80 districts in lockdown to contain virus spread

  • All train, metro and inter State transport services across the country were suspended on Sunday till March
    31 as the death toll from COVID­-19 rose to seven nationwide, and the number of confirmed cases stood at
    396. Unprecedented restrictions were imposed in 80 districts across 17 States and five Union Territories affected by the pandemic.
  • State governments will issue orders allowing only essential services to operate in districts with confirmed COVID­-19 cases.


Isolation best weapon: ICMR

  • Isolation, and not indiscriminate testing is the only way to limit the spread of COVID­19, ICMR Director­ General Balram Bhargava said. A lockdown is the most important step in breaking transmission of the disease.


Banks reduce services

  • The Indian Banks’ Association said banks would only provide essential services from Monday. They will provide services such as cash deposit and withdrawal, clearing of cheques, remittances and government transactions.


Networks under stress

  • With social distancing measures like work from home putting pressure on telecom networks, the operators have reached out to 12 video streaming platforms to implement measures such as reducing video quality to standard definition.


Remove false social media posts: Centre

  • Taking cognisance of fake news reports on the Internet, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity) has asked all social media companies to remove false reports spreading misinformation about the novel coronavirus from their platform immediately.


Rescue crew facing ostracism: Air India

  • Air India on Sunday put out a strongly worded statement against “vigilante residents’ welfare associations (RWA)” for what it called ostracising of its crew members who had flown rescue missions to bring back Indians from COVID­-19 hotspots across the world.
  • “These vigilantes have conveniently forgotten that many a spouse, parent, sibling, child and many a near and dear one have been brought home safe and secure from affected countries because of the heroic efforts of the crew.”


Kejriwal announces curbs in the Capital till March 31

  • The Delhi government on Sunday announced a lockdown of the Capital from 6 a.m. on Monday till midnight on March 31 to implement social distancing and isolation measures to contain the spread of COVID­-19.
  • Best practices taken up by other countries. People will face difficulties due to the lockdown but it is necessary to contain the spread of the virus,” said Mr. Kejriwal.


Can China’s model work for the West?

  • The head of the World Health Organization believes China’s battle with COVID­-19 offers a beacon of hope, but others question whether Beijing’s strategy can be followed by other countries — particularly Western democracies.
  • China has reported only one new local infection over the past four days, a seemingly remarkable turn around given the chaos that surrounded the initial outbreak in the city of Wuhan. While some experts caution against accepting Beijing’s figures at face value, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus insisted China’s success “provides hope for the rest of the world”.
  • “Two weeks after the closure of Wuhan, which is exactly the incubation period, the number (of infections) started to drop.” In cities, it quickly became necessary to wear a mask as apartment blocks, businesses and even parks barred entry without one.
  • Official Xinhua news agency. To boost detection rates, temperature checkpoints were installed outside buildings and shops, or in public places. And in the high­tech country where privacy is limited, many localities require citizens to show a QR code on their phone that rates them as “green”, “yellow” or “red”.
  • This assessment — based on tracking of whether they visited a high ­risk zone — is now an entrance requirement for many businesses.