*CORONAVIRUS - INDIA*
Not every Tablighi is infected, not every Muslim is Tablighi: Delhi Minorities Commission to Home Minister
In a joint letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Delhi Minorities Commission Chairman Dr Zafarul Islam Khan and member Kartar Singh Kochhar claim there was no conspiracy on the part of the people stranded in the Tablighi Jamaat Markaz in Nizamuddin. Copies of the same letter have been sent to chief ministers of all states. In March, hundreds of attendees from across the country gathered at the Markaz in Delhi's Nizamuddin area for a congregation."They (attendees) were innocent victims of this unseen epidemic like anyone else on this planet," said the letter. The Delhi Minorities Commission also said that one part of the leadership of the Tablighi Jamaat Markaz failed to anticipate impending danger posed by the Covid-19 outbreak and continued to organise its programmes as per the schedule."The other section of the Tablighi Jamaat based in Delhi's Turkman Gate had cancelled all its programmes since early March 2020," Dr Zafarul Islam Khan wrote in the letter. He further added, "the Nizamuddin Tablighi Jamaat Markaz leadership was not alone in endangering innocent citizens, there were several incidents from Delhi and across the country where political leaders and ordinary people showed carelessness and insensitivity even after the prime minister's call for a lockdown.""It was correct on the part of authorities to evacuate the people stranded at the Tablighi Jamaat Markaz in Nizamuddin and take them to quarantine centres or medical facilities," said the letter adding that it was also right to search for people who came in contact with these people. The letter, however, says, this series of steps in the right direction wavered from its objective due to "insensitive briefing by government officials and sensational media coverage"."Every "Tablighi person" anywhere in the country became a suspect and was hunted down and placed under quarantine amid propaganda that they were hiding and evading. Mere past relationship of someone with Tablighi Jamaat does not make him per se a suspect. Instead, only those who were inside the Tablighi Markaz or visited it or came in contact with such persons outside the Markaz after the epidemic was discovered should be searched and quarantined," Dr Zafarul Islam Khan wrote.In the letter to Home Minister, the chief of Delhi Minorities Commission also said that CDR of anyone should be sufficient to prove location at the given time or whether the person came in physical contact with someone who visited the Tablighi Jamaat Markaz in Nizamuddin.Dr Zafarul Islam Khan also mentioned the case of a Tablighi Jamaat Markaz member from Himachal who tested negative for Covid-19 but committed suicide due to harassment by locals. "Another person was beaten in a village in Delhi because he had attended a Tablighi event in Bhopal. At present, a group of people has quarantined itself in a school in Taruwala village in Tehsil Paonta Saheb of Himachal Pradesh since February 25, 2020," he added in the letter.By means of the letter, Delhi Minority Commission has requested the Home Minister to instruct the police and healthcare officials not to harass members of the Tablighi Jamaat who were not present at the Nizamuddin Markaz at the given time and had no contact with those stranded inside the Markaz at the time of the lockdown.
Money Laundering Case Filed Against Tablighi Jamaat Leader Maulana Saad
New Delhi: Maulana Saad Kandhalvi, chief of the Islamic group Tablighi Jamaat that organised a religious congregation in Delhi last month setting off India's biggest cluster of coronavirus cases, has been charged with money laundering by the Enforcement Directorate.The police earlier on Thursday had brought charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder against the chief of the Muslim seminary for holding the gathering last month at its "Markaz" or headquarters in Delhi's Nizamuddin.The Markaz of the Tablighi Jamaat group in the cramped neighbourhood were sealed and thousands of followers, including some from Indonesia, Malaysia and Bangladesh, were taken into quarantine after it emerged they had attended meetings there in mid-March.
India’s top infectious disease killed over 440000 people in 2018
New Delhi :There has never been a pandemic that has brought the world to a standstill like the novel coronavirus has over the past few months. But the fact remains that across the world, there are numerous other diseases that threaten lives at a much larger scale. India, where so far Covid-19 has claimed over 400 lives, is no exception.To put the figures of coronavirus in perspective, tuberculosis alone kills an average of 4 lakh Indians annually, and the daily average of over 1,200 is way beyond the COVID-19 fatalities in the country.According to the latest Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme Report, as many as 4.4 lakh people died in 2018 of TB, which is 29 per cent of the total 1.5 million deaths due to TB in the world. India features among the top 8 countries with the highest number of TB cases.Adding to this are the “million missing cases every year that are not notified, and most remain either undiagnosed or unaccountably and inadequately diagnosed”, states National Strategic Plan for Tuberculosis Elimination 2017-25.Interestingly, COVID-19 infections at present have a mortality rate of 3.3 per cent, far lower than the average 20.23 per cent rate of tuberculosis. This means that out of the total number of infected cases at a given time, 20 per cent of the patients succumb to the disease.Similarly, the far more common and recurrent H1N1 seasonal flu kills more than a thousand people on average in the country. This too has a greater mortality rate at 4.25 per cent. Much like the COVID-19 pandemic, the symptoms of H1N1 include fever, sore throat, runny nose, and cough. In 2019, the number of cases doubled to 28,798 as compared to a year ago while the fatalities stood at 1,218.According to the WHO, there have been three to five million cases of severe illness due to influenza, and about 290,000 to 650,000 respiratory deaths. Already 1,469 people in India have been affected by the communicable respiratory disease caused by a sub-type of influenza A virus, called H1N1, and 28 people have died, according to the National Centre for Disease Control data till March.Since the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, India has seen a steady number of H1N1 cases — in 2015, 42,592 cases and 2,991 deaths were reported; in 2017, 38,811 cases and 2,270 deaths were recorded.indianexpress
Give out food stocks, expand PDS, don’t skimp: Amartya Sen, Raghuram Rajan & Abhijit Banerjee
