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Last Updated : Mar 30 2020 10:27PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
Social organisations play big role in countering superstitions, wrong beliefs, misinformation against COVID-19: PM Modi            Nation needs short-term measures, long-term vision to overcome COVID-19 challenge, asserts PM Modi            PM Modi holds video conference with Heads of Indian Embassies, High Commissions to discuss COVID-19 pandemic            Number of COVID-19 cases reported in last 12 days much less than those reported in developed countries            BSNL prepaid sims not to be discontinued till April 20: Ravi Shankar Prasad           

Text Bulletins Details


News at Nine

2100 HRS
25.03.2020

THE HEADLINES:-


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi calls for strict compliance with lockdown and asks people not to believe in rumours.

  • Help desk in collaboration with WhatsApp set up for information on COVID 19; Prime Minister asks people to use Whatsapp number 9013151515 for this purpose.

  • Government asserts, there will be no shortages of essential commodities.

  • Centre issues advisory to transfer funds in accounts of construction workers through DBT mode.

  • COVID 19 Economic Task Force to soon announce economic relief package, assures Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. 

  • Census India 2021 and National Population Register postponed until further orders.

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Prime Minister has reiterated that social distancing is the only way to counter the spread of COVID-19 saying the virus does not discriminate and it can infect anyone. Interacting with the people of Varanasi through video conferencing today,  Mr. Modi expressed concern that some people despite being empowered with knowledge are not paying heed to warning which is unfortunate.


Mr. Modi said, the government has tied up with WhatsApp to create a helpdesk to give credible information on coronavirus. The number is - 9013151515.


The Prime Minister expressed pain over misbehaviour of some people against doctors, airlines crew and staff of essential services who are at the forefront of combating the virus.  Mr. Modi said, stern action will be taken against the guilty. The Prime Minister added that doctors and nurses are incarnations of God and they are endangering themselves to save people and they should be  respected.  Mr. Modi also urged  people to help poor in this hour of crisis and promise themselves to help nine poor families everyday for the next 21 days.


During the interaction,Mr.Modi also answered questions of the people. 

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Government has asserted that there will be no shortages of essential commodities and these commodities will remain available . Speaking to reporters in New Delhi today about cabinet decisions, Information and Broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar said, there is no need to panic.


Mr Javadekar said, Prime minister's decision of lockdown has been welcomed by all.  Terming social distancing and staying at home as the best Strategy to Combat novel Coronavirus, Mr Javadekar said, during cabinet meeting also social distancing was done. He reiterated that twenty one days lockdown is for us, for society, for our family  and for the country. The minister urged people to wash hands regularly and asked them not to believe in rumours.


The Minister said, employees working on contract shall be considered on duty and will get payment. He also said that nearly 80 crore people will get wheat two rupees per kg and rice at three rupees per kg.

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Centre has directed all states to ensure unhindered movement of essential goods and services in states and union territories including inter-state movement. This is being done to ensure continuity of supply chains during COVID-19 lockdown. In a letter to chief secretaries of all states and union territories, Home Ministry said, it is necessary to ensure the unhindered operation of manufacturing, processing, transportation, distribution, storage and logistics related to all services, and commodities required for the delivery of essential services which have been exempted. Centre said, it is necessary for each state and union territory to set up a 24/7 control room with helplines at state and district levels to address any grievance or problems faced  by the providers of goods and services.

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Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan along with senior officials of his Ministry today took stock of LPG operations to ensure uninterrupted supply of LPG in the country. Mr Pradhan also discussed measures undertaken to safeguard employees from the risk of the infection. In a tweet, the Minister said, petroleum is an essential services sector and the Ministry is working to ensure not just consumers get uninterrupted supplies of petrol, diesel and LPG but also that the supply lines for the country’s defence forces are secured. He said, the Petroleum Ministry is taking adequate preventive measures to stay safe and has also adopted Social Distancing as a weapon to combat the Covid19 infection. He also urged people to follow Social Distancing and other preventive guidelines.

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Government has announced a slew of measures to provide relief by relaxing the compliance and regulatory norms in the wake of the COVID 19 outbreak. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has assured that the Economic Task Force will soon announce an economic relief package.


