Coronavirus Outbreak Highlights: Telangana govt to cut salaries of employees due to COVID-19 crisis; fees of CM, state cabinet, MLAs to be reduced by 75%

FP Staff

Coronavirus Outbreak LATEST Updates: Telangana chief minister KC Rao said, "There will be a 75 percent cut on the salaries of the chief minister, state cabinet, MLCs, MLAs, state corporation chairpersons, and local bodies representatives in view of the financial state of Telangana, due to COVID-19 pandemic."

"There will be 60 percent salary cut for IAS, IPS, IFS and other such central services officers. For all other categories of employees, there will be a 50 percent salary cut. For Class-IV, outsourcing & contract employees, there will be a 10 percent salary cut," he added.

Delhi government is likely to ask teh police to register an FIR against Maulana of Markaz, Nizamuddin, ANI quoted a statement as saying.

Around 300-400 people had attended a religious gathering at Markaz and 163 people from Nizamuddin, likely to be infected with COVID-19, have been admitted to Lok Nayak Hospital, Delhi.

The Karnataka government has asked people under home quarantine to send 14 selfies everyday to the state government. India Today reported that the selfie has to be send a selfie one every hour, from 7 am to 9 pm.

The Reliance Industries on Monday announced a donation of Rs 500 crore to the PM-CARES fund for those affected by the lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus.Additionally, Rs 5 crores each were also donated to the Maharashtra and Gujarat chief ministers' funds.

A press release also said that 50 lakh free meals will be distributed to the underprivileged section across the country in the next 10 days.

Noida district magistrate BN Singh was removed from his post on Friday and Suhas Alwai was appointed to the post, reports said, adding that a departmental inquiry has been ordered against them.

India Today reported that Singh had written to Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath asking to be transferred amid the spread of coronavirus.

Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh on Friday ordered the sealing of state borders and extended the curfew in the state till 14 April. He also assured insurance for state police personnel and sanitisation workers engaged in efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus.

West Bengal chief minister Mamta Banerjee on Friday said that all 22 districts in the state will have at least one dedicated coronavirus nodal hospital.

She also said that every block in every district to have quarantine centres on "war footing".

"Insurance coverage has been increased from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh for all those who are helping in this health crisis, including staff at private/government/transportation centres such as doctors/nurses/police/courier services," she added.

An 80-year-old person who tested positive for coronavirus passed away on Friday at a private hospital in Mumbai, ANI reported. Total number of positive cases is 216 in the state, of which 39 people have been discharged. 10 people have died due to COVID-19 till now in Maharashtra.

Five more COVID-19 cases reported in Karnataka taking positive cases in the state to 88. Of the five, one is a close contact of an earlier confirmed patient and four others are workers of a pharmaceutical company in Mysuru, from where a person had tested positive:Karnataka Health Department

Bareilly District Magistrate has clarified that some employees took an overzealous step due to ignorance. Required action has been taken against those employees: Lav Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Union Health Ministry on viral video of disinfectant being sprayed on migrant workers.

When asked whether India had entered the third stage of the coronavirus pandemic, which is community transmission, Union health ministry joint secretary Lav Aggarwal said that the word 'community' could be used in a government document but in a "particular context".

"It is not like that we are in that stage. We presently have local transmissions. Maximum patients in the country have travel history and other cases had their contact history," he said. "We should avoid the words 'community transmission'."

He also said that if the community transmission stage is reached, the Health Ministry will admit it but country is not there yet.

Migrant labourers returning to their homes in Uttar Pradesh were forced by the administration in Bareilly to take an open bath in groups with sanitiser solution before they were allowed entry.

Bareilly district magistrate Nitish Kumar said on Monday he will look into allegations and ordered action against officials who forced migrants to take bath in the open.

"This video has been investigated, the affected people are being treated under the direction of the CMO. The team of Bareilly Municipal Corporation and Fire Brigade were instructed to sanitize the buses, but they did so due to hyperactivity. Instructions have been given to take action against the concerned," Kumar tweeted.

Poll strategist Prashant Kishor, once a key aide of Nitish Kumar and now a vocal critic, demanded the resignation of the Bihar chief minister on Monday, hitting out at the "heart-rending" treatment being meted out to people arriving in the state from outside.

"Another frightening picture of the government's efforts to save people from the corona infection. This arrangement of Nitish Kumar for social distancing and quarantine of the poor people reaching Bihar from many parts of the country after facing heavy difficulties is heart-rending. Nitish must quit," Kishor said in a tweet.