As the duration of the lockdown remains unprecedented, Nobel laureates Sen and Banerjee and former RBI governor Rajan write an exclusive Page 1 opinion piece in the Express.They say that the “biggest worry” is that a large number of people will be pushed into dire poverty. They call for the urgent need to do what it takes to reassure people that their minimum well-being will be secured. They also assert that giving away some of the existing food stocks at the time of a national emergency “makes perfect sense”. The three eminent economists also suggest issuing temporary ration cards for over six months. They maintain that while we need to spend wisely given the large demand for fiscal resources, however “skimping on helping the truly needy” will make sure that we “lose the plot”.Pointing out the absence of craftspeople from the financial package offered by the government, Jaitly argues, “Unless there is recognition and support for our 50 million skilled artisans and craftspeople through enabling sustainable livelihoods, many can be driven to penury and heritage skills will die.” With cancelling of bulk orders, shortage of raw material, low stock of rations, a possible drop in sales post lockdown and lack of supplies, the problems faced by them seem endless. Jaitly suggests that “interest-free loans of Rs 5,000-Rs 10,000 per month per family for two months backed by the government” are required and the government should avoid “one-size-fits-all schemes”.theprint
Amartya Sen, Raghuram Rajan, Abhijit Banerjee write: A long haul, spend wisely, but don’t skimp on the truly needy
Thousands of PPE kits imported from China fail safety standards, unusable
Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for healthcare personnel on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic is currently woefully inadequate, and India is ramping up production domestically, as well as procuring PPEs from other countries — primarily from China. According to the Economic Times, many kits donated to India, made by China, were found to be unusable because they failed to meet safety standards. Out of 1,70,000 kits that India received on April 5, 50,000 failed during safety checks, the report added.These were reportedly received as contributions from big companies in India. However, this is not the first instance. Kits from smaller consignments also failed, the report added.“The number of orders being placed is growing. China is the major supplier. We were totally dependent on imports earlier and never expected that there would be a surge in demand,” a senior government official told the business daily. thenewsminute
Doctors, scientists demand apology from Gujarat CM for discrimination between COVID-19 patients on faith
Progressive Medicos and Scientists Forum (PMSF) – an organisation of doctors and scientists has demanded an unconditional apology from the Gujarat CM, Vijay Rupani for the creation of different wards for COVID-19 patients based on their religion in a Ahmedabad based hospital. Stating that “when the entire world is fighting an epic battle against the biggest health emergency that has encompassed the entire world in over a century” the ruling party has stooped to this level that it is differentiating on the basis of religion.“We demand from the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Vijay Rupani to tender an unqualified apology for this policy measure taken by his government; dismiss his deputy and the state health minister, and meet-out strongest possible punishment to others who conspired in committing this act,” reads a statement issues by the organisation.nationalheraldindia
What lockdown? Thousands in Karnataka pull chariot, participate in Siddalingeshwara fair
On a day when Karnataka registered its highest daily spike in the number of new coronavirus cases, thousands came out to participate in a religious procession in Kalaburagi district and openly defied the nationwide lockdown.These people were participating in the Siddalingeshwara fair.Videos from the fair show thousands of people pulling a chariot as part of the festivities with complete disregard for social distancing norms. The participants were seen standing shoulder-to-shoulder as they pulled the towering chariot with hundreds looking on.The fair was organised in Chittapur taluk of Kalaburagi district.Incidentally, Kalaburagi is the same district where India's first Covid-19 related death took place in early March.What was also disturbing was the fact that the local police and district administration did not intervene and remained a mute spectator when the lockdown guidelines were being openly violated.Meanwhile, the total number of Covid-19 cases in Karnataka touched 315 on Thursday. This includes 82 people who have recovered and 13 who have died in the state so far.indiatoday
Pizza delivery boy tests positive for COVID-19, 72 families in South Delhi told to self quarantine
Families in 72 houses in a locality in Delhi's South District have been told to observe self-quarantine after a delivery boy associated with a famous pizza chain tested positive for Covid-19, a District Magistrate of South Delhi said on Wednesday.According to DM B.M. Mishra, a delivery boy from a famous pizza chain in Malviya Nagar area tested positive on Tuesday, following which the authorities immediately decided to quarantine his 16 colleagues at the outlet. A detailed trail was followed to identify each house where food was delivered by the outlet."We have found that 72 houses had taken delivery from that outlet and hence everyone has been told to follow precautionary measures and be under self- quarantine," Mishra told IANS.He added that there was no need to panic, as he had informed all the delivery boys to use masks and follow the safety measures while executing a delivery. But the decision to send all contact persons to quarantine was 'necessary' as a precautionary measure.IANS
21 doctors among 27 medical staff sent to quarantine in coronavirus-hit Agra
With the count of coronavirus infected cases reaching 169 in Agra district, the concern is growing over the spread of infection throughout the division. A total of 27 health professionals including 21 doctors have been sent to quarantine in Agra.They had attended to the Covid-19 patient who died at the SN Medical College and Hospital on Tuesday. Samples of all 27 persons have been collected for coronavirus testing.Agra District Magistrate Prabhu N Singh told India Today that those in quarantine include 18 medicine department doctors, one gynecologist and two from anesthesia department.indiatoday
Muslim skilled workers forced to sell vegetables and fruits, find the going tough
