Like the rest of the country, southhern states are dealing with the challenges posed by COVID-19 and are trying to devise newer ways to combat the virus and stop it’s spread.
Here are the highlights this Saturday evening:
1. Kerala has decided to put an end to the daily briefing by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on the state’s response to the COVID-19 situation. This has triggered a row in the state with many questioning the decision to end these briefings. It has been said that the average online viewership was 7.6 lakhs and, on some days, went upto 10 lakhs. It was a keenly awaited program by many within the state and abroad, it’s being argued.
2. Attempting to put an end to the episode involving Nikhil Kumaraswamy’s wedding in times of lockdown, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has said that all permissions were granted for the wedding and there were no violations of any law. However, the CM’s remarks have left activists fuming and has opened up a can of worms. Many unanswered questions remain and this comes at a time when the Karnataka High Court had earlier pulled up the state for lax implementation of the lockdown.
3. The Opposition DMK has demanded that the Tamil Nadu government expedite the rapid testing and also questioned the price at which these kits were purchased from China. The DMK has hinted at some form of corrupt practice in the state.
4. The Andhra Pradesh government has decided to postpone all exams being conducted by the Andhra Pradesh Public Service commission. This includes examinations for various gazetted and non-gazetted posts.
5. In a sigh of relief for the residents of Karnataka, the Chief Minister has announced that there shall be relief granted after May 20. Various industrial establishments shall be permitted to function, the IT sector can function with a third of its employees, e-commerce can resume service and two wheelers will be permitted to ply. However, the 38 containment zones will continue to be a ‘no go’ zone.
6. A day after the Karnataka government announced that private sector companies can hire BMTC buses, the organization has put its buses on hire and has made wearing of masks compulsory.
7. The Tamil Nadu government has set up an expert committee which will submit is report to the government on a phased withdrawal of the lockdown and the future of the state’s economic fortunes.
8. With minimal functioning of the Tamil Nadu Secretariat at the historic St George Factory, strict guidelines have been issued for safe disposal of PPE’s.
9. Considering the alarming situation in the state of Telangana, the police has requested for an extension of the lockdown and stricter implementation of it.
10. Twenty Iranians from Hyderabad were evacuated and sent back home. They formed part of a 191-member delegation which departed from Mumbai towards Tehran.