Congress MP from Kerala's Kasaragod, Rajmohan Unnithan moved the Supreme Court on Monday seeking directions to the Karnataka government to immediately open the Karnataka-Kerala border to allow movement of ambulances, other emergency vehicles and passage of essential and non-essential items to Kerala.

The MP also sought direction for the Karnataka government to register a complaint and constitute a Supreme Court-monitored SIT probe to inquire against the concerned authorities "whose action led to the death of a woman who was denied entry into Karnataka for an urgent medical treatment".

An 80-year-old woman died after the ambulance carrying her was blocked by the Karnataka police on the Kasargod- Thalappady border.

Four more people tested positive for COVID-19 in Bihar's Bhagalpur on Sunday, taking the number of coronavirus cases in the state to 15, an official said.

These four samples were tested at the IGIMS Hospital, run by the state government, where testing facilities became functional recently.

"We had received a total of 16 samples from the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College at Bhagalpur of which four tested positive," Head of the Microbiology department at IGIMS S K Shahi said.

Total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in India rose to 1,071, including 942 active cases. Meanwhile, AIIMS Delhi will be converting its Apex Trauma Centre into a COVID-19 hospital.

With suicide cases being reported from various parts of the state after liquor sales were stopped in Kerala following the lockdown, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has directed the Excise Department to provide liquor to those with a prescription from a doctor.

The move comes after many reportedly showed acute withdrawal symptoms and suicide cases were reported in the state.

On Saturday, in Kodungaloor in Thrissur district, a youth committed suicide by jumping into the river after suffering from withdrawal symptoms.

Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on Monday said he was 'surprised' at reports suggestive of an extension in the 21-day nationwide lockdown period. The top bureaucrat dismissed the speculation, saying that there were no such plans to do the same.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra has gone up to 215 with 12 more people testing positive for coronavirus, a health official said on Sunday.

Out of the 12 new patients, five have been reported from Pune, three from Mumbai, two from Nagpur and one each from Kolhapur and Nashik, Maharashtra Health Department.

The total number of novel coronavirus cases in India on Sunday crossed the 1,000 mark even as the country continued to be under lockdown. The number of deaths rose to 27, with two persons who had died in Maharashtra on Saturday testing positive for the disease.

According to the Union health ministry, Maharashtra has the biggest share of cases (186) while Kerala has 182.

A group of Union ministers held a comprehensive review meeting at defence minister Rajnath Singh's residence where they discussed various issues, including treatment of affected people and supplies of petroleum products and essential commodities across the country.

Earlier in the day, the Centre directed states and Union Territories to seal all state and district borders in order to stop the exodus of migrant workers across the country. The Centre also asked the states to make adequate arrangements for providing food and shelter to the workers.

Meanwhile, the Centre has suspended two Delhi government officers, and has issued show cause notices to two others for dereliction of duty during the coronavirus outbreak, PTI reported. The two officers who have been suspended are Additional Chief Secy (Transport), Principal Secy (Finance). The two officers who have been issued a show cause notice are Additional Chief Secy (Home), SDM Seelampur.

Cases in India cross 1,000 mark

In an update posted at 7.30 pm, the Union health ministry said the number of COVID-19 cases in the country had risen to 1,024, including 48 foreign nationals and 96 people who have been cured or discharged. The death count reached 27, said the ministry.

Meanwhile, the toll in Maharashtra reached eight, with the test reports of two persons, who died in Mumbai and Buldhana district on Saturday, coming out positive. A 40-year old woman who was admitted to a hospital in Mumbai with complaints of respiratory distress had died on Saturday and her test results came back positive on Sunday, PTI quoted officials as saying. The woman also suffered from hypertension, they said. In Buldhana, a 45-year-old man died at a government hospital on Saturday. His test reports, which were received on Sunday, confirmed that he was coronavirus positive, Buldhana Collector Suman Chandra told PTI, adding that the deceased also suffered from diabetes.

The total number of cases in the state rose to 203, with 22 new cases reported on Sunday, of which the highest number of 10 are from Mumbai, an official from the state health department told PTI. Five others are from Pune, three from Nagpur, two from Ahmednagar and one each from Sangli, Buldhana and Jalgaon, he said.