Chunnu was a carpenter before the lockdown, Rafiq a scrap dealer and Mudassar had a roadside barber shop. After the lockdown, unable to do their traditional work, they overnight took to selling vegetables.But they had not taken into account the communal virus which has over- taken the city of ‘Tehjeeb’ and ‘Tunde Kabab’. Many Hindus are now reluc- tant to buy from him, admits a bewildered Rafiq. They also make it clear that because he is a Muslim, he is not welcome to sell.“They approach me with the greeting, ‘Ram, Ram’ and if I respond, they probe further about my caste,” he says with a wry smile.Hindu vendors have started proclaiming their identity with ‘Hanuman Ji’s flag’ on their cart. “What do potato, onion or that matter fruits have to do with religion,” he asks, “I changed my occupation. Do I change my religion too?” Chunnu earned Rs 400- Rs 500 from the carpenter’s workshop, which had to be shut down after the lockdown.“I stayed at home for a few days but when savings were running out, a friend advised that I start selling vegetables,” he confides. He now earns Rs 200 per day and pays Rs 50 as rent for the cart. “I am lucky to be earning something at least but I do not know for how long,” he reflects.nationalheraldindia
Mosque lock broken in Fatehabad village, police deployed
Fatehabad :Police personnel have been deployed in Jandwala village of Fatehabad district in Haryana after the lock outside a mosque was found broken Tuesday .The mosque was locked up over 10 days ago after a resident of the village was diagnosed with COVID-19. Villagers said the case was detected days after a visit by some Tablighis.Fatehabad SP Rajesh Kumar along with other police officers visited the spot. “Some newspapers and a mat were found burnt in the mosque. Nobody is living in the mosque currently,” he told The Indian Express.
Foreign members of TJ feeling the heat in BJP ruled states, being sent to jail after quarantine
NEW DELHI: As a fall out of the communalisation of Covid issue, the police in several states particularly in BJP ruled states is on a spree of arresting Tablighi Jamaat members particularly foreign nationals who had attended the ijtema’ or congregation at Nizamuddin Markaz here in mid March and fanned into different parts of the country. There are around 900 such foreigners who may face five-year jail-term for violation of visa rules.It is for the first time that law enforcement agencies have been arresting foreign nationals for “violating” visa norms as they generally come on tourist visas to join Tablighi activity in the country. So far dozens of foriegn members of TJ were arrested from UP, Bihar, Tamil Nadu and other parts of the country and sent to jails after they completed quarantine.In UP, a total of 17 foreign members of Tablighi Jamaat were arrested from Bahraich and sent to jail on April 12, after 14 days of quarantining when they were found negative for Covid-19. Earlier, UP police also arrested some foreigners from Meerut city.In Bihar, where BJP is sharing power with the JD(U), the state police have arrested 57 foreign nationals for violating visa rules and sent them to jail.muslimmirror
Covid-19: ‘Stop adding religious colour,’ India hits out at US body for remarks on dividing patients
India on Wednesday criticised the comments made by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom following reports on coronavirus patients being segregated along religious lines in a hospital in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.The commission expressed concerns that separate wards had been created for Hindu and Muslim patients. “USCIRF is concerned with reports of Hindu and Muslim patients separated into separate hospital wards in Gujarat,” it said in a tweet. “Such actions only help to further increase ongoing stigmatisation of Muslims in India and exacerbate false rumors of Muslims spreading Covid-19.”
Religious, Spiritual Leaders Appeal People To Cooperate with Government In Fight Against Killer Coronavirus
NEW DELHI:Religious and spiritual leaders from different faiths have appealed to people to cooperate with the government and the local authorities in the fight against coronavirus that has spread its tentacles all across the country and claimed 377 lives so far as per figures doled out by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The number of Covid-19 positive cases have so far been recorded at 9756 in the country.Presiding over an online interfaith solidarity programme on the theme of ‘The Challenge of Coronavirus and Message by Religious Leaders’, Mr. Muhammad Salim Engineer, Vice- President of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH), said, “Today the entire world is facing the brunt of the devastation caused by the Coronavirus. The number of cases impacted by the virus is growing by the day and has reached 1.8 million. The death toll is more than 100,000. The COVID-19 is now a global pandemic and causing damage all over, including India. It is a time of trial and tribulation for our countrymen and we must face this challenge unitedly.”Many prominent religious gurus and chiefs took part in the program. They emphasized that the country is passing through an extremely sensitive period and the religious heads must act quickly if anyone tries to vitiate the peace and communal harmony prevalent in the country. The leaders who participated in the programme were: Sri Sri Ravishankar (Art of Living), Shankaracharya Swami Omkaranand, Swami Maartand Puri (spiritualist and journalist), Swami Laxmishanakaracharya, Goswami Sushil Maharaj, Swami Agnivesh (Sanatan Dharam Guru and Human rights activist), Giani Ranjeet Singh (Chief Granthi, Gurudwara Rakabganj), Acharya Vivek Muni (President International Mahavir Jain Mission), Dr A K Merchant (Bahai Foundation), Dr Bhikku Nandratan Thero (Pali Society of India), Rajyogi BK Brij Mohan Anand (Brahmakumaris) and Sant Veer Singh Hitkari.indiatomorrow
‘Zoom’ is not a safe platform, says MHA advisory
NEW DELHI :US based Zoom video communication has seen an exponential rise in usage in India as office-goers remain at home owing to the lockdown triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. The software used in the online platform is said to be made in China and some calls were also being routed through servers in China.Cyber Coordination Centre of the MHA issued a set of guidelines for safe usage by private individuals. It was not for use by government offices and government officials, the Ministry noted.On April 1, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh posted pictures of a virtual meeting with officials where he was seen using Zoom.BJP chief J.P Nadda has also been conducting meetings through Zoom. MHA advisory noted that the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN) issued two advisories on February 6 and in March cautioning on use of Zoom for office meetings.thehindu
Covid-19: Can’t say India is not testing enough; 23 out of 24 tests turning out negative, says ICMR
Centre on Thursday denied the claim that enough testing for Covid-19 infection was not being done, saying not everyone is vulnerable to the coronavirus, even as the number of positive cases reached 12,759 with 420 deaths. Out of these, 826 cases and 28 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.Earlier in the day, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had urged the government to test “aggressively and strategically”. Gandhi said that India’s testing rate was 199 out of a million. All tests that we have done in last 72 days works out to an average of approximately 350 tests per district, he said.
