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Last Updated : May 30 2020 11:21PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
Govt issues guidelines for phase wise re-opening of areas outside containment zones            Inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods allowed            PM pens letter to countrymen on first anniversary of his govt's second term            PM to address the nation in Mann ki Baat programme tomorrow            Covid-19 recovery rate improves to 47.40 per cent           

Text Bulletins Details


Morning News

0815 HRS
08.04.2020

THE HEADLINES:

  • Government asks local authorities to take stern action against those involved in hoarding and black marketing during lockdown.

  • Centre sending enough food stocks to states to implement Prime Minister's Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana.

  • ICMR allows state governments to set up  sample collection sites for  COVID-19 testing. 

  • Maharashtra to put in place strict measures to ensure lockdown as Corona virus cases cross one thousand mark.

  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson with coronavirus symptoms remains stable in ICU.

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Union Home Minister Amit Shah has asked authorities to take quick and stern action against individuals involved in hoarding and black marketing. Briefing media in New Delhi yesterday, Joint Secretary in Home Ministry Punya Salila Shrivastava said, the Home Ministry did a detailed review of the status of essential commodities and lockdown measures. The present status of essential goods and services is by and large satisfactory.

Joint Secretary in Health Ministry Lav Agarwal informed that Government has been adopting a strategy for cluster containment and for outbreaks that are amenable to management.

He said, this strategy is producing positive results, especially in Agra and Gautam Buddh Nagar in Uttar Pradesh, Pathanamthitta in Kerala, Bhilwara in Rajasthan and East Delhi. He said, Indian Railways has prepared 40 thousand isolation beds in 2,500 coaches.

Quoting a recent ICMR study, Mr Agarwal said, if one COVID-19 patient does not follow lockdown orders or practice social distancing, then the patient can infect 406 people in 30 days.

Meanwhile, total number of COVID-19 cases in country has risen to 4,789 with 508 more positive cases reported yesterday. In all, 124 deaths have been reported in the country so far. Currently, there are 4,312 active cases with 353 persons discharged after recovery.

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The News Services Division of All India Radio in its bilingual phone-in yesterday held a Special discussion on  Covid-19. Dr. Raman R Gangakhedkar, Head, Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases, Indian Council Medical Research clarified that the Corona virus can not spread through newspapers.

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The Union Government has said that Food Corporation of India, FCI has sent enough stocks to states throughout the country to implement Prime Minister's Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana. Through this scheme, five kilograms of foodgrains per person per month for the next three months have to be distributed free to all National Food Security Act beneficiaries.

Many states have already started lifting foodgrains from FCI under this scheme. The Consumers Affairs Ministry yesterday said, in the next few days other states will also start lifting the foodgrains for distribution.

The Ministry said, FCI is working tirelessly and has ensured that enough stocks are made available in every part of the country during the countrywide lockdown.

During the last 14 days, while the lockdown is in force to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, FCI moved an average of one lakh 44 thousand tonnes of foodgrains per day. A total of 658 rakes carrying over 18 Lakh tonnes foodgrains have been transported across the country.

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The Centre has taken a number of initiatives to ensure smooth supply of essential items during the lockdown period arising out of COVID-19 pandemic. The Textiles Ministry has taken measures to protect the produce of wheat farmers by providing them alternate packaging bags. It has extended the limit for High-Density PolyEthylene/Polypropylene bags from 1.80 lakh bales to 2.62 lakh to tide over the crisis of packaging of foodgrains due to closure of jute mills due to the lockdown. A report :

"This move has been taken mainly to protect the interests of wheat farmers as grains are likely to be ready for packing mid of this month onwards. However, whenever the production of jute bags in the jute mills resumes after the lock down period is over, priority will be given to the jute bags for packaging of food grains. Textiles Ministry has written to the all jute growing States to allow movement, sale and supply of jute seeds, fertilizers and other farming aids. Government is committed to protect the interest of the jute farmers and workers through provisions of the Jute Packaging Materials Act and it provides about 100 per cent reservation for packaging of foodgrains in jute bags. Suparna Saikia, AIR News, Delhi".

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The Government has said, 152 flights have transported over 200 tonnes of essential medical supplies across the country under the Lifeline Udan initiative. The Civil Aviation Ministry said that these flights are being operated to transport essential medical cargo to remote areas to support the fight against Covid-19. It said, 152 flights have been operated by Air India, Indian Air Force and other private carriers. UDAN flights also carried ICMR kits and other essential cargo to several North Eastern areas and Central and Eastern states too.

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Indian Air Force is continuing its support in the fight against COVID-19 wherein medical supplies are being transported to equip the State Governments and supporting agencies to combat the contagion effectively and efficiently.

