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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


Midday News

1400 HRS
04.04.2020

THE HEADLINES

  • Centre taking several measures to ensure smooth harvesting of Rabi Crop and sowing of summer crop.

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

  • Efforts are on across the States to implement Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojna to help the poor during this ongoing crisis.

  • Government issues order to make domiciles of Jammu and Kashmir eligible for all government posts in Union Territory.

  • And, World Food Programme says, COVID-19 has little impact on global food supply chain so far.

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The Center is taking several measures to ensure smooth harvesting of Rabi Crop and sowing of summer crop in order to ensure that 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. Phytosanitary certification for export consignments and Import releases of plant and plant products are continuing. For providing support to horticulture crops necessary coordination is being done with growers, aggregators, wholesalers, mandi associations, and State Horticulture Missions, for smooth transport of the commodities and to sort out all difficulties. 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. The call flow is about 15,000 to 20,000 per day. With Bhupendra Singh, Suparna Saikia, AIR News, Delhi."

 

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The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued the 4th addendum to the guidelines issued regarding lockdown to fight COVID-19, to exempt shops of agricultural machinery and its spare parts.   The fourth addendum issued by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla exempted shops for truck repairs on highways, preferably at fuel pumps as well as the tea industry, including plantations with maximum 50 per cent workers. The MHA said that social distancing and proper hygiene practices must be ensured in each of these activities.

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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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The Directorate of Indian Systems of Medicine (ISM), J&K after consultation with the Advisor Ayurveda, Ministry of AYUSH, GoI, started supplying available AYUSH drugs to all health workers, quarantine centres, old age homes, PRIs through AYUSH doctors deployed in the state for management of COVID-19 activities. The step was taken after the LG, G C Murmu had issued directions for providing AYUSH drugs beneficial for self-care/preventive health measures and boosting immunity for management of COVID-19 pandemic to all health workers, quarantine centres, old age homes, PRIs etc. These AYUSH drugs are helpful for prevention and symptom management of COVID-19 like illnesses and add-on interventions to the conventional care. 

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As the country is fighting against COVID-19, the entire machinery of the 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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The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-Institute of Microbial Technology has stepped up its effort to take up Covid-19 sample testing. Director of IMTECH, Chandigarh, Dr. Sanjeev Khosla said, the initiative of Indian Council of Medical Research to involve all government accredited labs is a welcome step and will be a game changer in testing of Covid-19 samples. He said, this would increase the testing rate.

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In the wake of growing Novel Corona virus cases in the country, the Health and Family Welfare Ministry has issued several advisories for the people to contain the spread of COVID-19. These advisories stress on several preventive measures like social distancing, personal hygiene and restriction of mass gatherings. A report:-

"People should avoid participating in large gatherings. If a person is experiencing cough and fever he/she should avoid close contact with others. People are advised not to touch their eyes, nose and mouth without cleaning their hands. Spitting in public places should be avoided. All the persons should practice frequent handwashing with soap and water or use alcohol based hand rub. In case of fever, difficult in breathing and cough, a doctor should be consulted immediately. Swati Rakheja, News desk.

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A total of 601 new confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported in last 24 hours taking the total numbers of confirmed cases to two thousand 902 in the country. Health and Family Welfare Ministry said 12 deaths have been reported in the last twenty four hours taking the toll to 68 across the India. A total of 184 patients have recovered.

Yesterday, Joint Secretary in Health and Family Welfare Ministry, Lav Agarwal said that during the last two days, 647 confirmed cases from 14 states have been reported from those who participated in the Tablighi Jamaat in Nizamuddin, Markaz, New Delhi. He said, these cases have surged the numbers of confirmed cases in the country.

Joint Secretary in Ministry of Home Affairs, Punya Salila Srivastava said that strict action will be taken against 960 foreigners who participated in the Tablighi Jamaat under the provisions of Disaster Management Act and Foreigners Act. She said, deportation of these people will be done as per the standard protocol. She said, blacklisting process has been started against those 360 people who have participated in the Tablighi Jamaat and returned to their countries.