Jharkhand CM orders inquiry into migrants getting threat for asking water in quarantine centre
Kolkata: When the news report highlighting the plight of migrant workers put up at a quarantine centre in Maithan was published, Jharkhand’s CM Hemant Soren ordered an inquiry and asked deputy commissioner of Dhanbad to take immediate action on the basis of eNewsroom report. The news report published on Wednesday indicated that the migrants put up at Maithan’s BSK College were not being provided with water and food ad when they had demanded for water then they were threatened with dire consequences like being shot. The report even contained a video, which clearly shows 300 migrant workers put up at BSK College claiming that they were not getting water and that they had been threatened of being shot at. eNewsroom had got the lead of story from Samirul Islam, an activist of Bangla Sanskriti Mancha (BSM), who had personally talked to the migrant workers and later had informed to Birbhum Superintendent of Police Shyam Singh about the matter. In the past Samirul and BSM have helped migrant workers stuck at various places across India to reach Bengal, be it post Pulwama attack or when the migrants have faced any hardship.enewsroom
Bengal jute mill workers face acute food scarcity amid lockdown, activists write to Mamata
Kolkata: The lockdown has got another extension of 19 days. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today announced that lockdown would continue till May 3 in an attempt to control transmission of COVID-19. Some lauded the move, while many living in the bottom of the social pyramid cursed their luck.Not many may be aware of the adversities of the jute mill workers, just a few kilometres away from Kolkata.According to a field report filed by a group of researchers under the banner of – Amra Sachetan Ek Prayas, a large section of Jute Mill labourers, already victimized by catastrophe of the communal riot which took place in Bhatpara, amid General Elections in 2019, have been further alienated due the countrywide lockdown.enewsroom
Dr. Bilquis Fights 2-Front War, Her Husband’s case and Serving COVID-19 Patients
SRINAGAR:Inside a well-laid out room, Dr. Bilquis Shah is sobbing quietly while flipping through her jailed husband Shabir Ahmad Shah’s pictures. Minutes later, she kisses her daughter and leaves for JLNM hospital to fight a battle with COVID-19.For Dr. Bilquis, it is a two-front war—to fight her husband’s case and combat deadly infection. And she fights at both fronts with ease and dedication. Unmindful of her own safety, she serves the hospital for 20 hours while her daughter remains alone at her home. But she has not given up.“Since the hospital was declared as COVID 19 centre, I have spent most of the time in treating positive cases and counselling people who are in quarantine. I have dedicated my life to the service of people,” Dr. Bilquis said.With her separatist husband, Shabir Shah languishing in Tihar Jail and an elder daughter studying in London, Dr. Bilquis’s younger daughter stays at home all alone. “I have had no time for my family. After I leave for the hospital, my daughter goes to her aunt’s home. When I come in the dead of night I pick her up. Sometimes, I pick her up at 2 am”, she said. India Tomorrow
Lockdown Good to Check Coronavirus Spread But Economy Must Wait for Stimulus
SHIMLA:For Minakshi Choudhary, a young Shimla writer, motivational speaker and cancer survivor, 21- day lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a step to fight coronavirus spread in India, was nothing else than a forced confinement to her home. Suspending her all time on outdoor social activities, counselling sessions and long mountain trekking, which had become an important part of her lifestyle during past several years, sounded like beginning of a new nightmare or a stressful period.“Initially, I thought I will go mad, or slip into some kind of depression. However, to my utter surprise, my fears were unfounded. I, indeed, discovered a fundamental truth that life goes on. Human beings are best to adjust to any situation— grave or congenial”, she says.
