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Sunday, May 31, 2020

Coronavirus May 12 Highlights: Lockdown 4.0 to be announced before May 18, says PM Modi in his address to nation

Coronavirus (Covid-19): PM Narendra Modi also announced a special Rs 20 lakh crore financial package for a self-reliant India besides hinting at further expansion of nationwide lockdown with more ease in restrictions.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: May 14, 2020 9:39:59 am
This was PM Modi’s fifth address to the nation, including a video message, following the outbreak of Covid-19.

In his address to the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a special Rs 20 lakh crore financial package for a self-reliant India besides hinting at further expansion of nationwide lockdown with more ease in restrictions. He also said that India needs to be self-sufficient to overcome the coronavirus crisis.

“Special economic package will have emphasis on land, labour, liquidity and laws. Special economic package is for our labourers, farmers, honest tax payers, MSMEs and cottage industry,” PM Modi said, adding that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will deliberate on the implementation of the package in coming days. He also said that India has ramped up its PPE manufacturing capacity in the wake of the Covid-19 crises and is now producing over two lakh PPE kits and N95 masks daily.

With India reporting 3,604 coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, the total number of infections Tuesday crossed the 70,000-mark to reach 70,756 including the 22,454 people who have been treated and discharged so far. The death toll also rose to 2,293. According to the Home Ministry, the recovery rate stands at 31.15 per cent.

Meanwhile, the Railway services starting Tuesday will run to full capacity, while leaving it up to the passengers to maintain social distancing on board, and to states to decide the protocol on arrival. More than 54,000 passengers made reservations for their train journeys within three hours after the Indian Railways opened booking on Monday. Also, sources have told The Indian Express that Aarogya Setu app is a must for people travelling by trains. Passengers who don’t have it will be asked to download even after reaching the station.

Globally, 41,781,56 people have been infected so far, with deaths exceeding 286,000. According to Johns Hopkins data, the United States continues to be the worst-affected country with 79,894 fatalities and 1,339,819 cases, followed by United Kingdom (32,140 deaths and 224,327 cases) and Italy (30,379 deaths and 219,814 cases).

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Coronavirus LIVE Updates: India's death toll rises to 2,293, total cases cross 70,000-mark; PM Modi announces special package to fight Covid-19 in his address today; Passenger trains start services; Kerala CM wants resumption of domestic flights; Follow latest updates

01:52 (IST)13 May 2020
244 Gujarat students stranded in Philippines, US return

As many as 244 students from Gujarat stranded in Philippines and Unites States amid the COVID-19 pandemic arrived at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport (SVPI) in Ahmedabad on Tuesday under the Vande Bharat mission.

According to officials, the first flight carrying 139 students from Manila in Philippines arrived at SVPI in the morning and the second flight carrying 105 students from US landed in the afternoon. Read more here

00:52 (IST)13 May 2020
Mumbai cop dies of COVID-19; 5th personnel to succumb to virus

A Mumbai Police officer passed away late on Tuesday night after battling COVID-19. He is the fifth casualty to the pandemic in the city police force. 

The deceased, Assistant Sub Inspector Murlidhar Shankar Waghmare (55), was posted at Sewri police station. He lived in Navi Mumbai and was admitted in a government hospital there. Waghmare's death comes days after ASI Sunil Kalgutkar, who was posted at the Vinoba Bhave Nagar police station in Kurla West, passed away.

All five Mumbai Police personnel who have died so far after contracting the virus were in the final years of their service. As of Monday, 1007 police personnel in Maharashtra were COVID-19 positive, of whom 887 had active infections while 113 had recovered. In addition to the death of five policemen in Mumbai, two other policemen posted in Pune and Solapur have also succumbed to COVID-19.  

The Maharashtra State Home Department has announced a compensation of Rs 50 lakh and a government job to a family member of the police personnel who have died of COVID-19. ENS

00:42 (IST)13 May 2020
Ahmedabad: Complete lockdown in Sanand town from today till May 17

Following the rising number of Covid-19 cases in its surrounding areas, Sanand town on the outskirts of Ahmedabad will see a complete lockdown from Wednesday till May 17. The Prant Officer of Sanand has passed an order to this effect.

In view of the order, no shop will be allowed to operate in the town between May 13 and May 17, with the exception of shops selling milk and medicines. Read more here

00:21 (IST)13 May 2020
Agrarian Punjab scripts industrial success story in fight against Covid-19

The agrarian state of Punjab, often referred to as the ‘food bowl’ of India, has emerged as a frontrunner in the nation’s fight against Covid-19, with 41 manufacturers of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) coveralls based in the state getting clearance from the South India Textiles Research Association (SITRA).

Of the 41 manufacturers cleared for production of PPEs, 18 have orders of more than 25 lakh PPE coveralls worth Rs 256 crore from Hindustan Latex Limited. The orders are at different stages. Some manufacturers have already delivered a major chunk of the orders, others are in the process of manufacture, while the ones given orders recently are setting up manufacturing lines to start production. Read More

00:13 (IST)13 May 2020
Maharashtra: 23,000 cops above 50 given low-risk work, 12,000 above 55 asked to stay home

As a precautionary measure amid the pandemic, nearly 23,000 Maharashtra police personnel, aged between 50 to 55 years, are being given low-risk police station tasks, while 12,000, who are above 55, have been asked to stay home, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said on Tuesday.

