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PM Modi reiterates govt’s commitment to save lives and also to stabilize economy            COVID-19 recovery rate improves to over 48 per cent            France assures timely delivery of Rafale aircraft to India            NDRF teams deployed in Gujarat, Maharashtra in view of Cyclone Nisarga; PM assures all possible support            Nitin Gadkari announces development of new Greenfield expressway to Amritsar           

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  • Prime Minister Modi urges countrymen to switch off lights in their homes on Sunday at 9 PM for nine minutes and light up diyas, candles or mobile flashlights to display the nation's collective spirit to defeat coronavirus.

  • President Ram Nath Kovind along with Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu  interact with Governors, Lieutenant Governors and Administrators of all States and Union Territories; Prime Minister interacts with country's sportspersons in connection with COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh interacts with the Group of Ministers on COVID-19 outbreak.

  • World Bank approves one billion US Dollars Emergency Fund for India to help tackle the Corona virus pandemic.

  • Rural Development Ministry releases ex-gratia amount of five hundred rupees per woman to Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana account holders for current month.

  • Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu extends greetings on Rajya Sabha Day.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged countrymen to switch off lights of their in homes on Sunday at 9 PM for nine minutes and light up diyas, candles or mobile flashlights to display the nation's collective spirit to defeat coronavirus.

In a video message this morning, the Prime Minister

said people should maintain social distancing, stay indoors and not form groups while lighting up lamps. Mr Modi said, people displayed unprecedented discipline and sense of service during the ongoing nationwide coronavirus lockdown.

कुछ लोग ये भी सोच रहे होंगे कि इतनी बड़ी लड़ाई को, वो अकेले कैसे लड़ पाएंगे। ये प्रश्न भी मन में आते होंगे कि - कितने दिन ऐसे और काटने पड़ेंगे।साथियों, ये लॉकडाउन का समय जरूर है, हम अपने अपने घरों  में जरूर हैं, लेकिन हम में से कोई अकेला नहीं है। 130 करोड़ देशवासियों की सामूहिक शक्ति हर व्यक्ति के साथ है, हर व्यक्ति का संबल है । समय-समय पर देशवासियों की इस सामूहिक शक्ति की विराटता, इसकी भव्यता और दिव्यता की अनुभूति करना आवश्यक है।

He said, the country has to move towards light from the darkness created by coronavirus. The Prime Minister said, people are at home during the lockdown, but they are not alone as the collective strength of the entire country is with each one of them.  

5 अप्रैल को रात 9 बजे, घर की सभी लाइटें बंद करके, घर के दरवाजे पर या बालकनी में, खड़े रहकर, 9 मिनट के लिए मोमबत्ती, दीया, टॉर्च या मोबाइल की फ्लैशलाइट जलाएं।मैं फिर कहूंगा, मोमबत्ती, दीया, टॉर्च या मोबाइल की फ्लैशलाइट, 5 अप्रैल को, रात को 9 बजे, 9 मिनट तक जलाएं। और उस समय यदि घर की सभी लाइटें बंद करेंगे, चारो तरफ जब हर व्यक्ति एक-एक दीया जलाएगा, तब प्रकाश की उस महाशक्ति का ऐहसास होगा, जिसमें एक ही मकसद से हम सब लड़ रहे हैं,ये उजागर होगा।

Mr Modi also said, the way people paid gratitude to those fighting against COVID-19 on 22nd of last month has become a model that is being emulated by other countries. He added that Janata Curfew and ringing of bells haS made people of the country aware of their unity in this challenging time.

आपने जिस प्रकार, 22 मार्च को रविवार के दिन कोरोना के खिलाफ लड़ाई लड़ने वाले हर किसी का धन्यवाद किया, वो भी आज सभी देशों के लिए एक मिसाल बन गया है। आज कई देश इसको दोहरा रहे हैं। जनता कर्फ्यू हो, घंटी बजाने, ताली-थाली बजाने का कार्यक्रम हो, इन्होंने इस चुनौतिपूर्ण समय में  देश को इसकी  सामूहिक शक्ति का ऐहसास कराया। यह  भाव प्रकट हुआ कि देश एक होकर कोरोना के खिलाफ लड़ाई लड़ सकता है।


President Ram Nath Kovind along with Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu today interacted with the Governors, Lieutenant Governor and Administrators of all States and Union Territories through video conferencing to discuss measures to combat COVID-19.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi today gave a five-point mantra of Sankalp, Sanyam, Sakaratmakta, Samman and Sahyog to tackle COVID-19. Interacting with over 40 top sportspersons including Bharat Ratna Sachin Tendulkar, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly, Women's Hockey team captain Rani Rampal and  ace badminton player P V Sindhu among others, Mr Modi said, the sportspersons have brought glory to the nation. He said, now they have an important role to play in boosting the morale of the nation and spreading positivity.

