Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for taking care of animals around us seems to have pleased former Union minister Maneka Gandhi the most. Maneka, who expressed her gratitude to the PM for being compassionate to all beings, has been active in ensuring that animals also get the care required during the ongoing 21-day lockdown. She has contacted almost all state governments in an effort to ensure that measures are taken to get the animals fed during the crisis. After she spoke, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath gave powers to district magistrates to provide passes to animal-feeders, and to evacuate stranded animals from pet shops. In Delhi, dog-feeders can get the district DCP office to get a feeder pass, while the Bengaluru Police Commissioner has promised help. In Sikkim, the Chief Minister has issued orders that NGOs and others can feed street animals for a limited period every morning and evening.
At Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave each Union minister responsibility of one state each to monitor the coronavirus situation and issues related to the lockdown. The ministers are expected to be in touch with the district magistrates and district collectors in the state concerned and report to the Prime Minister every day. So, while Nirmala Sitharaman would keep an eye on Andhra Pradesh, Assam will be monitored by V K Singh and Kiren Rijijju will have to report on Arunachal Pradesh. Ram Vilas Paswan will look at Bihar and Smriti Irani will have to report on Chhattisgarh.
Update On Updates
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) discontinued its twice-daily updates on samples tested and found positive for COVID-19 from Thursday, apparently to “do away with the confusion created because of too many different figures”. On any given day, ICMR would give out figures higher than that on the Health Ministry website, and this caused some discomfort.
BJP’s Agra MP Prof S P Singh Baghel has offered help for people from his constituency who are stranded in Delhi due to the lockdown. Baghel, who was in Agra on Thursday, made an appeal through a letter and a video. He said those stuck can stay at his official residence in Delhi — 7, K Kamraj Lane -– if the police and the local administration allow them. They will be provided food and accommodation, he mentioned. A fourth-time Parliamentarian, Baghel is perhaps the first MP to make such an appeal to the stranded people.
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