Modi boosting India’s spirit to fight COVID-19, say experts

AS the world is fighting COVID-19 pandemic, the initiatives taken by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to keep the country from slipping into despondency are being praised by western experts. In a video message, PM Modi today urged people across India to switch off their lights and hold candles, lamps and flashlights at 9 pm on Sunday, April 5, for 9 minutes in a nationwide show of solidarity, to fight the darkness of coronavirus...

PM seeks support of sports heroes; stars promise to do their bit

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Friday turned to India’s sporting heroes for support in the herculean battle to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and more than 40 accomplished champions such as Virat Kohli and P V Sindhu responded by vowing to raise awareness and spirits amid a national lockdown. The athletes, along with Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, participated in nearly an hour-long video call which started at 11 am...

Home is where research is: 3 Indians stay back in Italy

THREE Indians pursuing academic careers in Italy stayed back when COVID-19 was sweeping across the European nation - one to complete his doctorate, the second for coronavirus related research and the third to see how the country with the world’s second-best healthcare facilities tackles the pandemic. All three are from Assam and have been staying in Italy for nearly four years...

IIT alumni develop drone with infrared camera for thermal screening

THREE alumni of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) have developed a drone equipped with infrared camera which can help in thermal screening of groups without human intervention and identify suspected COVID-19 cases at an early stage once the lockdown is lifted. The drone also has a loudspeaker which can be used by personnel to monitor places especially with high disease prevalence and give appropriate instructions...

4 men slapped with NSA for attacking health workers

THE Indore district administration on Friday invoked the National Security Act (NSA) against four men involved in the alleged attack on health workers in Taatpatti Bakhal area of the city. This is first such action related to COVID-19 pandemic in Madhya Pradesh, an official said. A five-member team from the health department had gone to Taatpatti Bakhal on Wednesday to quarantine relatives and acquaintances of a COVID-19 patient, when an unruly mob attacked them with stones, injuring two women doctors...

Centre crediting Rs 500 in each Jan Dhan account held by women

Ministry of Rural Development on Friday said that it is releasing a lump sum amount of Rs. 500 per head to women account holders under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) for April and the same have been credited to the designated accounts of individual banks on April 2. This follows the announcement made by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on March 26 regarding ex-gratia payment of Rs 500 for each woman PMJDY account holder for the next three months under the PM Garib Kalyan Package amid coronavirus ..

MHA blacklists 960 foreign Tablighi Jamaat members

FOUR Americans, nine Britishers and six Chinese nationals were among the 960 foreign Tablighi Jamaat activists who were blacklisted and their tourist visas cancelled by the Union Home Ministry, officials said on Friday. The foreign Jamaat members, who are currently in different parts of the country, some of whom have tested positive for COVID-19, also include 379 Indonesians, 110 Bangladeshi, 63 Myanmarese and 33 Sri Lankan citizens. As many as 77 citizens from Kyrgyzstan, 75 Malaysian, 65 Thai, 12 ..

Light diyas on Sunday 9 pm to defeat corona darkness: Modi

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Friday urged people to switch off the lights at their homes and light up lamps, candles or mobile phone torches for nine minutes at 9 pm on April 5 to display the country’s “collective resolve” to defeat coronavirus. In a video message of over 11 minutes, Modi also asked people to maintain the “lakshman rekha” of social distancing by staying indoors and not getting together in groups during the exercise...

647 COVID-19 +ve cases found linked to Tablighi congregation, says Govt

AS many as 647 COVID-19 positive cases found in 14 States in the last two days are linked to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation, the Union Health Ministry said on Friday. More than 380 new confirmed cases were announced by various States during the day, some are related to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation, Joint Secretary in the Health Ministry Lav Agarwal said in a daily media briefing...

Seek religious leaders’ help for social distancing: V-P tells Governors, LGs

VICE President M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday urged Governors and Lt Governors to motivate spiritual and religious leaders to advise their followers against holding congregations and practice social distancing to prevent the transmission of coronavirus. Addressing Governors, LGs and administrators along with President Ram Nath Kovind via video, Naidu also asked them to focus on the arrangements made to ensure harvesting, storage and procurement of agriculture produce in their respective States and Union ..

