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Last Updated : Apr 9 2020 9:43AM     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


Midday News

1400 HRS
26.03.2020

THE HEADLINES:-

  • Government announces Prime Minister Gareeb Kalyan relief package of one lakh 70 thousand crore rupees to overcome COVID 19 pandemic.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi says, G-20 has an important global role to play in addressing the pandemic; Leaders from  G 20 countries to attend an extraordinary virtual summit through video conferencing today.

  • Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan urges people to not discriminate against doctors, nurses and paramedics.

  • Union Minister Prakash Javdekar emphasizes on staying positive and engaged during lockdown period.

  • Home Ministry issues fresh guidelines covering additional people and services exempted from lockdown.

  • Railways extend cancellation of passenger train services till the 14th of next month.

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The Government today announced a mega relief package of one lakh 70 thousand crore rupees for the poor who need immediate help in the wake of COVID-19 like migrant workers and urban and rural poor. Briefing media in New Delhi this afternoon, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said they have come up with Prime Minister Gareeb Kalyan scheme to help the migrant workers and poor people.


A package which will immediately take care of the concerns, welfare concerns, of the poor and suffering workers and those who need immediate help. So the package that we come up with, will benefit those migrant workers those poor, those urban and rural poor and the women and this Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Scheme that we want to come out with, is expected to meet a total of 1 lakh 70 thousand crores.


Ms Sitharaman also announced an insurance cover of 50 lakh rupees per person for three months for COVID-19 warriors who are exposing themselves to the virus. They include doctors, paramedics, healthcare workers, sanitation workers, ASHA workers dealing with coronavirus outbreak.

The Finance Minister elaborated that 5 kilo rice or wheat will be given for the next three months for free in addition to the 5 kilos already being given to 80 crore people. She said that additionally, one kilo of  preferred pulses will also be given per family for free.


We don't want anyone to remain hungry, so we will be giving enough to take care of their food grains requirement, protein requirement in terms of pulses, they should also not remain without money in hand. So several measures through DBT are being taken. So that money reaches them. So that they can have money in thier hands. But before all this, I wish to start with the great sense of gratitude for all those frontline warriors for fighting against Coronavirus. It is for them that we want to attempt to first, not for getting the risks that they are putting themselves to in dealing with patients affected by coronvirus."

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Leaders from group of 20 nations will attend an extraordinary virtual G20 Summit through video conference today.

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. Our West Asia correspondent reports that Chaired by Saudi Arabia, the summit will discuss a global response to COVID- 19 crisis.


"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, DUBAI."

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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 yesterday,  Mr. Modi 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 novel coronavirus will take 21 days and the  aim is to win it. 


"साथियों याद कीजिए 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 श्रीकृष् महारथी थे, सारथी थे। आज 130 करोड महारथियों के बलबूते पर हमें कोरोना के खिलाफ इस लडाई को जीतना है।"


Mr. Modi asked the people to speak to their doctors  before taking any medicine clarifying that there is  no medicine or vaccine for the virus as of now. He warned the people that they should not believe in rumours about the outbreak. He added that the government has tied up with WhatsApp to create a helpdesk to give credible information on coronavirus. The number is - 9013151515.

The Prime Minister also said that doctors and nurses are incarnations of God and they are endangering themselves to save people and they should be respected. Mr. Modi 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.

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Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan has urged people to not discriminate against doctors, nurses and paramedics in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak. In his message, he said these people are at the front in country's war against coronavorus. The Minister asked people to not break morale of medical staff and health workers. He said it is a blot on society that doctors and nurses are being misbehaved with due to fear psychosis.

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Union Minister Prakash Javadekar held an audio conference this morning with officials of the three ministries under him and told them to stay positive and engaged during the 21-day lockdown period. Mr Javadekar holds the portfolios of Information and Broadcasting Ministry, Environment Ministry and Heavy Industries Public Enterprises Ministry.

The Information and Broadcasting Minister interacted with  400 officers through Audio Bridge. In a tweet, Mr Javadekar said he told the officers to stay positive, stay home, stay engaged and 'stay happy'. He expressed confidence that in 20 days, meaningful work will be accomplished in all three ministries.

Stressing that media and communication is an essential service in this time of crisis due to COVID-19, the Minister advised officers of Information and Broadcasting Ministry to be available around the clock and work even harder than usual to bring correct and authentic information to the masses.

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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today chaired a review meeting on his Ministry's preparedness for tackling the COVID-19 menace. The meeting which took place in New Delhi, was attended by Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, Defence Secretary Dr. Ajay Kumar, Army chief M.M. Naravane, Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of Air Staff RKS Bhadauria, and senior officials of the Defence Ministry.

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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.

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Total number of confirmed cases of COVID 19 rose to 649 including 47 foreign nationals. Health and Family Welfare Ministry has confirmed that 43 patients have been cured and discharged and 13 deaths have been reported in the country so far.

Indian Council of Medical Research said that more than 25 thousand samples from 24,254 individuals have been tested in the country. 

Our correspondent reports that 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. In addition, 118 government laboratories have been given permission for testing which have a capacity to test 12 thousand samples per day. 

Ministry of Home Affairs has asked the states and the union territories to ensure the supply of essential items. The Ministry is continuously monitoring the situation.

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Grocery and essential supplies stores in Delhi will be allowed to operate 24 x 7 in Delhi as a special measure. Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal said this will help in staggering customer visits and help in maintaining social distancing norms.

In a joint press briefing in New Delhi today, Mr. Baijal said, all the Sub Divisional Magistrate and Assistant Commissioner of Police has been instructed to ensure the sufficient stock and supply of essential items in their respective areas.

Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal said, in Delhi 36 confirmed cases have been reported so far. He said, the government is taking every step to ensure the supply of essential items in Delhi.

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Congress President Sonia Gandhi has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to arm doctors, nurses and health workers with ‘Personal Protection Equipment’ including N-95 masks and hazmat suits. In a letter, Ms. Gandhi requested Mr Modi to ensure the opening and scaling up of manufacture and supply of these items. She said it is imperative to announce Risk Allowance for doctors, nurses and health workers for a period of six months retrospectively from the 1st of March.

She asked the government to put in place broad based social protection measures including Direct Cash Transfer to daily wagers, MGNREGA workers, factory labour, construction and unorganized workers to tide over the period of difficulty.

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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 the 21-day lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, freight train operations are being continued to ensure the supply of essential commodities.

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In Maharashtra, the patients infected due to COVID-19 has reached 124. Last night, two people from Mumbai and neighbouring Thane tested positive for COVID-19. However, state health minister Rajesh Tope said, 15 patients who were undergoing treatment for the disease were discharged from various hospitals in the state.

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BJP has urged organisations and individuals to join its efforts to provide food to the needy amidst the lockdown in the country in the wake of COVID19. The party said, it is putting in place a mechanism to link up community kitchens which can serve atleast 1000 per day.

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All India Radio has launched a special news programme on COVID 19 in Hindi and English. The special news programme will be aired daily from 8 to 8:30 AM in Hindi and from 8:30 to 9 AM in English. In the evening programme will be aired from 8 to 8:30 PM in Hindi and 8:30 to 9 PM in English.

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