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Ensure strict compliance of lockdown: National Commission for Minorities to madrasas

Sonia Gandhi wants PM to give 21 days' wages in advance to MGNREGA workers

By PTI in New Delhi
  • Published 1.04.20, 1:08 PM
  • Updated 1.04.20, 8:56 PM
  • 9 mins read
  •  
A family looks from the window of a house during the nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the coronavirus pandemic, in Calcutta, Tuesday, March 31, 2020 PTI

The National Commission for Minorities on Wednesday asked states to ensure strict compliance of the nationwide lockdown by madrasas and other religious places while asserting that Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Nizamuddin area in mid-March has caused a "big damage" to the government's efforts to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a letter to chief secretaries of states and Union territories, NCM chief Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi said the Nizamuddin incident was a "serious violation" of the lockdown, and has put the lives of fellow citizens at risk.

"Strict action should be taken against the violators. Local religious leaders may also be roped in to make the people aware about the guidelines of the lockdown and prevent any gathering in such places," he said.

India registered 386 new cases of Covid-19 in last 24 hours, taking the tally to 1,637 in the country, the government said on Wednesday, and linked the sharp increase in number of cases to the Tablighi meet since early March at Nizamuddin, which has become the new epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country — from Kashmir to Tamil Nadu.

The incident has caused a "big damage" to the efforts of the government to contain the virus, Rizvi said.

The government has imposed a 21-day nationwide lockdown since March 25 to contain the spread of the virus, which has claimed over 42,000 lives globally and infected more than 8.7 lakh people across 183 countries.

Noting that Friday prayers and other religious congregations have already been stopped in all the religious places in the country, Rizvi said the step was appreciable.

An ambulance carries devotees, who had recently attended the religious congregation at Tabligh-e-Jamaats Markaz in Delhi's Nizamuddin area, for Covid-19 tests, in Agartala, Wednesday, April 1, 2020
An ambulance carries devotees, who had recently attended the religious congregation at Tabligh-e-Jamaats Markaz in Delhi's Nizamuddin area, for Covid-19 tests, in Agartala, Wednesday, April 1, 2020 PTI

Sonia Gandhi asks PM to give 21 days' wages in advance to MGNREGA workers

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking advance payment of 21 days' wages to MGNREGA workers across the country to help them tide over the present crisis due to coronavirus lockdown.

In her letter to the prime minister, Gandhi said a large number of rural poor are without work and around 8 crore MGNREGA workers are devoid of an alternative source of income due to the countrywide lockdown, thus, they should be paid money in advance to tide over the current crisis.

"Given the urgency of providing income support to the rural poor, due to lost wages, the government may consider immediate advance payment of wages for 21 days to registered and active MGNREGA workers," she said.

The Congress Parliamentary Party chairperson said the advance wages may be adjusted against the work to be done by the workers, once MGNREGA sites are opened up.

"I request you to take immediate action and extend support to nearly eight crore rural workers in the country," she said.

Gandhi said since its inception, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has been a critical lifeline for the rural poor, particularly during periods of chronic economic distress.

A March 20 file picture of farmers, as they harvest paddy crop in a field in Ajmer, Rajasthan, on March 20
A March 20 file picture of farmers, as they harvest paddy crop in a field in Ajmer, Rajasthan, on March 20 PTI

Delhi hospital shut after doctor tests positive

Delhi State Cancer Institute has been shut for a day after a doctor tested positive for Covid-19, an official said on Wednesday.

According to the official, the Delhi government-run institute is being disinfected causing it to closed for a day.

The doctor, who tested positive for coronavirus, worked at the institute.

The total number of coronavirus cases in Delhi climbed to 120 on Tuesday after 23 new cases of the pandemic was reported in the past 24 hours, the health department said.

These 120 cases include 24 people who took part in a religious congregation at Nizamuddin West area earlier this month. Till Monday night, the number of cases of Covid-19 stood at 97, including two deaths.

According to the Delhi health department, out of the total 120 cases recorded so far, about 90 are admitted at various hospitals like the LNJP Hospital, GTB Hospital, RML Hospital, Safdarjung Hospital and the Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital.

Five have been discharged, two have had died and one has migrated out of the country, it said.

In the past three days, 441 people have been sent to hospital and 1,447 to quarantine centres, sources said.

Another doctor of a Mohalla Clinic was on Tuesday reported to have tested positive for Covid-19 infection, officials said.

Total Covid-19 samples sent till date stands at 2,315 and 2,049 reports have been received, the Health Department said in a statement.

According to a mapping of Covid-19 positive patients, a lot of the cases have come from central, east and southeast districts, sources said.

As many as 21,709 people who came in contact with the affected persons are under home quarantine till date and 2,451 have completed their 14-day quarantine, 

Man dies in Meerut, UP tally 2

A 72-year-old man who had tested positive for coronavirus died here on Wednesday, the first death in the Uttar Pradesh district seen as a hotspot in the fight against the virus.

