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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


Midday News

1400 HRS
19.04.2021
THE HEADLINES:-
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi chairs a meeting on the COVID situation in the country.
  • Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Harshvardhan says India has launched the largest vaccination drive in the world.
  • Cabinet Secretary to chair a meeting with Chief Secretaries of ten states and Union Territories to discuss the availability of Medical Oxygen.
  • 6 day lockdown in the national capital from tonight; Essential services to remain functional.
  • Country registers over two lakh 73 thousand COVID-19 fresh cases.
  • Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package, Insurance Policy claims of COVID Warriors to be settled till 24th of this month.
  • Polling underway for the second phase of Panchayat elections in 20 districts of Uttar Pradesh.
  • Campaigning  for the sixth phase of assembly elections in West Bengal to conclude this evening; Silence period extended for 72 hours.
  • Air Force chief RKS Bhadauria embarks on a five day visit to France.
  • Hong Kong suspends all flights from India for 14 days beginning tomorrow amidst a spike in COVID cases in the region.
  • In IPL Cricket; Chennai Super Kings to clash with Rajasthan Royals today.

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"As the number of Covid cases is on the rise again, we appeal to our listeners not to lower  the guard, take 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.
  • Focus on hand and face hygiene." 

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi  is chairing an important meeting today on the COVID related situation in the country. The senior officials of Health Ministry are present in the meeting. The Prime Minister had on Saturday reviewed the COVID & Vaccination situation in a crucial meet where he called for putting up a more vigorous fight to defeat the second wave of the pandemic.

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The Cabinet Secretary has today convened a meeting at 3 PM with Chief Secretaries of 10 states and one Union Territory to discuss the issue of availability and supply of Medical Oxygen. Chief Secretaries and senior officials from the state of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chhatisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka & from Union Territory of Delhi will be participating in the meeting. The Union Home Secretary had yesterday written to all states and union territories in the country to prohibit the supply of oxygen for Industrial purposes by manufacturers and suppliers. This direction comes in order to divert the oxygen to meet its growing demand by the Health care facilities due to surge in COVID cases.

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The Centre has prohibited the supply of Oxygen for industrial purposes by manufacturers and suppliers from 22nd of this month  till further orders. The Union Health Ministry said that the matter was deliberated by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) with all the stakeholders and after due deliberations, it was considered prudent to restrict the industrial usage of oxygen to meet the rising demand for medical oxygen. It said, the surplus oxygen available as a result of this temporary restriction will facilitate its freeing up for use as medical oxygen for treatment of COVID19 patients.


The Ministry said, this prohibition, however, shall not apply to the supply of oxygen for  nine industries. These are  Ampoules and Vials,  Pharmaceutical,  Petroleum refineries,  Steel plants,  Nuclear energy facilities,  Oxygen cylinder manufacturers,  Waste water treatment plants, Food and water purification and Process industries which require uninterrupted operation of furnaces.

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Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) is going to set up an oxygen plant with 200 cubic meters per hour capacity in its Gujarat's Kalol unit. It will provide free oxygen to hospitals suffering from a shortage of oxygen amidst the unprecedented surge of COVID-19 infections. The plant will generate medical grade oxygen and fill 700 big D type cylinders daily and also 300 medium B size cylinders on demand which will be supplied to all hospitals free of cost. The hospitals need to bring their own cylinders for a refill. A security deposit will be taken if cylinders will be taken from IFFCO in order to avoid hoarding of oxygen. Several states in the country are facing a severe shortage of oxygen for medical use amid the second wave of COVID-19 cases.

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The dedicated Covid hospital re-established by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is  operational from today. The hospital has been established near Domestic Airport Terminal in New Delhi. It has 500 ICU beds. Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said that 250 beds will be ready by today and it will be increased to 500 within a few days. In a tweet, he said, all beds are equipped with oxygen facility and sufficient number of ventilators are available. A medical team drawn from the Armed Forces will look after the facility. The facility will be available free of cost. The person requiring medical facility in this hospital needs to bring RT-PCR Covid positive report and Aadhar card. There will be a large number of monitoring equipment, ventilators, basic testing facilities, and air-conditioning in this hospital, as per the WHO standards.

