News

  • The total number of confirmed cases of novel coronavirus has gone upto 1,251 in the country which includes 49 foreign nationals. Out of the total cases, 101 patients have been cured and discharged from the hospitals while 32 died.

  • Cargo flights are carrying medical supplies to eastern, north eastern and southern parts of the country. Civil Aviation Ministry said in a release said that private airlines such as Indigo, Spicejet and Blue Dart are also carrying out critical supplies.

  • Center has extended the validity of health organisations already empaneled under Central Government Health Scheme, CGHS.

  • Twenty-four people, who took part in a religious congregation in Nizamuddin West earlier this month, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

  • The Trade and Investment Ministers of the G20 and guest countries have decided to keep their markets open, and ensure smooth and continued operation of vital medical supplies and logistics networks.

  • Centre has said that there is no extension of the financial year. Finance Ministry said that a notification was issued by Department of Revenue yesterday which relates to certain amendments to the Indian Stamp Act.

  • The Assam government has decided to provide 1 thousand rupees each to 2.78 lakh construction workers who had to suffer due to lockdown.

  • In view of the hardships faced by the parents and the students due to COVID-19 epidemic, the National Testing Agency has extended the dates of submission of Online Application Forms for various Examinations.

  • Telangana Government has announced that six persons who travelled to Delhi to attend a religious congregation, have died after suffering from the Covid-19.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said, social organisations have a big role to play in countering superstitions, wrong beliefs and misinformation.

  • 92 fresh confirmed cases of novel coronavirus or COVID- 19 have been reported in the past 24 hours in the country. With this the total number of cases has now gone up to 1071 including 29 deaths.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a video conference with Heads of all Indian Embassies and High Commissions today to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Civil Aviation Ministry said in a release said that private airlines such as Indigo, Spicejet and Blue Dart are also carrying out critical supplies.

    The total cargo load carried from 26th to 29th of this month was 10 tonnes. The cargo essentially covered COVID-19 related reagents, enzymes, medical equipment, testing kits and PPE, masks, gloves and and other items requisitioned by states and union territories.

    A dedicated Medical Air Cargo related website www.civilaviation.gov.in. has been launched and is partially functional. This website will be fully functional from 1st April.

    Information sharing, answering of queries and the work at ground is going on, round the clock for delivering the supplies to the destinations in a timely manner so that the efforts to fight the pandemic are multiplied and supplemented.

  • Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain today said around 1500 to 1700 people had assembled at Markaz building in Delhi's Nizamuddin area, which has thrown up several corona cases. 

    Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said that 1033 people have been evacuated so far and around 334 of them have been sent to hospital. He told informed that 700 people have been sent to quarantine center.

    On Monday, Delhi government had said strong action will be taken against those in charge of this religious gathering. It said social distancing and other lock down measures were not followed in this event.

  • A statement issued at the end of the meeting, said that emergency measures designed to tackle COVID-19, if deemed necessary, must be targeted, proportionate, transparent, and temporary.

    The measures should not create unnecessary barriers to trade or disruption to global supply chains, and be consistent with WTO rules.

    In the second such meet through videoconferencing, India has called for creating global framework for further enhancing affordable access to medicines for fighting pandemics and facilitating easier movement of health professionals across national borders.

    In his interventions, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal stressed on the need to uphold multilateral commitments and improve upon its effectiveness to meet current challenges.

  • The investors focused on stimulus measures rolled out by governments worldwide to support the virus-ravaged global economy, including a 2 trillion Dollars package in the US.

    US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) jumped 7.3 percent to 21.5 US Dollars a barrel while Brent crude, the international benchmark, was up 3.3 per cent at 23.5 US Dollars a barrel.

    In sharp contrast, yMonday prices had struck their lowest levels since 2002 in New York, with WTI briefly falling below 20 US Dollars a barrel.

    Oil markets plunged as governments across the planet introduced lockdowns to stem the spread of the virus, hammering demand for the commodity.

    The crisis has been worsened after top producers Saudi Arabia and Russia launched a price war following a row about reducing output to support virus-hit energy markets.

  • Medical Superintendent of Government Medical College said that the person had history of thyroid, high BP and suffered kidney failure. He had been under treatment here since March 23rd.

    Meanwhile, Minister kadkampally Surendren said that there is certain evidence regarding the source of infection in the deceased eventhough he has not travelled abroad or have any one in close circle with travel history but had attended few functions with Gulf returned individuals.

    Minister further said that there is no situation of panic and all the people who were in touch with the deceased is quarantined but  no on had exhibited any symptoms yet. State Health Minister K.K.Shailaja said that there is no evidence of community spread in the case.

    The authorities had confirmed that strict Covid 19 WHO protocol is followed in the disposal of the body.

    Meanwhile,The Covid 19 cases has further risen in Kerala. 32 more Covid 19 positive cases are confirmed in kerala, taking the total number of infected patients in the State to 213.

  • With two-thirds of the world's population living in developing countries facing unprecedented economic damage from the COVID-19 crisis, the UN is calling for a $2.5 trillion rescue package for these nations.

    According to the new analysis from United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the UN trade and development body titled 'The COVID-19 Shock to Developing Countries: Towards a 'whatever it takes' programme for the two-thirds of the world's population being left behind', commodity-rich exporting countries will face a $2 trillion to $3 trillion drop in investments from overseas in the next two years. 

    The UNCTAD said that in recent days, advanced economies and China have put together massive government packages which, according to the Group of 20 leading economies (G20), will extend a $5 trillion lifeline to their economies.

    "This represents an unprecedented response to an unprecedented crisis, which will attenuate the extent of the shock physically, economically and psychologically," it said.

    It added that while the full details of these stimulus packages are yet to be unpacked, an initial assessment by the UNCTAD estimates that they will translate to a $1 trillion to $2 trillion injection of demand into the major G20 economies and a two percentage point turnaround in global output.

    "Even so, the world economy will go into recession this year with a predicted loss of global income in trillions of dollars. This will spell serious trouble for developing countries, with the likely exception of China and the possible exception of India," the UNCTAD said.

    The report, however, did not give a detailed explanation as to why and how India and China will be the exceptions as the world faces a recession and loss in global income that will impact developing countries.

