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COVID-19 Effect: Japan, IOC Agree to Delay 2020 Olympics by One Year

The global spread of the coronavirus has forced the Tokyo Olympics to be postponed.

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LAUSANNE (Switzerland): Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he agreed with the International Olympic Committee’s president that the Summer Olympics previously scheduled to start in Tokyo on July 24, 2020, would be delayed by around one year. Abe spoke by phone Tuesday with IOC President Thomas Bach.

In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community,” the IOC and Abe said in a joint statement.

The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present. Therefore, it was agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan. It was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.”


The Japanese leader said it was difficult to hold the Olympics this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and a delay was needed to ensure the safety of athletes and spectators. He said he proposed a delay of “about one year” and received “100% agreement” from Bach.

“We have agreed that the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will be held by the summer of 2021 at the latest,” Abe said in Tokyo. He said the study would now begin on arranging venues for the Games.

He didn’t give an exact date for the start of the Games in 2021.


Earlier:

In the Sunday (March 22, 2020) statement, the IOC said it would begin “detailed discussions to complete its assessment of the rapid development of the worldwide health situation and its impact on the Olympic Games, including the scenario of postponement.”

The committee added that those talks, held “in full coordination and partnership” with organizers and Japanese authorities, would likely be finalized “within the next four weeks.”

Canada and Australia have already announced they would not be sending athletes to Tokyo, while USA Swimming called on U.S. officials to do the same.

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COVID-19: Full Text – SOPs For Hotels, Hospitality Units

Only those hotels that are outside containment zones will be allowed to open up.

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NEW DELHI: All hotels and other hospitality units must take suitable measures to restrict any further transmission of COVID-19 while providing accommodation and other tourist services. The SOP aims to minimize all possible physical contacts between Staff and Guests and maintain social distancing and other preventive and safety measures against COVID-19.

The Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) outline various generic precautionary measures to be adopted in addition to specific measures to be ensured in hotels and other hospitality units(henceforth, ‘hotels’) to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Hotels in containment zones shall remain closed. Only those outside containment zones will be allowed to open up.

Generic preventive measures:


(A) Persons above 65 years of age, persons with comorbidities, pregnant women and children below the age of 10 years are advised to stay at home, except for essential and health purposes. Hotel management to advise accordingly.
(B) The generic measures include simple public health measures that are to be followed to reduce the risk of COVID-19. These measures need to be observed by all (staff and guests) in these places at all times. These include:

i. Physical distancing of at least 6 feet to be followed as far as feasible.
ii. Use of face covers/masks to be made mandatory.
iii. Practice frequent hand washing with soap (for at least 40-60 seconds) even when hands are not visibly dirty. Use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers (for at least 20 seconds) can be made wherever feasible.
iv. Respiratory etiquettes to be strictly followed. This involves the strict practice of covering one’s mouth and nose while coughing/sneezing with a tissue/handkerchief/flexed elbow and disposing off used tissues properly.
v. Self-monitoring of health by all and reporting any illness at the earliest to state and district helpline.
vi. Spitting shall be strictly prohibited.
vii. Installation and use of Aarogya Setuapp shall be advised to all.

All Hotels shall ensure the following arrangements:


