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Last Updated : May 29 2020 3:16PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
HM Amit Shah speaks to all Chief Ministers; Seeks their views on future strategy in fight against Covid 19            COVID recovery rate improves to 42.88 %, Over 71 thousand patients cured so far            449 domestic flights operated on day-3 of resumption of Air Lines services: Civil Aviaiton Minister HS Puri            Railways Ministry appeals persons in COVID-19 risk category to avoid travel by trains            Over 2 lakh metric tonnes of food grains lifted by states for May & June: FCI           

Text Bulletins Details


Morning News

0815 HRS
04.04.2020

THE HEADLINES,


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi says the entire nation is united in fight against Corona Virus .

  • Government exempts shops of agricultural machinery, tea industry and related services from the lock-down 

  • Bihar Government decides to screen 1 lakh 80 thousand people again for COVID-19 infection.

  • India’s foreign exchange reserves rises by 5.65 billion dollars after falling for two weeks.

  • FIFA Under-17 Women's World Cup, scheduled in November postponed .

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said the nation is united in the fight against COVID-19. The Prime Minister said, people are at home during lockdown, but they are not alone as collective strength of entire country is with each one of them. In a video message yesterday, he urged the countrymen to switch off lights of 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. The Prime Minister said, the country has to move towards light from the darkness created by coronavirus.

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

The Prime Minister 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.

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Nationalist Congress Party MLA Rohit Pawar has welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal to citizens to light a lamp this Sunday. In a tweet, Pawar has said everyone should welcome the thought as the Prime Minister is aiming to bring the country together. 

Bollywood too has endorsed the idea and urged people to wholeheartedly carry out the task as one unit. Bollywood stars like Arjun Kapoor, Bhumi Pednekar and veteran actor Hema Malini took to twitter to support the initiative asking fans to stand united in this fight against Covid-19.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday. The two leaders discussed the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the response strategies adopted by their respective governments to the health crisis. The leaders explored possible collaboration between India and Israel in fighting the pandemic. It includes improving availability of pharmaceutical supplies and  innovative use of advanced technology. They agreed to maintain a focused channel of communication to explore such synergies.

Mr Netanyahu agreed with Prime Minister Modi that the COVID-19 pandemic is an important turning point in modern history. It offers an opportunity to forge a new vision of globalization focused on the shared interests of humanity as a whole.

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The Government has blacklisted  960 foreigners who participated in the Tabligi Jamaat in Nizammudin, Markaz, in New Delhi.  Briefing media yesterday, the Joint Secretary in Ministry of Home Affairs, Punya Salila Srivastava said  strict action will be taken against them under the provisions of Disaster Management Act and Foreigners Act. She said, deportation of these people will be made following the standard protocols. She said, blacklisting process has been started against those 360 people who participated in the Tabligi Jammat and returned to their countries. 

Ms. Srivastava said that all the DGPs and Police Commissioners have been told to take strict actions against the visa violators under the Disaster Management Act and Foreigners Act. She informed that two new helpline numbers have been added in addition to seven helplines. She said, the two new helpline numbers are 1930 which is an all India toll free number and 1944 which is launched for the North Eastern people.

Ms. Srivastava said that the Centre has asked the states to provide security to the health care professionals.

The Health and Family Welfare Ministry has urged all the citizens to download Aarogya Setu app as this will enable people to assess themselves of the risk for catching corona virus infection. This was stated by Joint Secretary Lav Aggarwal yesterday.

Mr. Agarwal said, Agriculture Ministry is promoting the e-NAM portal so that farmers can sell their products online to ensure social distancing. He said, as of now 585 mandis are linked with e-NAM and work is in progress to add 415 mandies in future.

Dr. Manoj from the Indian Council of Medical Reasearch has said that 182 laboratories have been given approval so far to conduct the corona virus testing. He said, out of these, 130 are government laboratories and 52 are private laboratories chains.