    Further, given the deteriorating global conditions, fiscal and foreign exchange constraints are bound to tighten further over the course of the year.

    The UNCTAD estimates a $2 trillion to $3 trillion financing gap facing developing countries over the next two years.

    In the face of a looming financial tsunami this year, the UNCTAD proposes a four-pronged strategy that could begin to translate expressions of international solidarity into concrete action. 

    This includes a $1 trillion liquidity injection for those being left behind through reallocating existing special drawing rights at the International Monetary Fund; a debt jubilee for distressed economies under which another one trillion dollars of debts owed by developing countries should be cancelled this year and a 500 billion dollars Marshall Plan for a health recovery funded from some of the missing official development assistance (ODA) long promised but not delivered by development partners.

    The speed at which the economic shockwaves from the pandemic has hit developing countries is dramatic, even in comparison to the 2008 global financial crisis, the UNCTAD said.

    "The economic fallout from the shock is ongoing and increasingly difficult to predict, but there are clear indications that things will get much worse for developing economies before they get better," UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi said.

    The report shows that in two months since the virus began spreading beyond China, developing countries have taken an enormous hit in terms of capital outflows, growing bond spreads, currency depreciations and lost export earnings, including from falling commodity prices and declining tourist revenues.

    Lacking the monetary, fiscal and administrative capacity to respond to this crisis, the consequences of a combined health pandemic and a global recession will be catastrophic for many developing countries and halt their progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

    Even as advanced economies are discovering the challenges of dealing with a growing informal workforce, this remains the norm for developing countries, amplifying their difficulties in responding to the crisis.

    "Advanced economies have promised to do 'whatever it takes' to stop their firms and households from taking a heavy loss of income," said Richard Kozul-Wright, UNCTAD's director of globalisation and development strategies.

    He added: "But if G20 leaders are to stick to their commitment of 'a global response in the spirit of solidarity', there must be commensurate action for the six billion people living outside the core G20 economies"

    According to reports, the death toll from the coronavirus pandemic has soared past 35,000 while the number of confirmed cases topped 750,000 globally.

  • The traditional trade channel that serves over 1.3 billion people, compared to some 120 million by e-commerce, has fared significantly better when it comes to availability of essential goods like rice, wheat, pulses, milk, sugar and salt.

    Obstacles faced by delivery personnels during the initial days of the lockdown might have played a key role in its poor service and a sudden dip in availability of essential items on online channels also impacted many.

    The situation, however, is improving fast, with over 40 per cent of consumers now able to purchase essential items online, compared to only 21 per cent a week ago.

  • Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said that any easing of containment measures will be done incrementally to ensure Italy does not give up gains it has made against the extraordinary disease.

    PM Conte told a newspaper that the near three-week shutdown has been very tough economically. Italy is the first Western nation to impose sweeping restrictions to stem the pandemic.

    It recorded 812 more deaths on Monday and the number of infections reported by the civil protection service surpassed one lakh.

    But fresh evidence also suggested that COVID-19 is spreading more slowly than when the first victim died in Italy on February 21.

    The daily rate of new infections dropped to 4.1 per cent - a fraction of the 62 per cent level registered a month ago.

    And the number of people who have recovered from COVID-19 across the nation of 60 million people hit a new high with 1,590 people recovering in the past 24 hours.

  • Out of these, 102 patients have been cured and discharged. A total 32 deaths have been confirmed by the Ministry.

    Indian Council of Medical Research has given its approval to 123 government laboratories and 47 Private laboratories chain to conduct the test of Covid-19.

  • It pertains to putting in place an efficient mechanism for collection of Stamp Duty on Security Market Instruments transactions through Stock Exchanges or Clearing Corporation authorized by Stock Exchanges Depositories.

    This change was earlier notified to be implemented from 1st April, 2020. However, due to the prevailing situation, it has been decided that the date of implementation will now be postponed to first of July.

  • In an advisory to all states and Union territories, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has asked them to treat such documents as valid till June 30.

    The decision was taken to facilitate the citizens facing difficulties in renewing the validity of various documents related to the Motor Vehicles Act and the Central Motor Vehicles Rules due to nationwide lockdown in the country and closure of government transport offices, according to the advisory.

    The documents include fitness, permit (all types), driving licence, registration or any other concerned document under the Motor Vehicles Act.

  • The last date of online application for National Council For Hotel Management (NCHM) JEE 2020 has been extended from 31st March to 30th April, while for Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) Admission Test 2020 for Ph.D and Open MAT was extended from 23 March to 30th April.

    For Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) 2020 and Jawaharlal Nehru University Entrance Exam (JNUEE) 2020, the date of online application has been extended to 30th April from 31st of March.

    The date of application for UGC National Eligibility Test (UGC-NET) June 2020 was also revised by one month to 16th of May, for CSIR- National Eligibility Test (CSIR-NET) June 2020 it was extended to 15th May and for All India AYUSH Post Graduate Entrance Test , the date was extended to 31st of May.

    Ministry of Human Resources Development in a statement said that submission of online application forms will be accepted upto 4 PM and Submission of fee upto 11.50 PM.

    The requisite fee can be paid through Credit, Debit Card, Net Banking, UPI and PAYTM. The candidates and their parents are advised to keep visiting the concerned examination website and www.nta.ac.in for latest schedules.

    The candidates can also contact at 8287471852, 8178359845,  9650173668, 9599676953, 8882356803 for any further clarification.

  • The Markaz was held in Delhi from 13th to 15th of this month. In a sudden and recent development, there was an announcement from Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s Office stating that there were six Covid-19 related deaths in the statement.

    Two of them reported at the state-run centre for Covid treatment, that is Gandhi hospital in Hyderabad while others reported in private hospitals. A person from Karnataka took admission in a local private hospital few days back and he died while being shifted back to Karnataka. Another person died in a Hyderabad based corporate hospital two days ago.

    The state authorities also announced occurrence of one death each at Nizamabad and Gadwal in the state. What was common in all these cases is all of them attended ‘Markaz’ congregation held in Delhi from 13 to 15th of this month and most of them travelled by train. So far, the authorities have identified over 350 such persons who attended Markaz from various parts of the state.

    Now the special teams are making all out efforts to trace those people who had come in contact with these 350 during the past 15 days. Earlier, 13 persons have been discharged from hospital after they got tested negative for Coronavirus. 

