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Last Updated : May 29 2020 5:03PM     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


News at Nine

2030 HRS
23.05.2020
THE HEADLINES:-
  • Railways to run two thousand 600 more Shramik Special Trains over the next ten days to ferry 36 lakh migrant workers back home.
  • Domestic flights to resume from Monday; All flights from Delhi to operate from termial 3.
  • Lockdown brings down Coronavirus doubling rate from three days to over 13 days.
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says, Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan seeks to create sustainable demand base by augmenting employment opportunities.
  • Mauritius thanks India for sending medicines and 14-member medical team to fight COVID-19. 
  • And, NDRF deploys 10 additional teams in West Bengal in the wake of Cyclone Amphan.

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Railways has decided to operationalise two thousand 600 more Shramik Special Trains in the next ten days across the country. This initiative is expected to benefit 36 lakh stranded passengers. Addressing media in a press briefing in New Delhi, Railway Board Chairman, V K Yadav, informed that , over 45 lakh people have returned to their native places, since 1st of May, through the Shramik Special Trains. Railways started running Shramik Special trains to move migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons stranded at different places due to lock down.
       
Shramik special trains are being run from point to point on the request of both the concerned State Governments. The Railways and State Governments have appointed senior officials as Nodal Officers for coordination and smooth operation of these Shramik Specials. Mr. Yadav also informed that the Railways will further make arrangements for more of such trains as in when requests are received from the state and district authorities.
   
Railways had run two thousand 600 Shramik Special Trains in last 23 days and around 36 lakh stranded migrants have been transported till now to their home States. Apart from Shramik Special Trains, Railways Ministry has started 15 pairs of Special Trains from 12th of this month and announced 200 train services to be started from 1st of next month.
Railways has transported more than 97 lakh tonnes of foodgrains between 1st April and 22nd May this year. Railways has ensured availability of essential commodities like foodgrains through its freight services during the nationwide lockdown due to COVID-19. Railway Board Chairman V K Yadav said, more than three thousand 255 parcel trains have been run to transport essential items like medical supplies and equipments, food items, milk and dairy.

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Domestic airline operations are set to resume from airports in a graded manner from the 25th of May. Speaking exclusively to AIR News , Chairman of Airport Authority of India, Arvind Singh, said that Airports in the country are fully prepared for the flight operations starting from Monday. He informed that all arrangement has been made at the airports to ensure contactless boarding and prevent any chances of contagion.The Chairman said, commercial passenger flights at the Delhi airport will initially operate from Terminal 3.

The Home Ministry had on the 20th of this month amended the guidelines on lockdown measures to fight COVID-19, to facilitate domestic air travel. A report:- 

Delhi International Airport Limited today said that all flights will be operating from Terminal 3. Entry gates, self check-in machines and check-in bays will be allocated to airlines to avoid overcrowding by air travellers at the airport. Passengers of Vistara and IndiGo would enter the airport through gates 1 and 2 only. Air Asia and Air India passengers will use entry gates 3 and 4. Spicejet and GoAir passengers will enter through Gate number 5. From clean personal spaces, sanitised washrooms to UV technology enabled disinfection machines, Delhi airport is doing everything possible to keep passengers safe. All arrangements have been made to ensure that there is touchless boarding of passengers. Food, beverage and retail shops will be open to avoid overcrowding at one place. Flight services were cancelled from 25th of March due to the lockdown and are resuming after a gap of two months. Suparna Saikia, AIR News, Delhi.