Finance Ministry has extended the last date for filing of income tax return for the financial year 2018-19 till June of this year. Interest on delayed payment of income tax has also been reduced to nine per cent. Vivad Se Vishwas scheme, PAN-Aadhar linking, Sabka Sath, Sabka Vishwas scheme and last date for filling of GST return for the month of March, April and May have also been extended till June. It has been decided by the government that no interest, penalty and late fees will be imposed on those companies which have turnover less than five crores. To keep the supply un-interrupted in the country in this difficult time, custom clearance will remain open 24 X 7. Threshold of default has been raised to one crore rupees from the existing one lakh rupees which will prevent triggering of insolvency proceedings against Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. In a major relief to people, debit card holders can withdraw money from any ATM of any bank without paying charges for the next three months. Minimum balance fee has also been waived by the banks. With Diwakar, Bhupendra Singh, AIR News, Delhi

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A total number of 29 private laboratory chains have been given approval for testing of corona virus. These private labs have 16 thousand collection centers across the country. In addition, 118 government laboratories have been given permission for testing which have a capacity to test 12 thousand samples per day.  Giving these information in a media briefing in New Delhi today, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Lav Aggarwal said, government is continuously increasing its testing infrastructure. He said, private labs must adhere to the norms laid down by the Indian Council of Medical Research. He added that hydroxy-chloroquine for prophylaxis should only be used with the advice of doctors.


On the sufficient stock of masks and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) in the country, Mr. Agarwal said, the government is aware of the situation and trying its best to ensure sufficient stock of masks and PPEs. He said, there is no evidence of community transmission of corona virus in the country.


Mr. Agarwal said, State and District authorities have been asked that e-commerce activity must be promoted to provide the essential items at the doorstep to ensure minimum movement of people. He said, a high level meeting of the Group of Ministers, GoM on COVID-19 was held today to review the prepardeness and actions taken by the agencies to contain the spread of Covid 19. The GoM discussed about strengthening capacity of states, which need to devote adequate resources for creating dedicated COVID-19 hospitals, equipping the medical institutes with PPEs, ventilators and other essential equipments.


In the meeting, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that around 64 thousand people have arrived from other countries to India since 21st March, 2020 out of which 8,000 have been put in various quarantine facilities and 56,000 are in home isolation.


Meanwhile, total confirmed case of COVID 19 in the country reached 606 today. Out of these, 43 have been cured and discharged so far. Tenth death was reported today from Maharashtra. This is the third death in the state due to the virus outbreak.


In Madhya Pradesh, an infected woman died due to novel Corona virus today. This is the first death due to COVID 19 in the state.


Apart from this, six fresh positive cases were found in the state today. With this, the number of patients suffering from corona in the state has increased to 15.


Meanwhile, all the 52 districts of the state have been locked down since last night, which will continue till April 14. Supply of essential services and goods is being ensured. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan is constantly monitoring the situation.


In Chhattisgarh, two new patients were tested positive for COVID 19. With this, the number of patients has increased to three in the state.

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Karnataka Medical Education minister Dr.K Sudhakar has informed that COVID 19 positive cases in the state have gone up to 51 as on now. Speaking to media persons in Bengaluru, he informed that the war room in Bengaluru is keeping track of all the positive cases in the state and ensuring that established quarantine practices are followed. 


The police, urban local bodies and district administration are working out mechanisms to streamline availability of essential items. It is decided to issue identity cards and passes to recognized vendors and caterers who could provide food, milk, vegetables, mask and sanitizers to the needy. Arrangements are being made for the supply of necessary groceries and other items to the door steps of senior citizens. In Gadag the urban local body has decided to give identity cards to street vendors and has allocated them specific streets to sell their vegetables and fruits. In Udupi a citizen organization has come forward to provide parcel food items for 21 days to the homeless. Sudhindra, AIR News, Bengaluru.

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Highlighting the seriousness of COVID-19 outbreak, Dr. Dwarka Pandey spoke to All India Radio about the differences between common cold and COVID 19

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The first phase of Census India 2021 which is the house listing operation and National Population Register (NPR) updation has been postponed until further orders. The Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner said the decision has been taken in view of COVID-19 outbreak and nationwide lockdown due to the pandemic. The exercise was scheduled to be kicked off on various dates decided by States and Union Territories on 1st April.