The number of Covid-19 cases among the 2.2 lakh-strong Maharashtra Police force had, by Monday, crossed 1,000.

Officials have said a majority of cases from Maharashtra Police are among local police personnel from Mumbai, Thane, Malegaon, or personnel of the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) who were deployed in these high-risk areas. Read more here

23:09 (IST)12 May 2020
Meghalaya down to one active COVID-19 case

On Tuesday, Meghalaya reported that it currently has one active COVID-19 case. After a popular Shillong doctor had tested positive (and subsequently died) on April 15, 12 of his primary contacts tested positive in the subsequent weeks. “The 11th case was tested again after 24 hours. Her test has come out negative again. Based on protocols, the patient has recovered. Meghalaya as of now has only one active case,” confirmed CM Conrad Sangma on Twitter

22:41 (IST)12 May 2020
After rail travel, Aarogya Setu app might be made mandatory for air travel as well

The Government of India has started to ease the lockdown restrictions, which has been in place since March due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The government may also start domestic air travel for people stuck in various parts of the country. According to a PTI report, the government is looking to “make it mandatory for people to have Aarogya Setu mobile application installed in their phones while taking a flight post-lockdown.”

“Preliminary discussions regarding making this app mandatory for air passengers have been done with the airlines,” government officials told PTI.

The report adds, that if the proposal gets approved by the Aviation ministry, passengers will be required to have the app installed and completely functional on their smartphones before being allowed to travel.

22:26 (IST)12 May 2020
Not 11,000, Maharashtra govt to release 17,000 inmates now after 185 positive cases detected in two jails

The State government has decided to temporarily release 17,000 inmates, 50 per cent of the pre-lockdown population in jails across the state, in the wake of more than 180 positive cases of Covid-19 at Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai and to avoid the spread of the infection inside jails in future.

A high-powered committee (HPC), formed as per Supreme Court directives to lay down steps to decongest prisons in the backdrop of the pandemic, held a meeting on Monday after 185 positive cases surfaced at Arthur Road Jail: 158 inmates and 26 jail staff have tested positive, along with one case in Byculla Jail. The committee has made further recommendations to the government, based on which the state prisons department has increased the number of prisoners slated to be released temporarily.

22:12 (IST)12 May 2020
India lockdown diary, Day 49: Assam Police gifts 2-wheeler to vegetable vendor; teens dig well to fight water crisis; and more

Janmoni Gogoi, 20, who sells vegetables on a bicycle to support her parents financially during the ongoing lockdown, has been gifted a two-wheeler by the Assam Police.

Police officers came to know about Gogoi after her photograph selling vegetables, with large bags hanging from the handle of her bicycle and a basket on its carrier, went viral on social media. “Her self-respect prevented her from taking monetary help. So we came up with the idea of gifting her a two-wheeler so that she can carry her vegetables more comfortably and in larger quantities,” Deputy Superintendent of Police Pallavi Mazumder told news agency PTI. Here is a curated list of some interesting stories from across the country on Day 49 of India’s coronavirus lockdown.

22:11 (IST)12 May 2020
Explained: When should schools reopen amid the Covid-19 pandemic?

On May 10, the World Health Organisation (WHO) released a set of considerations that countries may refer to when deciding whether to reopen schools amid the coronavirus pandemic. According to UNESCO, over 1.57 billion students have been affected by school closures in more than 190 countries during the pandemic.

Some countries in Europe have started lifting restrictions on their residents. On Tuesday, over a million children are scheduled to go to school in France, and in Germany, schools have been partially reopened for younger children. In Spain, schools are shut till September with the exception of classes for some students. In the UK, only two per cent of children are attending school at the moment and the government has urged schools and authorities to encourage more children to come to school.

22:09 (IST)12 May 2020
Assam: First special passenger train to reach tomorrow, only symptomatic to be tested

As the first passenger trains from Delhi are scheduled to arrive in the state on Wednesday, the Assam government has announced that only those showing symptoms will be tested.

The first batch of passengers — over 800 people — will be arriving in Assam on the special trains, starting Wednesday. This number includes a vast majority from the neighbouring state of Arunachal Pradesh, who would be getting down at the last stop of Dibrugarh. The Arunachal Pradesh government will be responsible for ferrying them back home. These trains are expected to run through the week.

21:53 (IST)12 May 2020
It is not clear what is in the package for laborers, farmers, traders, and MSME: Chhattisgarh CM

Financial package should have been announced earlier. It is not clear what is in the package for laborers, farmers, traders, and MSMEs. Tomorrow Finance Minister will clarify it then only it will be clear which sector is getting what: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel (ANI)

21:52 (IST)12 May 2020
Assam offers financial aid to Kaziranga safari operators hit by the lockdown

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal Tuesday announced financial assistance of Rs 2,000 each to jeep safari and elephant safari operators engaged inside Kaziranga National Park, whose services were badly hit due to COVID-19. CM Sonowal visited the UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for the Asian one-horned rhinos on Tuesday to take stock flood preparedness in view of the imminent monsoons. With African swine fever infection reported from many parts of the state, the CM also directed officials to constitute a skilled task force comprising veterinary doctors and forest officials to contain the spread of the infection, and monitor the health of the animals in general.

