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Text Bulletins Details

News at Nine

2030 HRS

  • Doubling rate of COVID-19 cases slows down from 3.4 days to 7.5 days after lockdown, says Health Ministry.

  • Goa becomes COVID free; No new positive case reported in 59 districts of 23 states. 

  • Centre asks States and Union Territories for strict compliance of lockdown guidelines.

  • Government allows certain relaxations from today in notified services in areas without Hotspots; No relaxation in containment areas.

  • 36 per cent increase in sown area of summer crops, says Agriculture Ministry.

  • Railways distributes over twenty lakh cooked meals free to needy people during lockdown period.

  • Road Transport and Highways Ministry launches a dashboard on its website to facilitate truck and cargo drivers and cleaners.


One thousand  553 fresh confirmed cases of COVID- 19 have been reported in the country in the last 24 hours taking the total number to  17,265. Out of these, 2546 patients have recovered and have been discharged from the hospitals. Briefing media in New Delhi today, Health Ministry official said that India's doubling rate of COVID-19 cases before lockdown period was 3.4 days and now it has slowed down to 7.5 days. 

"इंडिया का doubling rate लॉकडाउन से पहले जो 3.4 था अब improve होकर 7.5 हो चुका है और इससे संबंधित एक और भी अच्छी न्यूज ये है कि अगर हम 19 अप्रैल तक का डेटा लें तो इन नेशनल एवरेज के तहत 18 स्टेट्स में नेशनल एवरेज से better performance और better improvement नोटिस किया गया है।"

As per data on 19th of April, in 18 states, the rate is better than national average. The official informed that Mahe in Puducherry, Kodagu in Karnataka and  Pauri Garhwal in Uttarakhand have not reported any COVID19 case in last 28 days. He said, the number of districts where no case has been reported in last 14 days has increased to 59 districts of 23 States. He said, the doubling rate of COVID-19 cases is more than 30 days in Odisha and Kerala and there is no active case in Goa now. The official added that the doubling rate of infections in India has slowed down.

Home Ministry official said that the Ministry is regularly monitoring enforcement of  lockdown measures. She said, where violations of lockdown are occurring, suitable measures are taken in discussion with states. She said, Home Ministry has also written  a letter to States stating that guidelines made under Disaster Management Act specify that states are required to strictly follow these guidelines.

The official said that the Ministry also wrote to Kerala Government  expressing concerns over modified guidelines regarding lockdown issued by the State. She said, Kerala has allowed some activities that violate the Centre's instructions issued under Disaster Management Act. She also said that Central Government has constituted 6 Inter-Ministerial Teams to make assessment of COVID19 situation and augment state efforts to fight and contain spread of COVID19 effectively. She said, the purpose of constituting the teams is to assist and support the States in containing the spread of the coronavirus. She informed that the situation is particularly serious in Indore in Madhya Pradesh,  Mumbai and Pune of Mharashtra, Jaipur of Rajasthan and Kolkata, Howrah, Medinipur East, 24 Parganas North, Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Jalpaiguri of West Bengal. She said, the Central Government has constituted 6 Inter-Ministerial Teams to assess COVID19 situation and augment state efforts to fight and contain the virus spread effectively. She said,  the team has reached the assigned destinations.

"कुछ जिलों में कोविड 19 के संक्रमण की स्थिति गंभीर है या गंभीर होती जा रही है। जैसे राजस्थान में जयपुर, मध्यप्रदेश में इंदौर,महाराष्ट्र में मुम्बई और पुणे, पश्चिम बंगाल में कोलकाता, हावड़ा, 24 परगना नार्थ, मेदिनीपुर ईस्, दार्जिलिंग, जलपाइगुडी और कांलगपोंग। इन चारों राज्यों के प्रभावित जिलों का ऑन स्पॉट आंकलन करने के लिए गृह मंत्रालय ने 6 interministerial सेंटर टीमों का गठन किया है। ये टीमें अपने निर्धारित स्थान पर पहुंच चुकी हैं।"

Agriculture Ministry representative said that sown area of summer crops has registered 36 per cent  increase over last year pushed mainly by rice cultivation. She said farming has been exempted from lockdown but social distancing has to be maintained.

ICMR official said that Rapid AntibodyTest is not used for individual diagnosis, as we do not know how powerful the antibody developed will be against the coronavirus. He said, it can be used for surveillance and consistent errors will not affect assessment of infection trends in epidemiological surveys. On complaint regarding repeat testing of some patients in West Bengal, the official said that RT-PCR testing kits need to be kept below 20 degree Celsius and  if temperature is higher then proper test results are not obtained.