Actress Kangana Ranaut’s sister Rangoli Chandel now calls for genocide of Muslims, Twitter suspends account
Kangana Ranaut’s sister Rangoli Chandel has triggered a huge controversy by calling for a genocide of Muslims, prompting the microblogging site Twitter to suspend her account. Twitterati have also urged Mumbai Police to arrest Rangoli, who’s been working as Kangana’s spokesperson.Her controversial tweet read, “A Jamati died of Corona when police and doctors weent to check their families they were attacked and killed, secular media, make these mullas + secular media stand in a line and shoot them dead… f****k the history they may call us nazis who cares, life is more imp than fake image. (sic)”Her tweet came soon after a medical team was attacked in Uttar Pradesh’s Muradabad district after it went to get those who had tested positive for coronavirus. One doctor had sustained serious injuries.Her tweet came soon after a medical team was attacked in Uttar Pradesh’s Muradabad after it went to get those who had tested positive for coronavirus. One doctor had sustained serious injuries. Uttar Pradesh government has launched a crackdown against the culprits for the attack on medical team.One Sartaj Ali had died in the area after testing positive for coronavirus. However, 49-year-old man was not a member of Tablighi Jamaat as claimed by the Indian media and Rangoli.Meanwhile, Twitterati have urged Mumbai Police and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray for Rangoli’s immediate arrest.jantakareporter
“You’re so shameless. You don’t know anything about Mumbai”: Journalist Nikhil Wagle lashes out at Rajat Sharma for allegedly giving communal colour to Bandra’s lockdown violation
Veteran journalist Nikhil Wagle has lashed out at India TV founder Rajat Sharma for giving communal colour to Tuesday’s impromptu protest by migrant workers in Mumbai’s Bandra. This was in response to Sharma’s emphasis on ‘jama masjid’ in his tweet posted soon after the visuals of hundreds of workers protesting near Bandra station went viral. Reacting to the development, Sharma had tweeted in Hindi, “It’s a matter of concern that so many people assembled outside the jama masjid in Bandra. Who called them? If they had come to catch the train to return to their homes, then why did they not have their luggage with them?”While Sharma faced brutal trolling for his attempt to allegedly communalise a human tragedy by dragging the mosque in his tweet, Mumbai-based journalist Wagle too lashed out at the India TV founder by calling him shameless.Wagle wrote, “You are so shameless. First, you know nothing about Mumbai and yet you are trying to give it a communal colour. Bandra railway station is right in front of the mosque and these people had come there to buy tickets. A lowly TV channel like yours had spread the rumours about starting of train service. That’s it.”jantakareporter
Essential Services Being Provided in Nizamuddin Area, Residents Faced Problems in Early Days of Sealing, Local MLA says
NEW DELHI:The ruling AAP MLA of Nizamuddin area, Praveen Kumar told India Tomorrow Thursday morning that the situation is normal in the area as passes have been issued to grocery shops and kirana stores and local residents are purchasing things from there. He also said that ration-card holders have also been provided grain supply of this month. He, however, admitted that the locals faced problems in early days of the sealing as all shops were shut down there.“As the entire area was sealed, some problems occurred in streamlining the things in the initial days of the sealing. Now all things have been sorted out. During the lockdown, kirana stores and grocery shops were open and people were buying things from there. There was not much problem. But after the Nizamuddin Markaz incident, the entire area of Nizamuddin Basti was sealed at the orders of the District Magistrate and CRPF personnel were deployed there. All shops were shut down and people were asked to strictly remain indoors,” MLA said.India Tomorrow
Only a Muslim helped me during lockdown, says Dinesh Kumar
Mumbai: In times where one specific community is being targeted for the negligent actions of a few associated with a certain religious outfit, Varanasi native Dinesh Kumar Yadav who is a Mumbai resident has bucked this trend. “People say Muslims are ‘anti-national and spread other lies about them but it is a Muslim from Jogeshwari who sheltered me when I had nowhere else to go with the city shut down.” “Even people of my own faith in Jogeshwari and the wealthy Shiv Sena stalwarts did not help me out. It was disappointing that I got no help from my on friends and family but my Muslim friend from Jogeshwari who sheltered and fed us.” He could not even purchase ration Hence, he was appreciative of the fact that about 50 other Muslim boys in the area always bought them tea and biscuits while always asking about their well-being. Yadav asserts, “Considering these communal divisions being created in our society, I would like to let people know that Muslims are equal human beings and have big hearts filled with love and humanity.”siasat
Special trains to move Army troops to sensitive northern, eastern command in lockdown
New Delhi: 2 special military trains will run this week to meet Army’s operational requirements at the northern and the eastern command amid the lockdown.Sources told ThePrint that five trains had initially been requested to facilitate troop movement. They added that pan-India routes were being worked out based on the number of troops travelling from various locations.Of the two trains sanctioned, one will begin operations from Friday and head to Jammu from Bengaluru. The train will run through Belgaum, Secunderabad and Ambala.The second train leaves Saturday from Bengaluru and will head to Guwahati through Belgaum, Secunderabad, Gopalpur, and Howrah and New Jalpaiguri Station in West Bengal.theprint
Azithromycin, paracetamol, other APIs see upto 190% price jump as China resumes production
New Delhi: With China, the world’s leading manufacturer of raw materials for drugs, resuming production after a four-month Covid-19 lockdown, the prices of active pharmaceutical ingredients or APIs of four top-selling drugs have shot up sharply.According to data ThePrint collated from Indian pharma companies, antibiotics azithromycin and ornidazole, anti-inflammatory drug nimesulide and antipyretic drug paracetamol have seen their prices jump between 60 and 190 per cent.Nimesulide price has spiked from Rs 450 per kg in January to Rs 1,300 — a jump of 189 per cent. Azithromycin price has gone up 96 per cent from Rs 7,650 to Rs 10,500 per kg, while paracetamol is dearer by 62 per cent — from Rs 262 to Rs 450 per kg. The price hike poses a challenge for Indian pharma companies as these APIs are used to manufacture drugs that are under price control, meaning the firms are only allowed an annual price hike of 10 per cent.theprint
Lockdown Good to Check Coronavirus Spread But Economy Must Wait for Stimulus