21:43 (IST)12 May 2020
INS Magar arrives at Kochi with 202 Indian nationals from Maldives

In the second phase of the repatriation mission by the Indian navy, more than 200 Indian citizens stranded in Maldives due to the COVID-19 pandemic arrived here by a Naval ship on Tuesday evening, officials said.

"The second Indian Navy ship under 'Operation Samudra Setu' - INS Magar with 202 evacuees from Maldives arrived at Cochin Port on Tuesday at 5:45 pm," a Cochin Port Trust statement said here.

There are 91 repatriates of Kerala, 83 of Tamil Nadu and 28 belonging to 15 other states and Union Territories, it said.

The vessel is berthed at BTP Jetty and the disembarkation procedures, including examination and clearance by PHO, Customs and Immigration, are being carried out inside the Terminal. (PTI)

21:31 (IST)12 May 2020
J P Nadda: PM Modi has declared the world’s largest holistic relief package

Hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address to the nation, BJP president J P Nadda said, "In the times of COVID 19, Hon PM @narendramodi is leading the country from the front. The 21st century will be defined by India, Hon PM’s message today has laid foundation stone for implementing this. #AatmanirbharBharat is our Mantra for driving country towards this new change."

"Today, our Honble PM has declared the world’s largest holistic relief package. The Modi govt has given financial packages of Rs 20 Lakh Crore to support every section of the society. It is around 10% of Indian GDP. Hon PM’s proactive approach will build a #AatmanirbharBharat."

"Self-reliance is the panecea to fight COVID-19. I thank PM Shri @narendramodi ji for announcing holistic package of 20 lakh crore to address land, labor, liquidity & laws. Rooted in our ethos of 'vasudhaiv kutumbkam', self-reliance will not only benefit us but the whole world."

21:18 (IST)12 May 2020
What is ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ announced by PM Modi

In his fifth address to the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an economic package totaling Rs 20 lakh crore to tide over the Covid-19 crisis under ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’. The Rs 20 lakh crore package includes the government’s recent announcements on supporting key sectors and measures by Reserve Bank of India.

The prime minister said the goal of the country would be to become self-reliant, and identified economy and infrastructure as key drivers for it. He said making the country self-reliant was only way to make 21st century belong to India.

“India’s self-reliance will be based on five pillars — economy, infrastructure, technology driven system, vibrant demography and demand. When India speaks of self-reliance, it does not advocate for a self-centered system. In India’s self-reliance there is a concern for the whole world’s happiness, cooperation and peace,” PM Modi said.

21:05 (IST)12 May 2020
PM Modi address to nation: India's self-reliance based on five pillars

India's self-reliance will be based on five pillars -- economy, infrastructure, technology driven system, vibrant demography and demand: PM Modi

21:02 (IST)12 May 2020
PM Modi address to nation: Special package equivalent to 10% GDP

21:01 (IST)12 May 2020
PM Modi's address to nation: Every Indian should become 'vocal about local' products

21:00 (IST)12 May 2020
Top points from PM Modi's address to nation

Top points from PM Modi's address to nation

Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Medics at a government hospital in New Delhi, Monday.

Coronavirus India LIVE News Updates:

On Monday, PM Modi in his fifth meeting with the state chief ministers said the road ahead should be focused on reducing the spread of Covid-19 and ensuring that all precautions were taken by people, including social distancing norms, by observing ‘do gaaj doori’. Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan proposed resumption of all the domestic flights except from containment zones as further impetus to inter-state navigation. However, those with symptoms should not be allowed to board, Vijayan said.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee lashed out at the Centre for “playing politics” over the coronavirus issue and opposed the resumption of passenger train services. “We have been cooperating with the Centre but why are you playing politics. This is not the time for politics. We are doing our best but why is the Centre attacking West Bengal,” Mamata Banerjee reportedly said in the meeting. Underscoring the federal structure, Banerjee asked the Centre to talk to states before ending the lockdown and allowing resumption of other services.

Explained: New reasons why masks help

Meanwhile, taking note of the several mishaps including the Aurangabad train accident killing, the Home Ministry directed all states and Union territories to ensure that migrant workers do not resort to walking on roads, rail tracks and use available special trains. The states should also cooperate with railways in running more ‘Shramik’ special trains available for migrant workers, the ministry added.

A woman police officer at work at Junabazaar chowk, one of the containment areas in Pune on Monday.

Refuting certain media reports claiming that the government is mulling religion-based mapping of hotspots, Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said it was a very irresponsible, baseless and incorrect news. “It is a very irresponsible news. Even the Supreme Court has already said that no fake news should be published, and any news should be published after checking facts,” Agarwal said. “I appeal to everyone not to encourage non-factual news,” he said, asserting that the spread of COVID-19 has nothing to do with race, religion, area and spreads due to lack of precautions and when dos and don’ts are not followed.

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