28 April 2020

28 April News: Indians in Saudi could lose jobs due to Covid-19, impacting remittances: Envoy. No Evidence To Support Plasma Therapy As COVID-19 Treatment: Govt. Muslim community should open up mosques as Quarantine centres for people of all faiths if situation arises:Leaders


28 April 2020: 4 Ramazan 1441: Vol: 12, No: 193



Indians in Saudi could lose jobs due to Covid-19, impacting remittances: Envoy Ausaf Sayeed

New Delhi: Economies around the world will face an adverse impact due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown and Saudi Arabia will not be an exception, said Indian ambassador to the Arab nation Ausaf Sayeed. He said some Indian workers there might face job losses, which will dent annual remittances that India receives from them.India has 2.6 million expatriates spread across Saudi Arabia, the largest in any foreign country, and they annually remit a big amount of money to India.“Covid has a wide impact all around the world. There are impacts on the economy, healthcare and generally lifestyles later on. Even Saudi Arabia is not immune to those kinds of impact, which most of the countries are facing. So because of that, there will be a likelihood of some retrenchment, some people losing their jobs and coming back to India. Once that happens, obviously there will be an indirect impact in terms of remittances and other things,”Sayeed told ThePrint.India remains the largest receiver of such remittances in the world. Indians working abroad sent $83 billion back home last year, and a bulk of it came from the UAE and Saudi Arabia.The amount is expected to fall by 23 per cent this year due to Covid-19, according to World Bank. ThePrint


COVID-19: Air India, Indian Navy on standby to evacuate Indians from Gulf

New Delhi: national carrier Air India and Indian Navy have been asked to be on standby with their aircraft and warships for the mass evacuation of Indians from Gulf countries as Covid-19 pandemic continues.“We are assessing the scenario and finding the plan to evacuate Indians from the Gulf countries. We have asked Air India and Indian Navy for the detailed evacuation plan,” top government sources told ANI.Amid coronavirus scare, thousands of Indians have expressed willingness to come back to India from the Gulf countries, but due to suspension of air operations and other modes of travel, they have been stuck there.ANI 


India, Kuwait resort to damage control after leak of Kuwaiti Cabinet note

Indian and Kuwaiti authorities resorted to damage control on Monday after a Cabinet note of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member state that expressed concern about the “targeting of Indian Muslims” was leaked on social media over the weekend.Kuwaiti ambassador Jasem Ibrahem al-Najam and external affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava issued separate statements that highlighted strong bilateral ties and cooperation between the two countries in the fight against Covid-19.Srivastava also noted the Kuwaiti government had assured India that it doesn’t “support any interference in the internal affairs” of the country.The note in Arabic from Kuwait’s council of ministers, which was dated March 2 but was leaked on Twitter on Sunday by a well-known Kuwaiti scholar, expressed concern “about the targeting of Indian Muslims” and called on the world community and OIC to take steps to stop such attacks and end the bloodshed.HT


Mass Immunisation Against Coronavirus Will Take 2-4 Years: Indian Researchers Working On Vaccine

Hyderabad:At least six separate teams of Indian companies are in the race to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, but researchers warn mass immunisations could be as far as 4 years away. Developing a safe and reliable vaccine will take between 18 and 24 months even with unprecedented support from regulators and investors, researchers working on a vaccine told HuffPost India. Mass-producing the vaccine in sufficient quantities could take at least another two years, offering a sobering glimpse of what life could look like even after May 3, 2020 — the day India’s punitive national lockdown is scheduled to end.

Maharashtra: In favour of lifting lockdown in non-hotspot areas, says Minister

Pune :In what can be indicative of the state govt’s line of thinking with regard to the gradual lifting of the lockdown, Minister for Medical Education and Culture Amit Deshmukh said he was in favour of lifting the lockdown in non-hotspot areas in the urban belt. Deshmukh, who was addressing the media on Monday via a webinar, also said the state had enough testing kits and PPE.“If urban areas have, say more than 50 per cent of hotspot areas where coronavirus cases are reported every day, then it makes sense to keep the city under lockdown. However, if there are areas in the city where no cases have been reported in a long time, I see no reason why such areas should not be allowed to function,” he said.indianexpress


Kerala for partial nationwide lockdown till May 15, seeks financial relief

 Kerala government wants the lockdown, in place to check the spread of coronavirus disease, to be extended partially till May 15 and sought an exclusive Covid-19 financial relief from Centre to compensate Rs 80,000 crore loss it suffered during the shutdown. The demand was conveyed by chief secretary Tom Jose, who represented the southern state, at the chief ministers’ video conference with PM Narendra Modi on Monday.The economic condition in the state is precariously poised and it wants the Centre’s assistance to overcome the difficult situation, said CM Pinarayi Vijayan later in the evening. He said, in the last meeting with PM, he had spoken in detail so this time chief secretary attended the meeting and submitted the state’s proposals in writing.HT


Kerala Govt's Order On Employees' Salary Cut Stayed For 2 Months By High Court

Kerala High Court on Tuesday stayed for two months the state government’s order for salary cut of its employees in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.The government had on April 22 decided to deduct the salaries of all state government employees for six days every month for the next five months to meet the serious financial crisis it was facing.The order had said there would no salary cut for those who earn less than Rs 20,000 per month.The government had said the deductions would begin this month.



No Evidence To Support Plasma Therapy As COVID-19 Treatment: Govt

New Delhi: Plasma therapy for coronavirus is still in an experimental stage and can even prove "life threatening" for a patient, the government said today amid a surge of hope brought in by the first successful test in Delhi.There is "no concrete evidence to support plasma therapy as coronavirus treatment," senior health ministry official Lav Agarwal said today during ministry's daily briefing. "The therapy is still in an experimental stage and the Indian Council of Medical Research is conducting a national study on it. It can even be life threatening if not carefully done," he added."The therapy is still in an experimental stage and ICMR is conducting a national study on it. It can even be life threatening," he added.ndtv


‘Chori Aur Seena Zori’: Minority minister Naqvi claims Tablighis who ‘sinned by spreading virus now claiming to be corona warriors’

New Delhi : Amid reports of many Tablighi Jamaat members volunteering to donate their plasma for treatment of COVID-19 patients, Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said those who committed the sin of spreading the virus through their “criminal conduct” are now claiming to be “corona warriors”.Naqvi said there is a “well-planned dirty Tablighi conspiracy” to prove every Indian Muslim as a Tablighi.The minister further called the act as “insulting” for lakhs of corona warriors. “This is called ‘chori aur seena zori’,” he added. His remarks come after members of Tablighi Jamaat, who attended its congregation and tested positive for COVID-19, have come forward and donated their plasma to treat severally-ill Coronavirus patients in the national capital.Several Tablighi Jamaat members at different quarantine centres have also volunteered to donate their plasma for treatment of COVID-19 patients,PTI reported.