Union Home Ministry has urged States and Union Territories to ensure strict compliance and implementation of revised consolidated guidelines on lockdown measures without any dilution to fight COVID-19. In a letter to states, the Ministry observed that certain states are allowing activities not permitted under Home Ministry guidelines.

Home Ministry spokesperson said, violations to lockdown measures have been reported, which pose a serious health hazard to public and risk for spread of COVID-19.  There have been incidents of violence on frontline health care professionals, complete violations of social distancing norms and  movement of vehicles in urban areas. The situation is especially serious in Indore in Madhya Pradesh, Mumbai and Pune in Maharastra, Jaipur in Rajasthan and Kolkata, Howrah, Medinipur East, 24 Parganas North, Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Jalpaiguri in West Bengal.

Union Government has constituted six Inter-Ministerial Central Teams to make on-spot assessment of COVID-19 situation, issue necessary directions to State Authorities for its redressal and submit their report to the Centre. The teams will focus on compliance and implementation of lockdown measures as per guidelines, supply of essential commodities, social distancing,  preparedness of the health infrastructure, safety of health professionals and conditions of the relief camps for labour and poor people.


Kerala has amended certain relaxations declared earlier after  Union Home Ministry expressed  strong objection saying that it  violates Centre's consolidated revised lockdown guidelines issued on April 15 .

"After the High level meeting headed by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in Thiruvananthapuram today, Kerala  decides  to  amend few relaxations  announced earlier. Accordingly Barber shops will not open till further notice, dine in restaurants will not allowed, only parcel services  will be allowed, pillion riding will not be allowed in two wheelers.The decision was made  after  the  Centre, pointed  out that certain relaxations declared by Kerala Govt earlier, dilutes the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs and  violates the MHA order dated April 15th on lockdown measures. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan  said that the State had  always worked in coordination with Centre  and will seek Centre's  permission for special relaxations in the future too. Meanwhile 6 more  positive  Covid 19 cases were confirmed  today whereas  21 persons recovered from the disease.  Mayusha for AIR News from Thiruvananthapuram."


Union Government has allowed certain relaxations from today in the notified services in areas without Hotspots. In the wake of extension of national lockdown till 3rd May, a series of directives have been put in place to ensure a strict compliance of lockdown. However, keeping in mind the current financial situation of low-income earners and farmers, the Centre had said that it will be permitting a few more services to function in areas that are not Covid-19 containment zones from today.

Operation of the fishing aquaculture industry, movement of fish and fish products and workers of all these activities are allowed. The guideline also allows operations of tea, coffee and rubber plantations with maximum of 50 per cent workers. Poultry farms, livestock farming activity are allowed. Food processing industries in rural areas, manufacture of IT hardware, coal production, mines and mineral production, manufacturing units of packaging material have been allowed to operate. Operations of Seaports and Inland Container Depots for cargo transport, including authorized custom clearing and forwarding agents will function as well. IT and IT enabled Services have been allowed to resume functioning with up to 50 percent strength.

"These limited exemptions will be operationalized by states, union territories, district administration based on strict compliance to the existing guidelines. All agricultural and horticultural activities including farming operations by farmers and farm workers in field, agencies engaged in procurement of agriculture products, including MSP operations, Mandis' operated by the Agriculture Produce Market Committee, Shops of agriculture machinery will remain fully functional during this time.  In addition, all finance related institutions and health related services will remain fully functional.  Industries operating in rural areas and outside the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities and manufacturing and other industrial establishments with access control in Special Economic Zones and Export Oriented Units, industrial estates and industrial townships will be allowed to function.  Anupam Mishra, AIR News Delhi."


 An amount of 17 thousand  and 793 crore rupees has been released to 8.89 crore farmers Under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) Scheme so far during  the lockdown period. Ministry of Agriculture in a statement said, in  order to provide food security during the prevailing situation due to COVID-19 pandemic, the Government has decided to distribute pulses to the eligible households under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PM-GKY). 

It said, over 1.07 lakh Metric Tonnes  pulses have so far been issued to the States and Union Territories. It said, the distribution of pulses under PMGKY is to benefit around 19.50 crore household spread across 36 States and Union territories.


Railways has distributed over twenty lakh cooked meals free to needy people during the lockdown period in light of COVID19. Our Correspondent reports that more than eleven lakhs of these cooked meals have been provided by IRCTC.

"Railways has been providing bulk cooked food with paper plates for lunch and food packets for dinner through IRCTC base kitchens, RPF resources and contribution of NGOs. Starting with distribution of food to around five thousand  needy persons at over 74 locations on 28th of last month, the number has grown everyday. Presently about fifty thousand people are provided meals daily at around 300 locations across the country. Proper social distancing is being ensured during preparation and distribution of meals. The Railway Protection Force has played a major role in the food distribution to needy people prepared by IRCTC, NGOs and from its own kitchens.  With Dipendra, Anand Kumar, AIR News Delhi."