    Meanwhile, in the view of the Lockdown and anticipating a tough economic climate ahead, the Telangana state Government has announced salary-cuts.

    The Chief Minister announced 75 per cent salary cut for himself, MLAs, MLCs, Chairmen of various state corporations and representatives of other local bodies.

    The pay-cut has also been extended to officers of IAS/IPS/IFS and other such central government services by 60 per cent while all other category of employees will see their salaries halved.

    The CMO statement further informed that the Corona virus is adversely impacting the Telangana State’s economic situation and the state government had to act with caution and foresight in this background.

    Besides, 10 per cent salary reduction will be applicable for Class IV, outsourced and contract employees and all categories of pensioners.

    There will be a salary cut for the employees in all the Public Sector Undertakings, institutions that receive government grants.

  • Briefing media in New Delhi, Joint Secretary in Health Ministry Lav Aggarwal said that the cases reported in the last 12 days is much less than the those reported in the developed country. He said, this happened because of the cooperation of people of the country, our collective preemptive action, social distancing and enforcement of lockdown.

    Joint Secretary in Health Ministry Lav Aggarwal said as the country is battling against an infectious disease and people are required to be and follow the guidelines issued in this regard.

    Lav Aggarwal informed that the government has also constituted empowered groups focussing on issues including medical emergency management and hospital management. He said, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has also decided to create isolation facility at its National Institute of Training and Hostels.

    Joint Secretary in Health Ministry Lav Aggarwal said, Centre is engaged with the States and focussing on setting up dedicated COVID-19 hospitals and strengthening the health infrastructure. He said, out the positive cases reported in the country, 99 per cent patient have recovered. He said, there is no evidence of community transmission in the country and it is at local transmission.

    Joint Secretary in the Home Ministry, Punya Salila Srivastava said that Home Ministry is regularly monitoring the enforcement of lockdown with the State governments. She said, the guidelines of the lockdown are being followed by the States and availability of the essential items and services are satisfactory. She said, the situation of migrant workers is under control.

    Raman Gangakhedkar, Head Scientist at ICMR, said that so far over 38 thousand COVID-19 test have been conducted. He said, 115 labs under ICMR network are functional and approval has been given to 47 private labs.

  • According to The Hollywood Reporter, the actor was hospitalised in Tokyo on March 20 after developing a fever and being diagnosed with severe pneumonia. Shimura tested positive for COVID-19 on March 23.

    The condition of Shimura, best known for Japanese variety show "Shimura Ken no Bakatono-sama", was said not to be critical.

    A household name in Japan since the 1970s, Shimura was the first prominent entertainment world figure in Japan to test positive for the virus.

    The actor was set to star in his first feature film "God of Cinema", directed by Yoji Yamada.

    The film, which marks the 100th year anniversary of studio Shochiku, has been put on hold indefinitely.

    Shimura grew up in the west Tokyo neighbourhood of Higashimurayama and he started his career in showbiz when he joined the Japanese rock band and comedy group The Drifters, famous for opening for The Beatles during their early tours of Japan.

    He shot to fame with the group's prime time comedy show "Hachijidayo Zeninshugo!" ("It's 8 o'clock, assemble everyone!"), where he developed his signature brand of slapstick caricature, wacky bits and deadpan delivery.

    American comedian Jerry Lewis was an initial influence on him, Shimura wrote in a late-career memoir.

    On hit variety shows of the 1980s, he would go on to become a bigger name recognised for satirical characters like "Baka Tonosama" (foolish lord) and "Henna Ojisan" (weirdo uncle).
     

  • While Bharat Electronics Limited is going to manufacture ventilators, all drug companies have assured the government that there will not be any shortage of drugs during this crisis and even auto manufacturers are working to develop and produce ventilators. Medical personnel are being trained and are fully prepared for any emergencies.

    Personal protection equipment (PPE) kits are used by medical personnel working in isolation areas and intensive care units to protect them from acquiring infections. They were not being manufactured in the country. With the prospect of huge requirement of PPEs arising in the near future, the Government of India made proactive efforts to promote their manufacturing in the country.

    Ministry of Textiles and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare have been working together in this endeavour. Domestic manufacturers rose to the occasion and so far 11 manufacturers have cleared quality tests. 'Orders for 21 lakh PPE coveralls have been placed on them. Currently they are supplying 6-7,000 coveralls per day and this is expected to go up to 15,000 per day within the next week. One more manufacturer has qualified today and an order of 5 lakh coveralls has been placed with him.

    As of now, 3.34 lakh PPEs are available in various hospitals across the country. About 60,000 PPE kits have already been procured and supplied by Government of India.

    Indian Red cross society has arranged 10,000 PPEs from China which have also been received and are being distributed. Another 3 lakh donated PPE coveralls are to arrive by 4th April. An order for 3 lakh PPEs has been placed with ordinance factories. 

    Foreign sources of PPE kits are also faced with a huge increase in worldwide demand. They are being approached through the Ministry of External Affairs. A Singapore based online platform has been identified which can supply 10 lakh PPE kits and an order has been placed through Ministry of External Affairs to procure them. 

    Another supplier based in Korea, who has tie ups with production companies in Vietnam and Turkey has been identified with daily production capacity of over 1 lakh PPE kits. Orders are being placed on this company through MEA for supplying 20 lakh PPE kits.

    N95 masks are being manufactured by two domestic producers. They are able to supply 50,000 masks per day at the moment but are ramping up capacities to make 1 lakh masks per day within the next week. DRDO is also collaborating with local manufacturers to produce about 20,000 N99 masks per day. This supply is also expected to become available in a week’s time.

    Hospitals in the country have 11.95 lakh N95 masks in stock as of now. Additional 5 lakh masks were distributed in the past two days and 1.40 lakh masks are being distributed today. 10 lakh masks would be part of the PPE kits being sourced from Singapore.

    Ventilators are required for Covid-19 patients, as they tend to develop acute respiratory disease syndrome (ARDS). Less than 20 covid-19 patients are on ventilator support at this moment. As against this, over 14,000 ventilators have been identified in various hospitals across the country for treatment of covid-19 patients.

    A domestic manufacturers Agva Healthcare in Noida has been able to develop suitable ventilators and order of 10,000 ventilators has been placed on him.Supplies are expected to commence by the 2nd week of April.