Over 31,000 doctors join fight against COVID-19

MORE than 31,000 doctors, including retired Government and Armed Forces Medical Services, and private physicians have volunteered to help the Government fight against COVID-19 pandemic, a senior Government official said on Friday...

Avoid gatherings on Shab-e-Barat, Dr Ambedkar anniversary: Pawar

NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Thursday urged Muslims to observe Shab-e-Barat staying inside their homes and also suggested that the birth anniversary celebrations of Dalit icon B R Ambedkar be postponed to avoid a Nizamuddin congregation-like episode. Pawar said Ram Navami, being observed on Thursday, is celebrated with fervour every year across the country. “Unfortunately, there is this threat of coronavirus this year and we have to observe some restrictions...But I am sure people must be remembering ..

‘Health of River Ganga improves’

THE health of Ganga River has seen significant improvement since enforcement of the nationwide lockdown that has led to reduction in dumping of industrial waste into it, experts have said. India has been placed under a three-week lockdown since March 24 with its 1.3 billion people instructed to stay home in view of the coronavirus outbreak, which has claimed 50 lives so far and infected over 1,965 people in the country. The Ganga river water was found to be suitable for bathing at most monitoring ..

Domestic violence cases have increased during lockdown: NCW

THE 21-day lockdown following the novel coronavirus outbreak has resulted in an increase in domestice violence cases, the National Commission of Women said on Thursday. “There have been different kinds of complaints related to the domestic violence, in which husbands are abusing them (women) and calling them COVID-19,” NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma told the media. “From March 24 till April 1, the NCW has received 69 domestic violence complaints and it is increasing day by day...

‘MahaKavach’ app to help in contact tracing of coronavirus patients

WITH a view to effectively combat the coronavirus pandemic, a digital application named ‘MahaKavach’ has been designed, which will help the health authorities in contact tracing and tracking of quarantined COVID-19 patients. This platform has been developed after extensive inputs from on-ground officials and by studying the existing methodologies deployed in other countries and other states in India, an official release issued here said on Wednesday...

Kerala HC stays Govt’s liquor supply order

THE Kerala High Court on Thursday stayed the state Government order to state-owned Bevco to supply liquor at the homes to those who got prescriptions from Government medical doctors about withdrawal symptoms and thus needing drinks. Congress MP T N Prathapan, who approached the court, said: “Just fail to understand why the Kerala Government has been so adamant on this instead of concentrating on its work to fight coronavirus spread...

Coronavirus helplines either busy or unreachable, complain users

WHEN over the counter paracetamols did not help abate Delhi-based Ankur Tiwari’s low-grade fever, sore throat and breathlessness, he tried calling up the COVID-19 helplines to check if he needed to get tested for the fatal virus, but to no avail. “The numbers were either busy or did not connect at all. I waited for over half an hour on a single call, but it never connected,” Tiwari told PTI. The two helpline numbers that the 46-year-old teacher had tried calling were — 011-22307145 (Delhi govt) and ..

Test, track, isolate and quarantine: PM to CMs

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday told Chief Ministers to focus on COVID-19 containment measures -- testing, tracing, isolation and quarantine -- in the next few weeks with a common goal to ensure minimum loss of life, and pitched for formulating a “staggered” exit strategy from the ongoing lockdown. ..

9,000 Tablighi Jamaat members, primary contacts quarantined

ABOUT 9,000 Tablighi Jamaat members and their primary contacts have been quarantined till now in the country after the Government undertook “massive efforts” as part of steps to check the spread of the novel coronavirus, a senior Home Ministry official said on Thursday...

With 235 new virus cases total 2,069; death toll 53

WITH 235 more people being confirmed positive for the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, the number of COVID-19 cases climbed to 2,069 and the death toll to 53 in the country on Thursday, the Union Health Ministry said. The number of active COVID-19 cases in the country is 1,860, while 155 people were either cured or discharged and one had migrated, it said. In its updated data at 6 pm, the Ministry reported three fresh deaths -- one from Gujarat and two from Delhi. Maharashtra has reported the most ..

Aus scientists begin tests of potential vaccines

SCIENTISTS in Australia said on Thursday they have begun testing two potential vaccines for OVID 19 in “milestone” lab trials as part of a global race to halt the novel coronavirus pandemic. The scientists at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia’s national science agency, said they are testing the COVID-19 vaccine candidates for efficacy...

