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Last Updated : May 7 2021 6:17AM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviews COVID-19 situation in the country            Indian army establishes COVID management cell to coordinate assistance to civil authority            Civil Aviation Ministry issues guidelines to ensure timely vaccination of aviation community            Madhya Pradesh govt extends Janta Curfew till 15th May to check rising cases of COVID-19            More than 16.25 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country so far           

Text Bulletins Details


Morning News

0830 HRS
18.04.2021
THE HEADLINES:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviews Covid-19 situation in the country; Says, India can defeat corona pandemic again like last year.
  • Asks officials to utilize entire national capacity to step up vaccine production.
  • Pharma companies reduce prices of Remdesivir injections after Centre's intervention.
  • DRDO to re-open its Covid Hospital in Delhi Cantt today.
  • Railways to impose fine upto 500 rupees for not wearing face mask in trains and stations premises.
  • More than 12 crore 25 lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered in the country so far.
  • Fifth phase of assembly elections in West Bengal records 78.36 per cent voter turnout.
  • National climate vulnerability assessment identifies eight eastern states as highly vulnerable to Climate Change
  • India's Mirabai Chanu creates a new Clean and Jerk world record at Asian Weightlifting Championships in Tashkent.
  • Mumbai Indians beat Sun Risers Hyderabad by 13 runs in IPL Cricket.

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As the number of Covid cases are on the rise again, we appeal to our listeners not to lower the guard, follow all the precautions and all those above 45 years to get vaccinated without any hesitation.

Stay safe and protected by following these three simple steps:-

·  Wear a face mask.

·  Maintain Do Gaz Ki Doori for social distancing

·  And Focus on hand and face hygiene.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that together India had defeated Covid-19 last year and the country can do it again, with the same principles but faster speed and coordination. The Prime Minister said this while chairing a meeting to review the status of preparedness to handle the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Various aspects relating to medicines, oxygen, ventilators and vaccination were discussed during the meeting.

Mr. Modi stressed that there is no substitute to testing, tracking and treatment. He said, early testing and proper tracking remains key to reduce mortality. The Prime Minister said that local administrations need to be proactive and sensitive to people’s concerns.

The Prime Minister directed that close coordination with States must be ensured in handling the pandemic. He said that all necessary measures must be taken to ramp up the availability of hospital beds for Covid patients. The Prime Minister also directed that additional supply of beds through temporary hospitals and isolation centres should be ensured.

Mr Modi also spoke about the need to utilize the full potential of India’s pharmaceutical industry to meet the rising demand of various medicines. He reviewed the status of supply of Remdesivir drug and other medicines. The Prime Minister was briefed on actions taken to address the issue of availability of Remdesivir. Through the efforts of the Government, capacity and production augmentation for manufacturing of Remdesivir drug has been ramped up to provide around 74.10 lakh vials per month in May while the normal production output in January-February being just 27 to 29 lakh vials per month. Supplies have also increased from nearly 68 thousand vials on 11th April going up to over 2 lakh 6 thousand vials on 15th of this month which are being particularly focused on states with high caseload and high demand. Mr Modi took note of the ramped up production capacity and directed that issues relating to real-time supply chain management to States must be resolved urgently in coordination with the States. The Prime Minister directed that use of Remdesivir and other medicines must be in accordance with approved medical guidelines and that their misuse and black marketing must be strictly curbed.

On the issue of supply of medical oxygen, Mr Modi directed that the installation of approved medical oxygen plants should be sped up. 162 Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) Oxygen plants are being installed in 32 States and Union Territories from PM-CARES fund. The officials informed that 1 lakh cylinders are being procured and they will be supplied to states soon. The officers briefed the Prime Minister that they are in constant supply with 12 high burden states in assessing the current and future requirement of medical oxygen. A supply mapping plan for 12 high burden states till 30th of this month has also been undertaken. The Prime Minister also said that supply of oxygen required for production of medicines and equipments necessary to handle the pandemic should also be ensured.

Mr Modi also reviewed the status of availability and supply of ventilators.

On the issue of vaccination, the Prime Minister directed all officials to make efforts to utilize the entire national capacity in public as well as private sector to ramp up vaccine production.

Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Dr P K Mishra, Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, Pharma Secretary S Aparna and Member Health in NITI Aayog Dr V K Paul were present at the meeting.

