20
Tuesday
October 2020
8:35 PM IST
News Headlines
ED grills Farooq Abdullah for six hours in JKCA graft case, People''s Alliance says it''s vendetta        NCW seeks explanation from Kamal Nath for his remarks against MP minister        Imran Khan incapable and clueless; betrayed people of Pakistan: Opposition leaders        Nawaz Sharif''s son-in-law arrested in Pakistan        Kerala''s Covid tally touches 3.33 lakh with 5,022 fresh cases        HC restrains Customs from arresting Sivasankar till Oct 23, suspended officer discharged from hospital        Buttler, bowlers guide RR to seven-wicket win over CSK        Punjab beat MI in second Super Over        Saina, Sindhu's biggest Graffiti in India unveiled        Trump leans into fear tactics in bid to win Midwest states        US polls: New Congress could have more Indian Americans to the House Advertisement        Active COVID-19 cases below 8 lakh for 2nd day in row; recovery rate 88.03 pc        Flood situation grim in parts of Telangana, Karnataka        Dalit woman gang-raped at gunpoint in UP        Army pressed into service in 4 flood-hit Karnataka dists; CM to undertake aerial survey        Pakistan pacer Umar Gul announces retirement from all forms of cricket        HDFC Bank Q2 net profit rises 16% to Rs 7,703 cr        Biden warns Trump wants to scrap health law        BJP govt has surrendered in front of criminals: Akhilesh        Rahul Gandhi, Capt Amarinder vow to force centre to revoke black farm laws        
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Main News
China shuts down more cities in bid to contain deadly virus
 
Beijing: China decided on Thursday to lock down three cities that are home to more than 18 million people in an unprecedented effort to try to contain a deadly new viral illness that has sickened hundreds and spread to other cities and countries in the Lunar New Year travel rush. Police, SWAT teams and paramilitary troops guarded Wuhan''s train station, where metal barriers blocked the entrances at 10 a.m. sharp (local time). Only travellers holding tickets for the last trains were allowed to enter, with those booked for later trains being turned away. Normally bustling streets, shopping malls, restaurants and other public spaces in the city of 11 million people were eerily quiet.

In addition to the train station, airport, ferry, subway and bus services were also halted. Similar measures will take effect from Friday in the nearby cities of Huanggang and Ezhou. In Huanggang, theaters, internet cafes and other entertainment centers were also ordered closed. In Beijing, authorities cancelled "major events" indefinitely, including traditional temple fairs that are a staple of holiday celebrations, according to an announcement by the city''s bureau of culture and tourism. It said it was needed to "execute epidemic prevention and control." "To my knowledge, trying to contain a city of 11 million people is new to science," Gauden Galea, the World Health Organization''s representative in China, told The Associated Press.

"It has not been tried before as a public health measure. We cannot at this stage say it will or it will not work." The illnesses from a newly identified coronavirus first appeared last month in Wuhan, an industrial and transportation hub in central China''s Hubei province. The vast majority of mainland China''s 571 cases have been in the city. Other cases have been reported in the United States, Japan, South Korea and Thailand. One case was confirmed on Thursday in Hong Kong after one was earlier confirmed in Macao. Most cases outside China were people from Wuhan or who had recently traveled there.

A total of 17 people have died, all of them in and around Wuhan. Their average age was 73, with the oldest 89 and the youngest 48. Images obtained from inside Wuhan following the closure showed long lines and empty shelves at supermarkets, as residents stocked up for what could be weeks of relative isolation. That appeared to be an over-reaction, since no restrictions have been placed on trucks carrying supplies into the city, although many Chinese still have strong memories of shortages and privations in the years before the country''s recent economic boom. Such sweeping measures are typical of China''s authoritarian communist government, although their effectiveness in containing the outbreak remains uncertain.

Local authorities in Wuhan have demanded all residents wear masks in public places and urged government staff to wear them at work and for shopkeepers to post signs for their visitors, Xinhua news agency quoted a government notice as saying. Xinhua cited the city''s anti-virus task force as saying the measures were taken in an attempt to "effectively cut off the virus spread, resolutely curb the outbreak and guarantee the people''s health and safety." The significant increase in illnesses reported just this week come as millions of Chinese travel for the Lunar New Year, one of the world''s largest annual migrations of people. Chinese are expected to take an estimated 3 billion trips during the 40-day spike in travel.