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In the wake of the Corona virus outbreak, the Union Health Ministry has placed an order of about 10 crore hydroxychloroquine tablets from various pharmaceutical companies for health care workers. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has suggested the use of hydroxychloroquine tablets only for health care workers and caregivers involved in the treatment and direct contact with the suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients.

For those COVID-19 patients who require Intensive Care Unit care, the Health Ministry has suggested the use of hydroxychloroquine tablets in combination with Azithromycin.

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Health Ministry has said that the number of COVID-19 cases climbed to two thousand five hundred forty seven in the country so far while the death toll rose to 62.

It said, the number of active COVID-19 cases stands at 2,322, while 162 people were either cured or discharged and one had migrated.

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

Dr. Nand Kumar, Professor of Psychiatry, AIIMS suggested that people should stay at home, spend time with family members and practice Yoga. 

"We are going to overcome this crisis within a few weeks. In the coming few weeks, stay at home, spend time with the family, do household works, exercise, listen to music, sing with the family, do yoga, meditation and take care of emotional need of the family and yourself."

Dr. Anvita Aggarwal, Resident Physician, Infectious Diseases, AIIMS advised the people not to be negligent and stay at their homes.

"Corona virus may be invisible but the number of people affected are very much visible. More than 4 lakh people have already been affected all over the world and the numbers are increasing from day today. Don't be negligent, please, stay at home."

For listening to other Experts, tune in to our next bulletin.

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The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued the 4th addendum to the guidelines issued regarding lock-down to fight COVID-19. It exempts shops of agricultural machinery and its spare parts.

The fourth addendum issued by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla yesterday, also exempted shops for truck repairs on highways, preferably at fuel pumps. Tea industry, including plantations with maximum 50 per cent workers has also been exempted.

The MHA said that social distancing and proper hygiene practices must be ensured in each of these activities.

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Home Minister Amit Shah has approved the release of 11 thousand 92 crore rupees under the State Disaster Risk Management Fund, SDRMF to all States. Prime Minister Narendra Modi  during his video conference meeting with the Chief Ministers on Thursday had assured them about it. The Centre has released in advance its share of first installment of State Disaster Risk Management Fund for the year 2020-21 with a view to augment funds available with the State Governments.

With a view to make available additional funds to the State Governments for taking preventive and mitigation measures for containment of COVID-19, the Centre on 14th March has already made a special dispensation for utilization of State Disaster Response Fund, SDRF.

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Finance Ministry has released 17 thousand 287 crore rupees to different States to enhance their financial resources during the COVID19 crisis. This includes 6 thousand 195 crore rupees on account of revenue deficit grant under 15th Finance Commission recommendations to 14 States.

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After falling for two weeks in a row, India’s foreign exchange reserves have surged by 5.65 billion dollars to 475.56 billion dollars in the week ended 27th of March.  A Reserve Bank of India press release informed that foreign currency assets, a major part of the overall reserves increased by 2.56 billion dollars to 439.66 billion dollars.

In the previous week, the reserves had declined by 11.98 billion dollars to 469.91 billion dollars. This happened as RBI was supplying dollars to contain fall in the rupee, which has breached the 76 mark against the US dollar. Gold reserves also increased by 3.03 billion dollars to 30.89 billion dollars. India's special drawing rights with the International Monetary Fund went up by 14 million dollars to 1.42 billion dollars. The country's reserve position also increased by 44 million dollars to 3.58 billion dollars.

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The Centre is taking  several measures to ensure smooth harvesting of Rabi Crop and sowing of summer crop. Department of Agriculture Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, conducted a video conference with all States and Insurance companies to review the payment of claims, status of Conduct of Crop Cutting Experiments, CCEs for Rabi crops, crop loss survey and implementation of Smart Sampling Technique, ensuring that the farmers do not suffer from any adverse fall out during the lockdown period.

For facilitating farm insurance, letters have been issued to all States to issue passes to representatives of concerned Insurance companies for co-witnessing Crop Cutting Experiments and to relax the norms for conducting field level survey for intimation received for Post-Harvest crop losses due to nonseasonal rainfall and hailstorm.

