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Last Updated : Apr 9 2020 9:54AM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
PM Modi interacts with political party leaders; says govt's priority is to save each and every life            Prez Trump thanks India on decision to allow Hydroxychloroquine export to US            First installment of relief package to 20 crore women Jan Dhan account holders released            SC directs COVID-19 tests in approved labs to be conducted free of cost            20 COVID-19 hotspots sealed in Delhi to tackle spread of virus; UP govt seals hotspots in 15 districts           

Text Bulletins Details


Morning News

0815 HRS
26.03.2020
THE HEADLINES:-

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterates that social distancing is the only way to counter  spread of COVID-19.
  • Home Ministry issues fresh guidelines covering additional people and services exempted from lockdown.
  • Government orders temporary suspension of collection of toll at all toll plazas across the country.
  • Railways  extend cancellation of passenger train services till the 14th of next month.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks to Russian President Vladimir Putin over phone; Calls for united global fight against the pandemic.
  • Leaders from  G 20 countries to attend an extraordinary virtual summit through video conferencing today.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi  has reiterated  that  social distancing is the only way to counter the spread of  COVID-19  saying  the virus does not discriminate and it can infect anyone.  Interacting  with  the people  of Varanasi  through video conferencing, the Prime Minister said, some people despite being empowered with knowledge are not paying heed to warning which is unfortunate.
 
He said the Mahabharat war was won in 18 days and  this war the whole country is fighting against Coronavirus will take 21 days and the aim is to win it. 
 
"महाभारत का युद्ध 18 दिन में जीता गया था। आज कोरोना के खिलाफ जो युद्ध पूरा देश लड रहा है उसमें 21 दिन लगने वाले हैं। हमारा प्रयास है इसे 21 दिन में जीत लिया जाए। महाभारत के युद्ध के समय भगवान श्रीकृष्‍ण महारथी थे, सारथी थे। आज 130 करोड महारथियों के बलबूते पर हमें कोरोना के खिलाफ इस लडाई को जीतना है। संकट की इस घडी में काशी सबका मार्गदर्शन कर सकती है। आज लॉकडाउन की परिस्थिति में काशी देश को सीखा सकती है संयम, समन्‍वय और संवेदनशीलता। "
 
Prime Minister asked people to speak to their doctors before taking any medicine clarifying that there is no medicine or vaccine for coronavirus as of now. He warned the people that they should not believe in rumours about the outbreak and mentioned the whatsapp helpline set up to provide information on the outbreak.
  
"कोरोना से संक्रमित दुनिया में एक लाख से अधिक लोग ठीक भी हो चुके हैं और भारत में भी दर्जनों लोग कोरोना के शिकंजे से बाहर निकले हैं। मैं आपको यह भी जानकारी देना चाहता हूं कि कोरोना से जुडी सही और सटीक जानकारी के लिए सरकार ने व्‍हाट्सप के साथ मिलकर एक हेल्‍प डेस्‍क भी बनायी है। अगर आपके पास व्‍हाट्सप की सुविधा है तो मैं एक नंबर लिखवाता हूं लिख लीजिए 9 0 1 3 1 5 1 5 1 5  PAR आप व्‍हाट्सप करके इस सेवा से जुड सकते हैं।"
 
The Prime Minister also said, he is very pained by the misbehaviour of some people against doctors, airlines crew and staff of essential services who are at the forefront of combating the virus. Prime Minister said the stern action will be taken against the guilty. The Prime Minister added that doctors and nurses are incarnations of God and they are endangering themselves to save people and they should be respected. He also urged people to help poor in this hour of crisis and promise themselves  to help nine poor families everyday for the next 21 days.
 
Prime Minister said that in this hour of crisis, Kashi can lead the people, can teach the country patience, compassion and peace. He also expressed his  condolences to the families of  the deceased of the terror attack at the Gurudwara in Kabul. During the interaction, Prime Minister also answered questions of the people. 

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Government has asserted that there will be no shortages of essential commodities and will remain available . Speaking to reporters in New Delhi yesterday about cabinet decisions, Information and Broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar said, there is no need to panic.
   
Mr Javadekar  said, Prime minister's decision of lockdown has been welcomed by all.  Terming social distancing and staying at home as the best Strategy to Combat novel Coronavirus, Mr Javadekar said, during cabinet meeting also social distancing was done.
 The Minister said, employees working on contract shall be considered on duty and will get payment. He also said that nearly 80 crore people will get wheat two rupees per kg and rice at three rupees per kg. The minister urged people to wash their hands regularly and asked them not to panic.
 
