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Last Updated : Sep 18 2020 10:31PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
PM hails historic reforms in agriculture; says govt committed to MSP support for farmers            PM Modi inaugurates Kosi Rail mega bridge & 12 railway projects in Bihar            COVID recovery rate improves to 78.86 per cent            India -Japan economic cooperation is on upswing: S Jaishankar            Stage all set for 13th edition of IPL Cricket in Abu Dhabi           

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Midday News

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  • Over 11 lakh 86 thousand people recover from COVID-19 in the country so far; Recovery rate reaches 65.76 per cent.

  • Centre asks States and Union Territories to allow smartphones and tablet devices for hospitalized COVID-19 patients, to enable them to interact with family and friends.

  • DCGI gives permission to Serum Institute of India to conduct Phase 2 and 3 human clinical trial of Corona vaccine COVISHIELD, developed by the Oxford university.

  • In Leh, Union Territory Administration promotes Apricot farming based on Expert Committee report to boost farmers' income. 

  • Raksha Bandhan and World Sanskrit Day being celebrated across the country today.

  • IPL- 2020 to begin from 19th of September in United Arab Emirates.


Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry today said, a total of 11 lakh 86 thousand 203 people have recovered from Corona virus infection in the country so far. In the past 24 hours, 40 thousand 574 recoveries were reported across the country.

The Health Ministry said, a total of 52 thousand 972 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the country in one day taking the total number of cases to 18 lakh three thousand 695. Presently, the total number of active cases in the country is five lakh 79 thousand 357. In a single day, 771 deaths were reported taking the nationwide toll to 38 thousand 135.

Meanwhile, India achieved a remarkable feat by conducting more than two crore tests in the country since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in India. The Indian Council of Medical Research today said, a total of two crore two lakh two thousand 858 tests have been conducted in the country so far. Three lakh 81 thousand 27 tests of Corona virus samples were conducted by the various laboratories yesterday. At present, one thousand 348 laboratories across India are conducting the tests for COVID-19 including 914 government laboratories and 434 private laboratories' chains.

The Central Government in collaboration with the States and Union Territories’ government has adopted the strategy of aggressive testing, tracking and treatment to deal with COVID-19 pandemic. Effective containment strategies and clinical management protocols have improved recovery rate and reduced mortality rate. Delhi stands at top position with 89.56 per cent recovery rate. Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Ladakh and Assam are other top performing States and Union Territories wherein the recovery rate is above 75 per cent. Thirteen States and Union Territories have better recovery rate than the national average of 65.76 per cent. The number of recovered people is the highest in Maharashtra followed by Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Andhra Pradesh. In terms of mortality rate, there are 29 States and Union Territories which have lower mortality rates than the national average of mortality rate of 2.11 per cent. In the total active cases, 67.81 per cent caseloads are from Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. Bhupendra Singh, AIR News, Delhi.


The Central Government has written to all states and Union Territories asking that smartphones and tablet devices should be allowed for hospitalised COVID-19 patients so that they can interact with family and friends through video conferencing. It will provide them the required psychological support. Though mobile phones are allowed in hospital wards, the letter was issued following some representation received from the kin of patients alleging that mobile phones are not being allowed by the hospital administrations. In a letter to the Principal Secretaries of health and medical education of states and Union Territories, Director General of Health Services in the Health Ministry, Dr Rajiv Garg said, appropriate protocols for disinfecting devices can be developed and timeslots can be allotted by the concerned hospital to facilitate contact between patients and their families.


In Himachal Pradesh, the number of fresh cases of Corona infection continue to increase. The number of people tested positive for COVID-19 has reached two thousand seven hundred three with 69 fresh cases during the last 24 hours. Our correspondent reports that the rate of recovery in the state is also increasing.

The continued surge in fresh cases of COVID 19 is being seen in the state. 69 new cases have been reported from various districts during the last 24 hours. Of these, the maximum number of 27 cases has been registered from Solan district, itself. The total number of patients infected with COVID 19 in the state is 2703. Of these, 1115 active patients are being treated in the state. Meanwhile,57 corona patients have also been recovered during the last 24 hours. According to the health department, one lakh 50 thousand one hundred 86 people have been tested for COVID 19 of which one lakh 46 thousand 5 hundred 14 found negative for the test. Sanjeev Sundriyal,AIR News Shimla


In Bihar, the Monsoon Session of State Legislature begins  today. Assembly Speaker Vijay Kumar Chaudhary said, the session has been convened for one day as all the legislative party leaders have agreed to wind up the four-day session on the first day itself because of Corona pandemic. This session is the last before Assembly Elections in the state. It is for the first time that a session of the Bihar Legislature has been orgasnized outside the Assembly premises. The session is being held at Gyan Bhawan due to Corona threat.