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Railways has converted 4,002 train coaches as COVID-19 care-cum-isolation facility to assist state governments facing shortage of beds in their states. These coaches will be allocated to state governments on request. Minister for Railways, Piyush Goyal took to Twitter to post a few pictures of railway coaches converted to COVID-19 care centre in Maharashtra's Nandurbar. Railways has deployed 94 coaches in Maharashtra's Nandurbar. These coaches will be used by the state government when they exhaust their own medical facilities.Northern Railways has deployed 50 isolation coaches at Delhi's Shakur Basti railway station and 25 such facilities will be placed at Anand Vihar. This development came after the Delhi government requested Railways to arrange up to 5,000 beds in view of the rising Coronavirus cases in the national capital.

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Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Harshvardhan has said that India has launched the world's largest vaccination drive and also became the fastest in the world to reach the milestones of 10 to 12 crore administered doses. In a reply to the former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh's letter he said, the emphasis laid by Dr. Singh on vaccination as an important tool to fight COVID-19 is well taken by the Government. Dr. Harshvardhan said,history will be kinder to Dr Manmohan Singh if his offer of constructive cooperation and valuable advice was followed by the Congress leader in such an extraordinary time. The Minister said, it is shocking that senior members of the Congress party are yet to utter a single word of gratitude towards our scientist community and vaccine manufacturers. He said, many congress members and Congress ruled state governments have taken interest in spreading falsehoods regarding the efficacy of these vaccines thereby fuelling vaccine hesitancy and playing with the lives of our countrymen. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggesting ways to tackle the Covid-19 situation in the country. Terming the pandemic an unprecedented emergency, Dr. Singh had suggested for expansion of coverage of Covid vaccination programme in the country.

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The Delhi government has decided to impose a six day long lockdown in the national capital to contain the rapid rise of COVID-19 cases. After a meeting with the Lieutenant Governor today, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that the lockdown will come into effect from 10 pm tonight and will continue till  5 in the morning on  26th of this month.


He said, people engaged in essential services and facing emergency conditions will be allowed for movement during the lockdown on producing the valid documents. He urged the migrant labourers not to leave Delhi due to the lockdown.


Expressing concern over the rising cases of corona virus in the City, the Chief Minister said, health facilities are witnessing shortage of several medical supplies, like beds, oxygen and medicines. He said, the lockdown period will be utilized for creating health infrastructure in the national capital. He thanked the Central government for providing a helping hand in this situation of crisis. He urged the people to follow the Covid-19 appropriate behaviour and guidelines to contain the spread of this infectious disease. A report:-


"Corona virus infection rate has broken all the previous records in the national capital. Delhi is registering the highest number of cases since the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic. Yesterday, over 25 thousand fresh cases were reported in Delhi and the positivity rate touched an all time high figure of 30 per cent. At present, City’s health facilities are facing shortage of several essential medical supplies. However,Delhi government has intensified its efforts to arrange the additional bed facilities, medical oxygen supplies and drugs. Delhi government has decided to directly monitor the entire procurement and distribution process of Remdesivir injections and medical oxygen. It has also directed all drug inspectors to ensure daily monitoring of the stock and sale of Tocilizumab and Favipiravir to restrict black marketing and to ensure sufficient stocks in the city. In addition, several schools, banquet halls and sports complex have been turned into a Covid care centres. These centres will provide additional beds facilities to Covid patients. Bhupinder Singh, News Desks"

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India has administered over 12 crore 38 lakh Covid-19 vaccine doses in the country so far. The  Union Health Ministry said that more than 12 lakh 30 thousand beneficiaries have been inoculated with Covid-19 Vaccine doses in the last 24 hours.


