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Raju Vernekar

Raju Vernekar

Raju Vernekar is a Media Professional based in Mumbai and is a regular contributor of Imphal Times. He had served as Chief Reporter at Free Press Journal (1996 – 2015 ). His Activities includes writing for different news papers, script writing/production for TV channels, Films Division. Writing poems in Marathi, Hindi, English, Guiding mass media students and helping people to solve their problems. Raju may be contacted at [email protected]

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India's confirmed coronavirus cases climb to 979, death toll at 25

IT News
Mumbai, March 29

With six fresh deaths -- one each from Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, and Telangana, the number of deaths in the country rose to 25 in India, even as the number of confirmed cases across the country rose to 979 on Sunday.

A 40-year-old woman, admitted to the hospital due to respiratory complications and hyper tension passed away at a Mumbai Hospital, thus taking the total death toll in Maharashtra to 6, on Sunday. The death toll across the country stood as :Bihar 1, Delhi 2, Gujarat 4, Himachal Pradesh 1, J & K-1, Karnataka 3, Kerala-1, Madhya Pradesh 2, Maharashtra 6, Punjab 1, Tamil Nadu 1, Telangana 1, West Bengal 1.

The total number of confirmed cases included 931 Indians and 48 foreign nationals. 87 patients were cured and discharged-87, while 25 deaths were registered.

The highest number of 179 new coronavirus cases were registered, on Saturday, with Telengana registering its first death due to Covid 19, when a 74-year-old with travel history to Delhi, died at a private hospital in Telangana. A family of four, who had visited Delhi, also tested positive. Besides, four medics deployed at RGI Airport in Hyderabad also reportedly contracted the virus. A tally of active cases rose to 63 in Telangana. One Covid-19 patient in the state was cured and discharged simultaneously.

The Maharashtra with 181 cases has the most number of Covid-19 patients, Kerala comes second in the list with 176 confirmed cases. The tally of confirmed cases stood as : Maharashtra 181, Kerala 176, Telangana 63, Karnataka 55, Uttar Pradesh 55, Gujarat 55,  Rajasthan 54, Delhi 49, Tamil Nadu 40, Delhi 39, Punjab 38, Madhya Pradesh 34, Haryana 33, Jammu and Kashmir 25, West Bengal 15, Andhra Pradesh 14, Ladakh 13, Bihar 9, Andaman and Nicobar Islands 9, Chandigarh 8, Chhattisgarh 6, Uttarakhand 5, Odisha 3, Goa 3,Himachal Pradesh 3, Manipur 1, Mizoram 1, Puducherry 1

The confirmed cases include: a police head constable who was deployed at Mumbai airport, a  Central Industrial Security Force jawan and  a BSF officer  in Madhya Pradesh.

On Saturday the Union government unveiled a Rs 1.7 lakh crore stimulus to help those hit by the 21-day lockdown. While the Maharashtra government decided to include treatment for coronavirus, under its health care scheme “Mahatma Phule Jan Arogya Yojna” from first April. BCCI announced to contribute Rs 51 crore to PM’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM-CARES Fund) to fight Covid-19 pandemic.

While the number of deaths around the world stood at 30,000, the number of confirmed  infections worldwide topped 600,000, as new cases stacked up quickly in Europe and the United States.

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India heads towards third phase of “Covid19”; Death toll rises up to 20

