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Steps for migrants and PM’s appeal: Covid-19 news from India

Here’s a list of top stories from Hindustan Times newspaper.

Updated: Mar 30, 2020 11:07 IST

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times

Migrant workers head home on Day 5 of the 21-day nationwide lockdown imposed by PM Narendra Modi to curb the spread of coronavirus, Rohtak, Haryana , March 29, 2020. (Manoj Dhaka / HT Photo )

The government ordered the closure of borders on Sunday to stop migrant workers who have been marching on foot hundreds of kilometres to reach their villages. Authorities also announced steps to provide food, shelter and wages to them, looking to ease their hardship in the wake of the 21-day nationwide lockdown. In a radio address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought apology from citizens, especially the poor, for the hard decisions his government had to take to contain the fast-spreading coronavirus disease (Covid-19). And to pull out all the stops in the fight against the deadly infection, authorities might rope in medical and nursing students to bolster the health care workforce.

States told to stop, shelter migrants walking back home amid lockdown

India on Sunday took urgent measures to halt the march of hundreds of thousands of migrant workers across states in an exodus prompted by a 21-day national lockdown to control the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), with the government ordering the closure of borders and announcing steps to ensure food, shelter and wages to informal workers who form the backbone of the economy.

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‘Seek forgiveness, there was no other way’: PM Modi on nationwide lockdown

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday apologised to citizens, especially the poor, for harsh decisions that have caused difficulties — yet reiterated the importance of the nationwide lockdown as the only way to beat back the coronavirus disease pandemic — while reaching out to a wide range of individuals affected by the disease and its aftermath.

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Medical students in final-year MBBS, PG may join Covid-19 fight



Medical and nursing students could join the fight against Covid-19 as authorities consider various options to strengthen the health care workforce and provide protective cover to ageing doctors who are themselves at high risk of contracting the infection and, possibly, dying of it, people in the know said on Sunday.



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Covid-19: What you need to know today

Deaths in the US from Covid-19 crossed 2,000 on Sunday, including at least 965 in New York State alone, but US President Donald Trump has had second thoughts about a quarantine of the New York region. Instead, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention merely issued an advisory against non-essential travel in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

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Migrants must be tested, states told

All migrant workers-- either homebound or staying at a state-run shelter in the cities- must be screened for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), the Centre has told directed state governments, and those who have already left the cities for their home state will serve a mandatory 14 days in quarantine at their destinations.

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Govt forms empowered groups, task force to deal with Covid-19 outbreak

The Centre on Sunday formed 10 empowered groups and a strategic task force comprising senior civil servants to deal with the Covid-19 outbreak and its aftermath. The setting up of the groups and the task force, which together have 68 bureaucrats, is an attempt to forge a planning and implementation machinery that acts in concert to minimise the impact of the disease the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a global pandemic.

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Kerala will pursue rapid testing to detect possible community transmission of Covid-19

Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday announced that Kerala will pursue rapid testing to detect possible community transmission of coronavirus (Covid-19) in the state that was the first to report the disease in the country and is the worst hit by the pandemic along with Maharashtra.

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Govt relaxes restrictions on transportation of goods

The Union home ministry said on Sunday that all goods in addition to essential commodities will be allowed to move across states, relaxing rules in order to unclog highways where hundreds of trucks have been stuck since Tuesday, when the government ordered a nationwide lockdown in order to stop the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak.

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PM to interact with missions, NGOs

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with major non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as well as the heads of Indian missions on Monday evening to get their feedback on the Covid-19 measures and shore up the confidence of those at the front-lines of the battle against the disease.

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Living in isolation is hard... but it’s not without benefits, writes Abhilash Tomy

Naval officer Abhilash Tomy says living in isolation is not without benefits. It is a time to blow the dust off those books and read, to make those calls which you have been deferring, to practise a hand at cooking, to make paper planes and to pursue those innumerable things that you postponed because you felt you never had the time.

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Coronavirus: Cabin fever can lead to rage and anxiety; talking is a de-stressor | Opinion

The hopelessness and helplessness from the threat of an unstoppable virus may heighten depression and anxiety disorders and cause irritability, insomnia and problems with memory and concentration in healthy people.

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Muslims perform last rites of Hindu neighbour as relatives unable to reach amid lockdown

Several members of the Muslim community in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr performed the last rites of their Hindu neighbour on Friday as the relatives of the deceased could not reach his home owing to the nationwide lockdown.

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Pregnant woman, her husband forced to walk over 100km without food; rescued by locals

An eight-month pregnant woman and her husband were offered monetary help and an ambulance in Meerut to cover the rest of their journey from Saharanpur to Bulandshahr after they were forced to walk over 100 kms on their way home without food when the latter’s employer turned them out without any money.

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India’s only F1 track to turn into a quarantine facility

Officials of the Gautam Budh Nagar administration on Sunday decided to use India’s Formula One racing track — the Buddh International Circuit — as a shelter home with quarantine facility for the stranded migrants.

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