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PM Modi, US President discuss emerging realities of post COVID world; Trump invites PM to G7 summit later this year            Cyclone Nisarga to make landfall in Maharashtra and Gujarat today afternoon            Pakistan remains epi-center of international terrorism, reiterates India citing UN Security Council report            57 Lakh migrant workers transported so far by Shramik Special Trains, says Railways            2200 Indians to be flown back from Gulf today under Vande Bharat Mission           

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News at Nine

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  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi urges people to maintain social distance, not emotional distance to deal with COVID-19; Sharing his thoughts in Mann Ki Baat Programme on All India Radio, Prime Minister asserts, steps being taken by people to stop spread of virus will ensure India conquers the pandemic. 

  • Prime Minister interacts with doctors and recovered COVID-19 patients; Praises zeal and grit of front-line workers for helping India fight a battle on a massive scale.  

  • Centre asks States and Union Territories to take measures to prevent movement of migrant workers to home states.  

  • Ten empowered groups formed by the government to give guidance on medical emergency management, isolation beds and quarantine facility.

  • Centre approves Insurance Scheme under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package for health workers fighting to contain COVID-19. 


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged people to maintain social distance and not emotional and human distance while battling COVID-19. Sharing his thoughts in the Mann Ki Baat Programme on All India Radio today, the Prime Minister said that social distancing is the most effective way of fighting against COVID-19 and by complying with the lockdown, people are protecting themselves. The Prime Minister said, however, people need to understand that social distancing does not mean ending social interaction.

"कोरोना वायरस से लड़ने का सबसे कारगर तरीका सोशल डिस्टेंसिंग है। लेकिन हमें ये समझना होगा कि सोशल डिस्टेंसिंग का मतलब सोशल इंट्रैक्शन को खत् करना नहीं है। वास्तव में ये समय अपने  सभी पुराने सामाजिक रिश्तों में नई जान फूंकने का है, उन रिश्तों को तरोताजा करने का है। एक प्रकार से समय हमें यह भी बताता है कि सोशल डिस्टेंसिंग बढ़ाओ और इमोशनल डिस्टेंस घटाओ। मैं फिर कहता हूँ, social distancing  बढ़ाओ और emotional distance  घटाओ"

Mr. Modi said, everyone has to protect themselves and their families and for the next many days, they have to abide by the Lakshman Rekha. He said, the determination and restraint of each Indian will aid in facing the crisis.

"ये लॉकडाउन आपके खुद के बचने के लिए है। आपको अपने को बचाना है, अपने परिवार को बचाना है। अभी आपको आने  वाले कई दिनों तक इसी तरह धैर्य दिखाना ही है, लक्ष्मण रेखा का पालन करना ही है। साथियों मैं ये भी जानता हूं कि कोई कानून नहीं तोड़ना चाहता, नियम नहीं तोड़ना चाहता, लेकिन कुछ लोग ऐसा कर रहे हैं, क्योंकि अब भी वो स्थिति की गंभीरता को नहीं समझ रहे हैं। ऐसे लोगों को यही कहूंगा कि लॉकडाउन का नियम तोड़ेंगे तो कोरोना वायरस से बचना मुश्किल हो जायेगा। दुनिया भर मैं बहुत से लोगो को कुछ इसी तरह की खुशफहमी थी आज ये सब पछता रहे है।"

The Prime Minister said, mankind will have to rise unitedly in the resolve to exterminate this virus which poses a threat to annihilate the human race. He apologized for any inconvenience or hardship caused to the people.

