DD/AIR News

  • According to figures compiled from official government data and the World Health Organisation, out of a total of 70,009 killed in the pandemic, 50,215 are in Europe. Italy is leading the global death toll with 15,877 fatalities, followed by Spain with 13,055, the United States with 9,648 and France with 8,078.

  • The two leaders discussed the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis and its consequences, including on logistics chains and financial markets. His Majesty the King assured Prime Minister of his personal attention to the welfare of the large Indian community in Bahrain, during the present health crisis. Prime Minister expressed his heartfelt appreciation for the care and affection that the Bahrain authorities have always extended to the Indian diaspora. The leaders agreed that their officials would remain in regular touch and ensure all possible support to each other for dealing with the challenges of COVID-19. Prime Minister conveyed to His Majesty the King that India regards Bahrain as an important part of its extended neighbourhood. He also warmly recalled his own visit to the Kingdom last year.

  • Briefing media in New Delhi on Monday, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Lav Aggarwal said,  76 per cent cases have been reported in males and 24 per cent in females. He also informed that out of the total cases,1445 cases are related to Tablighi Jamaat cluster. He said, out of 109 deaths so far, 63 per cent have been reported among people over 60 years age,  30 per cent in age bracket of 40 to 60 years and  7 per cent in the people  below 40 years of age.  Mr Aggarwal suggested to the high risk people to follow the directive and guidelines issued by the government. He also urged the countrymen to follow social distancing measures and guidelines to check the spread of the novel coronavirus. Aggarwal also informed that during the Lockdown period, 16.94 lakh metric tonnes of food grains have been transported across the country till now.  He said, in 13 states, 1.3 lakh metric tonnes of wheat and  1.32 lakh metric tonnes of rice in 8 states have been alloted. He said, Food Corporation of India is having 55.47 lakh metric tonnes of foodgrains in central pool. He said,  1100 crore rupees have already been released from National Health Mission Funds for the states for COVID management and today an additional amount of 3000 crore rupees has been released in this regard. Joint Secretary in the Home Ministry, Punya Salila Srivastava said that the lockdown measures are being effectively implemented. She said, the availability of essential goods and items are satisfactory. On cases related to Tablighi Jamaat workers, Ms Srivastava said,  through a massive effort over  25,500 local Tablighi Jamaat workers and their contacts have been quarantined and  5 Haryana villages where they visited, have also  been sealed and quarantined. She said, out of the 2083 foreign Tablighi Jamaat workers identified so far,  1750 workers have been blacklisted. Dr Raman Gangakhedkar, Head Scientist  in Indian Council of Medical Research said that ICMR has placed order for 5 lakh testing kits for conducting rapid antibody based blood tests. 2.5 lakh kits are expected to be delivered by 8th or 9th of this month.

  • Speaking to media about Cabinet decisions, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said, the salary of Union Ministers and members of Parliament will be cut by 30 per cent for one year. He also informed that Cabinet has decided to suspend MPLAD fund for two years from 2020-2021 to 2021-2022. He said, an amount to the tune of 7900 crore rupees will be accumulated and deposited in the consolidated Fund of India to fight COVID-19 Javadekar also informed that President, Vice President, Governors of States have also voluntarily decided to take a pay cut of 30 per cent as a social responsibility for one year . The money will go to Consolidated Fund of India.  

  • Both the countries agreed on the "importance of bilateral experience sharing" amid the novel coronavirus or COVID-19 crisis in a telephonic conversation between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison on Monday morning. The two leaders discussed the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the domestic response strategies being adopted by their respective governments. "They agreed on the importance of bilateral experience-sharing in the context of this health crisis, including through collaborative research efforts," a Prime Minister's Office statement said. PM Modi conveyed that the government of India stands ready to provide necessary facilitation and support to any Australian citizens stranded in India due to travel restrictions. Morrison similarly assured that the Indian community in Australia, including Indian students, would continue to be valued as a vibrant part of Australian society, the statement said. "Both leaders agreed to remain attentive to the wider significance of the India-Australia partnership, including in the Indo-Pacific region, even as they focus on solving the present health crisis." The talks took place between the two leaders when 109 deaths were reported in India with over 4,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases A total of 39 deaths and over 5,000 confirmed cases have been reported in Australia.