"बहुत सारी अफवाहें उड़ती है उस पर विश्वास करें। सही जानकारी के लिए स्वास्थ्य मंत्रालय ने जो उनका डेशबोर्ड है एमओएचएफडब्ल्यू डॉट जीओवी डॉट इन वो शुरु किया है। हर घंटे की जानकारी मिलती है और आपके कुछ सवाल होंगे तो उसका भी जबाव मिलता है।

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A total number of 29 private laboratory chains have been given approval for testing of corona virus. These private labs have 16 thousand collection centers across the country. Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Lav Aggarwal said, government is continuously increasing its testing infrastructure.
 
"अब तक हमारी 118 सरकारी लैव है, जहां पर कि हमारी टेस्टिंग फैस्लिटीज अवेलेवल है और इसके तहत हम  देश में करीब 12 हजार सैम्पल प्रतिदिन करने के लिए तैयार हैं। इसके साथ ही येडुक्येट जॉगरिफिकल अवलेवल के लिए हमने प्राइवेट लैब्स जो कि एनएवी इलेक्ट्रेड लैव्स है उनको भी हमने कवर किया है। अब तक 29 लैब चैन को इसकी परमीशन दी जा चुकी है और उन लैब चेन के अंडर में अभी अपरोक्समेटिली 16  हजार कलेक्शन सेंटर हैं तो जिसके द्वारा भी  जो हम कलेक्शन कर पाएंगे."
 
He added that hydroxy-chloroquine for prophylaxis should only be used with the advice of doctors.
 
On the sufficient stock of masks and PPE in the country, Mr. Agarwal said, government is aware of the situation and trying its best to ensure sufficient stock of masks and PPEs.

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Home Ministry has issued fresh guidelines covering additional people and services who will be exempted from the 21-day lockdown. Under the  the new guidelines, the Ministry said the Reserve Bank of India and its regulated financial markets, pay and accounts officers and field officers of the CAG, petroleum products and supply chain and forest staff are exempted. People handling cargo operations in airports and railway stations, coal mining activities, officers and staff of resident commissioners based in Delhi and customs clearance at ports, airports and land borders are also exempted.
 
Besides, forest offices staff and workers required to operate and maintain zoo, nurseries, wildlife, fire fighting in forests, watering plantations, patrolling and their necessary transport movement, social welfare department staff for operations of homes for children, disabled, senior citizens, destitute women, widows, observation homes and pensions service are also exempted.

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The government is looking for volunteer doctors to fight against the COVID-19 outbreak. In a statement posted on Niti Aayog's website, the Centre has appealed to retired government, Armed Forces Medical Services, public sector undertaking or a private doctor to come forward and join the efforts to fight the deadly virus. Those who wish to contribute to this and be a part of this noble mission to serve the country may register themselves on a link provided on the official website of the Niti Aayog.
 
The Aayog noted that in case the outbreak leads to a high number of infected individuals, India's public health facilities will face tremendous load to take care of the large number of patients. The Central and state governments are augmenting and expediting increase in healthcare services in every part of the country.

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 All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi is going to start a tele-consultation facility for its  follow-up patients in a day or two. Talking to AIR News, AIIMS Director, Dr Randeep Guleria said, several patients whose appointments are now cancelled due to lockdown and chronic patients can consult doctors through this facility. He said, every department will have some doctors who will resolve the health related issues through telephone. Dr. Guleria also said, in case there is a big jump in COVID -19 cases in the coming days, a similar facility will be started by AIIMS. He informed that through, this senior doctors will advice doctors at district and state levels about managing critically ill patients of coronavirus.

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Speaking to All India Radio, Dr. Dwarka Pandey highlighted the differences between common cold and the COVID 19 infection. He said that it is important to understand the gravity of the virus outbreak.

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Indian Railways has extended the cancellation of passenger train services till 14th of next month. Earlier, it had announced the suspension of all its passenger services from 22nd March midnight to 31st March. The decision was taken in view of 21-day lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, freight train operations are being continued to ensure the supply essential commodities.

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In view of Covid-19 outbreak, Government has ordered to temporarily suspend the collection of toll at all toll plaza across the country. In a tweet, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said, this will not only reduce inconvenience to the supply of emergency services but also save critical time. He, however, said the maintenance of roads and availability of emergency resources at toll plazas will continue as usual.