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The price of Remdesivir Injection has been reduced following government’s intervention. The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority said, major Pharma companies have announced voluntary price cuts for Remdesivir Injections after Centre's intervention to ensure it's affordable availability. Cadila Healthcare's Remdac will now cost 899 rupees instead of 2 thousand 8 hundred rupees. Syngene International's RemWin will now cost 2 thousand 450 rupees instead of 3 thousand 950 rupees. Dr. Reddy's Redyx will be available at 2 thousand 700 rupees instead of 5 thousand 400 rupees. Cipla's Cipremi will cost 3 thousand rupees instead of 4 thousand rupees. Mylan Pharmaceutical's Desrem will be available at 3 thousand 400 rupees instead of 4 thousand 800 rupees. Jubilant Generic's Jubi-R will now cost 3 thousand 400 rupees instead of 4 thousand 700 rupees. And, Hetero Healthcare's Covifor will be available at 3 thousand 490 rupees instead of 5 thousand 400 rupees.

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The cumulative number of Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has crossed more than 12 crore 25 lakh mark. The Union Health Ministry in a statement said, a total of 25 lakh 65 thousand 179  vaccine doses were administered till 8 pm last evening on the ninety second day of nationwide COVID19 vaccination. Over 60 thousand COVID Vaccination Centres were operational yesterday.

The total vaccination coverage include over 91 lakh 27 thousand Healthcare Workers who have taken the first dose and more than 57 lakh Healthcare workers took the second dose of COVID vaccine. Besides, over one crore 12 lakh Frontline Workers received the  first dose and about 55 lakh such workers took the second dose. There are  over four crore beneficiaries of over 45 years to 60 years old who have received the first dose while over ten lakh took the second dose.

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National Capital Delhi yesterday reported 24 thousand 375 new case of COVID-19, the highest single-day spike the till date. With the fresh cases, Delhi's cumulative tally has risen to 8 lakh 27 thousand 998. The city also reported 167 deaths, the highest single-day fatality count till date. With this, the death toll stands at 11 thousand 960. The city's positivity rate went up to 24.56 per cent the highest so far. The containment zones in Delhi mounted to 11 thousand 235.  Delhi Government's Health Bulletin said, 15 thousand 414 persons recovered from Covid-19 in the last 24 hours. 

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Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will reopen its Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Covid Hospital in Delhi Cantt today. The facility was shut in the first week of February after daily Covid-19 cases came down. The 1,000-bed DRDO medical facility got 250 additional ICU beds last November to provide treatment to patients. This took the total number of ICU beds at the hospital to 500. The hospital was built by DRDO in record time of 12 days with assistance from the armed forces, ministry of home affairs, ministry of health and family welfare and Tata Trust. The facility became operational in July last year.

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Delhi Government has made home quarantine of 14 days mandatory for the residents of national capital who visited the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar. All those who have visited Kumbh 4th April onwards will have to upload personal and journey details on Delhi government's website. People who are visiting Kumbh will also have to share the details with the government. If one will not upload the details, they will be sent to institutional quarantine for 14 days. District Magistrates will ensure tracing and surveillance of people on daily basis. The violators will face legal action.

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In Gujarat, the people coming back from the Kumbh Mela will be tested for Covid-19 infections and isolated. The announcement was made by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani at Jamnagar yesterday. He said that all district collectors have been instructed to follow these guidelines strictly. Mr. Rupani was in Kutch and Jamnagar districts to review the Covid-19 situations. Our Ahmedabad correspondent reports, new cases of Covid-19 continue to surge in Gujarat.


"Gujarat has recorded 9541 new cases of Covid19 yesterday. Maximum 3241 new cases reported from Ahmedabad, while Surat recorded 1720 new cases. 3783 patients recovered and were discharged from the various hospitals. 97 patients lost their lives yesterday. With these, the death toll due to Covid19 in the state has reached up to 5267. Gujarat has now 55398  active cases at present, out of which 304 patients are on ventilator. Meanwhile, 1 lakh 56 thousand 663 persons have been vaccinated in the state yesterday. Yogesh Pandya, AIR News, Ahmedabad."

