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Pakistan Govt to gradually ease lockdown: Imran Khan

As of Tuesday morning, there were 21,044 COVID-19 cases in Pakistan, with 476 deaths.

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Imran Khan Pakistan PM

Islamabad, May 5 : Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the government had decided to gradually ease the lockdown in the coming days, keeping in view the ground realities, especially the economic situation of the country amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Keeping in view the ground realities, especially the economic situation of the country and the problems of the common man, the government has decided that the lockdown will be gradually eased in the coming days,” a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office quoted Khan as saying on Monday.

He said that the government was trying its best to provide all possible relief to the people in view of the coronavirus situation, adding that despite the difficult circumstances, the government announced an economic package of 1.25 trillion PKR, reports The Express Tribune.

He said that the process of providing 12,000 PKR to 12.5 million deserving families was being ensured on the basis of transparency and merit.

In addition, a special programme had been launched to provide relief to labourers and workers.

“It is very encouraging that people from all walks of life across the country came forward to assist in the efforts and provide relief to the people in the difficult situation created by the pandemic,” Khan added.

As of Tuesday morning, there were 21,044 COVID-19 cases in Pakistan, with 476 deaths.

Cities

Rahul Gandhi concerned about Wayanad floods, urges for help

The IMD has announced a red alert in the districts of Kottayam, Pathanamthitta, Idukki and Wayanad as heavy rains have submerged a few places in these districts.

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Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi, Aug 7 : Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi is concerned about floods in his constituency in Wayanad and urged the party workers to lend a helping hand.

Rahul Gandhi in a statement on Friday said, “Heavy rains in Kerala have resulted in floods and a massive landslide in Munnar in which many have lost their lives. This is a terrible tragedy.”

“I urge all our Congress party workers and leaders to lend a helping hand at this time and do whatever they can to mitigate the suffering of our brothers and sisters who are in need of help.

“I’m particularly concerned about my parliamentary constituency, Wayanad and I’m closely tracking the situation over there,” he added.

Wayanad MP said the yearly flooding and landslides in Kerala are a grim reminder to work harder to protect the environment and create sustainable development models that allows to cope with changing weather patterns and extreme climatic disturbances.

Kerala has witnessed heavy rain followed by a landslide at Rajamalai in Idukki district on Thursday night which has left at least 15 persons dead, including a child, and more than 60 others are reported missing, a police official said on Friday.

The place where the tragedy occurred is nearly 30 km from the popular tourist destination Munnar.

A police official taking part in the rescue operations said 15 bodies had been recovered and nearly 67 people are still missing.

The IMD has announced a red alert in the districts of Kottayam, Pathanamthitta, Idukki and Wayanad as heavy rains have submerged a few places in these districts.

21 people in Wayanad were rescued across a surging river using ropes and nets.

The authorities have set up relief camps in these areas.

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Cities

Uttar Pradesh: 26 persons bitten by snake

Several villages in the area are currently waterlogged due to heavy rains and snakes are crawling out in large numbers.

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Snake Viper Bite

Bahraich (UP), Aug 7 : In the past 10 days, around 26 people have been bitten by snakes in Chilbila village of Bahraich district out of which one died earlier this week.

The person who died has been identified as Munshi Ram. Now, scared villagers are claiming that it is the same snake that has been biting people. The snake scare has gripped the villagers and some of them have even started leaving the village.

“Snakes are also biting the cattle while this particular female serpent was targeting the residents of our village,” said Pappu, a villager.

The locals are also calling snake charmers to catch the snake.

“This is the rainy season and there are a large number of snakes. We cannot catch all of them,” said Sharifa, a snake charmer.

Several villages in the area are currently waterlogged due to heavy rains and snakes are crawling out in large numbers.

The primary health centre, which is well stocked with snake vaccine, has been witnessing a rush of snake-bite victims.

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Cities

Kerala: 15 dead, over 60 missing in Idukki landslide

The landslide occurred after heavy rains over the last few days in the area mostly inhabited by tea estate workers

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Kerala Landslide

Heavy rain followed by a landslide at Rajamalai in Idukki district on Thursday night has left at least 15 persons dead, including a child, and more than 60 others are reported missing, a police official said on Friday.

The latest reports indicate that there were nearly 100 people in the locality, most of whom had returned to the area following the Covid scare. The landslide occurred after heavy rains over the last few days in the area mostly inhabited by tea estate workers.

The place where the tragedy occurred is nearly 30 km from the popular tourist destination Munnar.

A police official taking part in the rescue operations said 15 bodies had been recovered and nearly 67 people were missing.

Incessant rains for the last four days have hampered rescue operations, added the police official.

Meanwhile, the state government has appointed IGP Gopesh Agarwal as special officer to coordinate the rescue and relief operations in the locality.

A 200-member team of Kerala police and other teams from the NDRF, fire brigade, local people and volunteers have reached the spot for rescue work. By the time of filing this report, 16 persons had been rescued.

Meanwhile, a larger tragedy was averted when a bridge connecting the accident site to the main road, which was partially damaged, was quickly made motorable enabling numerous ambulances to take the injured to the hospital.

The women of the locality work in tea estates of the area while most men work as jeep drivers. The authorities got to know of the tragedy after two residents reached a nearby forest station and informed officials late Thursday night.

Deepan, one of the four survivors admitted to a hospital in Munnar said he had no clue about his father and his wife who were with him in the house when the landslide occurred. His mother has, however, been moved to the Kottayam Medical College hospital in a serious condition.

“For the past 10 days, it has been pouring. The landslide occurred around 10.30 pm on Thursday. I do not know about my father, wife, and my brother’s family. There are three rows of houses in the cluster where nearly 80 people live. Do not know what has happened to them. Nearly 30 jeeps were buried in the landslide,” Deepan said.

The Kerala government’s efforts to get an air rescue team to the spot failed due to inclement weather. However, two teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were reportedly on the way to the disaster site.

All communication lines to the area have been snapped and roads to the hilly area are blocked due to uprooting of trees, officials said.

State Power minister MM Mani, who hails from the district, said the landslide had occurred at a place where tea estate workers were staying.

“I will not quote any figure as I do not have sufficient information. The place is at the top of a hill. We are awaiting a response, the local legislator is also going to the spot. All emergency services have been pressed into service,” Mani added.

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