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Six North Eastern states declare lockdown, no bar on essential services

According to the notification, all shops and business establishments, barring pharmacies and shops selling essential commodities, would remain closed during the lockdown.

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Guwahati Road Highway

Guwahati/Agartala/Aizawl, March 23 : Six of the eight northeastern states — Assam, Manipur, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram — have declared lockdown to curb the coronavirus spread.

During the lockdown, banking services, shops and markets dealing with groceries, vegetables, medicine, milk, cooking gas, and petrol pumps would remain open in most of the N-E states.

According to officials, no coronavirus case has been reported in the N-E states, including Sikkim.

In Guwahati, Assam Health and Family Welfare and Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday declared the lockdown. The restrictions would be effective from 6 p.m. on Tuesday and would continue until March 31, he said.

“The freight trains, goods-laden trucks and other vehicles with essentials commodities on way to their destinations in the other N-E states would be allowed to operate to prevent any shortage,” Sarma said.

The Assam government has also suspended inter-state and inter-district passenger transport services.

In Agartala, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb after a cabinet meeting declared the lockdown until March 31. “It will be effective from 2 p.m. on Tuesday. All essential services would remain operational and vehicles associated with the health and emergency services would be allowed to operate,” he said.

Stating that the prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPc were enforced on March 13, he said strict action would be taken if more than 4-5 people assembled anywhere in the state.

In Imphal, the Manipur government declared lockdown, except emergency and essential services till March 31. The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister N. Biren Singh. It also reviewed the measures taken to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.

In Kohima, Nagaland Chief Secretary Temjen Toy issued an order restricting the movement of people and vehicles, except those engaged in essential services, for indefinite period from Monday midnight.

“All government and semi-government offices, shops and businesses, except those providing essential services, have been asked to shut as a preventive measure against Covid-19. All entry points to Nagaland would be sealed, except for movement of essential commodities, medical equipment and supplies, security forces and goods vehicles passing through the state,” the Chief Secretary said.

In Aizawl, the Mizoram government has also announced one-week partial lockdown from Sunday night till March 29.

According to the notification, all shops and business establishments, barring pharmacies and shops selling essential commodities, would remain closed during the lockdown.

Mizoram Chief Secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo said the Lengpui Airport would continue to function as the residents of Mizoram stuck outside the state and flying from other parts of the country would be permitted entry.

In Itanagar, the Arunachal Pradesh government also announced lockdown from Monday evening till March 31. Announcing it, Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar said all essential services would be allowed to function during the period.

“The state government will enforce ‘complete safety restrictions’. No public and private vehicles will be be permitted to ply. However, vehicles to and fro hospitals, airport, helipad, railway stations and vehicles carrying food and essential commodities will be allowed to operate,” he said.

As a preventive step against Covid-19, the Tripura Assembly curtailed its five-day budget session to just two and adjourned sine die on Monday after approving the budget in “guillotine”.

Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb told the Assembly two government doctors were suspended for their negligence to deal with coronavirus. In response to the demand of the CPI(M), Deb said his government would provide 15-day rice to 25 lakh people, comprising 5.86 lakh families belonging to below poverty line (BPL) and the Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY).

“Various special financial support would be provided to the ailing and needy and families till the situations improve,” he said.

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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Patanjali chasing profits, exploiting people’s fear: Madras HC

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Baba Ramdev

Chennai, Aug 6 : Coming down heavily on yoga guru Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved Ltd for “chasing profits by exploiting people’s fear and panic” to sell its immunity booster tablet Coronil, the Madras High Court on Thursday slapped a penalty of Rs 10 lakh on it.

The court also refused to vacate the interim injunction restraining Patanjali from using the name Coronil for its tablet in a trade mark infringement case.

The case was filed by city-based company Arudra Engineers Private Ltd that had registered the trademarks “Coronil-92 B and Coronil-213 SPL” in 1993 and holds rights over them till 2027.

The company sells an anti-corrosion product – a chemical agent that undertakes to sanitise and clean heavy industrial machinery and containment units at factories.

Apart from Patanjali, the other defendant in the case was Divya Yog Mandir Trust that makes the tablet.

The court order came in the petition filed by Patanjali and Divya Yog to vacate the interim injunction against the use of the name Coronil for its tablet.

The court said: “Insofar as costs are concerned, the defendants have repeatedly projected that they are Rs 10,000 crore company. However, they are still chasing further profits by exploiting the fear and panic among the general public by projecting a cure for the coronavirus, when actually their ‘Coronil Tablet’ is not a cure but rather an immunity booster for cough, cold and fever.”

“The defendants must realize that there are organisations which are helping the people in this critical period without seeking recognition and it would only be appropriate that they are made to pay costs to them,” it ruled.

The court ordered Patanjali and Divya Yog to pay jointly Rs 5 lakh each to the Dean, Adyar Cancer Institute, Chennai and to the Dean, Government Yoga and Naturopathy Medical College & Hospital, Chennai.

In both the organisations, treatment are accorded free of cost without any claim to either trademark, trade name, patent or design, but only with service as a motto, the court said.

“Costs to be paid on or before 21.08.2020, and a memo in this regard, to be filed before the Registry, High Court Madras, on or before 25.08.2020,” it ordered.

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Cities

10K count takes Andhra’s covid tally near 2L mark

Deaths were reported from all 13 districts of the state. Anantapur and East Godavari districts reported the highest tally of 10 deaths each followed by Guntur and Chittoor with nine and eight deaths, respectively.

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Coronavirus Scare

Vizianagaram: Andhra Pradesh continued to report in excess of 10,000 Covid cases for the third day in a row. While it did not touch the previous highs in terms of single day Covid count or deaths, the state health officials reported substantially high 10,328 cases and 72 deaths in the last 24 hours ending 9 a.m. Thursday.

The highest single-day count of 10,376 cases was recorded on July 31 while the single largest death count of 77 was reported on Wednesday.

Compared to the 10,128 cases on Wednesday, Andhra Pradesh reported 10,328 cases on Thursday morning. The latest update takes the overall Covid tally stopping short of the 2 lakh mark at 1,96,789 cases.

On Thursday, three districts reported fresh cases in four-digit figures, while the remaining ten districts reported three-digit covid numbers. East Godavari topped the list with 1351 new cases followed by Kurnool with 1285 cases.

Deaths were reported from all 13 districts of the state. Anantapur and East Godavari districts reported the highest tally of 10 deaths each followed by Guntur and Chittoor with nine and eight deaths, respectively.

Three of the districts reported six deaths each while another three districts reported three deaths each, and two districts reported two deaths each.

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