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Last Updated : Jan 18 2021 7:03PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
PM Modi lays foundation stone of environment friendly Ahmedabad Metro Rail Project Phase-II and Surat Metro Rail Project            National COVID-19 recovery rate improves to 96.59 per cent            Over 2 lakh people vaccinated for Covid-19 across country during past two days            Britain invites PM Modi to attend G7 Summit to be held in June this year            Brisbane Test: Australia bundled out for 294 on day 4           

Text Bulletins Details

Midday News

1400 HRS


  • Home Minister Amit Shah says, battle against COVID-19 is being fought with the contribution of every citizen of the country under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

  • Recovery rate of COVID patients improves to 62.92 per cent.

  • Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu says the pandemic needs to be used for making necessary changes in perspectives and practices of living.

  • Finance Ministry says, Global Tenders up to 200 crore rupees not to be allowed in Government procurement.

  • And in Assam, major rivers including Brahmaputra flowing above danger level; over 8 lakh people affected from floods in 21 districts.


Home Minister Amit Shah today said India has fought the battle against COVID-19 successfully so far. He said the country is fighting the pandemic valiantly and the entire world is witnessing it. Mr Shah said this battle is being fought not by the government alone but with the contributuon of each and every citizen of the country.

Participating in a tree plantation campaign run by the Central Armed Police Forces in Gurugram today, Mr. Shah said there was apprehension about how a huge country like India which has 130 crore population can fight this battle. But the world is seeing the successful fight against this pandemic under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Minister said the security forces are playing a significant role in containing COVID-19 and the security forces have proved that they not only know how to fight terrorism but also fight COVID with the help of people. 


The Government today said, in the last 24 hours alone, 19 thousand 235 people have recovered from Covid-19 and the recovery rate has improved to 62.92 per cent. So far, a total of five lakh 34 thousand 621 people have recovered in the country which is much higher than the total number of active corona cases of two lakh 92 thousand 258.

In terms of number of people recovered from Covid-19, Maharashtra stands at top followed by Delhi and Tamil Nadu. There are 18 States and Union Territories which have recovery rate above national average. The top five States and Union Territories are - Ladakh, Uttrakhand, Delhi, Chhattisgarh and Himachal Pradesh where the recovery rate is above 76 per cent.

The Health and Family Welfare Ministry said, a total of 28 thousand 637 new cases of Covid-19 have been reported in the country within 24 hours taking the total number of cases to eight lakh 49 thousand 553. This is the highest spike in fresh cases recorded in one day since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country. In a single day, 551 deaths have been reported taking the nationwide toll to 22 thousand 674. The case fatality rate is 2.66 per cent in the country.

According to ICMR report, a total of two lakh 80 thousand 151 samples were tested for corona virus in the last 24 hours. Overall, one crore 15 lakh 87 thousand 153 tests have been conducted so far.


Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has urged the people to introspect on the life during the last few months under corona virus and assess if they have learnt right lessons and equipped themselves to face such uncertainties. In his facebook page, Mr Naidu said, the pandemic needs to be looked at not only as a disaster but also as a corrector for making necessary changes in the perspectives and practices of living. He said, constant evaluation of the course of life in all its manifestations and in the totality of context is an essential pre-requisite for a higher living.


Health and Family Welfare Ministry has advised the states that all the ‘investigational therapies’ are required to be carried out only in proper health care facilities where close monitoring of patients is possible. Indian Council of Medical Research and AIIMS have strongly recommended that the focus of clinical management should continue to remain on oxygen therapy, steroids, high quality supportive care including mental health counselling for patients and families. For mild cases, which are nearly 80 per cent of the total cases, Hydroxychloroquine has been recommended.

The Ministry said, pursuit of an effective treatment for COVID-19 has also resulted in repurposing of several drugs which are not a part of the main Clinical Management Protocol but have been indicated as investigational therapies. Remdesivir, Convalescent Plasma, Tocilizumab have been put under the investigational therapies in the clinical management protocol for COVID-19. Health Ministry said, these drugs are only permitted for restricted emergency use for COVID-19 and can be used in specific sub-groups of patients. ICMR and AIIMS have strictly suggested the hospitals that their indiscriminate use can cause more harm than good.

