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Last Updated : May 26 2020 10:13AM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
532 flights operated on the first day of resumption of domestic flights; Andhra Pradesh to resume flights today            Over 40 lakh migrant workers ferried by Railways in 3060 Shramik Special trains            PM Modi says India-UAE cooperation has grown even stronger during COVID-19 challenge            India utilised lockdown period to ramp up its healthcare infrastructure, says Health Minister            Uttar Pradesh govt to set up migration commission to help find jobs for workers returning from different States           

Text Bulletins Details

News at Nine

2100 HRS


  • Public broadcaster All India Radio has a significant role in stopping the flow of rumours says Prime Minister Narenrda Modi.

  • Center issues advisory to all States and Union Territories to make adequate arrangements for migrant workers and  students to facilitate Social Distancing.

  • Reserve Bank of India permits 3 months moratorium on EMI payments on all outstanding loans.

  • Health Ministry issues notification restricting the sale and distribution of Hydroxychloroquine; Declares it as an essential drug.

  • IIT Delhi extends last date for submission of online applications for PhD and PG admissions till 20th April.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has observed that public broadcaster All India Radio has a particularly important role to play in stopping the flow of rumours. Interacting with Radio Jockeys, RJs through video conference today, Prime Minister requested the RJs to work towards checking the spread of rumours. Apart from spreading information about the views of experts and steps taken by the government, the Prime Minister also requested RJs to provide feedback about the difficulties and challenges faced by the people so that the government can pro actively resolve them.  He appreciated the role played by the RJs in spreading awareness about COVID-19 and said it is praiseworthy that even in lockdown, RJs are discharging their responsibility and  recording programmes from home.  Prime Minister exhorted the RJs to disseminate positive stories and case studies, particularly of those patients that have fully recovered from coronavirus infection, and also inter-play such stories in different parts of the country, thus bringing the entire country together. He also asked them to showcase and constantly celebrate the contributions of the local heroes like police officers, doctors, nurses and ward boys at national level.

Emphasizing the importance of empathy, Prime Minister said, it is important to tell the stories of misbehavior with doctors, health care workers and airline staff due to societal fears of them being infected by the virus, so that such challenges are overcome. He said that the public should cooperate with police, adding that while police should avoid usage of strong arm tactics, it is also necessary to enforce discipline. He added that 130 crore Indians should act as national volunteers in fighting the pandemic.

Prime Minister said that the government has announced a number of measures to assist the poor and under-privileged in this difficult time and it is important that information about these announcements reaches the intended beneficiaries swiftly and in a timely fashion.

In their response, the RJs called the Prime Minister as a part of the RJ fraternity since he has been hosting the widely successful Mann ki Baat on radio since 2014. Pointing out the unprecedented response to Prime Minister’s call of ‘Janta Curfew’  and his innovative idea of thanking the front line warriors, the RJs praised the leadership of the Prime Minister and said they would be happy to play the role of the voice of the nation in the battle against the pandemic.

Prime Minister said that ‘an attitude of togetherness combined with positivity is the key to facing the challenge posed by COVID-19’.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar and Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Ravi Mittal also participated in the interaction.


Government today said that till now 724 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed and 17 people have died. Briefing media in New Delhi, Joint Secretary in Ministry of Health, Lav Aggarwal said, in the last 24 hours, 75 new positive cases and 4 deaths have been reported. He said, 1.4 lakh companies have allowed their employees to work from home to check spread of coronavirus. Mr Aggrawal informed that Government is working actively to have more ventilators.

"वेन्टीलेटर्स की जो एक कमी, स्टेट में, कंट्री में, महसूस की गई थी, उसके हिसाब से उसको अपडेट करने के लिये हमारे एक पीएसयू को हमने 10 हजार वेन्टीलेटर की आपूर्ती करने के लिये आदेश जारी किये हैं। इसके साथ ही भारत इलैक्ट्रानिक् लिमिटेड से भी एक से दो महीने के अन्तर्गत 30 हजार एडीशनल वेन्टीलेटर्स खरीदने का अनुरोध किया गया है। सरकार देश में वेन्टीलेटर्स की उपलब्धता बढ़ाने के लिये सभी रिक्वायर्ड कार्य कर रही है।"

He said, the Ministry has issued guidelines for tele-medicine facility and urged patients to take advantage of it.