Unpardonable! Tablighis will face action:Tripura CM Deb

Agartala: Being one of the select few states to have been able to announce itself "Corona-free", Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb is a relieved man. With other Northeast CM's like Meghalaya's Conrad Sangma advocating for "relaxation" of the lockdown in the green zone during the 4th conference with the Prime Minister, Deb felt at ease.A month back though he was a different persona when the first case reached the Northeast. In this interview to IANS's Anindya Banerjee, Deb holds Tablighi Jamaat squarely responsible for aggravating the COVID-19 scenario in his part of the country, calling it an "unpardonable" act. He promises that Islamic group members who spread the virus will have to face the brunt of the law. IANS


UP BJP MLA Tiwari defends his Islamophobic calls to boycott Muslim vegetable sellers amidst COVID-19

Uttar Pradesh’s BJP MLA Suresh Tiwari has defended his call to boycott Muslim vegetable sellers because of their faith. The video of Tiwari urging his supporters to launch an economic boycott of Muslims amidst COVID-19 pandemic had gone viral on social media platforms.In the viral video, Tiwari was seen saying, “You must bear one thing in mind. I am saying this openly. Nobody should buy vegetables from mian (slang for Muslims).” One person in the video was even reminding that a case was filed against someone making similar call to boycott Muslims in Delhi.Faced with growing condemnation for promoting Islamophobia, Tiwari issued a clarification but defended his call for the boycott of Muslims. He told reporters, “I had visited my (Barhaj) constituency. I also visited municipality, where there were 10-12 people. Some members of the public told me that mian log were spitting in vegetables. So I told them to not buy vegetables from Muslims. What else could I have said as a public representative?”jantakareporter


"Won't Tolerate": BJP Chief On MLA Saying Avoid Muslim Vegetable Sellers

BJP has sent a showcause notice to MLA from UP who stirred up a controversy by warning people against buying vegetables from Muslims. Sources said party chief JP Nadda was upset over the comments of Deoria MLA Suresh Tiwari.


Muslim community should open up mosques as Quarantine centres for people of all faiths if situation arises:Leaders

New Delhi:With the constant rise in the number of Coronavirus cases in the country in the last four weeks, eminent Muslim community leaders have told India Tomorrow that big mosques should be opened up as quarantine facilities for people of all faiths if situation demands. On Monday, a big mosque inside Azam Campus in Pune was turned into a quarantine centre. Two weeks ago, Indian-American science researcher and writer Kashiful Huda had written about this use of mosques in this time of Coronavirus pandemic.“Muslim community should open its mosques, schools, madrasas etc for this purpose and at other times of calamities,” Delhi Minorities Commission Chairman Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan told India Tomorrow. Dr. Manzoor Alam, General Secretary, All India Milli Council, also said that Muslims should come forward and offer help.Mohammad Salim Engineer, Vice President of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind said that if such situation arises, there should be no hesitation in opening mosques as quarantine facility.Maulana Mufti Mukarram Ahmed, Imam of Fatehpuri Shahi Masjid, said that the members of the Muslim community should open their buildings, villas and farmhouses to help the people – Corona patients, doctors and even homeless migrant labourers. However, many other community leaders do not agree with this view. Businessman and former Chancellor of Maulana Azad National Urdu University Zafar Sareshwala said: “All big mosques should be opened as quarantine facility. When Nizamuddin Markaz incident happened, my view was that Maulana Saad should have come up and asked the government to make the Markaz mosque as quarantine centre. The issue had ended then and the whole community should not have suffered the attack.”   Dr Syed Zafar Mahmood, President, ZFI, said: “Yes, Muslims should do open mosques. Mosques are closed these days. While following the guidelines of Quran and Hadith about the use of mosques, we should use them for welfare of humanity in times beyond Namaz. Utility of mosques between two namaz becomes very important.”India Tomorrow


Blood to Food: Muslims Make Beeline To Help Hindu Labourers In Distress

Srinagar:An eerie silence had enveloped the city when 18-year-old Rahul, a non-local laborer from Bihar started groaning with pain.Stranded after the lockdown, Rahul had been putting up in a rented accommodation in the Habak area on the Srinagar outskirts. His relative was stuck in north Kashmir leaving him alone at his rented accommodation.His co-worker immediately informed the landlord and within minutes entire locality poured in and shifted him to the hospital. After examining, doctors found that he was suffering from chronic kidney disease and required dialysis.India Tomorrow


Disabled Muslim man hounded for accidentally dropping currency, accused of spreading coronavirus

A CCTV footage showing a Muslim man in a petrol pump reaching for his pocket to make a payment and dropping something on the ground is massively viral on social media. Certain users have speculated that the man intentionally dropped currency notes to spread coronavirus infection. ABP News anchor Vikas Bhadauria tweeted the video saying, “Did he purposely drop the note or it fell by mistake? What could be his intentions?” As of this writing, his tweet drew close to 2.5 lakh views and 6,000 retweets. TV9 Gujarati aired the video claiming that a man in Gujarat’s Navsari threw a Rs 20 note creating a coronavirus scare.Alt News contacted Navsari police and was informed by inspector PP Brahmabatt of the area’s rural police station: “After watching CCTV footage, the owner of the petrol pump contacted the police. We brought in the man seen in the clip for questioning. His name is Mohammed Yusuf Ilyas Shaikh, a resident of Valsad. During the questioning, we found that his right hand is paralysed after he had met with an accident. His right hand does not function properly which is why the notes fell out of his hand. A complaint has been filed against him for travelling from Valsad to Navsari during the lockdown.”Brahmabatt was further asked if Ilyas is coronavirus positive or has symptoms for the disease. “We took him for a medical examination and found that he does not have symptoms. He has been advised home-quarantine,” the inspector replied.altnews


