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Delhi: Nearly 46 % turnout in MCD bypolls billed as litmus test

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Braving scorching sun, voters queued up since early morning in the wards falling under three corporations – SDMC (7), NDMC (4) and EDMC (2).

Nearly 46 per cent voters exercised their franchise in the high-stake MCD bypolls for 13 wards Sunday, being billed as a litmus test for popularity of the AAP government even as BJP and Congress put a stiff fight in Delhi.

Braving scorching sun, voters queued up since early morning in the wards falling under three corporations – SDMC (7), NDMC (4) and EDMC (2).

“45.9 per cent of the 6,68,870 voters exercised their franchise in the bypolls which were held peacefully,” an election official said.

BJP and Congress both exuded confidence of an impressive performance, while AAP hoped to replicate its Assembly polls magic in its maiden outing at the civic hustings.

Delhi BJP President Satish Upadhyay claimed that “based on grass-roots feed back, BJP is likely to be the top performer in Sunday’s civic by-polls.”

Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken said “the enthusiastic manner in which the people of Delhi came out to vote clearly showed that they were unhappy with the AAP government and the BJP-ruled MCD.”

He said the results of these bypolls would provide a “big surprise” as the Congress party would be making “huge gains” in it.

Convener of Delhi AAP Dilip Pandey said that the party was “very optimistic and hopeful” that the “hard work” of its volunteers will yield “good results”.

He, however, did not agree with suggestions that the results of the by-polls will be a test of popularity of the AAP government, saying it was a “local” affair.

BJP alleged that some state election staff “favoured” the ruling AAP leaders.

Police said no untoward incident was reported, except a commotion reported outside a polling station in Ballimaran, which was controlled.

“One EVM in Ballimaran ward did not function in the beginning of polling, but by 8:30 am it was replaced,” Delhi State Election Commissioner Rakesh Mehta said.

“People continued to queue up at Bhati ward even till 6 pm as the authorities allowed people to vote who had entered the polling stations till 5 pm,” a Delhi State Election Commission official said.

Counting of votes will be held on May 17. –

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Two Delhi Police personnel succumb to Covid-19; toll 3

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Corona Delhi

New Delhi, May 31 : Two Assistant Sub-Inspectors (ASIs) of the Delhi Police have succumbed to Covid-19, taking the toll in the force to three, according to officials, here on Sunday.

While Shesh Mani Pandey, an ex-army man, was deployed as fingerprint expert in the Delhi Police’s Crime Branch, Vikram was posted at the Sultan Puri police station.

Pandey tested Covid-19 positive on May 26 at the Lady Hardinge Hospital as he complained of fever and cough, the officials said. He was admitted to Army Base Hospital in the Delhi Cantonment area.

He is survived by wife and three children. His elder son and daughter are married and settled in Madhya Pradesh, while the youngest son, a class 12th student, is staying with mother in Naraina village.

Assistant Sub-Inspector Vikram, on highway patrolling duty since May 1, was admitted to the Army Base Hospital on May 26 with breathing problems. He tested Covid-19 positive the same day. He succumbed to Covid-19 around 11.30 a.m on Sunday.

He is also survived by wife and three children.

Delhi Commissioner of Police S.N. Shrivastava paid homage to the two members of the Delhi Police family who made the greatest sacrifice in the fight against Covid-19.

Shrivastava also interacted with all station house officers and briefed them about the Covid-19 preventive steps and facilities, like isolation, testing centres, treatment support, alternate accommodation, and reserved beds in hospitals for police personnel.

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97 new cases in Gurugram as night curfew imposed

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Coronavirus Isolation ward

Gurugram, May 31 : Gurugram continued to bear the brunt of coronavirus on Sunday as 97 fresh cases emerged in the city.

The number of cases are continuously increasing each day. The total number of cases has now jumped to 774 including 487 active cases. In the last 6 days alone, 490 cases appeared in the city, Gurugram Civil Surgeon Dr J.S. Punia said.

Meanwhile, District Magistrate Amit Khatri has imposed night curfew in Gurugram district between 9 pm to 5 am. The prohibitory order issued after the guidelines by the Ministry of Home Affairs for lockdown 5.0. The night curfew will remain in force till June 30.