A total number of two lakh 73 thousand 810 new cases were reported in the country in the last 24 hours taking the cumulative positive cases to over one crore 50 lakh. The Health Ministry said, one thousand 619 deaths also were reported during the last 24 hour taking the toll to over one lakh 78 thousand across the country.


The country's COVID-19 recovery rate is at 86 per cent with the recovery of more than one lakh 44 thousand patients in the last 24 hours. The Ministry said that more than one crore 29 lakh patients have already recovered from this disease. Presently, the total number of active cases in the country is over 19 lakh 29 thousand which comprises of 12.81 per cent of total positive cases.


The Indian Council of Medical Research said that various laboratories have conducted more than 13 lakh 56 thousand tests of corona virus samples during the last 24 hours.

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BJP president JP Nadda has asked party functionaries to launch Apna booth corona mukt  campaign amid huge surge in COVID-19 cases across country. He asked all the office bearers and workers to start a massive preventive drive against Corona at booth level by doing sanitization, cleanliness drive and public awareness campaign. The BJP President held a virtual meeting of the party national office bearers and state unit presidents to discuss the growing cases of Corona in the country. He asked them to urge  people to strictly follow Corona guidelines and fight unitedly against the pandemic.

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The Maharashtra government has termed five states including Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttrakhand, Gujarat, Goa and Kerala as places of sensitive origin, pertaining to the ongoing pandemic. The state government has issued strong guidelines for people arriving from these places to the state. More from our correspondent:-


"Under the Maharashtra government’s Break the Chain initiative, the state has issued SOPs for people arriving from five states including Kerala, Goa, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttarakhand and Delhi  where cases of Covid 19 are high. The order said it will be the responsibility of the Railway authorities and local Disaster Management Authority to ensure that the SOPs are adhered to.  The order stated standard Covid appropriate behavior is mandatory for all, failing which, fines will be levied. Besides, it has also instructed the concerned authorities to ensure an exclusive thermal screening and separate exit gates at all stations for passengers arriving from the said states. The order has also asked the railways to share the data of all the passengers embarking at stations with local Disaster Management Authority at least four hours prior to departure of the trains from its place of origin. Besides, it has advised local Disaster Management Authority to plan along with MSRTC or local bus transport officers to take these passengers for onward journey. It also said the passengers will need RT PCR negative test within 48 hours of travel and will have to stay 15 days at home for quarantine. Devapriyo Bhattacharjee, AIR News, Mumbai."

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In Chhattisgarh, several steps are being taken by the state government to curb the rise of COVID-19 cases. Arrangements are also being strengthened for the treatment of COVID patients. Emphasis is being laid on extension of health facilities to inaccessible and remote areas of the state. Special focus is being given to setting up of Covid Care Centers, Quarantine Centers, Testing Facility as well as vaccination drive. Continuous availability of medical oxygen is also being ensured for the better treatment of corona patients in the state. According to the state government, currently 243 metric tons of medical oxygen is available. Production has started from the newly built Oxygen plant at the Medical College of Jagdalpur in tribal Bastar district. State Health Minister T.S. Singh Deo said that adequate arrangement of beds with oxygen facility is being ensured in government hospitals.


12,345 new cases of COVID-19 infected patients were identified in Chhattisgarh yesterday. 170 people succumbed to  Covid-19 during last 24 hours. 

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Telangana, has reported four thousand, nine fresh COVID-19 cases during the last 24 hours. With 18 hundred 78 more people recovering from COVID-19, the total recoveries in the state have gone up to Three lakh, 14 thousand, 441. As fresh cases are being reported in large numbers across the state, the recovery rate in the state has come down to 88.46 per cent from over 98 per cent a month ago.

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In view of the rapid surge in COVID cases in West Bengal, the state government is going to announce further steps to control and contain the pandemic. The chief secretary of the state Alapan Bandyopadhyay is holding a meeting with the top officials of the state administration today. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has instructed the top officials to make elaborate arrangements and step up their efforts to deal with the situation. In a tweet this morning, CM Banerjee said that the state government is taking all necessary steps to protect its people. She had sent another letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi last evening and sought help from the centre to ensure steady supply of vaccines and required medicines at the earliest.