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State-run Indian Bank has announced an additional funding facility for large corporates (MSME), retail customers, pensioners and self-help groups (SHGs) in the wake of COVID 19. The bank said that IND-COVID Emergency Credit Line will provide additional funding of up to 10 per cent of the working capital limits both fund based and non-fund based limits with a maximum limit of 100 crore rupees. The loan tenor will be for 36 months with an initial moratorium of up to six months and would carry fixed interest rate of 1-year Marginal Cost of Funds based Lending Rate.

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One crore BJP workers will provide meals to five poor persons each during 21-day lockdown to combat coronavirus. The Party  national media head and MP Anil Baluni said, a decision in this regard was taken during a  meeting of the BJP national office bearers chaired by party president J P Nadda in New Delhi.  He said,  a mechanism will be be put in place at the earliest in this regard.  

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Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has congratulated the citizen of the state for extending their full support to the Lockdown. He has also directed the administration to ensure that not a single person in the state remains hungry in public places. He again appealed to the people to maintain social distancing for the safety of their families. More from our correspondent:

"Health department of state has announced that it is now making arrangements of three tier of Hospitals as per the directions of Chief Minister. District hospitals and medical colleges in district will be in level 2 while serious patients will be taken care in special hospitals such as SGPGI Lucknow, KGMU Lucknow and Meerut medical College who will be in level 3. Principal Secretary Health Amit mohan Prasad said that If anyone faces emergency situation or if the pregnant ladies need any help then they can call 108 and 102 services of Health Department and they will be brought to hospitals. If persons who have returned from abroad recently finds any signal of infection then they can call the helpline number 18001805145. Meanwhile, labour department of state has made it clear that all registered labours who will be kep in isolation will get salary of 28 days. SUSHIL CHANDRA TIWARI, AIR NEWS, LUCKNOW."

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Union Minister of State for Home Nitiyand Rai has given one crore 25 lakh Rupees from MPLAD to help Bihar government fight Corona Virus. BJP ministers in the Nitish Kumar led NDA government, MLAs and MLCs from the party will also contribute to Chief Minister Relief Fund to fight the outbreak. The BJP Ministers will contribute one lakh rupees to the relief fund while the MLAs and MLCs will contribute their one month salary to the CM relief fund. Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said that  there will not be any scarcity of essential commodities like food grains, vegetables and medicines in the state.

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Jharkhand Government will provide 10 kilos of food each to all the poor and needy families without having ration cards during the Lock down. Those Families who have not been issued ration cards can avail the food grains merely by showing their Voter ID cards.
 
Chief Minister Hemant Soren has announced that all shops under Public Distribution Systems have been provided with sufficient stock of food grains to help the families in time of emergency. The government has also stopped the usage of biometric system for distribution of food grains during this time.

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A total of 38 persons have been tested positive for COVID 19 in Rajasthan so far. Six people tested positive for the virus yesterday in the state. Four cases reported from Bhilwara, one each from Jhunjhunu and Jodhpur. Both Bhilwara and Jhunjhunu are remaining under Curfew, while other parts of the state are under Lockdown.
 
17 persons have diagnosed with COVID 19 in Bhilwara. situation. More from our correspondent:
 
"Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has appealed to all the able families of the state to make arrangements for the food of two poor families along with them. He also assured all citizens that the supply chain of essential commodities will not be disrupted due to lockdown. He said that the shops of essential commodities will be open daily. The state government has given instructions to ensure doorstep delivery of essential commodities like milk, fruits and vegetables. The government also clarified that the procurement of food grains in Mundies will be continued. The government has sanctioned 310 Crore Rupees for immediate assistance of Rupees 1000 each to the deprived families who have lost their livelihood due to lockdown. The Health Department has directed to take strict action against such landlords, who are making pressure on doctors and Health Workers to vacate the houses due to fear of corona infection. On the other hand, house-to-house survey is being done in the entire district by medical teams in Bhilwara. So far, more than four lakh houses have been surveyed and about 6 thousand people have been bound for home quarantine. Jitendra Dwivedi, AIR News, Jaipur."

