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Midday News

1400 HRS
20.05.2020

THE HEADLINES;

  • Super Cyclone AMPHAN likely to make landfall this afternoon between Digha, West Bengal and Hatiya Islands, Bangladesh; NDRF deploys 41 teams for rescue and relief operations.

  • Around 4 lakh people evacuated from Seven districts of West Bengal; 12 coastal districts of Odisha put on high .

  • Prime Minister lauds Ayushman Bharat healthcare workers as number of scheme beneficiaries cross one crore mark.

  • COVID 19 recovery rate reaches 39.62 per cent in the country.

  • Railways to run 200 non AC trains daily in addition to Shramik Special trains from 1st of June.

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Indian Metrological Department, IMD said that Super Cyclone AMPHAN is likely to make landfall between Digha, West Bengal and Hatiya Islands, Bangladesh, close to Sundarbans between this afternoon and evening with maximum wind speed of 155 to 165 kilometres per hour gusting to 185 kilometres per hour.

Met department said landfall process will commence from this afternoon. After landfall, the system is likely to move north-northeastwards close to Kolkata. 

Heavy to very heavy rainfall occurred at isolated places over north coastal districts of Odisha and heavy rainfall over coastal West Bengal during past 24 hours. Gale wind, speed reaching 100-110 kmph gusting to 125 kmph, prevailed along and off north coastal Odisha districts.

Briefing media in New Delhi, Director General, National Disaster Response Force, S. N. Pradhan said, a total 41 teams have been deployed for West Bengal and Odisha.

Director General NDRF S N Pradhan has said lakhs of people have been evacuated in Odisha and West Bengal in view of Cyclone Amphan. Updating on the cyclone, Mr Pradhan said, rains and wind have picked up in coastal Odisha. He assured the people that the authorities are prepared to provide humanitarian assistance and undertake relief activities in the fallout of the cyclone.

Director General, IMD, Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said, this is the second intense super cyclone after 1999 and IMD is continuously monitoring the situation. Speaking exclusively to All India Radio News this morning he informed about the current situation of the cyclone.

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In West Bengal, around 4 lakhs people have been evacuated from Seven Coastal districts of the State in view of super cyclonic Storm AMPHEN which is likely to lash this afternoon. The State Government has taken all necessary precautionary measures to meet any eventualities. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has reviewed the situation with the districts administration through Video Conferencing. Here is a report from our Kolkata Correspondent :

“The super cyclonic Storm AMPHEN is likely to cross Digha in West Bengal during this afternoon to evening today with maximum wind speed of 155 – 165 KMPh. After landfall it is likely to move towards North to Northeast ward close to Kolkata. Under the influence of the super cyclonic Storm Kolkata and adjoining coastal districts are experiencing rains since last night. Special vigil has been kept at Sundarbans, sea town Digha, Bakkhali, Sagar Island and Hingalgunj areas. Besides Coast Guard, BSF, SDRF, Disaster Management Force and 21 teams of NDRF have been deployed to meet any eventualities. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is keeping a close watch on the situation from the State Secretariat. Besides Districts a special control room has also been set up at the secretariat to monitor the situation. Power Department has taken special measures to maintain uninterrupted power supply. Met Department has issued advisory that shops and establishments in Kolkata and adjoining areas may be closed and public movements may be restricted as the super cyclone may pass close to Kolkata. Arijit Chakraborty, AIR News, Kolkata.”

In odisha, in view of the approaching cyclone, the 12 coastal districts have been put on State administration is taking every possible step for effective management of the situation arising out of the possible cyclone. A report :

“Approaching cyclone causes uprooting of trees and poles in some parts of coastal districts. Likewise, some districts experiencing heavy to heavy rainfall. Speaking to AIR about the current situation of ‘Amphan’ the regional director of Indian Metrological centre HR Biswas said,

