01 April 2020

1 APRIL NEWS: Tablighi Jamaat attendees fear ostracisation as thousands quarantined across India. 36-Hour Operation To Evacuate Over 2,300 From Tablighi Jamaat Building In Delhi: Deputy CM. Twitterati Call Out Vilification of Tablighi Jamaat


1 April 2020: 6 Shaban 1441: Vol: 12, No: 170



Tablighi Jamaat attendees fear ostracisation as thousands quarantined across India


Over 2 days on March 30 and 31st, state police, intelligence officers and the health departments of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Telangana raced to trace and quarantine thousands of people who attended a religious meeting in Delhi’s Nizamuddin neighbourhood, after a number of cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, were reported amongst the attendees.At least 9 of those who visited the annual congregation of Tablighi Jamaat in Nizamuddin in the second week of March have died from COVID-19 so far. In the past 2 days, Andhra Pradesh government has traced at least 360 people, Karnataka has placed 40 attendees under quarantine, Tamil Nadu has traced at least 800 people while Telangana has quarantined over 1000 people, as per state health department media releases. Meanwhile, stigma of being seen as a virus vector magnified by the ever-present spectre of Islamophobia meant that several attendees are now living in fear of backlash from their neighbours. Jamaat in the meantime has issued a series of press releases and clarifications in a bid to blunt a growing chorus of criticism — some well-intentioned, and some plain bigoted. Several attendees interviewed by HuffPost India said no restrictions on public gatherings were in the place at the time they travelled to Delhi for the congregation. The people who attended the meeting were traced after the Ministry of Home Affairs passed on a list of attendees, a Telangana police officer said. Telangana state’s health department confirmed the same. In each state, the district administration and police were tasked with tracking down those who attended the meetings. The list of names of the attendees along with their phone numbers were handed over by state leaders of Tablighi Jamaat. Officers of the health department contacted each attendee. In some cases, house calls weade. With social media chatter bordering on Islamophobia, with many taking to Twitter to blame an Islamic congregation, those who are currently under quarantine are doubly worried. “When your friends and neighbours keep asking you if you are ill, even a healthy person may start feeling unwell. The controversy around this meeting could have been avoided,” a person under quarantine said. The test results of most people quarantined on March 30 and 31 and are expected to be out by April 2. Huffingtonpost

Centre asks all states to take action against Tablighi Jamaat attendees, organisers


New Delhi :With as many as 20 states scrambling to trace all those who attended a gathering at Markaz Nizamuddin, the headquarters of Tablighi Jamaat in New Delhi, Centre Wednesday asked all state govts to initiate action against the foreigners who violated visa conditions and the organisers of the event. At least 20 states are trying to find the people who had attended the congregation, which had approximately 4000 participants.Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba asked all chief secretaries and police heads of the states to conduct “intensive contact tracing of Tablighi Jamaat participants”, stating this has “increased the risk of containment efforts of COVID-19.”In a statement, govt asked the states to “complete the contact tracing process on a war footing”. “It has been found that foreigners who had participated in Tablighi Jamaat had violated visa conditions. The state(s) were asked to initiate action for violation of visa condition against the foreigners and the organisers of the event,” it said. indianexpress

As Assam Gets First COVID-19 Patient, 'Nizamuddin List' Violates Privacy of Many


Guwahati: A 52-year-old from Karimganj district of southern Assam’s Barak Valley tested positive for the coronavirus, becoming Assam’s first patient on March 28.On the same day, media (both national and local) been amok with reports on the religious function in New Delhi’s Nizamuddin. Local media focused on the alleged fact that 400 people from Assam had attended Markaz of Tablighi Jamaat, which started on March 13. Nizamuddin has now been labelled a COVID-19 hotspot.This led to speculation as to whether the Karimganj patient had also attended the meet. Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, speaking to local reporters, said this has not been ascertained yet.“The person’s travel history will only be disclosed on April 1 (Wednesday),” he said.The Wire reached out to some people from the ‘list’.Some of the names in the ‘list’ said they had nothing to do with the religious congregation. “I have a perfume business and I didn’t attend the religious programme. I arrived in Delhi on March 13. And I am stuck in Delhi,” said a person, who added that he was in isolation.thewire

5 Trains, Thousands Of Passengers Being Traced For Travelling With Tablighi Jamaat Participants


Railways is scrambling to provide information regarding thousands of passengers who travelled on 5 trains with people who participated in the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi, many of whom have tested positive.All these trains began from Delhi between March 13 and March 19 - Duronto Express to Guntur in Andhra Pradesh, the Grand Trunk Express to Chennai, Tamil Nadu Express to Chennai, New Delhi-Ranchi Rajdhani Express and AP Sampark Kranti Express. While there are yet no definite numbers with the railways on the actual number of people who could have come in contact with the participants of this event, sources say that each train carried around 1000-1200 passengers and other staff members which could put them all at risk.State officials said that the railways is providing lists of passengers to the district authorities which are being compared to the list of participants of the event to ensure contact tracing.PTI

Centre's Warning To States On Tablighi Jamaat Members Over COVID-19 Cases


36-Hour Operation To Evacuate Over 2,300 From Tablighi Jamaat Building In Delhi: Deputy CM Sisodia


New Delhi: A 36-hour operation to evacuate 2,361 people from a building in south Delhi's Nizamuddin neighbourhood, which has emerged as the nation's biggest coronavirus hotspot, was completed in the early hours of Wednesday morning, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said today.Lanes near the "Markaz Nizamuddin", Delhi headquarters of the Tablighi Jamaat group, were blocked off by officials in protective suits. The government deployed DTC (Delhi Transport Corporation) buses to transport evacuees to hospitals and quarantine facilities."In the last 36 hours we have run a very extensive operation in coordination with medical authorities, police, DTC and others and the operation went on till 4 am in the morning. A total of 2361 have been evacuated; out of them 617 have been sent to hospital, while the rest have been sent to different quarantine facilities," Sisodia told ANI.Sisodia also tweeted, adding: "Medical staff, administration, police and DTC staff all worked together in this 36-hour operation, putting their lives at risk. Hats off to all of them".In total, 2,371 members of Tablighi Jamaat group have been identified in different states, the government has said. 824 foreigners had also travelled to different states and their details had been shared with the police chiefs, the Home Ministry added.Speaking after the evacuation Sisodia urged those members to identify themselves, warning them: "If you try to hide your illness from the administration then action will be taken against you".NDTV

Markaz leadership resisted, then NSA Doval dropped by at 2 am: HT report


New Delhi: When Maulana Saad, head of Nizamuddin Markaz, refused to yield to pleas from Delhi Police and security agencies to vacate Banglewali Masjid, Home Minister Amit Shah requested NSA Ajit Doval to get the job done. According to top Home Ministry officials, Doval reached around 2.00 am on March 28-29 night at the markaz and convinced Maulana Saad to get the occupants to be tested for the Covid-19 infection and be quarantined. Shah and Doval knew about the situation building up since the security agencies had tracked down the nine test positive Indonesians at Karimnagar, in Telangana, to the markaz on March 18 itself.The security agencies had sent an alert on the markaz infection the very next day to all state police and subsidiary offices. While markaz allowed 167 Tablighi workers to be hospitalised on March 27, 28 and 29, it was only after the intervention of Doval that Jamaat leadership yielded to cleaning up of the masjid. Doval, for the past decades, has built very close connections with the various Muslim movements in India and abroad. He is on a first name basis with virtually all Muslim ulemas and spends time with them to form a national strategy for India.The operation has now moved into Phase 2. In this, security officials say the effort is to trace all the foreigners who are in India, get them medically screened and then take a hard look at violation of the visa norms. Since January, home ministry has said, about 2,000 foreigners have attended the markaz congregation. Initial reports indicate almost all of them violated their visa conditions by entering India on visas for tourists, not missionaries.This, officials said, had happened despite the government’s repeated reminders to file visa requests under the missionary category. They will be blacklisted from entering the country again.HT