Zee News publishes 2015 story with false communal angle, claims human faeces served to non-Muslims

On April 24, Zee News published a report titled, “Kabab was served with bodily waste, the mentality of Jamaatis prevails even abroad.” The report has now been updated. The initial version said, “How far can you be saved from religious fundamentalism? Not just in India, but such a mentality is spread worldwide. Two youths in Britain, Mohammad Abdul Basit and Amjad Bhatti serve human bodily waste to non-Muslim customers.” The article has received 12,000 shares and 14,000 likes on Facebook where it was shared with the caption, “They used to misbehave with non-Muslims, the truth has come out”. The article further stated,“There were 2 restaurant owners here [in Britain] – Mohammad Abdul Basit and Amjad Bhatti. According to reports, they used to mix human faeces in the food and serve it to non-Muslim customers. The duo was running their restaurant for a long time in Nottingham.” The story doesn’t state when the incident took place.Zee News claimed that the restaurant used to prepare 2 kinds of dishes and people from non-Muslim religions were served food with human faeces.Zee News has now updated its report claiming that cases of such food contamination are not only reported in India but also in England.  Daily Mail report does not state that the restaurant owners used to serve unhygienic food to non-Muslim customers. It was found that BBC and The Guardian had also reported the incident in 2015. These reports also don’t carry the religion angle. Therefore, the first claim is false.Now let’s talk about the second claim. According to the report in Daily Mail, the food was indeed contaminated with human faeces however this wasn’t intentional but due to “inadequate hand-washing techniques by the staff.” To sum it up, Zee News carried a manufactured version of a true incident from 2015. While 2 restaurant owners in Britain were indeed found guilty of serving food contaminated with human faeces, this was neither religiously-motivated nor was the contamination intentional. As laid earlier, the court found that the restaurant staff did not wash their hands properly after using the toilet.altnews


Patients with very mild symptoms of coronavirus can opt for home isolation: Health ministry issues guidelines

New Delhi:Patients with mild coronavirus symptoms can now stay in home isolation, according to the new guidelines by Health Ministry. As per new guidelines, medical officers can recommend home isolation to those patients who have been clinically categorised as a very mild case or pre-symptomatic case, provided they have the requisite self-isolation facility at their residence so as to avoid contact with other family members. The guidelines also adds that the patient should regularly inform his health status to the district surveillance officer for further follow up by the surveillance teams. The caretaker and all close contacts of such cases should take Hydroxychloroquine as a preventive medication according to protocol and as prescribed by the treating medical officer.Besides, it call for downloading Arogya Setu App on mobile and it should remain active all the time (through bluetooth and Wi-Fi). Immediate medical attention must be sought if serious signs or symptoms including difficulty in breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, mental confusion, developing bluish discolorations of lips/face develop or if is advised by treating medical officer.indian express


Punjab to now pool test all returning from other states, put them in government quarantine

Chandigarh :After 8 pilgrims, who had returned from Hazur Sahib gurdwara in Nanded, tested positive in Tarn Taran and Kapurthala on Monday, Punjab govt has decided to test and put in government quarantine all those who have recently returned from other states. Among 3,700 stranded pilgrims in Nanded, about 2,900 labourers and students from Rajasthan, several have started entering Punjab in the last few days. The government Monday ordered all district administrations to test and quarantine all these returnees. The government has also asked the administrations to look for hotels, satsang bhawans and institutions for quarantining them.indianexpress


Delhi govt partially relaxes lockdown; electricians, plumbers to resume services

Delhi government on Tuesday decided to relax restrictions by allowing self-employed individuals such as plumbers, electricians and water-purifier repairmen to resume their work. According to Home Ministry's guidelines, carpenters and motor mechanics are also allowed to work during the lockdown. The latest order in this regard was issued on April 27 by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority.indiatoday



Covid-19 cases growing slower, doubling every 8.7 days over the past two weeks, says health minister

Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan today said that India’s rate of infection has slowed down and cases were doubling every 8.7 days for the last 14 days. Over the last seven days, rate was 10.2, and it was 10.9 over the last 3 days, he said, comparing it to doubling rate of three days at beginning of the lockdown.Vardhan made the remarks at an interaction via videoconferencing with autonomous institutes and public sector units under the department of biotechnology.As many as 80 districts that earlier had cases have reported no new coronavirus cases over the last seven days, Vardhan said. The minister added that 47 districts have not reported a new case for the last 14 days, and 39 districts have not reported a new patient in the last 21 days. Similarly, 17 districts have not reported a case for 28 days, he added.No new case has been reported from 16 states in the last 24 hours, Vardhan said.scroll


Delhi reports no deaths for 2nd straight day

New Delhi : A day after it emerged from PM videoconference with CMs that the lockdown restrictions are likely to be relaxed post May 3 in states a with high number of Covid-19 cases, total number of cases in the country are inching towards yet another unwanted milestone as they climbed to 29,435 on Tuesday. The toll also rose to 934 deaths, according to Union Health Ministry. While the number of active cases stood at 21,632, there have been 6,868 recoveries so far. Since Monday evening the country reported 48 total deaths out of which 27 fatalities were from Maharashtra, its highest single-day fatality figure, followed by 11 from Gujarat, 5 from Rajasthan, 4 from Madhya Pradesh and one from J&K.Maharashtra also has the highest death toll in the country with 369 deaths. This is followed by Gujarat(162), Madhya Pradesh (110), Delhi (54), Rajasthan (46) and AP and UP at 31 each, Telangana(26), Tamil Nadu (24) while West Bengal and Karnataka have reported 20 deaths each, Punjab (18), J&K (7), Kerala(4), Jharkhand and Haryana (3 each), Bihar(2) while Meghalaya, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha and Assam have reported one fatality each, according to the Health Ministry’s data.


