More and more cities, regions under shutdown; railways come to standstill
GN Bureau | March 22, 2020
Sunday marked a watershed in India’s battle with the COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus outbreak: following prime minister Narendra Modi’s appeal for a “janta curfew”, people stayed home and made a gesture of gratitude towards those working hard to keep the nation safe. This was a mental preparation for the tough fight ahead, as more and more parts of the country are going under lockdown.
The Indian Railways, for the first time in its history, came to a standstill, as passenger trains did not move during the curfew. Now it plans to remain shut till March 31, plying only goods trains.
Delhi is among the cities and states that will be completely locked out barring essential services as the number of coronavirus affected cases rose to 370 and the death toll climbed to seven.
The states were advised by the PMO to issue appropriate orders to shut down the 75 districts which have confirmed cases.
On Sunday, streets wore a completely deserted look since 7 am. At 5 pm families came out in their balconies and on their rooftops to bang plates and clap and blow conches and make noise – as a gesture of appreciation and gratitude towards all those who have been putting their life at risk to keep the nation running and fight the virus outbreak.
President Ram Nath Kovid and the first family also joined the citizens in this novel gesture, following the PM’s appeal during the address to the nation on Thursday.
The PM thanked the nation, and tweeted: “The country thanked each person who led the fight against the corona virus. Many thanks to the countrymen.”
Struggling with rationing and prioritising available supplies amid the acute Covid-19 vaccine shortage, the BrihanMumbai municipal corporation (BMC) has floated a global tender for supply of 1 crore doses, even as it has announced a walk-in vaccination campaign next week for select categories of citizens.
Expressing regret that despite being the largest producer of vaccines in the world things have fallen apart in India, Ashok Seth, a Padma Bhushan awardee and chairman of Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, has said that the focus needs to be on percentage and not the number of population vaccinated.
In Maharashtra, the epicentre of India’s devastating second wave, several NGOs and civil society organisations have been at work to combat the pandemic – by spreading awareness about precautions, by helping the slum-dwellers book appointment for vaccine, by providing meals to the marginalised a
The cumulative number of Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has crossed the landmark of 17 crore on Monday as the Phase 3 of the nationwide vaccination drive expands further. India is the fastest country to administer 17 crore Covid vaccine doses – China took 119 days and USA 115 days
India is battling the second wave of Covid-19 and infections are spreading into the interiors of the country, says Dr Anurag Bhadouria, National Spokesperson, Samajwadi Party. It is precipitated by the elections in five states, the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar and also panchayat elections in many states, he says
The CoWIN system, the overarching digital platform for citizens seeking appointment for the Covid-19 vaccine, is introducing a new four-digit security code” in the application from Saturday to minimise a peculiar error and subsequent inconvenience to citizens. “It has been notic