33 new COVID-19 patients in Mah, count 335; death toll 16

THE number of coronavirus cases in Maharashtra increased by 33 to 335 on Wednesday while six patients died, taking the death toll to 16, health officials said. Thirty of the new cases were found in Mumbai alone, two in Pune and one in Buldhana, said an official. The State had reported 302 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. Health Minister Rajesh Tope had said earlier in the day that the number of cases would increase further because there were around 5,000 persons in “high-risk” category...

Wipro, Azim Premji Foundation commit Rs 1,125 cr for crisis

WIPRO Ltd, Wipro Enterprises Ltd and Azim Premji Foundation have together committed Rs 1,125 crore towards tackling the unprecedented health and humanitarian crisis arising from the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. These resources will help enable the dedicated medical and service fraternity in the frontline of the battle against the pandemic and in mitigating its wide-ranging human impact, particularly on the most disadvantaged of our society, as per a company statement released on Wednesday...

250 Indians stranded in Iran tested positive for COVID-19, Centre tells SC

THE Centre Wednesday told the Supreme Court that 250 Indian pilgrims stranded in Qom, Iran, have tested positive for coronavirus and have not been evacuated, while over 500 have already been brought back. The top court observed that it is thinking of asking the Indian embassy to constantly monitor the situation and be in touch with the stranded Indians in Iran. A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah said it will pass the orders in favour of the petitioners and would ask the Indian embassy ..

Tracking COVID-19 ‘super spreader’: From J&K to Tablighi event in Delhi and back via UP

A SRINAGAR-based businessman who attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Nizamuddin travelled by air, train and road to Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and back to Jammu and Kashmir before he died of COVID-19, raising fears he may have infected many others along the way, officials said on Tuesday. Among his possible victims is a doctor battling for life in a Jammu hospital. The businessman died on March 26 in a..

Thousands of passengers of 5 trains under scanner over Jamaat congregation

RAILWAYS is scrambling to provide information regarding thousands of passengers who travelled on five trains with people who participated in the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi, many of whom have tested positive. All these trains began from Delhi between March 13 and March 19 - the Duronto Express to Guntur in Andhra Pradesh, the Grand Trunk Express to Chennai, the Tamil Nadu Express to Chennai, New Delhi-Ranchi Rajdhani Express and the AP Sampark Kranti Express...

IIT researchers developing robots to deliver food, medicines to patients in isolation wards

RESEARCHERS at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) are developing two robots which can be deployed in isolation wards for COVID-19 infected cases for delivery of food and medicine to patients and collection of contagious waste. The team from IIT Guwahati’s Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering departments believes the move will reduce human intervention in isolation wards. “We are working on two robots--one for medicine and food delivery to isolation wards which can be customised ..

COVID-19 reminder of interconnected nature of world, need for global response: Modi to Chinese PM

THE coronavirus pandemic is a reminder of the interconnected nature of the world and the need for adopting a global response to it, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday in a message to his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang. Modi, in the message to Li marking 70 years of diplomatic ties between India and China, also said good bilateral relations are conducive not only for the two countries, but also important from the perspective of peace, stability and prosperity of the region and the world...

Nationwide search for Tablighi COVID-19 suspects

IN A sweeping nationwide hunt, authorities across States have identified more than 6,000 people who attended the Nizamuddin Tablighi Jamaat congregation, the biggest COVID-19 hotspot in India, as more than 375 fresh cases of infection emerged on Wednesday to take the tally to close to 1,900 with at least 55 deaths. More than 5,000 of those identified to have attended the congregation have been quarantined, including in hospitals across states, while efforts are on to trace another 2,000 including ..

Rs 1 cr for kin if health staffer dies treating COVID-19 patient in Delhi

DELHI Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday announced Rs one crore for the families of healthcare personnel if they lose their lives while dealing with coronavirus cases in the national capital. Interacting with doctors, the Chief Minister said that at present, the Delhi Government gives Rs one crore to the families of soldiers belonging to the national capital if they die in the line of duty. “Your contribution is no less than a soldier’s...

