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India’s reduced electricity consumption amidst lockdown worse than US and EU April 14, 2020 14:48

According to the general reports, it is believed that one of the key markers of the impacts on the economy is marked by the decline in the consumption of the electricity. The restrictions imposed globally because of the impacts of the coronavirus have adversely impacted the electricity consumption across the world. But, according to a conducted study, it has been observed that the decline in the electricity consumption in India is lower than that of US and a number of other European countries, irrespective of the differences in the population. The data was analysed by a team of researchers at the Energy Policy Institute at University of Chicago (EPIC), which noticed that India experienced nearly 25% decline in its electricity consumption in the last week of March while it was on the 21 days lockdown. The same acquired data was then compared with the same of the other countries amidst the time of January and April wherein similar restrictions were imposed because of the global pandemic of coronavirus. While China reported a maximum decline of 14.98% in the month of December, U.S reported a 6.9% decline followed by 9.7% in some of the European countries. Unlike the other countries, China doesn’t provide with daily reports of its electricity consumption and it is likely that the data shared by them might not be accurate but the same holds true for the rest of the data from the other countries. The tracker is based off of the daily electricity data that has been provided by India’s Power System Operation Corporation Limited (POSOCO). According to the data, it has been suggested that the sharp decline in the electrical consumption in the country was witnessed post March 22, 2020 after the Janata Curfew was imposed. The lowest consumption was reported on March 27 which then gradually started to increase when in the first week of April. But, even with the increase that was noted in the tracker, it was mentioned that the decline was still 18% less than what was reported back in December. The sudden drop and decline in the electricity consumption in India has been linked with the lack of commercial activity and the kind of restrictions that have been imposed across the country. Be it the closure of the public spots or even the functional restaurants, these further contributes to the decline furthermore. The sudden drop in the electricity consumption is also proportional to the current economic state of the country, according to the experts. United States has still not imposed a nationwide lockdown while most of the states around have issued stay at home orders. The same goes out for China as well, which imposed the restrictions on Hubei province but there was no significant impacts on the domestic travel and the economic activities that were happening in the country. Several European countries have also imposed several restrictions but the ones witnessed in India have been deduced as the most stringent of them all. The reports have been consolidated by a tracker developed by Blavatnik School of Government. By Somapika Dutta

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India’s coronavirus hotspot, Mumbai might extend lockdown till April 30 April 09, 2020 12:19

The coronavirus pandemic has been steadily taking a hold on India, putting the financial hub of the country, Maharashta as the hotspot of the virus. The state has now over 1000 confirmed cases with the maximum number of deaths. With the consistent rise in numbers, it is likely that Mumbai is going to have an extension to the lockdown till April 30 atleast. The same is being done as the authorities extend the testing kits available to ensure that there are no infected people left behind without getting tested. India is currently under the 21 days nationwide lockdown that is going to end on April 14. With over 20 million in popularity, Mumbai is currently the epicentre of the virus in India. Strict and thought out measures need to be taken to ensure that the spread of the virus doesn’t end up taking a turn for the worse. A senior state government official stated saying that the number of cases in Mumbai and in Maharashtra in general has been rising quite quickly, reporting over 100 confirmed cases in a day. This alarming situation is one of the primary reasons why the lockdown needs to be extended to ensure maximum precautions so that the spread can be tamed and controlled for the best. There have been no official comments on this yet, which suggests that it is likely that the extension will be effective but there needs to be further information to ensure things get back to normal. By Somapika Dutta

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Confirmed Covid-19 cases in India cross 5000; 23 day old baby infected April 08, 2020 18:35

