India's biggest daily coronavirus spike as lockdown eases for 1.3b people

The loosening of restrictions comes as India continues to ramp up testing, build up stocks of ventilators and personal protective equipment, and prepare makeshift isolation wards and dedicated COVID-19 hospitals.

India's biggest daily coronavirus spike as lockdown eases for 1.3b people

India has recorded its biggest single-day spike in coronavirus cases as the government eased one of the world's strictest lockdowns to allow some manufacturing and agricultural activity to resume.

An additional 1553 cases were reported over 24 hours, raising the national total past 17,000. At least 543 people have died from COVID-19 and epidemiologists forecast the peak may not be reached before June.

The shelter-in-place orders imposed in India on March 24 halted all but essential services.

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Starting on Monday, limited industry and farming were allowed to resume where employers could meet social distancing and hygiene norms, and migrant workers can travel within states to factories, farms and other work sites.

"In the event a group of migrants wish to return to their places of work within the state where they are presently located, they would be screened and those who are asymptomatic would be transported to their respective places of work," India's home ministry said in a letter to state governments.

However, government surveys in the central Indian state of Maharashtra, the worst-hit by the virus, have suggested few companies eligible to restart operations can do so because they are required to transport and shelter workers as a virus-prevention measure.

The loosening of restrictions comes as India continues to ramp up testing, build up stocks of ventilators and personal protective equipment, and prepare makeshift isolation wards and dedicated COVID-19 hospitals.

In Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra and home to Asia's largest slum, city authorities were planning to administer hydroxycloroquine to thousands of slum-dwellers over 14 days to gauge whether the drug helped to slow the spread of the disease in a place where social distancing norms aren't possible to achieve.

It was unclear how many people would participate in the experiment, or when it would begin.

President Donald Trump has touted the malaria drug to treat COVID-19, though its efficacy against the disease is unproven.

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You can also get up-to-date information from the Federal Government's Coronavirus Australia app, available on the , and the .

Source : 9 News More   

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Turnbull takes aim at Cormann, Credlin, rivals

Malcolm Turnbull says if a senior member of his cabinet hadn't betrayed him before the 2018 leadership spill, Peter Dutton's coup would have been easily defeated.

Turnbull takes aim at Cormann, Credlin, rivals

Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has lashed out at Tony Abbott and his chief of staff Peta Credlin in a virulent rebuke of his predecessor.

Mr Turnbull said it was Ms Credlin who was running the country while her boss was in power as he took aim at multiple members of his own party in a wide-ranging interview with ABC's 7.30 host Leigh Sales to promote his memoir, A Bigger Picture.

"We were really dealing with Peta and Peta was running the country and that was obvious, and dominating Abbott," he said.

"So, it was as though she felt, 'I've created you, you're my creation', and she felt she owned him. It was a bizarre, a truly bizarre, relationship.

"The Abbott Government was brought down by the Abbott Government. Credlin and Abbott destroyed their own government due to their own follies and then set out to destroy mine."

Mr Turnbull also singled out Finance Minister Mathias Cormann as his ultimate betrayer, saying if he hadn't abandoned him before the 2018 leadership spill, Peter Dutton's coup would have been easily defeated.

Mr Dutton twice challenged the former member for Wentworth for the leadership in August 2018.

Mr Turnbull won the first party room ballet 48 votes to 35. When Mr Dutton challenged a second time Mr Turnbull did not re-contest, and Mr Dutton lost out to former Treasurer Scott Morrison, 45 votes to 40.

Morrison smiles alongside Turnbull days before he was ousted as leader of the Liberal Party.

"Frankly, if Cormann had not betrayed me in the shocking way he did, the Dutton coup would have been over by Tuesday," Mr Turnbull said.

"If Cormann basically rescued Dutton's coup – and he did so – well, why? Why did he do it? Presumably because he wanted Dutton to be prime minister. He certainly didn't want (Scott) Morrison to be prime minister, that's for sure."

Mr Turnbull said during his term as leader he witnessed right-wing members of the Liberal Party "operate like a terrorist".

"The way they operate is to basically bully and intimidate people. And what they do, they operate like a terrorist," he said.

"Now, they don't use guns and bombs… but it is the technique of terrorism where you create enough mayhem, enough damage, that people in the middle say 'it has got to come to an end, how can I stop this terrible horror'."

Mr Turnbull said he used his judgement to essentialy flush out the extremists in his party. He claimed he was not alone in using the unlikely political phrase, claiming Mr Cormann used it to offer him advice.

"He said to me – he said to me in the Prime Minister's office – he said: 'You have to give into the terrorists'. His words. The fourth most senior person in the government," Mr Turnbull said.

"If you believe the words of Dutton's closest friends, Cormann was in it from the outset. He claims he wasn't. But see the way these coups work and the way people operate... they are not the first people to do it like this."

Tony Abbott speaks to Peta Credlin in 2015. (AAP)

Mr Turnbull said he believed Mr Dutton's challenge was part of a plan to return former Prime Minister Tony Abbott to power. Mr Turnbull overthrew Mr Abbott in a leadership spill in 2015.

As well as commenting about the spill that ended his political career, Mr Turnbull spoke in detail about his views on the leadership of his predecessor.

"It was erratic, his whole style of government was erratic and flaky, from a national security point of view," Mr Turnbull said.

Source : 9 News More   

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