Analysts have predicted the reported cases will continue to multiply. "Even if (the number of cases) are in the thousands, this would not surprise us," the WHO''s Galea said, adding, however, that the number of cases is not an indicator of the outbreak''s severity, so long as the mortality rate remains low. The coronavirus family includes the common cold as well as viruses that cause more serious illnesses, such as the SARS outbreak that spread from China to more than a dozen countries in 2002-2003 and killed about 800 people, and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome, which developed from camels.

China is keen to avoid repeating mistakes with its handling of SARS. For months, even after the illness had spread around the world, China parked patients in hotels and drove them around in ambulances to conceal the true number of cases and avoid WHO experts. In the current outbreak, China has been credited with sharing information rapidly, and President Xi Jinping has emphasized that as a priority. "Party committees, governments and relevant departments at all levels must put people''s lives and health first,” Xi said Monday. "It is necessary to release epidemic information in a timely manner and deepen international cooperation."

Health authorities were taking extraordinary measures to prevent additional person-to-person transmissions, placing those suspected to be infected in plastic tubes and wheeled boxes where air passed through filters. The first cases in the Wuhan outbreak were connected to people who worked at or visited a seafood market, which has since been closed for an investigation. Experts suspect the virus was first transmitted from wild animals but the virus also may be mutating. Mutations can make it deadlier or more contagious.

WHO plans another meeting of scientific experts on Thursday on whether to recommend declaring the outbreak a global health emergency, which it defines as an "extraordinary event" that constitutes a risk to other countries. Many countries are screening travellers from China for illness.


HC restrains Customs from arresting Sivasankar till Oct 23, suspended officer discharged from hospital
Army pressed into service in 4 flood-hit Karnataka dists; CM to undertake aerial survey
PM calls for speedy access to vaccines for citizens
Chirag claims he is Modi's 'Hanuman', BJP calls LJP leader 'vote katua'
Nitish behaved with my father haughtily, worked to defeat LJP nominees in LS polls: Chirag
No minister present, Punjab farmers boycott meeting on new farm laws
MISSION Kerala HC stays CBI probe against Life Mission CEO
Govt to give Rs 12,000 cr interest-free 50-year loan to states for capital projects
SC notice to Centre on pleas against farm laws
Ladakh standoff: India, China hold 7th round of high-level military talks
Kerala adds 9,347 fresh cases, toll climbs to 1,003 with 25 fatalities
Moratorium period exceeding six months may result in vitiating overall credit discipline: RBI to SC
Bhima Koregaon: NIA files charge-sheet against eight people, Fr Stan Swamy sent to judicial custody
India reports 73,272 new coronavirus cases, 926 fresh fatalities
Gold Smuggling Case : Sivasankar appears before Customs officials for interrogation
Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan dead
COVID-19 cases in India cross 68-lakh mark
India's GDP expected to contract by 9.6 per cent this fiscal: World Bank
COVID-19: 72,049 new cases take India's virus tally to 67,57,131
Rhea Chakraborty gets bail, comes out of prison after 28 days
KERALA NEWS
Kerala''s Covid tally touches 3.33 lakh with 5,022 fresh cases
 Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala on Monday recorded 7,469 recoveries and 5,022 new COVID-19 cases, pushing  
Jnanpith awardee Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri dead
Kerala''s COVID-19 count crosses three lakh mark with 8,764 fresh cases
NCP welcomes Mani to LDF but not at cost of Pala seat
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Imran Khan incapable and clueless; betrayed people of Pakistan: Opposition leaders
 Karachi: Prime Minister Imran Khan is "incapable and clueless", and his government is worse than a d
Nawaz Sharif''s son-in-law arrested in Pakistan
Trump leans into fear tactics in bid to win Midwest states
US polls: New Congress could have more Indian Americans to the House Advertisement
NATIONAL NEWS
ED grills Farooq Abdullah for six hours in JKCA graft case, People''s Alliance says it''s vendetta
 Srinagar: The Enforcement Directorate on Monday questioned National Conference president Farooq Abdu
NCW seeks explanation from Kamal Nath for his remarks against MP minister
Active COVID-19 cases below 8 lakh for 2nd day in row; recovery rate 88.03 pc
Flood situation grim in parts of Telangana, Karnataka
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