Dr. Manoj from Indian Council of Medical Research 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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A total of 386 positive cases of COVID-19 have been registered in Delhi. Health and Family Welfare Ministry has confirmed that out of these, eight patients have recovered whereas six deaths have been reported so far. Delhi Health Minister, Satyendra Jain has said that 259 people who have been tested positive participated in the Tablighi Jamaat, Nizamuddin Markar, Delhi.

Nizamuddin Markaz has 67 per cent contribution in total COVID-19 positive figures reported in the capital so far.

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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 tomorrow 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.

In a tweet, Mr Modi shared a video of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee reciting the poem - Aao Phir Se Diya Jalayein.

Citizens are advised not to use alcohol based sanitizers while lighting diyas and candles tomorrow at 9 PM as it is inflammable.

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Union Health and Family Welfare Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan today visited the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital, New Delhi to assess the preparedness to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Yesterday, the Minister visited Ram Manohar Lohia and Safdarjung Hospitals to take stock of arrangements made to tackle the COVID 19 cases.

He praised the efforts of doctors, nurses, hospital management and sanitation staff saying that they are working tirelessly to provide urgent relief to the patients.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan has expressed his concern over misbehaviour with the health care professionals and urged people not to create hindrances in the duties performed by these health care professionals.

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In the wake of growing Novel Corona virus cases in the country, the Health and Family Welfare Ministry has issued several advisories for the people to contain the spread of COVID-19. These advisories stress on several preventive measures like social distancing, personal hygine and restriction of mass gatherings. A report:-

"People should avoid participating in large gatherings. If a person is experiencing cough and fever he/she should avoid close contact with others. People are advised not to touch their eyes, nose and mouth without cleaning their hands. Spitting in public places should be avoided. All the persons should practice frequent handwashing with soap and water or use alcohol based hand rub. In case of fever, difficult in breathing and cough, a doctor should be consulted immediately. Swati Rakheja, News desk."

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In our series "Expert Speak" on All India Radio we bring you the views of leading medical experts on COVID-19.   Dr. Randeep Guleria, Director, AIIMS suggested that at this time, there is nothing better than staying at home to curb the spread of  COVID-19 infection.

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Efforts are on across the States to implement Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojna to help the poor people during this ongoing crisis. Various banks in Tamil Nadu have started disbursal of funds for Covid-19 prevention and awareness activities.

Lead bank authorities in Thanjavoor have clarified that Rs 500.00 will be credited to each Jan Dhan Yojana account holder under the Gareeb Kalyan Yojana. They said that the current month's installment will be disbursed till April 9th.

The bank authorities have requested Jan Dhan Yojana account holders to follow all social distancing norms while collecting the amount. Under the Gareeb Kalyan Yojana, Rs 500.00 will be credited into Jan Dhan yojana accounts in May and June months also.

LG Advisor Umang Narula has reviewed the implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Gharib Kalyan Package in Union Territory Ladakh, on Friday in Leh. Advisor issued instructions to plan the distribution in a staggered manner in co-ordination with the police department.

Divisional commissioner Saugat Biswas informed that, in Ladakh, all Antyodaya Ann Yojana and Priority House Hold beneficiaries will be provided additional 5kg Rice per person free of cost upto June. Additionally, one kilogram pulses per household will also be provided every month. He also instructed the Deputy Commissioners to start stocking up of the fair price shops of Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs with adequate food grains from the respective FCI stores.

Mr Umang stated that Direct Benefit Transfers will be made under the Pradhan Mantri Gharib Kalyan Yojna and instructed the District Magistrates to work out modalities for staggering of payments to the beneficiaries to ensure social distancing. He also advised banks to provide door to door payment to the beneficiaries in areas where banks are not available. He asked Director Social Welfare to ensure that the old aged, divyangs and the widows should not suffer due to the current restrictions.

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Uttar Pradesh government is contemplating to provide two masks each to each and every citizen of the state. Today in a meeting with higher officials, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that no person should be allowed to go outside without masks during the period of Lock Down once they have received the masks.