The district has reported 19 coronavirus positive cases so far. Seventeen of them, including the man who succumbed to COVID-19, were related to a Maharashtra resident who had come here to visit.

The elderly man was the visitor's father-in-law, an official said. He tested positive on Sunday.

His wife, their four sons and four daughter-in-laws are admitted at Meerut Medical College's coronavirus ward.

The son-in-law arrived from Amravati on March 19 and took part in a wedding ceremony the next day. He was hospitalised last Thursday.

This is the second death of a coronavirus patient in Uttar Pradesh, where over 100 confirmed cases of the infection have been reported so far.

13 more test positive in Jaipur, Rajasthan tally 106

Thirteen more people tested for coronavirus in the Ramganj area of Jaipur's walled city on Wednesday, taking the total number of cases in Rajasthan to 106, an official said.

Jaipur has now become a major hotspot in the country with 34 cases, 26 of which have been reported from the Ramganj area, a densely populated locality.

"Thirteen more positive cases of COVID-19 have come up in the Ramganj area. All are contacts of the first person who had tested positive in the area. All have been kept in isolation," said Additional Chief Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh.

A spurt in the number of cases in the Ramganj area was witnessed after a 45-year-old man with a travel history to the Middle East region was tested positive on March 26.

He had landed at the Delhi airport on March 12 and took a bus the same day to return home.

He met several people till March 26 when he was tested positive, officials said.

Ten members of his family and a friend were also tested positive for coronavirus.

94 inmates released from Meghalaya jail

A total of 94 prisoners were released from the Shillong District Jail in Meghalaya as per the Supreme Court order to decongest prisons to check the spread of novel coronavirus, officials said on Wednesday.

The decision was taken by a high-powered committee headed by Meghalaya High Court judge and Meghalaya State Legal Services Authority (MSLSA) executive chairman, Justice HS Thangkhiew at a meeting held here on Tuesday, they said.

The panel was constituted by the state government in compliance with the apex court's directive to discuss the release of prisoners on bail, interim bail and parole, the officials said.

The committee deliberated on the preparedness of the Prison Department to deal with congestion in the district jails, a statement issued by MSLSA said.

It said 174 prisoners were identified in Shillong District Jail, which constitutes 37.9 per cent of the total prison population in the state.

A fire fighter sanitises an area during the nationwide lockdown, imposed in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, in Jammu, Wednesday, April 1, 2020
A fire fighter sanitises an area during the nationwide lockdown, imposed in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, in Jammu, Wednesday, April 1, 2020 PTI

5,000 quarantined in Maharashtra

Over 5,000 people in Maharashtra have been quarantined so far as they were in close contact with 162 Covid-19 patients in the state, health minister Rajesh Tope said in Mumbai on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters, Tope said that 5,343 people have been identified as high risk contact, because they were in close contact with the 162 Covid-19 positive patients in the state.

"We have quarantined these 'high risk contact' people as they are likely to be infected or are carriers of the coronavirus infection, he said.

It is a clear indication that more people will test positive for coronavirus in coming days, the minister said.

Around 4,000 heath department staffers have been deputed for surveillance and follow up of these people, he said.

UP police book 26 for negligence

Police have booked 26 people for negligence after they fled from a quarantine facility in Uttar Pradesh's Gosaiganj area, an official said on Wednesday.

SP Shivhari Meena said in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, 115 people who had returned from other states were kept at Gosaiganj's Kamla Nehru Institute , of which 26 fled on Tuesday night.

He said they were caught by police and FIRs were lodged against them under Sections 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) of the Indian Penal Code.

Legal action will be taken against them after they complete their quarantine duration, the SP added.

Deploy fire brigade to disinfect virus hotspots, Delhi LG tells authorities

Delhi lieutenant-governor Anil Baijal on Wednesday asked authorities to deploy fire services personnel for disinfecting Covid-19 hotspots, quarantine centres and public places to check the spread of the virus, which has infected at least 120 people and killed two in the national capital.

Baijal held a high-level meeting with chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, chief secretary Vijay Kumar Dev, police commissioner S. N. Srivastava and other senior officers to review containment measures being taken in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

In a series of tweets, the lieutenant-governor said district authorities will continue effective measures for enforcing the ongoing lockdown, social distancing and home quarantine.

"Also advised to use fire brigade for disinfecting vulnerable neighbourhoods, especially the hotspot areas, quarantine centres, public places, etc. Directed district disaster management authorities to take concerted preventive actions," Baijal tweeted.

In another tweet, he said that in the meeting he reviewed medical preparedness, procurement of medical essentials, discharge guidelines, quarantines and measures to enforce lockdown.

Meanwhile, Delhi State Cancer Institute, run by the Delhi government, has been shut for a day on Wednesday after a doctor tested positive for Covid-19.

The total number of coronavirus cases in Delhi climbed to 120 on Tuesday after 23 new cases of the disease were reported.