The states were also told that the available evidence for Remdesivir suggests that it may decrease the time for clinical improvement when used in moderate to severe cases. However, there have been no benefits in terms of reduced mortality. Similarly, studies on Tocilizumab have not shown any benefits in mortality reduction.


In Uttar Pradesh, Former India cricketer and Uttar Pradesh Cabinet Minister Chetan Chauhan has tested positive for COVID-19.

The 72-year-old Chauhan underwent the test on Friday and report came Yesterday. He is admitted to the Sanjay Gandhi PGI hospital in Lucknow. Chauhan holds the Sainik Welfare, Home Guards, PRD and Civil Security Ministry in the UP cabinet.


In Bihar, complete lockdown has been imposed in three districts of Gaya, Saharsa and Araria beginning today. With this, 18 districts of the state comes under lockdown. More from our correspondent report :

Eight day lockdown has been imposed in Araria district. Five days lockdown is in Saharsa while lockdown will continue till further order in Gaya district of the state. Except essential services all activities have been stopped in lockdown areas.For conveyance  public transport is allowed. However, private vehicles are limited to essential works only. Train and flight services have been allowed. Meanwhile, with 709 new cases, the tally is now 15,039 in the state. In all, 10,991 persons have recovered so far. Presently, 3,929 patients are undergoing treatment at various hospitals. Recovery rate in Bihar stands at over 73  per cent. With KK Lal's report from Patna, Sanjeev Jasrotia, AIR News.


Today being Sunday, Tamil Nadu observes total lockdown throughout the state. It is aimed at avoiding overcrowding in public spaces and to avoid spurt in new Covid19 cases.

Meanwhile, the state health department has said in a statement in Chennai, an order has been placed for the purchase of 43-thousand ‘finger pulse-oximeters.’ A batch of 20-thousand of them has arrived and rest is expected soon. The release says they would be used for reading the oxygen saturation levels in the blood of those Covid-19 patients who are under home isolation, or in covid care centres across the state. When the level falls below the threshold, they could immediately be rushed to tertiary care in hospitals. The devices are also to be widely used in the ongoing fever camps in Chennai and other places to identify suspected cases with the viral infections and test them.


In Madhya Pradesh the number of corona-infected people has reached more than 17 thousand. And thirteen thousand people have recovered. In view of the increasing cases of Corona, lockdown has been ordered in the entire Madhya Pradesh on Sunday.

During the lockdown all markets, offices and business establishments will remain completely closed. However, essential shops, hospitals and  transportation services associated with emergency services are exempted.

In Bhopal all markets remained completely closed and there was little movement on the roads. Markets were closed in other big cities including Indore, Jabalpur, Gwalior and rural areas.


In Gujarat, the daily testing rate for Covid19 in July has been increased by 41 percent compared to previous month. According to official sources, the positive cases per 100 tests has increased marginally from 9.8 percent in June to 10 percent in July. More from our Ahmedabad correspondent.

Gujarat Government has increased the daily tests for Covid19 in the state. Similarly, Ahmedabad and Surat Municipal Corporations have also increased testing drives in the micro containment zones. More than 4 lakh 57 thousand tests have already been carried out in the state till date. Meanwhile, Amreli based youth Sidhant Vekariya has developed a video conferencing mobile application- Profism Call. CEO of Profism Technologies, Mr. Vekaria claimed that the application has been developed within 14 days after Atmanirbhar Bharat call by the Prime Minister. He said that this application will be very useful in online education and corporate meetings. With Harish Tank in Amreli, Yogesh Pandya, AIR News, Ahmedabad


To prevent the spread of COVID 19 infection, Rajasthan Government has issued an order to regulate the inter-state movement of people. This is the second time that the government has taken steps to regulate the movement of people in a month. More from our correspondent :

