India displaced Brazil, on Monday, to take second place after the United States in terms of coronavirus infections, with 90,082 new cases whose numbers are expected to grow.
This is as some cities re-opened underground train services shuttered for months.
With its nationwide tally of 4.2 million exceeded only by the United States figure of 6.2 million, India is adding more cases each day than any other country this year since the outbreak of the pandemic.
Experts say there is no sign of a peak as cases surge in the world’s second most populous country, both in major cities, such as New Delhi and the financial hub of Mumbai.
They also say rural areas that have limited access to health services.
“It’s becoming a double burden now,’’ Rajib Dasgupta, a professor of community health at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in the capital, told Reuters.
“The urban areas are not slowing down and rural areas are picking up.’’
Monday’s jump was the third straight daily record in India, government data showed, provisionally carrying its tally past Brazil, which has just over 4.1 million cases, although the time difference means the South American nation will release its corresponding figure later.
The death toll of 71,642 in India compares with nearly 193,000 in the United States and 126,000 in Brazil.
India says its rising infections also reflect higher rates of testing nationwide, adding that high recovery rates show its strategy of testing, tracing and treatment is working and the situation is under control in a country of its size.
Commuters were sparse as New Delhi resumed metro rail services after a break of more than five months, with stations nearly deserted.
Bars will open from Wednesday in the capital.
Partial metro train services also opened in the western city of Ahmedabad, the northern city of Lucknow and several other places, after nearly six months of suspension over the pandemic.
Pressure is growing for the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to pull the economy out of a deep freeze after a severe lockdown in March shuttered businesses.
The situation leaves millions without jobs, bringing a 24 per cent contraction in June-quarter GDP.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde
‘Watchmen,’ ‘Schitt’s Creek’ rule at virtual Emmys with pandemic and political twists
Media family saga “Succession,” dystopian drama “Watchmen” and feel-good comedy “Schitt’s Creek” dominated the Emmy Awards on Sunday in a show sprinkled with jokes about the coronavirus pandemic, political jibes and appeals for racial justice.
“Hello, and welcome to the PandEmmys!,” said host Jimmy Kimmel, opening the show, where most celebrities took part remotely from their sofas and backyards dressed in a variety of gowns, hoodies and sleepwear.
“It seems frivolous and unnecessary to do this during a global pandemic,” Kimmel said as he opened the live show from Los Angeles.
“What’s happening tonight is not important. It’s not going to stop COVID. It’s not going to put out the fires, but it’s fun.
“And right now we need fun. … This has been a miserable year. It’s been a year of division, injustice (and) disease,” he added.
HBO’s “Succession,” the wickedly juicy tale of a fractious media family, was named best drama series, while Jeremy Strong won best actor for his role as a downtrodden son. “Succession’s seven-Emmy haul included writing and directing.
In one of the most pointed acceptance speeches of the night, “Succession” creator Jesse Armstrong made a series of what he called “un-thank yous.”
“Un-thank you to the virus for keeping us all apart this year. Un-thank you to President Trump for his crummy and uncoordinated response.
“Un-thank you to (British Prime Minister) Boris Johnson and his government for doing the same in my country.
“Un-thank you to all the nationalist and sort of quasi-nationalist governments in the world who are exactly the opposite of what we need right now,” said Armstrong.
HBO’s alternative-reality show “Watchmen,” infused with racial themes, won for best limited series, while actress Regina King won for her lead performance as the show’s kick-ass police detective.
“Watchmen” was the night’s biggest winner with a total of 11 Emmys, including technical awards handed out last week. HBO was the biggest overall winner, with 30 Emmys, followed by Netflix with 21.
“Watchmen” creator Damon Lindelof dedicated his Emmy to the victims and survivors of the 1921 massacre of the Black community in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which partly inspired the series.
Several celebrities, including King, presenter Sterling K. Brown, and “Mrs. America” supporting actress winner Uzo Aduba, wore Black Lives Matter-themed tee-shirts or urged viewers to vote in the Nov. 3 United States elections.
“Schitt’s Creek,” a sleeper hit on the small Pop TV network about a wealthy family forced to live in a rundown motel, won a total of nine Emmys.
“It also won best comedy series as well as acting awards for Canadian stars Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy, his son Daniel Levy, and Annie Murphy.
The coronavirus pandemic meant no red carpet and no physical audience. Instead, producers sent camera kits and microphones to all the nominees, scattered in 125 places around the world, who chose how and where they wanted to be seen.
The “Schitt’s Creek” winners got their trophies delivered to them in a restaurant-style setup in Ontario, Canada, by a person dressed in a custom hazmat suit, designed to resemble a tuxedo.
