Sunday, April 18

Highlights

If China is a developing nation, make US one, too: Trump hits out at Beijing
Highlights, World

If China is a developing nation, make US one, too: Trump hits out at Beijing

If China is considered a developing country, make the United States too a developing one, US President Donald Trump said on Friday, alleging that Beijing has taken advantage of his country. “China has been unbelievably taken advantage of us and other countries. You know, for instance, they are considered a developing nation. I said well then make us a developing nation too,” Trump told reporters at his daily White House news conference on coronavirus. The president was responding to a question on China. “They get big advantages because they are a developing nation. India, a developing nation. The United States is the big developed nation. Well, we have plenty of development to do,” he said. Reiterating that United States was taken advantage of by the World Trade Organizatio...
Covid-19 in India: Food prices surge 3 times as supply chain takes a hit
Highlights, India

Covid-19 in India: Food prices surge 3 times as supply chain takes a hit

The prices of key staples, barring cereals, have surged nearly three times from a month ago because of a noticeable supply shock amid the three-week nationwide lockdown to fight the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, according to official and market data reviewed by Hindustan Times. Three main factors are driving food prices higher, according to data from the consumer affairs ministry, as well as a dozen agricultural produce market committees (APMCs), which are state-regulated wholesale points. One, arrivals of farm commodities in APMC markets have plunged sharply, down almost 60% in some markets from a month ago, that is, in the first week of March. Two, land transportation costs have risen sharply, as truckers struggle to cross interstate boundaries, despite exemptions from t...
Coronavirus cases in India mount to 6,412, death toll touches 199
Highlights, India

Coronavirus cases in India mount to 6,412, death toll touches 199

India reported 30 Covid-19 related deaths in the last 24 hours taking the number of fatalities to 199 across the country and 6412 cases of the coronavirus disease, the Union health ministry said on Friday morning. There are 5709 active cases and 503 people have been cured or discharged, the Union health ministry data showed at 8am. Out of the 199 deaths, Maharashtra has 97 fatalities and continued to be the worst-hit state in the country. The Union health ministry said there are 1364 Covid-19 patients in the state and 125 people have been discharged.   Tamil Nadu was next with 863 Covid-19 cases and eight deaths followed by Delhi. The national capital reported 720 cases out of which 25 people who have been cured and 12 deaths till date. The government has further ramped...
At UNSC meet, the US spotlights origin of Covid-19 in swipe at Beijing
Highlights, World

At UNSC meet, the US spotlights origin of Covid-19 in swipe at Beijing

At the UN Security Council’s virtual meeting on the coronavirus pandemic late on Thursday, the United States called for “science-based data collection and analysis of the origins, characteristics and spread of the virus”. “We cannot stress enough how important these methods are,” Ambassador Kelly Kraft told the security council at its first closed-door meeting to discuss the pandemic that has killed 90,000 and infected 1.5 million people across 200 countries. Ambassador Kelly Craft’s reference on the origin of the virus echoes a point that US President Donald Trump and his administration has frequently made, variously labelling the Sars-C0V-2 pathogen the “Chinese Virus” to underscore its origin in the Chinese city of Wuhan and message that Beijing should have acted faster to warn th...
‘J-K has been, is, shall continue to be an integral part’: India to China
Highlights, India

‘J-K has been, is, shall continue to be an integral part’: India to China

India on Thursday strongly rejected remarks on Jammu and Kashmir by a spokesperson of China’s permanent mission to the United Nations, asserting that the union territory “has been, is and shall continue” to be its integral part. Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Anurag Srivastava said India expects China to refrain from commenting on the country’s internal affairs and respect its sovereignty and territorial integrity. He said India also expects China to recognise and condemn the scourge of cross-border terrorism that affects the lives of the people of India, including in Jammu and Kashmir. The spokesperson of China’s permanent mission in the UN said the Kashmir issue remained high on the UN Security Council’s agenda and China is very closely monitoring the current s...
Woman, 50, rides 1,400 km on scooty to bring back son stranded in Andhra
Cities, Highlights, India