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Under the Vande Bharat mission a flight is arriving at Bengaluru with 177 passengers stranded in Dubai. After its arrival in Bengaluru International airport at 9:30 tonight, the passengers will undergo contactless procedure for immigration and baggage collection. The airport authorities have introduced contactless protocol at the airport. More from our Correspondent -
   
"Bengaluru International airport has introduced innovative contactless procedures to minimise physical contact due to the pandemic. The Managing Director and CEO of Bengaluru Airport Hari Marar has said that all airport staff including security personnel wear protective gear. Across the terminal bio-waste collection bins are placed so that passengers can dispose their used mask and other personal protective equipment. Frequent sanitisation and disinfection of baggage and trolleys, and fumigation of the Terminal is being done for safe travel. All touch-points are sanitised regularly at a predetermined schedule. Touch-free hand sanitisers have been placed across the Terminal for the safety of passengers. Seating across Terminal, including at Food outlets, has been rearranged and marked in a manner that promotes maintaining a safe distance. Sudhindra AIR News Bengaluru"

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Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh today announced 14 days compulsory home quarantine for anyone coming to the state by train, domestic flight or by bus. The Chief Minister said, although Punjab is posting the highest recovery rate of 90% in the country, he is not complacent.
Addressing the people through a Facebook Live event titled "#AskCaptain"  he said, rapid testing teams would check on the home quarantined persons while those found symptomatic would have to undergo thorough testing in hospitals/isolation centres. He said that the state government would not rely on any certificates of testing from anywhere else.
He cited Punjab’s experience with those who came from Maharashtra and Rajasthan, as well as the most recent case of Dubai, from where Punjabis coming back had tested positive despite carrying medical certificates showing them to be negative.

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Government got into action to help stranded migrant workers as soon as COVID 19 hit India. Briefing media in New Delhi, the Home Ministry official said that the Centre released advisory on 27th March to check movement of migrant workers and to provide them with shelters, food packets, food grains, and essential items. She said detailed advisories were sent to states and Union Territories to check possibilities of rumour mongering regarding shortage of food and essential commodities through publicity. She said special attention is to be paid to food, shelter and education and sanitation in the relief camps and food camps.

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The Government has said that the decision of nationwide lockdown has helped contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country. In a press briefing by the Health Ministry, Dr. V K Paul, Chairman of one of the empowered groups formed for handling COVID related matters, said, the doubling rate of Covid-19 cases was 3.4 days when the lockdown was started and it is now at 13.3 days. He said, the lockdown proved gainful in terms of preparedness. He said that 80 per cent of the novel corona virus cases are concentrated in primarily the five states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh.
Mr. Paul informed that Covid-19 specific health infrastructure was created, testing capacity was increased, healthcare workers gained experience and confidence to fight with the virus due to the nationwide lockdown.

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Health Secretary Preeti Sudan today interacted with eleven municipal areas which have high case load of Covid-19. These 11 municipal areas are from Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Rajasthan. During the meeting, it was pointed out that the focus needs to be on prevention through active screening of high risk and vulnerable population and groups. It was also pointed out that testing needs to be stepped up in some municipal areas to ensure early detection of cases, timely clinical management and a reduction in the fatality rate. They also need to be mindful of ramping up the health infrastructure to ensure preparedness for the next two months with special focus on isolation beds with oxygen, ventilators and ICU beds. The measures taken and best practices followed by the municipal corporations for the management of COVID-19 cases were also discussed.
The Health Ministry said, a total of 51 thousand 783 people have been cured. In the last 24 hours, three thousand 250 patients were cured. The Ministry said, the total recovery rate has reached to 41.39 per cent. The total number of confirmed cases is over one lakh 25 thousand.

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Indian Council of Medical Research, ICMR has said that consuming the anti malarial drug- Hydroxychloroquine reduces the chances of getting infected with corona virus. ICMR has issued the revised advisory on the use of Hydroxychloroquine. The Joint Monitoring Group including experts from top research bodies and hospitals reviewed the prophylactic use of Hydroxychloroquine in the context of expanding it to healthcare and other front line workers deployed in non-Covid and Covid areas, respectively. The National Task force constituted by ICMR for Covid-19, also reviewed the use of Hydroxychloroquine for prophylaxis of corona virus infection for high risk population based on the emerging evidence on its safety and efficacy.

