- Prime Minister Narendra Modi to chair high-level meetings today to review prevailing COVID-19 situation; To also interact with Chief Ministers of high burden states.
- Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asks Insurance Regulator IRDAI to ensure timely authorisation for cashless treatment of Covid patients.
- Uttar Pradesh government to invoke National Security Act against those responsible for black marketing and hoarding of necessary medicines and oxygen.
- Over 13 crore 53 lakh Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in the country so far.
- Election Commission bans road shows, pad-yatras and vehicle rallies in West Bengal.
- Registration for annual Amarnath Yatra suspended temporarily amid rising Covid cases in the country.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi announces India-US partnership on clean energy and climate change.
- Indian women boxers clinch seven Gold medals in World Youth Boxing championships in Poland.
- Royal Challengers Bangalore registers thumping 10-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals in IPL Cricket.
As the number of Covid cases is on the rise again, we appeal to our listeners not to lower their guard, take all the precautions and all those above 45 years to get vaccinated without any hesitation.
Stay safe and protected by following these three simple steps:-
- Wear a face mask.
- Maintain Do Gaz Ki Doori for social distancing
- Focus on hand and face hygiene.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair high-level meetings today to review the prevailing COVID-19 situation. Due to this, he has cancelled his visit to West Bengal.
In the morning, the Prime Minister will review the Covid-19 related situation in an internal meeting. He is also scheduled to interact with Chief Ministers of high burden states on the Covid-19 situation. In the afternoon, the Prime Minister will hold a meeting with leading oxygen manufacturers in the country through Video Conferencing.
In the evening, Mr Modi will address the voters of Birbhum, Kolkata, Malda and Murshidabad virtually.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has directed officials to ensure that oxygen supply to various states happen in a smooth and unhindered manner. Chairing a high-level meeting yesterday to review the oxygen supply across the country and discuss ways and means to boost its availability, Mr Modi spoke about the need to fix responsibility with the local administration in cases of obstruction. He also asked the Ministries to explore various innovative ways to increase the production and supply of oxygen.
The Prime Minister stressed on the need to ensure faster transportation of oxygen to the states. He also stressed that the states should come down heavily on hoarding. The Prime Minister was briefed on how oxygen supply to states is steadily increasing. Against the present demand from 20 states of 6 thousand 785 Metric Tonnes per day of Liquid Medical Oxygen, the Government of India since yesterday has started allocating 6 thousand 822 Metric Tonnes per day to the states.
The Center has directed States and Union Territories to ensure that there should be no restriction imposed on the movement of Medical Oxygen between the States and transport authorities shall be instructed to allow free inter-state movement of oxygen-carrying vehicles. Union Home Secretary and Chairman of National Executive Committee Ajay Kumar Bhalla has written a letter to Secretaries of Ministries and all the Chief Secretaries and Administrators of States and Union Territories in this regard. Mr Bhalla also directed to ensure that no authority shall attach the oxygen-carrying vehicles passing through the district or areas for making supplies specific to any particular district or areas.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that the government is working hard for a better co-ordination between States, hospitals and suppliers of oxygen and vaccines to match the demand and supply in the country. Addressing a virtually event, organised by PHDCCI in New Delhi, Mrs Sitharaman said, the Prime Minister himself is monitoring the situation with eminent doctors and vaccine manufacturers. She said, the import of vaccines, certified by international bodies has been allowed in India.
Ms Sitharaman said a slew of announcements have been made in regard to the drug Remdesivir and custom duty has been waived off. She said, these announcements are expected to increase the availability of the injection in the country.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has asked Insurance Regulator IRDAI to ensure timely authorisation for cashless treatment of COVID patients. Ms Sitharaman spoke to IRDAI Chairman SC Khuntia over the reports that some hospitals are denying cashless insurance. In a tweet, she said, in March last year Covid was included as a part of comprehensive health insurance and cashless service is available at networked or even temporary hospitals.
The Minister informed that over nine lakh Covid related claims have been settled by the insurance companies for 8642 crore rupees so far. She added that even tele-consultations can be covered in it. The Minister said that IRDAI will direct companies to prioritise authorisations and settlements of Covid cases.