Our correspondent reports, praising the leadership of the Prime Minister, the sportspersons pledged to spread the message of positivity and social distancing.

The Prime Minister said that COVID-19 is an adversary of the entire humanity and the gravity of the situation can be ascertained from the fact that for the first time since World War-II, the Olympics have been postponed. Mr Modi said, several other prominent international sporting events like Wimbledon and domestic sporting events like Indian Premier League for cricket have been deferred as well due to the challenges created by the pandemic.

Mr Modi asked sportspersons to highlight the importance of both physical and mental fitness and also popularize guidelines released by AYUSH Ministry.

The Prime Minister mentioned that it is imperative India emerges victorious in this battle against the pandemic and expressed confidence in pro-active participation by the sportspersons in this battle. Among others, Kabaddi player and DSP in Himanchal Pradesh Police Ajay Thakur, sprinter Hima Das, para-athlete high jumper Sharad Kumar, top tennis player Ankita Raina, cricketer Yuvraj Singh and Men’s cricket team captain Virat Kohli participated in the video conference. Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports and other senior officials of the Ministry also participated in the interaction.


Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today held an interaction with the Group of Ministers on COVID-19 situation. All the Ministers present discussed ways to combat the virus and ensure the safety and well-being of people. 

Amongst others Home Minister Amit Shah, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar along with Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan were present.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that India is united in defeating COVID-19 and people from all walks of life are adding strength to the fight against Corona virus.

In a tweet today, he thanked the Indian Space Research Organization, Central Secretariat Service Forum, Border Security Force, AU Small Finance Bank and Lulu Group International for making contribution in PM CARES.


The World Bank has approved one billion US Dollars Emergency Fund for India to help tackle the Corona virus pandemic, which has claimed 56 lives and infected 2,301 people in the country.

The World Bank's first set of aid projects, amounting to 1.9 billion US Dollars, will assist 25 countries, the bank said yesterday. It added that new operations are moving forward in over 40 nations using the fast-track process.

The largest chunk of the emergency financial assistance of one billion US Dollars has gone to India. The bank said that the fund will support India in better screening, contact tracing, laboratory diagnostics, procuring personal protective equipment and setting up new isolation wards.


Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan today took stock of the preparedness to deal with the challenges of COVID-19 in Delhi. He visited Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital.

In a tweet today, the Minister said, during the visit, he encouraged the patients and other health workers who are working in the hospital day and night.


In Andhra Pradesh, the total Corona positive Cases have gone up to 161 today. The highest number of 32 cases were recorded in Sri Potti Sriramulu Nellore District  and not even a single positive case ahs  been identified in Srikakulam and Vizianagaram District. Krishna District recorded 23 positive cases while Guntur  has 20  positive cases.  Three major hot spots have been identified in the Vijayawada city where the prevalence of the disease was high and accordingly, the authorities have clamped further restricitions on peoples movement.

In Assam, the quarantine camp at Sarusajai stadium in Guwahati was operationalized last night. The camp has 700-bed capacity. Assam has reported 16 positive cases so far.

In Gujarat, seven new cases of COVID-19 were reported today taking the total cases up to 95. State Health Department said the death toll due to COVID-19 has gone up to eight in the state with the death of a 78-year old patient reported in Vadodara today.

More from our correspondent:

All the new cases reported today are from Ahmedabad which include a 7 years old girl. With this, the total number of confirmed cases in Ahmedabad has gone up to 38 today. Principal Secretary of state health department Jayanti Ravi said 6 of the seven cases are of local transmission while one patient had a travel history to Delhi. Meanwhile, the state government is tracking patients with Severe respiratory infections who are vulnerable to Covid 19. It started a mobile application called DrTecho for sharing of information about such patients. So far, more than 1700 doctors have been registered with the application.  APARNA KHUNT,AIR News, AHMEDABAD

In Uttar Pradesh, National Security Act, NSA is being imposed on those members of Tabligi Jamat who misbehaved with female nursing staff at MMG District Hospital Ghaziabad Yesterday. Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath has further ordered that no female nursing staff or Police women will be put on duty where members of Jamat are kept in quarantine.

Our Correspondent reports that a total of 172 patients of COVID-19 have been identified in state out of which 42 are Tabligi Jamat members.

Chief Minister has taken the act of Tabligi Jamat members in Ghaziabad Hospital very seriously and and ordered to take strict action against such people. He said that those who did such kind of act are enemy of humanity and stern action will be taken against them. Chief Minister said that if anyone who is being kept in quarantine escapes then DM and SSP of the district will be responsible. Meanwhile state has established a COVID CARE FUND in which any person and contribute to help the state in fight against Corona. Chief Minister today transferred around Rs 871 crores in the accounts of over 86 lakh beneficiaries of different pension schemes in state. SUSHIL CHANDRA TIWARI, AIR NEWS, LUCKNOW.