People who intend to move outside the state shall now be required to obtain a pass. District collector, Sub-divisional officer, police officials and local police stations have been authorized to issue passes. For the entry of people outside the state by road, such persons will be screened at the check-post established at inter-state borders. Personal IDs would also be checked at the borders. Counters will be set up at airports, railway stations and bus stands that may provide on the spot passes after the verification. Meanwhile, more than 500 cases of COVID 19 are being reported in the state from last 10 days. Jitendra Dwivedi, AIR NEWS, Jaipur


In West Bengal lockdown is continuing in containment zones in the State . The State administration has taken all possible measures to contain the spread of the disease . 


Doctors of Nanavati Hospital who are treating Megastar Amitabh Bachchan and his son Abhishek for Covid-19 have said that they the father-son duo have very mild symptoms and oxygen and ventilator support is not required for the treatment.  Mr Bachchan's actress wife Jaya Bachchan, daughter in-law Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and grand daughter Aradhya have tested  negative. However the coronavirus has made inroads into the posh localities of the mega city.  Our Mumbai correspondent has filed this report..

Even as the the Mumbai civic administration and state government has been able to contain the spread of Covid-19 in densely populated Dharavi, the contagion has now spread into the posh localities and bungalows of celebrities. After Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan tested positive, now the mother of actor Anupam Kher has tested positive for the virus. The actor himself has revealed it through a tweet. However, Mr. Kher has tested negative. On the other hand,  a total of 14 employees have tested Covid positive at Raj Bhavan, Mumbai which also include senior officials. The civic administration has requested Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and other officers and staff to self quarantine. KUNAL SHINDE, AIR NEWS, MUMBAI 


A special campaign to identify people with fever and to start anti - Corona treatment at the earliest has been initiated in Trichy Corporation area of Tamilnadu.

The District Collector Sivarasu as well as Corporation Commisioner Sivasubramanian have requested the public to cooperate with this campaign.

Speaking to AIR News they clarified that special teams consisting of officials from Police, Health and the Corporation will be  visiting all the 65 corporation wards as part of the campaign. A number of fever camps are also being held as part of the campaign.


In our series "Expert Speak", we bring you the views of the leading medical experts on COVID-19. Dr. Anant Mohan, Head of Pulmonary Medicine, AIIMS has advised people not to take medicines like Hydroxychloroquine or anti malarial drugs without  preion by a doctor.

Ms. Jacinta Gunjiyal, Senior Nursing Officer, AIIMS has stressed on the need for social distancing.


The News Services Division of All India Radio in its bilingual live phone-in programme tonight will bring you a Special discussion on Covid-19.

Professor Medicine, Lady Hardinge Medical College, Dr. Anupam Prakash will participate in the discussion. This can be heard on FM Gold Channel and additional frequencies from 9.30 pm.

Listeners can ask questions to the expert on Toll Free Telephone No: 1800-115767. You can also ask questions on telephone number: 011: 2331-4444 and post queries on our Twitter handle @airnews s by #tag Askair.

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 government has decided that Global tenders will be disallowed in Government procurement tenders up to 200 crore rupees. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman reviewed implementation of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Package pertaining to Ministries of Finance and Corporate Affairs. In the review it was decided that no Global Tender Enquiry (GTE) shall be invited for tenders upto 200 crore rupees, unless prior approval is obtained from Cabinet Secretariat. Giving relief to contractors, it was announced that all central agencies like Railways, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and CPWD will give extension of up to 6 months for completion of contractual obligations, including in respect of EPC and concession agreements.

Finance Minister announced that the Centre has decided to accede to the request and increase borrowing limits of States from 3 per cent to 5 per cent for 2020-21 only in view of the unprecedented situation. This will give States extra resources of four lakh 28 thousand crore rupees.