AIR correspondent reports that chief minister also gave strict orders the District Magistrates in state to ensure timely availability of food to the needy people.

"Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has said that food should reach timely to those people who have taken shelter or where administration is proving food to the needy people. He said that it is the responsibility of District Magistrates to implement the time table of Lunch and dinner. He instructed that lunch should reach between 10AM to 2PM and dinner between 6 to 8 PM to the needy people other action will be taken against the officials. State government is also thinking to provide 2 masks each to every citizen of state. These triple layer masks will be made from Khadi and people can was them after use. People in rural areas are also advised to cover their faces with the help of Gamcha or small cotton sheet. Sushil Chandra Tiwari, AIR News, Lucknow."

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Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh, RK Tiwari has said that state is fully prepared to deal with any situation related to the spread of COVID-19 and have all the preparations related to the availability of bed and ventilators.

Talking exclusively to AIR Lucknow Correspondent, Sushil Chandra Tiwari, Chief secretary said that state now have 3 tier category of hospitals and more than 6 thousand beds. 

Chief Secretary said that the spread of COVID-19 in state was initially at level 2 but now due to the spread by members of Tabligi Jamaat the number of patients has increased, but it will be controlled.

On the issue of misbehaviour with health workers and attack on police teams, Chief Secretary said that National Security Act will be imposed on such people.

Mr, Tiwari  also appeal through the network of All India Radio to the people of state to cooperate with the government and follow the lockdown.

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In Gujarat, ten fresh cases of Covid-19 were confirmed today. With this, the total number of Covid 19 cases in the state has gone up to 105. One death was also reported in the state today. A report from our correspondent

"State Health Department informed media that ten fresh cases reported today include 5 from Ahmedabad, 2 each from Bhavnagar and Gandhinagar while one from Patan. Principal Secretary of Department of Health, Dr Jayanti Ravi said one 67 years old lady who was tested positive for Covid 19 died in Ahmedabad today. She said so far 10 deaths have been reported from the state due to Covid 19. Ahmedabad remains the hotspot for Covid 19, as more than 40 percent of the total cases were reported from Ahmedabad only. Meanwhile, four Covid 19 patients were discharged today after full recovery. Aparna  Khunt , AIR News , Ahmedabad."

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Coronavirus cases in Maharashtra have surged to 537 with 47 new cases reported today. Mumbai has become the Covid-19 hotspot with the most 28 new cases.  The Maharashtra government is also taking all necessary measures to help the poor and needy people and streamline the supply of essential and non essential items 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.  Kasturba, St George, Seven Hills, Saifee and Nanavati Hospital will work as dedicated COVID-19 hospitals.The Civic body issued SOP’s for the treatment of Covid-19 patients and decided to admit the patients above 60 years in the dedicated hospitals on priority basis. While the other patients below 60 years of age and  asymptomatic patients will be kept at the isolation centers at Nagpada, Bandra, Andheri, Powai and Shivaji Nagar. The Taj group has also joined hands with BMC and has made special arrangements in the luxurious hotel for the doctors engaged in the Covid-19 treatment. Central railway is also busy in converting the ICF coaches into isolation wards at two workshops in Parel and Matunga.  Meanwhile, the state government is ensuring the food and vegetable supply to the prominent cities including Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur. The government is also making the arrangements to supply the vegetables and fruits to retail sellers.  Shailesh Patil, AIR News, Mumbai."

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In Madhya Pradesh, the State Government has issued directives that orders, correspondence and approvals issued through official e-mails should be considered valid.  As per the order issued by the General administration department it is stated that the order and approvals issued through official e-mails will be considered valid till 15th of April. More from our correspondent:

"The number of corona infected patients has increased to 154 in Madhya Pradesh. Indore has 112, the highest number of patients. So far 9 people have died due to corona infection in the state. A 36-year-old government employee died today. He had tested positive for coronavirus in Chhindwara town . Meanwhile, a London-returned woman, who was the first person to test coronavirus positive in Bhopal, and her journalist father, also a COVID-19 patient, have been discharged from a hospital on Friday after their repeat samples tested negative. Sanjeev Sharma, AIR News, Bhopal."