टेली मेडिसिन के लिये भी दिशानिर्देश जारी किये गये हैं। यह दिशानिर्देश फर्म के द्वारा लॉकडाउन की अवधी में स्वास्थ् सेवा का डिसेमीनेशन, अवेलिबिलिटी बढ़ाने के लिये इसके लिये डायरेक्शन् इश्यू किये गये हैं। माननीय राष्ट्रपति जी ने भी आज देश के सभी गवर्नरों, लेफटीनेन् गवर्नरों और साथ ही जो नॉन गवर्न्मेन्टर आर्गेनाइज़ेशन् हैं जिसमें कि भारतीय रैड क्रॉस सोसायटी भी है उनके साथ भी विडियो कान्फ्रैन् के माध्यम से कोविड 19 को कंट्रोल करने के उपर और उसके साथ कैसे मिलकर हमें काम करना है उसके लिये भी एक आज विडियो कान्फ्रैन् की थी।"

Dr Raman R Gangakhedkar of Indian Council of Medical Research said, there is no evidence of community transmission of COVID-19 in the country yet. He informed that India will soon participate in WHO solidarity trial for developing potential drugs for COVID-19.


The Centre has issued advisory to all States and Union Territories to make adequate arrangements for migrant workers and  students from outside the States to facilitate Social Distancing in the wake of COVID-19. In a letter to the States, Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla has asked the States to take immediate steps to provide adequate support, including food and shelter to migrant agricultural labourers, industrial workers and other unorganized sector workers during the 21-day Nationwide COVID-19 lockdown.The States have been advised to take steps to ensure that students, working women from other States are also allowed to continue in their existing accommodation.

To mitigate the situation for unorganized sector workers, particularly stranded migrant workers, States need to explore measures by involving various agencies, including NGOs, to provide food and shelter with basic amenities. The States have also been advised to make these vulnerable groups aware of the measures taken by the Government including provision of free food grains and other essential items through PDS.


In the wake of growing novel corona virus cases in the country, the Health and Family Welfare Ministry has issued several advisories for the people to contain the spread of Covid-19. These advisories stress on several preventive measures like social distancing, personal hygine and restriction of mass gatherings.

"Government has advised people to follow basic protective measures to keep themselves safe from the corona virus amid the national lock down. People should strictly follow the social distancing norms and avoid gathering. They should stay at their homes and go out for buying essential items only when it is absolutely required. People are advised not to touch their eyes, nose and mouth. Frequent hand sanitation is a must. They should keep cleaning their hands with soap and alcohol based hand sanitizers. Both sides of hand has to be washed for at least 20 seconds. If a person is experiencing cough and fever or any other symptom, he or she should avoid close contact with others and doctor should be consulted immediately. The Health Ministry has issued a toll free number 1075 for the public for enquiry about corona virus. Together we can fight Covid-19. Take precautionary measures and stay at home. BHUPENDRA SINGH, AIR NEWS, DELHI"


Health Ministry has issued a notification restricting the sale and distribution of "Hydroxychloroquine" declaring it as an essential drug to meet the requirements of emergency arising due to the pandemic COVID-19. 

In a gazette notification, the Ministry has directed that sale by retail of any preparation containing the drug Hydroxychloroquine shall be in accordance with the conditions for sale of drugs specified in Schedule H1 to the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945. The notification said in the public interest, it is necessary and expedient to regulate and restrict the sale and distribution of the drug ‘Hydroxychloroquine’ and preparation based thereon for preventing their misuse.


Minister of  Development of North East Region, DoNER, Dr Jitendra Singh said that the government will provide 25 crore rupees to North Eastern States for gap funding to fight the COVID-19 outbreak effectively. Dr Singh held a review meeting today through video conference with the Officers of his Ministry in view of outbreak of COVID 19 pandemic and measures being taken to fight the same in the North Easteren region.  He said, this fund would be in the nature of untied fund, which can be utilized on any activity relating to COVID-19 pandemic and not covered under existing central packages. The flexibility of untied funds would enable the states to respond quickly. He said,  the fund would be in addition to the funds otherwise allocated by the Ministry of DoNER to the North Eastern States under the existing schemes.

Dr Singh also stated that designated cargo flights for carrying essential commodities to North East have been planned.


The Reserve Bank of India today announced cut in benchmark interest rate by 75 basis points to 4.4 per cent to deal with the hardship caused due to the outbreak of COVID-19. This cut in the repo rate is the lowest in at least 15 years. The apex bank has also slashed the reverse repo rate. This was announced by RBI Governer Shaktikanta Das today.