India has administered over 13 crore 53 lakh Covid-19 vaccine doses in the country so far. These include over 92 lakh Healthcare Workers who have taken the 1st dose and more than 59 lakh Health care workers who have taken the 2nd dose. Over one crore 17 lakh Frontline Workers have taken the 1st dose and more than 60 lakh front line workers have taken the 2nd dose.
The Union Health Ministry said that more than 30 lakh 16 thousand beneficiaries were inoculated with Covid-19 vaccine doses till 8 PM yesterday. Out of which over 18 lakh beneficiaries were vaccinated for 1st dose and more than 11 lakh beneficiaries received the 2nd dose of the vaccine.
The registration process for COVID vaccination to all above 18 years will start from 28th of this month. All those eligible can register on Co-Win portal – cowin.gov.in. The third phase of COVID Vaccination is starting from 1st of next month. Health Ministry has said CoWin portal will be made ready for 18 plus beneficiaries by 24th April.
In this phase, vaccination will continue as before in Government of India vaccination centres free of cost to the eligible people including Health Care Workers, Front Line Workers and all above 45 years of age. During this phase, vaccine manufacturers will supply 50 percent of their monthly released doses to the Central government and they will be free to supply the remaining 50 percent doses to States as well as in the open market.
The Health Ministry has issued a revised Clinical Guidance for Management of Adult COVID-19 Patients. The guidelines issued by AIIMS, ICMR-COVID-19 National Task Force and the Joint Monitoring Group DGHS under the Ministry said, under emergency use authorization, Remdesivir may be considered for only those patients with moderate to severe diseases requiring supplemental oxygen within 10 days of onset of symptoms. It said, Remdesivir is not recommended for those with severe renal impairment or hepatic dysfunction. It said, Remdesivir not to be used in patients who are not on oxygen support or in home settings.
The guidelines recommended Emergency Use Authorization or off-label use of Tocilizumab drug in case of severe diseases, preferably within 24 to 48 hours of the onset of the disease or ICU admission. It said, Tocilizumab may be considered in patients with significantly raised inflammatory markers and not improving despite use of steroids with there being no active bacterial or fungal or tubercular infection.
The Health Ministry has said, a record number of over three lakh 14 thousand fresh cases were reported in the country within 24 hours. This is the highest number of new cases registered in a single day since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country. With this, the cumulative positive cases crossed the one crore fifty nine lakh mark.
The Ministry has said, at present, there are over twenty two lakh ninety one thousand active cases in the country which comprises 14.38 per cent of the total positive cases. The recovery rate stands at 84.45 per cent. A total of two thousand one hundred four deaths were reported in the country in the last 24 hours, taking the toll to over one lakh eighty four thousand across the country.
Delhi registered 26,169 new COVID-19 cases and 306 related deaths in the past 24 hours. This was the highest number of COVID-19 deaths the national capital has registered in a single day.
As of now, there are 91,618 active COVID-19 cases in the city while the death toll has mounted to 13,193. So far, 9,56,348 people have been infected with the virus in the national capital since the start of the pandemic. Also, 53,673 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered in Delhi in the last 24 hours.
The Uttar Pradesh government has said that it will invoke National Security Act and Gangster Act on those people who are involved in black marketing and holding of necessary medicines, oxygen and injections required for Covid treatment. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath assured that there is no dearth of oxygen for patients in the state and the government is doing its best to provide oxygen to all hospitals. After a review meeting yesterday Chief Minister said that very soon the state will get 1.25 lakh dozes of remdesivir injection.
He directed officials to double the number of Covid beds in each and every district of state.
On the other hand positive news is also coming from the state capital Lucknow which had been the epicenter of pandemic since last few weeks. Yesterday after a long time the number of recovered patient was higher than the number of new infected patients in the City. 6,207 people recovered from coronavirus while around 5,239 people got infected from this virus in the last 24 hours. Lucknow currently has more than 50,000 active Covid patients.