Tablighi Jamaat Chief Maulana Saad, 6 others charged: NDTV


New Delhi: After a religious gathering in Delhi at the headquarters of Tablighi Jamaat has emerged as one of the country's top coronavirus hotspots, its chief cleric Maulana Saad and six others have been charged by the police. Sources say Maulana Saad is missing; he was last seen on Saturday, when coronavirus cases started surfacing.Apart from Maulana Saad, Delhi Police's FIR names Zeeshan, Mufti Shehzad, M Saifi, Younus, Mohammad Salman and Mohammed Ashraf.They have been charged under the Epidemic Disease Act, said Delhi Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava.FIR says these 7 were responsible for the gathering and they allowed visitors to continue living in the building despite notice issued to them on March 24, the day the country went into a total lockdown to fight the spread of coronavirus. Police is examining an audio recording of a sermon posted on a "Delhi Markaz" YouTube channel, in which speaker says there is no need to follow social distancing advised by the govt. NDTV

We were following all the instructions of Delhi administration since March 24, says Jamaat, but MHA says congregation was illegal


Audio clips of Tablighi Jamaat head's alleged speeches on coronavirus being anti-Muslim disappear: new Indian express


Soon after the controversy erupted over presence of large gathering at HQRS of Tablighi Jamaat, a website named —www.delhimarkaz.com has removed a couple of audio clips of alleged speeches of Muhammad Saad Kandhlwi, head of the body, on the novel coronavirus outbreak.The clips had alleged that the reports of novel coronavirus spread is a conspiracy against Muslims and Islam to dissuade faithful from coming to mosques.The title of clips, which are not available on the websites were ‘Jab Police Wala Markaz Mai Musafa Karne Se Mana Karne Aaya’ (When the policemen came to stop us from handshake), ‘Bimari to ek bahana hai’ (Disease is just an excuse), ‘Bimari hajj bhi Chuddwayegi’ (Disease will make us to skip pilgrimage), ‘Chhoone se nahi, is wajah se felti hai ye bimari’ (disease is not spread by touching, but for this reason) and several others.In one of the audio clips still available on its websites, the preacher said, "All the works are done by Allah be it good or bad.  Allah is the saviour and destroyer. Muslims should not stop praying, namaaz, and going to masjid. If you do so, Allah will punish you more. At present, Allah is angry with everyone and to end his anger, we all should go to masjid and prey with precautions."The other clip titled – ‘Musalmano k andar corona ka khauf’ (The fear of coronavirus among Muslims) says, "If anyone dies after visiting the mosque, what could be better than this, which could be the better place to die while serving the god ..."Mushrraf Ali Khan, a member of committee of Markaz and an advocate by profession however said that the website is not an official portal of the Jamaat. "This is not an authentic website. The audio is recorded and posted by individuals. People come to Markaz and some records speeches. These videos can be fake and may create controversy," he said.

Dargah Aala Hazrat seeks ban on Tablighi Jamaat


Bareilly:Dargah Aala Hazrat Trust has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Ministers for Home and External Affairs and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, demanding immediate ban on Tablighi Jamaat for continuing with its Markaz congregation at Nizamuddin in the national capital despite a lockdown.It has also demanded legal action against the Markaz organizers.Aala Hazrat Trust president Mohtashim Raza Khan said: "irresponsible organizers of Tablighi Jamaat held their conference with neither security nor healthcare professionals, even as WHO declared novel coronavirus as a pandemic."We condemn their irresponsible behaviour and demand that the central govt should ban the organization and take strict action against its organizers. They have broken a fundamental rule of Islam, which says we are responsible for every single life in this universe."IANS

"Talibani Crime By Tabhlighi Jamaat": Union Minister Naqvi


New Delhi: Tablighi Jamaat committed a "Talibani crime" with its religious gathering that has been linked to 128 coronavirus cases across the country, union minister and BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said today, calling it an "unpardonable sin" by the organisation."Talibani Crime by Tablighi Jamaat. This is not negligence. It's a serious criminal act. When the entire country is fighting united against Corona, such a sin is unpardonable," the minority affairs minister said in a tweet.ndtv

'Islamic insurrection', tweets BJP IT cell chief after Nizamuddin incident


After a Tablighi Jamath gathering, in the early days of March, at Delhi's Nizamuddin sparked fears of a national COVID-19 outbreak, BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya tweeted that Delhi has seen an "Islamic insurrection of sorts in the last 3 months". "Delhi’s dark underbelly is exploding! Last 3 months have seen an Islamic insurrection of sorts, first in the name of anti-CAA protests from Shaheen Bagh to Jamia, Jaffrabad to Seelampur.And now illegal gathering of the radical Tablighi Jamaat at markaz.It needs a fix!" he wrote.theweek

Stop Media Trials and Witch-Hunting of Tablighi Jamaat: WPI head Dr Ilyas


NEW DELHI:Vehemently condemning what he called “Godi media” for unfair criticism of the Tablighi Jamaat and a campaign of vilification launched against it, Welfare Party of India (WPI) president Dr Syed Qasim Rasul Ilyas has asked to immediately stop media trials and witch-hunting of the Tablighi Jamaat. He alleged that there were no criticisms when a large crowd gathered at a programme of construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya chaired by UP CM Yogi Adityanath, even after PM Modi announced lockdown.India Tomorrow

Tablighi Jamaat Being Made a Scapegoat to Distract from Govt Failures: SIO


NEW DELHI:Students Islamic Organisation (SIO) of India has alleged that the Tablighi Jamaat is being made a scapegoat by Central govt to distract attention of the people from its failures.In a statement, SIO said, “It is extremely unfortunate and disheartening to see that news of coronavirus cases among members of Tablighi Jamaat is being used to spread the poison of hateful and Islamophobic messages. While the dedicated troll army of Sangh Parivar has pounced on this opportunity to distract from the failures of Central govt, it has also been aided by reckless statements from 'secular' politicians and misrepresentations even in mainstream media”.India Tomorrow

Zafar Sareshwala Decries Communal Colour Given to Markaz Gathering


A former chancellor of Maulana Azad National Urdu University, businessman and social activist Zafar Sareshwala has condemned the "communal colour being given by certain sections of the media” to Tablighi Jamaat gathering at Nizamuddin, which became a hotspot for the spread of the novel coronavirus. Sareshwala said, “It’s very painful that some quarters and a few media houses have given it a communal colour.”“For the past 70 years, they have been having their congregations at this centre. At any given point of time there have been 3/4 thousand people at these congregations,” he explained.thequint