i. Entrance to have mandatory hand hygiene (sanitizer dispenser) and thermal screening provisions.
ii. Only asymptomatic staff and guests shall be allowed.
iii. All staff and guests to be allowed entry only if using face cover/masks. The face cover/masks have to be worn at all times inside the hotel.
iv. Adequate manpower shall be deployed by hotel management for ensuring social distancing norms.
v. Staff should additionally wear gloves and take other required precautionary measures.
vi. All employees who are at higher risk i.e. older employees, pregnant employees and employees who have underlying medical conditions, to take extra precautions. They should preferably not be exposed to any front-line work requiring direct contact with the public. Hotel management to facilitate work from home wherever feasible.
vii. Proper crowd management in the hotel as well as in outside premises like parking lots–duly following social distancing norms shall be ensured. Large gatherings/congregations continue to remain prohibited.
viii. Valet parking, if available, shall be operational with operating staff wearing face covers/ masks and gloves as appropriate. Proper disinfection of steering, door handles, keys, etc. of the vehicles should be taken up.
ix. Preferably separate entry and exits for guests, staff and goods/supplies shall be organized. Maintaining physical distancing of a minimum of 6 feet, when queuing up for entry and inside the hotel as far as feasible. Specific markings may be made with sufficient distance to manage the queue and ensure social distancing in the premises.
x. The number of people in the elevators shall be restricted, duly maintaining social distancing norms. Use of escalators with one person on alternate steps may be encouraged.
xi. Details of the guest (travel history, medical condition etc.) along with ID and self-declaration form must be provided by the guest at the reception.
xii. Posters/standees/AV media on preventive measures about COVID-19 to be displayed prominently.
xiii. Hand sanitizers must be kept at the reception for guests to use. Guests to sanitize hands before and after filling relevant forms including A&D register.
xiv. Hotels must adopt contactless processes like QR code, online forms, digital payments like e-wallet etc. for both check-in and check-out.
xv. Luggage should be disinfected before sending the luggage to rooms.
xvi. Guests who are at higher risk i.e. those who are older, pregnant or those who have underlying medical conditions are advised to take extra precautions.
xvii. Guests should be advised not to visit areas falling within containment zone
xviii. Required precautions while handling supplies, inventories and goods in the hotel shall be ensured. Proper queue management and disinfection shall be organized.
xix. Appropriate personal protection gears like face covers/masks, gloves and hand sanitizers etc.shall be made available by the hotel to the staff as well as the guests.
xx. Detailed guidelines issued for restaurants shall be followed.
a. Seating arrangement in the restaurant also to be made in such a way that adequate social distancing is maintained.
b. Disposable menus are advised to be used.
c. Instead of cloth napkins, use of good quality disposable paper napkins to be encouraged.
d. Contactless mode of ordering and digital mode of payment (using e-wallets) to be encouraged.
e. Buffet service should also follow social distancing norms among guests.
xxi. Room service or takeaways to be encouraged, instead of dine-in. Food delivery personnel should leave the packet at the guest or customer’s door and not handed directly to the receiver. The staff for home deliveries shall be screened thermally by the hotel authorities prior to allowing home deliveries.
xxii. For room service, communication between guests and in-house staff should be through intercom/ mobile phone and room service (if any) should be provided while maintaining adequate social distance.
xxiii. Gaming Arcades/Children play areas (wherever applicable) shall remain closed.
xxiv. For air-conditioning/ventilation, the guidelines of CPWD shall be followed which inter alia emphasises that the temperature setting of all air conditioning devices should be in the range of 24-30oC, relative humidity should be in the range of 40-70%, intake of fresh air should be as much as possible and cross ventilation should
be adequate.
xxv. Effective and frequent sanitation within the premises shall be maintained with particular focus on lavatories, drinking and handwashing stations/areas.
xxvi. Cleaning and regular disinfection (using 1% sodium hypochlorite) of frequently touched surfaces (doorknobs, elevator buttons, handrails, benches, washroom fixtures, etc.) to be made mandatory in all guest service area and common areas.
xxvii. Proper disposal of face covers/masks/gloves leftover by guests and/or staff should be ensured.
xxviii. Deep cleaning of all washrooms shall be ensured at regular intervals.
xxix. Rooms and other service areas shall be sanitized each time a guest leaves.
xxx. In the kitchen, the staff should follow social distancing norms at the workplace. The kitchen area must be sanitized at regular intervals.
xxxi. In case of a suspect or confirmed case in the premises:
a. Place the ill person in a room or area where they are isolated from others.
b. Provide a mask/face cover till such time he/she is examined by a doctor.
c. Immediately inform the nearest medical facility (hospital/clinic) or call the state or district helpline.
d. A risk assessment will be undertaken by the designated public health authority (district RRT/treating physician) and accordingly further action be initiated regarding the management of the case, his/her contacts and need for disinfection.
e. Disinfection of the premises to be taken up if the person is found positive.

