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Let’s all fight together against COVID-19 : Indian Shooter Manu Bhaker

Indian shooter Manu Bhaker urged citizens to come together and light diyas and lamps tonight at 9 pm to defeat coronavirus pandemic. The tweet comes after Prime Minister Modi called citizens to do the same.

Manu Bhaker wrote, “Let us all come together in this fight against COVID-19 and the Honorable Prime Minister @narendramodi Ji’s call, turn off all the lights of your house at 9 o’clock for 9 minutes tonight and light lamps on your roof, balcony or doors and take a pledge to defeat Corona together. Jai Hind.”

Earlier, in a video message, the Prime Minister had asked public to turn off all lights in their houses at 9 pm on Sunday (April 5) and to stand at their doors or windows with a candle, diya and torch for 9 minutes to show solidarity with each other in the battle against the COVID-19.

This is in follow up to the ‘Taali, thali’ event held on March 22, the day when ‘Janata curfew’ was observed throughout the country. Modi had reminded people to be on their terrace and balconies and clap to express their gratitude for all those who were working 24/7 to fight against Novel COVID-19.

Alia Bhatt is a die hard fan of Tollywood superstar Prabhas

Prabhas picture my hero and increased his fan following base all over the country after the phenomenal performance in Baahubali series. There are many cine actors become fans of Prabhas after watching Baahubali 1 and Baahubali the conclusion. List of the fan followings Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt recently joined the club.

Alia Bhatt currently signed for SS Rajamouli RRR movie since the lockdown is imposed all over the India she couldn’t start her shoot on time. Movie was set to release all over the India movie star Ram Charan and Junior NTR.

Recent interview young Bollywood actress said that she is a big fan of Prabhas after watching the exceptional performance of of him in Baahubali series.

“I like Prabhas a lot. His performance and screen presence in the Baahubali series is awesome. I became his die-hard fan after watching the Baahubali series,” she said.

Baahubali series became the highest-grossing films of all time and was a hit amongst the audience.

RRR would be there debut movie for Alia Bhatt in South Indian film industry. Alia Bhatt signed Bahubali directors movie for the first time. Prabhas is working for his 20th film along with Nag Ashwin.

The young actress is rumour to get married to Bollywood star Ranbir Kapoor.

The first look motion poster of the movie triple are recently released and received a sensational response from the audience. The motion picture portrays one hero as a water and another hero as a fire.

New export restrictions in India after coronavirus outbreak

Government imposes restriction on export of Diagnostic kids foreign countries in order to avoid shortage of supply for coronavirus treatment. Restriction comes after the coronavirus cases are rising tremendously in India. Testing kits for COVID19 and personal protective equipments PPE available to the Healthcare providers in their states respectively.

The export of Diagnostic Falls under ITC HS (Indian trade clarification based on organised system of coding) category are restricted by The Directorate General of Foreign Trade.

Earlier export of these items are allowed Unconditionally now every exporter of these items should require licence from DGFT to ship to any country.

On January 31 and March 19, DGFT issued subsequent orders that banned the export of all ventilators, surgical/disposable masks and textile raw material used for making masks and coveralls, and various other items of protection.

The measures were taken as the country is under a 21-day lockdown called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to contain the spread of the virus. On April 14 midnight, the lockdown will come to an end.

Second Positive Case Recorded in Mumbai’s Dharavi: Coronavirus OutBreak

The 2nd case of COVID19 has been confirmed in Mumbai Dharavi, stated Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). 52-year-old BMC sanitization worker found positive for the Coronavirus. He stays in the Working area but was posted at Dharavi for cleaning.

This Sanitization worker tested positive had developed symptoms and was advised by the BMC to support for treatment. His family members & 23 other colleagues were asked to quarantine.

On April 1st, 2020, Another 56-year-old man tested positive for coronavirus, died at SION hospital. He had Coronavirus symptoms fever, cough, respiratory issues and also had co-morbid conditions of renal failure. The other 7 members of his family have been placed under self-quarantine and the building he lived in has been sealed.

Dharavi is a highly densely populated area located in Mumbai with over 15 lakh people, with spread over 613 hectares, and could very likely become an infection hotspot. Many media reports claim that social distancing in such a densely populated slum is highly impossible. New Indian Express report stated that five to eight people sharing a 100 sq ft of room. As per the guidelines of social distancing set by WHO, one person should get to stay a minimum of 20 sq ft of the area but in Dharavi, it is less than 10 sq ft.

State Maharashtra has recorded the highest number of positive COVID-19 cases with 335 and 13 dead so far after being infected by the virus. In India, the positive cases have risen to 1965 on Thursday and the death toll from the deadly virus reached 50.    

Coronavirus threatens Myanmar’s most vulnerable in displacement camps


Rohingya refugees watch ICJ proceedings at a restaurant in a refugee campImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption Displaced communities in Myanmar are especially vulnerable to the virus

An estimated 350,000 displaced people across Myanmar are “sitting in the path of a public health catastrophe”, says rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW).

