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AICTE, Mumbai University announce online workshop from 13 May to 17 May on 'Universal Human Values in Education'

The University of Mumbai in collaboration with AICTE (Western Region) will be organising an online workshop on 'Universal Human Values in Education' for institutions offering technical education.The workshop will commence on 13 May and end on 17 May. According to University of Mumbai, the workshop is of paramount significance to continue learning process amid COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown.The workshop will be conducted in Hindi and English. The morning session will be from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm and the evening session will be from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm.File image of Mumbai University. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons “To understand the basics of value education an online workshop is being organized exclusively for the Vice Chancellors of Technical Universities and University Coordinators appointed for coordinating the activities related to FDPs on Student Induction Programme,” the circular said.The workshop is specifically designed for sharing All India Council for Technical Edu…

Coronavirus Outbreak LIVE Updates: NHRC takes suo motu cognisance of Aurangabad rail accident, asks Maharashtra govt to submit report in four weeks

08:16 (IST)

Coronavirus Outbreak Latest Updates

WHO to launch COVID-19 app with Bluetooth-based contact tracing

The World Health Organization (WHO) plans to launch an app this month to enable people in under-resourced countries to assess whether they may have the novel coronavirus, and is considering a Bluetooth-based contact tracing feature too, an official told Reuters on Friday.

The app will ask people about their symptoms and offer guidance on whether they may have Covid-19, the potentially lethal illness caused by the coronavirus, said Bernardo Mariano, chief information officer for the WHO. Other information, such as how to get tested, will be personalized according to the user’s country.

Though the WHO will release a version on app stores globally, any government will be able to take the app’s underlying technology, add features and release its own version on app stores, Mariano said in a phone interview.

08:07 (IST)

Coronavirus Outbreak Latest Updates

Uber lays off 14% of its workforce, says French hacker 

The latest findings of French hacker Robert Baptiste, who goes by Elliot Alderson on Twitter, revealed that Uber has laid of 3,700 employees. In the wee hours of Saturday, Baptiste tweeted that the cab service providers have decided to lay off close to 14 percent of its workforce. 

Uber has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, which has crushed the travel industry because of lockdowns to stop the spread of the virus. 

The stocks fell fell as much as 4 percent on Wednesday but ended the trading day down 0.9 percent

07:56 (IST)

Coronavirus Outbreak in Maharashtra Latest Updates

NHRC takes suo motu cognisance of Aurangabad rail accident that killed over 16 migrant workers

The National Human Rights Commission on Friday issued notices to the Maharashtra Chief Secretary and the District Magistrate of Aurangabad over 16 migrant workers being mowed down by a goods train. The incident happened between Badnapur and Karmad stations in Nanded Division.

The NHRC has taken suo motu cognisance of media reports about mowing down of 16 migrant workers by the goods train in the early hours of Friday, it said in a statement.

The officers have been directed to submit a detailed report within four weeks. "It should also include details of the steps taken by the state and the district authorities to provide food, shelter and other basic amenities to the poor people, especially migrant labourers, who are facing extreme difficulties from every angle during the coronavirus-triggered lockdown," it said.

Coronavirus Outbreak LATEST Updates:  The National Human Rights Commission on Friday issued notices to the Maharashtra Chief Secretary and the District Magistrate of Aurangabad over 16 migrant workers being mowed down by a goods train. The incident happened between Badnapur and Karmad stations in Nanded Division.

The NHRC has taken suo motu cognisance of media reports about mowing down of 16 migrant workers by the goods train in the early hours of Friday, it said in a statement.

The officers have been directed to submit a detailed report within four weeks. "It should also include details of the steps taken by the state and the district authorities to provide food, shelter and other basic amenities to the poor people, especially migrant labourers, who are facing extreme difficulties from every angle during the coronavirus-triggered lockdown," it said.

The nationwide tally of COVID-19 cases reached 56,342 on Friday  with more people testing positive for the deadly virus infection in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan among other states.