For Minakshi Choudhary, a young Shimla writer, motivational speaker and cancer survivor, 21- day lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a step to fight coronavirus spread in India, was nothing else than a forced confinement to her home. Suspending her all time on outdoor social activities, counselling sessions and long mountain trekking, which had become an important part of her lifestyle during past several years, sounded like beginning of a new nightmare or a stressful period.“Initially, I thought I will go mad, or slip into some kind of depression. However, to my utter surprise, my fears were unfounded. I, indeed, discovered a fundamental truth that life goes on. Human beings are best to adjust to any situation— grave or congenial”, she says.Dr Deepankar Sengupta, a professor of economics at Jammu University says lockdown has undoubtedly helped in slowing down the spread of COVID -19 in India. Its impact on the economy, industry, manufacturing sector and also supply chain, is enormous. There is an urgent need for a stimulus package to address these issues.Prof. Sikander Kumar, Vice-Chancellor of Himachal Pradesh university, currently working on his research paper on the “effects of lockdown period on economy” says, “It is a fact that the Indian economy was not doing well. It will definitely bear the brunt of the 40-day lockdown. Yet, its exact impact will be known sometime later once the economic activities are unlocked. We do have strong chances of revival as fundamentals of our economy are very strong”. indiatomorrow
'Lost my mother not to coronavirus but to negligence of officers': aljazeera
Mumbai:When a team of medical officers quarantined Sohrab Farooqui and his family on the morning of April 11, there were a total of nine members. 4 days later, when they returned home on Wednesday evening, there were 8.Farooqui, a 25-year-old hotel management student in Mumbai, is a resident of Dharavi, one of Asia's biggest slums. People live cheek by jowl in Dharavi, making the neighbourhood fertile ground for the virus to spread. The slum has reported 60 coronavirus positive cases and eight deaths so far. One of those tested positive was a neighbour who lived opposite Farooqui. He had been hospitalised a few days back.On the night of April 10, a team of medical officers paid Farooqui's neighbour a visit. "Before they left, they told us we would also be taken for a test to see if we are infected as well," Farooqui told Al Jazeera.Next day, early in the morning, Farooqui, his parents, his elder brother and his wife, their two kids, and his two nephews were taken to a sports complex-turned-quarantine facility about a kilometre from his home."The quarantine ward was basically one big hall where 31 of us were locked up," he said. "There were only two toilets - one for men and one for women. And they were unhygienic."Farooqui asked an official how long they would have to stay for.Farooqui's mother, Afsari Bano, 55, suffered from diabetes, thyroid and blood pressure. He said his father Ansar Ahmed, 64, was also vulnerable to the infection given his age.aljazeera
At India Today Conclave, Historian Harari Slams Scapegoating of Muslims; Leaves Rahul Kanwal Speechless
NEW DELHI – Yuval Noah Harari, an internationally acclaimed historian from Israel, urged Indians to shun hatred and develop solidarity to fight the coronavirus pandemic, a global health crisis that has brought the world to halt.Harari expressed his concern over the rise in the incidence of hate crimes against Muslims in India who are being falsely accused of spreading Coronavirus in the country.Harari, while speaking to Rahul Kanwal of India Today TV, made an appeal to the people not to fan hatred but love and solidarity.He said: “India faces an enormous challenge… but I can’t comment on how the government should respond because I don’t understand enough. But I would urge people to act not with hatred but with solidarity, both with other countries and especially with different communities within India.”clarionindia
420 dead, total positive Coronavirus cases cross 12,000-mark in India:indiatoday
New Delhi:The total number of novel coronavirus cases in India surged past the 12,000-mark on Thursday while the death toll has climbed to 420.As per figures by the Union health ministry, updated on Thursday evening, India’s total number of positive coronavirus cases has climbed to 12,759. While there are 10,824 active cases of Covid-19 cases in India as of Thursday morning, as many as 1,514 have been either cured or discharged. The total number of cases includes 76 foreign nationals.At 2,919, Maharashtra has the highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in India. Maharashtra is followed by Delhi at 1,578 and Tamil Nadu at 1,242. In Madhya Pradesh, the novel coronavirus cases have gone up to 1,120 followed by 1,023 in Rajasthan, 871 in Gujarat, 773 in Uttar Pradesh. Telangana has 698 cases, followed by Andhra Pradesh at 534.The number of novel coronavirus cases has risen to 315 in Karnataka, 300 in Jammu and Kashmir, 231 in West Bengal and 205 in Haryana. Punjab has reported 186 Covid-19 infections so far.Bihar has reported 74 cases, while Odisha has 60 coronavirus cases. Thirty-seven people were infected with the virus in Uttarakhand, while Himachal Pradesh has recorded 35 cases. Assam and Chhattisgarh have registered 33 cases each.indiatoday
*CORONAVIRUS – WORLD*
Europe still 'in eye of the storm' despite moves to ease virus lockdowns: WHO
Parts of Europe moved cautiously to reopen their streets and economies on Thursday but the coronavirus pandemic was far from beaten and the World Health Organization warned the continent was still in the "eye of the storm".Since emerging in China late last year, the virus has turned the world upside down, killing tens of thousands, forcing half of humanity indoors and raising the spectre of a second Great Depression.Hope that its spread has peaked in Europe and the United States has seen some countries take tentative steps to ease restrictions, with US President Donald Trump set to unveil plans on Thursday for lifting lockdowns across the world's top economy.But with global cases and deaths still growing -- and fears of a second wave of infections in previously hit countries -- officials are warning that life around the world will not be returning to normal until a vaccine is available."We remain in the eye of the storm," the WHO's regional director for Europe, Hans Kluge, said in an online news conference from Copenhagen.Positive signs in Spain, Italy, Germany, France and Switzerland were overshadowed by sustained or increased levels of infections in other countries, such as Britain, Turkey, Ukraine and Russia, he said.More than two million people have been infected with the virus around the world and 137,000, including 90,000 in Europe, have died, according to an AFP tally.Hard-hit parts of Europe have seen a slowdown in infections and deaths in recent days, with Spain recording 551 new deaths on Thursday, almost half of the daily toll at its peak.After weeks on strict lockdowns, Spain and Italy have begun to ease restrictions, allowing some businesses to reopen.Germany on Wednesday also announced initial steps to reopen some shops and gradually restart schools, Denmark began reopening schools for younger children after a month-long closure and Finland lifted a blockade of Helsinki.
