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After 169-day halt, Delhi Metro resumes services with mandatory Aarogya Setu app, strict screening

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As part of the Unlock 4.0, the metro services in select cities in the country have started its operation on Monday.

Metro services are going to resume after five months of a halt due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The metro services are resuming their services with protective measures such as only asymptomatic people are allowed to board trains and stations at containment zones will stay shut.

As per the guidelines, passengers are also required to download the Aarogya Setu app on their smartphones and will undergo thermal checks at stations.

There would be no use of tokens to travel in the metros, instead passengers need to use smart card only that also would recharged through online payment only, no cash.

The frequency of the metro trains will also be regulated in order to avoid crowding at the metro stations.

“Graded metro services will begin on yellow line (Samaypur Badli – Huda City Centre) and Rapid Metro Gurugram from 7:00 to 11:00 in the morning and 4:00 to 8:00 in the evening,” DMRC said.

“I am happy that Delhi Metro services resume today. Metro has made good arrangements. We should not be careless in taking precautions,” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has launched a series of tweets since yesterday regarding its services.

“Adjust your office timings in a way that you leave and/or arrive before peak hours and avoid overcrowding the metro,” it said.

“For better management of crowd at/outside stations, DMRC is also in touch with the authorities to provide around 1000 civil defence volunteers,” it added.

“Since Delhi Metro operates in Delhi-NCR, it will not be providing services to such stations which fall under the containment zones for any given day in any of the state(s),” DMRC said.

“Delhi Metro is ready to resume its services from tomorrow onwards in a staggered manner. The resumption of services requires the public to understand and co-operate with DMRC/CISF personnel on the following aspects for a comfortable and safe commuting experience,” it said.

“Public is advised to travel with minimum luggage & avoid carrying metallic items for a faster frisking at entry points. Keep only pocket-size hand sanitizers, if any, during the travel. Hand sanitizers will not be permitted beyond 30 ml quantity,” it added.

Today morning, DMRC tweeted some of the pictures of commuters and its preparations to resume services after a halt of 169 days.

The metro services in the country are resuming on the day when India has surpassed Brazil in terms of caseloads to stand at the second position across the globe.

India has now surpassed Brazil in terms of the number of infections due to the deadly coronavirus and the cases tally passed the 43-lakh mark on Monday.

There has been yet another single-day spike in the number of cases with 90,802 fresh cases in the last 24 hours.

It was the second consecutive day that India has recorded more than 90,000 cases in a single-day.

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Lifestyle

US President Donald Trump’s eldest son tests positive for coronavirus

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US President Donald Trump’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr has tested positive for Covid-19 and is quarantining without symptoms, the latest in a long list of infections among those with links to the White House.

“Don tested positive at the start of the week and has been quarantining out at his cabin since the result,” his spokesman said.

“He’s been completely asymptomatic so far and is following all medically recommended COVID-19 guidelines,” the spokesman said of the 42-year-old.

Trump Jr’s positive test follows infections for a string of others connected to the White House, including his father, who was hospitalized, the president’s wife Melania and Trump’s youngest son Barron.

Donald Jr’s girlfriend, former Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle, also tested positive in July.

Earlier Friday, Andrew Giuliani, a White House aide and son of the president’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, announced he had tested positive.

Trump Jr is one of the most outspoken and aggressive defenders of his father, who is still refusing to recognize his defeat to Democrat Joe Biden in the November 3 presidential election.

In the days after the vote, Trump Jr called for his father to go to “total war” against what he calls electoral fraud despite no evidence to support the claim.

Like his father he has also consistently downplayed the pandemic, telling Fox News as the virus surged around the country last month that deaths from Covid-19 had fallen to “almost nothing.”

Trump’s administration has been heavily criticized for its response to the pandemic and for downplaying the dangers.

Many in the crowds at his pre-election rallies were often maskless and not abiding by social-distancing rules.

They were a sharp contrast with Biden’s drive-in rallies and his scrupulous mask-wearing.

On Monday, the president-elect expressed frustration over Trump’s refusal to cooperate on the White House transition process, saying “more people may die” of coronavirus without immediate coordination on fighting the pandemic.

With Trump refusing to concede defeat, Biden and his team have been unable to coordinate with government officials on crucial continuity of issues like national security, but also on emergencies like a distribution plan for Covid-19 vaccines to tens of millions of Americans.

Current US numbers — more than a quarter of a million deaths have been reported — have alarmed authorities enough to advise that people stay home for next week’s Thanksgiving holiday, when Americans usually travel to be with their families.

New York City has shut down schools for its 1.1 million students, while California will impose a 10:00 pm to 5:00 am curfew from Saturday.

There was however a new sign of hope on Friday as US biotech giant Pfizer and German partner BioNTech sought approval to roll out their coronavirus vaccine early.

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Health & Fitness

Low fitness may increase depression and anxiety: Study

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Researchers have found that people with low aerobic and muscular fitness are nearly twice as likely to experience depression.

Low fitness levels also predicted a 60 per cent greater chance of anxiety, over a seven-year follow-up, according to the study published in the journal BMC Medicine.

“Here we have provided further evidence of a relationship between physical and mental health, and that structured exercise aimed at improving different types of fitness is not only good for your physical health, but may also have mental health benefits,” said study author Aaron Kandola from University College London (UCL) in the UK.

The study involved 152,978 participants aged between 40 and 69 years.

Their baseline aerobic fitness at the start of the study period was tested by using a stationary bike the increasing resistance, while their muscular fitness was measured with a grip strength test.

They also completed a questionnaire gauging depression and anxiety symptoms.

Seven years later they were tested again for depression and anxiety symptoms, and the researchers found that high aerobic and muscular fitness at the start of the study was associated with better mental health seven years later.

People with the lowest combined aerobic and muscular fitness had 98 per cent higher odds of depression, 60 per cent higher odds of anxiety, and 81 per cent higher odds of having either one of the common mental health disorders, compared to those with high levels of overall fitness.

“Our findings suggest that encouraging people to exercise more could have extensive public health benefits, improving not only our physical health but our mental health too,” said study author Joseph Hayes from UCL.

Improving fitness through a combination of cardio exercise and strength and resistance training appears to be more beneficial than just focusing on aerobic or muscular fitness, according to the study.

“Other studies have found that just a few weeks of regular intensive exercise can make substantial improvements to aerobic and muscular fitness, so we are hopeful that it may not take much time to make a big difference to your risk of mental illness,” the authors wrote.

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Lifestyle

Gold, silver futures rise ahead of US election outcome

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Futures of gold rose on Thursday as vote counting in the US showed Joseph Biden is likely to be the next President if the country. Gold futures on the Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) jumped above the level of Rs 51,000 per 10 gram tracking a positive trend in the international markets.

Gold prices rose on Thursday after falling for straight days. Currently, the December contract of Gold futures on the MCX is trading at Rs 51,281 per 10 gram higher by Rs 461 or 0.91 per cent from the previous close.

Silver futures also surged during the day. Currently, the December contract of silver on the MCX is trading at Rs 62,317 per kg, higher by Rs 928 or 1.51 per cent from its previous close.

“As the election process commenced, markets anticipate a slight edge towards Democrat Joe Biden winning the US presidency which might open gates for larger US stimulus,” Anuj Gupta, DVP, Commodities and Currencies Research at Angel Broking.

He further said that alarming increase in the coronavirus cases around the globe clouded the global economic outlook.

“Many nations reinforced fresh lockdown which dented markets risk appetite and further supported Gold prices. Markets will have a keen watch on the outcome of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC),” Gupta said.

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