Entering the 15th day of the 21 days lockdown, India has witnessed a very rapid rise in the number of confirmed covid-19 cases, taking the tally of the total number of confirmed cases to over 5000, with over 100 reported deaths in the country. Telangana State reported 40 fresh cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, a 23 day old baby being one of them. The total number of the confirmed cases in the state is now at 348. The infant diagnosed with the virus was among the three confirmed cases that were found in Mahbubnagar in the state. All the three cases have been reported after their return from the congregation that happened in Delhi.The media bulletin has reported that they haven’t found any cases of community transmission yet in the state of Telangana. The ones who attended the religious congregation in Delhi are being tracked, isolated and quarantined for better safety.The sports complex at Gachibowli, Hyderabad has been converted to a 1500 bed makeshift facility to aid possible hospitals for isolating the suspects and taking necessary steps in case things spiral out of hand.The government of Telangana is also arranging for the ICU facilities and ventilators at these places to ensure maximum aid for the patients. The CM of Telangana, K Chandrasekhar Rao has mentioned that 22 of the private medical colleges in the state are being readied in case the need arises. Aside from Telangana, Maharashtra is the worst hit state in the country, the bleeding hotspot of the coronavirus spread, with over 1000 confirmed cases. Over 770 confirmed cases have been reported in the last 24 hours, the country witnessing a double jump in the cases within a matter of 5 days.The death toll of the country is at 149 with 405 people recovered and discharged from the hospitals. Maharashtra is the leading state with 1,018 cases followed by Tamil Nadu at 690, Delhi with 576 and Telangana and Kerala at 364 and 336 respectively.Over 1,500 of the confirmed cases out of all the confirmed cases in India have been associated with the Tablighi Jamaat congregation that happened in Delhi. The country currently has around a week of the lockdown with no further reports on the status of the lockdown. PM Narendra Modi has consulted with the individuals chief ministers of the states and asked for a gradual re-emergence, depending on the severity of the cases in the state. Globally, over 1.4 million people have been infected with the novel coronavirus and the death toll has crossed 82,000 cases.By Somapika Dutta

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India crosses 4000 confirmed coronavirus cases; death toll at 109 April 06, 2020 12:56

Being under the 21 days lockdown, India has been reporting a surge in the number of confirmed covid-19 cases, reporting over 700 cases in the last 24 hours, the highest till now. With that, the total tally of the country is now at 4,067 confirmed cases and 109 deaths so far. On the brighter side, 291 people have recovered from the condition as well. Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Delhi are the top three in terms of the number of confirmed cases, closely followed by Kerala and Telangana. The sudden surge in the number of confirmed cases were witnessed last week after hundreds of the Tablighi Jamaat attendees tested positive for the coronavirus. One of the health officials stated saying that while the normal pace of the doubling of the cases should have taken 7.4 days, the same has been cut short to 4.1 days after the reports of the Tablighi Jamaat congregation. Since then, the state governments have been working to find the people involved with it and even the kind of contact that they could have come with. By Somapika Dutta

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Noida schools have been instructed to not force parents for fees April 06, 2020 12:15

With the affected economy and the kind of state that the country is in, the last thing that the people should be worrying about are the school fees of their children. Reports have circulated around that no school located in Noida and Greater Noida can force the parents for the fees, especially during the covid-19 lockdown that is imposed all across the country. Instructions have also suggested that the students can’t be barred from the online classes, irrespective of whether they have paid the fees or not. Any kind of violation of these orders can cause legal action against the concerned authority, enabling a year-long jail sentence or a hefty fine against the offender. Gautam Buddh Nagar District Magistrate Suhas L Y is the one who has issued this order till everything is back to normal and the lockdown is taken off. Suhas further stated saying, “COVID-19 has already been declared a disaster in Uttar Pradesh, while a complete lockdown is in place to fight the pandemic across the state and the country till April 14. In such a situation, all educational institutions in Gautam Buddh Nagar are directed not to force parents of any student for fees during the lockdown period, nor bar students from online classes.” Any kind of violation of the orders will be reported under the National Disaster Management Act, 2005. In case there are any involvements of loss of life or property during the violation of these orders, the jail term will be increased to 2 years. Owing to the coronavirus outbreak, all the schools and the educational institutes have been shut down in early March much like a lot of the other public places around. Gautam Buddh Nagar, which has imposed this order itself, has 58 confirmed cases. The 21-day lockdown in India is effective till April 14 following which there haven’t been any further reports on how the government is going to proceed. PM Narendra Modi has asked the CMs to come up with a exit strategy to ensure better management of the situation after the lockdown is over. By Somapika Dutta

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‘Black out call might affect the power grid’ – Nitin Raut April 04, 2020 17:41

In the latest video message shared by PM Narendra Modi, he asked the citizens of India to shut off their lights on April 05, 2020 at 9 pm and light a “diya” for 9 minutes in solidarity of the current situation of the pandemic that the entire world is fighting. The Power Minister of Maharashtra, Nitin Raut stated saying that in case the entire country decides to switch off their lights altogether, there are chances that the same will end up affecting the power grid. In a video released by Raut recently, he stated saying, “At present, Maharashtra’s power demand has come down to 13000 MW from 23000 MW. Industrial load is zero. Only emergency and domestic demand is being served. In case of sudden drop in demand, as will happen if people switch off the lights at a single moment, power stations may go on high frequency. It could result in feeder trippings in the grid.” The Minister also added that any form of power failure in the densely populated states like Maharashtra can lead to multi-state grid failure. This, in turn, can end up disrupting the overall power supply to the country. Raut further stated that in such cases, it takes around 12 to 16 hours to restore the power back again. Instead of switching off everything at home at once, Minister Raut urged the citizens to keep the fans and tubelights switched on when they do light the diya at home. This will ensure proper functioning of the grid without affecting the power supply. By Somapika Dutta

