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Last Updated : May 6 2021 10:50PM     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


World News

2220 HRS
03.05.2021
NAMASKAR ! A warm welcome to 'World News: an Indian perspective', on All India Radio. This is R.S. RAGHU and with me is RENUKA bringing glimpses of the major developments of the day from across the globe. Over the next half an hour, we shall bring you the latest from the world of politics, economy, sports, entertainment and more.

THE HEADLINES
Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviews human resources requirement   to deal with Covid-19 crises in India.
Prime Minister Modi speaks to President of European Commission on  Covid-19 situation in India.
Fourth consignment of medical supplies from UK arrives in India.
France, Germany, and United Kingdom issue joint note verbale to  United Nations challenging China's claim in South China Sea.
Britain hosts first-in person G-7 Foreign Ministers meeting since start of Covid-19 pandemic.  
   Democratic Republic of Congo declares end of Ebola outbreak.

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COVID OPENING
As the number of Covid cases is on the rise, we appeal to our listeners to take all precautions and all those above 18 years of age to get vaccinated without any hesitation. The vaccination for the person of age between 18 and 44 has begun today at designated facilities.
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.
And now, the news in detail:

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PM-COVID MEASURES
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reviewed the growing need of human resources required for dealing with the crisis of Covid-19 situation in the country on Monday. Many important decisions have been taken during the review meeting which will significantly boost availability of medical personnel required for treatment of Covid patients. Among the many decisions, a decision has been taken to postpone NEET-Post Graduate exam for at least four months. This will ensure the availability of qualified doctors for Covid duties. The exam will not be held before 31st of August of this year and students will be given at least one month of time after the announcement of the exam.
It has also been decided to allow deployment of medical interns in the Covid management duties under the supervision of their faculty. The services of final year MBBS students can be utilized for providing services like tele-consultation and monitoring of mild Covid cases. The services of final year post graduate students as residents may continue to be utilized. It has further been decided that services of B.Sc. and General Nursing and Midwifery nurses may be utilized in Covid nursing duties under the supervision of Senior Doctors and Nurses.
In a major decision, it has been decided that the individuals providing services in Covid management will be given priority in forthcoming regular government recruitments after they complete a minimum of 100 days of Covid duties. The medical students and professionals sought to be engaged in Covid related work will be suitably vaccinated. Engaged Health professionals will be covered under the Insurance Scheme of Government. All such professionals will be given the Prime Minister’s Distinguished Covid National Service Samman after completion of their 100 days of Covid duties.
The States and Union Territories have been requested to consider the above incentives to maximise the availability of manpower to provide relief to the Covid patients.

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PRIME MINISTER -EU
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen over telephone on Monday. The two leaders exchanged views on the prevailing COVID-19 situation in India and the EU, including India’s  efforts to contain the second wave of COVID-19. Mr Modi expressed his appreciation to the EU and its Member States for mobilizing quick support for India’s fight against the second wave of COVID-19.
They noted that the India-EU Strategic Partnership was witnessing a renewed momentum since the last Summit in July. The leaders agreed that the forthcoming India-EU Leaders’ meeting on the 8th of this month in virtual format is an important opportunity to provide renewed momentum to the already multi-faceted India-EU relationship.  
The India-EU Leaders’ meeting will be  the first meeting in the EU27 format which also reflects the shared ambition of both sides for further strengthening the India-EU Strategic Partnership.

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UK ITALY OXYGEN
The fourth consignment of medical supplies containing 60 ventilators arrived from UK to India on Monday. MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi thanked strategic partner and friend United Kingdom for the support.
A shipment of an oxygen production plant and twenty ventilators also arrived from Italy to India. Mr Bagchi said, India values the support from the important European Union partner Italy and it will help augment the oxygen capacities.

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PM-NAVY CHIEF
Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed Covid related initiatives by the Indian Navy today in a meeting with the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh.
Navy Chief apprised Prime Minister that Naval Hospitals have been opened for use of civilians in various cities. He said Navy Medical personnel have also been redeployed at various locations in the country to manage Covid duties. The Navy is also transporting Oxygen Containers as well as other supplies from abroad to India.
Admiral Singh briefed Mr.Modi about various initiatives being taken by the Indian Navy to assist the countrymen in the pandemic. He informed the PM that the Indian Navy has reached out to all state administrations and have offered help in terms of hospital beds, transportation and other such things.
Admiral Singh informed  that the Navy is helping increase oxygen availability in Lakshadweep as well as Andaman & Nicobar Islands. He also apprised the Prime Minister that the Indian Navy is transporting Oxygen Containers as well as other supplies from Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait & Singapore to India.

