A round-up of Covid-19 related news from India:
Corona and Covid are born
They might not be the first choice of names for your newborn, but a couple in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh have decided to call their new arrivals Corona and Covid.
The twins (a boy and a girl) were born during India’s ongoing coronavirus lockdown that began on March 24.
Proud mum Preeti Verma, 27, told news agency Press Trust of India that the names would remind them of the hardships they faced during the lockdown.
She said: “The delivery happened after facing several difficulties and therefore, my husband and I wanted to make the day memorable.”
“We’re proud of you!” Pakistani ATC tells Air India rescue flight
Air India has been performing a number of rescue flights in recent days, helping Europeans stranded in India to get back to their home countries.
ANI News has today reported how the crew of one recent special fight got a particularly warm welcome from their ATC colleagues in both Pakistan and Iran.
Entering Pakistani airspace, one Air India crew was given the traditional Muslim welcome of “Assalaam Alaikum” before being told: “This is Karachi's control welcoming Air India. We're proud of you that in a pandemic situation you are operating flights - good luck!”
Iran is said to have been granting easier passage for India’s repatriation flights, granting direct routings through its territory by opening up airspace usually closed for defence reasons.
An Air India captain said:“First time in my entire career as a pilot, Iran gave a direct routing for about 1,000 miles - a privilege enjoyed as special flights, in all especially in the recent tense situation in the Iranian airspace.”
Keeping citizens in the dark?
India's prime minister has urged the country's 1.3 billion citizens to shut off the lights in their home on Sunday night, appealing for them to instead light candles, lamps and even use mobile torches while standing on their balconies.
Narendra Modi called for the nine-minute switch off to bolster the morale and spirit of the nation.
The PM said he hopes to dispel the darkness created by coronavirus, while showing that people are together in their fight against the epidemic.
Mr Modi ordered an unprecedented three-week lockdown on March 24 in a bid to stop a massive outbreak of coronavirus infections.
So far, India has recorded 2,909 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 68 deaths.