India’s coronavirus tally crossed the 7-lakh mark to stand at 700,150 cases on Monday, with fatalities now 19,795. With this, the country has recorded over 20,000 cases of the infection for the fourth consecutive day. India went past Russia on Sunday to become the third worst-hit nation by the COVID-19 pandemic. Only the US and Brazil are ahead of India in terms of total coronavirus infections.
The number of recoveries stands at 429,581 in the country, while one patient has migrated. There are 2,53,287 active coronavirus cases in India, according to government data. “Thus, 60.85 per cent of the patients have recovered so far,” the government said.
The total number of tests for detection of COVID-19 crossed the one-crore mark in India on Monday, an ICMR official told PTI. According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), a total of 99,69,662 samples were tested for the disease in the country till July 5, with 1,80,596 just on Sunday.
Here are some interesting stories from across the country on day 6 of unlockdown 2.0.
Citizens found without mask or not following COVID-19 prevention guidelines at public places in Gwalior will have to work as volunteers in hospitals and police check-posts for three days, a government official said on Monday.
Fines would also be imposed on those violating the COVID-19 protocols, he said.
An order to this effect was issued by the district administration in Madhya Pradesh on Sunday after Collector Kaushlendra Vikram Singh held a meeting with officials on the ongoing ‘Kill Corona’ campaign, he said.
“I was just doing my job,” says Laibi Oinam matter-of-factly. Yet, everyone around her — including the Chief Minister of Manipur — seems to think otherwise. “Service above self,” CM Biren Singh had said, while handing over a cheque of Rs 1,10,000 and a traditional Manipuri muffler to Laibi last month. “I never imagined the Chief Minister of our state would notice me — I was just doing my job as an auto driver,” says the 52-year-old.
On May 31, Laibi drove Somichon Chithung — a stranded young woman who had just recovered from the novel coronavirus — from the hospital to her home. The journey — in Laibi’s trusted auto — was over 140 km, and eight arduous hours long.
Earlier in the day, Laibi, who had doubled up as a street vendor to sustain her family during the lockdown, saw two men desperately negotiating with drivers in Imphal’s Dewlahland market. “They wanted someone to ferry a recovered Covid patient home,” recalls Laibi, who was watching the scene unfold from a distance. “But not a single person wanted to go.”
Homeless again in twilight years? Funding dries up for old age homes
Living out their twilight years in old age homes, thousands of elderly persons across the country could lose the roof over their heads, with funds for their donation-dependent refuges drying up in the last few months. As businesses collapse and incomes shrink in the extended lockdown and post lockdown phase, many old age homes have been forced to trim their budgets for essentials such as rations and medicines, and some fear they could be looking at closure if the financial crisis continues.
“Old age homes, especially the smaller and mid-sized ones, have traditionally depended on donations from local philanthropic individuals and business communities. With the lockdown and economic recession, this has totally dried up,” HelpAge India CEO Mathew Cherian told PTI.
According to HelpAge India, a non-profit organisation working for the disadvantaged elderly, there are nearly 1,500 old age homes in the country, housing nearly 70,000 people. Other than the luxurious enclaves for the affluent, most senior care homes depend on donations, in varying degrees, to keep things running smoothly.
The stakes are high for the residents, some of them now cleaning, washing, cooking and making beds without assistance as their homes are forced to dispense with daily help.
The fear that the life they have finally settled into might be taken away imperils their sense of physical and emotional security.
Shashi Malhotra, 73, is one of those who said he doesn’t know where he will go if his home closes down. The former inspector with the sales tax department separated from his wife in 2008 and hasn’t seen his sons in 12 years. With the impending challenges of old age and no family to turn to, he registered himself in an old age home run by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).
Actor Manoj Bajpayee will narrate the documentary “COVID-19: India’s War Against the Virus” in Hindi on Discovery Plus.
The documentary will provide a glimpse into all the key steps being taken across the country to battle the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It will follow both the global and the Indian timeline of how the virus spread and will shine light on important developments that have taken place ever since the country’s first coronavirus victim was detected in Kerala in January.
Shot extensively during the period of lockdown, the documentary includes interviews with subject matter experts, frontline workers, patients, migrant workers, and others working tirelessly behind the scenes to arrest the spread of this deadly disease.
The film will also highlight the way technology is being used to combat the virus.
While Bajpayee will provide the Hindi voiceover for the documentary, writer-director Gautham Vasudev Menon will do the Tamil voiceover. “Meaningful cinema, meaningful projects have always attracted me, and I believe specials like ‘COVID-19: India’s War Against The Virus’ are relevant not just for today but will continue to engage our future generations as well,” said Bajpayee.
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