Woman, 50, rides 1,400 km on scooty to bring back son stranded in Andhra

A 50-year old woman from Telangana’s Nizamabad district travelled on a two-wheeler to Nellore 700 km away to pick up her teen son stuck in Andhra Pradesh due to the COvid-19 lockdown. Razia Begum, a government teacher in Bodhan town of Nizamabad district, started her journey on Monday morning riding her Scooty and reached Nellore town in Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday afternoon. She picked up her 17-year old son Mohammed Nizamuddin, who was stuck at his friend’s place in Nellore, and headed back home. She was back by Wednesday evening, covering a total of 1,400 km in three days. It helped that Bodhan assistant commissioner of police V Jayapal Reddy had helped her out with a letter that asked authorities to let her travel to Nellore and bring her son back. Razia Begum said she was stopped ...
591 new coronavirus cases in last 24 hrs, India’s total crosses 5,800: Govt
Highlights, India

591 new coronavirus cases in last 24 hrs, India’s total crosses 5,800: Govt

With 591 new Covid-19 cases reported since Wednesday, India's coronavirus count has gone up to 5,865, according to the latest figures released by the Union health ministry on Thursday. Of these, 169 patients succumbed to the virus while 477 people have recovered and been discharged. On the diplomatic front, India has begun sending consignments of life-saving drugs as gifts to neighbouring countries to help them fight the coronavirus pandemic, South Block officials said on Thursday. Officials said the government was sending drugs to Bhutan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal, Myanmar, Seychelles, Mauritius and some African countries. One of the early consignments, an Air India plane with 10 tonnes of medicine, was sent to Sri Lanka on Tuesday. A Bloomberg report says that 1.5 million peop...
At Delhi’s Covid-19 review, no answers to 2 crucial questions on Tablighi Jamaat
Cities, Highlights

At Delhi’s Covid-19 review, no answers to 2 crucial questions on Tablighi Jamaat

Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Thursday led a review of the Covid-19 spread in national capital Delhi, the lockdown protocols and the ability of the administration to accommodate a large number of coronavirus patients in case of a spike in cases. In a statement issued later, Raj Nivas put out a statement outlining the status in concrete terms. What it did not reflect, officials said, were the two key concerns that were expressed at the meeting about the Tablighi Jamaat congregation at its headquarters, or Markaz, last month. “There were two questions to which there were no clear answers,” a senior government official told Hindustan Times after the meeting. One, if the authorities had been able to trace the last of the Tablighi Jamaat worker in Delhi who attended the congregation....
Govt sanctions Rs 15,000 crore package for states to combat Covid-19
Highlights, India

Govt sanctions Rs 15,000 crore package for states to combat Covid-19

The Centre on Thursday sanctioned Rs 15,000 crore to the states to fight the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed 166 lives in the country. Out of the total corpus, Rs 7, 774 crore will be utilised for Covid-19 emergency response and rest for medium-term support (1-4years) to be provided under mission mode approach. The focus areas will be: development of diagnostics, covid-19 dedicated treatment facilities, centralised procurement of essential medical equipment and drugs required for treatment of infected patients, strengthen and build resilient national and state health systems to support prevention and preparedness for future disease outbreaks. India is currently under a three-week nationwide lockdown till April 14 to stem the spread of the infection. Earlier today, the Res...
India steps up medical diplomacy, flies plane loads of medicines to friends
Highlights, India

India steps up medical diplomacy, flies plane loads of medicines to friends

India has begun sending consignments of life-saving drugs as gifts to neighbouring countries to help them fight the coronavirus pandemic, South Block officials said on Thursday. Officials said the government was sending drugs to Bhutan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal, Myanmar, Seychelles, Mauritius and some African countries. One of the early consignments, an Air India plane with 10 tonnes of medicine, was sent to Sri Lanka on Tuesday.   While neighbouring countries are being gifted consignments of paracetamol and hydroxychloroquine, the government has also cleared export of Covid-19 drugs to countries such as US, Spain, Brazil, Bahrain, Germany and the UK in line with the commercial contracts signed with Indian pharmaceutical companies. “Instructions to this effect have b...
India’s fuel consumption shrank by 18% in March, biggest decline in over a decade
Business, Highlights