NITI Aayog sealed for 48 hours after staffer tests positive

NITI Aayog building in New Delhi has been sealed for a period of 48 hours after “a director level officer working at NITI Bhavan” tested positive, a senior official said Tuesday. “A director level officer working at NITI Bhavan has been tested positive for COVID-19. Today at 9 am, he got his report, and then he informed authorities,” Alok Kumar adviser at NITI Aayog said,PTI reported.  “We are following necessary protocol and the health ministry has been informed and all the due processes will be followed. So, we are closed for 48 hours,” Kumar added.indianexpress


Karnataka man who tested positive for COVID kills self

Bengaluru :A 50-year-old chronically ill man, who had been on dialysis for over 15 years and tested positive for COVID-19 on April 24, on Monday jumped to death from a trauma care centre building at Victoria Hospital where he was receiving treatment. The incident came a day after a 45-year-old woman, who was chronically ill, died in ICU of the designated COVID-19 treatment hospital.50-year-old lived with his brother in south Bengaluru. The suicide led to the first post-mortem in Bengaluru after a positive coronavirus test. The suicide has not been accounted for as a coronavirus death.indianexpress


Smelly toilets, no fans, bad food: Delhi Police report lists problems at shelter homes for migrants

An assessment of more than 15 shelter homes by Delhi Police has found several problems ranging from poor sanitation and hygiene to no power back-ups and rude authorities, Indian Express reported.Delhi, which has more than 3,000 coronavirus cases, is among the most affected regions in India. The city-state government has converted 111 govt facilities as shelter homes for migrant workers who are stranded due to the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19. While the 111 temporary shelter homes are housing more than 10,000 people, the 223 permanent shelter homes for the homeless in the national Capital can host around 7,000 people.


Hundreds of migrant workers protest in Surat for third time in less than a month

AHMEDABAD:A third incident of protest in less than a month by hundreds of migrant workers in Gujarat’s Surat city demanding that they be allowed to return their native States transpired on April 28.The latest incident occurred at Surat’s under-construction Diamond Bourse, where migrants damaged several vehicles and threw stones damaging glass windows at the construction site.As the crowd turned violent, the authorities called the police to control the situation. On reaching the site, the police tried to appeal to the migrants to remain calm.thehindu


Justice can be done without robes or congregation: CJI Bobde on lockdown lesson

New Delhi :The Supreme Court was hoping to start tapping artificial intelligence to reform its processes in March but then came COVID-19 and, as it has done across the board, the outbreak pushed all plans to the backburner and has forced a rethink in the judiciary as well. In an interview at his office in his residence, CJI Justice S A Bobde spoke to Indian Express on his vision for the Court in the post-COVID world.On challenges to right to livelihood, migrant populations, medical care as well as threats to right to life, CJI said,"It is a huge challenge and I am not sure we can do it only by reading opposing affidavits in Court. We have asked the government to report to us on the actions they are taking in all this: medical, nutritional, regarding shelter and transportation and whether transportation is consistent with social distancing norms. We have made provisions for states for the release of prisoners, enabled the freeing of those held in detention centres in Assam."


Covid-19: Villagers attack police, doctors during cremation of suspected patient in Haryana

Residents of a village in Ambala city in Haryana on Monday clashed with the police and pelted stones at doctors after refusing to allow the cremation of a Covid-19 suspect, NDTV reported. The woman, who was in her 60s, had died at a civic hospital in Ambala on Monday. The residents of Chandpura village threw stones at the police and doctors at the cremation ground. The police had to fire in the air to disperse the mob. The cremation was conducted after the crowd was dispersed.A doctor said the woman’s Covid-19 test results were awaited.The doctor said the villagers unnecessarily opposed the cremation. He said all safety measures had been taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.scroll


Andaman Journalist Zubair Arrested for Claiming 'Quarantine for Phone Contact with COVID Patients'

New Delhi: In what appears to be the latest instance of attack on free speech, Andaman and Nicobar Islands police have arrested a freelance journalist for a tweet he posted on Monday drawing attention to what he said were bizarre quarantine rules being followed by local authorities. He has since been charged with multiple non-bailable offences with the police accusing him of spreading false information with an intention to obstruct the administration’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the islands.On April 27, Zubair Ahmed, a reporter based in islands posted a question for Andamans administration, whom he tagged, in which he asked why families who merely spoke to COVID-19 patients on the phone were being forced to quarantine. DGP, Deependra Pathak told The Wire that claim Zubair made in his tweet – about the home quarantining of those who had merely spoken to COVID-19 patients on the phone – was not true. Ahmed runs a weekly “news and views” blog named being-islander. A cursory look at the blog shows he has been critical of the political and administrative establishment in Union Territory.thewire


Bastar journalist threatened with FIR for report that ‘damaged’ administration’s image

Chhattisgarh government has issued a show-cause notice to a journalist in Bastar for allegedly publishing a report that “damaged the image of the administration”. The notice, dated April 26, asked Neeraj Shivhare of Bastar ki Aawaz to appear before the authorities in Dantewada and provide an explanation for his article.The report that the notice referred to is an article from April 25, where a woman from Geedam said she was forced to sell household items to buy rations amid the ongoing nationwide lockdown to combat the coronavirus. The woman said that her husband, a driver, has been out of work for more than a month, due to which there is no money to feed their four children. The woman told the journalist that she initially sold smaller household items but later had to sell her fridge for Rs 2,000. The family had received no help from the administration.


Plummeting Sale of Agricultural Produce May Hit India's Ability to Feed after Coronavirus Pandemic

New Delhi: More than a week after Centre relaxed norms on agriculture and allied activities, farmers have been unable to sell their produce. Lack of harvesters, labour shortage, lacklustre storage facilities, untimely rains and a dying demand are now starting to point towards a supply constraint that may eventually manifest itself much after India expectedly emerges out of the coronavirus pandemic.With the non-availability of machines and agricultural labour, Ramesh Prasad and his son took half-a-month to harvest their wheat farm and another three days in storing and transporting it to the 'mandi'. They have hardly been able to sell anything for the past two days."There is hardly any demand. There are no takers in mandis. Prices have come crashing down," said Prasad, a wheat farmer from Madhya Pradesh.