Meanwhile, the number of positive cases in the state has gone up to 57 thousand 270 with reporting of 2,762 fresh cases. In all, 36 thousand 637 patients were recovered and 20 thousand 311 patients are undergoing treatment in various hospitals. The recovery rate is 64 per cent and total 322 people have lost their lives due to Corona infection so far.


In Assam, malls, hotels and restaurants are open today  following strict COVID-19 norms. However in Guwahati, malls and gymnasium have opened today on the one side of the road. Hotels and restaurants are instructed to operate by following the strict rules of the COVID-19.


The Assam Government issued an order yesterday  to open malls, hotels till 14th of this month. Inter-district movement of people have also been allowed on Monday and Tuesday. However, persons above 65 years of age and children below the age of 10 years are advised to stay indoors except for unavoidable health reasons. There are 10 thousand 412 active cases in the state.


In Mizoram, 14 fresh Corona virus positive cases were reported during the last 24 hours. With this, the total number of COVID-19 cases reached 482. Also, five patients recovered from the infections yesterday. In all, 258 patients have been cured so far.

According to the official statement, the new cases included 12 BSF personnel and two civilians. In the state, active cases presently stand at 224.


In Maharashtra, 9,926 COVID-19 patients were discharged yesterday, which is the highest single day recovery and the recovery rate of the state is improving continuously. Due to the improved recovery rate, many people are coming forward for COVID tests keeping the fear aside and taking the timely treatment. At the same time, there are incidences of overcharging the COVID patients by some private hospitals and Maharashtra Government is trying to curb the malpractice by capping the rates of hospitalization and increasing the testing capacity of the labs.

Even after the stringent actions and warnings issued by the Maharashtra Government some private hospitals are exploiting the COVID patients by overcharging them and the patients from lower middle class and middle class are becoming helpless while paying the bills. To curb these malpractices, the Municipal Administrations have appointed committees to keep an eye over the cost of the hospitalization and other treatments in private hospitals. The government has already fixed upper cap of daily charges according to the type of treatment given to the patients. At the same time, many District Administrations have made the provision of free testing for Covid-19 symptoms as a part of Chase The Virus Mission and also increased the testing capacity of labs. This has resulted in improved recovery rate despite increase in number of cases in the state. Shailesh Patil, Air News, Mumbai.


 Telangana reported 983 fresh Corona virus positive cases during the past 24 hours taking the total COVID cases to 67,660. As per the State Medical and Health bulletin, recovery rate has been reported at 71.8 per cent with over 1,019 people recovered from COVID and discharged from various hospitals in the state yesterday. Meanwhile, 11 patients died yesterday due to COVID and other comorbidities taking the total number of deaths to 551 so far.

Meanwhile, the number of districts reporting high prevalence of Corona virus is also increasing with the number of COVID cases being reported daily going up. Hyderabad reported 273 fresh COVID cases yesterday while Rangareddy district reported 73, Warangal Urban 57, Karimnagar 54, Medchal Malkajgiri 48, Nizamabad 42 and Sangareddy reported 37 fresh cases.


The Health Ministry has issued fresh guidelines for international passengers arriving in India which will be operational from 8th of  August. The guidelines state that before planning for travel, all travelers should submit self declaration form on online portal - newdelhiairport.in at least 72 hours before the scheduled travel. They should also give an undertaking on the portal that they would undergo mandatory quarantine for 14 days. This include 7 days paid institutional quarantine at their own cost followed by 7 days isolation at home with self monitoring of health. Home quarantine may be permitted for 14 days only for compelling reasons such as pregnancy, death in family or serious illness. Travellers may also seek exemption from institutional quarantine by submitting a negative RT PCR test report upon arrival. The test should have been conducted within 96 hours prior to undertaking the journey. Before boarding, Do's and Dont's will be provided along with ticket to the travelers by the concerned agencies.  States can develop their own protocol with regards to quarantine and isolation as per their assessment post arrival of passengers in the state.


Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has given nod to the Serum Institute of India (SII) to conduct phase 2 and phase 3 human clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Oxford University. The approval was granted by DCGI after a thorough evaluation based on the recommendations of the Subject Expert Committee on COVID-19. The expert panel at the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) had on Friday recommended granting permission for phase 2 and 3 clinical trials of the vaccine - Covishield on healthy adults in India. The firm has to submit safety data, evaluated by the Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB), to the CDSCO before proceeding to phase 3 clinical trials.

Currently, phase 2 and 3 clinical trials of the Oxford vaccine is going on in the UK, phase 3 clinical trial in Brazil and phase 1 and 2 clinical trials in South Africa.


