• Current Affairs, 26 March 2020


    1. Govt looks for volunteer doctors to fight against COVID-19 outbreak

    • Government is looking for volunteer doctors to fight against the COVID-19 outbreak.  In a statement posted on Niti Aayog’s website today, the Centre has appealed to retired government, Armed Forces Medical Services, public sector undertaking or a private doctor to come forward and join the efforts  to fight the deadly virus.
    • Those who wish to contribute to this and be a part of this nobel mission to serve the country may register themselves on a link provided on the official website of the Niti Aayog.
    • The Aayog noted that in case the outbreak leads to a high number of infected individuals, India’s public health facilities will face tremendous load to take care of the large number of patients.
    • The Central and state governments are augmenting and expediting increase in healthcare services in every part of the country.
    1. PM Modi calls for strict compliance with lockdown; Help desk to be set up for info on COVID-19

    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi  has reiterated  that  social distancing is the only way to counter the spread of  COVID-19  saying  the virus does not discriminate and it can infect anyone.
    • Interacting  with  the people  of Varanasi  through video conferencing today,  Mr. Modi said, some people despite being empowered with knowledge are not pay heed to warning which  is unfortunate.   He  said the Mahabharat war was won in 18 days and  this war the whole country is fighting against  coronavirus will take 21 days and the  aim is to win it.
    • Modi  asked people to speak to their doctors  before taking any medicine clarifying that  there is  no medicine or vaccine for coronavirus as of now.
    • He warned  the people that they should not believe in rumours about the outbreak. He added that the government  has tied up with WhatsApp to create a helpdesk to give credible information on coronavirus. The number is – 9013151515.
    • The Prime Minister also said, he is  very pained by the misbehaviour of some people against doctors, airlines crew and staff of essential services who are at the forefront of combating coronavirus. Mr. Modi said the stern action will be taken against the guilty.
    • The Prime Minister added that doctors and nurses are incarnations of God and they are endangering themselves to save  people and they should be  respected.  Mr. Modi also urged  people to help poor in this hour of crisis and promise themselves  to help nine  poor families everyday for the next 21 days.
    • The Prime Minister said, in  this hour of crisis, Kashi can lead the people, can teach the country patience, compassion and peace. He also expressed his  condolences to the families of  the deceased of the terror attack at the Gurudwara in Kabul. During the interaction, Mr. Modi also  answered questions of the people.
    1. First phase of Census, NPR postponed amid lockdown




    • The first phase of Census India 2021 which is the house listing operation and National Population Register (NPR) updation has been postponed until further orders.
    • The Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner said the decision has been taken in view of COVID-19 outbreak and nationwide lockdown due to the pandemic.
    • The exercise was scheduled to be kicked off on various dates decided by States and Union Territories on 1st April.
    1. Low key celebrations to mark beginning of Lunar New Year held across the country

    • Chaitra Navratra and Hindu New Year  started  from today. This will probably be the first time in history when cave shrine of Mata vaishno Devi is closed for devotees in Navratri. There will be all the rituals and worship of Navratri in the temples but there will not be anyone to see them. Due to Corona virus, all the temples of the Jammu Division  are currently closed for the common people, only the priests are getting entry into the temples. In such a situation, neither outsiders will be able to see Chaitra Navratri, nor can they participate in any event of the temple.
    • Local said that, now are making prayers from Home as town is under lockdown, with the hope that  Almighty God and Mata Rani  will rescue the people  from the Coronavirus.
    • Moreover Ugadi festival is celebrated at low key in Karnataka due to the lockdown imposed due to the Pandemic COVID-19. Vegetable and fruit markets wore a deserted look with only a few stepping out of the house. People and vehicle were stopped from moving around by police across the state. Primary Education minister Suresh Kumar and Bengaluru South MP Tejaswi Surya have assured people that essential commodities will be available and there should not be any panic buying. The municipal corporation officials are making announcements on streets for public to maintain distance and wash hands regularly. A few villages in the state were seen blocking the entry roads to prevent outsiders from entering their village to prevent transmission of virus.
    • In a tweet the Health minister B Sriramulu has informed that a COVID 19 positive person, a 75 year old person who had returned from Mecca and house quarantined a few days back has died in Bengaluru yesterday night. The person was suffering from diabetes and chest pain. The cause of death will be declared after the test results.
    • In Maharashtra people are celebrating Gudi Padva, the new year celebrations at their homes in a low key fashion. AIR correspondent reports that amid lockdown, Marathi speakers are today celebrating the first day of the Maharashtrian new year called Gudi Padwa in their homes. It is probably for the first time, the festival is celebrated on such a low key and  indoors because of the Coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdown across the country.
    • People however, erected the Gudi which is garlanded with flowers, mango and neem leaves, topped with upturned silver or copper vessel in their balconies and outside their houses. Maharashtra Chief Minister, Uddhav Thackeray while wishing the people on Gudi Padwa said under no circumstance  supply of essential commodities will be stopped. He said there are sufficient medicines and food stock for animals  available. He once again appealed the employers of various private companies not to cut the salaries of their employees who are unable to report to work.
    • Meanwhile, people in Kolhapur, Mumbai, Nandurbar and other parts of the state were seen maintaining adequate social distance when they went out to purchase products at shops.
    1. Home Ministry issues fresh guidelines on lockdown exemption


