Super cyclone brings heavy rain, tidal waves to eastern India
UNTV News • May 20, 2020 • 469
Heavy rains and winds lashed two eastern Indian states of Odisha and West Bengal hours before a powerful cyclone made landfall on Wednesday (May 20), with rescue teams evacuating millions of villagers to higher ground in an operation complicated by the coronavirus pandemic.
The weather department in India said Amphan had slowed and was likely to cross the coast near West Bengal state or Bangladesh around 2:30 p.m. (0900 GMT).
An Indian federal home ministry official said West Bengal and neighbouring Odisha state were struggling to house thousands of evacuees as existing shelters were being used as coronavirus quarantine centers.
Extra shelters were being prepared in wholesale markets and government buildings with allowances made for social distancing, while masks and scarves were being distributed among the villagers. (Reuters)
India’s Interior Minister Amit Shah said on Sunday (August 2) that he had tested positive for coronavirus and had been admitted to hospital.
Amit Shah, a close aide to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and one of the country’s most powerful politicians, heads a key ministry that has been at the forefront of managing India’s coronavirus outbreak.
“I request all of you who came in contact with me in the last few days to isolate yourselves and get tested,” Shah said in a tweet.
India has 1,695,988 confirmed cases and 36,511 deaths due to coronavirus as of August 2, according to a Reuters tally. (Reuters)
More than half the people living in Mumbai’s sprawling slums are probably infected with coronavirus, which suggests the metropolis could be heading toward herd immunity, a government official and a health expert said on Wednesday (July 29), citing a recent survey.
About 57% of slum-dwellers have tested positive for antibodies for the coronavirus, from a random sample size of 7,000 people, according to the survey jointly conducted by Mumbai’s municipality, government think tank Niti Aayog and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.
Suresh Kakani, an official at Mumbai’s civic body, said the results of the survey showed that the city may be inching towards herd immunity.
A shopkeeper living in Dharavi, one of Asia’s largest slums located on the outskirts of Mumbai, said that people were no longer afraid of the virus, despite the rise in cases.
Maharashtra, where Mumbai is located, is the worst-affected Indian state, accounting for almost 400,000 out of India’s total of 1.5 million cases.
Around 65% of Mumbai’s 12 million people live in the cramped, airless slums, making for easy transmission of the disease. The survey found that only 16% of those living outside the slums had been exposed to the virus, the low proportion likely the result of social distancing and lockdowns.
India has the world’s third-highest caseload of the virus, behind the United States and Brazil, and health officials have been hoping to flatten the curve or reduce the incidence of infections in the big cities that are driving the growth. (Reuters)
(Production: Francis Mascarenhas, Sunil Kataria, Matthew Stock, Louisa Naks)
Filipino repatriates from Sri Lanka and India returned to their respective provinces on Wednesday (June 17).
The Philippine Navy facilitated the return of the Filipino repatriates who were stranded overseas due to travel restrictions spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. They were accommodated by BRP Davao Del Sur (LD602) during the Naval Task Forces humanitarian mission in the Middle East.
“These repatriates considered as returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) already finished the required quarantine period aboard ship and were tested negative for coronavirus in the swab testing conducted upon their arrival,” the Navy said. AAC
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