Coronavirus: Twitterati Call Out Vilification of Tablighi Jamaat


NEW DELHI: Following the reports of Nizamuddin Markaz of Tablighi Jamaat being a source of spread of Coronavirus in India, right-wing trolls have have started a vitriolic campaign that reeks of Islamophobia. The hate campaign is seen as an alibi for the “failure” of govt to tackle coronavirus pandemic efficiently. The critics have also lashed out at the campaign and asked the government to initiate legal action against other people including politicians who threw parties despite advisories against doing so. President of Jamaat E Islami Hind, Syed Sadatullah Husaini called the campaign “shameful” and demanded an FIR against those officials who failed to act despite repeated request from Markaz adminstration to take steps for their evacuation amidst lockdown.He also demanded that govt should be held responsible for announcing a lockdown that triggered crises after migrant labourers came out on roads to go home.He urged that the focus of the narrative should be on the repeated statements of Ulema and Muslim leaders appealing public to take safety measures against the pandemic. He also said that the relief effort of the Muslim organisations and volunteers to help the needy facing hardships in the ongoing lockdown  need to be appreciated.Several liberal voices have also come out and spoken against the hate campaign of the right wing.  They say that govt should have taken steps well in advance to curb pandemic.ClarionIndia

India's far-right links Covid-19 outbreak to a Muslim congregation:trtworld.com


Fracas over Tableeghi Jamaat: one-eyed media overlook others equally guilty: nationalheraldindia


15, including 13 Bangladeshis, found at Tablighi Jamaat mosque in Mumbra


Mumbai: 15 persons, including 13 Bangladeshi nationals, were tracked down to a mosque belonging to the Tablighi Jamaat, a global Islamic missionary movement, at Kausa in Mumbra, on Tuesday night.Senior inspector Madhukar Kad of the Mumbra police station told Mirror Online on Wednesday that the other two persons are from Assam. All 13 of them work as preachers for the Tablighi Jamaat.mumbaimirror

Karnataka tracks down 79 who attended jamaat


 With Telangana and Jammu and Kashmir witnessing the deaths of seven people who attended the Tablighi Jamaat in New Delhi’s Nizammudin, due to COVID-19, Karnataka has stepped up its efforts to track those from the state who took part in the event. On Tuesday evening, Health Minister B Sriramulu said at least 54 people from Karnataka had travelled to Delhi to take part in the congregation that was held in the second week of March. By Tuesday night, the number had increased to 79.newindianexpress

Gurugram: 33 sent to quarantine, cops suspect their participation in Tablighi Jamaat


Worried about the spread of Covid-19 in the district, the Gurugram administration, along with the local police, on Tuesday sent 27 persons from Pataudi and six from Dhankot village to quarantine at Civil Hospital after collecting their samples for testing.Officials in the district administration said they were yet to find out if the patients sent to quarantine were part of the Tablighi Jamaat convention held at Nizamuddin in Delhi.“These people are from districts of Haryana like Mahendergarh and neighbouring cities like Loni border, Ghaziabad and Delhi. According to locals, 27 people — including 3 families — arrived in Pataudi on Monday night. These families, however, claim that they have been in Pataudi since March 2019,” said SDM. HT

14 Bagladeshi Tabhligi Jamaat event's participants held in UP's Jaunpur


Varanasi: At least 14 Bangladeshis and 2 Indians were taken under custody by Jaunpur police as after attending Tabhligi Jamaat event in Delhi they reached Jaunpur and stayed in a house taken on rent by a cleric in Saraikhwaja area without informing police.Inspector Saraikhwaja Satya Prakash Singh said that all these persons were booked under appropriate sections of epidemic disease act, passport act and foreigners act. After taking them under custody police kept all of them in a shelter house where team of doctors was called to examine them, he added.On being alerted by the central intelligence agencies Jaunpur cops swung into action on Tuesday afternoon when they raided a house in Lal Darwaja locality under limits of Saraikhwaja police station.Singh said that 14 Bangladeshis identified as Haji Hafijurrehman Ima, Rafikul Islam, Mainuddin Naeem, Ismail, Nuruddin Sahil, Aminul Islam, Mahboob Rehman, Arimul Islam, Roshan Ahmad, Alameen, AK Faizul Haq, Aquib Hassan Mahboob, Firdaus and Saiful Islam were caught from there. Yasin Ansari of Jharkhand and Mohd Abul Motalib of West Bengal, who were also accompanying them were also held, he added. timesofindia

 Markaz committee member in UP looking after guests from Nizamuddin booked


Hyderabad : 10 Indonesians return on train, test positive; officials tracing others


Hyderabad :While many of the 1,200 or so people from AP and Telangana who took part in Tablighi Jamaat congregation at Delhi’s Markaz Nizamuddin said there was no government advisory against travelling or congregation when they reached Delhi in early-March, and that most people from the twin-states returned within two or three days of the events, officials are now tracing contacts of all those attended the congregation. Officials said all contacts of 10 Indonesians who took a train back to Karimnagar district after the event, and subsequently reported positive for coronavirus, have been tested.indianexpress

Shahar qazi in UP’s Mawana hid 10 foreign preachers amid Covid-19 fears, booked


Meerut:The city cleric of Mawana and his two of his associates have been booked for hiding information about 10 religious preachers from abroad, who were living in a mosque in the town since March 17, police said on Tuesday.Rajendra Tyagi, an inspector of Mawana police station, said five of the preachers are from Sudan, four from Djibouti and one from Kenya.“A case under sections 188, 270 and 271 of IPC  and foreigners act has been registered against shahar qazi Maulana Nafees Qazmi and his two associates Dr Aslam Advocate and Naimuddin,” said Tyagi.

Delhi Police Book Jama Masjid Cleric; 12 Foreign Attendees Present In Mosque:republicworld


Cracking down on several foreign attendees of the Nizamuddin Markaz event who lodged inside several mosques in Delhi, Delhi police, on Tuesday has lodged a case against Delhi's Jama Masjid Maulavi. 12 foreigners are reportedly still housed inside the mosque. In total, 48 foreigners are reportedly holed up in 5 mosques in the North-East District of Delhi. They are currently being evacuated from the premises and being screened for Coronavirus  and then quarantined. republicworld

82 MP residents who attended Tablighi Jamaat identified


Bhopal:Of the 107 people from Madhya Pradesh who attended the Tablighi Jamaat held in Delhi, 82 have been identified and are being kept in isolation. The search for the remaining persons is going on.Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said, "107 people came to the state after attending the Tablighi Jamaat held in Delhi. These people came from different districts of Bhopal, Vidisha, Raisen and Shajapur. Most of them have come to Bhopal. The administration is searching for these people".IANS

7 Africans quarantined in Odisha after returning from Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi


 At least seven foreigners, including six from Sudan, have been kept in isolation in a government quarantine facility in Odisha, official sources said on Wednesday. They had recently returned from New Delhi after attending the religious congregation at the Tablighi Jamaat’s Nizamuddin Markaz.The seven foreign nationals are reportedly part of a 10-member team of preachers from Sudan and Djibouti who had also spent a few days in Rourkela before leaving for New Delhi.newindianexpress