    • Home Ministry issued fresh guidelines today covering additional people and services who will be exempted from the 21-day lockdown.
    • Under the  the new guidelines, the Ministry said the  Reserve Bank of India and its regulated financial markets, pay and accounts officers and field officers of the CAG, petroleum products and supply chain and forest staff are exempted.
    • People handling cargo operations in airports and railway stations, coal mining activities, officers and staff of resident commissioners based in Delhi and customs clearance at ports, airports and land borders are also exempted.
    • Besides,  forest offices staff and workers required to operate and maintain zoo, nurseries, wildlife, fire fighting in forests, watering plantations, patrolling and their necessary transport movement, social welfare department staff for operations of homes for children, disabled, senior citizens, destitute women, widows, observation homes and pensions service are also exempted.



    1. Centre directs all states to ensure unhindered movement of essential goods & services

    • Centre has directed all states to ensure unhindered movement of essential goods and services in states and union territories including inter-state movement. This is being done to ensure continuity of supply chains during COVID-19 lockdown.
    • In a letter to chief secretaries of all states and union territories, Home Ministry said that it is necessary to ensure the unhindered operation of manufacturing, processing, transportation, distribution, storage and logistics related to all services, and commodities required for the delivery of essential services which have been exempted. Centre said it is necessary for each state and union territory to set up a 24/7 control room with helplines at state and district levels to address any grievance or problems faced  by the providers of goods and services.
    • This is necessary to ensure continuity of supply chain for essential commodities which include perishable items. Centre has asked states to make the state helpline facility available to ensure adequate protection to essential service providers, government or PSU employees and healthcare workers from unwanted stigmatization.
    1. There will be no shortage of essential commodities: Govt

    • overnment today asserted that there will be no shortage of essential commodities and it will remain available.
    • Speaking to reporters in New Delhi about cabinet decisions, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar  said there is no need to panic.
    • He said Prime Minister’s decision of lockdown has been welcomed by all . Emphasizing that social distancing and staying at home is the best Strategy to Combat Coronavirus, Mr Javadekar said that social distancing was practiced during cabinet meeting too.
    • He reiterated twenty one days lockdown is for us, for society, for our family  and for the country. The Minister urged to wash hands regularly.
    • The Minister urged people not to believe in rumours. He said, employees working on contract shall be considered on duty and will get payment. He also said that nearly 80 crore people to get wheat at 2 rupees per kg and rice at 3 rupees per kg.
    • Meanwhile, Delhi Police is proactively engaging with e-commerce portals for seamless delivery of essential commodities to residents of the national capital. Delhi Police PRO MS Randhawa said, a platform for e-commerce websites has been set up where they can share problems being  faced by them, so that they can be resolved.
    1. EC allows use of indelible ink stamp for home quarantine


    • Election Commission has decided to allow usage of indelible ink on persons for stamping for home quarantine by health authorities in view of COVID-19.
    • In a statement, the commission said, the Health Ministry may standardise the mark and the location on the body where the mark has to be applied so that it does not come in the way of conducting elections.
    • It said, the concerned authorities will be instructed not to use the Indelible Ink on any finger on left hand of any persons.
    • Election Commission said, the authorities concerned shall be instructed to maintain the record of the persons to whom Indelible Ink is applied. It said, the authorities shall also be instructed to ensure that the Indelible Ink shall not be used for any other purpose.
    1. Ordnance Factory Board designates 285 beds for isolation wards to handle COVID-19 cases