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The Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan stimulus package of 20 lakh crore aims at providing the required relief to every sector under stress. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while interacting with BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli on social media platform informed that government has instructed all Public Sector Banks to start disbursal of collateral free loans through the automatic route. She said, the series of announcements under the scheme also aim at creating a strong foundation for a hassle free economic operation throughout the country. Finance minister said, long pending issues of sectoral reforms have also been addressed.
Responding to a query regarding the fiscal outlay under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, Ms Sitharaman said, the economic stimulus is not only restricted to handing out immediate cash to people but is also aimed at creating a sustainable demand base by augmenting employment opportunities. Finance Minister said that Reserve Bank of India has also taken timely decisions to extend relief on market borrowing and moratoriums on loans. She said these decisions will ensure affordable liquidity in the market.

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Finance Ministry has denied media reports claiming that the central government is considering a calamity cess on GST to tide over the economic crisis in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic. Source in the Finance Ministry said, that in the present economic scenario in COVID-19 pandemic, any purported proposal of introducing a calamity cess would be nothing less than an adversity itself. The source said, any such measure will further dampen the consumer sentiments and could weaken markets’ strength, especially when the Government is endeavouring its best to boost consumption. The Ministry said, none of the countries, developed or developing, have increased taxes to counter economic impacts of Covid-19.

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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswamy has said there is no community transmission of Covid-19 so far in the state. Talking to reporters in Salem today, he said the disease spread has been reported more in dense pockets. He said sharp focus is being given in such areas to accelerate the disease preventive measures. Answering a query, he said he is in favour of bringing people stranded in other states and abroad after the situation stabilises in the state.
Meanwhile, in Tamil Nadu, the Covid-19 tally has surged past the 15-thousand five hundred mark with 759 people turning positive today. Five patients died of the disease today taking the toll to 103 in the state so far. More from our correspondent:-
   
"The slew of measures to ease the lockdown restrictions by the Union Government in rural areas have begun paying rich dividends. The wheels of rural industries have started rolling in full steam, as seen in the deeply rural Dharmapuri district in Tamil Nadu. In the arid region, brick kilns and certain small scale textile units dot the landscape besides the vast rain-fed agricultural lands. A brick kiln owner at the Manjahalli village in the district, Mr Shanumgham has said, the recent economic package announced as part of the Atma Nirbhar Bharat initiative to the micro, small and medium industry is set to add steam to the kilns industry. He said, as they were deprived of business for about two months, investment is very much required to revive them and the economic package would come to their aid. With inputs from Dharmapuri Dhandapani, Jayasingh, AIR News, Chennai."

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The Telangana state government has announced schedules for exams which were postponed due to nation-wide Lockdown. Exams will be held for the 10th standard from June 8th onwards. The Government also released the schedule for Common Entrance Tests for admission into various graduation courses of higher education including Engineering, Veterinary and Medicine. They will be held from July 1st to 16th in line with the UGC guidelines. A report from Our Correspondent:
   
"Telangana state has begun implementing several relaxations for business and other sectors during the lock down 4.0 which will continue till the end of this month. Though the educational institutes are yet to get permission for reopening, the government is going ahead with conducting exams for students at various levels. The board exams will be held for 10th standard students from 8th of next month with the state High Court giving its nod. State Education Minister, Sabita Indrareddy today announced the schedule for conducting Common Entrance Tests for admissions into various courses at graduation level. They will be held from 1st -16th July in line with the UGC guidelines. However, the educational institutes have not yet given permission for reopening and most of the institutions are holding on-line classes for their students.-Lakshmi, airnews, Hyderabad"

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Kerala continues to report surge in Covid 19  cases, with 62  positive cases being confirmed today. A report.

The state reported the biggest spike in COVID-19 cases in a single day today with  62  new cases, out of which 49 people are returnees from abroad and other States. The total active cases in Kerala rose to 277.515 people had  recovered from the disease so far.Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that there is no community spread in the State till now. He said  that  there exist no fear  in the the return of Keralites from outside the state, as the State is prepared to deal with the situation and that the Government also trust that the returnees will  adhere to the norms to avoid contact spreading of the pandemic. Chief Minister clarified this during his appearance on "Twitter town hall" today through which he interacted with Keralaites across globe.

