The flight of migrant labourers continues, with several of the interstate bus stations in Delhi becoming heavily crowded areas.

New Delhi: The overall number of COVID-19 positive people rose to 979, with 61 new cases coming in, the health ministry said this morning. The figure includes 87 people who have been cured, 25 people have died. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who declared a 21-day lockdown last week, today warned against violation of the restrictions, saying those doing so were “playing with their own lives’. In the backdrop of the return of thousands of migrant labourers to their villages, the Prime Minister also apologized for the lockdown decision which, he said, has inconvenienced the poor.

Here are the top 10 developments in this big story:

  1. “I apologize for taking these harsh steps which have caused difficulties in your lives, especially the poor people. I know some of you would be angry with me also. But these tough measures were needed to win this battle,” Prime Minister  Narendra Modi said today in his monthly radio address “Mann Ki Baat”.
  2. 61 new cases of COVID-19 came over the last 16 hours, following yesterday’s mega jump of nearly 200 cases. Overall 25 people have died, the deaths were reported from various states including Bengal, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Bihar. A death each has been reported from these states. Maharashtra has reported 6 deaths, Madhya Pradesh 2, Karnataka 3, Gujarat 4, and Delhi 2. 
  3. The flight of migrant labourers continues, with several of the interstate bus stations in Delhi becoming heavily crowded areas. A 14-day quarantine in state-run camps has been made mandatory for the labourers who are returning to their hometowns in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in special buses.
  4. In Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed all the district magistrates to trace over 1.5 lakh migrants who have returned to the state over the last few days, quarantine them in state-run camps and ensure arrangements for their food and other everyday needs. 
  5. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has again appealed to migrant workers not to leave.In a series of tweets in Hindi, he said, “I assure you that the Delhi government has made sufficient arrangements for your food and accommodation. For now, do not go to your villages in the country’s interest”.
  6. With domestic flights grounded, SpiceJet has offered services of its aircraft and crew members to the government for any humanitarian mission during the 21-day lockdown and the airline is ready to operate some flights from Delhi and Mumbai to Patna to help the migrant workers, especially those from Bihar, its CMD Ajay Singh said on Friday.
  7. Another batch of 275 Indians have been brought from Iran, reach Jodhpur, reported news agency ANI. They would be kept at the Indian army’s wellness centre. 277 Indians evacuated earlier this month from Iran are already lodged at this centre. 
  8. The nationwide lockdown has brought down the pollution levels in more than 90 cities, including Delhi. According to the Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the impact of the measures taken due to the coronavirus outbreak has resulted in a drop in PM2.5 (fine particulate pollutant) by 30 per cent in Delhi and by 15 per cent in Ahmedabad and Pune.
  9. Technically called the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 or SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus causes the COVID-19 disease, originated in China’s Wuhan city. A novel virus is one that has not been previously identified in humans.
  10. Italy, Spain, Iran and the United States have been worst hit by the pandemic apart from China. Italy on Friday recorded 1,000 deaths, highest in a day.
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