    • Ordnance Factory Board, OFB, has designated 285 beds for isolation wards in handling Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.
    • Forty beds have been earmarked in hospitals at Vehicle Factory Jabalpur, thirty beds each at Metal and Steel Factory Ishapore, Gun and Shell Factory Cossipore, Ammunition Factory Khadki, Ordnance Factory Kanpur, Ordnance Factory Khamaria, Ordnance Factory Ambajhari.
    • Twenty five beds are ready at Ordnance Factory Ambernath and twenty beds each at Heavy Vehicle Factory Avadi and Ordnance Factory Medak.
    • the OFB is also trying to produce personal protection equipment and face masks.
    1. Dharmendra Pradhan, officials take stock of LPG operations to ensure uninterrupted supply of LPG

    • Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan along with senior officials of his Ministry today took stock of LPG operations to ensure uninterrupted supply of LPG in the country. Mr Pradhan also discussed  measures undertaken to safeguard employees from the risk of the infection.
    • In a tweet, the Minister said, petroleum is an essential services sector and the Ministry is working to ensure not just consumers get uninterrupted supplies of petrol, diesel and LPG but also that the supply lines for the country’s defence forces are secured.
    • He said, Petroleum Ministry is taking adequate preventive measures to stay safe and has also adopted Social Distancing as a weapon to combat the Covid-19 infection. He also urged people to follow Social Distancing and other preventive guidelines.


    1. Health Ministry confirms 562 cases of COVID- 19


    • Health and Family Welfare Ministry has confirmed 562 cases of COVID-19 including 519 Indians and 43 foreign nationals. It has also been confirmed by the Ministry that 41 patients have been cured and discharged and nine deaths have been reported across the country. Yesterday, Ministry has confirmed the 10th death however, it was later clarified that 2nd death reported in Delhi was found COVID-19 negative.
    • As per the Indian Council of Medical Research, more than 22 thousand six hundred samples from 21 thousand 804 individuals have been tested for COVID-19.



    1. Air India evacuates 277 more Indians from Iran; all evacuees reach Jodhpur


    • 277 evacuees from Iran arrived Jodhpur Airport this morning, where they have been shifted to the army wellness Facility established in Jodhpur Military station. Most of these are pilgrims.
    • Defence Spokesperson Col. Sombit Ghosh told that a preliminary screening was conducted at the airport upon arrival.
    • The Army in coordination with the Rajasthan State Medical authorities and Civil Administration, Jodhpur has made adequate medical and administrative arrangements to cater for a comfortable stay and provide prophylactic medical support. The facility has a dedicated  team of Army doctors, who will be constantly monitoring the health parameters of the evacuees for the duration of their stay.
    1. pain surpasses China with 3,434 coronavirus deaths


    • Spain’s coronavirus death toll overtook that of China today. The Spanish health Ministry said that fatalities have risen to 3,434 after 738 people died over the past 24 hours.
    • The country has entered the 11th day of its lockdown to try and rein in the COVID-19 epidemic. The virus has now infected 47,610 people.


    1. India hands over surgical masks, head covers to Bangladesh to fight Corona Virus


    • High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das today handed over 30,000 surgical masks and 15,000 head-covers as assistance to the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Dr. A.K.Abdul Momen in Dhaka.
    • In a press release issued on Wednesday, the High Commission of India said that the assistance is intended to support Bangladesh in its efforts to fight the spread of Corona virus in the country.
    • The assistance comes in the wake of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s video conferencing with the leaders of SAARC countries on March 15 to evolve a collaborative strategy against Corona pandemic in the South Asian region.
    • Prime Minister Modi had also called for setting up SAARC COVID-19 Emergency Fund to combat the Corona virus with an initial contribution of 10 million dollars by India. The assistance provided today comes under the Covid-19 Emergency Fund.
    • Subsequently, all other countries of the SAARC region except Pakistan contributed to the fund which is now worth 18.3 million dollars.
    • India and Bangladesh are making preparations to hold a video conference between medical professionals and other stake holders of the two countries for specific measures  to be taken  and for exchanging best practices.


    1. COVID-19: Sourav Ganguly to donate Rs 50 lakh worth rice for underprivileged

    • BCCI President Sourav Ganguly has come forward in support of those affected by the 21-day lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic, pledging to donate rice worth 50 lakh rupees for the underprivileged.
    • The Cricket Association of Bengal announced in a statement that Ganguly along with Lal Baba Rice will provide for the needy people who have been put in government schools for safety and security.




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