    In addition, an order for 30,000 ventilators has been placed on Bharat Electronics Limited which is going to collaborate with domestic manufacturers in this endeavor. Indian Auto manufacturers are also preparing to manufacture ventilators.

    In the meantime, orders have been placed on international companies like Hamilton, Mindray and Draeger to supply ventilators. Ministry of External Affairs is also approaching suppliers in China for sourcing 10,000 ventilators from them.
     

  • The Games were postponed last week - the first such delay in the 124-year history of the modern Olympics. The move was a huge blow for Japan, which invested $13 billion in the run-up to the event and raised $3 billion from domestic sponsors.

    Yoshiro Mori, the head of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee, confirmed the new dates after he made the decision with the International Olympic Committee. Mori said the Paralympic Games would run from Aug. 24-Sep. 5.

    “The Tokyo Olympics Games and the successful delivery of these Games will be how we overcome all the problems that the world is facing and that the Olympics could be a symbol for this,” Mori said. “These Games are going to have great historical significance.”

    The IOC and Japanese government succumbed to intense pressure from athletes and sporting bodies around the world last Tuesday by agreeing to push back the Games because of the coronavirus pandemic.

    The pandemic had already led to many sporting events around the world being delayed or canceled. After weeks of insisting the Olympics would go ahead, organizers bowed to what many said was the inevitable and delayed what is the world’s premier sporting gathering.

    Sporting bodies including the World Athletics association, the International Triathlon Union, and FINA, the international swimming federation, all followed up with statements of support for the delay.

  • This Sunday, mythological shows 'Ramayan' and 'Mahabharat' started airing on Doordarshan and DD Bharati.

    In a statement, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry said Doordarshan will be retelecasting five shows -- 'Chanakya', 'Upanishad Ganga', 'Shaktimaan', 'Shriman Shrimati' and 'Krishna Kali'.

    'Chanakya', a 47-episode series directed by Chandraprakash Dwivedi, will be telecast daily in the afternoon time bands of DD Bharati from first week of April.

    'Upanishad Ganga', a 52-episode series produced by Chinmaya Mission Trust and directed by Chandraprakash Dwivedi, is also scheduled for an afternoon slots on DD Bharati first week of April.

    'Shaktimaan', the famous serial featuring Mukesh Khanna will be aired for an hour daily on DD National network at 1 PM.

    'Shriman Shrimati', a rib-tickling comedy produced by Markand Adhikari, is scheduled for a comeback on DD National from April in the 2 PM slot.

    'Krishna Kali', an 18-episode series, will be aired at 8.30 PM on DD National.

    Apart from 'Ramayan' and 'Mahabharat', other shows that began airing from Sunday are detective series 'Byomkesh Bakshi', 'Circus' featuring Shah Rukh Khan, 'Hum Hain Na' and 'Tu Tota Main Maina'.

    On Monday, the ministry issued an advisory to all the DTH and Cable operators to show all the DD Channels as well as Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Channels as per the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act.

    Non-carriage of these channels is liable for action under various sections of the act, it said.
     

  • Prime Minister Modi said this was an unavoidable step taken to fight the pandemic. He pointed that the closure of the globalized system has had an extensive and far-reaching impact upon the international transport system, financial markets and the global economy.

    Prime Minister complimented Heads of Missions for their efforts to evacuate Indians stranded abroad in some of the epicentres of the crisis. He also urged the participants in the video call to take steps to ensure their own health and safety, and that of their teams and families. 

    Prime Minister Modi asked them to attend to Indians who remain in various foreign countries, given the uncertainty of continuing international travel restrictions. He also asked them to stay and identify best practices, innovations, scientific breakthroughs and sources to procure medical equipment in the countries where they are posted. 

    Since this crisis also impacts upon the economy, the Prime Minister advised Heads of Mission to also focus on ensuring that commerce in essential supplies, logistics chains, remittances and so on are unaffected.

    He asked them to continue to pay close attention to the evolving international political and economic situation.

    In response, ten Heads of Mission in Beijing, Washington DC, Tehran, Rome, Berlin, Kathmandu, Abu Dhabi, Kabul, Male, and Seoul offered their perspectives to the Prime Minister.

    The Heads of Missions outlined their efforts to help Indians stranded abroad, in particular, students and workers. They also reported efforts to identify medicines, medical devices, technology, research and other measures which might help India in the fight against COVID-19.
     

  • The home quarantine centre at Sarusajai Athletics Centre has a capacity to hold 1000 people where government will take care of each person brought here. This centre will have 1,000 beds and separate toilets.  
    Space for another centre that can hold another 1,000 people in this location is also being done and if required the government plans to  set up a third one at Nehru Stadium with a capacity for 1,000 people. 
    There are also many people here who have been advised to be on home quarantine but have not been able to get even a hotel. 

    The government wants to bring all these people to this centre and state government will take care of them. 

    The state health department has been leaving no stone unturned to augment its strength so that it can deal with the pandemic although no person has been affected in the state so far. 

    The health department would train up 700 final year MBBS and 2,000 nursing students to be engaged as a frontline fighter against the disease. 

    The Assam government has already converted the district hospital at Sonapur on the outskirt of the city and Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital in Guwahati (barring a few departments) to dedicated Covid-19 treatment centres. 

    It has also closed the eye hospital at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital to convert it into an exclusive Covid19 treatment centre. 

    Besides, the government had asked the deputy commissioners to identify the college and university hostels which can be converted into Covid-19 treatment centres of quarantine facilities if required.

  • Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Mohammad Imran told the official news agency BSS on Monday that a total of 162 Bangladeshis in India have expressed their willingness to return to the country so far. The Bangladesh High Commission in India is exploring the possibility of hiring a chartered flight to bring back its citizens to Dhaka. Hundreds of Bangladeshi citizens remained stuck at various hospitals and medical facilities where they had gone to seek treatment.

    Bangladesh Bank (BB) has also taken steps to facilitate its citizens stranded abroad. It has instructed banks and Authorised Dealers to release foreign exchange within permissible limits on their international cards to help them deal with the disruption caused by Corona outbreak.