  • On Fridays, only 10 people will be allowed to offer prayer in the mosque. The government also banned all other kinds of religious gatherings like Tabligh, Milad Mahfil etc. in the country by any religious group. The notice warned that people defying the instructions will face legal action. The order comes in the wake of the largest single day case of new infections in Bangladesh. On Monday, the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) said that 35 new Corona positive cases were detected in the country, while 3 people died due to the infection. With this the total number of people who died due to Corona in Bangladesh has gone up to 12 and the number of infected persons reached 123. During the virtual media briefing on Monday IEDCR Director Dr. Meerjady said that Dhaka has reported the largest number of infections with 64 persons suffering from Corona. She said now 15 out of the 64 districts of Bangladesh have reported cases of Corona. Earlier Health Minister Zahid Maleque had told media that four people died and 29 new cases of Corona were found in the last 24 hours till Monday noon. However, Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) DG Abul Kalam Azad said that the figure quoted by the minister was a mistake as he reported the figure immediately after an emergency meeting. Following the sharp rise in reported cases of Corona, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ordered the law enforcement agencies to strictly implement social distancing and other government directives to control the Corona virus.  

  • The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting held under the chairmanship of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli in Kathmandu on  Monday. The government had first enforced week-long lockdown from March 24 which was later extended until April 7. So far, nine positive cases have been reported in Nepal out of which eight are active while one person who was diagnosed in January has recovered.

  • The two leaders discussed the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and the domestic response strategies being adopted by their respective governments.  They agreed on the importance of bilateral experience-sharing in the context of this health crisis, including through collaborative research efforts.  Prime Minister conveyed that Government of India stands ready to provide necessary facilitation and support to any Australian citizens stranded in India due to travel restrictions.  Prime Minister Morrison similarly assured that the Indian community in Australia, including Indian students, would continue to be valued as a vibrant part of Australian society.  Both leaders agreed to remain attentive to the wider significance of the India-Australia partnership, including in the Indo-Pacific region, even as they focus on solving the present health crisis.

  • Tony, alongside fellow mathematician Frank Duckworth, devised the Duckworth-Lewis method which was introduced in 1997 and adopted officially by the ICC (International Cricket Council) in 1999. Renamed the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern Method in 2014, the mathematical formula continues to be used in rain reduced limited overs cricket games across the globe. The method then in use was based on removing the lowest-scoring overs from each team's innings.   The formula has been criticised for not being suited to Twenty20 matches, cricket's shortest format, which came into being after Duckworth-Lewis was established. No alternative method, however, has yet found favour with the ICC.

  • Mahavir Jayanti is considered to be one of the most auspicious events for Jain community and holds a lot of importance in their religious life.   President, Vice President and Prime Minister have extended their greetings on the occasion of Mahavir Jayanti. In a tweet today, President Ram Nath Kovid said, heartiest congratulations to all the countrymen as Lord Mahavira's teachings of truth and non-violence are still relevant today.   Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu said Lord Mahavir was one of the most charismatic and influential spiritual leaders. Let us spread the message of fraternity and humanity through compassion and empathy and pay tribute to Mahavir.   Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended his greeting to all citizens saying that Lord Mahavir's life was based on truth, non-violence and austerity and it will always remain an inspiration for everyone. 

  • A tiger at New York's Bronx Zoo has tested positive for COVID-19 and is believed to have contracted the virus from a caretaker who was asymptomatic at the time.   The Wildlife Conservation Society that runs the city's zoos said that the four-year-old Malayan tiger named Nadia along with her sister Azul, two Amur tigers and three African lions all developed dry coughs and are expected to fully recover. It is not known how this disease will develop in big cats since different species can react differently to novel infections, but the zoo will continue to monitor them closely and anticipate full recoveries.   All the four zoos and the aquarium in New York have been closed since March 16. The zoo emphasised that there is no evidence that animals play a role in the transmission of COVID-19 to people other than the initial event in the Wuhan market.  It also said that there is no evidence that any person has been infected with COVID-19 in the US by animals, including by pet dogs or cats. In late March, a pet cat was discovered infected with the novel coronavirus in Belgium, following similar cases in Hong Kong where two dogs tested positive for COVID-19.

  • It said, these facilities should preferably be set up on the outskirts of cities and arrangements should be such that interactions between the quarantined people and healthcare professionals or supporting staff were minimised.   The advisory said that during the quarantine period, contacts should be monitored at least daily for fever and respiratory symptoms. In the quarantine facility, the chief medical officer needs to be appointed as in-charge or nodal officer for overall coordination and supervision of the quarantine centre.   The advisory also that said services of general duty medical doctors, medicine specialists, pediatrics, microbiologist, psychiatrists and psychologists are required for routine examination and relevant clinical care of the quarantined people. It further said that paramedics, including staff nurse and lab technician, pharmacist need to be posted.  