Vaibhav Bhatt, an auto Rickshaw driver from Panchmahal district thanks government for providing free ration during the tough times of the lockdown.


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

Talking to AIR News, Director AIIMS,Dr Randeep Guleria advised the people to aggressively follow the social distancing and hand hygiene norms to check the spread of COVID-19 infection.

Talking to AIR News, Dr Naresh Gupta of LNJP Hospital, Delhi said that  in most of the cases, the COVID-19 infections are self limiting and very few patients required admission in Hospital. 


Indian cricketers have urged people to wear masks and take all necessary precuations against COVID 19. Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Sourav Ganguly, Rohit Sharma, Harbhajan Singh and others appealed to people to wear home made masks and become a part of "TEAM MASK FORCE" in the fight against COVID-19:-


The News Services Division of All India Radio in its bilingual live phone-in programme today will bring you a Special discussion  on Covid-19. Dr Mala Srivastava, Senior consultant, Sir Gangaram hospital, will participate in the discussion.

Listeners can ask questions to the experts 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 FM Gold Channel and additional frequencies from 9.25 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 follow us on the NEWSONAIR app for s.


The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved trial of a drug for reducing mortality rate in critically ill COVID-19 patients. The trial is likely to begin at multiple hospitals. The drug which has been developed by Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd. with the support of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is meant to treat critically ill patients suffering from Gram-negative bacterial sepsis. CSIR appointed monitoring committee supervised the research trials and development of this drug which has proved it's efficacy in providing faster recovery from organ dysfunction seen in infected patients. The drug has been found to be extremely safe in patients and no systemic side effects are associated with its use. It can be used concurrently with any other therapeutic treatments.


Road Transport and Highways Ministry has launched a dashboard on its website to provide details of Dhabas and Truck. The list can be accessed at www.morth.nic.in. The Ministry said,  this is intended to facilitate travel of truck and cargo drivers and cleaners. A regular contact is being maintained with various stake holders providing information.

National Highway Authority of India's centralized call number 1033 has also been activated to answer calls and provide information about the dhabaas and repair shops along National Highways. The Ministry said, people have to follow all necessary precautions and healthcare protocols of social distancing at these spots and use masks.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said, India and Afghanistan share a special friendship, based on ties of history, geography, and culture.  Responding to Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, who thanked India for providing medial and other support, Mr. Modi said, for long, the two countries have fought jointly against the scourge of terrorism and they will similarly combat COVID-19 together, with solidarity and shared resolve.

Earlier, Afghanistan President thanked Prime Minister Modi for providing hydroxychloroquine and paracetamol tablets and 75,000 metric tons of wheat.


Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has decided not to take part in the cremation of his father due to lockdown restrictions. The Chief Minister's father, Anand Singh Bisht, passed away this morning after a critical illness. Yogi Adityanath said that his father played a great role in his life. The Chief Minister expressed his grief at the irreparable loss but said that due to lockdown he will not take part in the last rites of his father and could only visit his home after the lockdown is lifted. He also asked his family to involve minimum persons in cremation ceremony.


In Uttar Pradesh, complete lockdown continued in the districts where 10 or more cases of corona virus have been detected. Construction work and other economic activities have started in a limited manner in some districts with strict social distancing norms and precautionary measures.

"Guidelines of health department are being strictly followed at the industrial units where relaxation in lockdown was permitted by district administration. Construction work on Poorvanchal and Bundelkhand expressways also started today. State government has ordered to keep those students in quarantine after screening, who had returned from Kota, Rajasthan recently. Additiona Chief Secretary Home Awanish Awasthi said that these students will be allowed to go to their homes only after downloading the Arogya Setu app. State government has also ordered for testing of those persons who are involved in door step home delivery. State is testing more than 2 thousand samples of suspected patients daily. Sushil Chandra Tiwari, AIR News, Lucknow."


Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has reposed faith on the people of the state that they would strictly follow the second phase of lock down as well. Speaking to All India Radio News, the Chief Minister expressed gratitide to the people for properly responding to the Prime Minister's call of lock down. Mr. Sonowal appealed people to perform all religious activities at home instead of going outside. He urged people to follow social distancing.


In Maharashtra, as many as 283 new Covid-19 positive cases were recorded today. With this the total number of COVID-19 affected patients has reached to 4,483. Mumbai alone has around 2911 cases. According to Mumbai civic body at least 53 mediapersons in the city have tested positive for coronavirus.  Meanwhile, two workers from the civic body's disaster management cell have been tested Covid-19 positive.