Lockdown woes: Punjab loses 12,00-17,00 cr GDP, state Congress to raise national flag to protest Centre’s bias

Punjab Congress in Chandigarh on Tuesday asked people in the state to raise the national flag at their homes on May 1 to protest against the Centre's discrimination against non-BJP-ruled states in extending support in the Covid-19 fight.It was proposed by state Congress president Sunil Jakhar and seconded by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.The Chief Minister said the state was losing Rs 3,360 crore revenue a month due to the pandemic and the lockdown. It would touch Rs 50,000 crore in a year, he added.


Tamil Nadu: 121 children aged below 12 have tested positive for Covid-19; tally rises to 2,058

Data now released by the Tamil Nadu Health Department suggests that 121 children below the age of the age of 12 have tested positive for Covid-19 in the state to date. The media bulletin released by the health department on Tuesday shows 121 new cases, raising the state's tally to 2,058.Chennai reported 103 new cases over the last 24 hours, taking the city's tally to 673.As of April 28, 1,128 Covid-19 patients have recovered in the state of Tamil Nadu. Out of these, 27 were discharged in the last 24 hours.



CRPF man dies due to Covid-19 in first such case among CAPFs

The novel coronavirus Tuesday claimed a life of a 55-year-old Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel, PTI quoted officials as saying. This is the first death due to the pandemic among the about 10 lakh personnel Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) that function under the Union Home Ministry for upkeep of internal security and border guarding.The sub-inspector was admitted to the Safdarjung hospital after being detected positive for the virus. “55-year-old personnel died on Tuesday due to COVID-19 infection. He was posted with the 31st battalion of the force based in Delhi,” a senior official said.New Delhi


Wuhan lab rejects claims of creating Covid-19, but virus origins still a mystery

Claims that the coronavirus pandemic originated in a laboratory in Chinese city of Wuhan have no basis in fact, head of the lab told Reuters, adding that there were still no conclusive answers as to where the disease started. Conspiracy theorists have claimed SARS-CoV-2, now responsible for over 200,000 deaths worldwide, was synthesised by Wuhan Institute of Virology(WIV), based in the city where the disease was first identified.Though the scientific consensus is that the coronavirus evolved naturally, such claims have gained traction. US President Donald Trump said on April 15 that his govt was investigating whether it had originated in the Wuhan lab. Some conspiracy theories were fuelled by a widely read scientific paper from IIT, since withdrawn, claiming that proteins in the coronavirus shared an "uncanny similarity" with those of HIV. However, most scientists now say SARS-CoV-2 originated in wildlife, with bats and pangolins identified as possible host species.Russian scientists claimed SARS outbreak in 2002-2003 originated in a lab, and during emergence of HIV/AIDS in late 1970s, some political groups also claimed the virus had been "spliced" together by govt scientists. Though the new coronavirus was first identified in Wuhan, conspiracy theories circulating within China have suggested the virus did not originate there.Asked whether his institute would cooperate with an international inquiry into the pandemic, Yuan Zhiming, professor at WIV and the director of its National Biosafety Laboratory said that he was unaware of "such a mechanism", but that the laboratory was already inspected regularly.Reuters


Trump Suggests US May Seek "Substantial" Damages From China Over COVID-19

 US President Donald Trump suggested on Monday that he may seek damages from China over the coronavirus outbreak which began in the Chinese city of Wuhan and spread around the world."We are not happy with China," Trump said at a White House briefing. "We are not happy with that whole situation because we believe it could have been stopped at the source."AFP


Review into UK minority communities COVID-19 deaths sparks controversy

London: Appointment of Trevor Phillips -- who is considered highly controversial in the British Muslim community -- to take part in a government inquiry into the disproportionate impact of coronavirus on black and minority ethnic communities in UK has provoked criticism. Phillips is the former chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, UK’s rights watchdog. He has a history of controversial remarks regarding Muslims.He was appointed by Public Health England on April 24 to provide expert support in their investigation into why COVID-19 is disproportionally affecting people from black and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.BAME community makes up just 10.8% of the population, but 34.5% of critically ill coronavirus patients, according to local media.Sky News found that BAME Brits make up 72% of all NHS and carer deaths from COVID-19. The Guardian reported that black Brits make up 3.4% of the population, but 6.4% of COVID-19 deaths.Labour MP Yasmin Qureshi tweeted: “To appoint Trevor Phillips, who has boasted about being labelled as an ‘Islamophobe’ undermines the integrity and credibility of the review.”Naz Shah, another Labour MP, tweeted: “It’s an insult to the memory of the numerous Muslims who have lost their lives, and also an insult to those Muslims who continue to serve on the frontline.”Anadolu Agency


Iran records more virus deaths, toll nears 5,900

The death toll in Iran from the coronavirus surged to 5,877 as 71 new deaths were reported, state media said on Tuesday.A total of 1,112 more people tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing the total infections to 92,584, Iran's state broadcaster reported, citing a statement by the Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour.Jahanpour said 72,439 people have recovered so far and been discharged from hospitals, while 2,983 patients are in critical condition.More than 100 health personnel have died due to the virus so far, according to the official IRNA.Anadolu Agency


Pakistan registers its deadliest day of coronavirus pandemic

 Pakistan has registered its deadliest day in terms of deaths from the coronavirus, with at least 20 people dying, taking the country's toll to 301 deaths since the outbreak began in late February, government data shows.Cases in the South Asian nation have been spiking since last week, with 751 new infections recorded on Monday, taking the overall number of cases to 14,079, data collected by Al Jazeera shows.aljazeera


Indonesia: More than 2,200 died with coronavirus-like symptoms

More than 2,200 Indonesians have died with acute symptoms of COVID-19 but were not recorded as victims of the disease, a Reuters review of data from 16 of the country's 34 provinces showed.Three medical experts said the figures indicated the national death toll was likely to be much higher than the official figure of 765.Indonesia has one of the lowest testing rates in the world, and some epidemiologists say that has made it harder to get an accurate picture of the extent of infections in the world's fourth-most populous country.aljazeera