"During the last few days, Indian Air Force airlifted essential medical supplies and commodities from nodal points to Manipur, Nagaland and Gangtok and other North Eastern states and also in the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. In addition, AN-32 aircraft yesterday, airlifted personnel and 3,500 kilograms of medical equipment of ICMR from Chennai to Bhubaneshwar for setting up of testing labs and facilities in Odisha. IAF has earmarked aircraft at nodal points to airlift medical supplies and equipment at short notice to proactively support operations against COVID-19. In addition, IAF airlifted critical medical supplies to Maldives Capital Male as Operation Sanjeevani on 2nd of this month. Maldives has faced shortage of essential medical supplies as its connectivity with India- its main source of medical supplies was broken after COVID-19 lockdown. IAF has created nine quarantine facilities of 200-300 personnel capacity each, at nodal IAF bases across the country. Command Hospital Air Force,  Bengaluru has been designated as the first laboratory in the IAF to undertake COVID-19 testing. ANUPAM MISHRA, AIR NEWS, DELHI".

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India will licence paracetamol and hydroxychloroquine in appropriate quantities to all neighbouring countries who are dependent on the country's capabilities. Responding to media queries, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said that the decision has been taken in view of the humanitarian aspects of COVID-19 pandemic. He said India will also be supplying these essential drugs to some nations who have been particularly badly affected by the pandemic. He added, there should not be any speculation or attempt to politicise the matter.

The MEA spokesperson said the DGFT earlier notified lifting restrictions on 14 drugs. He said paracetamol and Hydroxychloroquine will be kept in a licensed category and their demand position would be continuously monitored.

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Union Government has notified changes in allowances of Members of Parliament which entail that they will get 30 per cent less allowances. The decision was taken as part of government's efforts to mobilize additional resources in fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi welcomed the notifications issued by Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Secretariats. In a tweet, Mr Joshi said, the initiative is a good beginning for augmenting resources to fight the pandemic.

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The Government has urged students, innovators, researchers, educators and startups to come forward and help combat coronavirus infection by participating in Samadhan Challenge. Human Resources and Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank in a tweet has asked them to share their ideas to solve the challenges posed by the pandemic. He invited students, innovators, researchers, educators and startups with a working prototype of technological advanced solutions which can be validated and deployed immediately. The last date for the application is the 14th of this month.

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In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian Council of Medical Research, ICMR has said it has no objection to state governments setting up convenient sample collection sites.

However, the apex health research body said its guidelines should be followed and the sample collection should be done using recommended Personal Protective Equipment.

In an advisory, the ICMR added, it has no objection on adoption of establishing convenient sample collection sites, drive through centers for sample collection etc. by the respective state governments.  It said these sites should be disinfected regularly as per recommended procedures and all biosafety and biosecurity precautions should be implemented.

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The Small Industries Development Bank of India - SIDBI has said that it will provide emergency working capital of up to one crore rupees to small and medium enterprises against their confirmed government orders. The SIDBI Assistance to Facilitate Emergency response against Corona virus - SAFE PLUS will be offered collateral free and disbursed within 48 hours. In a press release, SIDBI  informed that the loans will be offered at an interest rate of five per cent.

Meanwhile, the bank further informed that the limit of SAFE loans, announced a few days back has been enhanced from 50 lakh rupees to two crore rupees. The scheme was launched to provide financial assistance to MSMEs engaged in manufacturing of hand sanitizers, masks, gloves, head gear, bodysuits, shoe-covers, ventilators and goggles used in dealing with COVID-19.

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In Jammu & Kashmir, the Union Territory Administration has informed that 37,713 persons in contact with suspected positive cases have been put under surveillance. General public of J&K has been urged to strictly adhere to lockdown and in case of any emergency, they can avail free ambulance service 24×7 at their doorsteps by calling on toll free no.108. Pregnant women and sick infants can avail free ambulance services by dialling toll free number 102. More from our Srinagar Correspondent --

"Kashmir yesterday witnessed third death from Corona virus infection. The infected person was hailing from Bandipora district of the Kashmir valley. With the emergence of new 15 postive cases, including six from Jammu Division and nine from Kashmir Division, the total number of positive cases in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has risen to 125. Meanwhile,  34 more persons who were shifted into administrative quarantine upon their return to Srinagar two weeks ago were discharged after successfully completing their 14-day quarantine period.This is Sunil Koul for AIR News from Srinagar".

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In view of the prevailing COVID-19 outbreak, District Magistrate Srinagar Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary has issued an order prohibiting all religious congregations and public movements on the occasion of Shab-e-Barat in Srinagar.

The prohibitions shall remain in force through the intervening night of April 8 and 9. Dr. Choudhary added that violations will attract strict action under Section 188 of the IPC and Section 51 of the disaster management act.