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

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


The News Services Division of All India Radio, in its bilingual live phone-in programme today, will bring you a Special Discussion Programme on COVID-19.

Dr. Prasoon Chatterjee, Associate Professor, Department of Geriatrics at All India Institute of Medical Sciences will participate in the discussion. Listeners can ask questions to the experts on Toll Free Telephone No:1800-115767.


President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have greeted the people on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan. In his message, Mr Kovind said, this is a unique festival that strengthens the will to protect the interests of women and work for their well-being. He asked everyone to take a pledge to stand for the honour and dignity of women so that they can contribute their best for the nation and society.

In his message, Mr Venkaiah Naidu said, on this auspicious occasion, let us also resolve to uphold the dignity and respect traditionally accorded to women in the society and empower them to reach their true potential.


Rakhis made by Indian companies and Self Help Groups have completely replaced Chineses product this year. Shopkeepers and people have totally rejected Chinese Rakhis this year following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for Atmanirbhar Bharat and going Vocal for Local. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked Mata Amritanandamayi and Lata Mangeshkar for their Raksha Bandhan greetings to him. In a tweet, he said, blessings from India’s Nari Shakti gives him great strength. Mr. Modi said, with the blessings of crores of mothers and sisters, India will touch new heights and achieve new successes.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of the temple at Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya on 5th of August. There is much excitement in Ayodhya due to this while in Orchha, the capital of Ram Raja is also in a festive mood.

Soil of Ram Raja Temple and water from holy Betwa River have been sent to Ayodhya from the Orchha, also known as Ayodhya of Bundelkhand. Various organizations have appealed to decorate the temples and illuminate the house in Madhya Pradesh -


The World Sanskrit Day is being celebrated today. All India Radio aired the first ever special program in Sanskrit this morning titled "Bahujan Bhasha - Sanskrit Bhasha" this to mark the occasion.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked everyone invloved in promoting, teaching and using Sanskrit language. In a tweet, he described Sanskrit as a beautiful language which has made India a repository of knowledge for many years. He urged everyone to work towards making Sanskrit more popular.

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar has greeted the nation on the occasion. In his message, Mr Javadekar said ancient texts of India like the Vedas were composed in Sanskrit. He said this language is the mother of many other languages.


Mr. Jaideep Bhatnagar, an Indian Information Service Officer of 1986 batch, has taken over the charge as Director General, News Services Division of All India Radio.

Mr. Bhatnagar had earlier served in various positions in Prasar Bharati including as its West Asia Correspondent and in Press Information Bureau. He replaces Ms. Ira Joshi, who superannuated as Principal Director General, AIR News on 31st of last month.


In the run up to 74th Independence Day, we bring you a special story today about Agriculture and Farmer Welfare. Agriculture, which contributes 14 per cent to the GDP and employs 55 per cent of the population has been given top priority by the Government.

Agriculture and Farmers are in focus of Narendra Modi Government since it took over in 2014. In the last six years, the Government has taken many steps for empowerment of farmers and development of agriculture in the country. The government aims to double the income of farmers by 2022 and with initiatives like Pradhan Mantri-KISAN Samman Nidhi PM-KISAN, E-NAM, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana farmers are getting benefits. Starting from production to marketing, government is emphasising on every point. The Agriculture Budget which was around 25 to 30 thousand crore rupees before 2014, increased to one lakh 50 thousand crore rupees. Seventy five thousand crore rupees are being sent to Farmers through Direct Benefit Transfer under PM KISAN. Anupam Mishra, AIR News, Delhi.


After the formation of Ladakh Union Territory, horticulture came into focus of development activities. Region's major horticulture crop Apricot got special attention. Apricot farmers are feeling encouraged with this. The UT Administration has formed an Expert's Committee drawn from various research institutes and departments to study missing link in development and chain values of the sector and to suggest ways and methods through technological and financial intervention.

Our Leh correspondent reports the committee has submitted a report last month, on the Improvement of Apricot Farming in Ladakh. This is first of its kind and is first major document about the Apricot farming in the region.

The UT Administration has started to work on the recommendations of Experts Committee report to improve the income of the Apricot farmers. Two farm demonstrations for promotion of Apricot in the name of Rakste Karpo Development Farm in Saspol village and Demonstration of Stone Fruits in Nimoo Village are being set up during this financial year. One of the member in Experts Committee and the Chief Horticulture Officer, Leh district Mr Tsewang. Phuchok has said that committee has analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of Apricot farming in Ladakh. He also said....