Israel: Slowdown in coronavirus cases continues

Four COVID-19 patients died and 34 new cases were confirmed in Israel over the past 24 hours, authorities said on Tuesday.The overall case count in Israel is now 15,589 and the death toll stands at 208, according to the Health Ministry.It said 117 patients remain in critical condition, while 7,375 have recovered and been discharged from hospitals so far.Israel started taking measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus in late February, initially barring non-residents arriving from virus hotspots and gradually imposing a near-total air travel ban.A dramatic slowdown in new cases over the past few days – the figure plunged from 345 this past Saturday to just 23 on Monday – has prompted Tel Aviv to start easing movement restrictions.The government approved several measures last week, including the reopening of some businesses and schools for children with special educational needs and a resumption of small-scale prayer gatherings.Anadolu Agency


Arab doctor leads Israeli hospital's anti-virus fight

Each morning since February, Israeli Arab doctor Khitam Hussein has woken up before dawn to rush to a job on the frontline of the country's fight against the novel coronavirus.Hussein, 44, has emerged as a prominent member of Israel's often marginalised Arab community which is now playing an essential role in confronting an unprecedented health crisis.She heads the outbreak response at the Rambam Hospital near Haifa, the largest hospital in northern Israel, and has been working 12-hour days for months.AFP

New study shows loss of smell may indicate mild to moderate Covid-19

People who experience loss of smell as one of the symptoms of coronavirus are likely to have a clinical course of the disease ranging from mild to moderate, according to a study which might help healthcare providers determine which patients need hospitalisation, PTI reported. The findings of the study, published in the journal International Forum of Allergy and Rhinology, follow an earlier study which stated that loss of smell and taste were indicators of a coronavirus infection.Scientists from the University of California (UC) San Diego Health in US, said patients who reported loss of smell and taste were 10 times less likely to be hospitalised for the disease when compared to those without the symptom.indianexpress



232 inmates released from detention centres  in Assam

Guwahati:At least 232 inmates have been released so far from the six detention centres in Assam, following a Supreme Court directive.The apex court had directed on April 13 to release those who have spent more than two years in detention centres on execution of bond with two sureties of Rs 5,000 each by two Indian citizens on behalf of the detainee, the standing counsel representing the state, Jiten Payeng, told The Telegraph on Monday after a hearing.The order was given following several petitions in view of the Covid-19 outbreak.Another 50 individuals have completed two years but they have not able to submit the documents. The next hearing will be held three weeks from April 27. After the Supreme Court order, Gauhati High Court had on April 15 directed that the maximum number of eligible detainees be released within a week. The Union home ministry had informed the Rajya Sabha that there were 802 individuals held in Assam’s six detention centres as on March 6.telegraphindia

India releases 'illegal migrants' from Assam detention centres


Babri Committee Asks For Demolition Debris, VHP Says None Left

All India Babri Masjid Committee is working on a petition, during the lockdown, to approach Supreme Court to get the ‘remaining debris and stone artifacts’ lying at the site since the demolition of the mosque on 6 December 1992.The committee decided to approach court after a letter written by its convenor, Zafaryab Jilani, to the Ram Mandir trust did not get a response. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has said there is no debris there and the committee ought to move on while Jilani claims to have seen the debris himself.The Quint spoke to VHP joint general secretary Surendra Jain, successor to the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas Mahant Kamal Nayan Das and Ram Mandir trust general secretary Champat Rai about the All India Babri Masjid Committee’s letter to accept their request ‘in good faith.’Jilani addressed the letter to Supreme Court lawyer K Parasaran, who was named the initial head of the trust. A day after the letter was written, which is 19 February, the trust had its first meeting where the head of the Ramjanmabhoomi Nyas, Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, and VHP International Vice President Champat Rai were named head and general secretary respectively.


UP: 2 sadhus in ‘beaten to death’ by man they accused of theft; Shiv Sena says ‘don’t make it communal’

2 sadhus were murdered, allegedly by a man who they had accused of stealing a chimta (tongs), in Bulandshahr on Tuesday. According to police, the accused Murari, was upset after the sadhus Jagdish Das (55) and Sher Singh (45) scolded him over the missing tongs a few days ago. The 2 were living in a temple in Pagauna village. The accused was arrested in an inebriated state from the village premises. The police said that the accused told them that “God’s will” was behind killing and alleged that he committed the crime under influence. “We received information that bodies of two sadhus were found in Pagauna village early in the morning. At around 5 am, the accused Murari was found roaming around the village, half-naked under the influence of cannabis. Prima facie it appears that he killed them after they chided him for stealing a chimta. We are waiting for him to sober up in order to investigate further,” said Santosh Kumar Singh, SP Bulandshahr.While initially, police stated that the accused murdered them with a sword, administration later clarified that they seem to have been beaten to death using sticks lying inside the temple.According to police, villagers traced the accused 2 km away from the murder spot and an arrest was made. While a large crowd had gathered, the police denied there was any law and order situation. In a tweet, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray spoke to UP CM Yogi Adityanath over phone and expressed concern over the incident. “Killing of priests in Uttar Pradesh should not be communalised like Palghar incident in Maharashtra,”Raut said.


Uddhav Thackeray Has 1 Month To Secure His Job. Governor Gets Reminder

Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is in danger of losing his job, with the Governor yet to nominate him to the state legislative council. Uddhav Thackeray, who has never contested an election, has one month to become a member of Maharashtra assembly and seal his chief ministership.With any election ruled out because of coronavirus - including those to the legislative council -- a governor's nomination is Thackeray's only option.His government sent a second reminder to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari last evening, urging him to nominate Thackeray to the upper house of the assembly. The first letter was sent on April 11. Shiv Sena alleges politics behind the delay by Koshyari, a former Chief Minister nominated to the top post by the centre's ruling BJP.Thackeray has till May 28 to become a part of the legislative council, failing which he will be forced to quit as Chief Minister.ndtv


J&K govt cites 2 terror groups formation as reason to extend ban on high-speed mobile Internet