    In the meanwhile, some foreign missions in Bangladesh are arranging special flights to send back their citizens. 269 American citizens left for US on Monday by a special chartered flight from Dhaka. The US embassy had earlier clarified on Sunday that it is not forcing anyone to return to US. The decision to return is a personal choice.

    Bangladesh reported one more new case of Corona virus infection on Monday taking the total number of infected persons to 49. Five persons have succumbed to the Corona infection so far.

     

  • LPG being an essential commodity has been exempted from the lock-down, and personnel are required to attend duty during this crisis period to maintain uninterrupted LPG cylinder supplies across the country to all customers.

    Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel Shri Dharmendra Pradhan has welcomed the initiative of the oil companies. 

    In a Tweet, he said, “Welcome the humanitarian decision taken by Indian Oil, BPCL and HPCL. This gesture of goodwill is a recognition of the services rendered by our personnel in these trying times. Well-being of our workers is of paramount importance, this compassionate move will strengthen the safety nets of our workforce aiding India’s fight against corona.”
     

  • He appealed to them to spread awareness about the COVID-19 outbreak.  PM Modi added that people were seen gathered in places and flouting social distancing norms in the name of belief. He said, it is necessary to highlight the importance of maintaining social distancing during this time.

    Prime Minister said, the entire nation is displaying immense resilience, grit and patience in facing the challenge of the virus outbreak.

    The representatives of the social welfare organizations praised the leadership of the Prime Minister in navigating a complicated situation with dexterity. They lauded the pro-active measures of the government which have been effective in controlling the spread of the virus. They pledged support to the PM-CARES fund. 

    They said, their workforce will be dedicated completely to the cause of serving the nation in this time of crisis.  

    They also talked about their work to meet the COVID-19 challenge through awareness campaigns through digital means, distribution of essentials, food packets, sanitizers, medicines and provision of medical help to those in need.

    Prime Minister reiterated the importance of spreading awareness, helping the poor and needy through arranging for basic necessities, provision of medical facilities and dedicating the volunteers to the cause of serving those impacted by COVID-19. 

  • The number of active COVID-19 cases stood at 942, while 99 people were either cured or discharged and one had migrated, the ministry stated.

    In its updated data at 10.30 am, it said two fresh deaths were reported from Maharashtra.

    Thus, Maharashtra has reported the maximum number of eight COVID-19 deaths so far, followed by Gujarat (5), Karnataka (3), Madhya Pradesh (2), Delhi (2) and Jammu and Kashmir (2).
    Kerala, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, West Bengal, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh have reported a death each.

    The total number of 1,071 cases includes 49 foreigners.

    The highest number of confirmed cases of the pandemic has been reported from Kerala (194) so far, followed by Maharashtra at 193.

    The number of cases has gone up to 80 in Karnataka, while Uttar Pradesh has reported 75 cases.

    The number of cases has risen to 69 in Telangana, 58 in Gujarat and 57 in Rajasthan.

    Delhi has reported 53 cases, while in Tamil Nadu, the number of positive cases is 50.

    Punjab has reported 38 cases, while 33 COVID-19 cases have been detected each in Haryana and Madhya Pradesh.

    There are 31 cases of the contagion in Jammu and Kashmir, followed by Andhra Pradesh (19), West Bengal (19) and Ladakh (13).

    Bihar has 11 cases, while nine cases have been reported from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Chandigarh has eight cases, while Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand have reported seven cases each.

    Goa has reported five coronavirus cases, while Himachal Pradesh and Odisha have reported three cases each. Puducherry, Mizoram and Manipur have reported a case each, the Health Ministry said.
     

  • Grey seals need ice - which helps them keep a distance from predators like wolves or foxes - in order to breed pups during the winter.

    Without it, they have been forced onto islets they would not normally inhabit, causing overcrowding, disrupting the breeding season and reducing the survival rate of newborns.

    "There were some islands that were white, all covered with seal pups ... We haven't seen such a picture before," researcher Mart Jussi, who has studied seals for the last 30 years, said. He said some of the larger islands were so over-populated that he estimated the mortality rate among seal pups there would be at least 50 percent. That high rate was in part because pups lose their mothers more easily and so don't get enough food. Around 3,000 seal pups are born each year on the Baltic Sea coast. "Most of the pups are going to die right now," Jussi added.

    This spring the problem is compounded by the coronavirus, which is keeping researchers away from the seals, as Estonia has halted travel between the mainland and its islands.

    Agnese Balandina, a specialist working with Latvia's nature conservation agency, said the coronavirus outbreak combined with the warm weather had driven Latvians to the country's beaches, increasing the likelihood of contact between people and seals.

    The agency has set up warning signs on Latvian beaches asking people to keep a distance of at least 50 metres (164 feet), but some people ignored the advice and ventured closer to take photographs of seal pups on their phones at Jurmala near Riga.

    Balandina, who with a colleague caught an injured seal pup at Jurmala, said the agency had received 200 calls about lone seal pups on Latvia's beaches over the previous weekend.

    Unless the pups are injured or in danger the agency prefers not to intervene - and even those that are rescued and sent for rehabilitation in Riga's zoo or in other facilities around the country may not survive.

    Meteorological agencies in both Estonia and Latvia said on their websites at the beginning of March that the winter of 2019-2020 was much warmer than usual.

    The Estonian Weather Service said the average air temperature over winter was 2.5 degrees Celsius (36.5 Fahrenheit) rather than the historical average of -3.3 Celsius (26.5 Fahrenheit) - the warmest since 1961.

    Latvia's Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre said it was the warmest winter since records began in 1924.

  • Luckily for restaurants in Mexico, people still need to eat, and mobile application connecting businesses, delivery personnel and clients might just help them weather the economic storm.

    The chefs at Los Parados taqueria in Mexico City were still busily flipping tortillas and carving tacos al pastor on Thursday but many orders were being packed and handed to delivery drivers to take to clients observing the social distancing measures now common around the world to fight the highly infectious coronavirus.

    "Uber has been helping us out a lot in the two weeks since we've had with the emergency," says Los Parados manager Guadalupe Gonzalez.

    According to Uber Eats, some 60% of its affiliates are small and medium businesses like Los Parados.

    Uber Eats has also responded to the growing demand of people practicing social distancing by adding a tool to allow users to request that orders be left at entrances to homes or buildings without any face-to-face interaction.