"मैं आपकी की दिक्कतें समझता हूं। आपकी परेशानी भी समझता हूं। लेकिन भारत जैसे 130 करोड़ की आबादी वाले देश को कोरोना के खिलाफ लड़ाई के लिए ये कदम उठाये बिना कोई रास्ता नहीं था। कोरोना के खिलाफ लड़ाई जीवन और मृत्यु के बीच की लड़ाई है और इस लड़ाई में हमें जीतना है और इसीलिए ये कठोर कदम उठाने बहुत आवश्यक थे। किसी का मन नहीं करता है ऐसे कदमों के लिए लेकिन दुनिया के हालात देखने के बाद लगता है कि यही एक रास्ता बचा है। आपको, आपके परिवार को सुरक्षित रखना है। मैं फिर एक बार आपको जो भी असुविधा हुई है, कठिनाई हुई है। इसके लिए क्षमा मांगता हूं।"

Mr Narendra Modi said, since the battle against corona is unprecedented as well as challenging, the decisions being taken during this time are unheard of, in world history. The Prime Minister said, the steps being taken by people to stop the spread of corona and the efforts being made, will ensure that India conquers the pandemic. 

Mr Modi said, sympathy of the people for the poor should also be far greater. He said, our humanity stems from the fact that whenever we see a poor or hungry person, we first try and feed them in this time of crisis.

Underlining the foremost concern in everyone’s mind across the globe about the catastrophic Corona virus pandemic, the Prime Minister said this is the reason why he has concentrated only on this issue in this edition of Mann Ki baat.

Mr Modi extended a heartfelt apology to all countrymen and said he strongly feels from the core of his heart that the people will forgive him because he had to take certain decisions which may be resulting in several hardships.

The Prime Minister said, in this war, there are many soldiers who are fighting the Corona virus, not in the confines of their homes but outside their homes. Mr Modi said, India has been able to fight a battle on such a massive scale, only because of the zeal and grit of frontline warriors like Doctors, nurses, paramedics, Aasha, ANM and sanitation workers.

"इस लड़ाई के अनेकों योद्धा ऐसे हैं जो घरों में नहीं घरों के बाहर रहकर कोरोना वायरस का मुकाबला कर रहे हैं। जो हमारे फ्रंट लाइन सोल्जर्स हैं। खास करके हमारी नर्सेस बहनें हैं। नर्सेस का काम करने वाले भाई हैं, डॉक्टर हैं, पैरा मेडिकल स्टॉफ हैं, ऐसे साथी जो कोराना को पराजित कर चुके हैं। आज हमें उनसे प्रेरणा लेनी है।"

Mr Modi said, the country is concerned about their health as well and the government has announced a health insurance cover of upto 50 lakh rupees for around 20 lakh colleagues from these fields so that they can lead the country in this battle with greater self confidence.

The Prime Minister shared his conversations on phone with doctors and recovered COVID-19 patients boosting their zeal and said he has learnt a lot from them.

First, he shared his conversation with an IT professional Ramgampa Teja who recovered from Corona virus. The Prime Minister said, Ram followed Doctor’s instructions fully when suspected of having Corona and as a result, he is leading a healthy, normal life today.

Mr Modi spoke to Ashok Kapoor from Agra who alongwith with his family suffered from Coronavirus. The Prime Minister said, we can defeat this pandemic without panicking, following the right steps on time, contacting doctors on time without getting afraid and by taking proper precautions.

In order to highlight how the nation is dealing with this pandemic at the medical level, the Prime Minister spoke to some doctors who are leading the front line in this battle. Dr. Nitesh Gupta from Delhi thanked the Prime Minister for the support from government to the hospital and told him that everyone's mood in his hospital is upbeat.

The Prime Minister said, all these people are persevering to the best extent possible to end this scourge. He saluted the embodiment of humanity, the Nurse. The Prime Minister said, the selfless spirit of service with which they perform their duty is beyond compare. He said, it’s a coincidence that the world is celebrating year 2020 as the International year of the Nurse and Midwife. The year 1820 is associated with the birth of Florence Nightingale who lent a new identity, a new paradigm to the term ‘Service to humanity’ and the field of Nursing, taking it to newer heights. Mr Modi expressed confidence that the nursing community with its dedication will help save many lives.

The Prime Minister said, the small retail storekeeper in the neighbourhood is also taking a great risk in these troubled times to ensure that people do not face any difficulty in buying essential goods. He also talked about drivers and workers, who are continuing to work ceaselessly, so that the nation's supply chain of essential goods is not disrupted. Mr Modi said, those working in the banking sector are leading us in this fight. Mr Modi said, many people are engaged with e-commerce companies as delivery personnel are continuing to deliver grocery even in these trying times.