" Addressing the people, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said relaxation of norms should not be seen as indication that the threat of coronavirus has receded in any way.  He reiterated that people should maintain discipline and practise social distancing to curb the spread of virus. Meanwhile, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has sought the Maharashtra government's response to a plea challenging its circular prohibiting door- to-door distribution of newspapers in view of the coronavirus pandemic. The government order stated that while newspapers can be sold at stalls, door-to-door distribution by vendors cannot be permitted at this stage looking at the rapid spread of coronavirus. Kunal Shinde, AIR News, Mumbai."


 In Tamil Nadu, 43 new Covid-19 cases have been confirmed today, taking the total to 1520 while 46 others were discharged. The state health minister Dr C Vijayabhaskar told reporters in Chennai this evening that two people died of the disease in the last twenty four hours raising the total loss of lives to 17.  Meanwhile, the state government has extended the lockdown till May 3rd.

" The number of new cases in Tamil Nadu has come yet again under 50 today after a spike to 105 yesterday. As the state remains one of those with the maximum caseload, the government has decided to extend the lockdown till May 3rd. In a statement issued in Chennai, the administration has said the decision has been taken based on the report of the expert committee on the lockdown and also in tune with the Centre’s announcement. It has made it clear that any decision on relaxing the lockdown conditions later would be based on studying the ground situation further. Jayasingh, AIR News, Chennai. "


The Karnataka Cabinet has decided to promulgate an ordinance that gives the Government special powers to provide protection to the frontline health workers. This decision comes after a mob turned violent in Padarayanapura yesterday when health workers were trying to shift suspected COVID 19 persons to the quarantine facility. 


In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir,  Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar took a detailed review in Srinagar about the Health Department activities regarding prevention and control of coronavirus. He directed health officials to increase the testing capacity so that the virus can be contained.

"Jammu and Kashmir administration is tirelessly reaching out to the people of J&K to mitigate their sufferings in the wake of the prevailing lockdown. Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar convened a meeting at Srinagar today and reviewed the overall health scenario of Kashmir Division. He instructed the officials to ensure that frontline workers be provided with PPE Kits and adequate quantities of these Kits besides medical supplies and other equipments made available in all the hospitals to deal with the situation. This is Sunil Koul for AIR News from Srinagar


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

A rumour is being circulated on various platforms that persons with A positive blood group are more vulnerable to COVID-19 infection.

In conversation with All India Radio, Dr. Mohsin Wali, Senior consultant at Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and Dr. Madhur Yadav, Professor of Medicine at Lady Hardinge Medical college, New Delhi said that there was no evidence for this. They said that no particular blood group is at greater risk of the virus infection.

Government has come across reports in a section of media that elephants in Chilla range , Uttarakhand are contracting Covid-19.  THIS IS FAKE  NEWS. We checked the facts with Ranger of Chilla Range at Rajaji National Park Anil Panuilly in Dehradun. He has categorically stated that such reports are false and baseless. 

"कुछ टीवी channels में चिल्ला रेंज में हाथियों में कोरोना संक्रमण की खबर चल रही है। यह खबर बिल्कुल ही निराधार, बेबुनियाद और भ्रामक है। ऐसा कोई केस नहीं है। चिल्ला रेंज बहुत ही सुरक्षित है। हम केवल अपने पालतू जानवर बल्कि हमारा पूरा स्टाफ, हमारे जंगली जानवर कोरोना से मुक् हैं।"

Citizens are requested to be aware of such misleading information and stay clear of such rumours.

The government today dismissed a report by a media portal which has claimed that children in Jehanabad district in Bihar are eating frogs as they have no food at home.  In a tweet, the Press Information Bureau has termed the report as false. It said that the Jehanabad District Magistrate has stated that there is sufficient food in the homes of the children.


In Odisha, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik dedicated five standalone COVID Hospitals through video conferencing today. These hospitals will provide specialised treatment to COVID-19 patients.

"Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated five COVID-19 hospitals in the districts of Sundargarh, Bargarh, Anugul, Jagatsinghpur, and Nabragnpur with a combined capacity of 825 beds. With this, the State dedicated COVID hospitals are now functional in 26 districts with a total bed capacity of 5000. Union Steel, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister Pralhad Joshi and Odisha Health Minister Naba Das also joined in the program through video conference. Meanwhile, the state has reported 74 positive cases for COVID-19 out of the 10, 641 samples tested so far. Itishree Singh Rathaur. AIR NEWS, Cuttack."


In Mizoram, many government sponsored programs are giving relief to the poor people to minimize the economic impact due to the lockdown, imposed country wide to contain spread of COVID19.  With the MNREGA works coming into force in this period, many  people in rural areas are getting jobs on their demand and they have started and wages in their bank accounts. The state government has also increased the MNREGA wage to 225 rupees per day per person.



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