"Cut decision is 75 basis points and accordingly the Repo Rate stands reduced from 5.15 percent to 4.4 percent. Simultaneously, the fixed rate reverse repo rate, which sets the floor of the liquidity adjustment facility that is the LAF  corridor, was reduced by 90 basis points to 4 per cent, thus creating an asymmetrical corridor." 

The central bank has also reduced the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) of all banks by 100 basis points to 3 per cent with effect from March 28 for 1 year providing total liquidity injection of 3.74 lakh crore rupees to the system in current scenario.

Announcing the decisions of Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) in a live video conferencing, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said that the central bank will maintain accommodative stance. He informed that the MPC voted for sizeable reduction in interest rate.

The RBI has also put on hold EMI payments on all term loans for three months. Mr. Das said global slowdown could make things difficult for India too, despite some help from falling crude prices, expressing hope that food prices may soften even further on record crop production.

"All commercial banks, including regional rural banks, small finance banks and local area banks; co-operative banks, all-India Financial Institutions, and NBFCs including housing finance companies and micro-finance institutions that is all lending institutions, are being permitted to allow a moratorium of three months on payment of instalments in respect of all term loans outstanding as on 1st March, 2020."

The RBI Governor said that economic activity and financial markets are under severe stress due to the lockdown in the country. COVID-19 related volatility in stock market has impacted share prices of banks as well resulting in some panic withdrawal of deposits from a few private sector banks. He instilled confidence among depositors of commercial banks including private sector banks not to worry on the safety of their funds, stressing that banking system in India is safe.


Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has welcomed the steps taken by the Reserve Bank of India. In a tweet today, he said, RBI has taken giant steps to safeguard our economy from the impact of the corona virus. He said, the announcements will improve liquidity, reduce cost of funds, help middle class and businesses.


Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today appreciated RBI's reassuring words on financial stability. She said the three month moratorium on payments of term loan installments (EMI) and interest on working capital, has given much desired relief. She said slashed interest rate needs quick transmission. Finance Minister said the macro-economic fundamentals of the Indian economy are sound adding that economy is stronger than what it was in the aftermath of the global financial crisis of 2008-09.


Ministry of communications today said that Post Offices are providing basic postal and financial services during lock down in the wake of COVID-19. It said, priority is being given to delivery of essential items through the postal network. It said, facility of withdrawal and deposit under Post Office Savings Bank and India Post Payments Bank is also available. Besides, ATM facility and Aadhar Enabled Payment System are made available in Post Offices for withdrawal of cash from accounts standing in any bank.

Department of Posts is also ensuring that essential services are provided by implementing safety measures across its supply chain. This is to ensure protection of its employees and effecting safe delivery of services to the citizens.


In a relief to automobile dealers, the Supreme Court today allowed the sale of BS IV compliant vehicles for 10 days, except in Delhi-NCR, after the ongoing countrywide lock down over the Corona Virus pandemic is lifted.

The apex court, which had earlier fixed the deadline of March 31, 2020 for sale of BS IV compliant vehicles across the country, passed the order on a plea by Federation of Automobile Dealers' Association (FADA). The plea had sought extension of time for sale of inventory amid Corona Virus scare and Economic slowdown.

A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta, which heard the matter through video-conferencing, made it clear however that no BS IV vehicles will be allowed to be sold in Delhi-NCR from April 1, 2020.


IIT Delhi has extended the last date for submission of online applications for PhD and PG admissions till 20th April in view of COVID-19 outbreak. Earlier, the last date for domestic students was 30th March and for International students 31st March this year.


The national medical entrance exam, NEET, has been postponed in view of the countrywide lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak. In a tweet, HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said, since parents and students have to travel to different examination centres, to avoid any inconvenience to them, he has directed National Testing Agency to postpone NEET (UG) 2020 and JEE(Main) till last week of May.  The National Eligibility cum Entrance (NEET) was scheduled for May 3.


The second confirmed case of Novel Corona Virus has appeared in Andaman and Nicobar islands. The Person who came back with the first case from Delhi via Kolkata to Port Blair by air on 24th March, was tested positive today.

The 53 year old man has been admitted to the isolated ward at G.B Pant Hospital , Port Blair.


Mizoram government has converted the Zoram Medical College and hospital (ZMC) in Aizawl as the treatment and isolation centre for COVID-19 infected patients.

