Nepal | July 07, 2020

India’s Modi warns of coronavirus ‘negligence’ as some cities extend lockdowns

Reuters
Share Now:

CHENNAI/NEW DELHI: India‘s prime minister on Tuesday warned citizens against flouting rules to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, as he extended a vast social security scheme until November.

Several Indian cities prepared to extend their lockdowns to combat the spread of the infection on Tuesday, with daily new cases in the country remaining close to 20,000.

“Ever since (easing of restrictions) started in the country, negligence in personal and social behaviour has been increasing,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a televised address, adding citizens were ignoring guidelines on social distancing and hand washing.

Under pressure for leaving the poor to fend for themselves early in a stringent lockdown that began in March, Modi also announced the extension of a scheme providing free food grains to 800 million Indians, at a cost of around $12 billion.

The opposition Congress Party, led by Rahul Gandhi, said the measures were inadequate, calling for direct cash transfers to the poorest in the country.

India reported 18,522 new cases over the previous 24 hours, according to federal health data released on Tuesday, down slightly from Sunday’s record of 19,906.

With more than 550,000 total infections, India lags only the United States, Brazil and Russia in total cases.

More than 16,000 people have died in India – a low figure when compared with countries with similar numbers of cases – though experts fear its hospitals will be unable to cope with a steep rise in infections.

CURBS CONTINUE

India on Wednesday enters what Modi has called “Unlock 2.0”, with many curbs on movement relaxed, though schools, cinemas, gyms and bars will remain shut. But some states have imposed their own lockdowns in cities with significant outbreaks.

The northeastern state of Assam, where authorities are struggling with the impact of floods that forced more than a million people from their homes, ordered a stringent two-week lockdown in the main city of Guwahati to tackle the coronavirus.

“We are witnessing a spike in local infections,” the state’s health minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma, told Reuters.

“There have been about 175 positive cases reported on Monday only in Guwahati, which is a matter of serious concern.”

Tamil Nadu state extended a strict lockdown for its capital Chennai by five days. It also announced a closure of meat shops due to what officials said were large crowds gathering there.

“It is a ridiculous move since meat is essential, along with vegetables and medicines,” said Prasanna Kumar, 30, a city IT employee.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Nepal Tourism Board reveals top five photos from 'Nepal From Your Window' contest

KATHMANDU: Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) on Sunday revealed five photos that made it to the top-five of the 'Nepal From Your Window' photo contest. The five photos will be awarded with cash prize of Rs 10,000 each. Among the 500 approved photos listed in the contest, Samde Sherpa's Kathmandu V Read More...

Barca outclass Villarreal after recent disappointments

VILA-REAL: Barcelona responded to a trying week by producing a scintillating display to thrash Villarreal 4-1 away on Sunday and stay alive in the Liga title race. The Catalans had drawn their last two matches to hand more momentum to league leaders Real Madrid but Sunday's win took them to Read More...

Messi will finish career at Barca says club president

VILA-REAL: Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has said that captain Lionel Messi will end his career at the Catalan club, dismissing a report saying the Argentine no longer wishes to renew his current contract when it expires next year. "Messi has said he will end his working and footb Read More...

Oli, Dahal’s bid to save party unity continues

KATHMANDU, JULY 5 Co-chairs of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli held talks today but failed to end the current deadlock in the party. NCP is deeply divided with the PM refusing to quit prime minister or party co-chair’s post, and the Read More...

Subas Chandra Nembang meets Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba

KATHMANDU: Deputy parliamentary party leader of the NCP Subas Chandra Nembang met Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba at the latter’s residence in Budhanilkantha. NC leader Minendra Rijal was also present in the meeting. Nembang told THT that he met Deuba at the behest of Oli ‘to Read More...

Poultry farm

Chicken price up as farmers stop hatching chicks

KATHMANDU, JULY 5 Prices of chicken and eggs in the domestic market has surged after farmers stopped hatching chicks. Chicken cost has shot up to Rs 360 per kg from Rs 250 earlier, while eggs cost Rs 380 per crate of 30 eggs, a hike of Rs 100 in a few days. Krishna Shrestha, a chicken selle Read More...

Govt urged to guarantee citizens’ right to health

Kathmandu, July 5 The National Human Rights Commission has urged the Government of Nepal to guarantee the right to health to every citizen amid the spike in COVID-19 cases and fatalities in the country. Issuing a press release today, the rights body expressed grave concern regarding the findin Read More...

National Examinations Board (NEB) Nepal

Schools may get mandate to conduct Grade XI examination

KATHMANDU, JULY 5 As schools across the country have remained closed for months due to the lockdown, concerned officials are mulling over recommending the government to cancel the national level examination of Grade XI being held by the federal government. The National Curriculum Development a Read More...