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Coronavirus situation under control in Delhi, not terrible, says Kejriwal

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Delhi has managed to slow down the spread of coronavirus for now, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said today, citing figures that fall short of predictions for June. In place of the predicted 60,000 active cases by the end of June, Delhi has only around 26,000, he said. the number of cases detected each day, has also gone down from last week -- around 2,500 a day instead of the close to 4,000.

With 87,000 cases, the national capital, which is the third worst-hit state in the country after Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, is still short of the 1 lakh cases the experts had predicted at the beginning of last month.

Over the last 24 hours, 2,199 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Delhi, taking the total to 87,360. The number of fatalities has gone up to 2,742 with 62 more deaths reported in a single day. There are 26,270 active cases.

The daily hike in cases has seen a downward trend in the last one week.

Mr Kejriwal said testing, which has been increased, also indicates a slowdown of the virus.

"We have increased the number of tests. There is a good indication... Earlier around 31 out of 100 people whose samples were collected tested positive for Coronavirus. Today, 13 out of 100 people test positive," Mr Kejriwal said.

The recovery rate in Delhi has improved from 60 per cent to 66 per cent. The national recovery rate is 59 per cent. The death rate has remained around 3 per cent.

Testing has been increasing and has remained between 16,000 and 21,000 in the last week.

In the beginning of June, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had said Delhi will have 1 lakh coronavirus cases by the end of the month and 5.5 lakh cases by the end of July. On basis of the estimate, the number of beds were increased, with public and private participation.

The Centre chipped in with 500 railway coaches which were converted into COVID-19 facilities.

Do you think Delhi has managed to slow down the spread of coronavirus?

Swarms Of Desert Locusts Reach Delhi Outskirts After Gurugram

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Swarms of crop-destroying desert locusts have reached the outskirts of Delhi after entering Gurugram this morning. Multiple videos shot by residents of Gurugram city and villages in the district this morning show massive clusters of locusts flying in.

Thousands of locusts were seen covering the sky near the Cyber Hub area of Gurugram.

The Haryana government has issued a high alert after locusts entered Rewari and Gurugram districts, with officials saying that all necessary measures have been taken, including deploying tractor-mounted spraying facilities, according to news agency PTI.

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai has called an emergency meeting to discuss the situation following a locust attack in neighbouring Gurugram, according to PTI. The minister also directed the administration to be alert, an official said.

Gurugram residents were last evening asked to keep their windows shut as precaution against a locust attack by the city administration as a swarm was sighted in an adjoining district.

The administration has asked residents to make clanging noises by beating utensils to ward the insects off.

"The swarm of locusts started around 11:00am. We immediately closed the windows and doors, and the society administration started bellowing hooters installed on buildings to drive away the insects," says Rita Sharma, a resident of Beverly Park 2 at MG Road in Gurugram.

"Farmers must also keep their pumps (for insecticide spray) ready so that they can be used when needed," the Gurugram administration had said.

The administration has asked employees of agriculture department to spread awareness on locusts in villages.

The Delhi Air Traffic Control has directed pilots of all airlines to take necessary precautions during landing and take-off of aircraft in view of locust swarms seen near the airport in areas along Gurugram-Dwarka Expressway, according to news agency ANI.

Massive swarms of desert locusts have been destroying crops in many parts of western and central India, spearing into Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab now, after Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana.

The central government has set up 11 control rooms to coordinate the response.

Last month, Haryana Chief Secretary Keshni Anand Arora had directed the Agriculture department and district administrations to take all necessary precautions in advance to tackle any potential attack of locust swarms in the state.

Locusts form swarms in Africa and fly from Iran, Pakistan to India. They are known to have an enormous appetite. They eat plants and can wreck massive damage to crops in days if left unchecked.

Do you think there is any way to successfully quell a locust infestation?

Tamil Nadu announces 'maximised restricted lockdown' from June 19 in Chennai, 3 other districts

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Tamil Nadu government has announced "maximised restricted lockdown" in parts of the state. The maximised lockdown would take place from June 19 to June 30 in areas of Chennai, Kanchipuram, Chengalpattu and Tiruvallur district -- all within the limits of Metropolitan Chennai Police.

CM Edappadi K Palaniswami said in his announcement that vegetable stores in these areas would be allowed to remain open from 8am to 2pm. This move comes after the Tamil Nadu government held consultative meetings with experts and senior officials on Monday.

Senior epidemiologist and member of the 19-member expert committee on coronavirus, Dr P Kuganantham said that the panel advised the government to cut down relaxations to prevent the spread of the virus.

Palaniswami said that there was no community transmission in Tamil Nadu and that the pandemic has been brought under control in most districts. However, capital city Chennai has been most affected in the state.

Tamil Nadu has 44,661 cases of coronavirus and is one of the most severely-affected states in the country. It has 19,679 active cases, 24,547 discharges and 435 deaths.

Prime Minister Modi is scheduled to meet the chief ministers of all states and UTs in two batches on Tuesday and Wednesday. He will meet CM Palaniswami through video conferencing on Wednesday. On the same day, he would meet the CMs of Maharashtra, Delhi, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Telangana, and Odisha as well.

Do you think Lockdown needs to be extended?

