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4 more patients in the state recovered from COVID-19. Total number of cured patients jump to 8: Health department, JharkhandTuticorin Alkali Chemicals’ plant resumes productionTuticorin Alkali Chemicals And Fertilizers Ltd on Thursday said its plant has resumed production.
The development assumes significance in the wake of relaxation of certain guidelines for industries to operate in the second phase of the lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19.The plant started production from April 22, the company informed stock exchanges.Due to lack of availability of pesticides and fertilizers amid COVID19 lockdown the crop yield has gone bad

– Vegetable farmers in Ludhiana

Fitch Ratings sees India growth slipping below 1% in current fiscal

Fitch Ratings says there is unparalleled global recession underway

Rupee rises 41 paise to 76.27 against US dollar in early tradeGermany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 2,352 to 148,046: RKIGermany’s confirmed coronavirus cases increased by 2,352 to 148,046, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Thursday, marking a third consecutive day of new infections accelerating. The reported death toll rose by 215 to 5,094, the tally showed.New labs allocated for all 22 districts of Punjab to test COVID-19 samplesNew laboratories have been allocated in order to test the COVID-19 samples, for all the 22 districts in Punjab, said Punjab’s Special Chief Secretary KBS Sidhu on Thursday. KBS Sidhu took to Twitter and posted a letter issued by the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) with the subject stating–the Revised distribution of laboratory testing of corona samples in the designated virology laboratories.S&P Global lowers ratings on Future Retail to CCC-S&P Global Ratings on Thursday lowered ratings on Future Retail to CCC-, vulnerable to non-payment grade, stating that the company’s liquidity position has weakened, exacerbated by the extended lockdown in India due to COVID-19.
The rating agency said the Kishore Biryani-led retail major’s ability to meet its upcoming financial obligations is dependent on an improvement in business conditions or access to additional lines of credit.From sanitising tunnels to vibrating wristbands, shop floors don a new realityIf workers come close to one another their wristband would vibrate to remind them to keep a safe distance, they won’t share tools, and they would walk through a sanitising tunnel and fill up a health questionnaire every day when they report duty.If automation made manufacturers across sectors redraw their assembly lines, the impact of the novel coronavirus outbreak is making them recalibrate the shop floor to meet health and safety protocols and social distancing norms without hampering productivity as they look to restart production after the nationwide lockdown.A total of 500542 samples from 485172 individuals have been tested as on 23 April 2020, 9 am. 21797 samples have been confirmed positive

– Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)

Indians among worst affected ethnic groups in EnglandPeople of Indian origin in the UK have emerged as the worst affected ethnic group from the coronavirus pandemic, according to an official data on COVID-19 deaths in hospitals across England.
Figures released this week by the National Health Service (NHS) England show that of the 13,918 patients who died in hospitals till April 17 after testing positive for the novel coronavirus, 16.2 per cent were of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) background and those identifying with Indian ethnicity made up 3 per cent of that.This was followed by Caribbeans as the second-largest ethnic group affected in the COVID-19 death toll at 2.9 per cent, followed by Pakistanis at 2.1 per cent.Jakarta extends restrictions ahead of Ramzan Social restrictions in Indonesia’s capital have been extended as Muslims in the world’s most populous Muslim nation prepare for a month of fasting. Jakarta Gov. Anies Baswedan said the restrictions that were to end Thursday will be extended to May 22. Testing, tracking and tracing COVID-19 infections

Source: AFP (as per an OECD report)

Using pandemic to erode human rights is ‘unacceptable’: UN chiefTaking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to erode human rights would be unacceptable, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Thursday, unveiling a new report on the issue. As governments around the world implemented extraordinary measures to deal with the outbreak, activists have increasingly warned of strongmen regimes using the crisis to roll back rights.All doctors, medical staff, & patients must deposit their mobile phones outside: West Bengal Chief Secy

Novel coronavirus spreads through mobile phones & a decision has been taken, as per WHO guidelines, to control the spread of infection. All doctors, medical staff, & patients must deposit their mobile phones outside and collect it while leaving the hospital: West Bengal Chief Secy (ANI)

