Indian Commuters cram into buses as Nepal police arrest flouters

And you thought YOUR commute was bad! Indians squeeze onto buses cheek by jowl while police in Nepal arrest lockdown flouters with a two-metre long claw – as death toll in Iran passes 2,500

  • Coronavirus pandemic has killed 28,791 people with over 600,000 infected – with the most in United States
  • India’s 21-day lockdown has forced workers to cram onto packed buses to escape New Delhi for villages
  • Nepalese police in Kathmandu are detaining people who defy lockdown which is likely to now be extended 
  • Spain, Italy and the UK have reported surges numbers of coronavirus-related deaths  
  • Governments in India, Saudi Arabia, Nepal and New Zeland among those with full lockdowns
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

The coronavirus pandemic has affected more than 600,000 people around the world, with the death toll today soaring past 28,000.

The deadly virus, which was detected in January, has forced several Governments including the UK, India and Saudi Arabia to put their countries in to lockdown to slow its spread.

But panic over being left stranded in foreign countries or running out of food has meant thousands breaking strict rules to get home or gather supplies.

In India, authorities sent a fleet of buses to the outskirts of New Delhi to meet an exodus of migrant workers desperately trying to reach their home villages.

Indian authorities sent a fleet of buses to the outskirts of New Delhi to meet an exodus of migrant workers desperately trying to reach their home villages as the country goes into a 21-day lockdown

Workers and their family members were also seen lining up outside the Anand Vihar bus terminal, New Delhi to leave for their villages during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19

India’s finance ministry announced a 1.7 trillion-rupee (£18 billion) stimulus package, but thousands of India’s most vulnerable, who fear dying of starvation, have decided not to wait

Thousands of mostly young labourers fled their homes in the capital after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day lockdown that began on Wednesday and effectively put millions of Indians who live off daily earnings out of work. 

Mr Modi said the extreme measure was needed to halt the spread of Covid-19 in India, which has confirmed 775 cases and 19 deaths, and where millions live in cramped conditions without regular access to clean water.

India’s finance ministry announced a 1.7 trillion-rupee (£18 billion) stimulus package that will include delivering grains and lentil rations for three months to 800 million people.

Stunning photos show workers crammed on to the roofs of buses making their way back to remote villages

Migrant workers ignored government plans to put in place a 17-trillion rupee stimulus package as they feared it would take days for it to come into effect, when they were surviving on their daily earnings

Mr Modi said the extreme measure was needed to halt the spread of Covid-19 in India, which has confirmed 775 cases and 19 deaths

But thousands of India’s most vulnerable, who fear dying not of the disease caused by the new virus but rather of starvation, have decided not to wait. 

Stunning photos show workers crammed on to the roofs of buses making their way back to remote villages.

Ram Bhajan Nisar, a painter, and his wife and two children, aged five and six, were part of a party of 15 who set off by foot from New Delhi to Gorakhpur, a village on the border with Nepal some 400 miles away.

In Nepal, police officers are using extendable claw devices to detain people defying the country’s lockdown

The device, which was seen being used by officers in Kathmandu helps them maintain a two-metre distance from rule breakers, helping to stop the spread of coronavirus

‘How can we eat if we don’t earn?’ Mr Nisar said, adding that his family had enough to make it four or five days without work, but not the full three weeks of the stay-at-home order. 

In Nepal, police officers are using extendable claw devices to detain people defying the country’s lockdown. 

The device, which was seen being used by officers in Kathmandu helps them maintain a two-metre distance from rule breakers, helping to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Nepal’s lockdown is supposed to go on till Tuesday 31 March, but it is likely to be extended till at least Nepali New Year on 13 April.

Iran announced today that 139 more people had died from the novel coronavirus, raising the official death toll to 2,517 in one of the world’s worst-affected countries.

Iran announced today that 139 more people had died from the novel coronavirus, raising the official death toll to 2,517 in one of the world’s worst-affected countries

A single car drives on a road past the King Abdullah Financial City in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh, after the Kingdom began implementing an 11-hour nationwide curfew

Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour told a news conference that 3,076 more cases had been confirmed in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of infections to 35,408.

‘The condition of 3,026 of those hospitalised is critical in one way or another,’ he said, adding that 11,679 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospital.

Jahanpour said that 57 million Iranians had been screened for the virus.

He said the data received had been ‘significant’ and had helped with early detection and intervention.

Iran has imposed strict new containment measures, after weeks of public appeals largely failed to deter hundreds of thousands taking to the roads to visit family for the Persian New Year holidays.

They include a ban on intercity travel by road with offeners via roads and fining and impounding violators’ cars.

The United Nations have confirmed that 86 staff members around the world have reported cases of Covid-19, although most are based in Europe. Pictured: The UN’s Geneva headquarters

The restrictions, which will remain in force at least until April 8, include a ban on all intercity travel by road.

The United Nations have confirmed that 86 staff members around the world have reported cases of Covid-19.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said most of the infected staff members are in Europe, but there are also staff in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the United States that have coronavirus.

To try to reduce transmission, he said the vast majority of UN staff are working from home.

At UN headquarters in New York, where a normal day would see staff passes swiped 11,000 times, the number of swipes on Friday morning stood at 140, Mr Dujarric said.

Italy’s death toll increased by 969 yesterday, bringing the total to 9,134, the largest 24-hour increase in the country to date. Pictured: Army medical staff disinfect coffins being kept in a church near Bergamo, Italy

The death toll in Spain soared to more than 4,800 today after 769 people died in 24 hours, its record one-day figure for fatalities, the government said. Pictured: A man wears a face mask crosses an empty street in Barcelona

In Geneva, he said, the number of staff at the UN office has dropped from around 4,000 people on a regular day to about 70 on Thursday. In Vienna, more than 97% of UN staff are now working remotely, he said. In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 99% of staff are working from home.

Meanwhile, the 191 parties to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty have decided to postpone a conference to review its implementation because of the coronavirus pandemic, the UN said.

The treaty is considered the cornerstone of global efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and the parties hold a major conference every five years to discuss how it is working. The meeting had been scheduled for April 27-May 22 at UN headquarters in New York.

Mr Dujarric said the review conference will be held ‘as soon as the circumstances permit, but no later than April 2021’.

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