Coronavirus: Over 200 Stranded Sikhs Evacuated From Delhi Gurdwara


New Delhi: Around 200 people were evacuated today from a gurdwara in north Delhi's Majnu ka Tilla today. People had come there over the week-end to take the interstate buses to Punjab but got stranded when they found the buses were not running and had to take shelter in the gurdwara. Manjinder Singh Sirsa, the chief of Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, has said 205 people had been staying at the gurdwara since. They were shifted today to the government school at Nehru Vihar, which has been one of the designated shelters for the needy. The people would be placed under the mandatory 14-day quarantine and undergo coronavirus tests, Sirsa said. Ndtv

100 gather for religious congregation at Rajasthan dargah, police use force


Jaipur:About 100 people gathered for a religious congregation at a dargah in Sarwar town of Rajasthan's Ajmer district on Tuesday following which police used mild force to disperse them, police sources said.6 persons have been arrested by police for violating lockdown restrictions in place to curb the spread of coronavirus.As per tradition, a chadar is offered every year by the khadims of Ajmer dargah of Sufi saint Moinuddin Chisti to the dargah in Sarwar.According to police sources about 100 people had gathered at the dargah.When the police asked them to vacate the place, several of them objected and confronted the police.Later, police dispersed them using mild force and arrested six persons.PTI

Coronavirus in India:  Cases past 1,700, death toll crosses 50 tally at 320


The total number of confirmed novel coronavirus cases in India crossed 1,700-mark on Wednesday after over 90 new infections were reported across the country, while the death toll due to the pandemic climbed rose to 52.The active cases of Covid-19  stood at 1,238 as of Tuesday, as per the Union Health Ministry. The ministry added that over 120 people have were either cured or discharged and one had migrated.On Wednesday, a total of 5 coronavirus casualties were reported in India two each in MP and West Bengal and one in Maharashtra. With this, Maharashtra has reported the most deaths (12), followed by Telangana, Gujarat and West Bengal (6), Madhya Pradesh and Punjab (4) and three in Karnataka. Kerala, Delhi and J&K have reported 2 deaths. Tamil Nadu, Bihar and Himachal have reported a fatality each. Maharashtra, which has reported the highest number of cases of the deadly disease, saw 18 new cases on Wednesday, taking its tally to 320. Andhra Pradesh reported as many as 47 cases on Wednesday morning. With this, the total cases in Andhra have now climbed to 87. MP saw 20 more cases. The state tally now stands at 86.Eight fresh cases were seen in Gujarat, taking its count to 82. A person was tested positive in Delhi. The total number of Covis-19 patients in Delhi has now risen to 121.Two cases were reported in Bihar. The number of Covid-19 patients in Bihar is 25.With 241 infections so far, Kerala is the second worst-hit state in terms of confoirmed cases of novel coronavirus. Tamil Nadu has 124 patients and Uttar Pradesh 101.The number of Covid-19 cases in Delhi has gone up to 101 and there are 92 infections in Telangana. Rajasthan has reported 93 cases and Jammu and Kashmir 55. Punjab had till Wednesday morning recorded 41 infections. 40 coronavirus cases have been detected in Haryana.The number of cases has risen to 27 in West Bengal. Ladakh and Chandigarh reported 13 cases each.10 cases have been reported from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Chhattisgarh has 9 positive cases, while Uttarakhand has reported seven cases so far. Goa has reported five coronavirus cases, while Odisha has reported four and Himachal 3 cases each. Puducherry, Mizoram and Manipur have reported a case each. indiatoday

Spike in Coronavirus cases due to Tablighi Jamaat gathering: health ministry


The health ministry said that a total of 386 new positive cases have been recorded in the last 24 hours. The health ministry said that the surge in positive cases is due to the Tablighi Jamaat gathering that took place in Delhi's Nizamuddin area. The ministry also said that a total of 132 Covid-19 patients have recovered till now.India Today

Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Rushes To Aid Those Hit by Lockdown in South India


NEW DELHI:Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) has deployed thousands of its workers in South Indian states to provide medical and food assistance to those affected by 21-day lockdown ordered by Central govt to fight the spread of coronavirus.The organisation has even offered its hospitals and schools, colleges and madrasas to the government in Kerala and other states for isolation and treatment of COVID 19 suspects. Giving details about the Jamaat’s relief work since the lockdown as it affected poor and migrant daily wagers, JIH Telangana unit media secretary Saeed Fakhruddeen Ali Ahmed said that the Jamaat was also working in collaboration with several NGOs. “Our primary focus is on the migrant labourers who became income-less because of the lockdown", he said. Husamuddin, who works with media team and is coordinating the activities said that ration kits have been distributed across the settlements of daily wage labourers. This include groceries and other essential items. " We are now active in relief works in Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Warangal. Meals are being distributed in these areas daily since lockdown started", he added.Karnataka JIH unit has also been engaged in the relief works of those stranded because of the lockdown. It is working along with its student wing and other NGO in helping the needy. Laeequllah Khan, State Media Secretary said that they are distributing relief kits in different areas of the state.Tamil Nadu state unit of JIH is also actively engaged in the relief works. They have distributed 3000 food kits to 6,000 migrant labourer families. MI Abdul Azeez, Kerala JIH president informed told that the organisation has expressed its willingness to provide the hospitals and other institutions under the organisation for the state government to help in its operations to combat the novel coronavirus outbreak. Kerala JIH media team member T Shakir, said, “A 300-bed multi-speciality hospital—Santhi—in Kozhikode, run by a trust associated with the organisation has been taken over by the government for treatment of Corona affected”.India Tomorrow

SIO Comes Forward to Help the Needy Amid Corona Lockdown


NEW DELHI:Amid the starvation following the Coronavirus lockdown, Student Islamic Organisation (SIO) has come forward to help the needy. Its volunteers and cadres are working in 24 states across India, distributing cooked food, ration and medical kits.General secretary of the SIO, Syed Azharuddin, told Clarion India that his organization is running around 1,000 helpline centres for the needy in small towns and villages. Some 10,000 of its volunteers are engaged in the relief work. They are working from March 25, two days after the complete lockdown. So far, they have distributed kits containing ration for one month to around 25,000 families. They are also distributing medical kits which also contain sanitizers.clarionindia

Azim Premji Foundation, Wipro commit Rs 1,125 crore to tackle Covid-19 crisis


New Delhi:Azim Premji Foundation along with Wipro Limited and Wipro Enterprises has committed Rs 1,125 crore to tackle the Covid-19 health crisis in India."Wipro Ltd, Wipro Enterprises Ltd and Azim Premji Foundation have together committed Rs 1125 crore towards tackling the unprecedented health and humanitarian crisis arising from the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak," said a joint press release issued by Wipro and Azim Premji Foundation.These resources will help enable the dedicated medical and service fraternity in the frontline of the battle against the pandemic and in mitigating its wide-ranging human impact, particularly on the most disadvantaged of our society."It may be noted that of the Rs 1,125 crore, Wipro Limited has committed Rs 100 crore while Wipro Entreprises is contributing Rs 25 crore. The larger Rs 1,000 crore share comes from the Azim Premji Foundation.indiatoday

UP: Over 10,000 madrassa staff pledge Rs 1 crore to CM’s relief fund


 Over 10,000 employees of 560 government-aided madrassas have offered their one-day salary to the chief minister’s relief fund to fight Covid-19 crisis. With an average salary of Rs 1,000 a month, this means as much as Rs 1 crore will be donated by UP’s madrassa staff.In 2 separate letters to the UP Board of Madrassa Education, the Teachers’ Association Madrassa-e-Arabia UP and All India Teachers’ Association Madrasa-e-Arabia, gave a voluntary proposal to donate a day’s salary for the purpose. The board will forward the amount from the salary for the month of March.Speaking to TOI from Varanasi headquarters, general secretary of Teacher’s Association Madrassa-e-Arabia UP, Haji Diwan Saheb Jaman Khan, said, “A unanimous decision was taken by the association since it is a national crisis. We have also appealed to madrassa teachers and staff to help the poor in whichever way possible.” timesofindia