J&K administration on Monday extended the ban on the high-speed mobile internet in the region. In the latest order issued by the home department, the reason cited for the ban on high-speed internet includes spurt in militant violence, the launch of new outfits, and "wellfounded" apprehensions of the "field agencies" regarding the attempts from across the border to propagate terrorism in the region.The order said, "There were well-founded apprehensions of the field agencies regarding enhanced efforts by Pakistan for recruitment in (militant) ranks as well as infiltration attempts, which heavily depend on high-speed internet." The newly-formed groups -- The Resistance Front (TRF) and Tehreek-i-Milat-i-Islami (TMI) -- have been covertly formed by the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI.indiatoday


Delhi Violence: Jamia Alumni Association President Sent to 10-Day Police Custody

A Delhi court on Monday sent Shifa-Ur-Rehman, president of the Jamia Millia Islamia Alumni Association, to 10-day police custody. Rehman has been arrested under the stringent UAPA in connection with riots in northeast Delhi in Feb.The police told the court that Rehman, who is also a member of the Jamia Coordination Committee, was involved in a criminal conspiracy along with former JNU student Umar Khalid.“We had technical evidence against him which suggests that he incited mobs during the riots. He was also seen in the CCTV footage which was collected from the riot-affected areas. We have checked his call record details and WhatsApp messages and found more evidence which suggests his involvement in the riots,” police said.Clashes had broken out between the supporters of the law and those opposing it between February 23 and 26 in North East Delhi, killing 53 people and injuring hundreds. The police were accused of either inaction or complicity in some instances of violence, mostly in Muslim neighbourhoods. The violence was the worst Delhi saw since the anti-Sikh riots of 1984.


Delhi HC Seeks Centre's Stand On Arrests of CAA Protesters

Delhi High Court has sought Centre's stand over a plea seeking court's direction restraining the police from picking or arresting Delhi riots-2020 victims/persons protesting against CAA on the pretext of investigation and sending them to jail in riots-related cases during lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic. While issuing notice on the plea filed by Jamiat Ulama, the court said, "All the individuals named in the petition, who are stated to have been arrested thus far, are at liberty to institute appropriate proceedings,in accordance with law, including seeking regular bail, before courts of competent jurisdiction, in the meantime."indiatomorrow


Banks technically write off over Rs 68,000 cr loans, Choksi among 50 top wilful defaulters: RTI

Indian banks have technically written off a staggering amount of Rs 68,607 crore due from 50 top wilful defaulters, including absconding diamantaire Mehul Choksi, according to a reply under RTI from RBI.Prominent RTI activist Saket Gokhale had filed an RTI query with the RBI seeking details of the 50 top wilful defaulters and their current loan status till February 16. "I filed this RTI because Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur had refused to reply to this starred question asked in the Parliament by Congress MP Rahul Gandhi in the last Budget Session on February 16," Gokhale told IANS. Disclosing what the government didn't, RBI's Central Public Information Officer Abhay Kumar provided the replies on Saturday, with several startling revelations in the 'diamond-studded list', said Gokhale.RBI said that this amount (Rs 68,607 crore) comprises outstanding and amounts technically/prudentially written off till Sept.30, 2019.An inadvertent error had crept in a previous version of the report, which has now been corrected.IANS


We should plan for negative growth rates this FY, says Arvind Subramanian

Calling the present economic situation “the pralay of Hindu mythology”, ex Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian, who was the chief guest at Express Adda, said India should plan for negative growth rates in this financial year.“There is a huge overhang of liquidity in the market already. There will be a deflationary shock. Prices will be lower than higher. This is the pralay of Hindu mythology,” he says. Subramanian says our food stocks are turning out to be equitable social safety net. “For developing countries like India, the trade off between lockdown and economic activity should be different from developed countries,” he further said.Subramanian also said while RBI had lowered rates and made liquidity available, what was required was actual credit flowing to the corporate sector, including small and medium firms.indianexpress


5 million people displaced in India due to disasters in 2019: Report

5 million people were displaced in India last year, the highest in the world, due to disasters, including cyclones and monsoon floods, a new report by a monitoring centre said.The displacements were a result of a combination of increasing hazard intensity, high population exposure and high levels of social and economic vulnerability, the report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) released on Tuesday said.South Asia recorded 9.5 million new displacements associated with disasters in 2019, the highest figure since 2012 and the floods triggered by the monsoon in India and Bangladesh and cyclones Fani and Bulbul were among the events that forced most people to flee their homes both in the region and globally.While India reported 50,37,000 displacements, Bangladesh recorded 40,86,520 in the year 2019. The Other countries with new displacements are Afghanistan (5,78,000), Nepal (1,21,000) and Pakistan (1,16,000), according to the data provided in the report by the Geneva-based centre.PTI


Plea to implement ‘One Nation One Ration Card’: SC asks govt to consider feasibility

The Supreme Court has observed that the feasibility of a plea seeking implementation of the ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ forthwith for the benefit of migrant workers be introspected by Union, legal news website reported.Even though the Bench comprising Justices N.V. Ramana, Sanjay Kishan Kaul & B.R. Gavai did not consider it appropriate to intervene for advanced implementation of the said scheme (set to be effective from June 2020), it directed the Centre to consider the viability of its preponement at this stage.The bench further stated that the "Government is looking after these things".


Arnab questioned by Mumbai Police for over 12 hours

Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami on Monday spent more than 12 hours at a police station and was questioned by Mumbai Police in connection with an FIR over his remarks on Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and the Palghar lynching.FIR had been filed by Nagpur Police based on a complaint by the Maharashtra Energy Minister Nitin Raut over Goswami’s statements in his show Sonia Gandhi in connection with the Palghar incident. The charges include provocation with intent to cause riot, promoting enmity between two groups on grounds of religion or race, deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs and defamation under relevant sections of IPC.indianexpress


