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Daily briefing: Govt mulls makeshift hospitals to tackle rising COVID cases; Kerala combs forests to probe jumbo’s death

From the latest guidelines on resuming malls and restaurant activities to former Army chief Gen (retd) V P Malik's exclusive interview, read the top stories from today' edition of The Indian Express.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: June 5, 2020 9:54:00 am
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Dear Reader,

On Tuesday, the health ministry released the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for reopening of malls, religious places, restaurants and hotels. And the biggest takeaway, at least for me, is there will be no “offerings like prasad/ distribution or sprinkling of holy water”at places of worship. Moreover, your favourite restaurant can make the Aarogya Setu app mandatory for admission. The SOPs also advise establishments on what temperature the air conditioner should be set.

Mumbai, which accounts for 20 per cent of India’s Covid-19 case load, has the capacity to carry out 10,000 tests every day. However, the city is only testing 4,200 samples daily. Surprisingly, Maharashtra has increased testing in districts where the problem is not so acute. Meanwhile, in Delhi, every fourth sample tested returned a positive result for the novel coronavirus last week.

With a constant surge in Covid-19 figures, the Health Ministry is mulling a “large number of temporary make-shift hospitals” to cater to patients. Meanwhile, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India, on the other hand, is putting a cap of Rs 5,000 for rooms across hospitals.

Gen (retd) V P Malik, who was Chief of Army staff when the Kargil intrusion took place in 1999, says that if the Line of Actual Control isn’t delineated soon, it will remain vulnerable to face-offs and India and China may end up deploying more troops there, just like it is on the LoC with Pakistan.

Ongoing tension along the India-China Line of Actual Control (LAC) did not feature in Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison’s first virtual bilateral summit, but with an eye on Beijing, the two sides announced a roadmap “for maritime cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region”. And the two also engaged in light-hearted banter over samosas.

An RPF constable, who ran behind a moving train to hand over a milk packet to a mother of a four-month-old baby, has earned the praise as well as a cash reward from Railways Minister Piyush Goyal.

The death of a pregnant elephant in Kerala took a communal turn after senior BJP leader Maneka Gandhi claimed that Malappuram, a Muslim-dominated district, is the “most disturbed district in the country”.

The Black Rights Matter campaign across the US appears to be in tune with Martin Luther King Jr’s civil rights movement. Let us take a peak into the similarities, differences and what African Americans have faced in between.

India’s unemployment rate inched lower to 5.8 per cent in 2018-19 (July-June) from 6.1 per cent a year ago, the Periodic Labour Force Survey released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation on Thursday showed.

🎧 In today’s episode of Three Things podcast, we discuss how the return of thousands of people to their homes are affecting the handling of the COVID-19 in a few states.

Until tomorrow,

Leela Prasad and Liu Chuen Chen

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