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Sunday, September 20, 2020

Unlock 4.0 diary: More online content now being consumed on TV than phone; 2 Covid-infected inmates flee Pune jail

Here are some interesting stories from across the country in the second week of Unlock 4.0.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 10, 2020 11:10:04 pm
Sixty per cent of the new cases have been reported from only five states.

The Covid-19 tally in India rose to 4,465,863 Thursday after nearly 96,000 fresh cases were registered in a single day. The death toll also increased from 73,890 to 75,063, according to latest data released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The number of recoveries stood at 3,471,783.

Meanwhile, Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, decided to pause clinical trials of Oxford-AstraZeneca or Covishield vaccine in India. “We are reviewing the situation and pausing India trials till AstraZeneca restarts the trials,” SII has said in an official statement. “We are following DCGI’s instructions and will not be able to comment further on trials,” the statement added.

Global pharma major AstraZeneca had, late on Tuesday evening, announced that it was putting a halt on ongoing clinical trials for a coronavirus vaccine it was developing in collaboration with Oxford University after a volunteer developed neurological symptoms.

Here are some interesting stories from across the country during Unlock 4.0. 

Online video content consumption shifting from mobile devices to bigger screens, say experts

Consumption of online video content is witnessing a shift from mobile phones to big screens, helped by factors like affordable smart TVs and increased broadband penetration, industry experts said. This trend was quite visible among the people in the top 20 cities during the lockdown period and it may increase further, ZEE5 India CEO Tarun Katial said. “We do think that in the post-COVID era and the next 18 to 24 months, there would be a significant increase in the broadband penetration coupled with digital video streaming on TV at home,” PTI quoted Katial as saying during a virtual panel discussion at ‘Future of Video India’ event.

Now buying a smart TV has become cheaper than a smartphone, he added. “This allows you for more consumption of video-on-demand on the large screen. After COVID, when people started to work from home, they increased their consumption of content on a smart TV from a smartphone,” he said. “This is a very significant shift which we have seen.” (PTI)

HC asks govt to assess e-learning for specially-abled students

The Bombay High Court Thursday told district social welfare authorities across Maharashtra to assess the ongoing digital education programme for disabled students amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

A high court bench directed district social welfare officers to pay “surprise visits” over the next two weeks to centres that were providing online education to such students, and assess how the system was working and if there were any difficulties being faced. The bench was hearing a public interest litigation by an NGO, through advocate Uday Warunjikar, seeking relief for specially-abled school and college students during the COVID-19 unlock phase. (PTI)

Two coronavirus-infected inmates escape from jail in Pune

Two coronavirus-infected jail inmates escaped from an isolation facility at a temporary prison in Yerawada area of Pune on Thursday, a jail official said.

The two undertrials had recently tested positive for the contagious disease and were kept in an isolation facility in a government hostel, which had been converted into a temporary prison to decongest the Yerawada Central Prison, the official said.

“In the early hours of the day, two inmates escaped from the isolation facility after bending the grills of a window,” PTI quoted the official as saying. A case has been registered against the duo at Yerawada police station, he added.

‘Body’ lying on roadside in Ghaziabad creates panic, turns out to be sleeping man

A man sleeping on the roadside inside a tarpaulin sheet was mistaken for a corpse in Ghaziabad. A video of the bizarre incident, which has now gone viral on several social media platforms, shows a crowd gathering near a body covered with a white sheet at a busy road in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad.

Assuming it to be a corpse, the local administration was called, only to find out that the person presumed dead was just taking a nap. The 29-second video concludes with the man waking up and walking away from the crowd.

Watch the video here:

Back on Track

While trains services are likely to resume operations from September 14, the state government and Kolkata Metro authorities said e-passes would be mandatory for entering stations. (Express photo: Partha Paul)

Facing acute distress due to pandemic, Jammu businesses offering wedding services ask for govt help

Roop Lal has for years made a living providing bands and horse-drawn carriages for wedding processions. With a severe downturn in the wedding market since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the 46-year-old says the past six months have been the worst phase of his life.

“Only I and my god know how I managed to feed my wife and three daughters besides half a dozen horses since March, despite being rendered jobless (by the pandemic),” Lal told PTI.

He said the nightmare of having no source of income was still not over as his business is unlikely to pick up with the government allowing only 50 people at a wedding ceremony, even as every other sector has started working partially or fully after the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Sitting in a government-owned field for wedding band businesses at Bhagwati Nagar in Jammu along with his 75-year-old father Buwa Dutta and younger brother Sonu Kumar who have their own business in the same field, Lal said Rs 200 to Rs 250 is the daily maintenance cost of each horse to keep them in good health.

He said without government help, he and many others like him would find it very difficult to survive.

Karnataka to scale down Mysore Dasara celebrations

In wake of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Karnataka government Tuesday decided to make the famous Mysore Dasara celebrations a low-key event this year.

In a high-level meeting attended by all three Deputy CMs, other ministers, and top government officials, Chief Minister Yediyurappa said: “It has been unanimously decided to hold the Dasara celebrations in Mysuru in a simple manner. While the tradition will be upheld, the popular food mela, Yuva Dasara, sports meet, and other cultural events will not take place this time in view of Covid-19.”

A key attraction of the festival, the Jumbo Savari— a grand procession of elephants carrying idols of deities, including Sri Chamundeshwari, from Mysuru Palace to Bannimantap Grounds — will also be restricted this time, Tourism Minister C T Ravi said.

“The number of elephants will be restricted to five and the procession will take place within the palace premises and not through the main streets of the city. However, the important circles in the city will be illuminated using electric lights for the celebrations,” he said. The procession takes place on the day of Vijayadashami or Dussehra, when the 10-day festival culminates.

A peek into the future

Metro employees at work a day before the Blue Line of the Delhi metro resumes service, at Yamuna Bank Metro Station on Tuesday. The Delhi Metro was closed for over 170 days due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Cops assaulted during drive against people without masks

Two separate incidents of assaults on police were reported in Pune on Monday during the ongoing drive against those found without masks in public places in the city.

In the first incident that took place on Satara Road area at 11.30 am, two persons allegedly manhandled and verbally abused two on-duty constables who had stopped their bike because they were not wearing masks. The two men were arrested later.

In the second incident, two persons were arrested for assaulting a police constable in Koregaon Park area. The duo pushed the constable and even thrashed and kicked him, when they were stopped for not wearing masks. They were also arrested later.

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