Maharashtra Govt to provide shelter and food to migrant labourers

By Raju Vernekar
Mumbai, March 28

The country was heading towards third phase of “Covid19”, with 873 active cases and 20 deaths, even as Maharashtra and Kerala with maximum number of positive cases were  struggling to contain infection, on Saturday. 
With the death of a 69-year-old man at Kochi Medical College, the death toll rose to 20 on Saturday. This became the first death due to “Covid 19” in Kerala. “A 69-year-old man died due to Coronavirus, at Kochi Medical College on Saturday”, Ernakulam District Medical Officer Dr NK Kuttappan tweeted. 
The death toll across the country stood as  : Maharashtra 6, Gujarat 3, Karnataka 2, Madhya Pradesh 2, Bihar 1, Delhi 1, Himachal Pradesh 1, Kerala-01. J & K 1, Punjab 1, Tamil Nadu 1 and West Bengal 1. 
In Mumbai, the death of a 85 year old senior surgeon Dr Abiden Bahrainwala, attached to private hospitals, created a flutter on Friday. He was said to had come in contact with his relatives who had returned from England. Dr Abiden Bahrainwala, passed away at P D Hinduja Hospital in South Central Mumbai. His cardiac surgeon son and his son have also tested positive. Maharashtra Health Department maintained that since the deceased was treated privately, it would come out with its finding only after “verification”. 
Dr. Vernon Desa, Director (Medical governance and clinical compliance) of “Saifee Hospital”,  where Dr. Bahrainwala, was working, in a press statement said that “ Dr. Bahrainwala underwent a CT Scan at Saifee Hospital and was diagnosed as diagnostic for “Covid19”. He was transferred to the special isolation facility at P.D Hinduja Hospital where he subsequently died”. 
With sizable addition of new cases, the countrywide tally of positive cases stood as: Maharashtra-180, Kerala—173, Karnataka-55, Rajasthan-50, Telengana-48,Gujarat-45, Uttar Pradesh-45, Delhi-39, Punjab-38, Tamil Nadu-38, Haryana-33, Madhya Pradesh-20, J & K-18, West Bengal-15, Andhra Pradesh-14, Ladakh-13, Bihar-09, Chandigarh-08, Chhattisgarh-06, Uttarakhand-05, Goa-03, Himachal Pradesh-03, Odisha-03, Andaman and Nicobar-02, Manipur-01, Mizoram-01, Puducherry-01,
 The union ministry of health stated that 873 patients (826 Indians,47 foreigners) tested positive, 78 patients were cured and 15,24,266 passengers were screened at the airports, across the country. 
In another development, the Maharashtra Government has decided to provide shelter and food under the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897 (as amended) to migrant labourers working on various public projects in Mumbai and elsewhere and who are struck due to lock down. 
Under the plan a mapping of migrant labourers will be done and they will be accommodated in the schools run by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and other vacant public premises. There are a sizable number of workers, working on different upcoming metro rail projects in Maharashtra, including Mumbai, Thane, Pune and Nagpur. Since passenger train services have been cancelled, these workers are unable to return to their native places. Chief Ministers of Punjab, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and West Bengal have already requested to Maharashtra Chief Uddhav Thackeray to take care of migrant workers from their states, working in Maharashtra. The Union Home Secretary has also written to all States/Union Territories to take immediate steps for providing all adequate arrangements for the migrant workers, students who are still outside their states. 
In another development, the Maharashtra Government has began “contact tracing” campaign to find out whether any infected persons, including maid servants/ domestic helps, are residing in slums, to prevent “community transmission” of disease. There are thick pockets of slums in Mumbai, where the density of population is nearly 23,000/one square km. Most of the domestic helps reside in these slums. Recently a 68 year old maid servant, working for a 49 year old man, in a Central Mumbai apartment, was found to be infected. The man had  returned from USA on 7 March and the maid was found to be infected by 17 March. After she tested positive, she was admitted to Kasturba Hospital. Now BMC officials are having “testing” time to trace out how many people came in her contact, before she was admitted to the hospital. 
Out of estimated 2.50 crore population of Mumbai, nearly 41.3 per cent reside in slums. By and large the density of population is 73,000 per square mile. There are close to two lakh homeless people in Mumbai alone.

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“Covid 19”: death toll reaches 18 across India; Maharashtra to release 11,000 prisoners on parole