  • Cities including Brussels, Paris, Madrid, Milan and Frankfurt showed a reduction in average levels of noxious nitrogen dioxide over March 5-25, compared with the same period last year, according to the Sentinel-5 satellite images.

    That coincides with lockdowns in many European countries which have curbed road transport – the largest source of nitrogen oxides - and slowed output at gas-emitting factories.

    The new images, released by the European Space Agency (ESA) and analyzed by the non-profit European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), show the changing density of nitrogen dioxide, which can cause respiratory problems and cancer, like heat maps.

    Daily weather events can influence atmospheric pollution, so the satellite pictures took a 20-day average and excluded readings where cloud cover reduced the quality of the data.

    Data from the European Environment Agency (EEA) showed a similar trend over March 16-22. In Madrid, average nitrogen dioxide levels decreased by 56% week-on-week after the Spanish government banned non-essential travel on March 14.

  • Those who performed from their homes for the “IHeart Living Room Concert for America” also included Mariah Carey, Camila Cabello, Alicia Keys, Shawn Mendes and Sam Smith.

    The one-hour show, broadcast on Fox television without commercials, was the biggest joint effort in the pandemic to lift spirits, raise money for those in the frontlines, and remind Americans to wash their hands and keep their distance.

    “There’s doctors, nurses and scientists on the frontlines. They’re living proof that most superheroes don’t wear capes,” said John, who hosted the show from his kitchen.

    “We hope this bit of entertainment can feed and fuel your souls.”

    All the performances and appearances by celebrities ranging from comedian Ellen DeGeneres to R&B artist Lizzo and country singer Tim McGraw were filmed on phones, home cameras or online platforms.

    The songs were interspersed with short personal stories from nurses, doctors, truckers, grocery staff, and other essential workers as millions of Americans entered a third week subjected to orders to stay home.

    Dr Elvis Francois, a surgeon from Rochester, Minnesota, stole hearts on social media with an emotional rendition of “Imagine” performed in medical scrubs.

    “Did this doctor just out sing every artist that’s performed?” one viewer, Ender Wiggins, asked on Twitter.

    The concert, also broadcast on iHeart radio stations nationwide, urged listeners to donate to charities Feeding America, and First Responders Children’s Foundation.

    The amount raised was not immediately known, but more than $1 million was donated in the first 10 minutes, courtesy of $500,000 from household goods giant Procter & Gamble and a matching sum from Fox Television.

    “My heart goes out to people who have lost loved ones and also those who are losing their jobs,” said Lady Gaga, clad in pink sweatpants and a hoodie.

  • Union Government, on Monday, clarified that there is no plan to extend the 21 days' lockdown which came intro force on 25th of this month.

    In a tweet, Press Information Bureau said, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba has denied media reports claiming that the government will extend the lockdown.
     
    It said, there are rumours and media reports claiming that the government will extend the lock down when it expires. The Cabinet Secretary rejected these reports and stated that these are baseless.

  • They include community health workers, who may have to be in direct contact and care of COVID-19 patients and who may be at risk of being impacted by this. 

    The scheme will also include accidental loss of life on account of contracting COVID-19. The Health Ministry has said, the insurance provided under this scheme will be over and above any other insurance cover being availed by the beneficiary.

    It said, on account of the unprecedented situation, private hospital staff, retired, volunteer, local urban bodies, contract, daily wage,  ad-hoc and outsourced staff requisitioned by States and  Central hospitals, autonomous hospitals of Central, States, AIIMS and hospitals of Central Ministries can also be drafted for  COVID-19 related responsibilities.

    These cases will also be covered subject to numbers indicated by the Health Ministry.

  • Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will transfer 611 crore rupees in the accounts of 27.15 lakh MNREGA labourers on Monday. The amount will be transferred electronically to help the labourers in the situation of Lock down due to Corona Virus. State Government has said that there are no signs of community spread of the virus in state.

    Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed private enterprises and organisations to must give one month salary to their employees without any deduction. Additional Chief Secretary, Home Awanish Awasthi said that no landlord would charge one month's rent from any worker or labourer. On receiving any such complaint, the police will take strict action against the landlord who took the rent.
     
    State Government reiterated that nodal officers in 16 states of the country are helping the people of Uttar Pradesh in their respective areas and appealed everyone to remain wherever they are and follow the lock down. Meanwhile, Gautam Buddh Nagar administration took over the JP sports city to convert it into the shelter home for the labourers. 
     

  • This will go a long way in reassuring the people of the region that even at this hour of trial, they are receiving as much attention as any other part of the country.

    It has been intimated that the contact details and road map for the Cargo operation will be provided soon. The Directors of the airports of the region have been asked to inform about their requirements through Twitter.
     
    Dr Jitendra Singh noted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has always placed the welfare of the North Eastern Region highest on the priority.

    It was primarily because of his personal outreach that Northeast has undergone a revolutionary transformation over the last six years.

    And, the decision to operate Cargo flights for North-East is only a reiteration of the fact that the concern for Northeast is close to PM Modi’s heart even at this crucial time.

  • Three Indians are also among the new positive cases include a 35-year-old female with a long-term pass, a 34-year-old male holding Singapore work pass.Both of them have a travel history to India.
     
    A 34-year-old Indian holding Singapore work pass was infected locally. The Ministry of Health said that of these new cases, 24 are imported and have a travel history to Europe, North America, Middle East, ASEAN and other parts of Asia.
     
    Of the 423 confirmed COVID-19 cases who are in hospitals, 19 are in critical condition. The others are stable or improving. In total, 212 people in Singapore have fully recovered from the deadly disease.

  • In a conference call with these boxers, the President of the Boxing Federation of India, Ajay Singh took stock of their preparations amid a national lockdown till April 14 to fight the pandemic. 

    He told the boxers that this is a challenging time for all of us and is all the more a reason for us to take care of ourselves stay fit. He asked them to continue with the exercises as directed by the coaches and try to maintain weights as much as possible.

    Elaborating further on the 45-minute discussion, BFI's Executive Director R K Sacheti told that the areas of concern are diet control and mental health.

    He said India boxing's High Performance Director Santiago Nieva, who is now in Patiala after completing a 14-day self-isolation period in Delhi, will be conducting classes for men.

