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Poor response to inter-city trains within Karnataka

The trains will not operate on Sunday due to complete lockdown in the southern state.

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Karnataka Inter City Train

Bengaluru, May 22 : The twin inter-city train service within Karnataka, launched with much fanfare from Bengaluru to Belagavi and Mysuru, had poor response from passengers on the first day, an official said on Friday.

“The tri-weekly special train to Belagavi, which has 1,484 seats, left Bengaluru on the first day of its service at 8 a.m. with 176 passengers, picked up 98 at Tumakuru and 64 more at Davangere en-route,” Bengaluru railway divisional manager A.K. Verma told IANS here.

Similarly, the other special train to Mysuru, which operates six days a week except on Sunday with 1,415 seats, had only 37 passengers from Bengaluru and 26 more boarded at Kengeri and Mandya en-route.

On the return journey in the afternoon, 59 passengers boarded the train at Mysuru to Bengaluru.

“As the service has been launched at a short notice after the railway board approved it two days ago (May 20), probably the people did not have enough time to plan the travel or book tickets online. We are confident that the service will get good response soon,” asserted Verma.

In a sign of normalcy returning soon, the zonal railway resumed the passenger service within Karnataka in response to state Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa’s request to enable citizens travel across the state after being stranded for over 58 days due to the extended lockdown.

“For better response to both trains, ticket counters have been reopened at key railway stations from today (Friday) so that passengers who are not digital can book seats for their journey in advance,” said Verma.

The tri-weekly superfast from Bengaluru operates on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with halts at 10 stations en-route for passengers to alight or board as per the guidelines.

The return train from Belagavi is on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, with halts at 10 stations en-route for passengers to alight or board.

The trains have 14 chair cars and two luggage-cum-brake vans to carry passengers as per the guidelines to maintain physical distancing.

“The special trains to Belagavi and Mysuru are in addition to Shramik (labour) trains since May 3 for ferrying migrants from within state to other states and a Rajdhani special for the public between New Delhi and Bengaluru,” added the official.

The trains will not operate on Sunday due to complete lockdown in the southern state.

Though passenger services across the state and country remained suspended since the lockdown was enforced on March 25 and extended it four times up to May 31 to contain the coronavirus spread, the railways has been operating freight and parcel services since April first week to ensure essential supplies and movement of goods to the people across the country.

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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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