Health officials said, as per the guidelines of the central government, it has become necessary to acquire suitable hospitals and nursing homes for isolation and treatment of COVID 19 patients.

Health officials said that all OPDs in the ZMC hospital have been closed, 7 bedded ICU is vacated and admitted patients in this hospital are being shifted to Aizawl Civil hospital and private hospitals for the purpose. The exercise is expected to complete by Saturday.

Medical superintendent of ZMC, Dr HC Laldina informed that the COVID 19 positive patient, detected two days back in the state, is undergoing treatment in this hospital and his condition is stable.


Situation in the union territory of Puducherry under the lock-down has improved much with more people keeping indoors, resulting roads having a deserted look.

All buses and taxis, are off the road . Police has made elaborate arrangements to maintain law and order.

"Police registered cases against 73 persons all over the union territory for violations such as opening shops unmindful of the lock down, wandering on the roads without any purpose. Meanwhile, shops selling vegetables, fruits, milk remained opened and special arrangements were made for the people to maintain social distancing and get the commodities. Chief minister Narayanasamy sanctioned a financial expenditure to the tune of 5.18 crore rupees to the karaikal Health Department to purchase ventilator, protective dress, Masks and other equipment in the wake of COVID 19. The Chief Minister said two hospitals will be made available exclusively for COVID and added that the government Dental College here with 50 beds and the ESI hospital with 100 beds will be utilized for this purpose. Chandra Mohan, Puducherry"


In Chandigarh and Mohali, reports of four persons sampled yesterday are negative. This was disclosed by Chandigarh Administration today. It said that the number of Covid 19 positive cases in Chandigarh are still seven.


The Union Territory administration of Jammu and Kashmir is taking all steps to reach out to the people of the region and mitigate the inconveniences being faced by the people due to outbreak of novel Corna Virus. 

"Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Bashir Ahmad Khan has been tirelessly visiting different places across Kashmir to oversee the arrangements put in place by the district administrations. He has been urging the people to follow the health advisories issued from time to time in the present exigencies. He said that health of the people is the prime concern of the government and exhorted them to seriously adhere to the Lockdown, as announced by Prime Minister. He urged the people to maintain social distancing and assured that sufficient stock of the essential commodities is available with the government and there is no need to worry. Meanwhile, general public has taken the ongoing Lockdown as a "Panacea" and they believe that this would definitely go a long way in containing the spread of the invisible pandemic. Sunil Koul for AIR News from Srinagar


In Jammu and Kashmir, not only the people of urban areas but people living in rural areas of Udhampur district are equally responding to the call of Prime Minister to stay inside their homes  and maintain social distancing during the lockdown period. Despite Friday, all mosques of the district were without Namazees today. The historical temple of Sudhmahadev which always remains full of devotees round the year was wearing a deserted look today. Police have deployed security around the temple and locked the entrance gate.


In Himachal Pradesh, Chief Minister Jairam Thakur has directed District Commissioners to develop some mechanism particularly in urban areas by roping in big chains like mega mart, big bazaar and other whole sellers to ensure home delivery of essential items. Our correspondent reports that State government is also looking for the possibility of involving panchayti raj institutions in providing essential commodities to the people in rural areas as well.

"To deal with COVID19 threat, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has been continuously issuing guidelines and instructions to all deputy commissioners of the state through video conferencing and constantly monitoring the situation from state headquarter Shimla. He asked the Deputy Commissioners that endeavors should be made on home delivery of essential commodities so that the people would get daily needs items at their doorsteps to avoid overcrowding. He also urged the volunteers to come forward in providing home delivery of essential items to the people. Meanwhile, the state government has decided to reduce the time period of the relaxation in curfew from 6 hours to three hours daily. Jai Ram Thakur said Deputy Commissioners have been authorized to fix the relaxation time as per their suitability and requirements of the respective district. Sanjeev Sundriyal, AIR News, Shimla"


In the difficult time of lockdown, Kerala Government has made an innovative initiative, Community Kitchens across the State to ensure that no one is hungry in the State.