Sensex rises 69.91 pts to 31,449.46 in opening session; Nifty advances 19.20 pts to 9,206.50Guj: Asiatic lions census deferred due to lockdown By Parag DaveThe census of Asiatic lions in Gujarat’s Gir Wildlife Sanctuary has been deferred due to the lockdown imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus, a senior forest official said on Thursday. The extensive counting exercise, which is taken up every five years, was to begin next month and preparations for it were on in full swing, but it has now been postponed because of the unprecedented coronavirus crisis, he said.Rajasthan reports 47 new cases; state tally nears 2,00047 COVID19 positive cases have been reported in Rajasthan today so far 20 in Jodhpur,12 in Jaipur,10 in Nagaur, 2 each in Hanumangarh & Kota, 1 in Ajmer. Total number of positive cases in the state rises to 1935, including 27 deaths and 344 recovered: Rajasthan Health deptJammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama, Kishtwar become coronavirus-free as all four patients in the two districts have recovered

Reports PTI

ICMR allows Maha govt to try out plasma therapy on COVID-19 patients in Mumbai

– Health Minister Rajesh Tope

Two new containment zones in Delhi; now total 89 zones

Campa Cola street and F-313 & F-274 Lado Sarai under South district have been added to the list of COVID19 containment zones; the total number of containment zones in the city is 89

President approves The Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020

President Ram Nath Kovind has approved to promulgate The Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 which provides stricter punishments for attacks against health workers.

Total number of confirmed cases in India: 21,39316,454 active cases
4,257 cured/discharged cases 681 deathsNeed war-time like prioritisation measures to deal with Covid-19 fallout: Sajjid Chinoy, Chief Economist, JP MorganIndia will have to put in war-time like prioritisation measures in order to make use of the limited fiscal space in dealing with the Covid-19 fallout, said Sajjid Chinoy, chief economist at JP Morgan and a part-time member of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council.India’s fiscal response will have to be exceptionally intelligent as emerging market countries are forced to respond with hands tied behind their backs, he said during an expert panel discussion on the country’s Covid-19 exit strategy hosted by the National Council for Applied Economic Research (NCAER) on Wednesday.China’s asymptomatic cases increase to over 980 with 27 new infectionsChina has reported 27 new asymptomatic coronavirus cases, taking their total to 984, while a high-level committee headed by Premier Li Keqiang asked health officials to remain focussed on the targeted containment of the deadly virus.Asymptomatic cases refer to people who are tested COVID-19 positive but develop no symptoms such as fever, cough or sore throat. However, they pose a risk of spreading the disease to others.New Zealand reports 3 new virus cases, 2 deathsOfficials announced just three new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday as the number of new infections in New Zealand continues to trend downward. Health officials also announced two additional deaths, bringing the total number of confirmed infections to 1,451 and total deaths to 16. COVID-19 suspect among two nurses die in IndoreTwo nurses, including a COVID-19 suspect, working at Indore’s MGM Medical College, have died.The deaths took place on Tuesday night.WHO chief brushes off resignation calls, appeals for US aidThe World Health Organization chief said Wednesday he hopes the United States will reconsider its freeze in funding for his agency and vowed to keep working on “saving lives” despite calls from some U.S. lawmakers for his resignation. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he hopes the U.S. believes the agency is “an important investment, not just to help others, but for the U.S. to stay safe” amid the pandemic.Pakistan will host a Saarc video conference on Covid-19 today, reports TOIAYUSH ministry makes scientific evidence must amid 5,000 Covid-related claimsSwamped by Covid-19 cure proposals, the ministry of AYUSH notified guidelines for researchers of Indian traditional medicine. The ministry asked researches to follow the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) guidelines and also ensure the presence of an expert in the team.The ministry notification said research in the fields of ayurveda, yoga, unani, siddha and naturopathy should be registered with ICMR’s Clinical Trials Registry-India (CTRI).Alarmed as COVID patients’ blood thickened, New York doctors try new treatmentsAs the novel coronavirus spread through New York City in late March, doctors at Mount Sinai Hospital noticed something strange happening to patients’ blood.Signs of blood thickening and clotting were being detected in different organs by doctors from different specialties. This would turn out to be one of the alarming ways the virus ravages the body, as doctors there and elsewhere were starting to realize.More hospitals try plasma therapy for treating COVID-19 in Delhi, reports TIMES NOWAustralia says all WHO members should participate in a coronavirus inquiryAll members of the World Health Organization (WHO) should cooperate with a proposed independent review into the spread of coronavirus, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday. Morrison on Wednesday spoke with several world leaders including U.S. President Donald Trump to canvass support for a review into the origins and spread of coronavirus, which emerged in China late last year.Japan reports 14 more coronavirus cases on Italian cruise shipFourteen more coronavirus infections have been confirmed on the Italian cruise ship Costa Atlantica docked for repairs in Japan, a local official said on Thursday, bringing the total to at least 48. Half of them were cooks and the other half staff in charge of serving food to the crew, the official told a livestreamed news conference.US was attacked: Trump on coronavirusStruggling to restore normalcy in the US where COVID-19 has claimed the lives of more than 47,000 people and infected over 8,52,000, President Donald Trump has said that the country was “attacked”. “We were attacked. This was an attack. This wasn’t just the flu by the way. Nobody has ever seen anything like this, 1917 was the last time,” Trump told reporters at his daily White House news conference on Wednesday.China on slow road to recovery, but recession risk is high: Reuters pollThe Chinese economy will slowly recover from its first quarterly contraction since current records began, economists predicted in a Reuters poll, but they warned of a likely recession if conditions worsen again from the global coronavirus pandemic.The poll found China’s gross domestic product (GDP) was expected to grow just 1.3% in the current quarter on a year earlier, after contracting 6.8% in January-March.Private laboratories struggle with price caps on Covid-19 test, do only 17% testsA month after the Centre allowed private laboratories to conduct SARS-CoV-2 virus test for Covid-19 cases, diagnostic facilities are finding the economics of ramping up tough and are contributing just 16% to India’s testing capacity.After manoeuvring the initial hurdle of shortage of testing kits for Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR), private laboratories are still facing multiple logistical issues preventing them from scaling up testing. A look at the latest Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) statistics shows, of the 38,000 tests conducted on Tuesday, only 16.75% had been conducted by private laboratories. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had brought out the guidelines for testing by private laboratories on March 22, a month back.UK to test prevalence of COVID-19 in general populationBritain’s government plans to test a sample of 20,000 English households for COVID-19 in the coming weeks to try to establish how far the disease has spread across the country. Health minister Matt Hancock – who has faced criticism over limited testing facilities for some health and social care workers – said on Thursday the research would help the government understand the trajectory of the disease better.With virus lockdowns, Africa gears up for remote schoolingThe coronavirus may not have hit Africa as badly as other parts of the world but with schools and universities closed because of mass lockdowns across the continent, many children are turning on the television to keep up with their studies. “Home School”, “Teachers’ Room” and “School on TV” are just some of the distance education programmes that private channels have launched to try to compensate for the closures.Rajasthan: 400 coaching students from Gujarat have been sent back home in 15 buses, reports TIMES NOWCOVID-19 crisis has given India best chance to attract foreign companies: USISPF Facebook’s USD 5.7 billion investment in Reliance Jio in the midst of coronavirus pandemic is a reflection of the faith that foreign companies have in Indian economy’s potential and future growth, a top US-based India-centric business advocacy group has said. In an interview to PTI, US India Strategic and Partnership Forum (USISPF) president Mukesh Aghi said the COVID-19 crisis has offered India the best opportunity to attract foreign investment and replace China as the world’s manufacturing hub.Kerala CM announced that all elected representatives in the state -Ministers, MLAs, members of different Boards under Govt & members of Local Self Govt bodies would take a 30% cut in their monthly salary & honorarium for 1 yr