Though Odisha government has aimed at zero causality during Amphan, the three-month-old baby boy allegedly died as the wall collapsed at the Kampala village in the Tihidi block of Bhadrak district. The mishap took place in the house while the minor child came under the debris and died. This is said to be the first casualty in the state due to Amphan. On the other hand, Odisha Government has evacuated around one Lakh people to the cyclone shelters. itishree, air news, cuttack”

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The Navy is on high for Cyclone Relief Efforts on the East Coast. The Eastern Naval Command(ENC) is on a high degree of readiness to render necessary humanitarian assistance. Naval ships at Visakhapatnam are standing-by to proceed to the most affected areas to undertake Humanitarian Aid Distress Relief, evacuation, logistic support including providing medical aid. Additionally, twenty Rescue Teams with Gemini Boats and medical teams are also kept ready for augmenting rescue and relief efforts in Odisha and West Bengal. Naval aircraft are also ready at the Naval Air Stations to undertake reconnaissance, rescue, and casualty evacuation if required.

The Eastern Naval Command  is monitoring the developments in the Bay of Bengal closely and Naval Officers-in-Charge of West Bengal and Odisha are in constant communication with respective State Administrations to augment rescue and relief operations as needed.

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The Met department of Bangladesh has asked Mongla and Payara ports to hoist the highest level of danger signal 10 which signifies ‘Great Danger’ even as super cyclone Amphan moved to around 400 kms from these ports. The Chattogram and Cox’s bazar ports will continue to hoist danger signal 6. Medical teams, relief workers and volunteers are working in the 19 districts of Bangladesh likely to be affected by the Cyclone. Amphan is the first super cyclone to hit the region in more than 20 years after the 1999 cyclone.

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Now, Let us take a look at the weather today. In New Delhi, minimum temperature will be 24 degrees Celsius while maximum is expected to be 42 degree Celsius. The National Capital is likely to witness strong surface winds during the day time.

Mumbai will witness partly cloudy skies with minimum temperature of 24 degrees Celsius and maximum temperatures remaining around 33 degrees Celsius.

In the south, Chennai will see partly cloudy skies. The temperature will hover between 31 and 40 degrees Celsius.

Kolkata will witness generally cloudy sky with possibility of rain or thundershowers. The minimum temperature in the city will be 27 degrees Celsius while the maximum will be nearly 37. 

In the North, Jammu will witness minimum temperature of  19 degrees Celsius while maximum temperature will be 36 degrees Celsius. The city will see mainly Clear skies.

In Srinagar, the minimum temperature will be 7 degrees Celsius with mercury rising to a maximum of around 22 degrees Celsius. The city will observe mainly clear skies becoming partly cloudy towards evening or night.

In Gilgit, the temperature will hover between 15 and 27 degrees Celsius. Skies will be mainly clear and it may become partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening.

In Muzzafarabad, the sky will be mainly Clear with minimum temperature of 14 degrees Celsius and maximum around  30 degrees Celsius.

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The number of Ayushman Bharat beneficiaries has crossed one crore and in less than two years, this initiative has a positive impact on many lives. In a series of tweets today, Prime Minister congratulated all the beneficiaries and their families and prayed for their good health. He appreciated doctors, nurses, healthcare workers and all others associated with Ayushman Bharat. He said, their efforts have made it the largest healthcare programme in the world and  has won the trust of  poor and downtrodden.

Mr. Modi said, one of the biggest benefits of Ayushman Bharat is portability. He said, beneficiaries can get top quality and affordable medical care not only where they are registered but also in other parts of India. He said, this helps those who work away from home or registered at a place where they don’t belong.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar has congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the visionary Ayushman Bharat Scheme. In a tweet, Mr Javadekar said providing free treatment to one crore people in 19 months under Ayushman Bharat is a record in itself. He said it has turned out to be the most successful and biggest healthcare scheme for the needy.

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Health and Family Welfare Ministry said that a total 42 thousand 298 patients have cured from the corona virus and the recovery rate reached to 39.62 per cent in the country.

During the last twenty four hours, three thousand 124 patients have recovered and five thousand 611 fresh cases of Covid-19 have been reported taking the total number of cases to one lakh six thousand 750. A total 140 deaths have been registered in last 24 hours taking the nationwide toll to three thousand 303. 

