Daily Current Affairs 28th April 2020

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

As of now, 6,868 people have been cured of Covid-19, with a recovery rate of 23.3%. A total of 29,435 people have been confirmed positive as of now for COVID-19 in India. There are 17 districts in the country where earlier cases had come, but now no new case has been reported for the last 28 days. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued guidelines on home isolation for very mild / pre-symptomatic patients. Patients who have a requisite facility at their residence for self-isolation will have the option for home isolation.Regarding plasma therapy for COVID-19, ICMR has already stated clearly that currently there are no approved therapies for COVID-19 including plasma therapy. It is one of the many therapies which are being experimented with. However, so far there is no evidence to support it as a treatment. However, it needs to be clarified that until ICMR concludes its study and robust scientific proof is available, it should not be used except for research and trial purposes.

India signs $1.5 billion loan with ADB to support India’s COVID-19 immediate response

Government of India and the Asian Development Bank today signed a $1.5 billion loan that will support the government’s response to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, focusing on immediate priorities such as disease containment and prevention, as well as social protection for the poor and economically vulnerable sections of the society, especially women and disadvantaged groups. The ADB’s Board of Directors approved the loan to provide budget support to the government to counter and mitigate the adverse health and socio-economic impact of the pandemic.

Wheat procurement under central pool gathers momentum

Procurement of wheat is progressing at a very fast pace in all major procuring states of the country. A quantity of 88.61 Lakh Metric Tonnes (LMT) wheat has already been procured for the central pool till 26.04.2020. Out of this, major contribution has been from Punjab with 48.27 LMT followed by Haryana with 19.07 LMT. Going by the present pace of procurement, the target of 400 LMT kept for the season is likely to be achieved.

Wheat harvesting across the country continues briskly amidst the lockdown

Wheat harvesting across the country is continuing at a brisk pace amidst the lockdown. SOP related to crop harvesting & threshing during Kharif 2020 are being adhered to by the farmers and workers. The Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, Government of India has circulated the SOP to the States for compliance in order to protect health of farmers and farmworkers and to contain the spread of Corona Virus.

Record fertilizer sales during lockdown period

Amid National level covid -19 lockdown, there has been a record sale of Fertilizers to farmer community. During 1 – 22 April 2020, POP sale of fertilizers to farmers was 10.63 lakh MT which is 32 percent higher than the last year sale of 8.02 lakh MT during the same period.Despite lot of movement restrictions due to National level COVID-19 lockdown, with the concerted efforts of Department of Fertilizers, Railways, States and Ports, production and supply of fertilizers in the country is going on without hindrance.

Rs. 50 lakh compensation declared for the Port employees/workers  in case of loss of life due to COVID-19

Ministry of Shipping has decided that all the Major Ports may grant compensation /Ex-Gratia of Rs 50 lakh in the event of loss of life due to COVID-19 to the dependent members/legal heirs of the port employees as well as other contractual labourers.

During Lockdown EPFO Settles about 13 Lakh Claims, including 7.40 Lakh COVID-19 Claims Under PMGKY Package

Keeping up the momentum speedier EPF disbursal during Lockdown, Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO), has settled a total of 12.91 lakhs claims, including 7.40 lakhs COVID-19 claims under PradhanMantriGarib KalyanYojana (PMGKY) package. This involves disbursal of a total amount of Rs. 4684.52 crores which includes Rs. 2367.65 crores COVID claims under PMGKY package.

ShriGadkari calls for urgent action to facilitate Inter-State border movement of Trucks/Lorries carrying essential goods to ease public life during COVID 19

Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways and MSMES ShriNitinGadkari has called upon all the States/UTs to take urgent action so that blockades of trucks and lorries at inter State/UT borders is cleared at the earliest possible, as smooth movement of essential goods to various parts of the country is essential. Speaking at the meeting of State/UT Road Transport Ministers held via Video Conference, ShriGadkari urged the Ministers to intervene in such matters and ensure resolutions through the local/district administrations. He further pointed out that transportation of labour to factories etc may be facilitated by duly following the health protocols. He pointed out that providing food and shelter to labour may be ensured while fully observing the norms of social distancing and hygiene.