The state recorded 8 thousand 419 new covid cases with 28 more fatalities in the past 24 hours.

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Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan has said that localised lock down, without affecting the public, may be imposed at the identified hot spots, where the number of Covid 19 positive cases increases rapidly. A Report.


"Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan inaugurated a Covid 19 Vaccination and testing centre in Nehru St and spoke the media. While talking, she said that testing and Vaccination Will be undertaken in the places where 100 people are working. She further added that Mobile Vaccination vans are already pressed into service to administer vaccines to the public in the crowded places. The Government and private hospitals are fully equipped with adequate arrangements like beds, ventilators, medicines etc.  Meanwhile the Health Secretary Dr Arun said that special vaccination camps has been arranged in many places. The camp is going on today at the Chief Secretariat . Further scheduled at Court complex on 20 th, 21 at at Uzhavar santhai Botonical garden and on 22 nd at the Commercial Mall in Urulaiyanpet.  According to the health department, 1,55,209 persons inoculated in the whole UT so far. This includes 30,202 health workers, 17,961 front line staffs and 1,07,046 general public. Chandra Mohan,  AIR NEWS, Puducherry."

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The Government has said that claims of  Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package, PMGKP Insurance Policy  of COVID Warriors will continue to be settled till 24th April this year. It said, thereafter a fresh Insurance Policy for COVID Warriors will become effective. The Health Ministry said, PMGKP was announced in March last year and it was extended thrice till 24th April. The policy was launched to provide a safety net to the Health Workers fighting COVID19 to ensure that in case of any adversity due to COVID19, their families are taken care of. Insurance cover of 50 Lakh rupees is provided under the PMGKP scheme. The Ministry said, this has provided a safety net to the dependents of the Corona warriors who lost their lives to COVID. 287 claims have been paid by the Insurance Company so far. 

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The Government has termed as misleading a headline of a news report which claims that India's double mutation covid virus variant is worrying the world. Press Information Bureau clarified that the double mutation has been found in several other countries as well.

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Hong Kong has announced the suspension of all flights connecting with India for 14 days starting Tuesday amidst the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the region. The authorities have also suspended flights from Pakistan and the Philippines.This comes hours after Hong Kong had invoked a flight-specific suspension mechanism to prohibit the landing of flights operated by two airlines, including one Vistara flight from Mumbai. 

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Voting for the second phase of Panchayat polls is progressing  peacefully in 20 districts of Uttar Pradesh. Votes will be cast  till 6 in the evening. Strict adherence to the covid protocol during the polling has been issued by the state election commission because of the growing number of covid cases in the state. The districts where votes are being cast today include  Lucknow, Varanasi Azamgarh, Etawah, Chitrkut, Baghpat, Muzaffarnagar, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Bijnor, Amroha, Badayun, Etah, Mainpuri, Kannauj, Lalitpur, Pratapgarh, Sultanpur, Lakhimpur Khiri, Gonda and Maharajganj. Our Lucknow correspondent reports that more than 3 crore 23 lakh voters are expected to exercise their franchise in 20 districts and 52623 polling booths have been prepared for this. 

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In poll-bound West Bengal, the high-decibel electioneering campaign for the Sixth Phase of Assembly Elections reaches a crescendo before its conclusion this evening. In view of rising cases of COVID-19, the Election Commission decided to curtail the campaign timing for the remaining three phases of eight-phase Assembly Elections. The Commission banned campaigning from 7 P.M. to 10 A.M. on all days. It also extended the Silence Period from 48 hours to 72 hours before polling for the remaining phases and as a result, the campaign will end this evening. The poll body took a serious view against the repeated violations of COVID-19 norms by political leaders, campaigners and candidates. The polling process is already over in respect of 180 out of total 294 Assembly seats in the earlier five phases. The election campaign has now gained momentum for the Seventh as well as the Eighth and Final Phase of the Assembly Elections with prominent leaders of different political parties engaging in whirlwind tours for canvassing in favour of their candidates.