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The Indian Council of Medical Research, ICMR has said that a total ofone lakh eight thousand 121 samples of corona virus were tested in the last 24 hours. The figure of total number of tests reached 25 lakh 12 thousand 388 in the country.

Meanwhile, ICMR is continuously scaling up its testing facilities for Covid-19 by giving approval to government and private laboratories. As of now, 391 government laboratories and 164 private laboratories’ chains have been given approval to conduct the test for Covid-19.

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Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said Indian Railways will run 200 non-AC trains daily from 1st of the next month. In a series of tweets yesterday, the Railway Minister said online booking will start soon. These trains will be run in addition to the Shramik Special Trains and Indian Railways is planning to double the numbers of Shramik Trains to bring more relief to the migrant workers.

The Railway Minister said, in future, number of Shramik Special trains will be increased on a large scale.

Mr. Goyal added, State governments are requested to help the workers and register them with the nearest station. They are then requested to give the list to the railways, so that the railway workers can run special trains. The minister said, workers are requested to stay in their place. He assured that Indian Railways will take the workers to their destination.

Our correspondent reports that more than 21 lakh 50 thousand migrants have been transported to their home states through Shramik Special trains in 19 days by operating more than 1600 “Shramik Special” trains.

Speaking exclusively to All India Radio News Railways Executive Director Rajesh Bajpai has said that registration of persons traveling via Shramik Special Trains is essential. He said that this information is essential for contact tracing in case any of these persons are infected by COVID-19. He added that railways is currently running 180 trains per day and seeks to increase the number of shramik special trains.

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The Union Home Ministry has issued revised Standard Operating Procedure, SOP for the movement of stranded workers by train. It has asked states and Union territories to coordinate with Railways to ferry stranded migrant workers to their homes.

According to the SOP, movement of Shramik Special trains shall be permitted by Ministry of Railways in consultation with Home Ministry. All States and UTs should designate nodal authorities and make necessary arrangements for receiving and sending such trains.

The train schedules including stoppages and destinations will be finalized by the Railway Ministry based on the requirement of States and UTs. After finalizing, Railways will communicate to states for making suitable arrangements for sending and receiving such stranded people. The SOP said that sending States and Union Territories and Railways will ensure that all passengers are  screened and only asymptomatic passengers are allowed to board the train. During boarding and travel, all passengers will have to observe social distancing. On arrival to their destination, the travelling passengers will have to adhere to the protocols prescribed by the destination States and Union Territories.

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Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank launched a new mobile app named – the ‘National Test Abhyas’. The App has been developed by National Testing Agency-NTA to enable candidates to take mock tests for upcoming exams such as JEE Main and  NEET under the NTA’s purview. The app has been launched to facilitate candidates’ access to high quality mock tests as there was a demand for making up the loss to students due to closure of educational institutions and NTA’s Test-Practice Centers . Students across the country can use the App to access high quality tests, free of cost, in a bid to be fully prepared for the upcoming JEE, NEET and other competitive exams. The tests can be easily downloaded.

Speaking at the occasion, the HRD Minister said, this timely launch is designed to ensure that no student is left behind in getting exposure to practice testing.

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The Centre has notified the reduction in statutory rate of contributions from 12 per cent  to 10 per cent for wage months period from May to  July, 2020 for all class of establishments covered under the Employees Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 .

Earlier, the government had announced to reduce the rate  as part of Atma-Nirbhar Bharat package. Ministry of Labour and Employment in a statement said that the notification in this regard is available  on the home page of EPFO website. It said, reduction in rate of EPF contributions from 12 per cent  to 10 percent of basic wages and Dearness allowances is intended to benefit both 4.3 Crore employees and employers of 6.5 lakhs establishments to tide over the immediate liquidity crisis to some extent.

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Director General, CII, Chandrajit Banerjee has welcomed the Aatm Nirbhar Bharat package announced by the Finance Minister last week. He said the reforms will boost progress in health and education sectors and boost the economy….

