Daily Current Affairs 6th May 2020

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Updates on COVID-19 from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

So far, a total of 14,183 people have been cured. In the last 24 hours, 1457 patients were found cured. This takes the total recovery rate to 28.72%. The total number of confirmed cases is now 49,391. Since yesterday, an increase of 2958 has been noted in the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases in India.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan reviews preparedness and containment measures taken for COVID-19 management in Gujarat and Maharashtra

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Health and Family Welfare held a high level meeting today with Health Ministers of Gujarat and Maharashtra to review the situation, actions being taken and preparedness for management of COVID-19 in both the States. Expressing concern regarding the high fatality rate due to COVID-19 in some districts of the States, Dr. Harsh Vardhan stated, “States need to focus on more effective surveillance, contact tracing and early diagnosis to reduce high fatality rate”.

PM chairs a meeting of the Task Force on Corona Vaccine Development, Drug Discovery, Diagnosis and Testing

The PM took a detailed review of the current status of India’s efforts in vaccine development, drug discovery, diagnosis and testing. Over 30 Indian vaccines are in different stages of corona vaccine development, with a few going on to the trial stages.The review by the PM took note of the extraordinary coming together of academia, industry and government, combined with speedy but efficient regulatory process. The PM desired that such coordination and speed should be embedded into a standard operating procedure. He emphasized that what is possible in a crisis should be a part of our routine way of scientific functioning.

Pradhan Mantri GaribKalyanPackage : Progress so far

Using the digital payment infrastructure, around 39 crore poor people have received financial assistance of Rs 34,800 crore under the Pradhan Mantri GaribKalyan Package, as on 5th May,2020. The progress so far includes:

  • Rs 16,394 crore front loaded towards payment of the first installment of PM-KISAN to 8.19 crore beneficiaries.
  • Rs 10,025 crore credited to 20.05 crorewomen Jan Dhan account holders as first installment. Rs. 2,785 crore credited to 5.57 crorewomen Jan Dhan account holders with second installment as on 5th May.
  • Rs 1405 crore disbursed to about 2.82 crore old age persons, widows and disabled persons.
  • 2.20 crore Building & Construction Workers received financial support amounting to Rs 3492.57 crore.
  • 5.09 crore PMUYcylinders have been booked under this scheme so far and 4.82 crore PMUY free cylinders already delivered to beneficiaries.
  • 9.6 Lakh members of EPFO have taken benefit of online withdrawal of non-refundable advance from EPFO account amounting to 2985 crore.
  • 24% EPF contribution transferred to 44.97 Lakh employees account amounting to Rs 698 crore

SOPs issued for the movement of Indian Nationals stranded outside the country, as well as, for those persons stranded in India who are desirous to travel abroad

Many Indian Nationals who had travelled to different countries before the lockdown, on various purposes such as employment, studies/ internships, tourism, business, etc., are stranded abroad. Due to their prolonged stay abroad, they are facing distress and are desirous of returning to India urgently. Apart from the above cases, there are other Indian Nationals who need to visit India in medical emergencies or death of a family member. Also, many persons are stranded in India who desirous to travel abroad urgently for various purposes. In order to facilitate the movement of such persons, the MHA has issued Standard Operating Protocols.

Indian Navy launches Operation “SamudraSetu”

Indian Navy has launched Operation “SamudraSetu” – meaning “Sea Bridge”, as a part of national effort to repatriate Indian citizens from overseas. Indian Naval Ships Jalashwa and Magar are presently enroute to the port of Malè, Republic of Maldives to commence evacuation operations from 08 May 2020 as part of Phase-1.

Grant of some Consular Services to Foreign Nationals, presently stranded in India due to COVID-19, for 30 days from date of lifting of Prohibition on International Air Travel of passengers from India

Regular visa, e-visa or stay stipulation, of such foreign nationals whose visas have expired or would be expiring during the period from 01.02.2020 (Midnight) till the date on which prohibition on international air travel of passengers from India is lifted by Government of India, would be extended on ‘GRATIS’ basis, on submission of an online application by the foreigners. Such extensions would be granted for a period up to 30 days from the date of lifting the prohibition on international air travel of passengers from India without levy of over stay penalty.

All existing Visas granted to Foreigners, except certain categories, to remain suspended till the Prohibition on International Air Travel of passengers from/to India is lifted

MHA has decided that all existing visas granted to foreigners except to those belonging to diplomatic, official, UN/international organizations, employment and project categories would remain suspended till prohibition on international air travel of passengers from/to India is lifted by the Government of India.

Right of Multiple entry Life-long Visa facility to visit India for OCI Cardholders, to remain in abeyance till Prohibition on International Air Travel of passengers from/to India is lifted

Ministry of Home Affairs has issued an order specifying that the right of multiple entry life-long visa facility for visiting India for any purpose granted to persons registered as Overseas Citizen of India cardholders would continue to be kept in abeyance till the prohibition on international air travel of passengers from/to India is lifted by the Government of India.