 The Prime Minister said, he was pained to see that some of those who were suspected to have corona virus and asked to stay in home quarantine, are being ill-treated by others. These people have isolated and quarantined themselves to protect other people from getting infected. Mr. Modi said, such people need to be shown sympathy and cooperation.

"मुझे कुछ ऐसी घटनाओं का पता चला है, जिनमें कोरोना वायरस के संदिग् ऐसे जिन्हें होम   क्वारेंटाइन में रहने को कहा गया है। उनके साथ कुछ लोग बुरा वर्ताव कर रहे हैं। ऐसी बातें सुनकर मुझे  अत्यंत पीड़ा हुई है। ये बहुत दुर्भाग्यपूर्ण है। हमें ये समझना होगा कि मौजूदा हालात में अभी एक-दूसरे से सिर्फ सोशल डिस्टेंस बनाकर रखना है कि इमोशनल या ह्यूमन डिस्टेंस। ऐसे लोग कोई अपराधी नहीं हैं। बल्कि वायरस के संभवित पीडि़तभर हैं। इन लोगों ने दूसरों को संक्रमण से बचाने के लिए खुद को अलग किया है और क्वारेंटाइन में रहे हैं।"

The Prime Minister said, in a way, this time teaches us to reduce emotional distance and increase social distance. He recalled Yashvardhan from Kota who wrote on the Namo app, that they are increasing family bonding during the lock down. They are playing cricket and board games with kids and preparing new dishes. Pareekshit from Raipur, Aaryaman from Gurugram and Suraj from Jharkhand have discussed about having an e-reunion with their school friends. Mr Modi said, it may be an interesting idea to talk to school and college mates whom we have not spoken to for decades. Regarding fitness, the Prime Minister said, he will upload some videos on the social media including the Namo app. He said, he is not a yoga teacher but merely a practitioner and some yogaasanaas have greatly benefited him.

Mr Modi again appealed to countrymen to stay at home, be careful and safe in order to to win this battle.

"आज हर भारतीय अपने जीवन की रक्षा के लिए घर में बंद है। लेकिन आने वाले समय में यही  हिन्दुस्तानी अपने देश के विकास के लिए सारी दीवारों को तोड़कर आगे निकलेगा, देश को आगे ले जायेगा। आप अपने परिवार के साथ घर पर रहिए, सुरक्षित और सावधान रहिए, हमें ये जंग जीतना है जरूर जीतेंगे।"


The Prime Minister's Office has constituted 11 different high-level committees to suggest measures to ramp up healthcare, put the economy back on track and reduce misery of people as quickly as possible post 21-day lockdown imposed to contain the coronavirus pandemic. Sources said, each group has senior representative from PMO and the Cabinet Secretariat to ensure seamless coordination. Official sources said, these groups have been set up under Disaster Management Act.


A high-level meeting of Union Ministers was held in New Delhi this evening to review the situation related to COVID- 19 and the preparedness to control it. In a tweet, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said, during the meeting, feedback was shared on the supply of essential commodities Mr. Singh said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is being regularly informed about the discussions in the meeting.

The meeting was attended by Home Minister Amit Shah, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and other Union Ministers.


The Centre today asked states and Union Territories to take measures to prevent movement of a large number of migrant workers to their home states. It has ordered to ensure adequate arrangement of temporary shelters and provisions of food and other facilities for poor and needy people stranded due to the lockdown. In its fresh directive, the Home Ministry said, the migrant people, who have moved out to reach their home states, must be kept in the nearest shelters by the concerned states and quarantine them after proper screening for a minimum period of 14 days.

The Ministry has also directed the employers including industry, shops and commercial establishments to make payment of wages of their workers on the due date without any deduction. The landlords of workers have also been ordered not to demand payment of rent for a period of one month. The Ministry warned that action will be taken if any landlord is forcing labourers and students to vacate their premises. 

Terming the movement of a large number of migrant workers to reach their home towns as a violation of the lockdown, the Ministry asserted that District Magistrate, Senior Superintendent of Police, Superintendent of Police and DCP will be personally liable for implementation of the direction and lockdown measures.