Overcrowding, movement restrictions and poor sanitation have left these groups especially vulnerable to the coronavirus outbreak, HRW said.

Myanmar had its first infections last week and its first death on Monday.

A government official had previously claimed the country’s “lifestyle and diet” protected its people.

Myanmar, which is home to around 51 million people, has a poor healthcare system.

A large percentage of the population does not have access to even basic healthcare, Associate Professor Nehginpao Kipgen of the Jindal School of International Affairs told BBC News – much less those who are displaced.

People living in camps often struggle to get even basic access to clean water and other essential services.

“Health conditions are already disastrous for displaced people in Rakhine, Kachin, and northern Shan camps, and now Covid-19 is threatening to decimate these vulnerable communities,” said Brad Adams, Asia director of HRW.

UK-based charity organisation Oxfam shared some insight into the situation at one camp in Rakhine state – and how difficult it would be under normal circumstances to get treatment.

“If someone falls ill and needs more specialised care, they must seek and receive official permission, which often takes a few days… [and] pay for a security escort to travel with them to the hospital,” said the organisation in a statement.

The potential to ‘decimate’ communities

Waves of communal violence in Myanmar have displaced tens of thousands of people, many from the persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority.

According to a report published on Monday by HRW, around 130,000 Muslims in Rakhine state live in open-air detention camps, with extremely restricted access to health facilities, none of which have Covid-19 testing facilities.

The report says that in such camps, one toilet is shared by as many as 40 people, one water access point by as many as 600 – making it easy for the virus to be transmitted.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Many of those in camps live in terrible conditions

It adds that these people are “effectively imprisoned… arbitrarily denied freedom of movement” and therefore unable to access public health facilities even if they wanted to.

“Overcrowding in the camps is pervasive, making physical distancing nearly impossible and significantly increasing the risk of transmission,” said the HRW report.

The report called on the government to lift restrictions on such camps, and to allocate additional space to people to allow for social distancing to happen.

But it’s not just the conditions of displaced people that have experts worried.

“The World Health Organization has ranked Myanmar’s healthcare system as one of world’s worst after decades of neglect under the military rule,” said Prof Kipgen.

“While cities like Yangon and Mandalay have better facilities, many parts of the country still don’t even have basic healthcare services.”

A healthy lifestyle and diet?

For weeks, authorities denied that there were any cases in the country, which shares a border with China. Hundreds of citizens cross the border every day to work in China, often illegally, say local reports.

“Myanmar shares a border with China [that is] over 2,200km long. It welcomed almost 750,000 Chinese visitors in 2019 – [its] largest source of tourism,” said Prof Kipgen.

Myanmar’s slow response to the outbreak has been heavily criticised. As of late March, around 300 virus tests had been carried out across the country, according to Reuters news agency.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Myanmar now has 14 cases of the virus

Government spokesman Zaw Htay had said the absence of cases was due to Myanmar’s “lifestyle and diet”, adding that because citizens generally paid for purchases with cash instead of credit cards, they were unlikely to spread the virus.

Myanmar now has 14 confirmed cases of the virus, mostly from people who have travelled overseas. On Monday, it recorded its first virus-related death, a 69-year-old who also suffered from cancer. He had recently travelled to both Australia and Singapore.

There are currently 859,566 confirmed cases across the world with some 42,332 deaths according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

Reporting by the BBC’s Yvette Tan

Major Inputs from BBC news

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation seals coronavirus affected areas in Mumbai

With more than 150 coronavirus cases reported from Mumbai alone, the highest from any city in India. Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is making all their all efforts to fight against time to seal the areas where positive cases have been found. 

BMC seals on the places where Coronavirus cases are confirmed.

So far, the civic body has sealed 140 neighborhoods. Which includes 48 in South Mumbai, 46 in West Mumbai and 48 in East Mumbai. Only essential vehicles are allowed to enter and exit from these places even after several checkups.

Besides Mumbai, municipal authorities in Navi Mumbai, Thane and Dombivali are also planned to take the same action. Earlier, the BMC announced that it had started the Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping of coronavirus affected areas in the city. Maps of the areas where there is a higher number of coronavirus cases will be posted on the civic body’s website, BMC commissioner Praveen Pardeshi said this information in a release on Tuesday.

The State of Maharashtra is the most affected state in India with around 320 cases being reported. Death toll in the state reached 12 after two more COVID-19 patients died, health officials said on Wednesday. Thirty nine coronavirus positive patients have been discharged after recovery. 

A 75-year-old man from Mumbai and a 50-year-old man in Palghar district died due to coronavirus. “The 75-year-old male patient died here on Tuesday. We are finding details of his travel history and also checking if someone close to him had a travel history,” an official said.

