Covid-19 hinterland digest: Haryana's hooch headache; crime eases in Indore

A child receives a general immunisation vaccine, during the nationwide lockdown in wake of the coronavirus pandemic, at a government hospital in Hyderabad. Photo
India had 23,077 coronavirus cases and 718 deaths from the disease till Friday noon. Maharashtra's number of patients has crossed 6,400. Madhya Pradesh has almost 1,700 infected cases, of which 1,000 are from Indore. Telangana has shown signs of recovery. Rajasthan is getting worse with more doctors and police officers getting infected. Authorities are trying hard to provide adequate and better facilities to the people.

Business Standard takes a look at regional editions of Hindi newspapers to provide you with a picture of the Covid-19 situation in the hinterland.

Hooch selling on the rise

Amid lockdown in the country, a lot of things are not available to people. Among them, one is liquor. Taking advantage of the situation, traffickers have started selling hooch (illicit alcohol), reported Dainik Bhaskar. Villages and small towns like Jind and Sirsa, which are located near the banks of Yamuna, have become the hub of hooch manufacturing. Houses and villas have started manufacturing hooch. They are neither experts in brewing alcohol, nor do they keep up with the parameters of manufacturing alcohol. Two people have died due to the poisonous alcohol. Several people have been admitted to the hospital. Bottles of English alcohol are being filled with spirit-based alcohol. The small-scale work is taking place in the homes of people. They are preparing a bottle worth Rs 2,000 at a cost of Rs 200. On average, the government is losing Rs 10 crore daily and the police is confiscating around 5,900 bottles on a daily basis. 

The bright side: Crime, accidents fall 

Indore has been the worst-hit city in Madhya Pradesh. Cases have soared to over 1,000. But there are good things to see as well. Crime rate in the city has dropped drastically. 98 per cent fewer crimes have reported since the lockdown, reports Dainik Bhaskar. Accidents are rare these days. Only five fatal accidents were reported since March 24. Waste generation has come down as well. The city used to produce over 1,100 tonnes of waste per day. Now it has come down by 60 per cent. The air quality has improved as well. The AIQ has dropped to 50, from 150. And hospitals are seeing 40 per cent fewer patients than before. 

More than 10 million fishermen suffering due to lockdown

Several small and big boats are stranded at the harbours of Surat and Diu despite the permission from the government to commence fishing activity. The problem is with the owners, suppliers and exporters, reports Dainik Bhaskar from Surat. They do not have labourers and crew members. Most of them have returned to their homes and due to the lockdown, they are in no position to return. Now the Indian Fishermen Association is expecting the government to provide some relief. package to them. 

People flock at shops for shopping as Ramzan approaches

The Barelli police were caught napping as crowds flocked on the streets to buy things as the holy month of Ramzan beings on Saturday, Amar Ujala reported. People disobeyed the lockdown directive and came out on the streets. This is despite the fact that several Ulemas have asked people to stay indoors during Ramzan. Police had controlled the situation for a few days efficiently. However, this made them complacent and it was reported that many police officers did not come to duty on time. Police fined over 24,500 vehicles during the lockdown, which amounts to Rs 2.6 crore. 

Pool testing 

The 14,500 people who returned from Delhi and other places when the lockdown was announced, will be pool tested for coronavirus, Amar Ujala reports from Barelli. People from Harayana, New Delhi, Noida had returned to their homes. Authorities are focusing on those villages where most people have returned to from cities. People will be put in groups on the basis of the location they have returned from. 

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