Class 11, 12 CBSE students can opt for Applied Mathematics

AFTER introducing two levels of mathematics papers for class 10 students, CBSE will now offer ‘Applied Mathematics’ as an academic elective at the senior secondary level for those who do not want to take it up for higher studies or won’t opt for engineering which require a broader understanding of the subject. The elective subject aimed at developing an understanding of basic mathematical and statistical tools and their applications in the field of commerce and social science, will be offered as elective ..

Kerala to issue spl passes for tipplers to get liquor

THE Kerala Government has decided to issue special passes for tipplers, who have withdrawal symptoms and doctor’s prescription, to purchase liquor from the Excise department. A Government Order in this regard was issued on Monday night, despite objection from doctors’ association, to supply liquor to tipplers under..

Lata Mangeshkar, Priyanka pledge donations to PM-CARES, CM relief fund

LEGENDARY singer Lata Mangeshkar, actors Priyanka Chopra, Alia Bhatt, Vicky Kaushal, among others on Tuesday pledged money to various relief funds aimed at combating the coronavirus pandemic in the country. Whether in cash or kind, more and more personalities from the Indian entertainment industry are coming forward to offer support during the COVID-19 outbreak. Mangeshkar announced on Twitter that she was donating Rs 25 lakh to the Chief Minister’s Assistance Fund as part of her “duty to help your ..

COVID-19 cases in Mah jump to 302

AS MANY as 72 new coronavirus cases were detected in Maharashtra on Tuesday, 59 of them in Mumbai alone, taking the total number of COVID-19 patients in the State to 302, a health official said. This is the largest increase in the number of cases within a day probably in the country, the State official said. Besides Mumbai, Ahmednagar reported three cases, while two cases each came to light in Pune, Thane, Vasai, Virar and Kalyan-Dombivali cities, he added...

Confusion among borrowers over 3-month moratorium as many get EMI reminders

WITH many getting payment reminders, confusion prevails among borrowers, term-plan investors and credit cardholders over the implementation of the three-month moratorium on all loan repayments amid disruptions caused by the coronavirus outbreak. As part of measures to alleviate hardships faced by people, the Reserve Bank, on March 27, announced a slew of steps, including a three-month moratorium on loan repayments...

‘Kerala elderly couple surviving COVID-19 brings ray of hope’

THE recovery of an elderly couple, aged 93 and 88, in Kerala from coronavirus in the face of high mortality rate in the older population globally due to the infection has brought a ray of hope to other patients, with some experts describing it as “rarest of the rare” case. Thomas and his wife Mariyamma, hailing from Ranni locality in Pathanamthitta municipality in Central Travancore region, tested positive and remained critical for days, before recovering completely from the infection...

Rise in COVID-19 hotspots due to lack of people’s support: Centre

WITH over 1,200 COVID-19 cases reported in the country so far, the number of hotspots of the disease have increased, the Health Ministry said on Monday while underlining that it is implementing rigorous contact tracing and cluster containment strategies. Addressing the daily press conference to provide updates on the COVID-19 situation in the country, Joint Secretary in Health Ministry Lav Agarwal said 227 cases have been reported in the last 24 hours and he attributed the increase to “lack of people’s ..

PM shares yoga asan video, says it helps relieve stress

IN A bid to encourage people to stay fit during lockdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday shared a video of a yoga asan which he practices. “Whenever I get time, I practice Yoga Nidra once or twice a week,” he wrote on Twitter. Yoga nidra is known for relieving stress. “It furthers overall well-being, relaxes the mind, reduces stress and anxiety,” he wrote...

24 who attended Tablighi Jamaat event test +ve; 1,107 quarantined

DELHI Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said 1,548 people have been evacuated from Nizamudddin Markaz (centre) here of which, 441 were hospitalised after they showed coronavirus symptoms. In a digital press conference, the chief minister said 1,107 people, who attended religious congregation in Nizamudddin West, have been quarantined. He said that out of 97 cases of coronavirus in the city, 24 were those who took part in the congregation earlier this month Kejriwal slammed the organisers of ..

SC asks Centre to prevent migration

THE Supreme Court asked the Centre on Tuesday to prevent migration of people due to coronavirus and set up within 24 hours a portal for disseminating real time information on the pandemic to counter the panic being spread through fake news. “Panic will destroy more lives than the virus”, the top court said and asked the Centre to get trained counsellors and community leaders of all faiths to calm down the migrants, who are kept in shelter homes across the country...

