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Delhi’s clogged Sadar Bazar a recipe for COVID disaster

Delhi recorded 5,891 fresh COVID-19 cases on Friday, the highest single-day spike till date, taking the total caseload to over 3.81 lakh with 47 new fatalities pushing the death count in the national capital to 6,470.

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Sadar Bazar

With Diwali just a fortnight away, a pandemic-hit people desperate to go out and the lockdown stricken businessmen eager to compensate with some brisk sales, Delhi’s Sadar Bazar on Saturday saw madness in motion.

Forget social distancing, the national capital’s wholesale market was clogged with buyers and sellers. With the Delhi government seemingly turning a blind eye, it has become a recipe for disaster in the city which till Friday saw 5000 new Covid-19 cases for 3 consecutive days.

While the Centre may be aggressively campaigning for masking up till the COVID vaccine is here, very few in the vicinity of Sadar Bazar were seen wearing masks. Those who did wear it were found wearing it wrongly, with someone’s mask dangling from the ears or covering just the chin.

Not just buyers who queued up at shops, carts carrying bulk materials found it extremely difficult to make their way through the crowds. It was just like any normal Diwali.

While there were barricades put up by Delhi Police to regulate the crowds which swamp this wholesale market with an estimated 40,000 shops, each year; the sheer number was overwhelming enough for such barricades not to prove a hindrance to Delhiites’ ambition to go shopping and ‘feel normal’.

After the nationwide lockdown in late March owing to the pandemic, the national capital’s business community like anywhere else in the country took a financial hit. Now, with virtually everything open with just mild restrictions and the buyers eager to shed their inhibitions during the festive season, Sadar Bazar has tossed aside all Covid concerns.

While, in view of the festive season, Delhi Police urged all market associations to put some basic rules in place like compulsory wearing of masks, maintaining physical distancing or providing hand sanitizers to each customer, on the ground in Sadar Bazar little or nothing was being followed.

With a fresh spike of 48,268 coronavirus infections and 551 deaths in 24 hours, India’s tally on Saturday rose to 81,37,119. The national capital, too, witnessed a rise in the number of infections with around 5,000 cases being recorded daily for the past three days.

Delhi recorded 5,891 fresh COVID-19 cases on Friday, the highest single-day spike till date, taking the total caseload to over 3.81 lakh with 47 new fatalities pushing the death count in the national capital to 6,470.

But in Sadar Bazar, that seems to be the least of their worries.

Rajendra Sharma, General Secretary, Federation Of Sadar Bazar Traders Association, said: “We want the encroachments to be removed from Sadar Bazar. Many traders have come from outside and settled here (which adds to the crowd). Also vehicular access needs to be curbed till Diwali. We agree that the corona situation is worrying. But efforts have to be made from all sides including the MCD, Traffic, Delhi Police.”

Cities

Delhi records over 2,300 COVID-19 deaths in less than a month: Official data

The city reported 98 deaths on November 19, 118 on November 20, 111 on November 21, 121 each on November 22 and 23, and 109 fatalities on November 24, according to official data.

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Cremation ground Graveyards

New Delhi, Nov 26: The national capital has witnessed 2,364 deaths due to coronavirus since October 28, when the daily rise in infections breached the mark of 5,000 cases for the first time, according to official data.

Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths, 99 more fatalities on Wednesday pushed the city”s total death toll due to the disease to 8,720. It was after five days that Delhi recorded single-day deaths below 100.

The city reported 98 deaths on November 19, 118 on November 20, 111 on November 21, 121 each on November 22 and 23, and 109 fatalities on November 24, according to official data.

While 131 COVID-related deaths were recorded on November 18, the highest till date, Delhi registered its highest single-day spike of 8,593 cases on November 11.

On Thursday, Delhi had recorded 7,546 cases, followed by 6,608 on Friday, 5,879 on Saturday, 6,746 on Sunday, 4,454 on Monday, 6,224 on Tuesday and 5,246 on Wednesday, according to the government data.

The total number of coronavirus cases in Delhi climbed to 5,45,787 on Wednesday, of which 4,98,780 have recovered from the virus, the data shows.

Late hospital admissions leading to COVID-19 cases turning critical, shortage of ICU beds, unfavourable weather and rising pollution are among the factors experts attribute to the spike in COVID-19 deaths in Delhi, health experts have said.

Going by the epidemiological trend, the severity of the disease is more in this phase of the pandemic compared to the last one and several factors, including weather and pollution, are contributing to it, a health ministry official said on Wednesday.

Amid a spurt in the infection tally in the city, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had Wednesday requested experts to audit COVID-19 death cases and suggest measures to reduce fatalities in the national capital.

Health Minister Satyender Jain on Wednesday claimed the national capital reported the “least fatality per million” population amongst all four metro cities in the country.

The National Centre for Disease Control in a report drafted recently had warned that Delhi needs to be prepared for about 15,000 fresh cases of COVID-19 per day taking into account the upcoming winter season-related respiratory problems, large influx of patients from outside and festive gatherings.

