Home/ News / Business Of Life/  Mint Lite | Top 10 news and views around the world

1. ‘Everything is gonna be alright’

Dozens of healthcare professionals from Atlanta, US, who volunteered to work in New York, which has been hit the hardest by the outbreak and has recorded over 1,000 deaths, flew out in high spirits to serve under tough conditions. To salute health workers and first responders, former US first lady Michelle Obama shared an uplifting video of two Mayo Clinic doctors performing Mike Yung’s Alright.

2. No migrants on road; 1 in 3 could have virus, says centre

THE CENTRE has told the Supreme Court there are no migrant workers on the roads “as of 11am on March 31", and that they have all been taken to the nearest available shelter. The court was hearing petitions seeking relief for tens of thousands of daily wage earners who have been trying to reach home after being losing their jobs during the 21-day lockdown. The Centre also told the court it would stop people from returning to their villages as there is a possibility that one-third of migrant workers could be infected with the virus, which could exacerbate the problem in rural India.

3. 10 PSU banks to become four in the middle of lockdown

IT’S ALL going to happen on videoconference, and we hope customers won’t be stranded—10 public sector banks will combine into four starting today, in the middle of a 21-day lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus. Senior staff will be explaining the handover to employees on videocalls. The four banks that will take in the customers and deposits of the other six are Punjab National Bank, Canara Bank, Union Bank of India and Indian Bank. With this, the number of public sector banks in India will come down to 12 now from 27 in 2017.

4. World re-counts its cases, and the tally is unsettling

THE UK government on Tuesday put out figures of coronavirus-related deaths in those who were not hospitalized, and the true toll is expected to be 20% higher than before. As countries grapple with measuring the scale of the pandemic, China said 1,541 cases of people who were infected but did not show symptoms were excluded from its national tally, though WHO recommends including them as well, The New York Times reported. In the US, the death toll has crossed 3,000, close to the lives lost in the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001.

5. Now 44 million people get on to video calls everyday

MEETINGS HAVE moved online, and collaborative tools are in demand. Between 11 and 18 March, the number of people using Microsoft Teams daily rose 12 million (see graph), the software company reported. That’s a nearly 40% increase. Microsoft itself is working remotely. Other tools seeing a surge, though they haven’t released data, include Slack, Zoom and India’s Zoho.

6. Delhi locality could be India’s biggest covid-19 hotspot

BETWEEN 13 and 15 March, about 3,000 people, including visitors from Malaysia and Indonesia, attended a religious meeting at the Tablighi Jamaat headquarters in Delhi’s Nizamuddin. The crowded locality is now being seen as one of India’s biggest coronavirus hotspots. More than 400 people who were at the centre are being tested in Delhi, while 1,107 have been quarantined. Cases and related deaths in Telangana, Jammu and Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra have been traced back here. Many of the attendees took buses and trains home before the lockdown.

7. Will telcos catch the covid-19 fever too?

ABOUT TWO weeks ago, it seemed like telecom companies would be among the few immune to the spread of covid-19. Earnings were expected to rise as tariffs had been raised in December, and it seemed like a floor price for data services would be introduced. But now, telcos have had to extend the validity of prepaid customers owing to the lockdown, and the expected increase in tariffs for data services is likely to be delayed. After all, which government would want to be seen as seen as increasing costs for customers at a time when the economy is headed for a downturn?

8. Whatever you do, DON’T say ‘CORONAVIRUS’

TURKMENISTAN HAS banned the use of the word “coronavirus" in media reports and health ministry brochures, putting its citizens at risk, Reporters Without Borders has said. The government banned international flights and non-essential travel. State-controlled media, however, are not allowed to report on the disease that has infected more than 800,000 people worldwide. People wearing face masks or talking about the coronavirus on the street are liable to be arrested by plainclothes police. The country shares a border with Iran, where the toll from related deaths is close to 2,900.

9. It’s time to take out your old tee and make a mask

THE OFFICE of the Principal Scientific Advisor to the government on Tuesday tweeted a link to a manual to make reusable masks at home from old t-shirts and handkerchiefs, saying they are “70% effective" in curbing the spread of coronavirus when combined with frequent hand-washing and sanitizing. All you need, according to the manual, is an old t-shirt, four strips of cloth, scissors and a sewing machine. Then follow the steps to cut, pleat and sew. In case you get too caught up with style, the manual sternly warns: “Remember the colour of the mask does NOT matter."

10. What we’re watching in lockdown

THE STORY was out a few days ago, but the video’s just out. A group of schoolchildren and their robotics coach in Taiwan built an automated disinfectant dispenser with Lego. It’s sheer ingenuity, and fun to watch as a sensor gets a fix on the hands, and a motor-and-gearwheel mechanism pulls back a handle on the bottle to spritz sanitizer.

Curated by Shalini Umachandran. Have something to share with us?

Write to us at businessoflife@livemint.com

Shalini Umachandran
Shalini Umachandran is Editor of Mint Lounge, Mint’s award-winning magazine, and the Editor of Business of Life. Her areas of interest are culture and the arts, social justice, and more. Currently based in New Delhi, she has been a reporter, a podcaster and an editor for publications across India. She is the author of ‘You Can Make Your Dreams Work’, a book of 15 stories of people who switched careers. She is a former IWMF fellow, and a fellow of the Institute of Palliative Care India and St Christopher’s Hospice London.
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Updated: 01 Sep 2021, 10:11 AM IST
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