Coronavirus: Thai elephants face starvation as tourism collapses


Thai elephantsImage copyright Alex Johncola
Image caption Elephants are a major feature of Thailand’s tourist trail

More than 1,000 elephants face starvation in Thailand because the coronavirus crisis has slashed revenue from tourism, conservationists say.

An almost total absence of visitors means that many caretakers are struggling to afford food for Thailand’s 4,000 captive elephants.

The animals can eat up to 200kg (440lb) of food a day.

Thailand reported 127 new confirmed cases of the virus on Monday, bringing the country’s recorded total to 1,651.

Lek Chailert, founder of the Save Elephant Foundation, told the BBC: “If there is no support forthcoming to keep them safe, these elephants, some of whom are pregnant, will either starve to death or may be put on to the streets to beg.”

Image copyright Save the Elephants
Image caption Many trekking elephants in northern Thailand are now standing idle

Alternatively, some elephants may be sold to zoos or they may be returned to the illicit logging business, which officially banned the use of elephants in 1989.

“It’s a very bleak outlook unless some financial help is received immediately,” Lek Chailert adds.

It’s a challenge to keep the animals fed and healthy at the best of times but now it’s the dry season, which makes the situation even more extreme.

Kerri McCrae, who manages the Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary in Mae Chaem, in northern Thailand, said the villagers who live near her had brought approximately seven elephants back to her area because they were not receiving any money from tourism anymore.

“Feeding elephants is a priority but the issue is that there’s not enough forest left to feed them,” she explains.

Image copyright Kerri Tumenne
Image caption Elephants no longer show happy behaviours, such as playing or swinging tails

Ms McCrae, who originally comes from Northern Ireland and is also a co-founder of the sanctuary, has to drive up to three hours a day to find enough grasses and corn stalks to feed the five elephants in her care.

She says local elephant caretakers are forced to do the same.

The country, which normally relies on tourism for a large portion of its economic growth, has been forced to close its borders to all tourists and much of the country is in lockdown.

Happy elephants, Kerri McCrae says, are usually swinging their tails or flapping their ears or even giving themselves dust baths to keep cool. But elephants get depressed when they’re hungry, and none of that happy behaviour would be on display.

“The worst case scenario is that owners will have to chose between themselves and their elephants,” Ms McCrae says. “The people here don’t have much, but they’re doing what it takes to keep the elephants alive for now.”

Major Inputs from BBC news

Coronavirus: Search for hundreds of people after Delhi prayer meeting


Hundreds have been leaving the mosque to be monitored or tested for the virusImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption Hundreds have been leaving the mosque to be monitored or tested for the virus

Officials across India are searching for hundreds of people who attended a religious event in the capital that has set off several Covid-19 clusters.

At least six regions have reported cases that can be directly traced to the days-long congregation at a mosque.

Delhi officials are now clearing the building, where more than 1,000 people have been stranded since the government imposed a lockdown last week.

At least 24 have tested positive so far, the state health minister said.

They are among some 300 people who showed symptoms and have been moved to various hospital to be tested, he told the media. Another 700 have been shifted into quarantine centres, he added.

It is believed that the infections were caused by preachers who attended the event from Indonesia.

State officials have called for action to be taken against mosque officials, but they have denied any wrongdoing.

Local media reports say that Nizamuddin – the locality where the mosque is located – has been cordoned off and more than 35 buses carrying people to hospitals or quarantine centres.

The congregation – part of a 20th Century Islamic movement called Tablighi Jamaat – began at the end of February, but some of the main events were held in early March.

It’s unclear if the event was ticketed or even if the organisers maintained a roster of visitors as people attended the event throughout, with some staying on and others leaving. Even overseas visitors, some of them preachers, travelled to other parts of the country where they stayed in local mosques and met people.

Image copyright Getty Images

So officials have no easy way of finding out how many people attended the event or where they went. But they have already begun to trace and test.

The southern state of Telangana reported on Sunday night that six people who had attended the event died from the virus. The state’s medical officer told the BBC that more than 40 of Telangana’s 71 cases were either directly or indirectly linked to the event.

Indian-administered Kashmir reported its first death from the virus last week – a 65-year-old who had been in Delhi for the congregation. Officials told BBC Urdu that more than 40 of the region’s 48 cases could be traced back to that one patient.

A cluster has even appeared in the distant Andaman and Nicobar Islands, where six of the nine who have tested positive, had returned from the Delhi event.

The southern states of Tami Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have said more than 3,000 people from their states had attended the event, and Tamil Nadu has traced 16 positive patients to it.

States have also asked other people who attended to come forward for testing.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has asked for a police complaint to be registered against the head of the mosque.

However, the event’s organisers have issued a statement, saying they had suspended the event and asked everyone to leave as soon as Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that there would be a day-long national curfew on 22 March.