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INDIA-US MEDICAL SUPPLIES
  As the United States continues to deliver vital medical supplies to India to support its fight against COVID-19, a flight from America carrying 1.25 lakh vials of an anti-viral drug Remdesivir landed in India on Sunday. Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted that fourth flight from US arrives carrying 1.25 lakh vials of Remdesivir. He welcomed this support from the United States.
On Saturday night, a flight from the US, carrying 1,000 oxygen cylinders, regulators and other medical equipment landed in India. Earlier on Friday, the US deployed its first two planes carrying the initial emergency relief supplies including oxygen cylinders, regulators, and pulse oximeters donated by California, and rapid diagnostic tests and N95 masks. Under the immediate emergency COVID-19 Assistance, Washington is providing 1700 oxygen concentrators, an initial delivery of 1,100 cylinders, multiple large-scale Oxygen Generation Units to support up to 20 patients each, to India. The Biden administration has also redirected its own order of AstraZeneca manufacturing supplies to India, which will allow it to make over 20 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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GOVT-COVID BRIEFING
Over 1 crore 62 lakh 93 thousand people have recovered in the country from Covid-19 and the recovery rate stands at 81.77 per cent. Briefing media in New Delhi today, Joint Secretary in the Health Ministry Lav Agarwal said, a positive approach is visible in the recoveries.

He said, yesterday, the recovery rate was at 78 per cent and today, it has climbed up to almost 82 per cent.  He added, these are early gains on which we have to work on regularly.

  The Joint Secretary said, increasing share of recoveries is a positive trend, but challenge in terms of increased active cases continues. He added, some states are showing increasing trends in COVID cases, these states should take required precautionary measures. Joint Secretary Agarwal said, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya are among those states and UTs. He said, some states and UTs including Delhi, Madhya Pradesh are showing early signs of plateauing or decrease in daily new cases.  

On vaccination, the Joint Secretary informed,over 15 crore 72 lakh vaccine doses have been administered to eligible beneficiaries till now. He said, over 1 crore 57 lakh health care workers, over 2 crore six lakh frontline workers have been vaccinated till now. Over 12 crore people aged 45 years and above and 2 lakh people aged from 18-44 have got vaccine doses. He added that twelve states have started vaccinating those in age group of 18-44 years from 1st of this month.
Joint Secretary Agarwal said, 1500 Pressure Swing Absorption, PSA oxygen generation plants are being developed. He said, to increase availability of medical oxygen, Government is working on converting nitrogen plants into oxygen plants.  

  Additional Secretary in Home Ministry Piyush Goyal said, there is enough oxygen available in the country. He said, every hospital must ensure judicious use of Oxygen according to the guidelines issued by Health Ministry. He requested citizens that along with the Government, they should also ensure that no hoarding or black marketing of Oxygen is done.

Director of AIIMS, Dr Randeep Guleria said, falling oxygen saturation, excessive fatigue are warning signs that indicate Covid patient in home isolation needs hospitalisation. He said, CT-Scan and biomarkers are being misused and there is no advantage in doing CT-Scan if a person have mild symptoms. Dr Guleria said, one CT-Scan is equivalent to three hundred chest x-rays and it is very harmful.

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AYUSH- 64
India's Ministry of AYUSH has taken steps to increase availability of Polyherbal drug AYUSH 64 across the country. The Ministry in a statement said that AYUSH 64 has been found very useful in treating mild to moderate cases of Covid 19 in clinical trials. It said, the trials led by reputed scientists of the country showed AYUSH 64 has notable antiviral, immune-modulator and antipyretic properties. It is found to be useful in the treatment of asymptomatic, mild and moderate COVID-19 infection. Consequently, the drug is now repurposed for COVID-19. The Ministry said, Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences CCRAS and National Research and Development Centre NDRC signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the larger production and commercialization of AYUSH 64 with mutual cooperation. Last month, the Ministry has also issued advisory to all State Licensing Authorities of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani ASU medicines to repurpose AYUSH-64 as an intervention for the management of mild to moderate COVID-19 in addition to existing indications. Emphasizing the need for ensuring the availability of AYUSH 64 across the country, the Ministry has encouraged more pharmaceutical companies to come forward and obtain a manufacturing licence for this medicine. It said, the State and UT administrations are also expected to contribute further to this mobilisation through the vehicle of the National Ayush Mission, under which a country-wide Ayush network is already in place.