In lockdown period, Kisan Call Centres at all 21 locations are being operated by diverting calls to individual mobile numbers of Farm Tele Advisors, who are now operating from homes. All 454 KCC seats are being operated daily between 6 A.M. and 10 P.M. Call flow is about 15 thousand to 20 thousand per day.

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India will participate in the WHO's multi-country solidarity trial for developing potential treatments and drugs for COVID-19. This was informed by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) yesterday.

In India the trial will be coordinated by scientists at ICMR-National AIDS Research Institute, Pune.

The ICMR is also working with the department of bio-technology, department of science and technology and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 and diagnostic kits.

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As the country is fighting against COVID-19, the entire machinery of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas is working for smooth delivery of cooking gas to the citizens. A report from our correspondent --

"Over eight crore Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana beneficiaries will be given LPG cylinders free between April to June. Fifteen Port Terminals, 195 LPG bottling plants and transportation network are currently operating everyday despite lockdown and ensuring uninterrupted supplies of LPG in the country. Delivery boys and oil marketing company officials are doing commendable work in ensuring uninterrupted LPG supplies to all households. More than 60 lakh cylinders are being delivered everyday. Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry has advised officials to ensure that the delivery boys take all necessary health precautions. The announcement of the special ex-gratia of five lakh rupees for LPG delivery boys and others involved in the supply chain, has boosted the morale of the staff. With Dipendra Kumar, Anupam Mishra, AIR News, Delhi."

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Associations representing officers of Central Civil Services, including the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and the Indian Police Service (IPS), have formed an initiative called Caruna. An official informed yesterday that it aims to support and supplement the government's efforts in fighting the pandemic.

The acronym 'Caruna' stands for Civil Services Associations Reach to Support in Natural Disasters. It represents a collaborative platform, on which civil servants, industry leaders, NGO professionals and IT professionals among others have come together to contribute their time and abilities.

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The Election Commission has further deferred Rajya Sabha polls in view of COVID-19. Fresh date for the polls will be announced later.

The biennial elections were to be conducted for 18 seats from the States of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya and Rajasthan on 26th of March but they were deferred on 24th of last month due to COVID-19. 

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A Mumbai court yesterday rejected Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor’s interim bail plea. Kapoor sought bail on the ground that his prevailing medical condition puts him at the risk of contracting Corona virus infection in jail. He claimed to be suffering from chronic immunodeficiency syndrome, which causes recurrent lung, sinus and skin infections besides hypertension, anxiety and depression since the last 18 months.

Kapoor was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

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Bihar Government has taken decision to undertake screening  of over one lakh eighty thousand people again who had come  from outside after 22nd of March. A Report :

"During the first phase of screening, people who had come to Bihar from Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Delhi will be screened. Screening of people will be completed within six days. The District Magistrates have been instructed in this regard. Over 27 thousand migrant  labourers have been kept in home quarantine for 14 days. Three thousand two hundred quarantine centres have been made near  their villages. They will be kept in isolation ward if situation worsens. Activities of migrant labourers are being monitored to contain Corona virus infection. With KK LAl's report from Patna, Tanvi Khurana, Air News."

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In Madhya Pradesh, even though the incident of misbehaving with medical staff has tarnished the image of Indore, cleanest city of India people at large are appreciating the facilities being provided in the Quarantine Centre. The number of Corona- infected patients has increased to 154 in Madhya Pradesh. Indore has 112, the highest number of patients. So far, eight people have died due to Corona infection in the state. At the same time, patients recovering from Corona infection are also encouraging the common people. A Report:

"The people of the Muslim community in Indore, the worst-affected by the Corona infection in the state, have described the facilities being provided at the Quarantine Centre as better than home. They appealed to the Corona suspected persons to come to Quarantine Centre for treatment.

Shabbir Hussain Rangwala, who has fully recovered after the Corona infection says that isolation is the best treatment for Corona.