Earlier in the day, the Centre had asked state governments and Union Territory administrations to effectively seal state and district borders to stop movement of migrant workers. During a video conference with chief secretaries and DGPs, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba and Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla asked them to ensure that there is no movement of people across cities or on highways as the lockdown continues.


Home Ministry has asked all states and Union territories to allow transportation of all goods, without distinction of essential and non-essential, during the 21 day lockdown period. In his letter to State Chief Secretaries, Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said,  the newspaper delivery supply chain is allowed during lockdown. He also said, the entire supply chain of milk collection and distribution, including its packing materials, has also been allowed during the period.

Besides, Groceries including hygiene products such as hand wash, soaps, disinfectants, oral care items, battery cells and chargers are also allowed. Mr. Bhalla said, the services of Indian Red Cross Society is included under Establishment of National Disaster Management Authority.


Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said, the country will fail to contain the coronavirus outbreak if  the lockdown is not followed  and urged people to stay wherever they are. Addressing a digital press conference  in New Delhi today, he assured migrant workers that Delhi government has made food and boarding arrangements for them. He said, his government  has emptied the stadiums and made arrangements for people to stay there too if the need arises and is  giving free food to four lakh people daily.


In Bihar, migrant labourers who are coming from other states will be kept in quarantine for 14 days after health check up. For this, shelter homes have been set up along bordering areas of the state . Schools along bordering areas have been converted into quarantine centres. A control room has been set up to monitor movement of migrant labourers.

"Migrant labourers have started coming to state. They have been kept in shelter homes in bordering areas. Free food is being provide these people. Medical check up is being undertaken for labourers. Those people who will found suspected will be kept in isolation centres. For this isolation centres have been made in schools situated in bordering areas. The state government has instructed concerned authorities to keep migrant people  in shelter centres. A list of migrant people is being prepared. Meanwhile Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has instructed to monitor activities of migrant labourers. KK Lal, AIR News, Patnas, Sanjeev Jasrotia."


Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has appealed to migrant labourers and people living in other states to stay where they are during the lockdown until further instructions.

"Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has appealed to the labours and people living in other states to stay there itself and not to move for the sake of them and all. He said government is taking steps to provide all facilities there. Mr Yogi appealed people not get panicking but cooperate. He  also appealed to all the migrant labourers of other states to remain stayed in Uttar Pradesh during the lockdown period. Chief Minister has appealed land Lords in state not to demand house rents from labourers  and workers living in their houses till one month. The district magistrates of Lucknow, and Gautambuddha Nagar have  already imposed orders to defer the demand of house rent from labourers for one month. Mr Yogi  has asked screening of people all those entering Uttar Pradesh and directed to be kept in a compulsory 14-days quarantine or isolation period to contain the spread of the novel Coronavirus. Meanwhile the process of releasing 11 thousand prisoners on perol has started in state to decrease overcrowd in jails. MS Yadav AIR News Lucknow"


Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa has assured the Opposition leaders that migrant labourers returning from neighboring states will be provided medical facilities and transported to their respective villages. During the all party meeting held in Bengaluru today, the Chief Minister also assured that medical personnel treating COVID 19 patients will be provided sufficient personal protection equipment, masks, gloves and sanitizers.

"Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa has assured the Opposition leaders that migrant labourer returning from neighboring states will be provided medical facilities and transported to their respective villages. He also assured that medical personnel treating COVID 19 patients will be provided sufficient personal protection equipment, mask, gloves and sanitizers. He also assured that farmers and BPL card holders will be taken care of. The leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah asked Government to immediately locate 4500 people who have come from abroad and are yet to be traced. He also urged Chief Minister to provide insurance cover to police and health workers involved in the containment of the pandemic. Sudhindra AIR news Bengaluru."