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All India Radio has launched a special news programme on COVID 19 in Hindi and English. The special news programme will be aired daily from 8 to 8:30 AM in Hindi and from 8:30 to 9 AM in English. In the evening programme will be aired from 8 to 8:30 PM in Hindi and 8:30 to 9 PM in English. The programmes will have factual s and latest information about novel Coronavirus. The programmes can be heard on AIR FM Gold and other channels of All India Radio.

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Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for 21 days National Lockdown, people in Maharashtra, showed strong resolution to fight against Covid 19 outbreak. On the very first day of the National lock down today which is also the new year day for the state, people rang the festivities of Gudi Padwa in a subdued manner within the confines of their homes. 


In the view of Covid-19 outbreak and PM Modi's 21 days National lockdown, the Marathi speakers today marked the first day of Maharashtrian new year Gudi Padwa in sobre manner and by maintaing social distancing in an unique way. Few shops and departmental stores management in Kolhapur, Nanded and Pune drew circles on the floor to maintain social distancing to curb coronavirus spread. Using white colour to mark circles or squares on the road at a distance of over three feet between each marking, the shop owners asked people to stand as per the markings and soon they were also comfortable with it. The shop management stated that the idea is proving a healthy option for people who come out of their homes to purchase groceries and vegetables. An official from the Maharashtra Chief Minister's Office today said the government has started pushing this concept across the state by sharing photos of such social distancing practices. With Nivedita, Kunal Shinde, AIR News, Mumbai.


In Telangana, no fresh coronavirus positive case registered itoday, while the police and the state authorities are making allout efforts to suspend the growing positive cases.


Though the Telugu New Year, Ugadi celebrations were held on a lowkey across Telangana state, the efforts of the state authorities and individuals to ensure total lockdown remained unhampered. Dozens of surveillance teams have been fanned out to trace the individuals who had recent travel history to corona affected countries and violated the quarantine norms. Some villagers have even resorted to have their own surviallance and blocked all entry points into their villages. Lakshmi, Air News, Hyderabad.


In Chhattisgarh, two new patients have been tested positive for COVID 19 today. With this, the number of patients has increased to three in the state.


The Assam government said that sufficient essential food items are available for the people of the state.


The entire administrative machinery in Assam is working on war footing to keep the safe from the Covid 19 as well as ensure essential items during lock down. The state has not reported any positive case so far. Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that 6 hospitals have been earmarked for Covid 19 patients if required. Food and Civil Supply Minister Phani Bhusan Choudhury informed that the state has sufficient food stuffs during the lock down period. He said , additional food items to reach Assam soon. MANAS PRATIM SARMA, AIR NEWS, GUWAHATI


The nationwide 21-day lockdown to counter COVID19 announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is being observed in Sikkim. Streets in state capital Gangtok have been deserted and markets and shops have been closed down, reflecting public support for the lockdown. There has been an increasing police presence on roads including check posts and patrolling.


Speaking to AIR, SDM, Gangtok, East Sikkim Anant Jain said that the lockdown is being implemented with full effect. Essential services through the public distribution system, medical services, LPG provision and medical services are available. He informed that police patrolling is undertaken to ensure that people do not step out their homes except during emergencies.


In South Sikkim, the district police has been conducting awareness drives, informing people on the importance of staying indoors barring emergencies and essential works.


Uttar Pradesh government has decided to launch massive campaign for identification of those person who have recently returned from abroad and calling over 10 thousand village heads to ensure that such persons remain in quarantine. Meanwhile 3 new cases, one from Pilibhit and 2 from Gautam Buddh Nagar district have tested positive increasing the tally of patients to 38 in state. Out of these 38 person, 11 have recovered and discharged from the hospital and rest of 27 are also stable.


State government has announced an additional Rs 50 crore for state health department in wake of COVID19 and also going to start cooked food facility for distribution to the laborers and needy persons. Government will start community kichen service and will distribute packaged cooked food to the persons in need with the help of hotels, religious institutions, fast food chains and mid day meal makers. More than 12 thousand vehicles are being used for doorstep delivery of necessary items.  Additional Chief Secretary Home Awanish Awasthi said that police is enforcing Lockdown strongly. The challan of around 40 thousand vehicles have been issued for violating lockdown. The Chief Minister helpline service 1076 is regularly calling around 10 thousand gram pradhans or village heads and asking the whereabouts of those person whose details have been provided by bureau of immigration to ensure that they remain in quarantine. SUSHIL CHANDRA TIWARI, AIR NEWS, LUCKNOW.