The biggest shock of the night came when former Disney Channel actress Zendaya, 24, was named best drama actress for playing a teen drug addict in HBO’s “Euphoria,” beating presumed favourites Laura Linney (“Ozark”) and Jennifer Aniston (“The Morning Show.”)
“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” was named best variety talk series for the fifth successive year, and the British comedian accepted wearing a red Liverpool soccer shirt in honour of his favourite British team.
Edited By: Emmanuel Okara)
Norwegian survey shows 77% displaced people have lost jobs, income due to COVID-19
A survey by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) on Monday shows that 77 per cent of people displaced by conflicts have lost a job or revenue since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
Jan Egeland, the Secretary-General of the NRC, said this in a statement.
A record 79.5 million people worldwide, or 1 per cent of humanity, were displaced at the end of 2019 after fleeing wars or persecution, according to the UN.
The NRC, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), polled 1,431 refugees and internally displaced people across 14 countries including Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq, Kenya Libya, Mali, Uganda and Venezuela.
Some 70 per cent of those surveyed said they had to cut the number of meals for their households and 73 per cent said they were less likely to send their children to school due to economic problems.
“The price of food has doubled. We have to collect scraps to feed our children,” said Shayista Gul, 60, who lives in a two-room makeshift home together with 15 others outside Kabul in Afghanistan.
“If the coronavirus does not kill us, hunger definitely will,” she is quoted as saying by the NRC in its report.
The pandemic has led to an economic downturn affecting the most vulnerable populations, including refugees and internally displaced people, pushing them into a “dangerous downward spiral”, the NRC said.
“Already forced from their homes by violence, often with limited rights to work or access to government services, the economic impact of the pandemic is pushing them to catastrophe,” Egeland said.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu
We are not deterred by COVID-19 to mark [email protected] – NUTAG
The Nigeria Union of Traders Association in Ghana (NUTAG) says it is not deterred by the coronavirus pandemic to mark Nigeria’s 60th independence anniversary.
The President of NUTAG, Mr Chukwuemeka Nnaji, disclosed this in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Monday.
Nnaji spoke on the sideline of preparations for Oct. 1 independence celebrations.
According to him, many programmes have been lined-up by Nigerians in Ghana to mark Nigeria’s independence in line with COVID-19 protocols.
“With or without COVID-19, Nigerians and friends of Nigeria in different sectors of Ghana, are ready to celebrate [email protected],’’ Nnaji said.
He listed an award ceremony of 60 most impactful Nigerians in Ghana as one of the events scheduled to hold on Oct. 3 as part of the anniversary.
“We always mark our independence in Ghana every year.
“Sixty years is special to the human race and as Nigerians, we are very unique when it comes to showcasing patriotism.’’
NAN reports that President Muhammadu Buhari on Sept. 16, unveiled the logo and theme for the 60th independence anniversary.
Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Abdulfatah Babatunde
Ife begins Olojo festival as Ooni enters 7-day seclusion
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, on Sunday moved into Ile Mole, Iremo Quarters, Ile-Ife, for a seven-day seclusion as the ancient Olojo Festival kicks off in the city.
The monarch appeared in his usual white traditional attire laced with colourful ancient beads on his way out of the Ile Oodua Palace of Ife.
He told the newsmen that he will use the spiritual moment of seclusion as a point of contact with God Almighty towards the total eradication of the coronavirus as well as for peace and stability in the country.
Oba Ogunwusi explained that Olojo is a festival that connotes a strong indication of God’s creation and the day of the first dawn on earth.
“I am going into seclusion, I am going into fasting and prayer in the ways of our ancestors.
“As you know, we’re gradually winning the war against coronavirus and we must indeed be thankful because we are not superior to those countries being crippled by this pandemic.
“After the seven-day seclusion, there follows the climax of it, which is the procession of the sacred Aare crown with which we will pray for the entire nation and humanity.
“Every move of the Aare procession is highly significant, including the junctions of spiritual and historical significance where I would make supplications and prayers to our ancestors.
“The first junction indicates where the first dawn came and that is where we must stop, followed by where the pathfinder deity, which we call Ogun sighted the first dawn and that is Oke-Mogun.
“When I came down from the hill, there was turmoil among the deities because Aare is the first monarchical crown.
“At some point they all converged at Ita Oranfe, where they all agreed that kingship and organisation should commence and that is where the modern day democracy and other forms of government emanated from,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that during the seclusion rites, the monarch would be incommunicado and not grant audience to anyone.
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Ifeyinwa Omowole