Meanwhile under the Vande Bharat mission, 5 flights are carrying expatriates from Gulf regions to Kerala today.Flight from Muscat to kochi and Dubai to  Thiruvananthapuram arrived short while ago. Three more flights, from Abu dhabi to Kannur, Dubai to  kozhikode and Muscat to Thiruvananthapuram is scheduled to arrive soon. Mayusha for AIR News from Thiruvananthpuram

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Sikkim’s first COVID19 case was reported today. At a press conference in Gangtok this evening, Director General cum secretary of state health department Dr Pempa T Bhutia informed that the person diagnosed with the infection is a South Sikkim-based 25-year-old returnee from Delhi. The person reached Sikkim on 19th May on a bus from the national capital. A report:-

"Director General cum secretary of health Dr Pempa T Bhutia informed that the infected person was initially quarantined at a facility in Ravangla, South Sikkim. The result of the sample from North Bengal Medical College was received today afternoon. Dr Bhutia provided more details speaking to AIR:

The person is asymptomatic as of now and will be kept in the isolation centre at New STNM hospital, Sochaygyang near Gangtok.  All persons who came in contact with the infected including doctors and nurses will be quarantined and tested further. With Saikat Sarkar, Parijat Sharma from Gangtok for AIR News.

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In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir,  people in Kashmir continued to stay indoors and avoided holding any religious congregation connected with Shabe-Qadr and Jumat-ul-Vida due to the coronavirus pandemic. People are strictly adhering to social distancing norms and other government guidelines issued from time-to-time in an effort to prevent the spread of virus. More from our Srinagar Correspondent.

"Due to COVID-19 situation,  there were no congregational prayers held in Srinagar on the occasion of Jumat-ul-Vida, which is the last Friday of the holy month of Ramazan.  People continued to stay indoors as was advised to them by religious clerics as well as government authorities in an effort to  prevent the spread of cornavirus pandemic. The Masjids and Shrines including Dargah Hazratbat and Jamia Masjid in old city areas of Srinagar city remained locked for the devotees as a precautionary measure in the wake of coranavirus pandemic. However, amid lockdown,  authorities eased restrictions in certain areas where markets opened and people were seen buying the essentials ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr." This is Sunil Koul for AIR News from Srinagar.

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In view of the alarming rise of Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra making it the worst affected state in the country the state is receiving aid and support from various corners comprising of common citizens, corporate and even celebrities. Maharashtra Chief Minister Mr. Uddhav Thackeray has received an overwhelming response from the people of the state to render their services to combat the novel corona virus outbreak. As many as 21,752 people of the state agreed to render their services to the state in various capacities to the CM’s call to join the force of Covid Yoddhas in the state. A report:-
   
"In another support to the govt in fighting the pandemic,engineering firm Tata Projects on Saturday said it is augmenting hospital infrastructure with 2,304 beds at multiple locations across India to treat COVID-19 patients. Tata Projects is also turning a large section of  Mumbai based KEM Hospital's orthopaedic centre into a 115-bed isolation centre besides setting up a 72-bed isolation facility at HBT Trauma Center at Jogeshwari in suburban Mumbai. The company is assisting with project management for a 300-bed isolation facility at Seven Hills Hospital in Marol, Mumbai. The company is also providing various expensive medical equipments including ventilators, pulse oximeters, etc.  Besides, Bollywood actor Sonu Sood received praises from Maharashtra minister Jayant Patil for arranging buses for migrant workers desirous of returning to their homes. Devapriyo Bhattacharjee, AIR News Mumbai"

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 Minority Affairs Minister Mr. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has said that Hunar Haat will restart from September this year with the theme of “Local to Global” and comparatively larger participation of artisans.  He said, it will be organised after a gap of about five months. Due to the Corona Virus pandemic and lockdown the event is not being organised now.
The Minister said that social distancing, hygiene, sanitisation and use of masks will be ensured at the Hunar Haat. There will be a special Jaan Bhi, Jahaan Bhi pavilion to create health awareness among the people with the theme of “Say no to panic, yes to precautions.