Deoband offers 1 of its buildings to serve as isolation ward for COVID-19 patients


 Deoband-based Durul Uloom, Asia's largest madrassa, on Monday offered to hand over one of its buildings to the Uttar Pradesh government to turn it into an isolation ward for coronavirus-infected patients.The offer was made by Vice-Chancellor Mufti Abdul Qasim Nomani of the theological school in a letter to UP CM Yogi Adityanath. Durul Uloom's Mohtmim (vice chancellor) has written to Chief Minister Adityanath offering a 3-storeyed hostel building, 'Darul Quran', for housing COVID-19 patients, Durul Uloom's spokespersons Ashraf Usmani told PTI. The head of the Deoband school, in his letter to the chief minister said, the hostel building of the school is located adjacent to the main highway and if the government finds it appropriate, the school would like to offer its services for helping the country in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic, the spokesman said.The building can accommodate up to 100 people, he said."We are ready to offer the hostel as quarantine facility for as long as the government wants it," he added.PTI

AMU to donate a day’s salary to PM relief fund


 The teaching and non-teaching staff of AMU has decided to donate a day’s salary to PM COVID-19 relief fund as a contribution to the crisis that country is facing and may face in future. More than Rs one crore is likely to be donated, said officials.TOI

Aurangabad SP comes to the rescue of madrassa students


Aurangabad: Mokshada Patil, the Aurangabad superintendent of police, came to the rescue of about 50 madrassa students hailing from Araria in Bihar, who were stranded at the Laygaon-based Jamia Islamia Abul Hasan Madarssa location in the limits of the Chikalthana police station.Apart from arranging the essentials needed by the students, Patil also sent a police team and ensured that calls were made to the students’ families. The family members were assured of the students’ safety. To ensure that the students, all of them teenagers, do not get bored during the lockdown, cricket kits and footballs were gifted to them with instructions to the madrassa management to let the students play within the compound.Patil told TOI: “The students hail from a far-off state and it is obvious for the children and their parents to worry about each other. We have not only assured the families of the students’ safety but have also shared our direct contact numbers — so that they can contact us for any help or assistance.”It all started after a nation-wide lockdown was announced. The students wanted to return home. Their parents too were worried and were making calls to madrassa management. When API Mahesh Andhale got to know of this, he informed the superintendent of police, who took a personal interest in addressing the issue. A police team led API Andhale reached out to the madrassa and even briefed the students on the precautions, including social distancing, to be taken during the coronavirus outbreak.TOI

Centre Wants SC To Stop Media From Publishing Information Not Confirmed By Govt


Central govt on Tuesday sought a direction from the Supreme Court that no media outlet print, publish or telecast anything on coronavirus without first ascertaining facts from the mechanism provided by the govt.Solicitor General Tushar Mehta made the plea while submitting a status report on the welfare measures taken govt for migrant workers.Opposition leaders and rights activists had criticised the government for announcing the lockdown without measures in place to aid daily wage workers and migrants labourers whose livelihood was hit because of lockdown. huffingtonpost

No, Home Ministry Has Not Made Sharing Coronavirus Messages A Punishable Offence


A viral message claiming that posting anything related to Coronavirus on social media has been declared a punishable offence by the government is false. The forward falsely attributes this to a nonexistent official named Ravi Nayak in Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). BOOM spoke to an official from MHA who called the message fake and confirmed that there was no one named Ravi Nayak working at the ministry with the designation of the principal secretary. The official declined to be named as they were not authorised to speak to the media.The viral message reads, "All honorable members of the group are informed that right now any post related to Corona virus has been declared a punishable offense by Central Govt, only a government agency can post on Corona."boomlive.in

"Frightening Picture": Prashant Kishor Tweets Video Of Workers Locked Up


Patna: Migrant workers are locked up, weeping and begging to be freed, in a video tweeted this morning by election strategist Prashant Kishor, who blamed Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for what he called a "frightening picture" of the state's handling of the coronavirus crisis."One more frightening picture of official efforts to protect people from the coronavirus epidemic - poor migrants who came from various parts of the country after suffering many hardships are subjected to this heart-wrenching arrangement for social distancing and quarantine by Nitish Kumar," Prashant Kishor tweeted on his former political mentor, with the hashtag #NitishMustQuit.ndtv

Renowned Indian-Origin Virologist Gita Ramjee Dies Of COVID-19 In South Africa


World-renowned virologist Gita Ramjee became the first Indian-origin South African to die after contracting the novel coronavirus in country.So far 5 people have died in South Africa from COVID-19. Ramjee,  64, a stellar vaccine scientist and an HIV prevention research leader, had returned from London a week ago but reportedly showed no symptoms of COVID-19.PTI

WB: No bread for breakfast as city bakeries work with skeletal staff


KOLKATA: Bread, which is a staple in most city homes, was hard to come by at most markets on Tuesday. The trickle of a supply on Sunday virtually dried up on Monday, leaving lakhs discontent about an essential breakfast item disappearing from the menu.Families were forced to shift to alternative options, including roti-sabzi, poha, corn flakes or oats. If the bakers’ association is to be believed, the shortage is liklely to be on till the end of the lockdown.According to bakery owners, almost all labourers have left for their villages before the three-week lockdown started, leading to a halt in product of bread and other bakery products. Scarcity of flour and maida in the wholesale market has only compounded the problem. Bread manufactured by some of the popular brands have also disappeared from shops.“In our household, bread is a must for breakfast. Till Sunday, we received at least some quantity but from Monday, there is absolutely no bread available in the markets. Families with children are bound to face a lot of difficulty,” said Arpit Ganguly, a resident of Premchand Boral Street in Bowbazar.Pointing to the reason for the sudden shortage, Ariful Islam, chief executive officer of West Bengal Bakers’ Association, said, “Only 5% bakeries are open in the city, which is highly inadequate to meet the demand.”TOI

Unpaid for 3 Months, No Safety Gear: 19,000 Ambulance Staff Stop Working in UP


 UP ambulance workers’ association halted work on Tuesday as they have not been paid their wages since January and have not been provided safety gear – suits and masks – to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak.The association has said that all 19,221 workers associated with it have stopped operating ambulances in all 75 districts of UP.“There is no salary, no masks, no sanitisers, no insurance for us. We are not going to put our lives at risk like this. We have been talking to the administration, the contractor and the government. But no one has done anything to solve the problem,” Brijesh Kumar, general secretary of the ambulance worker’s union Jeevandayni Swasthya Vibhag, said.The Wire

No Logic In Lockdown In A Country Where 94% Are Below 65:Rajiv Bajaj


Bajaj Auto has, like most others in auto industry, has closed its production operations. But MD Rajiv Bajaj, in an email interview to Surajeet Das Gupta, gives his contrarian views on the complete lockdown the government has imposed. Bajajsaid, "The best-case scenario is 8 weeks of disruption. Nobody knows what the worst is. When 99.9% of the most vulnerable are above 65, I see no logic in this sweeping lockdown in a country in which 94% are below 65. We should have kept the seniors home, closed public spaces, and allowed the rest of us to keep life moving forward."thewire