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In Madhya Pradesh, the lockdown has been extended till 26th April in several districts including Bhopal, Indore, Ujjain, Ratlam, Rajgarh. At the same time, more than 11 thousand corona infections were reported in the state in the past 24 hours. 


"Bhopal Collector Avinash Lavania said that during the Corona curfew, strictness will be more and action will be taken against those who roam unnecessarily. In the past 24 hours, 1 thousand 669 people have been infected in Bhopal. In Indore too, the Corona curfew has been extended till April 26, after the reporting of 1 thousand 656 new cases. One thousand 29 new cases have been reported in Gwalior while around 800 new cases in Jabalpur. Now, the number of active patients in Madhya Pradesh has increased to about 64 thousand. Meanwhile, those returning to the state from Kumbh will be quarantined. Sanjeev Sharma, AIR News, Bhopal."

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In Chhattisgarh, the lockdown period has been extended in five districts including Raipur to prevent the spread of corona infection. In Raipur, Durg and Jashpur districts, complete lockdown has been extended till 26th of this month. Besides, in Raigarh and Korba districts, the lockdown has now been extended to 27th April. Meanwhile, a lockdown is being imposed in Dantewada district of Bastar division from today and in Narayanpur district from tomorrow. So far, orders have been issued for complete lockdown in 22 out of 28 districts in Chhattisgarh.


 "The state government has instructed private hospitals to ensure round the clock availability of oxygen in seventy percent of the total beds. Besides, the state government has also decided that contractual recruitment of retired doctors as well as private physicians, nurses and paramedical staff will be done to ensure the availability of human resources in the dedicated Covid hospitals and covid care centers set up in various districts. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has directed the various district administrations to ensure door-to-door delivery of essential services including fruits, vegetables, milk, ration and LPG in view of the convenience of the people during the lockdown period. Vikalp Shukla, AIR News, Raipur."

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Meanwhile, four people were killed in a fire at Rajdhani Hospital in Raipur yesterday. The fire was caused by a short circuit and all victims were Covid patients. Other patients were shifted to different hospitals. Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel expressed grief over the incident and announced a compensation of 4 lakh rupees each to family of the deceased.

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In Uttar Pradesh, presumptive covid patients will be treated as covid positive and their treatment will be done accordingly. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered to treat such patients as corona positive and asked hospitals to treat and admit such patients in separate wards in covid hospitals. It will apply on those patients whose Corona report is negative but there CT scan and other symptoms are according to the covid positive patients. State government has also allocated fund of more than 225 crore rupees to purchase the medicines, equipments and other items related to the health facilities for covid patients in state.

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Bihar recorded its highest single-day spike in coronavirus cases so far as Seven thousand 870 more people tested positive for COVID-19 and 51 people died of the virus in the past 24 hours. The last 50 thousand cases have been added in just 17 days. The Army recruitment rally which was scheduled to begin at Danapur, Katihar, Muzaffarpur and Ranchi from 25th of this month has been postponed in view of corona pandemic.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said, the state government will take the final call today whether to impose lockdown or exercise other options to contain thespread of Covid -19 which has touched even in the rural areas of the state.

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West Bengal reported the highest single day spike of over seven thousand seven hundred coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours. The total covid-19 cases have crossed 6 lakhs 51 thousand in the state with 34 fresh fatalities. Already 61 hospitals in the state have been dedicated for treatment of Covid patients. Almost 18 hundred beds have ICU or HDU facilities. The state government has issued a fresh advisory to tackle the surge of Covid cases. More from our Kolkata Correspondent:


"In an attempt to effectively control and contain the spread of covid pandemic in the poll bound state with three more phases to go, the West Bengal government has issued a fresh advisory and posted 21 senior IAS officers as nodal officers in districts last night. The officers have been asked to visit the districts immediately and guide the administration on covid crisis management. The advisory stresses upon effective enforcement of Covid protocol like wearing masks, sanitisation and physical distancing in crowded places. Attendance in state government establishments will not exceed more than 50  percent in a single day. It also stresses upon ensuring staggering of work in shops, markets, industrial and commercial establishments. Madhuparna Dhar Chowdhuri, AIR NEWS, Kolkata."

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In Ladakh, District Magistrtate of Leh has ordered closure of all educational institutions till 30th of this month.