Earlier, the Shahar Kazis of Indore and Bhopal have also appealed to the people of the community to follow the government rules and fully cooperate during medical examination. Sanjeev Sharma, AIR News, Bhopal."

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In Maharashtra, total number of Corona virus cases has surged to 490 with 67 new cases reported yesterday. The State Public Health Department has informed that six people have died due to the disease during the past 24 hours taking the total toll to 26.

Mumbai continues to be the hotbed with 53 of these new cases reported from the Mumbai Metropolitan region. This figure includes 11 Central Industrial Security Force - CISF personnel based at Kharghar. It is suspected that they caught the infection while on duty at the Mumbai International Airport. More than hundred other officers stationed at the facility have been tested and have been advised home isolation.

An employee of Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport was also found to be Corona virus positive. The BEST Administration has said that it has shut the Transport Training Centre at Wadala where the employee had last reported. The building will now be sanitized while its staff members have been asked to remain home quarantined.

All the agencies including Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation are stepping up their efforts to fight the global pandemic. The Taj group has offered its service for the doctors fighting Covid-19 in Mumbai. The Maharashtra Government is also taking all necessary measures to help the poor and needy people in the state. More from our correspondent --

"The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation declared five hospitals as dedicated facilities for treatment of COVID-19 patients and another six as Isolation Centres yesterday. The BMC has also created Isolation Centres  to admit the patients below 60 years of age and  asymptomatic patients. Central Railway is also busy in converting the ICF coaches into isolation wards.  Meanwhile, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Chhagan Bhujbal has said that the State Government has distributed around 6.94 lakh quintals of food grains to 28.61 lakh ration card holders. He said, some 1.67 lakh card holders, who migrated but are struck in parts of the state due to the lockdown, have also got food grains through the state's online portability system. Shailesh Patil, AIR News, Mumbai."

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In Gujarat, two persons died due to COVID-19 yesterday including one each in Vadodara and Ahmedabad. The total number of deaths in the state due to Corona virus infection has now reached to ten. The State Health Department said, 95 cases had been confirmed in the state so far.

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In Haryana, a total of 44 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported so far which include 14 people who were cured and discharged from hospitals. The total number of active positive cases in the state is 30. 383 persons have been hospitalized in the state and report of 343 persons is awaited.

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In Himachal Pradesh, the State Government would involve Panchyat Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies to identify those persons who have a travelling history from outside the state in order to fight against COVID-19. A Report

"8,000 teams have been working under Active case finding campaign and gathering information regarding people having symptoms of COVID- 19. Chief Minister Jairam Thakur directed the officers to ensure that ACF teams had been provided safety equipment, masks and gloves so that they could perform their duties efficiently and without any fear. Meanwhile, all concerned officers of Himachal Pradesh have been directed to keep close watch on persons of Nizamuddin Tablighi Jamaat. It may be recalled that so far 296 persons had been investigated in the state for Corona virus, of them six cases have been found positive. Sanjeev Sundriyal, AIR News, Shimla."

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Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa congratulated the COVID-19 frontline warriors yesterday for their outstanding work in containing the Corona virus pandemic in the state. He informed that safety of health workers is of utmost importance and State Government has ordered three lakh personal protection equipment. Karnataka Primary and Secondary Education Minister Suresh Kumar has informed that 288 people who returned after attending Tablighi Jamaat in Delhi have been identified till now. Of them, 187 were found negative of Corona infection, 13 are positive and 88 test results are awaited. More from our Correspondent --

"The State Government has set up a committee to coordinate with industry, corporate sectors, NGOs and Civil Society for seeking any assistance from them towards combating COVID-19. In an effort to help citizens staying at home during Lockdown, Bangaluru South Member of Parliament Tejasvi Surya and other BJP legislators have started a helpline for residents to order any essential commodities. The items will reach the homes of such people. Sudhindra, AIR News, Bengaluru."