As many as 106 fresh cases of COVID- 19 and six deaths have been reported from six states in the last 24 hours. Briefing reporters in New Delhi today, Joint Secretary in the Health Ministry, Lav Aggarwal said, there are 979 confirmed coronavirus cases in the country including 25 deaths till now. He said, government has formed ten empowered groups to give guidance related to medical emergency management, isolation beds and quarantine facility. Mr. Aggrawal said, the ongoing 21-day lockdown has resulted in some behavioural and mental health issues and the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences has launched a toll-free number -  080- 46110007 for consultation. On a query for specific blocks and hospitals for COVID-19 patients, he said, the process to isolate them from other patients has started.

Head Scientist in Indian Council for Medical Research, Raman Gangakhedkar, said, around 35000 test have been conducted till date. He said, 113 labs are functional and 47 private labs have been given approval.

On the occasion, Joint Secretary in the Home Ministry, Punya Salila Srivastava said, employers must be instructed to give full wages to workers on the due date without any deduction for the closed-down period and landlords cannot charge rent for this period. She also said, the workers cannot be forced to vacate the premises.


The Government has approved and insurance scheme announced under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package for health workers who are fighting to contain COVID-19. The scheme will provide an insurance cover of 50 lakh rupees for ninety days to around 22 lakh 12 thousand public healthcare providers. They include community health workers, who may have to be in direct contact and care of COVID-19 patients and who may be at risk of being impacted by this. The scheme will also include accidental loss of life on account of contracting COVID-19. The Health Ministry has said, the insurance provided under this scheme will be over and above any other insurance cover being availed by the beneficiary.


In the wake of rising novel coronavirus cases in the country, the government has repeatedly asked people to practice social distancing to contain the spread of COVID-19. It has advised people to follow basic protective measures and strictly follow the social distancing norms and avoid gatherings. 

We spoke to a cross section of people who shared how they are spending their time at home productively during the lockdown period.


BJP President JP Nadda has instructed the party's state units to help daily wagers and migrant labourers in their states during the lockdown period. Mr. Nadda has been holding daily meetings with BJP leaders through audio and video conferences to oversee the party's efforts to help the poor amid outbreak of the novel Corona Virus.

In this ongoing series of meetings, Mr. Nadda today interacted with state unit presidents and organisational secretaries of Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Kerala. He also instructed them to follow Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal to make this lockdown successful.


Congress leader Rahul Gandhi today expressed solidarity with Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying his party will cooperate with steps being taken by the government to fight the coronavirus outbreak. In a letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Gandhi highlighted the plight of the poor, saying India may need to take different steps than other large countries who are following a total lockdown strategy as India's conditions are unique.


The Jammu and Kashmir government today issued helpline numbers to facilitate inter-state migrant labourers who arrived in the Union Territory prior to the outbreak of the virus. The Labour Commissioner said, these labourers can contact on the helpline numbers round the clock for assistance in Kashmir Division.

Showkat Shafi, Inspector on 8899546373

Ansar Ahmad, Inspector on 7006286174

And in Jammu Division they can contact:

Shivika Sharma, Labour Officer on 9149691329

Stander Pal Singh, Section Officer, 7051986422

Meanwhile, people have come forward and are providing food items to the migrant non-local workers and contribute to the humanitarian cause as urged by Prime Minister in his Mann Ki Baat address today.


In Assam, mid day meal is being served to over 40 lakh school students by the Education department. Talking to AIR News, Principal Secretary in Education department B Kalyan Chakravarthy said that social distancing and proper hygiene is being maintained.


move, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will soon equip the frontline Health personnel of the country with advanced ventilators, face masks and Personal Protection Equipments in their fight against spread of novel Coronavirus. Talking to our Hyderabad Correspondent, DRDO Chairman Dr G Sateesh Reddy said that many of them will be made available to health professionals in next couple of days. Stating that many technologies have been transferred to the industry, he said, the DRDO has developed a technology to use one ventilator for multiple patients.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed gratitude to President Ram Nath Kovind for donating one-month salary to PM-CARES Fund to help the nation tide over the crisis of COVID-19. In a tweet, Mr. Modi said, the President is leading the way and inspiring the nation in this direction. The Prime Minister thanked Airports Authority of India, Cello Group, JSW Group, T-Series, Paytm and others for their contribution to the PM-CARES fund.


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