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Daily Briefing: Amid rural covid surge, Centre draws up 3-tier response plan; Ayodhya locks down

From the latest on India's second surge, now extensively spreading in rural areas, to our latest Idea Exchange with Justice Govid Mathur, take a look at the top news of the day.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: May 17, 2021 8:50:29 am
A look at the top news today, May 26, 2021.

The Second Wave 

With the coronavirus pandemic rapidly spreading in rural areas, the Centre has drawn up a three-tier response plan that would see schools, community halls, and panchayat buildings in villages turned into Covid Care Centres with 30 beds to manage mild cases. Moderate to severe cases will be referred to Primary Health Care centres and district hospitals. 

Only in the Express

Lockdown in Ayodhya has gained a grudging acceptance. Lessons from the Kumbh in Haridwar, which saw crowds and Covid cases swell, helped. Even in the run-up to Ram Navami last month, devotees were urged to stay home and major temples here closed their doors. And the lockdown has the full backing of the Ram Janmabhoomi trust, too.  

Travelling across villages, and stopping over at government hospitals in rural Jaipur and adjacent Sikar district in Rajasthan, The Indian Express found the healthcare system grappling with multiple problems — oxygen shortage, idling ventilators, and reduced staff strength with frontline workers turning Covid positive.

In this edition of the Idea Exchange, Justice Govid Mathur, who retired as Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court last month, admits “guilt” about CAA protests’ hearing not being taken to conclusion, criticises “liberal use” of NSA and sedition law, and expresses concern over the law and order situation in UP.

From the Front Page

In a preliminary report on allegations of blackmarketing and illegal distribution of Covid-19 medicines against various politicians, including All India Youth Congress President Srinivas B V, the Delhi Police has told the Delhi High Court that the persons have been helping people voluntarily and without discrimination.

Hisar turned out to be a flashpoint in Haryana on Sunday when several hundred farmers clashed with the police as Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar inaugurated a 500-bed hospital for Covid-19 patients. Over 20 police personnel had to be taken to hospital for treatment, and as many as 70 farmers received injuries.

Must Read

With companies in Haryana’s Manesar industrial hub closed for longer than maintenance shutdowns, workers living in adjoining villages are beginning to turn restless. Unlike a year ago, the workers have stayed put so far. However, this may change if the Covid situation does not improve and the shutdown extends for another 2-3 weeks.

Originally established for children with special needs, this school in Andhra Pradesh’s Bukkarayasamudram village now has a different function – to look after children whose parents or guardians have tested Covid positive and are in hospital or at isolation centres, and for those whose parents or guardians have died of the virus. 

With people resorting to third-party applications to get news about vaccination slots, the National Health Authority has now introduced restrictions to access the portal’s slot availability information. Now, for third-party apps, such data will be made available with a delay of up to 30 minutes.

And Finally…

When Dr Darshil Shah tinkered with the core of a cricket bat, he knew the traditionalists would bristle. The custodians of the game were not expected to take too kindly to his innovation of replacing the old willow with laminated bamboo.

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