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HEALTH- ISOLATION
As per the revised guidelines of the Indian Health Ministry  the patients who are clinically assigned to be mild or asymptomatic are recommended for home isolation. For home isolation, the patient should be clinically assigned as mild or asymptomatic case by the treating Medical officer and such cases should have the requisite facility at their residence for self-isolation and for quarantining the family contacts. It says, a care giver should be available to provide care and a communication link between the caregiver and hospital is a prerequisite for the entire duration of home isolation. Such person should stay home, isolate and take rest and sanitize hands. There should be cross ventilations in rooms and all family members should wear masks. The person should monitor body temperature and oxygen saturation four hourly. Such persons have been advised to seek medical consultation if they feel breathlessness and oxygen saturation drops to 93 per cent or below. They have been advised not to use Remdesivir drug in home care setting and also not use oxygen cylinder without the advice of medical practitioner. The Asymptomatic family members exposed to symptomatic cases should monitor their health and get tested.

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BANGLADESH LOCKDOWN
The government of Bangladesh has announced an extension of the ongoing countrywide lockdown till May 16 while allowing for the buses to resume operations within the district from May 6. However, inter-district movement of buses will remain suspended. Trains and waterway services will also continue to remain suspended in the country.
The decision was taken on Monday during the weekly cabinet meeting Chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam told media after the cabinet meeting that local administration will strictly enforce the health regulations imposed on malls and shops. If they are found to violate the regulations, they will be shut, said the Cabinet Secretary.
Bangladesh imposed a nationwide lockdown on April 5 as COVID 19 infections and deaths started rising alarmingly. Subsequently, the lockdown has been extended week after week. The latest round of the lockdown was scheduled to end on May 5.
While the government announced the suspension of public transport, malls and shops and closure of offices as part of lockdown, over the weeks the restrictions have been relaxed. Domestic and international flights are now allowed on a restricted scale. Shops and malls can open for a certain period of time in the day. Factories were allowed to remain open right from the day lockdown was announced on April 5. Banks too have been functional for a limited time.
Subsequent to the lockdown, critical indicators relating to the COVID 19 situation in the country has shown improvement. The daily death count has come down to 65 as on Monday from a level of over 100 deaths between April 16-19. The sample positivity rate has also shown a sharp decline from over 23 percent on April 16 to 8.95 percent as on Monday, May 3.  

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COVID-BRITAIN
The British government has decided to offer daily rapid testing to contacts of positive COVID-19 cases. In a statement on Sunday the UK government said that daily coronavirus tests will be given to as many as 40,000 people who have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. The decision was taken based on a study designed to gather evidence on safe alternatives to self-isolation for people who are contacts of positive COVID-19 cases.

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INDONESIA-COVID-19
Indonesia has recorded two cases of a highly infectious Covid-19 variant first identified in India in the capital Jakarta.
Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said today, there were two new mutations that entered-One from India, with two incidents in Jakarta and one from South Africa in Bali. Another official confirmed the two cases were the B.1.617 variant. Indonesia last week stopped issuing visas for foreigners who had been in India in the previous 14 days.

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BANGLADESH- BOAT
At least 25 people are reported dead in a collision that took place early on Monday morning between a speedboat and a sand laden bulkhead on river Padma in Madahripur’s Shibchar upazila in Bangladesh. Local police officials told the media that 25 bodies have been recovered so far. Divers from the local fire station and river police have joined the rescue operations. Five people were rescued. Further details are awaited.
Earlier, on April 5, at least 26 people were killed in an accident near Narayanganj where a passenger ferry collided with a cargo vessel on Shitalakhya river.