India registered an increase of 103 fatalities and 3,390 infections in the last 24 hours, on Friday while the number of those having recovered from the infection crossedg the 16,000 mark and the toll neared 1,900.

Meanwhile, the situation in Maharashtra's Mumbai and Pune remained worrisome with both cities reporting 748 and 111 cases, respectively. The massive spike in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region was reported along with the news that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation chief was replaced by the Maharashtra government on Friday.

Representational image. AP

BMC commissioner Pravin Pardeshi will swap offices with Iqbal S Chahal, currently additional chief secretary (urban development).

Delhi, Chennai and Ahmedabad emerged as other  major hotspots in the country, with the National Capital reporting 338 new cases, while the other two cities registered 399 and 269 cases, respectively.

Spike in cases continue despite extended lockdown

A large number of new cases were reported during the day from various cities in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, while Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha also reported rise in their tallies.

The number of active COVID-19 cases stood at 37,916. While 16,539 people have recovered, one patient has migrated, it said. "Thus, around 29.35 percent patients have recovered so far," a senior health ministry official said.
The total cases include 111 foreign nationals.

The total of 103 deaths reported since Thursday morning include 43 in Maharashtra; 29 in Gujarat; eight in Madhya Pradesh; seven in West Bengal; five in Rajasthan; two each in Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh; and one each in Bihar, Delhi, Karnataka, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir.

Of the 1,886 fatalities, Maharashtra tops the tally with 694 patients dying of COVID-19, Gujarat comes second with 425 deaths, followed by Madhya Pradesh at 193, West Bengal at 151, Rajasthan at 97, Delhi at 66, Uttar Pradesh at 62 and Andhra Pradesh at 38.

The death toll reached 37 in Tamil Nadu, 30 in Karnataka while Telangana has reported 29 fatalities. Punjab has registered 28 COVID-19 deaths, Jammu and Kashmir nine, Haryana seven, Bihar five and Kerala four.

Jharkhand has recorded three COVID-19 fatalities. Odisha and Himachal Pradesh have reported two deaths each.
Meghalaya, Chandigarh, Assam and Uttarakhand have reported one fatality each, according to the ministry data.

According to the health ministry data updated in the morning, the highest number of confirmed cases in the country is from Maharashtra at 17,974 followed by Gujarat at 7,012, Delhi at 5,980, Tamil Nadu at 5,409, Rajasthan at 3,427, Madhya Pradesh at 3,252 and Uttar Pradesh at 3,071.

The number of COVID-19 cases has gone up to 1,847 in Andhra Pradesh and 1,644 in Punjab.

The tally has risen to 1,548 in West Bengal, 1,123 in Telangana, 793 in Jammu and Kashmir, 705 in Karnataka, 625 in Haryana and 550 in Bihar.

Kerala has reported 503 coronavirus cases so far, while Odisha has 219. A total of 135 people have been infected with the virus in Chandigarh and 132 in Jharkhand.

Tripura has reported 65 cases, Uttarakhand has 61, Chhattisgarh has 59, Assam has 54, Himachal Pradesh has 46 and Ladakh has 42.

Thirty-three COVID-19 cases have been reported from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Meghalaya has registered 12 cases, Puducherry has nine, while Goa has seven. Manipur has two cases. Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Dadar and Nagar Haveli have reported one case each.

"Our figures are being reconciled with the ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research)," the ministry said on its website.

State-wise distribution is subject to further verification and reconciliation, it said.

MHA says 'learn to live with virus'

During a press briefing on the COVID-19 situation, Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said, "As we talk of relaxations to the lockdown and of migrant workers returning back to their respective homes, there is a big challenge in front of us that we also have to learn to live with the virus."

"And when we are talking about learning to live with the virus then it is very important that the guidelines that are there on saving oneself from the virus are adopted in the community as a behavioural change," he added.

It is a big challenge and the government needs the community support for it, Agarwal added.

The ministry also reeled off various datasets, including those showing a rising number of infection-free districts and an increasing recovery rate, to suggest the success of the government's strategy in the COVID-19 fight, even as it sought "a behavioural change" and everyone's support in this massive challenge.

Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, however, admitted there has been no success yet in breaking the virus chain, and said his government may seek deployment of central forces, if needed, to allow police personnel to take rest in phases. The state tops the nationwide tally for confirmed cases as well as deaths.

Ugly side of migrant crisis

Sixteen migrant workers sleeping on rail tracks while returning to Madhya Pradesh were crushed to death by a goods train in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra. The migrant workers, rendered jobless due to the coronavirus-enforced lockdown and desperate to go to their native places, were walking along the rail tracks apparently to escape police attention.

Those killed and the four other migrant workers who survived were all male, officials said. A viral video clip from the scene of the tragedy shows the bodies of migrant workers lying on the tracks and nearby with their meagre personal belongings scattered around.

Aurangabad SP Mokshada Patil told PTI that three of the four survivors had tried in vain to wake up their colleagues who had slept on the track after an overnight walk from Jalna, around 40 kilometres from the accident spot. The workers were walking to Bhusawal from Jalna along rail tracks, while returning to their home state Madhya Pradesh, an official at the Karmad police station said.

Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh governments announced financial aid of Rs 10 lakh  to Rs 5 lakh each to the families of the deceased.

Separately in Karnataka, hundreds of migrant workers gathered on Mangaluru station in protest.  They told the local police that they were stuck in the city without jobs, money and adequate food and that they were even willing to walk to their home states if the special trains were not operated immediately.

Meanwhile, a plea has been filed in the Supreme Court on Friday seeking a direction to the Centre to ask all district magistrates in the country to identify stranded migrant workers and provide shelter and food to them before ensuring their free transportation to native places in view of the Aurangabad tragedy.

Economic costs of lockdown causes worry

With the pandemic and the ongoing lockdown hitting the economy badly, Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh urged the prime minister to spell out the way forward for the country's economic revival and an exit strategy from the third phase of the lockdown.

A nationwide lockdown has been in place since 25 March, which was first imposed for 21 days but got extended first for another 14 days till 3 May and then for further 14 days in the third phase, with considerable relaxations, till 17 May.

The economic cost of the COVID-19 fight and the ongoing nationwide lockdown also appeared rising manifold with Moody's Investors Service projecting India's economic growth at zero percent for the current fiscal. It also said that a high government debt, weak social and physical infrastructure, and a fragile financial sector face further pressures due to the coronavirus outbreak.

According to experts, industrial and other business establishments may also face a huge labour shortage once they resume operations after the lockdown, which has been in place since 25 March and is scheduled to continue till 17 May. Lakhs of migrant workers have either left for their native places or are in the process of doing so, including by trains and buses arranged by state governments.

There are also worries that the virus spread may grow further in newer areas following these movements, while a large number of Indians stranded abroad have also begun returning home in special flights.

Since its outbreak in China last December, more than 38.6 lakh people have been found to be infected with this virus, while over 2.7 lakh people have lost their lives. Nearly 13 lakh people have recovered so far, including about 2 lakh in the US.

Separately, a panel of experts, formed to suggest ways to revive Maharashtra's economy, hit by the COVID-19 crisis and the resultant lockdown, submitted its report to the government during the day.

Several states have been taking steps to shore up their resources, including by levying higher taxes on fuel and liquor.
After Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and several others, Himachal Pradesh government has now decided to impose a 'corona cess' on liquor sales, while Puducherry chief minister V Narayanasamy also said the territorial administration was mulling imposition of special COVID-19 tax on liquor to wriggle out of the current fiscal crisis.

The Madras High Court, however, ordered closure of liquor shops in Tamil Nadu a day after they were reopened, but allowed sale of liquor through online and door delivery till the end of the lockdown.

The Supreme Court too asked states to consider non-direct contact or online sales and home delivery of liquor during the lockdown period to prevent the spread of coronavirus on account of crowding at the shops.

Liquor shops were allowed to be opened in the third phase of the lockdown, which began on 4 May, subject to compliance to social distancing and other guidelines issued by the government.

With inputs from PTI



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