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In Telangana, 75 new cases tested positive for Corona virus yesterday. It was the highest number of reported positive cases in a single day till now. With this, the total COVID-19 cases in the state rose to 229. The State Government has informed that all people who attended Tablighi event in Delhi and their family members with Corona-suspected Symptoms have been identified. More from our Correspondent:

"The entire focus of the state authorities is presently on identifying people with COVID-19 symptoms and provide them treatment at the earliest and ensuring people of all sections with essential commodities and services during the Lockdown. The state authorities are making all out efforts for proper implementation of the total Lockdown to prevent community transmission of the virus. Special teams of police and health workers initiated a massive look out for identifying contacts following death of a 50-year old woman who was tested positive for Corona virus after death. She had no travel history and possible contact with those who travelled. Now, the medical tests are being done to the four tenants in her house and travelled in train from Delhi. The special teams have fanned out in Shadnagar of Ranga Reddy district and neighbouring Mahabubanagar district to rule out possibility of community transmission. So far no case of community transmission came to light in Telangana state. Lakshmi, AIR News, Hyderabad."

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Andhra Pradesh has reported its first death of a 55-year old man due to COVID-19. His samples tested positive. It was the first death of Corona patient in the State after the first case was reported on 12th of March. According to the Health Bulletin, the deceased’s son had returned to Vijayawada from New Delhi, after attending the religious congregation at  Markaz Nizamuddin.

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In the country’s COVID-19 patients chart, Tamil Nadu tops with 411 cases as 102 people tested positive last evening. Seven of them have been discharged after cure and the remaining are stable, as said by the State Health Department. Among all districts in the state, Chennai has the maximum caseload with 81 patients followed by Dindigul district with about half the number. Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswamy has warned that those who defy the lockdown norms will be subjected to stringent actions. More from our correspondent --

"Reducing human interactions with COVID-19 patients and nourishing them with nutritious food is an important strategy in the disease management across the globe. Robots prove to be of immense help in routine works. The Tamil Nadu Health Minister Dr C Vijayabhaskar inaugurated three such robots at the Stanley Medical College Hospital in Chennai yesterday. They are being operated by trained nurses. He said, five more such robots will be put to use in Trichy shortly. Donations received from philanthropists for the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund has crossed 62.3 crore rupees within days of the government making an appeal. Jayasingh, AIR News, Chennai."

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In Meghalaya, the State Government has taken measures to ensure preparedness for any eventuality including preparing for surge capacity even as it is working on a three-pronged pre-emptive strategy.

The state is now equipped with 293 beds in the Corona Centres at Shillong and Tura, with a total number of 458 isolation beds in 70 hospitals across the state which can admit COVID-19 patients. Civil Hospital, Shillong and Tura Civil Hospital have been notified as Dedicated Hospitals for focused treatment of persons infected with the highly contagious COVID-19.

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The FIFA Under-17 Women's World Cup, which was scheduled to be played in India between November 2 and 21, has been postponed due to the pandemic. In a statement, FIFA said, the new dates for the tournament will be identified later.

The decision was taken by the FIFA-Confederations working group in its first meeting held yesterday. The working group also postponed FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup which was scheduled between August and September in Panama and Costa Rica. The working group has been recently established by the FIFA Council to address the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Under-17 Women's World Cup was scheduled to be played in India across five host cities - Navi Mumbai, Guwahati, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Bhubaneswar.

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Newspapers Headlines

  • The Prime Minister's message to switch off lights and light diyas at 9 pm on Sunday, is carried on the front pages of most dailies.  In a box item, The Pioneer writes that opposition leaders have criticised the Prime Minister's speech, saying they expected him to announce a second financial package.  BJP Chief, J P Nadda is quoted in The Times of India as saying that the opposition is displaying their "ideoloical Bankruptcy".

  • India's cases hit 3,000; two die in Delhi, is the top story in Hindustan Times

  • The Indian Express headline states, "Tablighi spread grows larger: 647 cases across 14 states".  A news item in The Pioneer reveals that nearly 9,000 people who attended the congregation have been traced across 14 states in India.

  • Hindustan Times quotes Central Pollution Control Board data that proves that the lockdown has left the Ganga cleaner.

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