While many were able to leave, they say, others were stranded because states began to seal their borders the following day, and two days later, India imposed a 21-day lockdown, suspending buses and trains.

The mosque’s premises include dormitories that can house hundreds of people.

The organisers say they informed the local police about all of this and continued to cooperate with medical officers who came to inspect the premises.

The mosque, the statement says, “never violated any provision of law, and always tried to act with compassion and reason towards the visitors who came to Delhi from different states. It did not let them violate the medical guidelines by thronging ISBTs (bus stops) or roaming on streets.”

This is not the first time religious congregations have been blamed for the spread of coronavirus.

Tablighi Jamaat events have also been blamed for spreading cases in Indonesia and Malaysia.

And in South Korea, many positive cases were linked to the Schincheonji church, a secretive religious sect, that has since apologised for its role in the outbreak.

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Media captionCoronavirus: Heartbreaking scenes as India lockdown sparks mass migration

Major Inputs from BBC news

UP man calls Coronavirus helpline and now cleaning drainage

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) spreading drastically across India, Nation is under complete lockdown. several bizarre incidents are emerging which shows how people are taking the situation lightly.

The Uttar Pradesh government has set up an dedicated helpline numbers to help needy people during the 21 days lockdown. The helpline number has been receiving several odd calls even during the critical situations.

A man repeatedly called the coronavirus helpline number and demanded Samosa for him. This incident happened several times. District magistrate Aunjaneya Kumar granted his wish and handed over punishment to him and made into clean drainage. In order to teach lessons to other spam callers he took Twitter and shared the incident and pictures.

In a tweet shared in Hindi, Singh details how the man called in for the samosas. After repeated warnings, the samosas were sent to him but with a ‘little gift’.

The man was ordered to clean a local drain as punishment for the calls he made to the control room.

As reported by Times of India, the Rampur helpline number receives many such calls on a daily basis. A day before someone wanted pizza delivered at his home.

The tweets have received a ton of reactions from people on Twitter.

“Tit for tat!” says a Twitter user. “Well done sir!” says another.

India has imposed a 21-day lockdown till April 14 to combat the spread of novel coronavirus.

Coronavirus: Countries reject Chinese-made equipment


A man in protective gear wheels a stretcher into a hospital in Uden, the NetherlandsImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Netherlands has been among the countries reporting faulty Chinese-made equipment

A number of European governments have rejected Chinese-made equipment designed to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

Thousands of testing kits and medical masks are below standard or defective, according to authorities in Spain, Turkey and the Netherlands.

Europe has reported hundreds of thousands of cases of coronavirus.

More than 10,000 people have died in Italy since the outbreak began.

The virus was first detected in China at the end of 2019. The government implemented strict lockdown measures to bring it under control.

What’s wrong with the equipment?

On Saturday, the Dutch health ministry announced it had recalled 600,000 face masks. The equipment had arrived from a Chinese manufacturer on 21 March, and had already been distributed to front-line medical teams.

Dutch officials said that the masks did not fit and that their filters did not work as intended, even though they had a quality certificate,

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“The rest of the shipment was immediately put on hold and has not been distributed,” a statement read. “Now it has been decided not to use any of this shipment.”

Spain’s government encountered similar problems with testing kits ordered from a Chinese company.

It announced it had bought hundreds of thousands of tests to combat the virus, but revealed in the following days that nearly 60,000 could not accurately determine if a patient had the virus.

The Spanish embassy in China tweeted that the company behind the kits, Shenzhen Bioeasy Biotechnology, did not have an official license from Chinese medical authorities to sell its products.

It clarified that separate material donated by the Chinese government and technology and retail group Alibaba did not include products from Shenzhen Bioeasy.

Turkey also announced that it had found some testing kits ordered from Chinese companies were not sufficiently accurate, although it said that some 350,000 of the tests worked well.

Allegations of defective equipment come after critics warned China could be using the coronavirus outbreak to further its influence.

In a blog post last week, EU chief diplomat Josep Borrell warned that there is “a geo-political component including a struggle for influence through spinning and the ‘politics of generosity’.”

“China is aggressively pushing the message that, unlike the US, it is a responsible and reliable partner,” he wrote. “Armed with facts, we need to defend Europe against its detractors.”

What’s the situation in Europe?

On Monday, Spain reported 812 new deaths in the space of 24 hours – bringing its total death toll to 7,340. It now has more than 85,000 infections – surpassing the number of cases reported in China.

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Media captionSpanish doctor “scared and exhausted” by pandemic

New measures have also come into force in Spain banning all non-essential workers from going to their jobs. The restrictions will be in place for at least two weeks.

Italy remains the worst affected country worldwide. More than 10,000 people have died from the virus there, and it has recorded nearly 100,000 infections. Only the US has more confirmed cases, although the death toll there is far lower.

Major Inputs from BBC news