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India in talks with US and China to fight the Covid-19 pandemic April 04, 2020 12:31

With the entire world struggling with the covid-19 pandemic, India is gearing up with all the preventive measures and equipments to ensure maximum safety for its country’s people. India has been in talks with both US and China without getting into any sort of geopolitical rivalry in the middle. Apart from these arrangements, Indian government has also been open to individual contributions and even organisations. They have also opened international funding at this point to ensure that they are hands on to fight every kind of struggle that is thrown their way. The foreign ministers of India and the United States have talked twice last month over the effective coordination concerning the containment of this virus. On the other hand, India has also been in the talks with China to get their hands on the Personal Protective Equipments for the safety of the healthcare workers. Aside from that, India is also working on keeping up with the coordination with some of the other P-5 countries for a very coordinated approach to battling this virus. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also discussed with all the key leaders in West Asia and shared some ideas over the ways to contain the spread of the virus further. The external affairs minister of India, S Jaishankar and his counterpart Mike Pompeo talked about the various strategies that could help strengthen the global pharmaceutical, which is of grave importance during this time of crisis. Jaishankar also put forth the subject of extension of the issued Visa to the Indians that are residing in US and are stuck there. He urged Pompeo to extend the visa of the Indian students and the professionals who have been stuck in the country over the spread of the pandemic. The Indian ambassador to the United States, Taranjit Singh Sandhu stated that both the countries have maintained a very strong and robust cooperation during this time of crisis with the medical specialists and the resources available around. Wednesday, April 01, 2020 also marks the 70 years of ties between India and China over their diplomatic ties that has benefitted both the countries over the decades. President Ram Nath Kovind and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping have congratulated and felicited each other over the occassion. But, in other clarifications, the officials have clarified stating that the Indian government is not accepting any kinds of funding or donations from the foreign government under the PM cares fund, which was one of the most asked questions by the people. By Somapika Dutta

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Six week old baby dies due to Covid-19 in US; death toll over 6000 April 03, 2020 14:05

Crossing the 245,000 confirmed cases in the United States, the country reported one of the youngest fatalities, the death of a six week old baby due to the Covid-19 outbreak. As per the reports from the John Hopkins reports, US has already reported over 6000 deaths, the country setting a death rate of 864 deaths in a day, the highest surge so far. Among all the latest fatalities, the most recent was reported of a six week old baby who was rushed to a Connecticut hospital late last week. Governor Ned Lamont tweeting saying, “Testing confirmed last night that the newborn was COVID-19 positive. This is absolutely heartbreaking.” While the death toll in the US is currently lesser than what it is in Italy and Spain, the numbers are a lot more than what was reported in China, the epicentre of the virus. US currently is in the lead with the number of confirmed cases in the world, at a staggering 245, 000 and more cases. Even the head of the coronavirus task force and the head of the virology unit in the National Institute of Health, Anthony Fauci stated saying that there are chances that the death toll in the US could very well cross the 100,000 mark. With the global rate of the confirmed cases has surpassed a million, majority of the world is under a complete lockdown till the situations get better. By Somapika Dutta

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Hollywood actor Andrew Jack passes away due to Covid-19 April 02, 2020 13:41

Major Ematt of Star Wars, Andrew Jack died at the age of 76 due to Covid-19 complications on Tuesday. As per the reports from his agent, Jill McCullough, they stated saying that Jack passed away at a hospital in Chertsey, England. McCullough further emphasised saying, “Andrew lived on one of the oldest working houseboats on the Thames, he was fiercely independent but madly in love with his wife, also a dialect coach.” Jack’s wife, Gabrielle Rogers, also took to Twitter to share her message across tweeting “Andrew Jack was diagnosed with coronavirus 2 days ago. He was in no pain, and he slipped away peacefully knowing that his family were all 'with' him.” We lost a man today. Andrew Jack was diagnosed with Coronavirus 2 days ago. He was in no pain, and he slipped away peacefully knowing that his family were all 'with' him.Take care out there, lovers [email protected] @chrishemsworth @RobertDowneyJr pic.twitter.com/fm5LevA8n2 — Gabrielle Rogers (@GabrielleRoger1) March 31, 2020 Apart from his prominent role in Star Wars, Jack has also worked as a dialect coach for a number of popular Hollywood movies including “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “Thor:Ragnarok” and a few other Avengers movies. Several Hollywood stars including Actor Joonas Suotamo have paid their tribute to the deceased via Twitter. By Somapika Dutta