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COVID-19: Nearly 10,000 Cases, 273 Deaths Reported In 24 Hours

Maharashtra remains the worst-hit Indian state with 74,860 coronavirus cases reported so far.

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NEW DELHI: With a record single-day spike of 9,851 patients, India’s tally of confirmed coronavirus cases reached to 2,26,770 on Thursday, while the death count due to the disease climbed to 6,348 with 260 new fatalities, according to the Union health ministry. India has now registered over 8,000 fresh cases for the fifth consecutive day.

India now is at the seventh spot among the nations worst hit by the COVID-19 pandemic after the US, Brazil, Russia, the UK, Spain and Italy.

Maharashtra has been the worst hit with 74,860 coronavirus cases, while Tamil Nadu ranks second having 25,872 cases. National Capital Delhi has now climbed up to the third place reporting 23,645 cases of COVID-19 infection.


Maharashtra has also reported the maximum 2,587 deaths so. Gujarat is at the second spot with 1,122 deaths.

The death toll in Madhya Pradesh stands at 371, West Bengal 345, Uttar Pradesh 229, Rajasthan 209, Tamil Nadu 208, Telangana 99 and Andhra Pradesh 68.

The recovery rate of COVID-19 cases has improved to around 48 per cent in the country. A total of 3,804 people affected by COVID-19 have recovered during the last 24 hours. So far, over 1,04,000 cases have been cured.

Presently, there are 1,06,737 active cases and all are under active medical supervision.


Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has further ramped up the testing capacity for detecting the novel coronavirus in infected persons.

The number of government labs has been increased to 498 and private labs have been increased to 212.

As many as 1,39,485 samples have been tested in the last 24 hours. The total number of samples tested thus far is over 42,42,000.

Updates from States:

Gujarat: With 291 new cases of COVID-19, tally rises to 13,354 in Ahmedabad; 28 more succumb, taking the toll to 938.

Assam: Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday confirmed 285 new COVID-19 cases, taking the total number of positive cases in the state to 2,115.


Delhi: 1,359 fresh cases take Delhi’s COVID-19 tally to over 25K; death toll climbs to 650.

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COVID-19: 200 Special Passenger Trains To Run From Today

No tatkal and premium tatkal booking will be permitted in these trains.

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NEW DELHI: Two hundred special trains will run across the country from tomorrow. These services will be in addition to Shramik Special trains and 30 Special AC trains.

These trains are fully reserved trains having both AC and Non AC classes. General coaches have reserved seat for sitting accommodation. There will be no unreserved coach on the train.

Railway Ministry said, more than 1 lakh 45 thousand passengers will travel tomorrow. Around 26 lakh passengers have booked their tickets for Advance Reservation Period 1st to 30th June.


The passengers have to reach the station 90 minutes in advance to facilitate thermal screening at the station. All passengers will be screened and only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to board the train.

Only passengers with confirmed and RAC tickets will be allowed to enter the Railway Station and board the train.

All passengers must wear face masks at the entry and during travel. Passengers have to observe social distancing both at the station and on trains.

On arrival at their destination, the travelling passengers will have to adhere to such health protocols as are prescribed by the destination State and Union territories.


No Linen, blankets and curtains will be provided inside the train. Passengers are advised to carry their own linen for the travel.

Online Booking of tickets for these trains is being done through IRCTC website or through Mobile App. Railways has also allowed booking of reservation tickets through the reservation counters, Common Service Centers and Ticketing agents.

No tatkal and premium tatkal booking will be permitted in these trains.

This development comes in a move to let citizens travel to their hometowns amid the nationwide lockdown which was imposed to combat spread of novel coronavirus in the country.

The Ministry of Railways today said that more than 1.45 lakh passengers will be travelling on Monday when the 200 special trains will start their operations.

Around 26 lakh passengers have booked tickets on these special trains till 30 June, the national transporter said.


These trains also include the popular trains such as Durontos, Sampark Krantis, Jan Shatabdis and Poorva Express and more. Railways also said that these will have both AC and non-AC classes and fully reserved coaches.

Here are the details about the special trains:

 

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