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Arunachal Pradesh government is in the process of reviving the tourism industry in the state which is one of the most affected sectors due to the COVID19 pandemic lockdown. Sadhana Deori, state’s Tourism Secretary said that the department is working on a package which is aimed at providing relief to the affected entrepreneurs associated with this sector, like hoteliers, Home stays etc. She said that fine tuning of the same is under process.  

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Team of researchers at Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences (CeNS), Bangalore, have developed a mask that helps to create enough space in front of the mouth while speaking. The technology has been transferred to a Bangalore based company for mass production.

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In an effort to guard against fake news being circulated on various platforms, we bring you our segment on Fact Checking and Mythbusters. A video of an overcrowded train is circulating on social media with a message wrongly claiming it is Shramik Special train carrying migrants from Mumbai to West Bengal.  The Press Information Bureau Fact Check twitter handle tweeted saying that it is an old video of an overcrowded train in Bangladesh from the year 2018.

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Hari ram Bansal, a farmer from Chatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh has received benefits under the PM-KISAN scheme. He thanked the government for the initiative saying it provided relief during the lockdown
 

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In Nepal 36 more persons tested positive taking the total number to 584. According to the Ministry of Health and Population 36 persons including 27 people from Banke district alone were diagnosed with COVID-19 this afternoon. Earlier in the morning 32 persons tested positive. There are now 511 persons infected with corona virus in Nepal, while 70 people have been cured and discharged from hospitals. 

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi today spoke to President of Sri Lanka Gotabaya Rajapaksa. In a tweet, Prime Minister Modi said, Sri Lanka is fighting COVID-19 effectively under the leadership of Mr Rajapaksa and India will continue to support its close maritime neighbour in dealing with the pandemic and its economic impact.
They also discussed the possibilities of promoting investments and value-addition in Sri Lanka by the Indian private sector.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi also had a telephonic conversation with his Mauritian counterpart Pravind Jugnauth today. He congratulated Mr Jugnauth for successfully controlling COVID-19 in Mauritius. In a tweet, Prime Minister Modi said, the people of India and Mauritius share warm and special ties, based on shared culture and values. He said, Indians will stand by their Mauritian brothers and sisters during this difficult time. Mr Jugnauth conveyed his condolences for the losses caused in India by Cyclone Amphan.  He thanked Mr Modi for sending INS 'Kesari' to Mauritius as part of 'Operation Sagar', with a consignment of medicines and a 14-member medical team to help the Mauritian health authorities fight the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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In our series 'Expert Speak' on All India Radio, we bring you views of leading medical experts on COVID-19.
President, Public Health Foundation of India, Dr.K.Srinath Reddy has said it will take some time to develop a vaccine against the COVID-19 infection.
 

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Noted Actor Salman Khan has appealed to the people not to believe or spread rumours during the COVID-19 pandemic. He said that the government is taking steps for the benefit of all and appealed to the people to follow all government guidelines and directions.
   

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The News Services Division of All India Radio in its bilingual live phone-in programme today will bring you a Special discussion Programme on  Covid-19 . Listeners can ask questions to the experts on Toll Free Telephone No: 1800-115767.
This can be heard tonight on the FM Gold Channel and additional frequencies from 9.25 PM onwards.

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Ten additional National Disaster Responce Force, NDRF, teams from other locations have been deployed for rescue operations in West Bengal. Teams are likely to reach Kolkata by late night today. The West Bengal government had earlier requested NDRF for deployment of additional teams. Presently 26 NDRF teams are deployed in cyclone affected areas of West Bengal.

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Now, Let us take a look at the weather forecast for tomorrow. There will be a heat wave in New Delhi tomorrow. The National capital will  witness minimum temperature of 26 degrees Celsius and maximum 45 degree Celsius.  
In Gilgit, the temperature will hover between 17 and 33 degrees Celsius. It will face a generally cloudy sky.
In Muzzafarabad, there will be mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards evening or night.

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