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Indian Pregnant student Safoora Zargar at danger in jail

The 27-year-old sociology student at the well known Jamia Milia Islamia university was taking a nap, her husband, who didn’t want to be named, told the BBC.

The couple had married 19 months ago, and Ms Zargar had find out just weeks earlier that she was pregnant.

“She’d been suffering from nausea and was generally feeling lethargic,” he said.

The officers told them they were from the “special cell” – the anti-terror wing of the Delhi police – and asked her to go with them to their office in central Delhi.

They said they wanted to ask her some questions about her taking part in protests against a disputed citizenship law that observers say is discriminatory towards Muslims.

At the police station Ms Zargar was asked several questions for several hours, and at 22:30 she was taking into custody. That was on Friday 10 April.

So for a month now, she’s been domiciled in Delhi’s congested Tihar jail – at a time when India is under a strict isolation to fight the coronavirus pandemic and the government’s own advisory says pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to the pandemic.

*Ms Zargar has been charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) – a draconian law that makes it nearly impossible for the accused to get bail.*

Since her arrest, she’s been given permission to make two to five-minute calls each to her husband and her lawyer. She has been repulsed both visits and letters on account of Covid-19 limitations.

Source___BBC News

India gas leak: No less than eight dead after Visakhapatnam accident

Eight instant death, with hundreds of others taken ill, after a gas leak in south India.

The leak, in the city of Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh state, has been traced to the LG Polymers plant.

“Doctors say “hundreds” of people have been taken to hospital – many complaining of a burning sensation in the eyes and difficulties breathing.”

The occurrence, which took place around 03:00 local time (21:30 GMT), may have been due to carelessness, officials say.

The leak crop up when the plant was being re-opened for the first time since 24 March when India went into lockdown to restraint the spread of coronavirus.

The state Industries Minister Goutam Reddy told BBC Telugu that it looked as though proper measures and guidelines were not considered when the plant was being re-opened.

As the gas escalate, inhabitants of the place ran out of their homes in panic.

“Distressing visuals of people fainting and dropping unconscious on the streets are being shared on social media.”

Source___BBC News

India unemployed numbers pass 120 million in April

A lockdown to prevent the escalation of coronavirus has seen 122 million Indians lose their jobs in April alone, new data from a private research agency has explain.

India’s unemployment record now topped 27.1%, according to the Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy (CMIE).

“The new data shows India’s unemployment figures are four times that of the US.’

The country has been in lockdown since 25 March to to prevent Covid-19 spreading around, causing mass layoffs and heavy job losses.

India currently has not less than 50,000 reported infections.

Unemployment hit 23.5% in April, a sharp rise from 8.7% in March. This is due to the lockdown, which brought most economic activity – except important services such as hospitals, pharmacies and food supplies – to a standstill.

Scenes of stranded migrant workers, particularly daily-wage earners, fleeing cities on foot to go back to their villages, filled TV screens and newspapers for most of April.

“Their informal jobs, which employ 90% of the population, were the first to be hit as construction stopped, and cities suspended public transport.”

But prolonged alarms and the continued lockdown of businesses – and the uncertainty of when the lockdown will end – hasn’t left out formal, permanent jobs either.

Source___BBC News

In city of Taj Mahal, coronavirus recovery bears alarming signs

On Feb. 25, a day after U.S. President Donald Trump and his wife Melania snap for pictures outside the Taj Mahal on an official visit to India, Sumit Kapoor went to his not far away home from a trip to Italy.

Kapoor, an ally in a shoe manufacturing firm, tested positive a week later for the new Covid-19 becoming the first recorded case in the northern Indian city of Agra and the origin of the country’s first big cluster of the virus.

The city of 1.6 million people, known for its 17th-century marble-domed Taj Mahal, moved fast. It set up containment zones, screened hundreds of thousands of residents and conducted escalating contact finding.

By early April, the city thought it had the virus overcome, containing cases not more than 50, while new infections escalated in other Indian cities.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government praised the “Agra Model” as a template for the country’s fight against COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Now, as the city and its hospitals fight a second wave of infections, Agra is a model of a different kind, shows how the coronavirus can flash back even after a lockdown and elaborate impoundment procedures

“If it hadn’t spread in the hospitals, we would have been able to contain it,” said Agra’s top local official, District Magistrate Prabhu N. Singh.

As India struggles with around 42,000 coronavirus infections, next only to China in Asia, Agra’s tangle with the virus offers lessons for big cities in India and elsewhere.

Source___India (Reuters)

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