Counter superstition, wrong info on virus: Modi to social workers

ORGANISATIONS involved in social welfare can play a big role in countering superstitions and misinformation about coronavirus, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday. In the name of belief, people have been seen gathering in places flouting social distancing norms. Hence there is a need for educating them about the importance of social distancing to check the spread of the deadly virus, he also said. ..

Thousands of prisoners being released on interim bail or parole

THOUSANDS of prisoners in overcrowded jails across the country are being released on interim bail or parole in an unprecedented step to prevent the spread of coronavirus and also to avoid any clashes, as authorities scramble to stop the pandemic in its tracks. In Delhi’s Tihar prison that is bursting at the seams, 1,500 inmates..

PM holds video-conference with 130 Indian missions abroad on coronavirus

EXTRAORDINARY times require extraordinary solutions, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said during a video conference on Monday with 130 Indian missions abroad while referring to the 21-day nationwide lockdown to fight coronavirus. In a nearly 75-minute interaction, Modi said India had taken “unprecedented” and..

Modi’s 21-day lockdown is model for COVID-19 affected countries, say activists

AT A time when the world is fighting COVID-19 pandemic and several countries are grappling with the rising cases of coronavirus, the initiatives taken by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for containing the menace are being lauded by many activists and analysts worldwide. Speaking to ANI, an activist from ..

Ambani gives COVID-19 hospital, free food, fuel with Rs 500 cr aid to PM’s Fund

BILLIONAIRE Mukesh Ambani on Monday gave an additional Rs 500 crore to the Prime Minister CARES Fund on top of the multi-crore initiative of the country’s first COVID-19 hospital as he leads the Indian industry in pledging resources to fight the crisis. Ambani’s Reliance Industries said that besides donating Rs 500 crore to the PM-CARES Fund, it will also provide Rs 5 crore each to the Governments of Maharashtra and Gujarat to support their fight against the coronavirus pandemic...

PM Modi shares 3D animated videos of him practising yoga

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Monday shared 3D animated videos of him performing yoga on Twitter to show how he remains fit. “During yesterday’s #MannKiBaat, someone asked me about my fitness routine during this time. Hence, thought of sharing these Yoga videos,” he tweeted. “I hope you also begin practising Yoga..

31 Indians brought from Kabul, sent to quarantine facility

A SPECIAL flight from Afghanistan carrying 31 Indians, including diplomats and ITBP personnel, landed at the Delhi airport on Monday and the passengers were sent to a quarantine facility set up in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, officials said. Officials had earlier said that a total of 35 people were brought on the plane. They were brought on a Kam Air flight from Kabul that landed at about 2:40 pm at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport...

Purohit donates Rs 1 crore each to PM relief fund, TN CM relief fund

TAMIL Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit has donated Rs one crore each to the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund and Chief Minister’s Public Relief Fund of Tamil Nadu, the Raj Bhawan said on Monday. The donation made from the Governor’s Discretionary Grant has been done to assist the Centre and State in their fight to tackle the spread of coronavirus, the release said..

No plan to extend lockdown: Govt

THE Government on Monday said that there was no immediate plan to extend the 21-day lockdown amid fears that shutdown of businesses across the country to counter the spread of coronavirus may trigger severe economic..

COVID-19 to impact economic growth in S Asian region: EIU

THE coronavirus pandemic is expected to dampen economic growth “substantially” in the South Asian region, including India, and though the Central banks and Governments have responded by providing stimulus, the measures will not come close to offsetting the loss of economic activity, says a report. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) said dense living conditions, low hygiene awareness and overburdened healthcare systems make the South Asian region vulnerable to the worst effects of an outbreak. “Chronic ..

Automobile manufacturers asked to make ventilators: Health Ministry

THE Centre has asked automobile manufacturers to use their facilities to make ventilators to boost the country’s capacity of such machines in view of a spike in COVID-19 cases in the country. It also said that the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will begin manufacturing 20,000 N-95 masks per day from the next week...

