The Supreme Court has taken suo moto cognisance of the “problems and miseries” of migrant labourers left stranded by the lockdown and asked the Centre and states to list the steps taken to help them. The case will be heard on Thursday. “We take suo motu cognisance of the problems and miseries of migrant labourers who had been stranded in different parts of the country,” the court said. “The newspaper reports and the media reports have been continuously showing the unfortunate and miserable conditions of migrant labourers walking on foot and travelling on cycles for long distances. They have also been complaining of not being provided food and water by the administration…..In the present situation of lockdown in the entire country, this section of the society needs succour and help by the concerned governments,” the order added. A reminder at this point that the national lockdown, and by extension the “problems and miseries” of migrant labour, are now over two months old. The top court, despite petitions to intervene, had thus far been reluctant to do so. In the intervening period, several experts had publicly disagreed with the apex court’s stance.
The clash between Indian and Chinese troops in the Ladakh region appears to be taking on a more serious dimension today, with reports of massive Chinese incursions into Indian territory along the current line of control (LAC). According to media reports based on satellite images and intelligence sources, the Chinese incursions, some experts estimate that the number of soldiers involved was 5,000 to 10,000, they were seen in at least two different areas: the region of the Galwan River and the Pangong Tso Lake area. The Pangong Tso Lake region has long been a disputed territory, with various possibilities for interpreting territorial boundaries. But significantly, it is the first time since 1962 that the Galwan Valley has been classified as a containment zone. The Galwan River flows from Aksai Chin, which India claims, to Xinjiang in China, before entering Ladakh. In the words of our foreign editor, Stanly Johny, “China has transformed an undisputed area of the LAC region into a contested area, while increasing the presence of troops and patrols in a contested area. The fact that these two flash points are 200 km apart suggests that these are not localized events and that it cannot be the last. “Since the publication of this bulletin, India has not yet published an official response.
The total number of positive coronavirus cases in India was 1.49,721, with a death toll of 4,301. The Health Ministry said today that the death rate in India is among the lowest in the world. “Now it’s 2.87%, Globally, the mortality rate is 6.4%.
In other news related to Covid-19, the ICMR said today that no major side effects of hydroxychloroquine have been found in studies in India and that its use should continue in the preventive treatment of Covid-19. This is happening in the context of the World Health Organization (WHO) which temporarily suspended testing of the drug in Covid-19 patients in their global study due to safety concerns. We did observational studies and found that it could work. We did not find any major side effects except nausea, vomiting and occasional palpitations. “We have indicated that it should be taken with food”, Dr. Balram Bhargava said today at a press conference.
As Brazil and India, among other big countries, struggle with surging coronavirus cases, a top health expert is warning that the world is still smack in the middle of the pandemic, dampening hopes for a speedy global economic rebound and renewed international travel. Right now, we’re not in the second wave. We’re right in the middle of the first wave globally,” said Dr Mike Ryan, the WHO’s executive director. We’re still very much in a phase where the disease is actually on the way up, Ryan told reporters, pointing to South America, South Asia, and other areas where infections are still on the rise.
A red-colour coded weather alert has been issued for Assam and Meghalaya from May 26-28, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said today, predicting very heavy rainfall in these two north-eastern states.
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