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Marking the continuity of growing bilateral defence cooperation with the French Air and Space Force, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria left for France today on a five day  official visit. The visit will enhance potential avenues for strengthening the level of interaction between the Indian and French Air Forces.During his visit, the Chief of Air Staff will hold meetings and discussions with senior military leadership of France and visit operational facilities and airbases. The two Air Forces have seen significant operational interaction in the recent past.

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National Award Winning Marathi Film maker Sumitra Bhave passed away today in Pune. She was 78.  She was suffering from age related illness for  some time.  After the popularity of early short films like 'Bai' and 'Pani', she made her first full-length film 'Doghi' in 1995 following which, her films 'Dahavi F', 'Vastupurush', 'Devarai', 'Badha', 'Nital', 'Ek Kap Chya', 'Gho Mala Asla Hawa', 'Kasav' and 'Astu' were released. Her films were acclaimed at international film festivals and many films have won state and national awards too.  

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In IPL Cricket, Chennai Super Kings will take on Rajasthan Royals at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai today. Yesterday, Delhi Capitals defeated Punjab Kings by 6 wickets at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai . Chasing a victory target of 196 runs, Delhi Capitals made 198 for 4 in 18.2 overs. In the other match yesterday, Virat Kohli led Royal Challengers Bangalore defeated Eoin Morgan led Kolkata Knight Riders by 38 runs in Chennai. Chasing a massive target of 205 runs, KKR kept losing wickets at regular intervals and could not build a winning partnership.

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World championships silver medallist Deepak Punia had to settle for silver medal in the Asian wrestling championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan yesterday. Deepak, who has already secured a place in Olympics, lost 10-0 in two minutes 53 seconds to world champion Hassan Yazdani in the 86kg freestyle final. Sanjeet bagged bronze for India in the 92 kg category. He lost to Uzbekistan's Rustam Shodiev 8-11. India thus ended the Asian Championships with seven medals in the men’s freestyle event and overall tally of five gold, three silver and six bronze medals.

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Now, let us take a look at the weather forecast for the day.

  The National Capital Delhi will have mainly a clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening with  maximum temperature rising to  37 degree Celsius. It recorded a minimum of 19 degrees.

  Mumbai will have  a mainly clear sky. The maximum temperature will be around 35 degree Celsius, while it registered a minimum of 25 degrees.
 
Chennai will have  a partly cloudy sky with maximum temperature rising to 37 degree Celsius from the minimum of 28 degrees.
 
Kolkata will have a partly cloudy sky with possibility of thunder lightning. The maximum temperature is expected to be 37 degree Celsius with minimum temperature recorded 26 degrees.
  Srinagar will have a mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening. The maximum temperature will be around 18 degree Celsius while the minimum was 8 degrees.
 
Jammu will have a partly cloudy sky becoming generally cloudy towards afternoon or evening. The maximum temperature will be around 31 degree Celsius while the minimum was 17 degrees.
 
Leh will have a mainly clear sky. The maximum temperature will be around nine degree Celsius. The minimum temperature was minus one degree.
 
Gilgit is expected to have a generally cloudy sky with light rain or drizzle. The maximum temperature will be around 15 degree Celsius while the minimum temperature recorded 9.5 degrees.
 
Muzaffarabad will have a  mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening.  The temperature will rise from a minimum of 11 degree Celsius to a maximum of 25 degrees.
 
Dehradun will have a mainly clear sky. The maximum temperature will be around 35 degree Celsius  while the minimum temperature  recorded 16 degrees. 
 
Chandigarh will have a mainly clear sky with maximum temperature of  37 degree Celsius. The minimum temperature was 20 degrees. 

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