The Bihar government has decided to set up 100 to 500 bed Covid care centre in every district of the state in view of increasing number of Covid-19 cases in the state. These centres will be equipped with oxygen facility. Principal Secretary of Health Department Pratyay Amrit said, cryogenic oxygen tank will be established in every district to meet challenges of oxygen scarcity. The state government has also decided to buy 100 trunet machine to enhance testing facilities.
Meanwhile, 11 thousand 489 fresh cases of Covid -19 reported in the state yesterday. 91 deaths were also reported.
In Chhattisgarh, State Board of Secondary Education has canceled the examinations of class X. The exams for Class 12 have been postponed for the time being in view of the prevailing pandemic situation.
“Chhattisgarh Board of Secondary Education has postponed the examinations of class 12 to be held from 3rd May. The new timetable will be released once the situation of the Covid Pandemic improves. While cancelling the examination of class 10, the Board has issued guidelines that the students of class 10 will be awarded marks based on the assignments issued by the board. If a student has not done the assignment, he will be awarded the minimum marks required to pass. Meanwhile, the Higher Education Department of Chhattisgarh has issued an order that no examination in the government and private universities will be conducted in offline mode during current academic session. All exams will be online. Vikalp Shukla, AIR News, Raipur.”
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said that action should be taken against the black marketers of Remdesivir injection under National Security Act. He said, action should also be taken against those who spread rumors and give misleading information regarding oxygen supply.
“In a high level meeting to review Covid control situation in the state Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said that the way the public has come forward for the Corona curfew and everyone has cooperated, it has reduced the speed of spreading the infection. Chief Minister informed that continuous talks are going on at the Central Government level including DRDO for oxygen supply. Every possible support is being provided by the Central Government in the supply of oxygen. Vaccination is being given momentum in the state. From May 1, all people over the age of 18 will get free vaccination. Pooja P. Vardhan, AIR News, Bhopal.”
The Election Commission has prohibited any road shows, pad-yatras, cycles, bikes, vehicle rallies in West Bengal in light of non adherence to the COVID protocols by many political parties. In an order issued yesterday, the Central Poll body said that public meetings beyond the limit of 500 persons will not be allowed in the state. The new provisions will be in place till the conclusion of the polls.
Taking strong cognisance of the non adherence of COVID protocols during campaigning by several political parties, the Commission issued the order.
The Election Commission reiterated its direction to all the political parties to strictly adhere to the COVID protocols in all the future rallies in the state which would be held with maximum 500 people.
In Maharashtra, 13 patients lost their lives in a fire at a private covid hospital in Virar near Mumbai this morning. Fire was reported at around 3 am in the ICU ward of the hospital. The Fire brigade doused the fire. The hospital is situated in Palghar district.
The Odisha government has imposed 14-day quarantine for people coming to the state from West Bengal. An order to this effect was issued yesterday particularly in view of the detection of the triple mutant variety of covid-19 virus in West Bengal and other states.
“Whatever be the mode of travel from West Bengal to Odisha, one has to undergo 14 days’ institutional or paid quarantine in centres identified by the local authorities. However, on the production of second dose vaccination certificate or RT-PCR negative report within 48 hours of entry into the state, one can have the liberty of home quarantine, that too for 14 days as usual. No one entering Odisha from West Bengal would even be allowed to disembark anywhere inside the state, if one is enroute to other state through Odisha. Meanwhile, the covid-19 active caseload of the state has shot up further beyond 35 thousand, with the detection of 6,000 new cases during the last 24 hours. Girish Chandra Dash, AIR News, Bhubaneswar.”
Tamil Nadu logged more than 12-thousand 600 new Covid cases yesterday. The State Government has said it has sufficient stock of RT-PCR kits and medical oxygen in its hospitals. In a statement, Chief Secretary Rajiv Ranjan said, out of the nearly 55-thousand beds in government hospitals meant for Covid treatment, more than 65 percent have been connected with high flow oxygen cannulas. About 240 tons of liquid oxygen are being used in the state every day.