Coronavirus Crisis, Lockdown Will Result In Unprecedented Economic Devastation: Jayati Ghosh


The govt recently announced Rs 1.7 lakh crore economic package to help the poor deal with the impact of coronavirus and a 21-day nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the spread of the disease. Experts think that the complete lockdown may deepen India’s economic slowdown. In an interview, development economist, and professor at JNU Jayati Ghosh explains how the COVID-19 crisis will impact the Indian economy and what the government needs to do.  Ghosh said, "Covid-19 crisis and the nationwide lockdown will together result in serious economic devastation. And, I think it will be to the extent that we have never experienced before. We are in a peculiar situation where there is a demand as well as supply collapse."outlookindia

2 India's - One Watching Ramayana And Playing Antakshari, Other Fighting For Survival': Kapil Sibal


In an apparant reference to the situation of the migrant labourers across the country, Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Wednesday said that there are 2 types of people, one who are performing yoga and watching Ramayana while other, who are trying to reach home, are fighting for survival.Taking to Twitter, Sibal wrote, "2 India's--One ( at home ) Doing yoga Watching Ramayana Playing Antakshari The other ( trying to reach home ) Fighting for survival Without food Without shelter  Without support."In another tweet, Sibal slammed the incident in which disinfectant was sprayed on migrant labourers who were returning to Bareilly.outlookindia

CM Baghel: 'Had PM Taken States Into Confidence on Lockdown, the Chaos Could've Been Avoided'


 “If CMs had been taken into confidence, we could have avoided the chaos which followed the prime minister’s lockdown announcement,” Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel told The Wire in an interview. “People are in great distress. Central government can issue orders but the implementation part has to be taken care of by the states.” Baghel said that the Centre should have consulted the states before announcing the nationwide lockdown. He feels that the lack of preparedness on the part of Central government led to lakhs of migrant workers across the country setting off for their villages, defeating the very purpose of the lockdown as a consequence. The wire

At Ghazipur Mandi and Beyond, the Vegetable Supply Chain is Being Twisted


New Delhi: Ghazipur’s vegetable and flower mandi wears a forlorn and deserted look these days.Just a kilometre ahead of Anand Vihar Bus Terminal, which was thronged by thousands of migrant workers last weekend, the flower mandi is completely shut, mirroring the stark collapse in business seen in most parts of the country.Close to that, a few labourers roam about aimlessly in the vegetable market. Stacks of onions, potatoes, and vegetables lay unsold in shops.Since the national lockdown, functional chain of how agriculture produce moves in India – production, distribution and consumption – has been hurt in many different ways. 3 links in the supply chain – farmers and suppliers, middlemen who auction these goods, and retailers – have all been hit like never before.At the consumption and retail level, a large part of it depends on how inter-city movement has been maintained by local law enforcement.“We used to aution around 200-250 sacks of onions and potatoes (each sack weighs 40 kgs) every day. Since the national lockdown, we haven’t been able to sell over 20-30,” said Vikash, a middleman in the mandi on March 28.thewire

96 held for rioting in Surat, given bail


Surat: Pandesara police arrested 96 migrant labourers on Monday on charges of allegedly rioting and attacking the police during lockdown at Vadod locality on Sunday night. However, in order to avoid creating further tension, cops later released them on bail and were also counselled not to panic. 3 police personnel had suffered minor injuries in the stone pelting and three police vehicles were damaged. Rapid Action Force and police teams also conducted a flag-march of in the area on Monday to ensure peace.More than 1,000 migrant workers clashed with the police in Vadod at around 10.30 pm on Sunday. TOI

Coronavirus: Pre-lockdown stocks running out, stores wait for trucks,labour


New Delhi :Shelves in stores are gradually emptying as pre-lockdown stocks run out and replenishment is a big challenge as labour migration poses fresh hurdles across the supply chain — from the manufacturing stage to last-mile delivery. This is the growing concern among key players in consumer goods, from FMCG majors Dabur India and Hindustan Unilever to wholesaler Metro Cash and Carry and a slew of stockists and retailers.There is a sudden dearth of labour: be it for loading and unloading trucks to managing warehouses, taking supplies from distributors and moving goods to the retailer.On top of this, is the fact that production is projected to take a hit due to shortage of labour and raw materials.Besides labour, the other key break in the supply chain has been the transport lifeline – thousands of trucks stuck in jams at semi-sealed border entry points. Result: raw materials, too, are in short supply.indianexpress

Pharma industry on a drip as lockdown locks out allied services, workers


Shimla :Despite being part of essential services, production of pharmaceuticals in the Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh industrial belt of Himachal Pradesh has suffered a blow following the lockdown with many units, especially MSMEs, suspending operations or running at sub-optimal capacity.According to employees in the industry, disruptions in allied services such as supply of raw materials, transport, packaging and stringent lockdown conditions have led to a drastic decline in pharmaceutical manufacturing. Rajeev Gupta, president of Himachal Drug Manufacturers’ Association, said overall output of the pharmaceutical industry has dipped below 25 per cent, and 70 per cent of the units in the state are running with a workforce capacity of 25 per cent or below.indianexpress

US, Italy strain more virulent than one in India: Top Indian microbiologists


The strain of new coronavirus in India is not as virulent as the ones which are devastating Italy, Spain and the US. In depth genomic analysis of rapidly revolving SARS-CoV-2(COVID-19) viruses, top Indian microbiologist Rup Lal, and his team of 16 scientists have discovered that strain found in India, matches with the sequence of new coronavirus found in Wuhan, and is less virulent.The study analysed the data taken from different countries including, Italy, Spain, US, China, Nepal and India."The study shows that virus is mutating very rapidly. In simpler words, we can say the virus is changing its structure quickly...which means it will be difficult to develop a vaccine for prevention from this dreaded virus.IANS

COVID-19: Kashmiris Complain of Crowded, Unhygienic Quarantine Facilities


People who have been placed under quarantine at different makeshift centres complained of poor and unhygienic facilities in Kashmir.Around 1,800 people who have been put up in various centres complained of poor facilities and unhygienic conditions. Even as the district administration has roped in a few hotels to be used as quarantine facilities in some instances, the overall picture of the quarantine facilities is dreary.On March 28, Mehmood(name changed) received a call from local administration wherein he was asked to go to local school-turned-quarantine-centre. “But after reaching the facility, I found myself to be more vulnerable than before. There are six people in one room. The bedding has been used before. Four people in this room are from Tablighi jamaat which I have no idea about. Is it possible they have come in contact with first COVID-19 victim,” he said. Mehmood is pursuing Ph.D. at Jamia Millia and reached the Valley on March 20. There are around 30 people at this centre and 28 of them have to use the same bathroom, he said. “There are around 8-10 people put in a single room which puts everyone of them at risk.” newsclick

‘No Beds’: Srinagar Boy Who Caught Coronavirus Turned Away by 4 Hospitals, Told to Wash Hands


Srinagar: A 10-year-old boy from Eidgah in Srinagar who showed symptoms of coronavirus after coming in contact with a preacher who had tested positive was turned away by four hospitals in a day, without being tested and with the advice to stay at home and “wash hands” regularly.Jamal (named changed) finally tested positive for the virus on Tuesday and was admitted at the Sher-i -Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), J&K's biggest tertiary care hospital, two days after he was made to take rounds of the hospitals along with his father and turned away each time.news18

‘Asked to quit’ amid lockdown, Meghalaya worker kills self in Agra


Noida :A migrant worker from Meghalaya committed suicide on Tuesday, allegedly after he was asked to leave his job at a restaurant in Agra amid the coronavirus lockdown, police said.Aldrin Lyngdoh worked in a restaurant owned by the daughter-in-law of BJP MLA from Fatehpur Sikri and Uttar Pradesh minister Uday Bhan Singh.In a purported suicide message which went viral on social media, Lyngdoh ostensibly stated he was discriminated against, and that he had “nowhere to go” in wake of the lockdown.indianexpress

PM Modi to hold video conference with all CMs tomorrow over Covid-19


Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a video conference with chief ministers of all states tomorrow over Coronavirus.


