Opposition attacks PM’s candle-lighting call, say it’s ‘symbolism’ to curate a ‘feel-good moment’

Opposition leaders on Friday criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to light candles and lamps for nine minutes on April 5 to demonstrate collective will to fight the coronavirus, saying it is empty “symbolism” and move to curate “a feel-good moment” without announcing concrete economic measures for the country.

Covid-19 lockdown: SC seeks Centre’s response to plea demanding payment of wages to migrant workers

The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Centre to respond to a petition asking the government to pay labourers and migrant workers their wages amid the 21-day lockdown to contain the coronavirus outbreak, Live Law reported.

Covid-19: Tablighi Jamaat members who harassed UP hospital staff to be charged under NSA

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath on Friday ordered invoking the National Security Act against patients belonging to the Tablighi Jamaat who allegedly harassed medical staff while in quarantine in a hospital’s isolation ward in Ghaziabad, NDTV reported.

Steps to fight Covid-19 shouldn’t worsen existing inequalities, says UN on migrant workers’ plight

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Thursday expressed concern over the mass exodus of migrant workers in India after the 21-day countrywide lockdown began to contain the coronavirus. She said she was distressed to see the plight of workers.

Covid-19: Centre says it will assess resumption of flights on ‘case-by-case basis’ after April 15

Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Thursday said that the government had yet to reach a decision on restarting domestic and international flights after the 21-day lockdown to contain the coronavirus ends on April 14.

Coronavirus: NCW expresses concern over rise in domestic violence cases during lockdown

The National Commission for Women on Thursday expressed concern over the increase in cases of domestic violence as millions of Indians stay home amid a countrywide lockdown to flatten the curve of the coronavirus pandemic, The Indian Express reported. The women’s body received 69 cases of domestic abuse in the first phase of the lockdown between March 24 and April 1, as the government took unprecedented steps to restrict the movement of citizens, commission chairperson Rekha Sharma said.

Covid-19: Maharashtra says it stopped Delhi-like Tablighi Jamaat gathering as virus began to spread

The Maharashtra government last month withdrew permission for a Tablighi Jamaat congregation scheduled for March 12 and March 13 as the Covid-19 crisis began to escalate in the state. The event was scheduled around the same time as a similar one in Delhi, where thousands of workers of the outfit, including foreigners, gathered, only to return home with Covid-19 infections.

Asian Development Bank cuts India’s growth forecast to 4% for 2020-’21 amid Covid-19 pandemic

The Asian Development Bank on Friday released its growth forecast for India for the financial year of 2020-’21, saying it is likely to slow down by 4% amid the global economic meltdown triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. Last year, the bank had downgraded its projection for India’s economic growth in the ongoing financial year from 6.5% to 5.1%.

Modi praises India’s discipline during lockdown, asks people to light lamps on Sunday at 9 pm

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday asked Indians to light candles and lamps or use mobile flashlights on their balconies for nine minutes at 9 pm on Sunday to mark their fight against the coronavirus. In a video message, the prime minister praised the unprecedented discipline shown by the countrymen during the nationwide lockdown to contain the pandemic.

Editors Guild ‘deeply perturbed’ by Centre’s move against media, calls SC’s advice ‘gratuitous’

The Editors Guild of India on Thursday said it was “deeply perturbed” by the government blaming the media for the mass exodus of migrant workers from cities amid the coronavirus crisis. On Tuesday, the Centre had urged the Supreme Court to bar media outlets from printing, publishing or telecasting any information about Covid-19 without ascertaining facts with the government. Following this, the top court directed the media to “refer to and publish” the official version about the developments.

Coronavirus: World Bank approves $1 billion emergency financing for India

The World Bank on Thursday approved an emergency financial aid of $1 billion (approximately Rs 7,600 crore) for India to tackle the coronavirus crisis. The pandemic has so far claimed 53 lives and infected over 2,000 others in the country. Globally, the confirmed cases have crossed the 1-million mark.

Covid-19 lockdown: Centre allows exemptions in transit, evacuation of foreigners after quarantine

The government on Thursday allowed transit arrangements for stranded foreigners and also evacuation of those foreigners who arrived in India after February 15. The Ministry of Home Affairs said in a notification that these foreigners can be evacuated after they have finished their quarantine period and have tested Covid-19 negative. It said only those foreigners who are asymptomatic will be allowed to leave India.

Chidambaram attacks UP government for FIR against The Wire editor

Congress leader P Chidambaram on Thursday attacked the Uttar Pradesh government after the state police registered a first information report against an editor of news website The Wire, for allegedly spreading fake news related to Chief Minister Adityanath’s comments about the coronavirus pandemic. Chidambaram called the FIR a “deplorable act”, intended to suppress media freedom.

Jammu and Kashmir: Two civilians killed by suspected militants in Kulgam

Two civilians were shot dead by suspected militants in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Wednesday night. The incident occurred around 11:20 pm and both the civilians were residents of Nadimarg, an unidentified police spokesperson told The Hindu. “A case has been lodged under relevant sections of the law. The investigation is in progress,” the police official added.

Nizamuddin Covid-19 cases: About 9,000 Tablighi Jamaat members, contacts quarantined, says Centre

About 9,000 Tablighi Jamaat members and their primary contacts who attended a religious event held at the Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi last month – that later emerged as an infection hotspot – have been quarantined as of Thursday, the home ministry said.