In Mizoram, COVID-19 test  laboratory has come up at the Zoram Medical College hospital yesterday. The centre ahve been developed by converting the existing TB Research Centre at the hospital, which is also the Centre for Treatment of Corona virus in the state.

After inauguration of the new test laboratory, State Health Minister R Lalthangliana told All India Radio that the lab is now ready for use and now there is no need to send samples for testing outside the state. 

In Bihar, five fresh cases of COVID-19 were reported during the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cases in the state to 29.

Among five new postive cases, two each are from Gopalganj and Gaya districts while remaining one is from Saran district. Three patients have recovered so far, while one person has died.

Among 29 cases of Bihar, 16 have a travel history. Fifteen people had returned from foreign countries while one person came from Gujrat.  

In Maharashtra, with over 400 people testing positive for Corona virus, the State Government has now taken the fight against the pandemic online, by launching a COVID-19 self-assessment tool. The government has created a digital platform, wherein citizens can assess their symptoms from the comfort of their homes and later contact authorities if they have any doubts about their condition. Our correspondents reports:


With over 400 people testing positive for coronavirus in Maharashtra, the state government has now taken the fight against the pandemic online, by launching a COVID-19 self-assessment tool. Collaborating with Apollo 24x7, state government has launched an online tool, which is available at covid-19.maharashtra.gov.in, to help people assess their symptoms at home. Government has also identified 30 hospitals across the state which would treat only coronavirus patients. There would be 2,305 beds across these hospitals.  Meantime, a western railway coach has been converted for Isolation of suspected/ COVID-19 patients by Bhavnagar Workshop. 410 coaches will be converted by Western Railway at all its 6 Divisions including Mumbai Division. Madhuri Pange, AIR News, Mumbai.

From Chennai, three chartered flights have been operated to Frankfurt and Kuala Lumpur since last night, carrying 456 people back to their home countries. Facilitated by the Ministries of External Affairs, Home and Civil Aviation, 111 German nationals left for Frankfurt via Mumbai in a special Air India flight this morning. More from our correspondent --

In Tamil Nadu, 28 major state-run hospitals have been designated as exclusive Covid-19 treatment centres to cover all 37 districts. They include the Stanley and Kilpauk Medical College Hospitals, Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital and the Multi-Super-Specialty Hospital in Chennai. An order issued by the state health department has mandated establishing isolation wards in all other hospitals and quarantine facilities in each district. Meanwhile, a video-calling facility with sign language interpretation service has been introduced by the state government to help those in need during the curfew period. Jayasingh, AIR News, Chennai.


Amidst the Corona virus gloom with positive cases rising across the country, there is good news from Bhilwara in Rajasthan. The situation is now under control in this city which has one of the 25 hot spots identified by the Ministry of Health. Not a single new case has been reported here in last four days. Moreover, out of 26 infected persons, 17 have now turned negative.

It was on 19th March when a doctor in Bhilwara who also owns a private hospital, tested positive for COVID 19. The hospital had a staff of more than 3 hundred people. There were many patients in the hospital that time and the infected doctor continued interacting with patients in OPD also. The administration taking note of the severity of the situation implemented strict measures and imposed curfew in the city on March 20. Borders were sealed to quarantine the whole district. Subsequently, one after the other 26 persons were found to be Corona infected, mostly hospital staff, the admitted patients or their attendants. Curfew continues throughout the city since then.  A survey of each house in the rural areas of the district has also been done. District Collector Rajendra Bhatt told AIR.  

The spirit of restraint and might that Bhilwara showed, will definitely motivate the whole country to defeat Corona. Jitendra Dwivedi, AIR News, Jaipur  

TRIFED has requested the States and Union Territories to ensure the precautionary measures to be taken to protect tribals amid the COVID-19 situation.

TRIFED Managing Director Pravir Krishna has said that COVID-19 pandemic has posed an unprecedented challenge and all the States and Union Territories are affected by it.


The Rural Development Ministry has released a lump sum amount of five hundred rupees per woman to Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana account holders for this month. The amount has been credited to the accounts yesterday.

The disbursement of amount was made following the announcement of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman wherein the decision was taken to release ex-gratia payment of five hundred rupees per woman per month for the next three months under the Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Package.

In order to maintain social distancing and orderly withdrawal of money by beneficiaries, the Department of Financial Services has directed the banks to stagger the arrival of account holders at branches and ATMs for withdrawal of money. After 9th of April, the beneficiaries can go to the bank branch.