“In case of violation, the offenders will be booked under IPC sections of 188, 269 and 270,” Khatri said.

In another development, Ashok Sangwan, divisional commissioner of Gurugram range, held a meeting with representatives of religious places, restaurant and hotels in the district.

The religious representatives pointed out that as devotees assemble in places like temples, mosques and gurudwaras, there are higher chances of spread. Hence the administration must patiently analyse the situation before opening up.

The representatives of hotels and restaurants have different opinions. They advocated opening their facilities as they are facing hefty losses. They also said that every hotel and restaurant will follow strict guidelines of social distancing, hygiene and sanitation.

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Mumbai cases cross 51K, Maha Covid death toll 2,286

The state’s containment zones decreased from 3,169 to 3,157 on Sunday and 18,490 health teams have carried out a survey of a population of around 70.1 lakhs in the state.

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Coronavirus outbreak

Mumbai, May 31 : The Mumbai region Covid-19 cases shot above the 51,000-mark on Sunday even as the state death toll reached 2,286, with 89 fatalities – down by 27 from the highest 116 deaths recorded on May 29 – health officials said.

Sunday’s toll includes a whopping 70 deaths in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region alone – the worst-hit in the country, besides 2,487 new positive cases recorded in the state.

This comes to roughly one death every 16 minutes, and an average 104 new cases notched every hour, in the state.

Maharashtra has been recording 75-plus fatalities and new patients over 2,000 daily for the past six consecutive days, with the last highest figure of 3,041 infections on May 24.

With 89 fatalities, the state death toll has touched 2,286 while the total number of Coronavirus patients increased from Saturday’s 65,168 to 67,655 on Sunday.

The health department said of the total number of cases declared till date, 36,031 were active, an increase of 1,150 over Saturday’s 34,881.

The state has notched a recovery rate of 43.35 per cent and a mortality (death) rate of 3.37 per cent, with the patient doubling time improving to 17.5 days over last week’s 11.3 days, against the national average of 15.7 days.

Of the total 89 fatalities on Sunday, 52 were recorded in Mumbai alone, taking the city deaths up from Saturday’s 1,227 to 1,279 now, while the number of Covid-19 positive patients here shot up by 1,244 cases to touch 39,686 now.

Besides Mumbai’s 52 deaths, there were 18 fatalities in Thane (Navi Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan-Dombivali), 9 in Pune, 6 in Nashik (Malegaon), 2 Solapur, and one each in Osmanabad and Yavatmal.

The victims comprised 46 men and 43 women, and nearly 63 per cent of them suffered from other serious ailments such as diabetes, hypertension, heart problems and asthma.

On the positive side, a total of 1,248 fully cured patients returned home on Sunday, taking the number of those discharged from 28,081 to 29,329.

Maharashtra announced a gradual easing of the lockdown from June 1 under #MissionBeginAgain, with specified activities permitted in phases, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said in an address to the state on Sunday.

Spelling out cheers for Bollywood, film shootings of all types have been permitted with a set of guidelines, while doorstep delivery of newspapers will also start shortly.

The MMR continued to cause grave concerns with 1,548 Covid-19 deaths and positive cases shooting past the 50K mark to touch 51,397.

Though trailing a distant second after Mumbai, Pune Division fatalities touched 415, besides 9,339 patients.

The next major area of concern is Nashik Division with 163 deaths and 2,046 positive cases, followed by Aurangabad Division with 66 fatalities and 1,838 cases, and finally Akola Division with 48 deaths and 1,010 cases.

There’s Latur Division with 10 deaths and 356 cases, Kolhapur Division with 10 deaths and 866 patients, and finally Nagpur Division with 11 deaths and 744 cases.

Meanwhile, the number of people sent to home-quarantine increased from Saturday’s 551,660 to 558,100 on Sunday, and those in institutional quarantine decreased by 940 to 34,480.

In yet another relieving news, there are as many as 72,704 beds available for quarantine in the state.

The state’s containment zones decreased from 3,169 to 3,157 on Sunday and 18,490 health teams have carried out a survey of a population of around 70.1 lakhs in the state.

(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at [email protected])

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