India’s fuel consumption shrank by 18% in March, biggest decline in over a decade

India’s fuel consumption in March shrank by 18 per cent, the biggest decline in more than a decade, as a nationwide lockdown halted economic activity and travel. India’s petroleum product consumption fell 17.79 per cent to 16.08 million tonnes in March as diesel, petrol and aviation turbine fuel (ATF) demand fell, according to official data released on Thursday. Diesel, the most consumed fuel in the country, saw demand contract by 24.23 per cent to 5.65 million tonnes. This is the biggest fall in diesel consumption the country has recorded as most trucks went off-road and railways stopped plying trains. Petrol sales dropped 16.37 per cent to 2.15 million tonnes as the 21-day nationwide lockdown enforced to prevent the spread of Covid-19 took most cars and two-wheelers off the road....
Covid-19: What is a hard lockdown
Highlights, India

Covid-19: What is a hard lockdown

Authorities in Uttar Pradesh announced on Wednesday a hard lockdown in 12 hotspots where most number of Covid-19 cases have been registered. Twenty five such clusters - 13 in Ghaziabad and 12 in Gautam Budh Nagar - will be under intensive lockdown measures for a week, with residents confined indoors, all shops and banks shut, and all vehicular movement completely curtailed. So, what is a hard lockdown? And how is it different from the current restrictions placed across the country to check the spread of Covid-19? Here’s a look: --Residents living in hot spots won’t be allowed to step out of their houses. --All houses in hotspots will be searched and sanitised. --Drones will monitor activities in the sealed areas. --Health department staff will make house-to-house visit...
‘We will win this together’: PM Modi responds to Trump’s thank you note on hydroxychloroquine
Highlights, India

‘We will win this together’: PM Modi responds to Trump’s thank you note on hydroxychloroquine

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday acknowledged the thank you note of US President Donald Trump, saying that India will do everything possible to help humanity’s fight against coronavirus disease Covid-19. “Fully agree with you President @realDonaldTrump. Times like these bring friends closer. The India-US partnership is stronger than ever. India shall do everything possible to help humanity’s fight against COVID-19. We shall win this together,” PM Modi said on Twitter, tagging Trump’s tweet. https://twitter.com/narendramodi/status/1248110109487591424?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1248110109487591424&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.hindustantimes.com%2Findia-news%2Fwe-will-win-this-together-pm-modi-responde-to-trump-s-thank-you-note-on-hydroxychloroquine%2F...
Coronavirus cases in India rise to 5734; 540 new patients, 17 deaths in 24 hours
Highlights, India

Coronavirus cases in India rise to 5734; 540 new patients, 17 deaths in 24 hours

Coronavirus cases in India went past the 5,500 mark on Thursday. The Ministry of Health updated the latest Covid-19 tally in the country to 5,734. The figure includes 5,095 active cases, 473 patients who have been cured or discharged and 166 deaths. As per the health ministry data, there have been 540 fresh Covid-19 cases and 17 deaths in the last 24 hours. Maharashtra continues to be the worst-hit state with 1,135 active positive cases. Tamil Nadu closely follows with second-highest Covid-19 active patients at 690. Delhi’s tally has risen to 669 active cases. This comes a day after the Delhi government on Wednesday sealed 20 Covid-19 hotspots across the national capital. The administration said that no movement of people will be allowed in those areas. “A total of 20 hotspo...
As Centre considers Covid-19 lockdown extension, demand to resume industry
Highlights, India

As Centre considers Covid-19 lockdown extension, demand to resume industry

Even as state governments have asked the Centre to consider extending the ongoing lockdown beyond April 14, there is pressure on the central government to allow certain industries to resume operations partially and with caveats to follow the mandatory protocols for health care and social distancing. Since the lockdown was announced on March 24 to check the spread of Covid-19, only those manufacturing units such as pharmaceuticals or those that form the supply chain for essential items are being permitted. According to a few BJP lawmakers, during their interaction with the state administration and party workers across the country, the need to restart a certain section of industries such as food processing, bottling and packaging, and textiles, has been repeatedly flagged. A Member of ...