QBullet: Considerable Easing Next Week; Rlys Readies Movement Plan

Find the top headlines of the day here. 

Published
India
6 min read
Image for representation.
i

1. Considerable Easing Next Week, Says Govt

Image for representation.
Image for representation.
(Photo: AP/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

Even as it indicated that restrictions will be eased in many districts, after 3 May, when the extended national lockdown is scheduled to end, the Union government, on Wednesday, issued guidelines to enable the return of migrants to their home states by buses – a move welcomed by many states.

Both suggest that the Centre is now looking at relaxing the lockdown, in a phased manner.

In a tweet late on Wednesday night, the ministry of home affairs (MHA) said, “New guidelines to fight COVID-19 will come into effect from 4 May, which shall give considerable relaxations to many districts. Details regarding this shall be communicated in the days to come.”

(Source: Hindustan Times)

2. Railways Readies Movement Plan, Some States Push for Special Trains

Image for representation.
Image for representation.
(Photo: Accessed by The Quint)

While the Centre has allowed movement of migrant workers in buses, several states have demanded special trains, underlining the sheer numbers of those stranded. According to sources, the Ministry of Railways has also drafted a plan to operate 400 special trains per day, which can be scaled up to 1,000, with a detailed protocol.

While there has been no indication that passenger train services will resume before 3 May, the Railways carried out an internal exercise and communicated the plan to top levels in the government.

According to the plan, each non-AC train will carry 1,000 people per trip – about half the usual number – to ensure adequate social distancing.

(Source: The Indian Express)

3. Uddhav Thackeray Dials PM Modi for Help to Get Into Upper House

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and  Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray.
(Photo altered by The Quint)

More than a fortnight after the Cabinet urged him to nominate chief minister Uddhav Thackeray to the legislative council, governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari will seek the opinion of attorney general KK Venugopal on the matter.

Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday spoke to PM Modi over the delay in his appointment to the upper house by Koshyari. An NCP minister said Thackeray knocked at the doors of Modi and sought his cooperation in resolving the crisis, bringing to his notice that if no decision was taken then he would have to quit office.

“As there was no response from Koshyari, Thackeray dialled the PM,” he said. The NCP minister said the cabinet first took the decision to nominate Thackeray from the governor’s quota on 9 April and reiterated it on Tuesday.

(Source: The Times of India)

4. Haryana Tightens Border Curbs, Delhi Supplies Hit

Image for representation.
Image for representation.
(Photo: ANI)

Faridabad deployed close to 5,000 police personnel to seal its five borders with Delhi on Wednesday, putting in place an indiscriminate ban on anyone coming from the national Capital in what led to a significant dip in the supply of fresh produce and hitting the movement of people involved in essential services.

The ban is meant to stay till the weekend, according to the order issued by Faridabad’s deputy commission Yashpal Yadav late on Tuesday night, and no person – including doctors, nurses and banking staff, will be allowed to enter Faridabad starting 12pm on Wednesday. The sealing is in response to COVID-19 infection that officials say were contracted by patients in Delhi.

According to Azadpur market traders, the volume of arrivals in the market on Wednesday dropped by a third of the average daily arrivals over the past week.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

5. Punjab Extends Curfew by 2 Weeks, Joins Bengal in Lifting Some Curbs

Image for representation.
Image for representation.
(Photo: Arjun Sharma)

Setting a possible post-3 May template, Punjab on Wednesday became the first state to announce a two-week extension of lockdown (till 17 May), but said restrictions will be eased for four hours daily, from 7 am to 11 am, in non-containment zones with effect from Thursday. It also decided to allow the opening of shops and industries in these areas.

Similarly, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said experts and doctors are of the opinion that the restrictions should continue till May-end, but announced some relaxations in non-containment zones from 4 May – including the movement of private taxis and buses in green zones, within the district, with a limited number of passengers.

(Source: The Indian Express)

6. Samples Pending for Tests in City Up 7 Times in 1 Month

Blood sample tube positive with COVID-19
Blood sample tube positive with COVID-19
(Photo: istock)

The numbers of swab samples pending for tests in Delhi has gone up seven times over the last one month – from 470 on 1 April to 3,295 as on 29 April.

Officials say this delay is causing serious problems in identifying positive cases, tracing their contacts and even in deciding whether a patient has recovered and he or she can be allowed to go home or not.

Delhi has 20 labs – 8 government-run and 12 private labs – that are approved for COVID-19 testing, which is among the highest for any city in the country.

(Source: The Times of India)

7. Nations That Mandate TB Vaccine May Have Lower COVID Death Rates

Image for representation.
Image for representation.
(Photo: iStock)

Countries that mandate the Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine for newborns to prevent tuberculosis, including India, Peru, Portugal and Saudi Arabia, have fared 3.4 times better on the COVID-19 fatality rate (CFR) than nations that haven’t made the vaccine obligatory, like Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Ecuador, though the last two still appear to be benefitting from their past use of the vaccine.

That’s the finding of an HT analysis of the current fatality rate (CFR) in the eight nations that had between 20,000 and 50,000 COVID-19 cases each on Wednesday morning.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

8. Warning Signs Emerge in Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar

Image for representational purposes.
Image for representational purposes.
(Photo: PTI)

While Maharashtra and Gujarat have been attracting attention for the rapid rise in cases of novel coronavirus infection, states in the east have, for the first time now, started to show signs that they could emerge as potential danger zones as well.

The latest analysis of computer modelling results by scientists of the Chennai-based Institute of Mathematical Sciences shows that though West Bengal, Bihar, and Jharkhand still had a combined caseload of less than 1,200 on 29 April, these three states had the highest rate of growth – measured by their reproduction numbers – in the country in the last few days. The reproduction number refers to the number of persons who are infected on average by an already infected person.

(Source; The Indian Express)

9. UGC Issues New Calendar; New Session to Begin From 1 Aug

UGC.
UGC.
(Photo Courtesy: UGC)

The new academic session will begin in universities from 1 September and from 1 August for those already enrolled, the UGC has said in its guidelines on exams and academic calendar in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pending university exams are to be conducted in July.

Admissions for the 2020-21 session will be conducted between 1 and 31 August, according to the norms issued on Wednesday. It has also been recommended that varsities may adopt alternative and simplified modes and methods of exams to complete the process fast like reducing the time from 3 hours to 2 hours and offering both online and offline exams.

(Source: The Times of India)

Liked this story? We'll send you more. Subscribe to The Quint's newsletter and get selected stories delivered to your inbox every day. Click to get started.

The Quint is available on Telegram & WhatsApp too, click to join.

Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!