    The classes for women will be conducted by their high performance director Rafaelle Bergamasco.

     India booked an unprecedented nine Olympic slots at the Asian qualifiers in Jordan earlier this month.

  • The lender's external benchmark lending rate is linked to the RBI's repo rate, which was reduced by 75 basis points, to 4.40 percent, on March 27.
     
    It has also cut benchmark marginal cost of funds based lending rate by 25 basis points across tenors from one year to one month, and by 15 basis points for overnight tenor.

    The one-year marginal cost of funds is now 7.95 percent per annum. 

  • As a part of the Government’s preparedness to fight the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) has decided to make available all National Skill Training Institutes (NSTIs) and their hostels across the country for conversion into quarantine/isolation facilities. The decision was taken by the Ministry to align its efforts with the Centre in preparedness for the pandemic that has led to a nationwide lockdown for 3 weeks to encourage social distancing among people.
     
    MSDE has also provided the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare a list of around one lakh personnel who have been trained in healthcare skills through various programmes under the Skill India Mission. Trained in various job roles, these candidates will boost the efforts to contain the spread, and treatment and care of infected people in the new quarantine/ isolation/ hospital facilities being set up.
     
    In addition, a list of 2000 health care trainers and more than 500 health care assessors has also been shared with health ministry. Further, the personnel of the Ministry have also decided to contribute at least minimum one day salary to the PM CARES fund, to aid the Government’s efforts to fight the corona virus pandemic.
     
    Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has said that the addition of NSTIs will help district and state administrations in treating those infected by the virus by providing an alternative for hospitals and health centres. He said, they have requested all Regional Directors of NSTIs to fully cooperate with State Government authorities to help them meet the requirement .
     
    Dr. Pandey said, state Governments can also use the premises of ITIs. Run by the Directorate General of Training, NSTIs are premier institutes that provides training in specialised skills across its spread of training centers and hostels in the country. The nearly one lakh candidates who will aid in emergency and isolation work in the battle against COVID-19 have been trained in various job roles.

  • Since doctors did not know exactly when Sophie Trudeau became virus-free, the Prime Minister said he would observe another 14 full days of confinement.

    Trudeau has been in self-isolation since his wife tested positive for the coronavirus on March 12 following a trip to London.
     
    Trudeau also announced new financial measures to help vulnerable Canadians, particularly children and the aged.

    As of Sunday, 6,243 Canadians had tested positive for the coronavirus, and 64 have died.

  • The decision was taken by the High Power Coordination Committee for the prevention and control of novel Coronavirus in Kathmandu on Monday.

    The government has also decided to allow Nepalis stuck at border points on their way back home on the basis of their identity cards. However, they have to compulsorily undergo a 14-day quarantine at the nearest quarantine facility.

    Meanwhile, Nepal has received medical supplies from China to tackle possible COVID-19 outbreak. Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi handed over the supplies to Nepal’s Minister for Health and Population Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal in Kathmandu.

    According to Health officials, 917 people have been tested for COVID 19 in the Himalayan nation, out of whom five tested positive. Four patients are currently in isolation while one has recovered. 

  • Over six lakh 67 thousand declared cases have been registered in 183 countries and territories since the epidemic first emerged in China in December. Of these cases, at least one lakh 34 thousand are now considered recovered.

    Italy, which recorded its first Coronavirus death in February, has declared ten thousand fatalities so far. Spain has more fatalities than 6500 as well as 78,747 infections.

    China, excluding Hong Kong and Macau has declared 3,295 deaths and 81,394 cases, with 74,971 recoveries.

    The other worst-hit countries are Iran with 2,640 deaths and 38,309 cases, and France with 2,314 deaths and 37,575 cases.

    The United States has the highest number of infected people with 124,686 diagnosed cases, 2,191 deaths and 2,612 recoveries.

    Europe has listed over three lakh 63 thousand cases and 22,259 deaths while, Asia recorded more than one lakh four thousand cases and 3,761 deaths. The West Asia has registered nearly 46 thousand cases and 2,718 deaths. In the US and Canada together 2,250 deaths have been recorded. 

  • Centre has asked state governments and Union Territory administrations to effectively seal state and district borders to stop movement of migrant workers. It has ordered to ensure adequate arrangement of temporary shelters and provisions of food and other facilities for poor and needy people stranded due to lockdown announced in view of COVID -19 outbreak.
     
    In its fresh directive, the Home Ministry said, the migrant people, who have moved out to reach their home states, must be kept in the nearest shelters by the concerned states and quarantined after proper screening for a minimum period of 14 days. The Ministry has also directed the employers including industry, shops and commercial establishments to make payment of wages of their workers on the due date without any deduction.
     
    The landlords of workers have also been ordered not to demand rent for a period of one month. It has been warned that action will be taken if any landlord forces labourers and students to vacate their premises. Yesterday, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba and Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla held meeting with state chief secretaries and DGPs through video conferencing.
     
    In the meeting, it was noted that, by and large, there has been effective implementation of the lockdown guidelines across all States and UTs and essential supplies have also been maintained. Terming the movement of a large number of migrant workers to reach their home towns as a violation of the lockdown, the Home Ministry asserted that District Magistrate, Superintendent of Police and DCP will be personally liable for implementation of the direction of the Centre  and lockdown measures.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi is continuing his interactions with various stakeholders in India’s fight against COVID-19. PM  interacts with over 200 people on a daily basis to get a first-hand feedback on India’s fight against Coronavirus.

    Prime Minister also telephonically reaches out to various doctors, nurses, health workers, and sanitation staff from various corners of the country in order to encourage them and to pay gratitude to their yeomen service to the nation and society.

    PM Modi interacts with people from various walks of life through video conferencing in an effort to control the spread of the Corona virus.

    Prime Minister also telephonically reaches to some of those who are affected with Corona Virus and to some of those who have recovered from its affects in order to keep an update on their progress.

    PM had been holding meetings on a daily basis wherein he is updated regularly by the Cabinet Secretary and the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister’s Office.

    Prime Minister is also being updated by the Group of Ministers (GoM) set up under the chairmanship of the Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan on the steps being taken by the Government.

  • In an official directive to the states, the centre has asked states to enforce lockdown strictly.

    The Cabinet Secretary and the Ministry of Home Affairs are in constant touch with state Chief Secretaries and DGPs.