By Raju Vernekar
Mumbai, March 27

With a steep increase in “Covid 19” patients across India, the number of confirmed cases has crossed 640 and death toll reached up to 18 on Friday, whereas 66 patients were cured till now.
The death toll is : Maharashtra 4, Gujarat 3, Karnataka 2, Madhya Pradesh 2, Bihar 1, Delhi 1, Himachal Pradesh 1, J & K 1, Punjab 1, Tamil Nadu 1, West Bengal 1. The new death figures include the death of a 35 year old man in Madhya Pradesh and the death of a 65 year old man at Sopor (J & K) on Friday.
Maharashtra and Kerala remain the top two worst coronavirus-hit states in the country. The break up of confirmed cases is :Maharashtra (125), Kerala (118),Karnataka (55), Telangana (45), Gujarat (43), Rajasthan(41), Uttar Pradesh (41), Delhi (36), Haryana(30) and Punjab (33), Tamil Nadu (29) and Madhya Pradesh (20) J & K (13), Andhra Pradesh (12), West Bengal (10), Chandigarh (7), Chhatisgarh (6), Bihar (6), Uttarakhand (4), Goa(3), Himachal Pradesh (3), Odisha(2), Andaman(1), Manipur(1),Mizoram(1)and Pondicherry(1). 
Following government guidelines on imposing a 21-day country-wide lockdown, the  Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has extended the suspension of international flights to and from India to 14 April.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the RBI on Friday, cut the repo rate by 75 basis points to 4.40 percent versus 5.15% earlier. Accordingly, the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate stand reduced to 4.65 percent from 5.40 percent. The reverse repo rate under the LAF stands reduced by 90 basis points to 4.0 percent.
“RBI has taken several measures to inject substantial liquidity. Priority is to undertake strong and purposeful action to protect the domestic economy, Need for all stakeholders to fight against the pandemic and banks should do all they can to keep credit flowing,” RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said.
In view of the countrywide lock down, the Union Ministry of Road, Transport and Highway has announced temporarily suspension of toll collection at toll plazas to ease emergency services in view of the coronavirus outbreak. Union Minister for Road, Transport and Highway Nitin Gadkari has stated the maintenance of roads and availability of emergency resources at toll plaza would continue in a usual manner.
The Maharashtra Government has decided to release 11,000 under trials and convicts lodged in 60 prisons on parole to reduce the crowd. Those serving imprisonment of 7 years or less will be granted parole immediately, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said
In another development, the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) has decided to donate Rs. 50 lakh towards Chief Minister’s Relief fund as an aid for coronavirus relief and rehabilitation measures. The MCA has also decided to make available Wankhede Stadium located in South Mumbai, to quarantine people if need be. This was decided in a meeting of MCA members held via video conferencing on Thursday, MCA Secretary Sanjay Naik said.
Gadkari has declared to donate one month’s salary towards PM’s relief fund. Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has announced to donate Rs one crore from his MPs fund. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has announced donation of Rs. 2.66 crore. Similarly all Shiv Sena MPs and MLAs will be donating one month’s salary towards Maharashtra CM’s relief fund.

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A surge in number of positive cases in Mumbai; An elderly woman dies in Navi Mumbai; death toll climbs to13

By Raju Vernekar
Mumbai, March 26

The number of coronavirus cases climbed to 649 in India and the death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 13, with one death reported each from Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh, according to the Health Ministry, on Thursday.
A 65-year-old Ujjain-based woman died of coronavirus at a hospital in Indore, becoming the first Covid-19 fatality in Madhya Pradesh thus taking death toll to 13.
In its updated figures at 10.15 am, the Union Health ministry stated that 13 “COVID-19” deaths were reported so far in the country. Maharashtra reported three deaths, Gujarat two, while Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Karnataka, Punjab, Delhi, West Bengal and Himachal Pradesh reported one death each. 
Of the active cases, 569 are Indians while 43 are foreign nationals. 43 patients have also been cured or migrated. This means the total tally of coronavirus cases in India till now is 667. 
The tally of positive cases:  Maharashtra (124),  Kerala  (109), Karnataka (41), Rajasthan (38), Uttar Pradesh(37), Telangana (37),Gujarat(37), Delhi (31), Punjab (29), Haryana (28), Tamil Nadu (18), Ladakh (13),Madhya Pradesh (13), West Bengal (9), Andhra Pradesh (9), Chandigarh(7), Jammu and Kashmir(7), Bihar (6), Uttarakhand (4), Goa (3),  Manipur (1), Mizoram (1), Puducherry(1) 
In the meanwhile a 65 year old woman died at Vashi in Navi Mumbai on Thursday. However health department was yet to confirm whether she died due to Covid 19 or any other ailment. 
Meanwhile, a surge in number of new patients continues in Maharashtra and the number of positive cases reached 124. They included: Mumbai city and suburbs: 52, Pimpri Chinchwad MCm 12, Pune MC 19, Navi Mumbai 5, Kalyan 5, Nagpur 4, Yavatmal 4, Sangli 9, Ahmednagar 3, Thane 4, Satara 2, Panvel, Ulhasnagar, Aurangabad, Ratnagiri, Vasai-Virar- one each.

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