CORONA .. Covid cases in India up at 1,500; death at 49; mosque meet raises scare across states

Image credit ..AFP

NEW DELHI: Corona virus cases in India rose to 1,500 and related deaths to 50 on Wednesday, as per statistics with the Union Health Ministry. The cases in capital New Delhi rose sharply to 97 after several persons who attended an annual Islamic event  — styled as Tabligi Jamaat anniversary observation at a mosque in Nizamuddin  — were reported to have contracted the virus. The Covid number in worst-hit Maharashtra rose to 320, reports said on Wednesday.
The participants and preachers, drawn from various states as also from abroad, and totally numbering over 4,000 had stayed in the mosque dormitory for many days. Some 300 of the about a thousand who have overstayed in the dormitory after the nationwide Lockdown was announced, because of lack of transport, have been hospitalized with symptoms of Covid.
Several persons who attended the event and returned to Telangana have been tested positive for the virus affliction. Over 60 of the foreign participants later went to Karnataka, one report said, adding to the scare in the hi-tech city.
The event was suspended after PM Modi announced the first Janata Curfew on March 22. The organizers say they had permission from the Delhi Police.
Government is keeping a close watch on areas to which the religious meet participants have returned. One report said the infection spread from a preacher from Indonesia who attended the event. In Tamil Nadu’s Erode, Muslim density areas have been cordoned off by cops following reports about return of many participants of the event from Delhi to Erode. Over 60 persons who attended the event and returned to Pune have been quarantined.
Maharashtra on Tuesday reported 16 new cases of corona virus afflictions.
In a development on Tuesday, the Supreme Court intervened in the issue of plight of migrant workers. The apex court has asked the central government to ensure that basic facilities like food, water and medicines are provided to the migrant workers, who have been stopped from crossing inter-state borders, and are now temporarily kept at shelter homes in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak. These migrant workers had left their places of stay in Delhi and other cities immediately or soon after the lockdown was announced by the government. They did so on their own as they would have no work and no pay for the duration of the lockdown, and they were eager to spend the three-week lockdown time with their families in distant rural areas.

The government took a stand against their travel during the lockdown period also for fear they would carry the virus from cities to their villages, which could result in community transmissions. The court took note of the government’s contention in this matter, and advised the government to ensure these workers were given the necessary life support for the duration of the lockdown.
About 20 crore women members of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana would get into their bank accounts a pay of Rs 500 per woman in the first week of April, as part of the Covid-related governmental relief.
The plight of those running dairies across India is reported to be the worst. They are not in a position to store the milk even for a day. Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar said the coronavirus outbreak and the lockdown had hit the dairy sector hard and almost 10 lakh litres of the 12 lakh litres of milk produced was going unsold.
Some 3.6billion people remain confined to their homes across the globe as on Wednesday due to lockdown and similar governmental controls. Some 40,000 people have been killed so far across nations, mainly in the US, Europe and Asia regions. Some 8.5lakh persons have been infected so far. Italy and Spain, among the worst-hit, reported about 800 deaths overnight. France recorded about 500 deaths. Three-quarters of Americans are under  one or other kind of lockdown.
The number of Covid deaths in the US rose from 3,008 on Monday to 3,873 on Tuesday. The virus killed nearly 900 persons in the US in a single day on Tuesday, reports said. The US has nearly 2 lakh confirmed cases of Covid. President Trump warned the nation of a “very painful two weeks” ahead, amid projections that more than two lakh Americans could die of Covid-19. The President termed the virus-spread as one similar to a plague that killed millions in the past.
Meanwhile, a BBC report from Moscow said a Russian doctor who met President Vladimir Putin a week ago has now been diagnosed with Covid infliction.
An AFP wire service report said deaths from Covid spiked in Europe on Tuesday. Spain, France and Britain reported their highest daily tallies, on Tuesday.
The global economy is in a shambles in the wake of the Covid outbreak. Taking note of the adverse situation, G20 leaders pledged last week to inject an additional $5trillion into the global economy to revive economic activities.
Africa’s biggest city, Lagos, began a two-week shutdown on Tuesday.
China’s Wuhan, from where Covid suspectedly originated and spread around the globe, is meanwhile limping back to normalcy. ==IHN-NN

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