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In our series “Expert Speak” on All India Radio we bring you views of leading medical experts on COVID-19.

Dr. Anant Mohan, Head of Pulmonary Medicine, AIIMS has advised people not to take medicine like Hydroxychloroquine or anti malarial without a preion by a doctor.

Jacinta Gunjiyal, Senior Nursing Officer, AIIMS has stressed on the need to break the chain of infection.

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The News Services Division of All India Radio in its live phone-in programme SAMVAAD today will bring you a Special programme on  Railways where listeners can ask questions to the experts related to  special  passenger trains on Toll Free Telephone No: 1800-115767 (Repeat 1800-115767). You can also ask questions on telephone number: 011: 2331-4444 (Repeat 011: 2331-4444) and post queries on our Twitter handle @airnews s by #tag Askair.

This can be heard tonight on the FM Gold Channel and additional frequencies from 7.10 PM onwards. This programme will also be available on our website NEWS ON AIR DOT COM and on our YouTube Channel NEWSONAIROFFICIAL. You can also listen to us on the NEWSONAIR app.

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In an effort to guard against fake news being circulated on various platforms, we bring you our segment on Fact Checking and Mythbusters.

A video of a woman with an infant travelling between train boogies is  circulating on social media wrongly stating them to be migrants trying to go home during the Lockdown. PIB Fact Check has clarified on twitter that this is an old video dated before 2016, from Bangladesh & not India.

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In Madhya Pradesh, there are 229 new cases reported in the last 24 hours in the state. As a result, the number of people infected with Corona virus in Madhya Pradesh has increased to 5 thousand 465. A report:-

“The death toll from COVID 19 has also increased to 258 in Madhya Pradesh. The maximum number of 103 patients has died in Indore. Good news is that 2 thousand 630, more than half of the patients have been cured in the state so far. The highest number of cases 2 thousand 637 has reported in Indore district. Besides Indore, Bhopal has 1 thousand 46 cases, Burhanpur 194, Khandwa 186, Jabalpur 184, Khargone 114, and Dhar has reported 107 cases. Apart from Indore, higher death toll has reported 48 in Ujjain, 39 in Bhopal and 11 deaths reported in Burhanpur. Coronavirus positive cases were reported from Rajgarh and Singrauli for the first time, taking the number of affected districts to 47 of the total 52. Sanjeev Sharma, AIR News, Bhopal”

In Karnataka, inter-district movement of buses have resumed since yesterday. Karnataka state transport corporation operated 1606 buses yesterday and transported 53,476 passengers to different towns in the state. The South Western Railways has run 97 Shramik special trains for migrant workers in the past two days. Thirteen more trains are scheduled from Hubballi and Bengaluru to Rajasthan, Bihar and other northern states. Under Vande Bharat mission Muscat-Bengaluru-Mangaluru flight will arrive today with over 170 passengers. More from our Correspondent:

“After lockdown relaxation, Bengaluru city is back to normal with roads buzzing with traffic, stand alone shops are open and city buses operator BMTC is offering skeletal services. Industries and other establishments are working at 50 percent capacity. Long queues were seen outside parks which were opened after two months. The state Government departments combating the corona virus are concentrating their energy on the containment zones. There are about 126 containment zones where no economic activities or movement of men and material is allowed in 100 metres area. Outside the containment zones all the activities are near to normal now. Sudhindra AIR News Bengaluru”

In Kerala, under Vande Bharat mission, 9 flights carrying  over 1000 expatriates  is scheduled to arrive today. 6 flights are from Gulf region and others are from London, Philippines and Russia. Our correspondent has more details:

