India is in a better position than other countries, there is no room for complacence. “Today, the COVID19 recovery rate in our country is better than others. Our fatality rate is much less than most of the other countries. We managed to save the lives of lakhs of people, but the threat of coronavirus is not over yet. It is spreading fast in many areas, we need to remain vigilant. Whenever you feel like taking off your masks, think of frontline soldiers.”

On Day 26 of unlock 2.0, here are some interesting stories

As foodies await dining out, restaurants reinvent themselves in keeping with corona times

As the country continues to struggle with the coronavirus crisis, the F&B industry is reinventing itself with the “new normal” of ensuring certain precautions to keep the virus at bay. In a slow, incremental process of pulling themselves out of a slump,  a number of businesses have started online deliveries and many are also trying to re-establish dining-in with the help of digital solutions.

Social distancing, meticulous sanitising, open kitchens, minimal contact with restaurant staff and digital menus are some steps being taken to instill confidence among wary customers .

The extra care for hygiene and social distancing at Blue Tokai in south Delhi reassured Shobha Mishra, a media professional. While the new rules of distancing were a given in the current situation, QR codes at her table caught her eye. “The cafe wasn’t crowded at all, great relief. In addition, they have put these QR codes at each table. You can simply scan the code with your phone and access the entire menu,” Mishra told PTI.

Gurgaon-based HR manager Ankita Verma is still reluctant  about going out but has been ordering in.  “More than eating out, I miss the experience of going out to eat,” Verma told PTI. (PTI)

Covid ties rakhi celebrations to post, video calls

Many women will not be able to tie rakhi on their brothers’s wrist  due to the travel restrictions in place. Most of them have opted to send rakhis — some hand-made or in the shape of masks — through post or e-commerce firms.

“He is my younger brother and he knows I have got a sweet tooth,” Nidhi Rawat told PTI. “He brings me Bombay halwa every time.” The Delhi-based banker says she talks to her brother over video call everyday, but expressed sadness that she “won’t be able to hug him” on Raksha Bandhan on August 3. The woman visited the post office twice but returned home without posting her rakhi due to long queues . “So, I decided to send a rakhi through an e-commerce website,” she said. “I also had the option to send a gift along with it.”

Delhi-based teacher Pummy Saini had lost her parents at a tender age. She recalls that her eight-year older brother took care of her since she was a child. “He left the city when he got a job in Ahmedabad. He last came home in December,” she said. “The restrictions due to the pandemic have made me realise how much I love him.”

Nisha Yadav’s brother, who has been living in Rohtak, Haryana, for the past 10 years, used to make sure he brings her a gift on the festival. “I sent him a handmade rakhi through post. I know he will love it,” Yadav said. (PTI)

Anubhav Sinha to produce anthology based on COVID-19

Bollywood film director Anubhav Sinha, in collaboration with filmmakers Sudhir Mishra, Hansal Mehta, Ketan Mehta and Subhash Kapoor, will back an anthology based on stories around the coronavirus pandemic. To be produced under his banner, Benaras Mediaworks, the “Article-15” director said he thought of documenting the crisis after Sudhir’s driver tested positive for COVID-19 and was unable to secure a bed at hospital.

Anubhav also said the loss of close friend and actor Irrfan Khan, who passed away on April 29, and the inability to attend his last rites due to the pandemic-induced lockdown hit him harder. “What better way to do it than different filmmakers looking at different things? Sudhir’s father passed away during COVID. We lost Irrfan and couldn’t even go to his funeral. Tigmanshu had to fight the cops to go and said ‘Irrfan is my brother, I will go.’ “All these things were disturbing. I thought these should be recorded. I spoke to my friends who agreed to do this and that’s how the idea behind it began to formalise,” Anubhav said in a statement. (PTI)

Online classes under Kerala govt initiative cross 1000-mark

The virtual classes initiated by the Kerala government from June 1 in the backdrop of schools remaining shut due to COVID-19 have now crossed the 1000-mark. The initiative was launched by the state’s Education department through its KITE (Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education) VICTERS educational channel under the name “First Bell” as an interim arrangement.

Kerala Minister for Higher Education K T Jaleel inaugurates Online Classes with a history lecture on June 1. (Photo: PRD, Govt of Kerala)

The class teachers and school headmasters or principals have to ensure that students have access to a television or a smartphone or a computer, and Internet for attending the classes. If not, they need to find an alternative for the students to attend them either in real time or later. The sessions on Victers channel are available simultaneously on the KITE Victers website, mobile app, and social media pages. (PTI)

Bakri Eid: Amid outbreak, sacrificial goats get expensive in Mumbai

A major drop in supply and the closure of the Deonar abattoir due to the pandemic has resulted in spike in prices of goats for slaughter during Bakri Eid in Mumbai, social activists said Sunday. The price has risen from Rs 20,000 earlier to Rs 30,000 per goat now, with the sale based on weight, making it out of reach for several families who want to carry out the ritual during the festival, they said.

With animal markets closed, sellers have set up makeshifts stalls in Muslim-dominated localities, and the extra effort on their part to operate the business is resulting in exorbitant prices being demanded, an activist said.

While the state government has urged people to buy sacrificial animals online this year, activists said many buyers are not technology savvy enough to carry out such transactions. “I used to buy four goats for sacrifice earlier, but can afford only one this year as the sale is based on the goat’s weight,” a buyer told PTI.

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