Coronavirus lockdowns turn political with protests in US
Hundreds of flag-waving, honking protesters drove past Michigan state Capitol on Wednesday to show their displeasure with Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders to keep people at home and businesses locked during the coronavirus outbreak.As snow fell, others got out of their vehicles and raised signs, one of which read, "Gov. Whitmer We Are Not Prisoners." Another said, "Michigander Against Gretchen's Abuses."The "Operation Gridlock" protest was organized by the Michigan Conservative Coalition."This arbitrary blanket spread of shutting down businesses, about putting all of these workers out of business, is just a disaster. It's an economic disaster for Michigan," coalition member Meshawn Maddock said. "And people are sick and tired of it."aljazeera
Trump to ease US lockdown; says coronavirus cases 'passed peak'
President Donald Trump has promised to unveil plans on Thursday to reopen the world's largest economy following cautious moves in Europe, claiming the United States "passed the peak" of coronavirus cases. US logged a record number of deaths on Wednesday with nearly 2,500 dying over the past 24 hours.But a bullish Trump told reporters his "aggressive strategy" against the virus was working and "the data suggests that nationwide we have passed the peak on new cases".He promised swift "guidelines" on reopening parts of the country, suggesting less-affected states could ease restrictions before May 1.aljazeera
Covid-19: US is investigating if virus originated in Wuhan lab, says Trump
United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday said his administration was trying to determine the origins of the coronavirus and whether the pandemic began when the pathogen accidentally escaped a Chinese laboratory, claiming that “more and more we’re hearing the story”, BBC reported. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also called on Beijing “to come clean” on what it knows about the outbreak.The statement came after Fox News, in a report attributed to multiple unidentified sources, said the coronavirus was a naturally occurring pathogen that leaked from a Wuhan facility because of lax safety protocols, infecting an intern, who then transmitted it to her boyfriend.
Most medical staff say UK gov't failing to protect them: Poll
London;Most healthcare workers in the United Kingdom believe the government has failed to protect them amid the coronavirus pandemic, a poll has found.The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and YouGov surveyed 996 healthcare professionals across the country from April 2 to April 7, including doctors, nurses and other allied health professionals. Three-quarters of respondents were concerned that the government was putting their health at risk, and a third report their physical health has deteriorated since COVID-19 crisis began.aljazeera
US unemployment surges by 22 million in a month
A staggering number of people are now out of work in the United States as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.The government revealed another 5.2 million people have lost their jobs in a week, taking the total to apply for unemployment benefits in the past month to 22 million.And, with many states expected to extend orders to stay at home, hourly workers are worried about how they will pay their bills.
PCI demands withdrawal of ‘bogus cases’ against The Wire, urges UP CM not to treat media freedom lightly
Raising concern over the action taken by the UP police against The Wire and its founding editor Siddharth Varadarajan, the Press Club of India (PCI) has shot off a letter to the UP CM, urging the UP government not to treat “freedom of media lightly”.“We urge the PM and the HM to direct all arms of authority at the Centre and in the states to not treat media freedoms lightly,” reads the letter written by PCI, which demanded “withdrawal of bogus cases against Varadarajan without delay”.Stating that the role of an independent media is essential in fighting the pandemic, PCI said, “The country needs refreshing leadership initiatives, not boorish vindictiveness, that bolster the democratic ethos, particularly in a time of national crisis.”nationalheraldindia
Kashmir’s new militant outfit, ‘Lashkar offshoot’, signals possible escalation of violence? theprint
Srinagar: Kashmir’s new militant group, The Resistant Front (TRF) — which J&K Police say is an offshoot of Pakistan-based LeT — has kept security forces in the Valley on their toes.TRF has, however, denied any link to LeT.Police officials said TRF, from being a non-entity in Kashmir, has now become a considerable security threat and its emergence could be part of a strategy to escalate violence in union territory.In an encounter in the first week of April, security forces have killed 5 TRF militants, 3 of them being local youths.The encounter, which took place in Keran sector in north Kashmir’s Kupwara, also claimed the lives of 5 Indian army personnel, including paratroopers.The emergence of outfit even prompted J&K administration to mention it as one of reasons for the continued ban on high-speed internet.Without naming TRF, the order stated: “There have… been many instances of civilian killings, attacks on security forces, recoveries of arms, ammunition, attempt to propagate terrorism through uploading videos, coordinating infiltration from across the border, launch of new terror outfits etc.” While the J&K administration is hoping that 2G internet speed will control violence in Kashmir to some extent and prevent TRF from furthering its goals, counter insurgency officials are treading cautiously.A senior police official said TRF’s head, who goes by name of Abu Anas, might be based in south Kashmir. Police are ascertaining the real identity of Anas and also probing the strength of the new militant group.Although J&K DGP Dilbagh Singh said TRF is an offshoot of the LeT, the former has denied it.In a statement, seen by ThePrint, TRF said that rumours of it being affiliated with Lashkar were spread to undermine the “indigenous” and “legitimate armed group” of Kashmir.