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US- SOUTH CHINA SEA
France, Germany, and the United Kingdom issued a joint note verbale to the United Nations on Thursday challenging China's sweeping claims in the South China Sea and recognizing the 2016 arbitral ruling favoring the Philippines. The three countries made the stand as state parties to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) which govern the freedom of passage on seas and coastal boundaries by nations in international waters.
The three nations maintained that China's exercise of "historic rights" over the South China Sea does not comply with international law and UNCLOS provisions.
The note verbale also states that the three countries support a peaceful resolution of the maritime claims in the South China Sea in accordance with the UNCLOS principles and dispute settlement procedures.
The note said that this position is reaffirmed without prejudice to competing claims of coastal states over disputed territorial sovereignty to naturally formed land features and to areas of the continental shelf in the South China Sea on which France, Germany, and the United Kingdom take no position.
In 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration sided with the Philippines in its case against China which said there was no legal basis for Beijing to claim historic rights over most of the South China Sea using their "nine-dash line" claim. China has repeatedly refused to honor the arbitration.

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BLINKEN-JAPAN
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with the Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu in London on Monday. In a statement, Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Motegi emphasized the importance of the U.S.-Japan Alliance for promoting peace, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and the world. The Secretary and the Foreign Minister also highlighted the importance of U.S.-Japan cooperation to address the global threats from COVID-19 and the climate crisis, while also advancing the free and open rules-based international order.  Additionally, Secretary Blinken and Minister Motegi shared their concerns about North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs and reaffirmed their commitment to address and resolve these issues through U.S.-Japan-Republic of Korea trilateral cooperation towards denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Mr. Blinken also reiterated the U.S. commitment to the immediate resolution of the abductions issue, and they discussed the urgent need to put Burma on the path back towards democracy and to hold the military junta to account.

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G7 MEET
Foreign ministers of the G7 rich countries gather in London on Monday for their first in-person meeting since the COVID-19 pandemic began, with British host Dominic Raab opening with talks with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
The ministers will lay groundwork for U.S. President Joe Biden's first scheduled trip abroad since taking office: a G7 summit in Britain next month meant to revive cooperation with traditional allies after years of friction under Donald Trump.
In addition to the G7 members Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, Britain has also invited ministers from Australia, India, South Africa and South Korea this week.
Before that, Raab and Blinken will meet to discuss shared goals. Britain is keen to capitalise on Biden's willingness to re-engage with global efforts to fight climate change, and to restore a nuclear deal with Iran repudiated by Trump. Raab said on Sunday the G7 would look at a proposal to build a rapid response mechanism to counter Russian disinformation, and, in a reference to China, spoke of the need to stand up for open markets and democracy.

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EU - RUSSIA
The European Union summoned on Monday Russia's ambassador to the bloc to condemn Moscow's decision to barr eight officials from entering the country, which the Kremlin said was in retaliation for sanctions imposed on Russian citizens by the EU.
  EU spokesman told a news briefing that the Russian ambassador has been summoned, he should be received in the afternoon by the secretary general of the European Commission and of the European External Action Service, where we will convey him strong condemnation and objection.
Russia's foreign ministry said on Friday those banned included Vera Jourova, vice president for values and transparency at the executive European Commission, David Sassoli, the president of the European parliament, and Jacques Maire, a member of the French delegation at the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly.

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NIGER-ATTACK
In Niger, unidentified gunmen have killed 16 soldiers and injured six others in an ambush in southwest part of the country.
The attack on an army patrol occurred on Saturday afternoon in the Tahoua region of the West African country.
Meanwhile, it is unclear who carried out the attack, but the area is overrun by terrorist groups with links to al Qaeda and Islamic State.
The vast desert area of Tahoua in west Niger near the borders of Mali and Burkina Faso has been plagued by violence since 2012.
In March, an attack by rebel fighters on three villages near Niger’s border with Mali left a total of 141 people dead. They were the worst attacks committed by armed groups in Niger in recent years.

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CONGO-EBOLA
The Democratic Republic of Congo on Monday declared the end of an Ebola outbreak that infected 12 people in the eastern province of North Kivu and killed six of them.
According to the aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres, the outbreak was contained using Merck's MRK.N Ebola vaccine, which was given to more than 1,600 of the patients' contacts and contacts of contacts.
The cases were genetically linked to the 2018-20 Ebola epidemic that killed more than 2,200 people, the second-highest toll recorded in the disease's history.