Banks have been advised to intimate the beneficiaries about this through SMS and other publicity media. State Level Bankers' Committee Convenors have been directed to immediately contact the State Governments and apprise them of the staggering plan and seek their support for suitable security arrangements at branches and ATMs. The State Government has also been requested to issue suitable instructions to the District Administration and Police authorities to support the banks in disbursement of money to the beneficiaries and in carrying out local publicity.

Heads of all Public Sector and Private Sector Banks have been asked to issue suitable instructions in this regard to Branch Officials and Business Correspondents.


Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu today extended his greetings on Rajya Sabha Day. In a series of tweets, he said, the Upper House of Parliament has been playing a crucial role in shaping Indian polity and discourse since its establishment and has been guiding the country towards greater progress.

The Chairman said, on this important day, I urge all the members to continue to guide and inspire people through their participation and keep raising relevant issues concerning the common man. Mr Naidu said, he complimented all the members of the House, successive governments and the staff of the Secretariat who have been contributing to strengthen the democratic spirit of the country.


Vice President, M. Venkaiah Naidu today strongly condemned the recent attacks on medical professionals. In a series of tweets, he said, it is the duty of every citizen to protect medical professionals who have been risking their lives to treat the infected.

Mr. Naidu said, people should be sensitized on the crucial, life-saving role being undertaken by doctors, nurses, sanitation workers and other frontline warriors in the battle against COVID-19.

Mr. Naidu said, he called upon all Governors and Lieutenant Governors to contact spiritual and religious leaders in their states and motivate them to advice their followers to not hold any congregations and observe social distancing norms to combat Corona virus.


The United Nations General Assembly has unanimously adopted a resolution on COVID-19, calling for intensified international cooperation to defeat the pandemic.

Co-sponsored by 188 nations including India, the resolution titled Global solidarity to fight the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is the first such document on the global pandemic to be adopted by the world organization.

The resolution said the General Assembly notes with great concern the threat to human health, safety and well-being caused by the disease. It highlighted the unprecedented effects of the pandemic, including the severe disruption to societies, economies, global travel and commerce, and the devastating impact on the livelihood of people.


Odisha Government has announced a 48-hour complete shutdown for Bhubaneswar and Bhadrak town starting from 8 p.m. tonight. The announcement was made by Chief Secretary of Odisha Asit Tripathy in a special press meet today in Bhubaneswar.

In his address, the Chief Secretary said that the announcement was made in consideration of rise in cases all over the country and the fear of community transmission looming large in the State after fifth COVID-19 positive case detected, who had no travel history.


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

Dr. Sanjeev Bhoi from Emergency Medicine Department of AIIMS specified who needs to be tested. 

Dr S Rajeshwari from the Department of Anaesthesiology has advised the people to stay at home and maintain hand hygiene

For listening to other Experts, stay tuned to All India Radio.

Actor Hema Malini has stressed the need to stay home and stay healthy during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Famous classical dancer Sonal Mansingh stresses the need to keep physical distance and stay home during the Covid outbreak.


Actors Chiranjeevi and Nagaarjuna have released a video song urging people to fight against Covid-19 pandemic unitedly.


People across the country are following the government's appeal to stay in their homes during the lockdown period. To deal with the present situation, people are engaging themselves in different activities like doing household chores, playing indoor games, reading books, gardening and pursuing hobbies.

We spoke to few people who shared their views.

In the wake of COVID-19 outbreak, the Central Government has taken several measures to ensure uninterrupted supply of essential items so that people do not face any difficulties. Government has assured that there is no shortage of medicines to combat Covid-19 outbreak. More from our correspondent --

The government has launched a mobile app 'Aarogya Setu' to bring the people of the country together in a resolute fight against COVID-19. The app will enable people to assess themselves the risk for their catching the Corona virus infection. Indian Railways is transporting essential commodities to different parts of the country through its frieght trains. In last three days, Railways delivered food grains through more than seven thousands wagons. Food Corporation of India has also moved 352 rakes carrying around 10 lakh metric tonnes of food grains since lockdown. Lifeline Udaan flights trasported around 38 tonnes of medical supplies to different parts of the country. Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare has taken the initiative to mobilize services of Ex-Servicemen community as a part of augmentation of precious human resource to assist the State and District Administration. BHUPENDRA SINGH, AIR News, Delhi.

The United States has criticised a Pakistani court for overturning the death sentence of British-born top al-Qaeda leader Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh. 46-year-old Sheikh was convicted in the abduction and murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl in Karachi in 2002 in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attack.

The US' response comes after the Sindh High Court yesterday found Sheikh guilty of the lesser charge of kidnapping and commuted his death sentence to seven years in prison. The court also acquitted three others who were previously convicted.


Equity benchmark Sensex was trading 303 points lower at 27,961 this afternoon. While NSE Nifty fell 64 points to 8,189.

Meanwhile, the Indian rupee depreciated 47 paise to 76.07 against the US Dollar in morning trade.


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