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Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has directed the officers to launch extensive campaign for tracing contacts of Tablighi Jamaat to avoid any further spread of COVID-19 in the state. A total of 20 positive cases are being treated in the state of which 11 attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi while nine are their close contacts. More from our correspondent:

"Chief Minister Jairam Thakurstated State Government would not hesitate to take stringent action against those who would conceal information about their travelling history and give shelter to such people. Director General of Police  Himachal Pradesh Sita Ram Mardi informed that more than 400 people belonging to Tablighi Jamaat including their primary contacts have come forward for medical check-up of COVID-19 and for quarantine. Meanwhile, under the Active Case Finding Campaign, health information of 41 lakh people have been collected by the health workers during door to door campaign so far. Sanjeev Sundriyal, AIR News, Shimla".

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Punjab Health Department has given a 24-hour deadline to all Tablighi Jamaat participants of the Delhi's Nizamuddin Markaz event,  to report to the nearest police station or else face criminal prosecution. A Spokesperson of the Department yesterday disclosed in Chandigarh that the 22 Tablighi Jamaat members are hiding in the state. They have been given time till this evening to appear for COVID-19 screening. He further said that of the 467 Tablighi Jamat participants who had reportedly come to Punjab from Nizamuddin, police had so far traced 445 participants, with 22 yet to be traced.

In Bihar, number of positive cases of Corona virus have gone up to 38 with reporting of six more cases. The fresh four cases are from Siwan while two are from Begusarai district. On the other hand, six persons were cured from Corona during the last 24 hours. With this, 15 persons have so far been cured. One patient from Munger died due to COVID-19.

In Telangana, total number of reported COVID-19 cases exceeded 400 mark last evening. A 23-day old baby and 56-year old head constable are among the 40 people who tested positive for Corona virus during the last 24 hours.

After an agreement arrived yesterday, Karnataka has started allowing patients from Kerala on submission of a certificate that the patient needing treatment is not COVID-19 positive. The Dakshin Kannada District Administration has issued a guideline that only patients who are critical and could not be treated in Kerala be allowed in Karnataka.

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In Madhya Pradesh, the State Government announced an insurance cover of 50 lakh rupees for police personnel and other  government employees engaged in the fight against Corona virus.

Many health workers and police personnel and their family members tested positive for Corona virus in Bhopal.

Meanwhile, around 300 people infected with the Corona virus in the state.

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In Gujarat, Surat Municipal Corporation is using the Integrated Command and Control Centre set up under Smart City Mission as a war room to fight COVID-19. A report from our correspondent :

"Surat Municipal Corporation has taken various unique initiatives under Smart City Mission. SMC has published an online dashboard on its website to provide regular s of COVID-19 to the citizens. They include overall statistics on tested, confirmed, active, recovered and death cases. The dashboard also provides the trends and patterns on the spread of COVID-19 within the city. SMC is using this COVID-19 war room to carry out CCTV surveillance of public spaces, and containment clusters. SMC is also using a mobile application to track the movement of quarantined people on real-time basis. APARNA KHUNT, AIR NEWS, AHMEDABAD".

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Maharashtra has become the first state in the country to report more than 1,000 Corona virus cases with the total number of affected people in the state rising to 1,018.  Out of 150 new cases reported yesterday, atleast 116 were reported from Mumbai, taking the total number of positive cases in the city to 590. But, the spread of the disease in Dharavi, the biggest slum in Asia has been a matter of concern as two more positive cases were found yesterday. A detail report from Mumbai Correspondent:-

"Health Minister Rajesh Tope visited Dharavi along with Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad. He took stock of the situation and directed to increase the number of ventilators in the dedicated COVID-19 hospital in the area. On the other hand, 50 to 60 participants of Tablighi Markaz, who returned to Maharashtra are still missing and they have switched off their phones. Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has asked them to come forward immediately and visit the nearest Police Station and also do the necessary health check-up. He has warned of strict action by the Police if those participants fail to do so. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray held Cabinet Meeting. He stressed on the efficient implementation of the foodgrain distribution through PDS in the state. He has also written a letter to Prime Minister to direct the concerned Ministry to provide additional stock of the foodgrains given by the Central Government. Shailesh Patil, Air News, Mumbai".

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In Tamil Nadu, shipments of one lakh rapid test kits are expected to arrive soon. The State Health Department has said, they will be used for making preliminary tests to identify persons with COVID-19 disease. Tamil Nadu witnessed 69 new cases yesterday taking the total numberof positive cases to 690.Our correspondent has more details --

"The Tamil Nadu Government is compiling the list of all the establishments producing medical equipment, sanitizers and personal protective equipment in the state. The move is aimed at placing orders at short notice.  103 manufacturing units have registered themselves with the state small scale industry department through its website after it made a call to express their willingness to supply the medical products. Contingency plans are being devised by the Administration keeping in view the best and the worst case scenarios that may arise in future. Jayasingh, AIR News, Chennai".

