India restarts factories, farming in rural areas even as coronavirus cases rise

first_imgSome shops and businesses opened in rural India on Monday as part of a staggered exit from a weeks-long lockdown that has left millions out of work and short of food, while coronavirus infections rose by more than 1,500 over the previous day.India’s 1.3 billion population has been under one of the world’s toughest lockdowns with people forbidden from stepping out of their homes except for food and medicines until May 3.But Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government said some activities, including factories and farming, would be allowed from Monday in the hinterland which has been less-hard hit by COVID-19. Hundreds of thousands of migrant workers fled the big cities for their homes in the villages, unable to pay for food and rent, after Modi announced a 21-day lockdown last month which he extended by another 19 days.Even before the pandemic, India’s $2.9 trillion economy was growing at its weakest pace in over a decade, but now it is expected to slow to even zero growth in the fiscal year that began on April 1, private economists say, putting further pressure on jobs.”The focus is on select industries and farming, and rural employment guarantee program,” said Punya Salila Srivastava, a joint secretary at the home ministry which is managing the re-start of the economy.India had 17,264 cases of coronavirus infections as of Monday and more than 60 percent of these were from five of India’s 28 states. Such an uneven spread allows health officials to focus their efforts on the top affected areas, or red zones, such as Delhi and Mumbai, while allowing other states to re-start activities, another official said.Around 4,000 factories resumed operations in western Gujarat, one of the country’s most industrialized regions, the chief minister’s office said.These included small, medium and big firms in sectors such as chemicals, engineering, textiles, plastics, packaging and automobiles, said Ashwani Kumar, Secretary to the Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani.Modi’s critics have said he should have better planned the lockdown to lessen the impact on the economy and that India had no choice but to ramp up its testing for the coronavirus.”The one-size-fit-all lockdown has brought untold misery & suffering to millions of farmers, migrant laborers, daily wagers & business owners,” said Rahul Gandhi, leader of the main opposition Congress, said in a tweet last week.”It needs a ‘smart’ upgrade, using mass testing to isolate virus hotspots & allowing businesses in other areas to gradually reopen. “On Sunday, India tested 27,824 samples, the highest so far, but still some way off the target of 40,000 a day which officials want to eventually raise to 100,000.Here are official government figures on the spread of the coronavirus in South Asia:* India has reported 17,264 cases, including 543 deaths * Pakistan has reported 7,638 cases, including 143 deaths * Afghanistan has reported 933 cases, including 30 deaths * Sri Lanka has reported 248 cases, including seven deaths * Bangladesh has reported 2,144 cases, including 84 deaths * Maldives has reported 34 cases and no deaths* Nepal has reported 30 cases and no deaths * Bhutan has reported five cases and no deaths Topics :center_img Small businesses reopened in the rural parts of most populous Uttar Pradesh after the lockdown in late March but police were deployed to ensure people maintained social distancing.Ramkumar Sharma, a carpenter on the outskirts of Lucknow, the state capital, said he had opened up for business again and that he would take precautions going forward.”This is a great relief to be able to work,” he said.A small group of construction workers showed up a labor center nearby hoping to get hired for day jobs, only to be dispersed by police.last_img read more


GSA’s Zeya Lorio wins three events in MDI track meet

first_imgBAR HARBOR — George Stevens Academy’s Zeya Lorio took first in two individual events and one relay at Saturday’s Mount Desert Island track meet.Lorio won the 1,600-meter run (5:49.60) and the 800-meter run (2:46.44), and she was also one of the 4×400-meter relay winners, who also included Eliza Broughton, Bella Cimeno and Alice Dillon (4:46.97).The GSA girls took third overall of five teams with 89 points. MDI won with 125, and Hermon placed second with 104. The boys placed second with 121 points, and MDI won with 192.GSA boys who placed first were John Hassett, who placed first in both the 800-meter run (2:05.28) and the 3,200-meter run (10:58.64), and Erik Taylor-Lash, who won the 1,600-meter race walk (8:19.38).This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textClick here for more boys’ results.Click here for more girls’ results.last_img read more


Abuja Bubbles for Weightlifting Tourney

first_imgAll is set for the first national weightlifting tournament to be staged by the Mohammed Yahaya led board of the Nigeria Weightlifting Federation (NWF) at the Abuja National Stadium.The tournament that is scheduled to run from today, December 6 through December 8 is attracting a good number of states and weightlifting clubs from different parts of the country.Media chief of the sports federation, Louis Okoro, said the tournament would be used to select weightlifters who would be flying Nigeria’s flag at major international meets next year. “The national open trials we are staging in Abuja would be used to select the lifters that would be flying our flag at major international championships next year. We are looking forward to the IWF World Championship in Lima, Peru and the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast,” Okoro stated.He further disclosed that each lifter would pay a participation cum doping fee of N2,000, while states and clubs are to pay an affiliation fee of N20,000.He stressed that all the lifters are to be properly insured before featuring in the competition.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more