    Video conferences were held by the Cabinet Secretary and Home Secretary with Chief Secretaries and DGPs.

    By and large, there has been effective implementation of guidelines across all states and Union Territories. Essential supplies have also been maintained.

    The situation is being monitored round the clock and necessary measures are being taken as required.

    However, there has been movement of migrant workers in some parts of the country, directions were issued that district and state borders should be effectively sealed.

    States directed to ensure there is no movement of people across cities or highways. Only movement of goods should be allowed.

    DMs and SPs should be made personally responsible for implementation of these directions which have been issued under the DM Act.

    Adequate arrangements for food and shelter for poor and needy including migrant labourers be made at the place of their work, centre has issued orders to use SDR Funds for this purpose.

    States have also been directed to ensure timely payments of wages to labourers at their place of work.

  • The six member strategic task force will deal exclusively with the issues related to the lockdown.

    The eleven empowered groups and the strategic task force have been set up in order to deal with coronavirus spread and its aftermath.

    These groups have been set up under the Disaster Management Act. The groups have been empowered to formulate plans and to take all necessary steps for their time bound implementation.

    The Department of Expenditure has issued special instructions to enable expeditious decision making in procurement matters.

    Each group has senior representatives from PMO and Cabinet Secretariat to ensure seamless coordination.

    Of these 11 empowered groups, 9 are headed by secretary level officers, one by Member, NITI Aayog and one by CEO, NITI Aayog.

    In case of any need of guidance, these groups may seek guidance from Union Cabinet Secretary.

  • The Ministry in a statement said these officers have failed to ensure public health and safety during the lockdown restrictions to combat COVID-19.

    Additional Chief Secretary (Transport) Renu Sharma and Principal Secretary (Finance) Rajiv Verma were suspended were suspended with immediate effect due to serious lapse in their duties to enforce the lockdown in the capital.

    Additional Chief Secretary (Home and Land Buildings) Satya Gopal has been issued a show-cause notice. The Sub Divisional Magistrate (Seelampur) has also been issued a show-cause notice.

  • The decision was taken by the High Power Coordination Committee for the prevention and control of novel Coronavirus in Kathmandu today. The government has also decided to allow Nepalis stuck at border points on their way back home on the basis of their identity cards. However, they have to compulsorily undergo a 14-day quarantine at the nearest quarantine facility.

    Meanwhile, Nepal has received medical supplies from China to tackle possible COVID-19 outbreak. Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi handed over the supplies to Nepal’s Minister for Health and Population Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal in Kathmandu this evening. According to Health officials 917 persons have been tested for coronavirus in the Himalayan nation, out of whom five tested positive. Four patients are currently in isolation while one has recovered.

     

     

  • Myanmar has also stopped issuing visa to foreign nationals till April 30 in a bid to control the spread of Corona virus spread in the country. This was announced on Sunday in a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar.

    The visa exemptions granted to the foreign nationals on bilateral arrangements such as ASEAN has also been suspended. However, persons holding diplomatic or official visa, UN diplomats and crews of ships and aircraft have been exempted from the order. The number of confirmed Corona cases in Myanmar remains 8 till Saturday.

    On Friday, a UN staffer was tested positive for Corona virus in Myanmar. She had travelled to Myanmar from Switzerland on March 18 and was undergoing home quarantine. Earlier, Myanmar’s military had announced that it will postpone the annual military parade in view of the spread of Corona virus.

    The first case of Corona virus infection in Myanmar was confirmed on March 24. Many of the city councils in Myanmar have imposed restrictions on social gathering. Naypyitaw Council has banned all social and religious gatherings in the city. It has warned people that people violating the law will be punished with imprisonment and fine.

    The popular destination of Ngapali Beach in Rakhine State has also been closed for the tourists, though marine and fishing related activities will continue. The Yangon Municipal Committee has ordered the restaurants to stop all in-dining activity and only operate take-away service in view of the Corona virus.

  • Born on February 12 at Belgium's Pairi Daiza, a zoo well-known in Belgium for its pandas, the unnamed male calf is the second child to his mother Nema and his father Emilio, following the birth of Kibo in 2013.

    Hippo enthusiasts will have to wait to take a peek at the baby as Belgium is currently undergoing a lockdown expected to last at least eight weeks, as the country seeks to contain the spread of coronavirus.

    According to Pairi Daiza, there are currently between 115,000 and 130,000 hippos living in the wild in Africa.

    Considered a 'vulnerable species' by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), hippopotamuses can be found in the wild from Mali to South Africa but became extinct in a number of countries such as Algeria, Egypt and Eritrea.

    According to the IUCN, the main threat against the species are the destruction of its habitat, hunting, armed conflicts, water management and droughts.

  • “In light of the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic worldwide, strong decisions are required to ensure the safety and health of (fashion) houses, their employees and everyone working in our industry,” the Federation de la Haute Couture et de la Mode said in a statement.

    The events were due to take place in late June and early July. The federation said it was working on possible alternatives.

  • SpaceX will get a portion of a $7 billion NASA contract to use its biggest rocket, Falcon Heavy, to send a new “Dragon XL” spacecraft to the Lunar Gateway, an outpost NASA plans to build that will orbit the moon sometime within the next decade.

    The Dragon XL spacecraft, the latest variant in Musk’s lineup of so-called Dragon cargo and astronaut capsules, will carry research supplies that will help future astronauts on the surface of the moon collect lunar samples, a NASA announcement said. 

    The Dragon variant, which would be docked at the orbital station for six to 12 months per mission, is “optimized to carry more than 5 metric tons of cargo to Gateway in lunar orbit,” SpaceX said in a tweet. 

    The financial value of the award was not given. But it signals a key development in the U.S. space agency’s Artemis program to return to the moon - unveiled by Vice President Mike Pence a year ago this week — and deals a win for Musk’s space company as it works to launch its debut manned mission to space this summer.

  • “Prince Abdulaziz assured me of LPG supplies in the coming days to support our domestic requirement,” Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan posted on his Twitter account. The Minister said,

     

     

    On Friday, two Indian refiners declared force majeure on crude purchases from the Middle East after fuel demand plummeted due to a nationwide lockdown to stem the spread of coronavirus and the companies’ tanks are full.