Covid-19: 664 cases in India, 16 dead

New Delhi/Chennai: India has 664 confirmed cases of COVID-19, of which as many as 604 are active, according to data from the Union Health Ministry and State governments. The death toll stands at 16.

Fresh cases are being reported from across the country, with the number affected persons in Tamilnadu standing at 26.

Among India’s immediate neighbours, China has registered over 81,000 confirmed cases so far, according to the WHO. In Pakistan, over 900 confirmed cases and eight deaths have been registered. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today announced a Rs. 1.70 lakh crore package which is likely to benefit 80 crore people.

In her second media conference in a week, she announced a slew of welfare decisions as the nation is under lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic. The Finance Minister announced Rs 1.70 lakh crore package Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Yojana, targetting 80 crore people.

Under the scheme, for next three months, each person will get additional 5 kg wheat or rice for free, in addition to 5 kg per month already given under PDS. One kg of pulses will be provided per household, according to regional preferences.

Cash transfers, based on direct benefit transfer, will be given to farmers, MGNREGA workers, poor widows, pensioners and disabled people, women with Jan Dhan Yojana accounts, women beneficiaries under Ujjwala scheme, women self-help groups, organised sector workers, construction workers, district mineral fund.

The first instalment of PM-KISAN for 2020-21, which is Rs 2,000, will be given in April itself. As many as 8.69 crore farmers are likely to get immediate benefit. The wages of MGNREGA workers has been increased from Rs 182 to Rs 202 per day. This will benefit 5 crore families, and will result in an additional Rs 2,000 given per worker. Social distancing norms must be followed at MGNREGA worksites during this period.

For poor pensioners, widows and disabled, govt will give ex-gratia, one time amount of Rs1,000 in two instalments over nxt three months. Expected to benefit 3 crore poor people above 60 years, widows and disabled people.
Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 cases in Madhya Pradesh rose to 20 with five more patients in Indore hospitals testing coronavirus positive, health officials said today.

The tally includes a Ujjain-based woman, who died on Wednesday in Indore, the officials said. Among the five new cases in Indore, two are women, a government medical college spokesman said.

Curfew has been imposed in seven districts linked to coronavirus positive cases. They include Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur, Gwalior, Shivpuri, Ujjain and Chhatarpur. No positive case was found in Chhatarpur but the patient found in Gwalior had travel history of Khajuraho in Chhatarpur, they said.

As a result, curfew was clamped in Rajnagar and Khajuraho towns of Chhatarpur district, officials said.
Delhi Police have included several online service delivery and diagnostic laboratories in the list of ‘essential services’ that will be allowed to operate in Delhi during the 21-day lockdown.

The online delivery services allowed to operate in Delhi are Zomato, Flipkart, Amazon, 24Seven, Blue Dart, DTDC, Wow Express, Swiggy, Grofers, BigBasket, Milk Basket, Dunzo, Big Bazaar, Snapdeal, Licious, Medlife, Pharmeasy, Urbanclap, Ninjacart, Honasa Consumer, Healthians Diagnostics, Delhivery, Nutrimoo Milk dairy, More Retail, Easyday, Jabong, Myntra, Spencer’s, Reliance Fresh, Jubiliant Food Works, Foodpanda, Faaso’s, Pizza Hut, Ubereats, Needs Superman, 1Mg, Dr. Lal Pathlabs, Max-Path, Satvacart, IIFCO and any other e-commerce retailers/operator.  A message has been dispatched to all the police stations listing these exempted services.

Man dies in Kanyakumari

A 40-year-old male returnee from Kuwait, hospitalised with the symptoms of COVID-19 in Kanyakumari government medical college hospital, died today. Doctors were examining the reason for his death. According to a doctor, “as he had symptoms for the last five days, he was in his home and admitted to the isolation ward with the history of fever on Wednesday evening. The results would be out today evening.”

Special flight on Sunday

SpiceJet today said it will conduct a special flight on Sunday to take 142 Iran-returned Indians from Delhi to Jodhpur so that they can be taken to a government quarantine facility there.

“The special flight will be operated as per Government of India’s request and the airline will deploy its Boeing 737 aircraft for the assignment,’ the low-cost carrier said in a press release.”

Shops selling essentials can stay open 24×7

Shops and stores dealing in essential commodities can remain open 24×7, Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal announced today.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said orders had been issued to police and district officials to ensure that such stores were adequately stocked. Similar orders had been issued regarding units manufacturing such items. Baijal and Kejriwal were speaking at a joint digital press conference.

“Whoever wants to open establishments providing essential services and products 24×7 can do so,” Baijal said.


NT Bureau