Global Coronavirus cases over 860,000 with over 42,000 deaths:  Spain's coronavirus cases exceed 100,000


The number of coronavirus cases in Spain has risen to 102,136, up from 94,417 in the last 24 hours.The number of dead in US surpassed that in China and hard-hit countries in Europe reported their highest death tolls in a single day.The number of cases of coronavirus in Spain surpassed 100,000, while the number of fatalities reported overnight reached a new record, the country's health ministry said.The number of cases rose to 102,136 on Wednesday up from 94,417 on Tuesday, the ministry said. Overall fatalities caused by the disease rose to 9,053 from 8,189 on Tuesday. The daily death toll reached a record 864, though the increase was lower in percentage terms than during the previous days. Around the world, over  860,000 people have been diagnosed with virus, and over 178,000 have recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 42,000 people have died. aljazeera

Iran's coronavirus death toll rises to 3,036: official


Iran's death toll from the new coronavirus has reached 3,036, with 138 deaths in the past 24 hours, Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur told state TV, adding that the country had 47,593 infected cases."We had 2,987 new cases of infected people in the past 24 hours and 15,473 people have recovered from the disease," Jahanpur said.

Saudi Arabia asks Muslims to put haj plans on hold


 Saudi Arabia wants Muslims to wait until there is more clarity about the coronavirus pandemic before planning to attend the annual haj pilgrimage, the minister for haj and umrah said on state TV on Tuesday.The largest annual gathering of Muslims is scheduled to begin in late July, but the coronavirus outbreak has raised questions about whether it can or should go ahead given the risk of spreading the disease further in large gatherings.Saudi Arabia has already suspended the smaller, year-round umrah pilgrimage until further notice, halted all international passenger flights indefinitely and last week blocked entry and exit to several cities, including Mecca and Medina.kingdom has reported 10 deaths among 1,563 cases of coronavirus.Reuters

COVID-19 Pandemic Is Most Challenging Crisis Since World War II: UN Chief


Coronavirus pandemic is the most challenging crisis the world has faced since World War II, one that is killing people and will also lead to an economic recession without any parallel in the recent past, according to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. “We are facing a global health crisis unlike any in 75-year history of UN one that is killing people, spreading human suffering, and upending people’s lives,” he said.PTI

White House projects 100,000-240,000 US deaths from coronavirus


White House projected 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the United State from the coronavirus pandemic even if current social distancing guidelines are maintained.The projections were presented during a White House briefing on Tuesday. They suggest if no social distancing measures had been put in place across the country between 1.5 million to 2.2 million people would have died.Dr Anthony Fauci, director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who is helping to lead the US effort, said, "as sobering a number as that is, we should be prepared for it". But he added he hopes it won't soar so high.President Donald Trump called US efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus "a matter of life and death" and urged the public to heed his administration's social distancing guidelines.Trump called on Americans to brace themselves for a "rough two-week period" but predicted the country would soon see a "light at the end of the tunnel" of the global catastrophe that has killed over 3,700 Americans and infected a total 186,000 thus far.aljazeera

Brace for a hell of bad two weeks: Trump projects up to 2.4 lakh coronavirus deaths in US


No evidence supports Indian news agency’s baseless story claiming Hindus denied rations in Karachi: Pak paper


KARACHI: A news story with the title, ‘COVID-19: Hindus denied food supplies in Pakistan’s Karachi’, that was released by an Indian news agency, Asian News International (ANI), has turned out to be completely fabricated news.As The News investigated the matter, it found no evidence supporting the Indian news agency’s claim that the Hindu community was denied food items while they were being distributed in a small coastal area of the city, Rehri Goth, which is inhabited by fishermen, some 10 kilometres away from Ibrahim Hyderi in Karachi.Ibrahim Hyderi’s Assistant Commissioner Samiullah, Union Committee Chairman Asif Shah, representative of NGO Pakistan Fisher Folk Forum that works for fishermen Kamal Shah, and one of the Hindu leaders of Ibrahim Hyderi, Santosh Maharaj, confirmed to The News that there were no Hindus living in Rehri Goth in the first place. “There are only 20 shops belonging to the Hindus in Rehri Goth,” shared Maharaj, who is also a sanitary inspector at the Bin Qasim Authority. Samiullah, who hails from Khairpur city, said there was no possibility of discrimination on the basis of religion while distributing food items especially in the times of a pandemic.The News

Discrimination amid pandemic, Pakistan refuses to give food to Hindus as Covid-19 rages :ANI



Turkmenistan bans use of the word ‘coronavirus’


Central Asian nation Turkmenistan which has reported zero cases of the novel coronavirus has banned the media from using word “coronavirus.” According to media reports, word has also been removed from health information brochures distributed in schools, hospitals and workplaces.Ranked last in group’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index, the gas-rich autocratic ex-Soviet nation of Turkmenistan is one of the world’s most closed countries. It also neighbours Iran which has reported more than 44,000 cases.Paris-based reporters without borders said people wearing face masks or talking about the coronavirus are liable to be arrested by plainclothes police.indianexpress

Israel tests coronavirus vaccine prototype on rodents at defence lab


Israel has begun testing a COVID-19 vaccine prototype on rodents at its bio-chemical defence laboratory, a source said on Tuesday.Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR), in rural Ness Ziona, to join the fight against the coronavirus pandemic on Feb. 1, prompting an easing of its secrecy as it cooperates with civilian scientists and private firms.Reuters

Euro-Med slams Israeli attempts to spread corona in Palestinian areas


GENEVA, (PIC)Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor has strongly denounced Israeli occupation forces for continuing to storm Palestinian cities, assaulting the civilian population without taking any preventive measures and completely ignoring the dangers such behavior might cause in light of the spread of coronavirus in Israel.According to the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor 207 Israeli incursions into Palestinian cities in the West Bank and east Jerusalem have been carried out since the Palestinian govt declared a state of emergency in its territories on March 6, as a preventive measure to control the outbreak of the novel coronavirusThese incursions included the arrest of 191 Palestinians, attacks on other dozens, and demolishing Palestinian houses. The majority of these operations took place without any preventive measures and without soldiers wearing appropriate masks to prevent the spread of the virus.“During the same period, Israeli settlers carried out 19 infiltrations into Palestinian neighborhoods in the West Bank, along with carrying out attacks on the Palestinian population and their property,” Euro-Med Monitor said. Euro-Med Monitor stressed that such Israeli practices would hinder Palestinian preventive measures to counter the spread of the virus, considering them a threat to the quarantine measures and social distancing adopted by the Palestinian Authority in line with the instructions issued by WHO.Palestinian Information Center

