Indian officials warn of lockdown extensions as COVID-19 cases in South Asia near 6,000

first_imgMaharashtra has 516 confirmed cases of COVID-19 – the disease caused by the coronavirus – and 26 people have died.While the government does plan to review the lockdown, set to end on April 14, three senior officials told Reuters this will depend on an assessment of the situation in each state, and lockdowns and restrictions would be extended in districts where the coronavirus case spread has continued.Public transport in large metros such as Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi, may only be restored in a phased manner days after the lockdown ends, said the officials, who asked not to be named as the plans were still under discussion.Restrictions Tightened The number of confirmed new coronavirus cases in South Asia neared 6,000 on Saturday, even as authorities in some cities tightened restrictions on movement and warned lockdowns could be extended in a bid to rein in the pandemic.”If people don’t obey the rules seriously and cases continue to rise, then there may be no option but to extend the lockdown,” Rajesh Tope, the health minister of Maharashtra state which includes the financial hub Mumbai, told Reuters. “It could be extended in Mumbai and urban areas of Maharashtra by two weeks.”India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said this week the country will pull out of the planned three-week lockdown in a phased manner. India has been hardest hit by the disease in South Asia with some 2,902 cases, of which 68 have died. The number of COVID-19 cases have more than doubled in South Asia in the last week. Health experts warn an epidemic in the region, home to a fifth of the world’s population, could overwhelm its already weak public health systems.But Muslim-majority Pakistan and Bangladesh, and India, home to the world’s largest Muslim minority, have struggled to convince conservative religious groups to maintain social distancing.On Friday, Pakistani Muslims at a Karachi mosque clashed with baton-wielding police trying to enforce new curbs on gatherings to prevent Friday prayers and contain coronavirus infections, officials said.This came after the government in the southern province of Sindh, home to the financial hub of Karachi, enforced a three-hour curfew on Friday afternoon, in a bid to persuade Muslim worshippers to pray at home.Pakistan has so far reported 2,547 coronavirus infections, fuelled by a jump in cases related to members of the Tablighi Jamaat, an orthodox Muslim proselytising group.Topics :last_img read more

Berahino rescues point for Baggies

first_img It was a poor goal to concede but the Baggies almost levelled five minutes later only for Speroni to turn Craig Gardner’s rising drive wide. Graham Dorrans then fired over but it was a brief bright spot from the sloppy Baggies who struggled to deal with Bolasie and Zaha. The duo were a constant threat and Bolasie’s cross was inches away from Campbell after West Brom had lost possession. Organised and robust the visitors were in control against their hosts, who looked short of ideas despite just one defeat in their last five games. And Palace probably should have had a penalty nine minutes before the break when Dawson appeared to fell Zaha but Clattenburg ignored any – muted – appeals. Yet the Eagles did make it 2-0 from the spot on 45 minutes when the hapless Sebastien Pocognoli clattered into Bolasie. It was a foolish tackle so close to half-time and Jedinak sent Foster the wrong way to put Palace in complete control – a position which weakened six minutes after the break in controversial style. Berahino – who had been quiet – forced Speroni into a fine low stop from 18 yards but the Baggies scored from the resulting corner. Brunt’s delivery found Anichebe, who had replaced Stephane Sessegnon at half-time, to nod in but Speroni had been fouled after defender Dawson clattered into him. The keeper needed treatment for a head injury and was eventually replaced by Wayne Hennessey – although not before initially refusing to come off in comical fashion. The game had changed and Palace had relinquished their comfortable advantage with the Baggies finding their missing belief. Gardner kissed the bar from 25 yards before Berahino blazed over from the edge of the area with 14 minutes left. Palace’s threat had been nullified and the Baggies finally levelled in injury time when Jedinak’s rash challenge on Anichebe in the area allowed Berahino to drill in low from the spot. Saido Berahino’s injury-time penalty rescued a point for West Brom as they fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Crystal Palace. Brede Hangeland and Jedinak’s penalty had fired Palace into a commanding half-time lead. Palace were also denied what appeared to be a clear first-half spot-kick when referee Mark Clattenburg failed to spot Dawson’s foul on Wilfried Zaha. Goalkeeper Ben Foster returned for West Brom having missed Monday’s 2-2 draw with Manchester United with a calf injury. Berahino started up front for the in-form Baggies, with £10million record signing Brown Ideye again on the bench after recovering from an ankle injury. Palace boss Neil Warnock made three changes from last weekend’s 2-1 defeat to Chelsea as Zaha, Adrian Mariappa and Marouane Chamakh replaced Jason Puncheon, James McArthur and the suspended Damien Delaney. After a quiet opening Palace began to dominate against the lethargic Baggies. Yannick Bolasie’s 18-yard effort deflected wide before Foster turned Fraizer Campbell’s header over on 16 minutes – only for Palace to score from the resulting corner. Bolasie’s cross caused chaos and Hangeland poked in from inside the six-yard box after his initial header had cannoned off Dawson. The striker slammed in his eighth goal of the season after Mile Jedinak had felled Victor Anichebe, who had started the Baggies comeback when he nodded in early in the second half. Palace were upset, though, as Craig Dawson fouled Julian Speroni to allow Anichebe to score – forcing the keeper off with a head injury. Press Associationlast_img read more