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In Gujarat, second Covid 19 death was reported in Ahmedabad yesterday. Gujarat health department in a tweet confirmed the death of an 85 year old female patient who was tested positive for Covid 19, in a civil hospital in  Ahmedabad yesterday. It said the patient had travelled abroad and after developing symptoms of Covid 19 was admitted to civil hospital in Ahmedabad on Sunday. The total number of Covid 19 cases in the state went to 39.

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In Madhya Pradesh, amid the ongoing lock-down to contain the coronavirus epidemic, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced assistance package for affected people of the state. Chief Minister held a review meeting on coronavirus situation in the state through video conference yesterday. More from our Correspondent:
 
"Madhya Pradesh has so far reported 15 coronavirus positive cases including one death. After cases of coronavirus were reported from Indore and Ujjain, authorities imposed curfew in both the cities. Curfew is already in force in Jabalpur and Bhopal. Chief Minister also announced that all social security pensioners will get two months advance payment. Apart from that, labourers to get assistance of one thousand rupees each, while tribal families to get two months advance amount in their account. Under mid-day meals 65 lakh 91 thousand students will get 156 crore in their accounts. Meanwhile, the bandh is being strictly followed in all 52 districts of the state. There is a curfew like situation in all the districts, though the supply of essential services and goods is being ensured. Citizens are being requested not to leave the house unnecessarily. Sanjeev Sharma, AIR News, Bhopal."

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Tamil Nadu has witnessed eight new positive cases of Covid-19 yesterday, including four pilgrims from Indonesia and their guide from Chennai. They are all confined to isolation wards in Chennai, Salem, Vellore and Perundurai near Erode. With them, the total number of patients in Tamil Nadu has gone up to 26. A report:
 
"The Chennai Police Commissioner AK Viswanathan has warned those casual travellers who come out during the curfew that, cases will be booked against them besides confiscating the vehicles. Those staff involved in essential services have been asked to carry their official identity cards. The Chennai Corporation has formed thirty flying squads to monitor the implementation of the curfew on the ground. The social distancing norms are also being implemented by making the metre scale markings in front of retail outlets. The cure of a second patient in Chennai serves to instil more confidence in the minds of the public. Jayasingh, AIR News, Chennai."

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Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa will interact with District Deputy Commissioners today on measures to be taken to contain COVID 19 pandemic. Chief Secretary Vijay Bhaskar had directed the Deputy Commissioners of all the districts yesterday to allow all groceries and super markets to open. He has however said that social distancing to be ensured at these places by only allowing limited number of customers at a time. More from our correspondent
 
"The Officer Commending of Civil Defence society, P R S Chetan has said that its volunteers will be deputed near shops for crowd management. The urban local bodies have started spraying disinfectant in vulnerable areas of the town. Bengaluru Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao has informed that passes will be issued to those coming under essential services category according to the Home Ministry guidelines. The city bus service will commence plying 180 buses in Bengaluru today to enable movement of essential service delivery personnel having department ID card or curfew passes. Several citizen organisations have come forward to provide parcel food to police, health and municipal corporation personnel in several towns. Sudhindra, AIR News, Bengaluru."

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Kerala tightens the fight against Covid 19 as more cases are confirmed. More from our correspondent:
 
"9 more Covid 19 positive cases are confirmed in Kerala, taking the total number of presently infected patients to 112 in the State.12 people had recovered from the disease completly. More than 76000 people are under observation in the State.Meanwhile the survelliance across the State is tightened. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said there will not be any shortage for essential commodities and services in the State.Community Kitchen will  function soon under local bodies to ensure food for all. Two months social welfare  pension will be distributed in coming days. People at large are staying at home. Police registered over 2500 cases and confiscated many vehicles who ventured out without valid reason. Mayusha for AIR News from Thiruvananthapuram."

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India and Russia have stressed the significance of international cooperation for unitedly fighting COVID-19, including within the framework of G-20. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin had a telephonic conversation and discussed the global situation in the context of COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Prime Minister Modi conveyed his good wishes for early recovery of those suffering from the disease in Russia. He expressed the hope that Russia’s efforts, led by President Putin, to fight the disease will be successful.
 
President Putin conveyed to the Prime Minister his good wishes for the success of measures adopted in India to combat COVID-19.
 
The two leaders agreed on further consultation and cooperation in addressing all challenges faced by this major global crisis, including those pertaining to health, medicine, scientific research, humanitarian matters and impact on global economy.
 
The two leaders also agreed to continue their close cooperation for maintaining the excellent momentum and the warm of the cordial and time-tested bilateral relations.