Global oil prices plunge to 2002 low

INTERNATIONAL oil prices on Monday plunged to a 17-year low but retail petrol and diesel prices in India remained on freeze as oil companies continued to set off gains against the excise duty hiked by the Government. Brent crude futures dropped to around USD 23 per barrel - the lowest since November 2002, while US crude briefly dipped below USD 20 as coronavirus lockdowns dried up demand while the crude surplus ballooned. Petrol and diesel prices in India, however, remained on freeze for the 14th ..

Migrant workers live on tree as quarantine space

GO CLIMB a tree! So goes the idiom. The families and villagers of seven migrant labourers returning home to Balarampur village in West Bengal’s Purulia district told them just that, literally. Taking the coronavirus outbreak and the media campaign about social distancing seriously, the villagers asked these men to make trees their home during the self-quarantine. According to local MLA, Shantiram Mahato, the labourers had returned last Friday and were advised self- quarantine for 14 days as a precaution ..

Indian-American publication ends print edition after 50 yrs

THE New York city-based ‘India Abroad’, the iconic ethnic Indian-American weekly newspaper with a 50-year-long legacy, has announced the shut down of its print edition, a media report said. Founded by Indian-American publisher Gopal Raju in 1970, the oldest Indian newspaper in North America rose to great heights of popularity as it effectively filled the gap of a publication catering to the Indian diaspora in the US, said the American Bazaar in a report on Saturday...

Railways to donate Rs 151 cr to PM-CARES Fund: Goyal

THE Railways Ministry will donate Rs 151 crore to PM-CARES Fund to help in combating the coronavirus threat, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said on Sunday. “Following PM’s call, I, Suresh Angadi, will donate one month’s salary, 13 lakh rly, PSU employees will donate one day’s salary, equal to Rs 151 cr to PM-CARES fund,” Goyal, who is the Railway minister, tweeted...

IIT-KGP researchers design face shields for healthcare workers

AS THE clamour for protective gears to fight the novel coronavirus grows among healthcare workers in the State, a group of researchers of a premier institute has come up with a prototype of a face shield for those attending to COVID-19 patients. Santanu Dhara and Sangeeta Das Bhattacharya, researchers at the School of Medical Science and Technology, IIT Kharagpur, have designed the face shield with transparency sheet, sponge, folded paper, cardboard, rubber band and double-sided tape all of which ..

There is nothing big or little, Modi tells man who gave Rs 501 to PM fund

ACTOR Akshay Kumar was perhaps the first one to announce his contribution to the fund created by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday to fight the coronavirus and similar “distressing” situations. “Great gesture @akshaykumar. Let’s keep donating for a healthier India,” Modi tweeted after the Bollywood actor announced a Rs 25 crore contribution for the fund. When a man tweeted about his contribution of Rs 501 towards the fund, saying it was “just a little donation”, the Prime Minister said that ..

Adityanath directs to quarantine of 1 lakh people who have entered UP in past 3 days

UTTAR Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday issued directions to officials to keep in quarantine the approximately one lakh people who have arrived in the State in the last three days from other parts of the country. According to a State Government spokesperson, Adityanath said that in the last three days, one lakh people have come to UP from other States...

ISRO to design ventilators, make hand sanitisers

DESIGNING simple to operate ventilators, manufacturing of sanitisers, oxygen canisters and masks while putting on hold manufacture of rockets is what Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), part of ISRO, is doing to meet the emergency needs of the people and owing to lockdown, said top official. He also said all the staff at the VSSC are safe and not affected by Coronavirus. Based in Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, the VSSC part of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) makes the rockets that launches ..

Meet the woman who created India’s first COVID-19 testing kit

VIROLOGIST Minal Dakhave Bhosale led from the front to create India’s first coronavirus testing kit even when she was in the last stage of her pregnancy. Bhosale’s efforts paid the price with her team delivering the testing kit in a record time of six weeks. Bhosale gave birth to a baby girl just a day before submitting the kit to the authorities for evaluation. “It was like giving birth to two babies,” Bhosale told PTI over the phone. The virologist said both the journeys - that happened in parallel ..

Modi seeks nation’s forgiveness for tough decisions

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday sought the nation’s forgiveness for imposing a monumental lockdown on the country, saying it was a question of life and death and expressed confidence that “we will definitely win the battle” against the coronavirus menace that has claimed 25 lives in India so far. In his monthly Mann ki Baat radio address to the nation, Modi also praised the front-line workers in the fight against the..

