Thousands of protesters disrupt traffic in India’s financial capital

Updated 09 August 2017

Thousands of protesters disrupt traffic in India’s financial capital

MUMBAI: More than 200,000 protesters poured into India’s financial capital on Wednesday, disrupting traffic and straining the railway network, to press their demands for reserved quotas in government jobs and college places for students.
Rising unemployment and falling farm incomes are driving farming communities across India, from the state of Haryana in the north to Gujarat in the west, to redouble calls for reservations in jobs and education.
“Farming is no longer profitable and jobs are not available,” said one protester, Pradip Munde, a farmer from Osmanabad, a town more than 400 km (250 miles) southeast of Mumbai. “Reservation can ensure us better education and jobs.”
Two-thirds of India’s population of 1.3 billion depend on farming for their livelihood, but the sector makes up just 14 percent of gross domestic product, reflecting a growing divide between the countryside and increasingly well-off cities.
Young people and senior citizens of western India’s Maratha community waved saffron flags in a protest police said was free of incidents of violence, with more than 10,000 policemen on guard amid an estimated turnout of 200,000 demonstrators.
Traffic came to a halt in many parts of the business district, while protesters jammed suburban trains.
It was the concluding protest of a series of 57 marches last year across the surrounding western state of Maharashtra, organized by the state’s Maratha community to press its demands.
The city’s famed dabbawalas, who deliver packed lunches to hundreds working in offices across Mumbai, suspended operations for the day, as did schools in the affected area.


China reports 36 new COVID-19 cases

Updated 01 April 2020

China reports 36 new COVID-19 cases

  • Chinese health commission said all but one of the new cases was imported from abroad
  • China has recorded a total of 81,554 cases of COVID-19 and 3,312 deaths from the disease

BEIJING: China’s National Health Commission on Wednesday reported 36 new COVID-19 cases, one day after announcing that asymptomatic cases will now be included in the official count.
The commission said all but one of the new cases was imported from abroad, while seven more deaths from the disease had been reported over the previous 24 hours. The commission did not say if any of the new cases were asymptomatic but on Tuesday reported that, of a total of 1,541 asymptomatic cases now being isolated and monitored for symptoms, 205 had come from overseas.
The move to disclose the number of asymptomatic cases comes amid scrutiny of China’s reported figures, which previously only included people who exhibited symptoms. While the proportion of people who have contracted the virus but remain asymptomatic is currently unknown, scientists say these “carriers” can still pass COVID-19 onto others who do end up getting sick.
As China’s domestic outbreak has largely abated, some questioned whether the country’s failure to count asymptomatic cases would lead to a resurgence of infections. China, where the virus was first detected in December, has recorded a total of 81,554 cases of COVID-19 and 3,312 deaths from the disease.