"In an order issued yesterday night, the District Magistrate has ordered  the concern authorities to close  educational institutions to impart on campus or in person education to the students of all the classes including intermediate classes. However, it has also ordered to resume the online  classes during the closure Period. Meanwhile, one death case  due to corona virus infection was reported in the past twenty four hours in Leh district. Ladakh also witnessed highest daily spike today as 362 more new cases was reported during the past twenty four hours. With this , the total tally of active cases is now 1671 in the Union Terriory. Yangchan Dolma for AIR news from Leh Ladakh."

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Mumbai Police has issued a fresh set of guidelines for those travelling by their vehicles. The move is aimed at containing novel coronavirus in Maharashtra and part of state government's 'break the chain' efforts.


"As per the new guidelines vehicles with colour-coded stickers will be allowed to travel on the roads from today. The use of the red, green and yellow stickers has been introduced to ensure strict implementation of the restrictions imposed by the Maharashtra government to control the spread of coronavirus. The red colour has been given to the medical fraternity. It includes doctors, medical staff, ambulances and those engaged in supplying medical equipment will have to sport red stickers, while vehicles transporting food, vegetables, fruits, groceries, dairy products, etc, will have have green stickers. People employed in essential services such as civic officials, personnel of electricity, telephone and press departments will have to stick yellow stickers on their vehicles. If anyone found moving putting wrong stickers will be prosecuted under the IPC act of cheating. Pooja Pal, AIR News, Mumbai."

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Railways will impose a fine of upto 500 rupees for not wearing face mask in trains and stations premises. The decision has been taken in line with the preventive measures taken by the Centre against the coronavirus disease. Railway Ministry has written a letter to the General Managers of all Zonal Railways in this regard.

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The Election Commission has said that 78.36 per cent polling has been recorded in the fifth phase of Assembly Elections in West Bengal. Voting took place yesterday in 15 thousand 789 Polling Stations spread across 45 Assembly Constituencies in West Bengal. Simultaneously polling was also held for by-elections to two Lok Sabha seats including Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh and Belgaum in Karnataka along with 12 Assembly Constituencies across 10 States.

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After the completion of fifth phase of assembly polls, campaigning has reached its feverish pitch for the sixth phase in West Bengal. The state is witnessing eight-phase election.

43 assembly constituencies spread over four districts will go to polls in this phase on the 22nd of this month.

Due to the 72 hour silent period imposed by Election Commission, campaigning for the sixth phase will end tomorrow. BJP leader and Union Home Minister Amit Shah will hold public meetings and road shows in Purbashali, Swarupnagar and Habra assembly segments today. Trinamool Congress leader and Chief Minister Mamatha Banerjee is holding public rallies and road shows today in Tehatta, Krishnanagar Dakshin, North 24 Parganas and Bhavanipore in Kolkata.

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National climate vulnerability assessment has identifies eight eastern states as highly vulnerable to climate change. The report has identified Jharkhand, Mizoram, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Bihar, Arunachal Pradesh, and West Bengal as states highly vulnerable to climate change. The report pointed out that these states, mostly in the eastern part of the country, require prioritization of adaptation interventions. The report titled ‘Climate Vulnerability Assessment for Adaptation Planning in India Using a Common Framework’ was released by Department of Science and Technology Secretary Prof Ashutosh Sharma yesterday. He said, they have seen how extreme events are on rise both in terms of their number and severity. He said, mapping the parts of India that are vulnerable to such changes will help initiating climate actions at the ground level.

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Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha will share his thoughts in his monthly Radio Broadcast "Awaam Ki Awaaz" at 11 am today. It will be broadcast by all stations of All India Radio across Jammu and Kashmir apart from the regional Doordarshan channels of DD-Kashir and Doordarshan Jammu. It will be the first episode of the programme.

The move is aimed at strengthening the concept of "Jan Bhagidhari" by inviting the participation of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, at large.


"The "Awaam Ki Baat" is a half an hour long radio broadcast and will be aired every third Sunday of a month. It is one of the many sequential steps of broader programmes taken by the J&K Government. Awaam Ki Baat is the novel initiative of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha which aims at disseminating the progressive steps taken by his administration and seeks feedback from the public. Now, with this initiative, the J&K administration is giving a determined push to strengthen the Government-Public relationship by inviting suggestions from the public and seeking their active participation in the policy formation. Sunil Koul, AIR News from Srinagar."