“Flight from London carrying  stranded Indian nationals arrived in Kochi today morning. After detailed medical screening passengers were sent to respective quarantine centres. Two more flights will be arriving in Kochi today, one from Manila and another from Dubai by late evening. Flight from Kuwait carrying 166 passengers and flight from Russia carrying 106 passengers is scheduled to arrive in Thiruvananthapuram today night.Two flights will be arriving in Kannur today each from Riyadh and Muscat. Kozhikode is also expecting expatriates arrival from Salala and Muscat today. Meanwhile as part of the relaxations in lockdown phase 4 the intra district bus service began from today by the Kerala State Road Transport Cooperation. Intra district waterway transport also started from today. Meanwhile Chief Ministers office informed that the 10th and 12th std remaining exams stands postponed and the new dates will be announced later as per Centre’s guidelines. Mayusha for AIR News from Thiruvananthapuram”

Bihar government has taken decision to set up quarantine centres at panchyat and village level. Pratya Amrit, Principal Secretary of Disaster Management Department said this decision has been taken in view of increasing number of migrant workers in the state. About six lakh migrant labourers have been kept at block level quarantine centres. Workers coming from Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Surat, Ahmedabad and Kolkata will be kept in these camps for 14 days.

Maharashtra Chief Minister informed that so far 1972 citizens have returned to Mumbai under the Vande Bharat Mission and the government has taken stringent measures to quarantine them. Another 27 flights are to land in Mumbai in the coming days, carrying Indians from across several countries. More from our Mumbai correspondent:-

“So far 653 people have landed in Mumbai from London, 243  from Singapore, 150 from Manila, 107 from San Fancisco, 107 from Dhaka, 208 from New York, 201 from Kuala Lampur, 195 from Chicago, 2 from Quwait, 12 from Kabul, 78 from Ethiopia and 16 from Musqat-Oman. People belonging to Mumbai are being quarantined in Mumbai hotels while arrangements are being made to send people from other districts and states to their respective places. People from states who are not permitting such travellers to return too are being quarantined in Mumbai. Meanwhile, Maharashtra Police has informed that the total number of COVID19 positive cases in state Police is now 1388 including 948 active cases, 428 recovered and 12 deaths. The total number of cases in state is 37,158. SONALI GHADYALPATIL, AIR NEWS, MUMBAI”

In Kargil Ladakh, to ensure foolproof implementation of the home quarantine, the designated Surveillance Officers and Duty Magistrates have been conducting random surprise checking of people under home quarantine.

The team of officers monitored the daily surveillance of residents, students as well as returnees from different parts of the country and foreign countries.

In Tripura, in an effort to strengthen healthcare services , the state government has decided to set up a 1000 bedded COVID-19 facility centre at the Tripura Industrial Development Corporation (TIDC) Exhibition Centre at Hapania in Agartala. One PHC in Unakoti district has also been identified for setting up a 20-bedded COVID-centre.

In Himachal, with the arrival of residents from various parts of the country the cases of COVID 19 positive has been continuously increasing in the state. During the last 24 hours 14 new cases have been reported. A report…

“During the last 24 hours 14 positive  cases of Covid-19 have been registered in the state. The maximum number of 11 cases have been reported from Kangra district today itself. All these people returned  from Mumbai and have been kept in institutional quarantines. On the other hand,  one positive case has been found in Kullu district which was in the Green Zone till now. The total number of Covid positives in the state now stands at 104. Of these, 47 have been cured while 50 are active infected patients. Sanjeev Sundriyal, AIR News, Shimla”

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In Uttar Pradesh, the new set of guidelines were issued by District Magistrate of Gautam Budh Nagar today. The guidelines issued by Gautam Budh Nagar DM, Suhas LY are on the lines of rules laid down by the state government two-days ago with some minor changes.

AIR Lucknow correspondent reports that as per the guidelines any kind of movement except for essential and emergency services will be prohibited from 7pm to 7am in the district. One of the most important guideline for movement across the Noida-Delhi border the situation will remain unchanged as new instructions have been asked from the government on this point.

Public parks will be allowed to open from 7am to 10am in morning and 4pm to 7pm in the evening. People going to these parks will have to ensure social distancing, wear face masks, and also these parks will have to be sanitized from time to time by the authorities. Apart from this at public places people will have to wear mask compulsorily and strictly follow the guidelines.

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