FCI stocks comfortable even after fulfilling extra commitments during the lockdown: Shri Ram Vilas Paswan

The Minister said that as per the report dated 04.05.2020, FCI currently has 276.61 LMT rice and 353.49 LMT wheat. About 60 LMT food grains is required for a month under NFSA and other welfare schemes.The Minister informed that since the lockdown, about 69.52 LMT food grains have been lifted and transported through 2483 rail rakes. Apart from the rail route, transportation was also done through roads and waterways. A total of 137.62 LMT has been transported.

Pulses, Oilseeds and Wheat procurement during Rabi Season 2020-21 in full flow

A quantity of 2,61,565 MT of Pulses and 3,17,473 MT of Oilseeds has been procured under Rabi 2020-21 season till 02.05.2020 at MSP value of Rs.2,682 crores benefitting 3,25,565 farmers. Of this, a quantity of 14,859 MT Pulses and 6706 MT of Oilseeds was procured on 1st and 2nd May, 2020 in six States namely Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. Besides, in Rabi Marketing Season 2020-21, a total of 1,87,97,767 MT wheat arrived in FCI, out of which 1,81,36,180 MT has been purchased.

AarogySetu IVRS services implemented to cater to people having feature phone or landline

For including the citizens with feature phones and landline under the protection of AarogySetu, the “AarogySetu Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS)” has been implemented. This toll-free serviceis available across the country, where citizens are asked to give a missed call to number 1921 and they will get a call back requesting for inputs regarding their health.The questions asked are aligned with AarogySetu App, and based on the responses given, citizens will also get an SMS indicating their health status and also will get further alerts for their health moving forward.The service is implemented in 11 regional languages similar to the mobile application.

Phone call between Prime Minister ShriNarendraModi and H.E. Antonio Costa, Prime Minister of Portugal

Prime Minister ShriNarendraModi had a phone call with H.E. Antonio Costa, Prime Minister of Portugal.The two leaders discussed the state of COVID-19 pandemic and the steps being taken by both countries to control its health and economic impact. The Prime Minister commended PM Costa for his effective handling of the crisis. The leaders noted that proactive national measures were helpful in containing the spread of the virus. They offered all possible help to each other in dealing with the situation, and agreed to collaborate on research and innovation aimed at fighting COVID-19.

Conditional exemption to Government entities for COVID-19 related Drone/RPAS operations via GARUD portal

Ministry of Civil Aviation and DGCA have launched the GARUD portal for providing fast track conditional exemptions to government agencies for COVID-19 related RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aircraft System)/ drone operations.GARUD is an acronym for ‘Government Authorisation for Relief Using Drones’.

ShriGadkari assures Bus and Car Operators of full support in coming out of economic slowdown

Addressing the members of Bus and Car Operators Confederation of India, ShriGadkari said, opening of transport and highways will go a long way in instilling confidence among the public. He said public transport may open soon with some guidelines. The Minister informed that his ministry is looking at adopting the London model of public transport, where government funding is minimal and private investment is promoted.

465 flights operated under Lifeline Udan to deliver critical medical supplies across the country

465 flights have been operated under Lifeline Udan by Air India, Alliance Air, IAF and private carriers. Cargo transported till date is around 835.94 tons. Aerial distance covered by Lifeline Udan flights till date is over 4,51,038 km. Helicopter services including Pawan Hans Ltd have been operating in J&K, Ladakh, Islands and North East region transporting critical medical cargo and patients. Pawan Hans till 5th May 2020 have carried 2.27 tons of cargo covering a distance of 7,729 kms.

Companies allowed to hold Annual General Meetings through VC or OAVM

On account of need for continuous adherence to the social distancing norms and restrictions placed on movement of persons, it has become necessary and hence it has been decided to allow companies to hold their annual general meeting (AGM) by Video Conferencing (VC) or other audio visual means (OAVM) during the calendar year 2020. Accordingly, the General Circular No: 20/2020 has been issued for this purpose.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan chairs high level review meeting on prevention and control of malaria,dengue, and chikungunya in Delhi

The Minister stressed on importance of innovative awareness drives, community participation and cooperation of all stakeholders in changed situation of COVID to prevent vector borne diseases.

54,292 Tonnes of consignments have been loaded in Parcel trains in Lockdown period; Total number of parcel trains crosses 2000

Railways has made railway parcel vans available for quick mass transportation by E-Commerce entities and other customers including State governments. Railways have decided to run time-tabled Parcel Special trains on select routes, to ensure uninterrupted supply of essential items.Zonal Railways are regularly identifying and notifying routes for these Parcel Special trains. Presently these trains are being operated on eighty-two (82) routes.

CSIR IGIB and TATA Sons sign an MoU for licensing KNOWHOW related to development of a kit for rapid and accurate diagnosis of COVID-19

It is a completely indigenous scientific invention and FELUDA for COVID-19 has been designed for mitigating the ongoing COVID-19 situation and cater to mass testing. Its main advantages are its affordability, relative ease of use and non-dependency on expensive Q-PCR machines