US to recognise Israel annexation of West Bank, Jordan Valley

United States said it was ready to recognise Israel's annexation of much of the West Bank, but asked the new unity government also to negotiate with the Palestinians.Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has reached a power-sharing deal to remain in office after three inconclusive elections, has vowed to press ahead with annexations that the Palestinians say will shut the door on a two-state solution.A Middle East "vision" unveiled in January by US President Donald Trump gave a green light to annexations. Netanyahu's coalition deal with centrist Benny Gantz agreed the cabinet would consult Washington before moving forward.But Palestinians have expressed outrage at Israel's plans to cement its hold further on land it seized in the 1967 war, territory they are seeking for a future state. The European Union has also criticised Trump's plan as failing to achieve a two-state solution."As we have made consistently clear, we are prepared to recognise Israeli actions to extend Israeli sovereignty and the application of Israeli law to areas of the West Bank that the vision foresees as being part of the State of Israel," a US State Department spokesperson said.aljazeera

Libya's govt accuses rival Khalifa Haftar of a coup d'etat

Libya's UN-recognised government accused rival military commander Khalifa Haftar of seeking to stage a new coup after he claimed to have a "mandate" from the people to govern the country."It's a farce and the latest in a long series of coups d'etat," the Government of National Accord (GNA), which is based in the capital, Tripoli, said in a statement on Tuesday."What the war criminal Haftar said was a coup on the democratic path, not new but a continuation of his failed coups and to cover up his repeated defeats," it added.The oil-rich North African nation has been gripped by chaos since the downfall and killing of longtime dictator Muammar Gadaffi in 2011, with rival administrations in the east and west vying for power.aljazeera


UK children dying of new disease 'possibly linked to coronavirus'

Some children in the United Kingdom with no underlying health conditions have died from a rare inflammatory syndrome which researchers believe to be linked to COVID-19, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Tuesday.Italian and British medical experts are investigating a possible link between the coronavirus pandemic and clusters of severe inflammatory disease among infants who are arriving in hospital with high fevers and swollen arteries.Doctors in northern Italy, one of the world's hardest-hit areas during the pandemic, have reported extraordinarily large numbers of children under the age of nine with severe cases of what appears to be Kawasaki disease, more common in parts of Asia."There are some children who have died who didn't have underlying health conditions," Hancock told LBC Radio.aljazeera


Egypt extends state of emergency for twelfth time since 2017

Egypt's President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi has announced a three-month extension of a state of emergency throughout the country because of health and security concerns.The decision on Tuesday came as the country battles the coronavirus, which has infected nearly 4,800 people, including the death of 337, according to Johns Hopkins University statistics."Given the serious security and health concerns which the country is experiencing, the president has decided to declare a nationwide state of emergency for a period of three months effective from Tuesday," said the official gazette.aljazeera


Iran satellite launch 'sends a message' on failed US pressure

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) surprised the world last week with a successful launch of its first military satellite dubbed Nour (light) into the Earth's orbit.The satellite was on board a previously unknown launch vehicle named Qased, or messenger, and was deployed from a military base in Semnan province, east of the capital, Tehran.aljazeera


Bangladesh criticizes 8 neighbors over inertia on Rohingya

Bangladesh has slammed international organizations for their tendency to pressure Dhaka to shelter hundreds of Rohingya who had been stranded in Bay of Bengal for weeks.The country's Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen also called on neighboring countries to share burden of Rohingya refugees, who fled the state persecution in Myanmar.He was responding to increasing global calls for accepting an estimated 500 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, who have been stranded in Bay of Bengal for weeks after being rejected by Malaysia due to the coronavirus pandemic.“It is deplorable that whenever any humanitarian disaster occurs at sea due to Myanmar, it has become a tendency on the part of a few international organizations to urge Bangladesh to shoulder burden instead of approaching others,” Momen said. UNHCHR Michelle Bachelet last week appealed to Momen in a letter to open ports and "allow the boats to land," calling the situation “a human tragedy.”“There are 8 countries around the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea, and each has an equal obligation [to shelter stranded Rohingya,”Momen said.Anadolu Agency

After Pentagon releases UFO footage, social media is filled with jokes about aliens

After US Pentagon officially released highly classified footage showing “unidentified aerial phenomena”, the videos went viral and social media was abuzz with chatter about aliens and whether we now have to fear an invasion.The videos captured by the US Navy pilots have been circulating on the internet for years. While one of the videos was shot in 2004, two others were recorded in January 2015. The videos were leaked in 2007 and 2017, and the Navy had verified their authenticity, reported The Guardian.However, after the official release of the videos, people came up with conspiracy theories, jokes and memes about how the year 2020 just keeps getting weirder. #UFOs and #Pentagon dominated trends worldwide on Twitter.indianexpress

US admits killing civilians during air attacks in Somalia

Two civilians were killed and three injured in a United States air strike in Somalia early last year, the US said in a rare acknowledgement of civilian casualties from United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) military operations in the Horn of Africa country.The deaths were mentioned on Monday in a debut quarterly assessment report by AFRICOM on allegations of civilian casualties raised in connection with its operations against armed fighters in Somalia, Libya and other African countries.

MEP: Denial of healthcare to Saudi activist 'morally wrong'

The reported denial of healthcare to Abdullah al-Hamid was "morally wrong" and "unacceptable", a prominent European politician said on Monday, following the death of the Saudi human rights defender in prison last week.Al-Hamid was "a pioneer" in advocating for Saudi Arabia to recognise the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights, said Maria Arena, the Belgian chair of the European Parliament's Subcommittee on Human Rights."I am shocked to hear that one of Saudi Arabia's leading human rights voices has passed away in prison at the age of 69, while serving an 11-year prison sentence," she said.aljazeera

*views, Articles, FEATURES*

The Supreme Court Is Locked Down and Justice Is in 'Emergency' Care:Prashant Bhushan

In unpredictable times, RBI should preserve its inflation credibility:Urjit R Patel

Watch | From Super Spreaders To Super Saviours: Tablighi Jamaat Members Donate Plasma:Seemi Pasha

Govt Abandons Poor: NGOs, Activists Struggle to Feed Them:Syed Ubaidur Rahman

Kashmir: Coronavirus-Positive Woman’s Death and Funeral Exposes ‘Lapses at Multiple Levels’:MUDASIR AHMAD

Tracing the origins of a manuscript that became the cornerstone of Islamic law in British India:Ursula Sims-Williams

Behind ICMR’s rapid test kits fiasco, a loophole that allowed firms without import licences to bid:Arunabh Saikia

 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:44 PM)*


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