Delhi violence: Civil society groups demand release of two Jamia students
Over 35 civil society groups and individuals on Thursday issued a statement condemning the arrest of two students of Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia in connection with protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in February, following which large-scale communal violence erupted in the North East district of the Capital.On April 2, the Delhi Police had arrested Meeran Haider, a PhD student of the university for allegedly conspiring to incite violence in Delhi. Haider is also the president of the Rashtriya Janata Dal youth wing’s Delhi unit. Days later, Safoora Zargar, an MPhil student at the university was arrested for allegedly obstructing the road near the Jaffrabad metro station during the anti-CAA protests in February. Zargar is the media coordinator of the Jamia Coordination Committee.scroll
Israel's president asks parliament to choose prime minister
Israel's president has asked the Knesset to choose a new prime minister, giving the parliament three weeks to agree upon a leader or plunge the country into an unprecedented fourth consecutive election in just over a year.President Reuven Rivlin made the move after his prime minister-designate, former military chief Benny Gantz, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to reach a power-sharing deal by a midnight deadline. Although the deadline passed, Netanyahu's Likud and Gantz's Blue and White party said they would continue their negotiations toward an "emergency" unity government meant to steer the country through the coronavirus crisis.The sides officially have three weeks to wrap up a deal. Otherwise, the Knesset would dissolve and trigger another election.aljazeera
Bangladesh Coast Guard Rescues 396 Rohingya in Drifting Boat, 24 Found Dead
Dhaka: At least two dozen ethnic Rohingya died on a ship that drifted for weeks after failing to reach Malaysia, Bangladesh coastguard officials said on Thursday, following the rescue of 396 starving survivors.For years, Rohingya from Myanmar have boarded boats organised by smugglers in the hope of finding refuge in Southeast Asia, usually making voyages during the dry season from November to March, when the waters are calm.A human rights group said it believed more boats carrying Rohingya, a Muslim minority group, were adrift at sea, with coronavirus lockdowns in Malaysia and Thailand making it harder for them to find refuge.“They were at sea for about two months and were starving,” a Bangladesh coastguard official told Reuters in a message, adding that the ship was brought to shore late on Wednesday.thewire
Iranian vessels come 'dangerously' close to US military ships
Eleven vessels from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy came close to United States Navy and Coast Guard ships in the Gulf, the US military said on Wednesday, calling the moves "dangerous and provocative".While such interactions had occurred occasionally a few years ago, they had largely stopped in recent months and years, and this incident comes at a time of increased tensions between the two countries.According to the statement, the Iranian ships approached six US military ships while they were conducting integration operations with Army helicopters in international waters.
Saudi executes Yemeni man who attacked Spanish performers
Saudi Arabia has executed a Yemeni man found guilty of attacking a Spanish dance troupe and wounding three people on stage before a stunned audience in the capital Riyadh last year.The interior ministry announced the execution in a statement on Thursday, identifying the man as 33-year-old Emad Abdelqawi al-Mansouri. He was sentenced to death in late December, a swift six weeks after the attack in mid-November.AP
Yemen's war rages under shadow of looming coronavirus threat
Yemen's war shows no signs of abating a week after the Saudi-led military coalition declared a unilateral truce because of the coronavirus threat looming over the war-devastated nation. Yemen announced its first case of the COVID-19 respiratory disease last Friday, as aid organisations warned the country's health system, which has all but collapsed since the conflict broke out in 2014, is ill-equipped to handle the crisis. The coalition supporting the government against the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels said the two-week ceasefire was designed to head off the pandemic, a move welcomed by UN but dismissed by the Houthis as political manoeuvring. Despite Saudi Arabia's announcement of a halt in military activities from April 9, fighting on the ground and coalition air attacks continue.aljazeera
South Korea's governing party wins election by a landslide
South Korea's left-leaning governing party won a landslide in parliamentary elections results on Thursday showed, boosted by President Moon Jae-in's successes in containing the coronavirus. Moon's Democratic party and its allies took 180 seats in the 300-member National Assembly, while the opposition United Future Party (UFP) won 103, according to the National Election Commission. South Korea's voting system combines direct and proportional votes.
*views, Articles, FEATURES*
Coronavirus Is Empowering Islamophobes — but Exposing Idiocy of Islamophobia:Mehdi Hasan, theintercept
How Ibn Sina's work became a guiding light for scientists facing contagions:trtworld
How an anti-malarial drug has become a tool of India's diplomacy: Akash Bisht , aljazeera
Wasting a lockdown:Prosenjit Datta
By arresting journalist for Bandra gathering, government is scapegoating media for its own failures:Sruthisagar Yamunan
A post-Covid agenda for India: Repairing Hindu-Muslim ties:Vir Sanghvi
Coronavirus Lockdown: As Hunger Grows, the Fear of Starvation Is Real:Kabir Agarwal
Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:45 PM).