West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced a series of steps today for maintaining the supply of essential commodities


Taking a serious note of panic buying of people after announcement of 21 day long nationwide lockdown the West Bengal  Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has directed the Police administration to ensure uninterrupted supply of essential commodities .She announced one month rations for poor people at a time through Public Distribution System . The State administration has opened a toll free number 1070 repeat 1070 and a helpline . The number is 033-22143526 repeat 033- 22143526 to respond people's queries on Carona and to extend necessary help . Abiding the health directions most of the people have remained indoor but reports of violation of instructions have also come in . Kolkata Police has arrested more than 1300 people for gathering , assemble on roads , streets , tea shops and other places so far. Arijit Chakraborty , AIR News , Kolkata .


In Chennai, chartered buses have been arranged for the transportation of the staff involved in essential services.


Officials are tracing those who have a history of recent foreign visit and those who came in contact with them. Stickers are being affixed on the doors of those who are kept under home quarantine as there are several cases in which the quarantined people go out claiming they don’t have any symptoms. State health minister Dr C Vijayabhaskar has warned that their passports would be impounded if they do so, as they may serve as the carriers of the virus even without showing any symptoms. Markings are being made in front of stores and market outlets with the one-metre gap by the staff of civic bodies to enforce the social distance norms. Those who ventured out without any pressing needs were cajoled by the police to go back and confine themselves to their homes in the interest of themselves and the nation. Such police personnel were praised as guardian angels by netizens in social media. In Chennai, chartered buses were operated for the staff involved in essential services by the public utilities like the city Corporation, Health, Water Supply and power. Jayasingh, AIR News, Chennai

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Delhi Police is proactively engaging with e-commerce portals for seamless delivery of essential commodities to residents of the national capital. Delhi Police PRO MS Randhawa said, a platform for e-commerce websites has been set up where they can share  problems being faced by them, so that they can be resolved.

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Amidst the concerns arising out of the spread of Corona virus, there is no need to panic as COVID-19 can be cured. A total of 37 patients have been cured and discharged in the country so far. Our correspondent spoke to Rohit Dutta from Delhi who is a COVID-19 survivor.

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Former Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh tweeted an appeal to the people regarding the precautions to be taken in view of the COVID 19 outbreak. Yuvraj Singh urged everyone to follow all directions issued by the government.

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In Haryana, a fruit seller following Prime Minister's appeal for social distancing, has made marks with lime stone powder for his customers in front of his shop so that the customers should maintain the distance of one meter.


The fruit seller Subash told AIR correspondent that following the appeal of PM and Deputy Commissioner Ajay Kumar, when more than one customers arrive, he told them to stand on the mark maintaing the social distance  so that spread of corona novel corona virus could be checked.He said that it also looks pleasant.

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Home Ministry issued fresh guidelines today covering additional people and services who will be exempted from the 21-day lockdown. Under the  the new guidelines, the Ministry said the  Reserve Bank of India and its regulated financial markets, pay and accounts officers and field officers of the CAG, petroleum products and supply chain and forest staff are exempted. People handling cargo operations in airports and railway stations, coal mining activities, officers and staff of resident commissioners based in Delhi and customs clearance at ports, airports and land borders are also exempted.

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High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das today handed over 30,000 surgical masks and 15,000 head-covers as assistance to the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Dr. A.K.Abdul Momen in Dhaka. The High Commission of India said that the assistance is intended to support Bangladesh in its efforts to fight the spread of COVID 19 in the country.

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The Election Commission has decided to allow usage of Indelible Ink on persons for stamping for home quarantine by health authorities in view of COVID-19. In a  statement, the commission said, the Health Ministry may standardise the mark and the location on the body where the mark has to be applied so that it does not come in the way of conducting elections.

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The Indian stock market rallied today with increases of over 6 percent in both benchmark indices. Sensex at the Bombay Stock Exchange zoomed 1,862 points, or 7 percent, to end at 28,536, today. The Nifty at the National Stock exchange shot up 517 points, or 6.4 percent, to 8,318.

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President Ram Nath Kovind , Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have greeted people on new year Vikram Samvat 2077, Chaitra Sukladi, Ugadi, Gudi Padava, Cheti Chand, Navreh and Sajibu Cheiraoba.

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