These 120 cases include 24 people who took part in a religious gathering in Nizamuddin West earlier this month.

Bengal death toll touches 6

Two persons infected with coronavirus have died in West Bengal, taking the total number of Covid-19 deaths in the state to six, a health department official said on Wednesday.

A 57-year-old man, who was admitted to a private hospital in the Golabari area of Howrah district two days ago, died on Tuesday night, he said.

"We are trying to find out the travel history of the deceased and whether he had come in contact with any person infected with the virus," the official said.

Another 57-year-old man died in a hospital in Belghoria in North 24 Parganas district on Wednesday morning, he said.

The second person had no history of travelling abroad or to any other state in India, the official said.

"The man was diabetic for the last 20 years and was hospitalised since March 23 with kidney ailments. He tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday night," he said.

Family members of both the deceased have been placed under quarantine, the official said.

Two men from Sheoraphuli in Hooghly district and another man from Egra in Purba Medinipur district tested positive for coronavirus, taking the total number of such cases in the state to 34, he added.

UP reports 1st death

Uttar Pradesh reported its first coronavirus-related death on Wednesday after test reports of a 25-year-old man, who died two days ago, came Covid-19 positive.

The man was admitted to the BRD Medical College in Lucknow on Sunday and he was suffering from kidney and liver problems, the institute's principal Ganesh Kumar said.

"Whether the patient died due to the coronavirus has not been ascertained yet," he said, adding that the patient showed symptoms of Covid-19, but the test reports came after he died in Monday.

"The sample of the patient was found positive for the coronavirus," an official of the King George's Medical University said in Lucknow.

The man hailed from Basti in Uttar Pradesh.

The two lab technicians, who had taken his samples, have been admitted to the quarantine ward of the hospital as a precautionary measure, Kumar said.

The deceased was suffering from liver and kidney ailments for the last three months, he said.

He came to us on Sunday evening, Kumar said.

Deliverymen of food aggregators Swiggy and Zomato ride on their bikes towards their destinations during the nationwide lockdown, imposed in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, at Vikas Marg in East Delhi, Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Deliverymen of food aggregators Swiggy and Zomato ride on their bikes towards their destinations during the nationwide lockdown, imposed in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, at Vikas Marg in East Delhi, Tuesday, March 31, 2020 PTI

2,361 people evacuated from Nizamuddin Markaz

The Tabligh-e-Jamaat's Markaz in Nizamuddin West, which is among the major Covid-19 hotspots in the country, has been cleared after the evacuation of 2,361 people in the past 36 hours, Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said on Wednesday.

Taking to Twitter, Sisodia said that out of the 2,361 people, 617 have been admitted to hospitals while the rest quarantined.

"The medical staff, administration, police and DTC staff worked together in this 36-hour operation, putting their lives at risk. Hats off to all of them," the deputy chief minister said in another tweet.

The total number of coronavirus cases in Delhi climbed to 120 on Tuesday after 23 new cases of the disease were reported on Tuesday.

These 120 cases include 24 people who took part in a religious congregation at the Markaz in Nizamuddin West earlier this month.

Till Monday night, the number of cases of the deadly COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) stood at 97, including two deaths. 

Sample of deceased in MP found positive

Samples of a 65-year-old man who died three days back in Indore have been found positive for coronavirus, a senior official said on Wednesday.

The man was a resident of Dhargaon village in Khargone district, the official said.

"As per a report received from Government MGM Medical College laboratory, the man was suffering with coronavirus. He died at Indore's MY hospital during treatment on Sunday," Khargone collector Gopalchandra Daad said.

The patient was initially admitted to Khargone district hospital after he complained of breathlessness, but as his condition deteriorated, he was referred to the state- run MY Hospital here on Sunday, the collector said.

He was already suffering from cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and breathing problems.

"This is the first case of coronavirus in Khargone, the collector said.

Hindu priests maintain social distance while offering Maha Aarti on the banks of River Narmada during the nationwide lockout, in wake of the coronavirus outbreak, in Jabalpur, Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Hindu priests maintain social distance while offering Maha Aarti on the banks of River Narmada during the nationwide lockout, in wake of the coronavirus outbreak, in Jabalpur, Tuesday, March 31, 2020 PTI

43 new cases in Andhra

As many as 43 new cases of coronavirus have been reported in Andhra Pradesh since Tuesday night, taking the overall count to 87 in the state, the government said.

Most of these cases relate to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation.

West Godavari district, which did not have a single Covid-19 case till Tuesday, recorded 13 positive cases while Kadapa district too reported 15.

Five new cases were added in Chittoor district, four in Prakasam, two each in East Godavari, SPS Nellore and one each in Krishna and Visakhapatnam districts, according to the latest bulletin of the Medical and Health Department.

In all 373 samples were tested since 9pm on Tuesday and 330 of them turned negative till 9am on Wednesday, the bulletin added.