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India Fights COVID-19: Lockdown 4.0 From Today!

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After the 5-episode bilingual presentation of the COVID Package of Rs. 20000 billions hugely disappointed many of the direly-affected stakeholders the government of India extended the Lockdown till 31 st May, 2020 which was largely expected following a 10-day heavy spike of new COVID-19 cases in various states of the country.   Thus, Lockdown 4.0 comes into effect from the 18 th of May, 2020, now making it go up to 68 days. Maharashtra, the worst affected state with more than 33000 cases, had announced an extension a day before the national lockdown with the total cases in India nearing the 100,000 mark. In the last twenty four hours there was a record spike of 5242 new cases and deaths crossing the 3000 mark. The main point of focus of Lockdown 4.0 was on easing of curbs as promised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his national address a few days back that this Lockdown was going to be different than the others. Domestic flights, railways except for the migrants’ and s

COVID-19 Exposes Migrant Workers Reality in India!

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Photo: indianexpress.com It has been a fact of modern developing India that nearly 90% of its workforce is engaged in the unorganized sector, and that this fact has been dealt with so far only academically or for research oriented purpose. Most of the unorganized workers are daily wagers with no commitment by the employers to provide work on a continued basis and even those with monthly salaries have no job security or agreements. A sizable chunk of this workforce constitutes the migrant workers who go to other states in search of livelihoods. All the major cities of India have hundreds of thousands of migrant laborers engaged in all kinds of activities from construction work to plying cycle rickshaws. Some of them are able to rent accommodation while some others live on the pavement tenements, slums and even on roads and bridges. It is preposterous to imagine that a problem of such immense proportions was not anticipated by the government of India while imposing the Loc

Vocal Regulations!

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They are safe at home—he, his wife and their two boys. So far, that is to say. Their house is in a red zone—declared by the government due to the spread of the novel Coronavirus or COVID-19. For nearly two months now they have continued to stay at home, at times working from home and he has been very strict lately, not allowing his young sons to go out at any cost. He has heard that young people, even if infected, can get on well without even showing symptoms and recover quite easily, but the problem is the possibility of their infecting elderly persons who are prone to having serious complications if infected. Naturally so then, he thinks, why grandsons are separated physically from grandparents. Their rations come mostly from online orders. At times, he has to go out to the fruit or vegetable vendors for the odd and fresh requirement.     Things amuse him; although he had never seen such unprecedented times or heard about in his lifetime, and that humankind is going throu

India Fights COVID-19: Concerns and Contrasts!

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Photo: indiatoday.in For the last one week spikes in new COVID-19 cases in India have been over 3000 daily with more than 4000 cases in the last twenty four hours. Fortunately so far, numbers of critical cases and deaths are under control, recovery rate being more than 30% and the doubling rate seemingly stable at around 10 days. In four Indian states, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Delhi, the situation is still grim with spikes in new cases and deaths raging. Particularly in Maharashtra, total cases have crossed 22,000, infections in Dharavi—Asia’s biggest slum—rising ominously still and more than 1000 cops of the states getting infected with 7 of them dead. Relaxations given during extension of Lockdown 3.0 for red zones had to be withdrawn here and in several other states. Maharashtra Chief Minister, Uddhav Thackeray, has admitted that the police forces of the state are fatigued fighting Coronavirus from the front, and a solution needs to be found immediately. Am