Telephone conversation between PM and President of Indonesia

Prime Minister ShriNarendraModi spoke on phone today with H.E. Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia.The two leaders exchanged thoughts about the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region and the world. The Indonesian President appreciated the facilitation provided by Government of India for supplies of pharmaceutical products to Indonesia. Prime Minister assured him that India would do its best to prevent disruption in supplies of medical products or the other commodities traded between the two countries

RakshaMantri reviews contribution of DPSUs and OFB to mitigate COVID-19 and their operational plans post lock-down

ShriRajnath Singh appreciated the innovative skills displayed by the DPSUs in devising manufacture of new products to fight COVID-19 and also their assistance rendered to the local administration in several forms.RakshaMantri directed them to prepare contingency plans for resumption of operations after the lifting of lock down to compensate for the lost working time to the extent possible and ramp up production.

UIDAI allows Aadhaarupdation facility through CSCs

In a major relief to those living in rural areas, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has allowed the Common Service Centre, an SPV under the Ministry of IT and Electronics, to begin the Aadhaarupdation facility at their 20,000 CSCs which operate as Banking Correspondents (BCs), said Union Minister for Communications, MEITY and Law and Justice Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad in a tweet. Around 20,000 CSCs will now be able to offer this service to citizens.

ShriMansukhMandaviya interacts with various associations regarding the change of crew at Indian ports

ShriMansukhMandaviya, Union Minister of State (I/C) for Shipping interacted via video conference with the Ship Liners, Shipping Companies, Maritime Associations, Seafarers Unions regarding the change of crew at Indian Ports and reconnoitred the situation of Indian seafarers working as well as stranded in the International waters.

Union Human Resource Development Minister interacts with parents across the country through webinar in view of circumstances arising out of COVID-19

The Minister, through his webinar interaction, informed all the parents about various campaigns and schemes for online education being run by the Ministry. He said that the Ministry is concerned about the academic activities of its students and that is why we have implemented various ongoing schemes on a war footing which will benefit 33 crore students of the country.

Minister of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj ShriNarendra Singh Tomar issues guidelines regarding the SVAMITVA scheme

This scheme will help in streamlining planning and revenue collection in rural areas and ensuring clarity on property rights; the scheme will also enable the creation of better-quality Gram Panchayat Development Plans engaging Drone Surveying technology. ShriNarendra Singh Tomar also released a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) regarding e-Gram Swaraj on the occasion.

403 Lifeline Udan flights operated to ensure delivery of essential and medical supplies across the country

403 flights have been operated under Lifeline Udan in the domestic sector by Air India, Alliance Air, IAF and private carriers. 235 of these flights have been operated by Air India and Alliance Air. Lifeline Udan flights cover the distance of over 3,97, 632 km to deliver essential and medical supplies of around 748.68 tons till 27th April 2020 for people across the country. Lifeline Udan flights are being operated by MoCA to transport essential medical cargo to remote parts of the country to support India’s war against COVID-19.Private Operators SpiceJet, Blue Dart, Indigo and Vistara are operating cargo flights on a commercial basis.

Six courses of SWAYAM appear in best 30 online courses of 2019 in the Class Central list

The Class Central (a free online course aka MOOC aggregator from top universities like Stanford, MIT, Harvard, etc.) has released the list of best 30 online courses of 2019 out of which 6 courses are from SWAYAM.

DrJitendra Singh lauds LBSNAA for continuing its training programmes for IAS officers online without interruption in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic

The Academy has reinvented its training through innovative use of technology and learning management system and all inputs and assignments by officer trainees are being routed through its own Gyan portal. It has also come up with an Internet Radio facility to aid these efforts.

Varanasi Smart City uses Drones to sanitize sensitive areas for controlling the spread of COVID-19

Varanasi Smart City has engaged ‘Garuda Aerospace Private Limited, a Chennai Based company for spraying of sanitizer in the selected areas of Varanasi City under Smart Cities Mission.

Agartala Smart City uses mobile kiosk for COVID-19 sample collection

Agartala Smart City has designed and handed over a Mobile COVID-19 sample collection kiosk to city’s Chief Medical Officer. The kiosk ensures protection to the sample collecting doctor & prevents wastage of personal protection equipment (PPE). This initiative is a major step by Agartala in the fight against Covid-19.

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