  • Johnson, who was isolating in Downing Street after testing positive last month, still had a high temperature and so his doctors felt he should go to an undisclosed hospital for tests in what the government said was a “precautionary step”. “On the advice of his doctor, the prime minister has tonight been admitted to hospital for tests,” his Downing Street office said in a statement. Johnson is expected to stay overnight. “This is a precautionary step, as the prime minister continues to have persistent symptoms of coronavirus ten days after testing positive for the virus,” the statement added. News of his hospitalisation came only after an hour after Queen Elizabeth delivered a rallying call to the British public saying they would overcome the coronavirus outbreak if they stayed resolute.

  • Earlier, in the day, PM. Modi reminded people of the exercise, tweeting #9pm9minute. On Friday, in a video message, the Prime Minister said, India will experience the power of light, clearly illuminating the common purpose the country is fighting for. He said, amidst the darkness spread by the Corona pandemic, the country must continuously progress towards light and hope. PM Modi added that no one is alone during this lockdown. PM Modi said, the collective strength of 130 crore Indians is with each person.   The Prime Minister also urged the people to maintain social distancing, stay indoors and not form groups while lighting lamps. He said, one must never cross the ‘Lakshman Rekha’ of social distancing.  

  • He said that lighting diyas tonight will show the nation's gratitude towards frontline personnel fighting against COVID-19.  

  • Railways is already transporting essential commodities to different parts of the country through freight trains. While these freight operations of Railways are meeting the needs of bulk transportation of essential, parcel trains are transporting various items that need to be delivered comparatively in smaller quantities.   Parcel Trains are providing big boost to transportation of essential commodities and other goods in times of lock down due to COVID -19. So far, Indian Railways has loaded 30 Special Parcel Trains to various destinations all over the country. In order to ensure speedy delivery and availability of vital goods and commodities across the nation in the times of Lockdown, it is also identifying routes for other areas as well.   Indian Railways has also been running other Parcel trains as per demand of customers during the period including milk specials and food products.Besides, Special Parcel Trains can also be planned as per the demand. 

  • On the streets of Dhaka on Sunday, police were seen actively enforcing the government directive on Social distancing and restriction on movement.Earlier, over the weekend a large number of people, mostly working in the Ready Made Garment (RMG) factories, returned to Dhaka raising fresh fears of spread of Corona virus in the capital city.   In another development, the government extended the nationwide ‘general holidays’ for government and private concerns further till 14th April. Public Transport, buses, train services, ferries and flights are also covered under the general holidays. The holidays in Bangladesh were first announced on March 23 till April 4 which was extended till April 11. Bangladesh also extended the suspension of flights till 14 April from all European countries and others which restricted the entry of Bangladeshis to their territories, reports the official news agency BSS. Effectively, flights to and from all countries are banned except from China till April 14. The development comes after the largest one day infection figure for Corona was announced on Sunday. Health Minister Zahid Maleque announced that 18 new Corona positive cases were detected in the last 24 hours till Sunday noon taking the total to 88. One more person died due to Corona virus infection taking the death toll in Bangladesh to 9.  

  • Besides, proper adherence to social distancing and isolation instructions in the university and arrangements made to continue the education of students were also discussed. The HRD Minister also directed all the Vice Chancellors to motivate their faculty and students to use SWAYAM and SWAYAM PRABHA in mission mode and also through other online digital mediums to continue the academic programme.   Mr Nishank also informed that to promote online education and give suggestions regarding online examination , a committee under the chairmanship of Prof. Nageshwar Rao, the Vice Chancellor of IGNOU, has been constituted.   During the meeting, a decision to form an Academic Calendar Committee under the leadership of U.G.C Chairman was also taken . The Committee will suggest measures to deal with the issue of delay in the academic session.   Mr Nishank also asked everyone to make full use of the ArogyaSetu app and emphasized to follow the guidelines issued by the Ministry of AYUSH  to prevent the spread of COVID-19. During the discussion, all the Universities assured that in the hour of crisis, they are prepared to meet the challenges.

  • People will be allowed to go out for essential needs such as buying food from Union Cooperative stores, supermarkets and groceries. All people leaving home should wear a mask, gloves and ensure they keep a safe distance from others. Vital sectors however, have been exempted from these restrictions.

  • The ICMR has framed a newer strategy for areas reporting large migration gatherings and evacuee's centres, where large number of COVID-19 cases are arising. The top medical research body stated that cases of Influenza-like Illness (ILI) are to be monitored in health facilities.   The advisory also mentioned that as a matter of abundant precautions, all symptomatic ILI persons should be advised home quarantine for 14 days. ICMR has sought details of all test results to its portal and real time data. Failure to do so they will be held liable to action under Disaster Management Act, 2005.

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