"Community kitchens  started functioning in Kerala ensuring food to all especially those living in streets, labourers from other states, old people, people living alone, bedridden patients, orphans etc. 1000 community Kitchens are presently there in 725 panchayats, 84 municipalities, and 6 corporations across the State. Local Bodies and Kudumbasree units are togetherly managing the community kitchens. There is also arrangement of delivering the food to the needy in this difficult hour.Community kitchens are functioning in  Kudumdasree kitchens, school kitchen, auditoriums, hostels,buildings of religeous institutions, private hotels etc. Voulnteers are present in every wards to ensure smooth functioning of the community kitchen. This novel intiative is  bringing smiles beating the fear of covid 19 and once again reinforcing the positive strength of humanity. Mayusha from Thiruvananthapuram"


Uttar Pradesh government has set a round the clock control room at UP Bhawan in Delhi to assist people from the state who are facing problems due to lockdown. People can contact the UP Bhawan Control Room at 011-26110151 and 26110155. They can also call or WhatsApp on mobile no. 9313434088 for help.


Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswamy has appealed to the public to make donations for the ongoing efforts to prevent Covid-19 disease and the relief works in state. In a statement, he has asked the public to make contributions online, as handing over them in person is banned. He has said the donations would be eligible for full exemption for Income Tax purposes.


Several voluntary organisations and resident welfare associations are coming forward to reduce the hardship of people during the lock-down in Karnataka. The member of Parliament from Bangalore South parliamentary constituency Tejasvi Surya has launched citizen-led Coronavirus task force for his constituency.

Our correspondent reports that in several parts of the city, volunteers of Resident Welfare association are asking the residents to do yoga, meditation, fitness exercises during the lock-down and are arranging counselling sessions. They are also joining hands with police to distribute free food packets to the homeless. The state Government employees and University professors and staff have contributed their one day’s salary to the Chief Minister’s relief fund.


Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Prasar Bharati have decided to re-telecast  "Ramayan" television series on Doordarshan National from tomorrow.

The telecast will take place in 2 slots every day, from 9 AM to 10 AM and 9 PM to 10 PM. The evening slot will carry the subsequent episode of the series.

The decision has been taken keeping in view the immense interest of people in the series and public demand for its re-telecast.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar expressed happiness that Ramayan is being re-telecast.

CEO, Prasar Bharati Shashi Shekhar Vempati congratulated the team from Doordarshan that worked on war footing to make this happen. Mr Vempati also thanked the Sagar family for making content available to Doordarshan.

Prasar Bharati has been making special efforts to create awareness on COVID-19. New Services Division of All India Radio broadcasts special bulletins in Hindi and English from 8 am to 9 am in the morning and in evening from 8 PM to 9 PM. Many special programs are also being broadcast by DD News and DD India.

Arun Govil, who played the role of Lord Ram in the iconic TV-Series spoke to AIR News and expressed hope that the new generation will also respond with the same enthusiasm as people responded 33 years back. 


Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar today announced that that DD Bharati will telecast popular tv series Mahabharat from tomorrow. In a tweet, Mr Javadekar said, it will be telecast twice in a day at 12 noon and 7 pm.


The British Prime Minister today announced that he has tested positive for the Novel Corona Virus. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has wished British Prime Minister Boris Johnson early recovery from COVID-19. In a tweet, Prime Miniater said, Mr Johnson is a fighter and he will overcome this challenge as well. The Prime Minister prayed for Mr Johnson's good health and wished him best in ensuring a healthy United Kingdom.


The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has reported 112 new COVID 19 cases, bringing the total number of cases in the Kingdom to 1012.

According to the Saudi Press Agency, 12 of these cases got infected while traveling and they are quarantined since their arrival to the Kingdom's ports of entry. The other 100 people got infected as a result of contact with previously confirmed cases.

A total of 33 people have recovered from the virus, while total of three deaths have also been reported.

The Kingdom has banned residents from entering or exiting Riyadh, Mecca and Medina.

All malls and parks were shut down earlier this month in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. Restaurants and cafes have also been banned from serving food and beverages.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces discussed the latest developments of the COVID-19 pandemic and international efforts being made to contain its repercussions. Mr Modi called the Crown Prince to discuss and explore paths for consolidating the strategic cooperation between the two friendly countries in addition to an array of international and regional developments of common concern. The Emirates News Agency reported that the two sides mulled over the possibility of advancing cooperation between two countries' entities in charge of addressing the spread of the COVID-19. They also discussed the prospects of further contributing to the international efforts made to mitigate its impact on the humanitarian, health and economic fronts. They emphasized the importance of forging ahead with international efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19, noting that global synergy is a must under such circumstance to put an end to the pandemic and its menacing threats to the entire world.


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