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Eminent Hindi author Narendra Kohli, passed away yesterday. President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed grief on the demise of renowned litterateur.

In a tweet, President Ram Nath Kovind said, Dr Kohli made a special contribution to the Hindi literature world. Mr Kovind said, Dr Kohli who was honored with the Padma Shri, presented country's mythological narratives to the world in modern perspective.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, Dr Kohli will always be remembered for his lively portrayal of mythological and historical characters in literature.

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Czech Republic has said that it will expel 18 Russian diplomats identified by local intelligence as secret agents of the Russia that are suspected to be involved in a 2014 explosion. Foreign Minister Jan Hamacek said that 18 employees of the Russian embassy must leave Czech republic within 48 hours. Prime Minister Andrej Babis said Czech authorities had clear evidence linking Russian officers to an explosion in an ammunition warehouse in 2014 which left two people dead.

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 India's Mirabai Chanu made a splendid return to the weightlifting arena, setting a new world record in the Clean and Jerk by lifting a massive 119 kilogram. The Former World Champion also bettered her own national record to clinch a bronze medal in the Women's 49kg category at the Asian Weightlifting Championships at Tashkent in Uzbekistan yesterday.

The 26-year-old Chanu lifted 86 kilogram in snatch and a world record of 119 kilogram in clean and jerk for a total of 205kg.

Her Clean and Jerk World Record of 119 kilogram went past Chinese lifter Jiang Huihua's previous record of 118 kilogram. Chanu also confirmed her Tokyo Olympic spot.

The gold medal went to Hou Zhihui of China who created a new world record in snatch and total weight with an effort of 213 kilogram while her compatriot Jiang Huihua clinched the silver.

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In IPL Cricket, Mumbai Indians defeated Sun Risers Hyderabad by 13 runs in a thrilling encounter at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai last night. Chasing a victory target of 151 runs, Sun Risers Hyderabad were bowled out for 137 with 2 balls to spare. Earlier, Mumbai Indians won the toss and elected to bat first.

Today, Royal Challenger Bangalore will take on Kolkata Knight Riders at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. In another encounter, Delhi Capitals will lock horn with Punjab Kings at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

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And Now, let us take a look at the weather forecast for today. National Capital Delhi with clear sky will have the maximum temperature  around 36 degree Celsius. The minimum was 17 degrees.

Mumbai with a clear sky is likely to see a maximum temperature of around 33 degrees Celsius, rising from a lower level of 23 degrees.

Chennai is expected to have partly cloudy sky. The upper limit of temperature will be 36 degree Celsius while the lower limit was 27 degrees. 

Kolkata will have a clear sky. The city temperature will move from a minimum of 27 degree Celsius to a maximum of around 36 degrees.

Srinagar will have a generally cloudy sky with moderate rain. The temperature will hover between six and 14 degree Celsius.

Jammu will have a partly cloudy sky becoming generally cloudy towards afternoon or evening or night.

Leh is expected to have light snow and the upper limit of temperature will be around 10 degree Celsius.

Gilgit will have  overcast sky and temperature will move from a minimum of zero to a maximum of 11 degree Celsius.

Muzaffarabad is also likely to have thunderstorm with rain. The temperature will increase from a minimum of 12 degree Celsius to a maximum of around 24 degrees.

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AND NOW, AN OVERVIEW OF TODAY'S NEWSPAPERS.
  • "Make rest of Kumbh only symbolic: PM" is a Hindustan Times headline. Two Mahamandleshwars have alreaday succumbed to the viral disease, even as the Shahi Snanas so far have seen participation by millions says the report.
  • Delhi under lockdwon, still registers record 24k caeses reports the Asian Age.
  • The Sunday Tribune reports that Himachal Pradesh is preparing action plan to tackle a drought like situation.
  • "Delhi gasping for oxygen" headlines The Pioneer quoting the Delhi Chief Minister also, pointing to a spike in cases in just 24 hours.
  • S. Mirabai Chanu setting a new world record at the Asian Weightlifting championship at Tashkent is a major story on the sports pages of most papers.
  • And Finally, The Financial Express reports of a rising new trend in advertising - that of using 'Character Actors' for brand endorsement. The A list actrors are distant while the consumers connect more with micro star.

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