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Zen technologies to prepare ventilator prototypes for India April 01, 2020 15:45

India has been experiencing a massive hit with the confirmed coronavirus cases all across the country. The current confirmed cases in the country is nearing the 1700 mark, which is likely going to increase in the coming days. With the imposed risks, the one factor that the individuals likely need to be ready with are the ventilators. It is important to ensure that the hospitals around not just have enough resources but the essential amount of ventilators without further questions. To help India battle the incoming storm, Zen technologies are planning on preparing ventilator prototypes for India. According to the reports shared by the company on Wednesday, they believe that the product is going to be available pretty soon. Addressing this, the company further stated saying, “As a part of the corporate social responsibility. Zen Technologies has dedicated a small research and development team to develop a prototype of a ventilator for India.” While further updated have not been shared yet, if the same gets approved, it is likely going to help India by a lot and improve better facilities for the country to fight this battle with the novel coronavirus. By Somapika Dutta

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SC orders basic necessities like food and religious counselling to the migrant workers March 31, 2020 18:19

While India has been constantly fighting the wrath of the coronavirus, thousands of migrant workers from across the country has started walking towards their home during the imposed lockdown in the country for 21 days. Failing to find any means of transportation and lack of earning and shelter in their work place, the workers have been forced to walk hundreds of kilometres towards their home to at least have a safe space for themselves during this time of crisis. With the kind of chaos that the same has created, projecting risks to the worker’s and the country’s citizens, the Supreme Court has ordered that they should be supplied with food, medical aid and religious counselling from the leaders of their respective religion at the relief shelters they are staying in. Chief Justice of India S A Bobde has also advised the police to let the workers themselves manages their shelters instead of being reliant on the police for getting the same done. Solicitor Tushar Mehta has reported to the Chief Justice that as of 11 am of March 31, 2020, there is no migrant workers roaming on the road and has been allotted to their nearest relief shelter to keep themselves safe. Mehta further reported saying, “I am making a statement here that within 24 hours we will mobilise trained counselors and religious leaders. We will mobilise religious leaders, maulvis, sadhus to counsel them to stay calm.” By Somapika Dutta

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‘Peak of Coronavirus deaths likely will be in 2 weeks’ : President Donald Trump March 30, 2020 12:16

The coronavirus pandemic has taken the world by a storm, the number of confirmed cases in the United States at its peak and the most across the world. In a televised briefing on Sunday, President Trump stated saying that the peak deaths in the US is likely going to happen in the coming two weeks. This is the reason why the guidelines of “social distancing” in the state have been increased until April 30 for better measures. Trump stated saying, “Easter should be the peak number.” The same is on April 12, 2020. President Trump, in the televised briefing, further stated that according to the modelling, it is believed that the peak in the death rate is likely going to happen in the coming two weeks. Following reaching the peak, the rate should be coming down substantially. Addressing the head of the infectious disease department in the National Institute of Health, Anthony Fauci, Trump further stated that Fauci believes that the death rate due to the coronavirus pandemic is likely going to range between 100,000 to 200,000 in the United States. While Trump does empathize with the situation and said that the numbers are pretty bad, he also stated that the same could have been worse if the lockdown wasn’t imposed. He further gave the numbers saying, “Potentially 2.2 million people if we did nothing, if we didn't do the distancing. If we didn't do all the things we're doing." Trump also extended the social distancing guidelines to further slow down the spread of the pandemic in the country. The John Hopkins stat counter also recorded a highest of 518 coronavirus deaths in the last 24 hours, a lot more than the prior day. Trump does believe that the country could take a time till June 1 for complete recovery which he priorly said to be mid-April. He appealed to the citizens to religiously follow all the imposed restrictions and ensure to practice all the precautions at home. Addressing his idea of opening up the economy quicker, President Trump said that their coronavirus taskforce headed by Anthony Fauci didn’t like the idea and opposed against it. President Trump further said that they will be making an important announcement concerning the government’s plans and strategies ahead. Further emphasising better economic relief for the citizens across the United States, President Trump stated saying, “I'm prepared to do whatever's necessary to number one, save lives and number two, bring our economy back strong, just like it was before. I think our economy has a chance to be just as good and even better than it was before." The total number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States is at 142,735 with 2, 488 deaths reported so far. By Somapika Dutta

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