Mumbai May Have Escaped Worst Of Cyclone Nisarga, Wind Speed Slows Down

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Severe cyclonic storm Nisarga - the second to strike India in two weeks - made landfall on the Maharashtra coast near Alibaugh at around 1 pm. The storm is expected to weaken into a cyclone in a few hours. With wind speeds slowing down, coronavirus-hit Mumbai may have escaped the worst of the tropical storm. No damage has been reported from the financial capital where movement of people is restricted in public places like beaches, parks and promenades along the coastline till tomorrow afternoon. Flight operations have been suspended at the city's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport till 7 pm. Besides Maharashtra, Gujarat, Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli were put on high alert due to the cyclone that developed over a low pressure area over the Arabian Sea.

Here are top 10 developments on Cyclone Nisarga:

1. Tropical storm Nisarga made landfall this afternoon near Alibaug, a popular getaway about 100 km from Mumbai, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) chief SN Pradhan tweeted, along with some dramatic clips that show trees swaying, electricity poles toppling amid strong winds and heavy rain. Very strong winds uprooted trees near the beach, blocking roads.

2. An important setting in colonial history, Alibaug reported wind speed of 93 km per hour this afternoon. The tropical storm - likely to weaken into a cyclone in the next six hours - crossed the coast with wind speeds of 100-110 km per hour, gusting up to 120 km per hour, the weather department said.

3. Forty-three teams of National Disaster Response Force or NDRF have been deployed in areas expected to be affected along Maharashtra and Gujarat coasts. One NDRF team consists of 45 personnel. "The evacuation is nearly complete. Those in shelters are being trained for life skills and social distancing is being ensured. All preparations are in order. Let's hope we safely ride through the cyclone," NDRF chief SN Pradhan said in a video message this afternoon.

4. In Maharashtra, more than 40,000 people have been moved to safety, news agency PTI reported. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday appealed to the people of the state to "stay indoors" for two days. "The cyclone could be more severe than the ones the state has faced till now," Mr Thackeray said. With over 70,000 COVID-19 cases, the state is the worst-hit in the country by the pandemic.

5. Mumbai's civic body Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has put out a list of dos and don'ts for citizens, urging them to stay away from windows, check for gas leaks and keep mobile phones charged. "Dial 1916 and Press 4 for any cyclone-related questions. Ignore rumours, stay calm, don't panic," the BMC said. The Banda-Worli sea link in the city has been closed for traffic and rescue teams are on standy near coasts.

6. A storm surge - as high as two metres (three to 6.5 feet) above the astronomical tide - was predicted by the IMD. The weather department predicted heavy rain and flooding in Mumbai, Thane, Pune and Palghar.

7. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's Office (CMO) on Tuesday listed some of the measures that were being taken. These included evacuating those staying in thatched huts. Non-COVID-19 hospitals have been instructed to prepare for any medical emergencies. The state is also taking measures in case of breaks in electricity supply and to secure the nuclear power plant in Palghar district.

8. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday tweeted: "Took stock of the situation in the wake of cyclone conditions in parts of India's western coast. Praying for everyone's well-being. I urge people to take all possible precautions and safety measures (sic)". In a tweet, his office later said that PM Modi spoke to Maharashtra Chief Minster Uddhav Thackeray, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, assuring all possible help from the centre.

9. The civil aviation regulator - Directorate General of Civil Aviation or DGCA - on Tuesday cautioned airlines about the dangers of operating during monsoon and stormy conditions. Air and rail traffic has been disrupted due to the storm.

10. Cyclone Nisarga is the second to strike India's coasts in nearly two weeks. Last month Cyclone Amphan, one of the worst storms to have formed over the Bay of Bengal in recent years, struck Bengal and parts of Odisha, killing nearly 100 people and affecting lakhs. Bengal Chief Minister estimated the damage done at ?1 lakh crore.

Do you think Cyclone Nisarga will worsen the condition?

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Coronavirus crisis: Delhi govt releases app to track empty hospital beds, ventilators

latest news update

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal launched an app on Tuesday that would help people find how many beds are vacant in which hospital. Kejriwal while addressing a press conference said that the Delhi government has made adequate arrangements for coronavirus patients in terms of facilities and equipment available. "We have been telling you that the Delhi government has made adequate arrangements for COVID-19 patients - in terms of the number of hospitals, beds in there, the ICU facility in those hospitals and how many ventilators are there," he said.

The Chief Minister acknowledged that there is an information gap. People have told the government that they could not find any bed in the hospitals, he said. "This app will fill that gap," said Kejriwal, adding that it will furnish information on beds in both private and government hospitals. There are still beds vacant, he added.

One can also check the number of ventilators. "Total 302 ventilators are available in Delhi, of which 210 are vacant. All this information will be updated on this app twice a day, 10 am and 6 pm," said the CM.

CM Kejriwal said that the app can be accessed on the internet as well.  One can also call on helpline number 1031 for information on hospitals and beds. "They will send you an SMS with the status of bed availability in Delhi hospitals," he said.

The Chief Minister said that in case the app shows vacancy in a hospital but they refuse to admit the patient, then one can call on 1031. He said that the Special Secretary would then get in touch with the hospital and help in availing a bed.

"Number of cases in Delhi are increasing, but there's no need to worry about medical care for coronavirus patients as we have made sufficient arrangements. If any member of your family tests positive, then they'll get the required medical services," said Kejriwal.

CM Kejriwal however urged people to not opt for hospitalisation if the doctor has asked them to rest at home.

Delhi eased the restrictions on Monday following the new guidelines by MHA even as cases are on the rise in the national capital. The Delhi government allowed shops, markets and salons to open but sealed inter-state borders for a week. According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Delhi has 20,834 cases with 523 deaths and 11,565 active cases. A total of 8,746 people have been discharged.

Do you think there is an information gap?

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