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Leaders from group of 20 nations will attend an extraordinary virtual G20 Summit through video conference today. Chaired by Saudi Arabia, the summit will discuss a global response to COVID- 19 crisis. Saudi Arabia, the chair of the G20 this year, is coordinating the video summit. 
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that G-20 has an important global role to play in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. In a tweet, Mr. Modi said, he is looking forward to productive discussions at the G20 Virtual Summit today. Here is a report:
 
"The G-20 extraordinary virtual summit is being held at a time when the pandemic rages across the world, posing a grave threat to human health and safety while fueling worries about its huge impact on the global economy. The number of cases in Saudi Arabia is also on the rise. 900 infected people have been recorded there. In a tweet this morning, King Salman said “As the world confronts the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges to healthcare systems and the global economy, we convene this extraordinary G20 summit to unite efforts towards a global response. May God spare humanity from all harm” G20 members will be joined by leaders from invited countries of Spain, Jordan, Singapore, and Switzerland. International organizations like United Nations, World Bank , Food and Agriculture Organization and International Monetary Fund are also expected to participate in this virtual Summit. KANCHAN PRASAD, AIR NEWS, DUBIA."

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A three-year-old Indian girl was among the 73 new COVID-19 cases that have been reported in Singapore in a day. The 73 new cases reported yesterday has brought the total number of COVID-19 cases in Singapore to 631.
 
According to the country's health ministry, of the new cases, 38 people have travel history to Europe, North America, ASEAN and other parts of Asia, while the rest were locally transmitted cases.
 
The health ministry has so far identified 8,930 close contacts of COVID-19 patients who have been quarantined.

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Saudi Arabia has sealed off the cities of Mecca, Medina and Riyadh and extended curfew hours. The step was taken after the country reported its second death from COVID 19.
   
The kingdom barred entry and exit from the three cities and prohibited movement between all provinces. Saudi Arabia's health ministry said the total number of infections spiked to 900.
 
Saudi Arabia, has reported the highest number of infections in the Gulf. Authorities plan to implement curfew for 21 days and have warned that transgressors will be fined 10,000 Saudi riyals and could face jail for repeated breaches.

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France has registered 1,331 deaths from covid 19. This is a jump of 231 from the day before. A total of 11,539 people have been hospitalised with the virus. The number of fatalities occuring in hospitals are only a part of the deaths due to the epidemic.

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IMF and World Bank have asked Governments to put on hold debt payments by poorest nations so that they can battle the pandemic. A joint statement issued in Washington said, it is imperative at this moment to provide a global sense of relief for developing countries as well as a strong signal to financial markets.

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United Nations has launched a 2 billion dollar global humanitarian response plan to fight Corona Virus in the world's poorest countries. UN Secretary General Antonio Gueterres has warned that the  pandemic is threatening the entire human race and all of us must fight back.

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In some parts of Mahashtra, Gujarat, Puducherry & Andhra Pradesh, people have drawn circles or squares at a distance on the floor and stand there to buy things while waiting outside grocery stores and milk booths. The idea is to maintain social distancing and curb the spread of Novel Coronavirus. It has proved out to be a healthy option for people who come out of their homes to purchase groceries and vegetables. Maharashtra government is sharing the photos of such social distancing practices across the state.

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TODAY'S NEWSPAPERS:-
  • A Hindu reports says that owing to Covid-19 lockdown the Odisha coast is free of tourists resulting  in safe  nesting of olive ridley Turtles this year-- more than 2 lakh of them.
  •  Now we may have to deal with CORON ANXIETY -- that is anxiety caused due to too much of CORONA IN people's lives says The Times of India. Hearing about the pandemic all the time can be upsetting. It's best to take a break from Social Media and  unwind says psychiatrists.
  • Government bans export of anti-malaria drug. ICMR has recommended use HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE  for treating health care workers says Financial Express.
  • Delhi police has assured e-commerce representatives that the delivery boys will be allowed to enter the capital- says Hindustan Times on its front page.
  • Landlords to face strict action for evicting medical personnel in the Tribune headline.
  • The Election Commission has allowed its indelible ink to be used for stamping on home quarantine persons, reports the Pioneer.
  • The Defence Ministry has been roped in to manufacture sanitizers and protective gear on a war footing through the DRDO and its other organisations reports the Economic Times.

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