Apricot also got nation's attention after the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has discussed Apricot farmers of Ladakh in his last 'Maan Ki Baat ' Programme on 28th of July. To strengthen value addition, farmers have been given solar drier under Central Government’s scheme. Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture this year. On of the progressive farmer and beneficiary of the solar drier from Dhomkhar village Sonam Stanzin has shared about the benefits of this scheme.

Progressive farmers are considering the first ever report is the beginning of exploration of the Apricot which is of a premium quality and abundant in the region. The Defense Institute of High Altitude Research, a research institute of DRDO has surveyed, identified, evaluated and conserve 54 genotypes of indigenous Apricots of Ladakh. Hope is that all these efforts will put Ladakh in the map of Apricot world. With Ramesh Chandra, this is Yangchan Dolma for AIR news, from Leh, Ladakh.


The Centre has laid a lot of emphasis on the development of Jammu and Kashmir. In November 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced an 80,068-crore rupee reconstruction plan for strengthening the socio-economic infrastructure of Jammu and Kashmir and balanced regional development.

This ambitious programme touches practically every sector and provides massive investment in infrastructure. After the reorganization of Jammu and Kashmir, the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir was handed over 54 projects under Prime Minister's Development Package with an outlay of 58,627 crore rupees. Nine projects with an outlay of  21,441 crore rupees were transferred to the Union Territory of Ladakh. The main aspect of the project is the intensity and unprecedented speed in completion of the works. The expenditure on the project which was 27 per cent of the approved cost in June 2018 has increased to 54 per cent in July this year. The number of completed projects or substantially completed projects has increased from seven in June last year to 17 in July this year. With Dipendra Kumar, Suparna Saikia, AIR News, Delhi.


In Bihar, the flood situation remained grim. Flood water is spreading in low-lying areas following the rise in water level of Gandak, Burhi Gandak, Bagamati and Adhwara group of rivers. In Muzaffarpur, an embankment of Tirhut canal breached in Mohammadpur Kothi Panchayat area under Sakra Police Station inundating several adjoining villages near Pilkhu village under Muraul block of the district. Similarly, ring bund breached at Birne village  under Kewati block of Darbhanga district.

Over 55 lakh people spread over 14 districts are reeling  under the impact of devastating floods. The situation is worst in Darbhanga district where about 17 lakh people have been affected. Other districts where the situation is grim are Muzaffarpur, Samastipur, Sitamarhi and East Champaran.


IPL 2020 will be played from September 19 to November 10 in the UAE this year. The decision to this effect was taken at a virtual meeting of IPL Governing Council last night.

The matches will be played in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi subject to necessary clearances from the Government of India. The final will be played on 10th November this year.

Women’s T20 Challenge will also take place in the UAE and will comprise three teams with four matches to be played during the IPL Playoff week.


The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has issued SOPs to all state associations for resuming domestic cricket activities. The BCCI issued the Standard Operating Procedures with the clarification that training will only resume subject to getting approval from the local administration. According to the BCCI guidelines, the players will have to sign the form acknowledging the risks involved with training resumption amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Support staff, officials and ground staff over 60 years of age and with individuals with underlying medical conditions are barred from attending training camps until suitable guidelines are issued by the Government,  as per the SOP.

The guidelines detail, how every state association will be required to appoint a Chief Medical Officer (CMO) who will be responsible for maintaining bio-safety guidelines.


The National Capital Delhi may experience generally cloudy sky with light rain. The minimum temperature was recorded at 28 degrees Celsius and maximum is expected to be around 38 degrees.

Mumbai will have a generally cloudy sky with moderate rain. The city experienced a minimum temperature of 26 degrees Celsius and will have a maximum of around 34 degrees.

In Chennai, the temperature will hover between 24 and 35 degrees Celsius. The city will have generally cloudy sky with light rain or drizzle.

Kolkata will have partly cloudy sky with one or two spells of  rain or thundershowers. The city recorded a minimum temperature of 29 degrees Celsius while the maximum temperature will be nearly 35 degrees.

In Jammu and Kashmir, the minimum temperature was 28 degrees Celsius in Jammu while maximum will be around 35 degrees. The city is likely to see partly cloudy sky with possibility of rain or thunderstorm or dust-storm.

In Srinagar, the temperature will hover between 18 and 33 degrees Celsius. The city is expected to have mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening.

Ladakh will also have mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening. The temperature will hover between 15 and 30 degrees Celsius.

In Gilgit, the minimum temperature was recorded at 15 degrees Celsius while the maximum will be around 34 degrees. It is expected to have mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening.

Muzzafarabad may face partly cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers. The place witnessed a minimum temperature of 23 degrees Celsius while maximum temperature will be around 37 degrees.


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