Israel is using coronavirus to implement the deal of the century


‘Drugs used on COVID-19 patients can cause severe side effects’


French health authorities have issued a warning about the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine and other medications being used to treat patients infected with the novel coronavirus, saying around 30 people who had been administered these medicines suffered severe side-effects."We remind you that no medication has been formally shown to be effective in treating or preventing COVID-19 disease. For this reason, plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) or kaletra and its generic equivalents (lopinavir and ritonavir) should only be used as part of ongoing clinical trials," France's National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM) said .IANS


Modi govt redefines J&K domicile rule, extends it to those who have lived in UT for 15 yrs


Srinagar: Narendra Modi government has redefined domicile for government jobs in the newly-created Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir through Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of State Laws) Order, 2020, issued late Tuesday night. According to the notification, anyone who has resided in J&K for 15 years or has studied in the state for seven years, and appeared in either the Class 10 or Class 12 examination, will be eligible for domicile certificates. This would allow them to apply for gazetted and non-gazetted government jobs.  The new rules also state that migrants registered by the Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner need not fulfill the amended requirements.It is a stark departure from the earlier domicile laws in the state. Until J&K was stripped of its special status granted under Article 370 and it was bifurcated into two union territories on 5 August last year, Article 35 A of Constitution empowered the state assembly to define a J&K resident. Only J&K residents were eligible to apply for jobs or own immovable property in the erstwhile state.Central govt’s Tuesday decision comes amid apprehension in UT that there would be a demographic change in J&K following the scrapping of Article 370, which guaranteed state subjects the right to jobs, owning property and legislating laws. It also comes at a time when J&K, along with the rest of the country, continues to be under a lock-down in the wake of Covid-19 outbreak.The latest government order also defines domicile as an administrative category rather than identity-based residency. In the gazette notification issued by Ministry of Home Affairs, classified as “extraordinary”, Centre has repealed the J&K Civil Services (special provisions) Act. According to the new rules, children of officials with the central government, all India services, public sector undertakings, public sector banks, statutory bodies, central universities and recognised research institutes of the central government who have served in J&K for 10 years will also be eligible to apply for gazetted and non-gazetted government jobs in the UT.The new rules have also been extended to children of those who fulfil the above mentioned criteria even if they do not live in J&K.  theprint

Omar Abdullah calls new J&K domicile rules ‘insult to injury’, slams introduction of legislation during COVID-19 pandemic


Srinagar: NC leader Omar Abdullah has lashed out at the Centre over new domicile rules for Jammu and Kashmir, saying it was an insult to injury of the people as there were none of the promised protections.He also questioned the new law's implementation at a time when the government's "attention should be focussed on the COVID-19 outbreak".He said the new law was so hollow that even politicians with "Delhi''s blessings" were forced to criticise it.PTI

Perks and privileges of ex-J&K CMs withdrawn


The perks and privileges of former CMs of J&K have been withdrawn thereby repealing the long list of privileges enjoyed by former Chief Ministers since 1984.According to a late evening notification issued yesterday, central govt repealed section 3-C of the State Legislature Members' Pension Act, 1984 under which former CMs of J&K were entitled to different privileges and perks.Former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers were entitled to rent-free furnished accommodation, expenditure to limit of Rs 35,000 per annum for furnishing of the residential accommodation, free telephone calls up to the value of Rs 48,000 per annum, free electricity to the extent of Rs 1500 per month ,car, petrol, medical facilities, driver etc.IANS

Modi govt sharply cuts small savings rates, PPF to get just 7.1% now


The government on Tuesday steeply cut interest rates on various small savings schemes in line with sharp cut in policy rates announced by the Reserve Bank of India on Friday where it reduced repo rate by 75 basis points.Accordingly, rate on interest on small savings schemes such as the Kisan Vikas Patra, the National Savings Certificate, the Senior Citizens Savings Scheme and the Public Provident fund (PPF) scheme has been revised downwards between 70 basis points and 140 basis points for the first quarter (April-June) of FY 20 20-21.Interest rates on the PPF and the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana have been cut by 0.8 per cent or 80 bps each. Post office time deposits have seen the sharpest cut of 1.4 per cent or 140.IANS

Merger of 10 PSU banks into 4 effective from today; 6 banks cease to exist


New Delhi :The biggest ever consolidation exercise in public sector banking space is slated to take shape on Wednesday when six PSU lender will be merged into four in a bid to make them globally competitive.The exercise assumes significance as it is taking place at a time when the entire country is under the grip of COVID-19 outbreak. It has triggered 21-day lockdown to contain the spread of the deadly virus.Experts said merger at this point of time will not be very smooth and seamless. However, heads of the anchor banks are exuding confidence. 4anchor banks --PNB, Canara Bank,Union Bank and Indian Bank -- are postponing some part of the implementation and processes due to the lockdown. "For merging banks, we have not changed some of the process like loan process etc, which we proposed to do earlier. However, because of the prevailing situation we will be continuing old system till the situation comes under control," Union Bank of India MD Rajkiran Rai G said.PTI


Abu Dhabi undermined Riyadh Agreement: Yemen’s former minister


In an interview with Al Jazeera, the resigned Yemeni Minister of Transport, Saleh Al-Jabwani, said that he had confronted UAE because he realised early its destructive divisive project in Yemen, and said that Saudi Arabia turned a blind eye to this devastating project.He said that UAE and its militias in Aden undermined the agreement reached in Riyadh. “It is UAE and its militias in Aden that caused the failure of the Riyadh Agreement. We have said this over and over again,” Al-Jabwani said.Last October, Al-Jabwani survived an assassination attempt in the southern province of Shabwah in Yemen just hours after an initial deal between the country’s internationally recognised govt and the southern separatist group.middleeastmonitor




·        Communal Corona? Is It Justified To Blame Tablighi Jamaat For Nizamuddin Outbreak?Mirza Arif Beg, outlookindia


·        COVID-19: Is Tablighi Jamaat Being Targeted to Hide Delhi Govt’s Failure?Tarique Anwar


·        Questions Remain About How Delhi's Nizamuddin Became a Coronavirus Hotspot:The Wire Analysis


·        The One Ingredient Missing in the National Lockdown Is Compassion;Fuzail Ahmad Ayyubi


·        An Inert Molecule Has Our Backs to the Wall:Badri Raina


·        Coronavirus v. Free Speech: Modi Govt Opens New Battlefront in Supreme Court:The Wire Analysis


·        Old, Unrelated Video Shared as Muslims Licking Utensils to Spread Coronavirus Infection:Pooja Chaudhuri


·        The markaz in Nizamuddin has thrown light on a malaise — and a challenge:Najeeb Jung


·        Coronavirus was a test of secular nationalism. Then Tablighi Jamaat became the scapegoat:ASIM ALI


·        Diktats from Delhi are harming India’s lockdown – and friction between states doesn’t help:Shoaib Daniyal


·        Economic cost of 21-day lockdown is Rs 7.2 lakh crore:V Venkateswara Rao



 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 6:46 PM).


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