– Information & Public Relations Dept, Kerala

Back on road: 70% Highway projects resumeWork on about 70% highway projects has resumed from Monday with the government allowing partial lifting of the lock down for certain sectors amid the fight to contain the Covid-19 outbreak.Permissions to resume construction have not come in for the Delhi- National Capital Region (NCR) as it remains among cities with the highest number of positive cases, an official said.Corona positive woman delivers healthy baby boy in West BengalA COVID-19 positive woman gave birth to a baby boy who tested negative for the virus and was kept at a distance of six feet from his mother at Sanjivani hospital in West Bengal’s Uluberia. The woman is under treatment while breastfeeding her newborn. The baby’s negative result led to a huge relief to the woman’s family.Under pressure, Harvard says it will reject US relief aidHarvard University has announced that it will turn down USD 8.7 million in federal coronavirus relief, a day after President Donald Trump excoriated the wealthy Ivy League school over taxpayer money it stood to receive. It followed similar actions at Stanford and Princeton universities, which said they will too reject millions of dollars in federal funding amid growing scrutiny of wealthy colleges.Can’t pay salaries, say labour-intensive sectorsLabour-intensive sectors such as garments, powerloom, handicraft and sports goods have said that they are in no position to pay their employees the salaries for April and May, and suggested the government use funds available in the Atal Bimit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana (ABVKY) Scheme, Employees’ State Insurance and labour funds to pay wages. Manufacturers and exporters say small units may end up shutting shop as many states prohibit salary cuts and dismissal of employees.Thailand’s March foreign tourist arrivals tumble 76.4% y/y amid virus crisisForeign tourist arrivals in Thailand slumped 76.4% in March from a year earlier after a 42.8% drop in the previous month, hit by the coronavirus outbreak, tourism ministry data showed on Thursday. A total of 0.82 million tourists in March spent about 39.5 billion baht ($1.22 billion), down 77.6% from a year earlier.Trump signs executive order temporarily suspending immigration into USUS President Donald Trump has signed an executive order pausing immigration for 60 days to protect the jobs of Americans laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The temporary suspension of immigration will affect those who are legally seeking entry into the United States for employment purposes but not the ones who are already living in the country, the order said.Italy’s coronavirus deaths exceed 25,000The coronavirus pandemic has claimed over 25,000 lives in locked-down Italy, bringing the total number of active infections, fatalities and recoveries so far to 187,327, according to the latest data released by the country’s Civil Protection Department.
South Korean economy shrinks 1.4% over coronavirusSouth Korea’s economy saw its worst performance in more than a decade in the first quarter as the coronavirus epidemic raged across the country, the central bank said Thursday, with officials warning of a bigger impact still to come. The world’s 12th-largest economy endured one of the worst early outbreaks of the disease outside China, although it appears to have largely been contained thanks to an extensive “trace, test and treat” programme.WHO warns ‘long way to go’ in virus crisis, deaths top 180,000The World Health Organization on Wednesday warned that the coronavirus crisis will not end any time soon, with many countries only in the early stages of the fight, as the global death toll surpassed 180,000. The pandemic has sparked not only a health emergency, but a global economic rout, with businesses struggling to survive, millions left jobless, and millions more facing starvation.Municipal corporation of Greater Mumbai has authorised all Deans & Medical Superintendents of various hospitals to extend the contract period of all their employees whose contracts are expiring in the near future

– Brihanmumbai Mahanagar Palika

Australia calls on G20 nations to end wet wildlife markets over coronavirus concernsAustralia has called on G20 nations to end wet wildlife markets over concerns they pose a threat to human health and agricultural markets, a move which could further strain ties with China after Canberra called for an international inquiry into the coronavirus pandemic.The pandemic which originated in China was thought to have started in a wet market in the city of Wuhan. Wet markets are a key facet of China’s daily life, though not all sell wildlife.Remittances to India likely to decline by 23 pc in 2020 due to COVID-19: World BankAs a result of the deadly coronavirus pandemic, which has resulted in a global recession, remittances to India are likely to drop by 23 per cent from USD 83 billion last year to USD 64 billion this year, the World Bank has said. “In India, remittances are projected to fall by about 23 per cent in 2020, to USD 64 billion – a striking contrast with the growth of 5.5 percent and receipts of USD 83 billion seen in 2019,” the World Bank said in a report on the impact of COVID-19 on migration and remittances released on Wednesday.Virus could mean 1.2 bln fewer airline passengers: UN agencyThe coronavirus pandemic could mean 1.2 billion fewer airline passengers worldwide by September, the International Civil Aviation Organization said Wednesday. The “most substantial reduction in passenger numbers,” the UN agency said in a statement, “is expected to be in Europe, especially during its peak summer travel season, followed by the Asia-Pacific.”Mexico coronavirus cases top 10,000 as sickly economy contractsJapan’s coronavirus shutdowns pummel service, factory sectors Japan’s services sector shrank at a record pace in April, while factories also fell quiet across the country due to the widening fallout from the coronavirus pandemic as an economic contraction deepens.
2 cats in NY become first US pets to test positive for virusTwo pet cats in New York state have tested positive for the coronavirus, marking the first confirmed cases in companion animals in the United States, federal officials said Wednesday.The cats, which had mild respiratory illnesses and are expected to recover, are thought to have contracted the virus from people in their households or neighborhoods, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.US sees 1,738 new coronavirus deaths in 24 hours: Johns HopkinsThe United States on Wednesday recorded 1,738 deaths from the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, a lower toll than the day before, according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University. The new deaths bring the total number of COVID-19 fatalities in the US to 46,583 since the outbreak began there, by far the highest figures recorded by any country caught in the global pandemic.In order to protect our American workers, I have just signed an executive order temporarily suspending immigration into the United States

– US President Donald Trump

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