EXTENDED …Lockdown extended upto May 3; strict curbs for week more

NEW DELHI: The nationwide lockdown has been extended upto May 3. The announcement was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday in a nationally televised address of the nation from 10am. He said strict controls  in force now will continue till April 20, after which there will be selective relaxations. 

The Prime Minister, who thanked the nation for the total adherence to the lockdown conditions so far, said those states/regions which brought about significant improvements to the Covid situation will be allowed to go for some relaxations after a review of the scene is done on April 20. Guidelines for the lock-down’s continuation will be issued on Wednesday this week. 

The lock-down was first announced by the Prime Minister on March 24 night, at 8pm, effective from the midnight  four hours thence, ie, from 0000hours on March 25, for a three-week period. This was to end this Tuesday.

The PM noted in his latest address of the nation that India was able to successfully handle the Covid situation so far, thanks to the support and cooperation from people to the shutdown. By contrast, even developed nations were hard-hit by the pandemic, causing massive deaths, he noted. 

Meanwhile, the total number of Covid-19 infections in India rose to 10363, while total covid-related deaths were of 340 by Tuesday. Worldwide, coronavirus claimed the lives of over 1,20,000, while as high as 19 lakh people (about 2 million) were infected. 

In India, Maharashtra remains the worst-hit, with over 2330 infections, mostly in the slum areas of Dharavi and Govandi, populated mostly by low-paid workforce from other states and these are where health facilities are worse and overcrowding more problematic. 

Delhi has reported over 1,500 cases of covid infections, while Tamil Nadu reported 1,100 infections, Rajasthan 870, Madhya Pradesh 600, Telangana 560, Uttar Pradesh  550, and Gujarat 540, besides lower numbers elsewhere. 

The death toll from various states:  Maharashtra 160, Madhya Pradesh 43, Delhi 28, Gujarat 26, besides smaller numbers elsewhere.

Globally, the United States leads the Covid tolls. It reported over 5.8 lakh cases, mostly from New York. This was followed by Spain  with 1.7 lakh, Italy  with1.6 lakh, France with 1.37 lakh,  Germany with 1.30 lakh and the UK with 89,000 infected. Over 700 covid-related deaths were reported from the UK in the past 24 hours, a dispatch on Tuesday said. IHN-NN

INDIA HERE AND NOW http://www.indiahereandnow.com email:indianow999@gmail.com

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