Delhi recorded the highest one day increase in case with 23 persons testing positive for the disease, taking the tally in the National Capital to 72.  Karnataka recorded seven new cases taking the state count to 73. This included three deaths and discharge of five patients, the state health department said in statement. Jammu and Kashmir and Goa each reported five new cases while four people tested positive in Bihar's Bhagalpur. Eight new positive COVID19 cases were reported from Erode in Tamil Nadu, said health minister C Viajayabaskar. All were in contact with the Thai nationals who are undergoing treatment at IRT Perundurai, he said adding that the patients were receiving treatment in isolation wards. Eleven persons tested positive in Uttar Pradesh while Kerala reported twenty new cases.

A doctor and a junior commissioned officer in the Indian Army also tested positive, official sources told PTI. The Colonel-rank doctor is serving at the Command Hospital in Kolkata while the JCO is posted to an Army base in Dehradun. Both the doctor and the JCO are understood to have visited an army facility near the National Capital earlier this month and were keeping good health, said sources.

Group of ministers reviews situation

Even as the number of cases continued to surge, a Group of Ministers chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday carried out a comprehensive review of the situation arising out of coronavirus pandemic. Home Minister Amit Shah, Consumer Affairs and Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar were among those who attended the meeting. Sources told PTI that the ministers were informed that petroleum products are available in adequate quantities across the country and that transportation of essential commodities by train, air and road is going on without any difficulty.

The meeting also deliberated on the issue of a vast numbers of migrant workers taking journeys on foot for hundreds of kilometres in various parts of the country to reach home from urban centres after the 21-day nation-wide lockdown came into force.

According to ANI, the Central government also constituted 11 empowered groups for ensuring a comprehensive and integrated response to coronavirus. These groups have been set up under Disaster Management Act. Each group has a senior representative from Prime Minister's Office and the Cabinet Secretariat to ensure seamless coordination, said the report.

Centres, states take measure to halt movement of migrant workers

The Centre also issued directives to deal with the exodus of migrant workers across the country. It asked state governments and Union Territory administrations to effectively seal state and district borders to stop movements of migrant workers during lockdown.

During a video conference with Chief Secretaries and DGPs, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba and Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla also directed state to ensure that adequate arrangements for food and shelter of poor and needy people including migrant labourers were made at the place of their work.

"States have been also told to ensure timely payment of wages to labourers at their place of work during the period of lockdown without any cut," said a statement released by the Ministry for Information and Broadcasting adding that house rent should not be demanded from the labourers for the period of the lockdown. It directed that action should be taken against those who are asking labourers or students to vacate the premises.

The officials also issued directives to the state for the quarantine of those who had violated lockdown and asked them to ensure that those who have travelled are subjected to minimum 14 days of quarantine in government facilities.

State governments too announced relief measures for migrant workers. Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said that schools and stadiums in the National Capital were being converted into shelters for migrant workers and the government was providing lunch and dinner to four lakh workers each day. He also asked small business owners, contractors and industrialists to ensure that no worker went hungry and appealed to landlords not to force tenants to pay rent for two to three months. The government would pay the rent if the tenants failed to do so, he said.

Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray said the state has already set up 163 centres across the state to provide food and water to the migrant labourers and announced that meals under the Shiv Bhojan scheme would be made available at a lowered cost of Rs 5 from 1 April.

Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh ordered industries, brick kilns to resume operations and told them to house migrant workers within their premises if adequate and safe arrangements were available.

Narendra Modi seeks nation's forgiveness

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought the nation's forgiveness for imposing a monumental lockdown on the country, but said "we have to win ... and we will definitely win the battle" against the unprecedented menace of coronavirus which has claimed over 30,000 lives across the world.

In his first Mann ki Baat radio address after the lockdown, Modi also praised the front-line workers in the fight against the virus as well as countless workers in the essential services who are ensuring the country doesn't come to a complete standstill.

Modi also reminded people that "we have to maintain social distance, not emotional and human distance" as he urged people to utilise the time spent at home in re-engaging themselves in old hobbies and reconnecting with old friends.

Meanwhile the Union Home ministry issued a clarification regarding the transportation of goods and services and about the exemptions of goods and services in its earlier orders. Transportation of all goods, without distinction of essential and non-essential, have been allowed during lockdown, it said.  In a letter to chief secretaries, Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla also clarified that groceries included hygiene products such as sanitary pads, shampoos, surface cleaners as well as battery cells and chargers. The letter stated that entire supply chain of milk collection and distribution was also permitted. The ministry also said that the supply of newspapers was allowed during the lockdown.

With inputs from agencies

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