“Tamil Nadu government has unveiled a plan to conduct vaccination camps in most workplaces from the 1st May, once the youth over the age of 18 also become eligible to take it. The state administration has said the camps will be held for all kinds of workers including migrant labourers, construction workers, retail traders, teachers and government staff. In response to reports of wastage of vaccination doses, the state administration has clarified that wastage will come down in the coming days. Jayasingh, AIR News, Chennai.“
The Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation have granted conditional exemption to Indian Council of Medical Research for conducting feasibility study of Covid-19 vaccine delivery using drones in collaboration with IIT Kanpur. The exemption is valid for a period of one year or until further orders.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation said, these exemptions will be valid only if all conditions and limitations for the entities are strictly adhered to. In case of violation of any condition, the exemption shall become null and void and action may be initiated by Ministry of Civil Aviation and Directorate General of Civil Aviation.
In view of rising Corona cases in the country, Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board has temporarily suspended the registration for this year’s Yatra to the Amarnath Cave shrine. In a tweet, the Shrine Board said the COVID situation is being constantly monitored and registration will be reopened once the situation improves. The 56- day annual Amarnath Yatra will commence on 28 of June and continue till August 22. The online registration for the yatra began on 1st of April, which now stands suspended.
Musician Shravan Rathod of Nadeem-Shravan duo passed away yesterday evening due to Covid-19. After testing positive for COVID-19, 66 year musician was admitted to a private hospital in Mumbai.
Aashiqui, Sajan, Hum hai rahi pyar ke, Pardes, Raja Hindustani are some of their popular hits. Nadim-shravan duo had done the hattrick of winning Filmfare award for best musician.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced US-India partnership on clean energy and climate change. Addressing Leaders’ Climate Summit, Mr Modi announced launch of India-US climate and clean energy Agenda 2030 partnership, which can be a template of green collaborations to help developing countries access to affordable green finance and clean technologies.
“As a climate-responsible developing country, India welcomes partners to create templates of sustainable development in India. These can also help other developing countries, who need affordable access to green finance and clean technologies. That is why, President Biden and I are launching the “India-US climate and clean energy Agenda 2030 partnership”. Together, we will help mobilise investments, demonstrate clean technologies and enable green collaborations.”
Underlining that the concrete action is needed for humanity to combat Climate Change, he said, we need such action at a high speed, on a large scale, and with a global scope.
“Concrete action is needed. We need such action at a high speed, on a large scale and with a global scope. We, in India, are doing our part. Our ambitious renewable energy target of 450 GigaWatts by 2030 shows our commitment. Despite our development challenges, we have taken many bold steps on clean energy, energy efficiency, afforestation and bio-diversity.”
The Summit called by US President Joe Biden, several countries including the US, Japan and Canada announced their enhanced climate action plans to substantially cut their carbon footprints by 2030. Aim of the leaders’ summit is to galvanise efforts by the major economies to reduce greenhouse gas emission and meet the targets of the Paris Agreement to keep temperature rise to well below 2 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century.
United States will boost public climate finance to help poor countries reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to a changing climate. White House said it is embracing ambitious but attainable goals for international aid to developing countries, given the urgency of the climate crisis and to compensate for a sharp drop in US funding during the Trump administration. It added that by 2024 it will triple financing of climate adaptation, which focuses on adjustments to current or expected climate change.
The US administration released its climate finance plan in tandem with a new goal to cut emissions by 50%-52% from 2005 levels. US International Development Finance Corporation will also change its development strategy to include climate for the first time, and prioritize climate mitigation and adaptation.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has spoken to his Indonesian counterpart General Prabowo Subianto on the phone and shared his pain over the news of missing submarine Nanggala its crew members. In a tweet, Mr Singh said, India is extending its full support to the ongoing Indonesian rescue efforts. The Defence Minister said, he has already directed Indian Navy to move its Deep Submergence Rescue Vessel DSRV to Indonesia and also tasked the Indian Air Force to see the feasibility of induction of the DSRV intervention system by air.
