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Police enforces complete lockdown in Delhi’s Okhla

A grocery shop owner, Mehmood, was heard telling customers that shop will remain open, and milk and other items will be available.

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New Delhi, March 25 : Accompanied by paramilitary forces, the Delhi Police marched in the bylanes of Delhi’s Jamia Nagar in the morning enforcing a complete lockdown in the area.

The police officials were seen assuring the residents that there was no need to panic and stocking items as the supply was going to be regular.

A policeman asked some youths standing on the roadside to leave. He said, “This is for your safety so stay inside your homes.”

A grocery shop owner, Mehmood, was heard telling customers that shop will remain open, and milk and other items will be available.

While supplies in the area remained as normal, the grocery shops were open and vegetable hawkers, wearing masks and gloves, were doing the rounds. The customers were being frequently told to maintain distance by the security people. They were told to enter the shop or stand near the vendor only after the earlier buyer had left so as to avoid crowding.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced complete lockdown for 21 days and allocated Rs 15,000 crore to strengthen healthcare infrastructure to fight coronavirus in India.

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Now, face masks made compulsory in Mumbai

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Mumbai, April 8 (IANS) In a first for the country, face masks have been made compulsory for all Mumbai citizens wanting to move around in the city, in any public places for whatever reasons, according to a BMC notification here on Wednesday.

In a decree, BMC Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi said the measure was necessitated as studies have revealed that wearing face masks can substantially reduce the spread of coronavirus from and to persons coming in contact with each other, besides other mandatory social distancing measures already implemented.

He has ordered that any persons moving around in public places like streets, hospitals, offices, markets, etc, for whatever reasons must wear a face mask.

This would also be applicable to all people moving around in their official or personal vehicles at any site, office or workplace, besides attending any gatherings or meetings at workplaces.

The masks can be the regular 3-layer masks or cloth masks, either available with pharmacies or home-made which can be washed and reused after disinfecting them, Pardeshi said.

The civic chief’s strict orders — with punitive clauses — came as Mumbai continued to soar highest in the country in terms of maximum Covid-19 deaths (40) and positive cases (686) till today.


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UP will now seal hotspots in districts till April 15

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Lucknow, April 8 (IANS) The Yogi Adityanath government has decided to ‘firmly implement’ the lockdown and ‘completely seal’ the hotspots in 15 districts of Uttar Pradesh that have emerged as Corona hotspots.

The hotspots will remain sealed till April 15 during which intensive sanitization work will be undertaken.

The districts that have hotspots include Lucknow, Noida, Ghaziabad, Sitapur, Kanpur, Agra, Ferozabad, Bareilly, Meerut, Shamli, Saharanpur, Bulandshahr, Varanasi, Maharajganj and Basti.

Briefing reporters, additional chief secretary home Avanish Awasthi said that in the identified districts there are multiple hotspots.

In Agra, identified hotspots are 22, Ghaziabad (13), Gautam Buddha Nagar and Kanpur (12 each), Varanasi (4), Shamli (3), Meerut (7), Bulandshahr, Basti and Ferozabad (3 each), Bareilly (1), Sitapur (1), Saharanpur and Maharajganj (4 each) and 12 in Lucknow.

Keeping in mind the multiple hotspots, in districts like Agra, Lucknow, Ghaziabad, Gautam Buddha Nagar and Kanpur, a large part of the districts will be sealed.

Twelve Corona hotspots identified in the affected districts had already been sealed earlier. These include four localities of Varanasi and Meerut and three in Lucknow.

The additional chief secretary, home, said that vehicular movement will be completely banned in the sealed areas. Journalists and photo journalists will also not be allowed in these areas.

All grocery and vegetables shops, petrol pumps, banks and ATMs will remain closed in the hotspot areas.

The government will ensure doorstep delivery of all essential commodities for the residents and no one will be allowed to step out of their house. In some areas, resident will not be allowed to move on their terraces.

He said that chief minister Yogi Adityanath had ordered that the lockdown, henceforth, is to be ‘firmly implemented’ across the state, particularly in the 15 districts.

Awasthi said that wearing masks has been made compulsory and action could be taken against those violating the decision.

Earlier, the chief secretary had said that all 15 districts would be completely sealed.

A high-level meeting of top police and civil officials was immediately convened in which it was decided to first seal the hotspots and strictly implement the lockdown.

This was apparently done to prevent panic among people because after reports that the lockdown could be extended, large scale panic buying was seen across the state. Crowds gathered at banks and grocery shops and the police had a tough time controlling the crowd and ensuring social distancing.

Of the 37 districts affected by Corona virus, these 15 districts have reported the maximum number of cases.

Awasthi said that these restrictions on movement will check the virus load in the affected districts.

He appealed to the people not to panic because all essentials would be made available to them through the helpline.

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Mizoram, 5th state in NE to get COVID-19 testing lab

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Aizawl, April 8 (IANS) After Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura, another Northeastern state, Mizoram have also set up a COVID-19 sample testing laboratory at the Zoram Medical College and Hospital in Aizawl, officials said here on Wednesday.

Mizoram Health and Family Welfare Department officials said that the Health Minister R. Lalthangliana announced that the newly installed COVID-19 testing laboratory has started functioning from Tuesday. And, the first ones to be tested were the 14-member team of doctors, nurses and healthcare workers looking after the lone COVID-19 patient in the state.

The Health Minister said that the lone COVID-19 patient was being given the best care possible and was showing good progress. He also said that all other tests taken from Mizoram have turned out to be negative.

Lalthangliana also said that from now onwards, swab samples of suspected coronavirus patient need not be sent to Silchar Medical College in neighbouring southern Assam for testing anymore.

“The new test Lab in Mizoram had already procured 1,000 testing kits from Dibrugarh Medical College (in Assam). With new positive cases being identified recently in neighbouring states of Assam and Tripura, the Mizoram government has also stepped up its vigil along the state’s borders,” the Minister said.

According to the experts and health officials, the northeast region has 10 COVID-19 testing centres — six in Assam, one in Meghalaya, one in Tripura and two in Manipur, including one of the Indian Council of Medical Research’s(ICMR’s) Regional Medical Research Centre at Lahowal in Dibrugarh district.

Health officials in Aizawl said that the 50-year-old Mizo man, who had tested positive last month after he returned from the Netherlands, was still in the Intensive Care Unit of the Zoram Medical College and Hospital in Aizawl.

“His fever was moderately controlled and his condition was stable. The gentleman’s wife and two children swab samples had earlier tested negative and are staying at home,” the official said refusing to disclose their identity of the patient.

The Mizoram Police in a statement said that following the recently held Muslim congregation of Tablighi Jaamat Markaz at Nizamuddin in New Delhi, the police have been on high alert in the state and immediately investigating whether there were any attendees from the state.

“After careful tracing work, there seems to be no evidence of any Muslims attending the conference from Mizoram till now. At the same time, alongwith the Village Level Task Forces, utmost effort is being made to screen and ensure that no person infected with Covid-19 enters Mizoram,” the statement said.

According to the official release, the Mizoram police are also helping the Assam and Tripura Police to trace out any person who might have attended the Muslim Conference from these two states.


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