Centre orders closure of State borders to stop migrants’ exodus; warns lockdown violators of 14-day quarantine

THE Centre on Sunday asked State Governments and Union Territory administrations to effectively seal State and district borders to stop movement of migrant workers during the nationwide lockdown and warned that those violating the curb will be sent to 14-day quarantine. During a video conference with Chief Secretaries and DGPs, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba and Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla asked them to ensure that there is no movement of people across cities or on highways as the lockdown continues. ..

COVID-19 death toll rises to 27; cases jump to 1024

THE number of COVID-19 cases climbed to 1,024 and the death toll touched 27 after two fresh deaths were reported on Sunday evening, according to the Union Health Ministry. In its updated data at 7:30 pm, the ministry said the two fresh deaths were reported from Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir. So far, Maharashtra has reported 6 deaths, Gujarat 5, Karnataka 3, Madhya Pradesh 2, Delhi 2, Jammu and Kashmir 2 and Kerala, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Punjab, West Bengal and Himachal Pradesh have reported ..

No fuel crisis in India; enough stock of petrol, diesel, LPG available to last lockdown: IOC

INDIA, the world’s third largest energy consumer, has enough petrol, diesel and cooking gas (LPG) in stocks to last way beyond the three-week nationwide lockdown as all plants and supply locations are fully operational, Indian Oil Corp (IOC) chairman Sanjiv Singh said. Singh, who continued to oversee the mammoth operations of ensuring that fuel reaches every nook and corner despite bereavement of his father on the day 21-day lockdown was declared, said there is no shortage of any fuel in the country ..

Join fight against COVID-19: PM to AYUSH professionals

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday interacted with Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) professionals from around the country through video conferencing on the coronavirus pandemic situation. Talking to the AYUSH sector practitioners, the Prime Minister said that it has a long tradition of keeping the nation healthy and its importance has increased manifold in the ongoing efforts to tackle COVID-19...

Tatas pledge Rs 500 crore support in fight against COVID-19

TATA Trusts on Saturday pledged Rs 500 crore for prevention and relief activities of the coronavirus pandemic. The philanthropic organisation, which hold 66 per cent in the holding firm of the Tata Group, Tata Sons, said the fund has been earmarked for personal protective equipment for medical personnel on the front lines..

3,000 migrant workers going on foot stuck at Mah-Guj border

OVER 3,000 migrant workers from Gujarat and Rajasthan, currently working in the Mumbai metropolitan region, who started walking back to their native places, got stranded at a village in Maharashtras Palghar district as the border has been sealed by the States amid the lockdown, police said. These people, who work in parts of Mumbai, Boisar, Virar, Vasai, Vashi and other adjoining places, got stranded in Acchad village in Talasari taluka of Palgha..

Modi, Nirmala, industry welcome RBI ‘bazooka’ of interest rate cut

FROM Prime Minister Narendra Modi to rating agencies and economists, all welcomed the Reserve Bank of India’s steps to reduce the cost of borrowing and infusing liquidity in the market in its war against the impact of coronavirus pandemic. Following are the comments made by key leaders, businessmen and economists: * Prime Minister Narendra Modi: Today RBI has taken giant steps to safeguard our economy from the impact of the Coronavirus. The announcements will improve liquidity, reduce the cost of ..

Ensure food, water, other support to migrant workers: Gadkari to NHAI

UNION Minister Nitin Gadkari on Saturday asked NHAI Chairman and toll operators across National Highways to provide food, water and other necessary support to migrant workers. The directions came amid reports that migrant workers are facing severe hardships while stranded at various parts in the country on account of nationwide lockdown in the wake of coronavirus pandemic. “I have advised Chairman NHAI and Highway Concessioners/Toll operators to consider providing food, water or any kind of support ..

COVID-19 patients may still have coronavirus after symptoms disappear, says study

RESEARCHERS claim that half of the patients they treated for mild COVID-19 infection still had the novel coronavirus for up to eight days after symptoms disappeared, a finding that explains why controlling the spread of the disease has been difficult. The research, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, assessed 16 patients with COVID-19, who were treated and released from the Treatment Center of PLA General Hospital in Beijing between January 28 and February ..