In the World Youth Boxing championships, Indian women boxers put up sensational performances as they created history with seven gold medals in Kielce, Poland. All the women finalists Gitika, Naorem Babyrojisana Chanu, Poonam, Vinka, Arundhati Choudhary, T Sanamacha Chanu and Alfiya Pathan registered their wins and finished on the top of the podium. Apart from the eight finalists, three others won bronze medals at the tournament.
“In IPL Cricket, Devdutt Padikkal’s unbeaten 101 and skipper Virat Kohli’s 72 not out helped Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) registered a thumping 10-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals in Mumbai last night. Devdutt Padikkal’s was declared Player of the Match. Chasing 178, Padikkal and Kohli displayed an amazing show with the bat as both the openers took RCB across the line in 16.3 overs.
Earlier, Shivam Dube and Rahul Tewatia played knocks of 46 and 40 runs respectively to steer Rajasthan Royals to 177/9 in their allotted 20 overs. Today, Punjab Kings will take on Mumbai Indians at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. The match will starts at 7:30 PM.
In tennis, the World No. 1 Novak Djokovic beat Kwon Soon-woo in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3, in his first match at the Serbia Open in his hometown of Belgrade. Djokovic will now face compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic in the quarter-finals of the ATP 250 tournament, which was reinstituted this year after a pause of eight years. World No. 10 Mateo Berrettini also reached last eight by beating Marco Cecchinato.
In the Barcelona Open, Rafael Nadal has reached his 14th career quarter-final after conquering Japanese Kei Nishikori. Nadal will face Brit Cameron Norrie in the quarter-finals. SPORTS DESK, AIR NEWS.”
Now, let us take a look at the weather forecast for today.
Srinagar will have partly cloudy sky. Temperature will hover between eight and 17 degree Celsius.
Jammu will have a partly cloudy sky with one or two spells of rains. The minimum temperature was 16 degree Celsius while the maximum will be around 27 degrees.
Leh will witness light snow. Minimum and maximum temperature will hover between minus four and six degree Celsius.
Gilgit will have generally cloudy sky with light rain. The temperature will hover between 10 and 25 degree Celsius.
Muzaffarabad is likely to have mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards the evening. The minimum temperature was 11 degree Celsius and maximum will be around 28 degrees.
Dehradun will witness thundershowers with strong gusty winds. The minimum temperature was 16 degree Celsius while the maximum will be around 32 degrees.
Chandigarh will have generally cloudy sky with one or two spells of rains.
The National Capital Delhi will have generally cloudy sky with light rain.
Mumbai will have partly cloudy sky. The minimum temperature was 25 degree Celsius while the maximum is expected to be around 33 degrees.
Chennai is expected to have thunderstorm with rain. The temperature will vary between 28 and 36 degree Celsius.
Kolkata will have mainly clear sky. The city observed a minimum temperature of 25 degree Celsius and a maximum of around 35 degrees is expected.
Hyderabad is likely to have thunderstorms towards evening or night.
NOW, AN OVERVIEW OF TODAY’S NEWSPAPERS HEADLINES:-
- All the dailies have reported about the Supreme Court asking the centre to present a national plan for oxyygen,medicines,vaccines and lockdowns, taking suo motu cognisance of Covid crisis. Quoting the apex court.
- The Hindu says “We expect national plan from centre on oxygen, drugs.”
- “All 18 plus can register from 28th April for vaccine jabs” reports The Asian Age.
- With stricter provisions invoked a front page headline in The Economic Times writes “No curbs on movement of Oxygen vehicles.” Quoting the centre it says “District adminitrations will be held responsible in case of any violation.”
- The Indian Express quoting the Finance Minister writes “Second wave will not affect big reform push.”
- “US drug major Pfizer says it will offer vaccine at ‘not-for-profit’ price” for India’s immunisation programme, writes The Times of India.
- The dailies have also mentioned the launch of India-US Climate Agenda 2030 announced by the Prime Minister.
- Nasa had logged another extraterrestrial first on its latest mission to Mars, converting Carbon di-oxide from martian atmosphere into pure breathable Oxygen reports Hindustan Times.