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Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh has announced to provide 2,000 rupees each to those Manipuris who are stranded outside due to the nationwide lockdown.

Manipur Chief Minister's Secretariat decided the step to tranfer the amount to bank account of the selected person. Government has appealed those who have been stranded due to lockdown to contact the Secretariat or visit www.tengbang.in, a website launched especially for COVID-19 by the State Government.

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Today is Chaitra Poornima and Hanuman Jayanti or Lord Hanuman’s Birthday is being celebrated on this day. In Uttar Pradesh, due to the Lockdown, devotees may not be able to go to the temples, but they are offering the prayers from their houses only. A Report --

"Lock down and fear of corona has taken a toll on the functions of Sankat mochan Temple and there will be no devotees on this auspicious day. Although all rituals will be performed. The MAHANT, of Sankat Mochan temple Professor Vishambhar Nath Mishra told Air that today a special prayer will also be offered to the lord Hanuman for the safety of mankind.

Now 5 days long Swaranjali festival will be run with the help of Digital platforms artist will perform at their places only and devotees along with music lovers can watch the performance online. SUSHIL CHANDRA TIWARI, AIR NEWS, LUCKNOW".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has greeted the nation on the occasion of Hanuman Jayanti. In his message, Mr Modi hoped that people would get inspired to overcome difficult times by the life of Lord Hanuman.

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In our series 'Expert Speak' on All India Radio, we bring you views of leading medical experts on COVID-19.

Dr. Nand Kumar, Professor of Psychiatry, AIIMS suggested to the people to stay at homes, spend time with family members and practice Yoga.

"We are going to overcome this crisis within a few weeks. In the coming few weeks, stay at home, spend time with the family, do household works, exercise, listen to music, sing with the family, do yoga, meditation and take care of emotional need of the family and yourself. "

Dr. Anvita Aggarwal, Resident, Infectious Diseases, AIIMS advised people not to be negligent and stay at homes.

"Corona virus may be invisible but the number of people affected are very much visible. More than 4 lakh people have already been affected all over the world and the numbers are increasing from day today. Don't be negligent, please, stay at home. "

For listening to other Experts, tune in to our next bulletin.

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Amid Covid -19 pandemic in the country, Actor Nimrit Kaur appealed to the people to take all necessary precautions during the lockdown.

Actor, Venkatesh Daggubati also said hundred percent lockdown is the only solution to fight againt virus.

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is receiving treatment for Corona virus, is said to be stable as he continues to remain in Intensive Care Unit for second consecutive day. His Spokesman said that the Prime Minister is being kept in intensive care at St Thomas Hospital in London for close monitoring. He added that Mr Johnson's condition is stable and he remains in good spirits. Earlier, UK's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said, he was confident that the PM would recover from this illness, describing him as a fighter.

Britain yesterday reported a record 786 new COVID-19 deaths in its daily , taking the death toll to 6,159. So far, 55,242 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the United Kingdom.

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United States President Donald Trump has said that he would put on hold funding to the World Health Organization, WHO, accusing the global organization of becoming China-centric during the ongoing Corona virus pandemic. Geneva-headquartered World Health Organization, receives vast amounts of money from the United States. President Trump said, his administration is going to look into the US funding to the WHO.

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NEWSPAPERS HEADLINES

  • "Government mulls lockdown extension amid requests from the states" headlines the Hindu. "States worried about spike in cases if lockdown is lifted" writes the Economic Times. "Clarity likely after April 10th when disease trajectory is more visible" reports the Indian Express.

  • The Statesman quotes Vice President Venkaiah Naidu as saying "Next 7 days critical in evolving lockdown exit plan".

  • The Hindu reports "India lifts ban on export of hydroxy-chloroquine". "Move comes hours after Trump warned of 'retaliation' ". 

  • "Plan for one lakh Covid rapid tests in Delhi hotspots" writes the Pioneer. "Test, trace, treat in Delhi's 5T plan" reports the Hindustan Times.

  • Data collected from the states published in the Times of India shows "Average age of India's Covid deaths 60; diabetes, BP common co-ailments".

  • In an effort to curb fake news in the times of Coronavirus pandemic, the Statesman reports "Whatsapp to limit sharing forwarded messages to 'One chat at a time'.

  • In a sign of progress against the coronavirus pandemic, Indian "Indices record biggest one-day gain in 11 years" reports the Business Standard.

  • Plasma therapy can become an alternative treatment for Covid-19 .  The Hindustan Times reports that the convalescent plasma therapy can be a promising option till a vaccine is found.

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