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Bihar Government has started screening of over one lakh eighty thousand people again, who had come from outside after 22nd of March. Chief Secretary Deepak Kumar said that this decision has been taken in view to stop spread of Corona virus infection at Community level. Mr Kumar said, there will be further investigation in case of any symptoms.  A report:-

"During the first phase, people who had come to Bihar from Maharashtra are being screened . In second phase, people from Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Delhi will be screened. Screening of people will be completed within six days . Suspected persons will be sent for isolation .The District Magistrates have been instructed in this regard. Screening of people who had come from foreign countries had already been completed. 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 K K Lal's report from Patna, Vasundhra, AIR News."

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In Assam, the first Covid-19 positive case has been reported in Guwahati. Officials in the National Health Mission said that the building where the patient stays has been sealed and family members are also put in isolation. Health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that a total of 25 Covid-19 positive cases have been reported in Assam so far. Till yesterday, 4 thousand 261 persons completed observation period of 28 days. Health department has tested 1 thousand 267 samples.

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In Mizoram, the state government has decided to disburse Rs. 118.55 lakhs from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund in the fight against COVID-19. The decision was taken at a meeting of the Committee on utilization of Chief Minister's relief fund at Aizawl yesterday. Also, Chief Minister Zoramthanga made an appeal to people to donate funds to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund to combat the deadly Coronavirus. He said anyone can easily contribute to it and there are no taxes imposed against such donations. Besides, Rs. 23.65 lakhs will be given to the 67 orphanages, rehabilitation centres and various homes functioning in different parts of the state.

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In Karnataka, 128 COVID-19 positive cases are confirmed till now with 11 discharges and four deaths. The fourth death was reported from Bagalkote yesterday. Briefing media persons in Bengaluru today, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa has informed that there is sufficient stock of foodgrains in the state and ration shops are asked to supply provisions to even those poor who do not have ration cards.

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The Central government has put out an advisory on ‘Minding our Minds’ during the COVID-19 Pandemic enforced lock-down. It has advised people to involve themselves in creative activities to cope with emotions or boredom during the lockdown. Our Bengaluru Correspondent has sent this story on how children are dealing with their time during the lockdown. More from our Correspondent:

"The schools are shut and all out of home activities and social interactions have stopped. Keeping kids engaged with creative activities that they find interesting is tough. There are some taking music lessons using You Tube. Several digital platforms such as BrainPop, Duo Lingo, Khan Academy are popular among Indian parents for kids to learn a new language, skill or knowledge. One such company offering educational films on learning Maths online is Byjus. Its Chief Content Officer M R Vinay has spoken on how the platform is helping kids caught up with lock-down.

Such platforms are helping children with lot of spare time to engage in learning activities and cope up with the lock-down boredom. Sudhindra AIR news Bengaluru."

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In an extremely proud moment for Kerala, the elderly couple, aged 93 and 88-year old, were discharged yesterday as they completely recovered from the COVID-19 infection. They are India's oldest COVID-19 survivors.  

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People across the country are following government's appeal to stay in their homes during the lock down period. To deal with the present situation, people are engaging themselves in different activities like completing their household chores, playing indoor games, reading books, doing gardening and pursuing their hobbies. We spoke to a couple of people who shared how they are utilising their time during the lockdown.

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The World Food Programme (WFP) has said that rapidly growing novel coronavirus pandemic is so far having little impact on the global food supply chain, but that could change for the worse if major food importers remain anxious. The UN agency said global markets for basic cereals are well-supplied and prices are generally low.

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Vice President, M. Venkaiah Naidu complimented IIT-Roorkee and a start-up at IIT-Hyderabad’s incubation center for developing low-cost portable ventilators called Prana-Vayu and Jeevan Lite. In a tweet today, he said, such innovative solutions are the need of the hour to combat COVID-19 pandemic.

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The Government has issued an order to make domiciles of Jammu and Kashmir eligible for all government posts in the Union Territory. Ministry for Home Affairs has issued the order for making necessary changes in the laws to facilitate the application of central laws to the newly formed union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

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