SYRIA-ELECTIONS
Syria’s higher constitutional court has selected a former minister and a member of the Damascus-tolerated opposition to face Bashar al-Assad in this month’s presidential election. The Assad-appointed body on Monday approved three out of 51 applicants to stand in the May 26 ballot, among them the 55-year-old president himself, widely expected to win a fourth mandate. Jihad al-Laham, the court’s president, said in a press conference broadcast on state TV that Abdallah Salloum Abdallah, a state minister from 2016 to 2020, had been approved to run for president.
The third candidate was named as Mahmoud Marei, a member of the so-called “tolerated opposition” long described by exiled opposition leaders as an extension of the regime.
Damascus views the election as the governing system functioning normally despite the war. The opposition and Western countries view it as a farce to keep Assad in power indefinitely and head off negotiations to end the conflict.
All 48 other applications were ruled out for “failing to meet constitutional and legal requirements”, the court president said, without elaborating. They have until May 7 to appeal.  Applicants needed to garner support from at least 35 members of parliament, each of whom is only allowed to back one candidate.

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AUSTRALIA-CHINA
Defence Minister Peter Dutton has confirmed his department is reviewing the ownership by a Chinese company of a strategically important port used as a base for U.S. Marines. The National Security Committee of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s Cabinet had asked the defense department to advise on the ownership, Dutton said in an interview with local daily published late Sunday. Asked whether the government was mulling forced divestment, the minister said it would consider the national interests.
The move is likely to further increase tensions between Australia and its largest trading partner China, which have nosedived since the call by Morrison’s government a year ago for Beijing to allow independent investigators into Wuhan to probe the origins of the coronavirus.
The Northern Territory government’s deal in 2015 to sell a long-term lease to the Port of Darwin to Chinese firm Landbridge Group has been criticized by security experts. It came four years after then President Barack Obama secured a deal to base about 2,500 Marines in Darwin, which is on the doorstep of the Indo-Pacific.
China has slammed Australia’s decision last month to use new laws to cancel the Belt-and-Road agreements with the Victorian state government. There has been increasing speculation Morrison may use the laws, passed in December, to scrap long-term leases held by Chinese companies at the ports in Darwin and Newcastle.

PRESS FREEDOM DAY
World Press Freedom Day is being observed today.  This day is celebrated on the 3rd of May every year. This year’s World Press Freedom Day theme “Information as a Public Good” serves as a call to affirm the importance of cherishing information as a public good.  
  In his message, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged all governments to do everything in their power to support a free,  independent and diverse media.  He said,  in too many countries,  journalists and media workers face censorship,  abuse, harassment,  detention and even death simply for doing their jobs.
On the occasion the Information and Broadcasting Minister of India, Prakash Javadekar has said that Indian Constitution has given freedom of the press as part of fundamental rights. In a tweet, Mr. Javadekar said that we cherish freedom of press. He added that it was only during emergency days when this freedom was muzzled by Congress.

Now, the News from Business world
At the domestic stock markers, key indices nearly recovered all its early losses in the last hour of the trade; and the rupee appreciated slightly against the US dollar. In the international markets, Brent crude prices slipped towards 66 dollars a barrel. A report.

FPR
⦁ Washington Post writes that a Chinese man crossed the Taiwan Strait by rubber dinghy, seeking "freedom and equality”.
⦁ Wall Street Journal reports that Moderna will supply 34 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine for free distribution in poorer countries.
⦁ New York Times writes that Russia’s efforts to bring its Sputnik V vaccine to the European Union has deeply divided the bloc.
⦁ South China Morning Post reports that Philippines drops F-bomb over Chinese boats in South China Sea.
⦁ Khaleej Times reports that Saudi Arabia’s King Salman names new economy minister and his eldest son as adviser.
⦁ And the Himalayan Times writes that A 13-member rope fixing team is scheduled to fix the Everest Summit route from Camp IV and above from Wednesday


India is celebrating the 151st birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Before we end, let us listen to his favourite Bhajan VAISHNAV JAN, by artists from Belguim .

AND WITH THAT, WE END THIS BULLETIN. WE'LL BE BACK AT THE SAME TIME TOMORROW WITH THE NEXT EDITION OF WORLD NEWS.

 

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