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Disaster

Cyclone Nivar to weaken further into cyclonic storm before noon today

Puducherry recorded rainfall measuring 237mm between 8.30am Wednesday and 2.30am Thursday. During the same time, Cuddalore recorded 246mm and Chennai 83mm.

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Bhubaneswar Cyclone Fani

Cyclone Nivar crossed the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coast around the union territory as a severe cyclonic storm between 11.30pm Wednesday and 2.3 am Thursday with a wind speed of 120-130kmph, the India Meterological Department (IMD) said.

Nivar’s intensity has weakened into a severe cyclonic storm with a wind speed of 110-120kmph. It will further weaken into a cyclonic storm before noon Thursday, according to the weather office.

Also Read: Cyclone Nivar makes landfall, rain hits Tamil Nadu

Puducherry recorded rainfall measuring 237mm between 8.30am Wednesday and 2.30am Thursday. During the same time, Cuddalore recorded 246mm and Chennai 83mm.

The Tamil Nadu disaster management authority sounded a flood warning along the Arani river in Tiruvallur district.

The Greater Chennai Corporation said that civic workers were working to clear several uprooted trees and electric poles and inundated localities in the city as well as coastal and delta districts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

Officials are awaiting reports on the extent of damage from districts.

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Disaster

Cyclone Nivar crosses Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, felling trees, disrupting power supply

IMD said, “Under its influence rainfall at most/many places with heavy to very heavy fall at a few places with isolated extremely heavy falls are likely to occur over Ranipet, Tiruvannamalai, Tirupattur, Vellore districts of Tamil Nadu and Chittoor, Kurnool, Prakasam and Cuddappa districts of Andhra Pradesh.

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Nivar Cyclone Chennai Rain

Chennai/Puducherry: The very severe cyclonic storm Nivar, crossed the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coast late night and early Thursday morning with an estimated wind speed of 120-130 kmph, said the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

On its way the cyclone uprooted several trees and power lines in Tamil Nadu’s Cuddalore, Marakkanam and in Puducherry.

Power supply in several areas was disrupted. The concerned administration was removing the fallen trees.

In Puducherry also the power supply was disrupted.

Puducherry Chief Minister V.Narayanasamy told a news channel that power supply will be restored in a phased manner on Thursday itself.

He said, a lot of trees have fallen due to the cyclone and rain in continuing.

Narayanasamy said low lying areas were inundated and work was on to drain the water. Fallen trees were being removed. “Power supply was disrupted and it will be soon restored in a phased manner in 12 hours”, he said.

As regards the cyclone damage to lives and property, Narayanasamy said the assessment will be made and by this afternoon, an estimate of damage will be known.

He said 80 relief camps have been set up in Puducherry. Camps have also been set up in Karaikal.

Narayanasamy said, “By Gods grace people of Puducherry escaped the fury of Nivar.”

He also inspected the cyclone damaged areas and urged the people to stay indoors and fishermen not to venture into the seas.

In Tamil Nadu’s Villupuram district, police said the fallen trees have been removed to ease the flow of traffic.

Similarly, the officials of power utility were also on the job to restore power supply wherever it got disrupted due to the cyclone.

At Marakkanam near Puducherry, several power poles fell down and the fishermen community requested the Tamil Nadu government to restore the power lines at the earliest.

According to the weather department the cyclone lays centered over coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry about 25km north of Puducherry with wind blowing at a speed of 90-100 kmph gusting to 110 kmph.

In the suburbs of Tamil Nadu capital Chennai, water got logged due to rains affecting the residents as well as traffic flow.

Nivar will move northwest wards and weaken further into a cyclonic storm during the next three hours, the IMD said.

The cyclone began its landfall on Wednesday night about 10.30 p.m. after moving at a speed of 16 kmph for six hours.

In an early morning tweet, Puducherry’s Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi said: “Good #MorningNutrition. Puducherry has faced the Cyclone, collectively and resolutely. Making us a stronger and a more experienced team.”

Even after landfall, the cyclone was likely to maintain its intensity for about six hours and weaken gradually.

The sea along the coast was very rough with huge waves were hitting the shores.

IMD said, “Under its influence rainfall at most/many places with heavy to very heavy fall at a few places with isolated extremely heavy falls are likely to occur over Ranipet, Tiruvannamalai, Tirupattur, Vellore districts of Tamil Nadu and Chittoor, Kurnool, Prakasam and Cuddappa districts of Andhra Pradesh.

Gale wind speed reaching 65-75 kmph gusting to 85 kmph very likely to prevail over interior districts (Ranipet, Tiruvannamalai, Tirupattur, Vellore) of Tamil Nadu and Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh in the early morning to forenoon, the weather department said.

The Puducherry government too has announced Thursday as a public holiday.

Twenty five teams from National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed on the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh.

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