Road, Transport and Highways Ministry has decided to ensure capturing of FASTag details while registering or issuing fitness certificate to vehicles all over the country. The Ministry has written a letter in this regard to National Informatics Centre, States and Union Terrirories. It has informed that full integration of National Electronic Toll Collection with VAHAN portal has been achieved.

The Ministry said, fitment of FASTag is to ensure that vehicles crossing the National Highway fee plazas use electronic medium of FASTag payment, and cash payment is avoided. FASTag will also be effective in minimising possibilities of spreading COVID at National Highway Toll Plazas.


In Assam, several major rivers including the Brahmaputra are flowing above the danger level and over 8.5 lakh people are affected due to floods in 21 districts. Two persons lost their lives today  due to landslides at 12th Mile near Guwahati. Two persons lost their lives today due to landslides at 12th Mile near Guwahati. Over 9 thousand people are taking shelter at relief camps. Dhemaji and Barpeta are among the worst affected districts. SDRF and NDRF teams are deployed in relief and rescue works.


External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said that disengagement and de-escalation process has been agreed upon between India and China and the work is in progress. He said, India has agreed on the need to disengage because the troops on both sides are deployed very close to each other. So there is a disengagement and de-escalation process which has been agreed upon. He said, the process of disengagement has just commenced and it is very much a work in progress. Dr Jaishankar was speaking at India Global Week 2020 yesterday.

Recently, India and China began a long process of disengagement in eastern Ladakh after talks between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.


Uttar Pradesh government has formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe cases related to dreaded criminal Vikas Dubey and his associates. This SIT will submit its report before 31st July. The SIT headed by Additional Chief Secretary Sanjay Bhoosreddy will have two senior police officers ADG Hariram Sharma and DIG J Ravindra Gaur as members.  Here is a report:

"The Special Investigation Team will thoroughly investigate the vikas dube case and will try to find answers to those questions which are rising about his connections with officers, nexus between him and police, his modus operandi, properties and black money. It Will also investigate that what action police took about complaints registerd against Dubey and his associates under Gangster Act, Goonda Act, and NSA. The call recording details of Dubey and his accomplices of past one year will also come under investigation. Most importantly, the SIT will also investigate what had happened in the night of July 2-3, when a police team had gone to raid and came under attack. Eight police personnel were killed that night in firing between police and Vikas Dubey’s henchmen. It will be investigated whether lapses were committed in getting intelligence about the firepower and weapons with Dubey. SUSHIL CHANDRA TIWARI, AIR NEWS, LUCKNOW".


National Investigation Agency (NIA) has nabbed the prime accused in Kerala gold smuggling case. Both accused, Swapna Prabha Suresh and her accomplice Sandeep Nair were arrested from Bengaluru yesterday evening. They will be produced before the NIA office in Cochin today.

The Customs Department had on July 5 seized 30 kg gold worth 15 crore rupees concealed in diplomatic consignment at the Thiruvananthapuram international airport.

Swapna Suresh was on the run following the gold seizure. She was employed in Space Park and Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Limited (KSITL), which comes under the IT department, a portfolio held by Kerala Chief Minister.


Amid reports of infighting in the Rajasthan government, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal has said, he is worried for his party. In a  tweet, he questioned, whether the party will wake up only after the horses have bolted from the stables. There are reports of power tussle within the Rajasthan Congress Party. 

However, Chief Minister, Ashok Gehlot has accused BJP of trying to destabilise his government.  But the charges were outrightly rejected by State BJP chief Satish Poonia, saying whatever is going on with Congress is the result of infighting within the party between two leaders.


Renowned cartoonist Avad Bin Hassan Jami, popularly known as “Jami” passed away in Jamnagar yesterday. He was 77. His cartoons regularly published in leading Gujarati daily newspapers and news magazines for more than two decades. Mr. Jami was a drawing teacher at Kendriya Vidyalaya, Jamnagar. He became a full time cartoonist after retirement.


Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has appealed to Indian students from various top global universities to come and innovate in India, to explore the emerging opportunities. He was interacting with a vibrant group of young overseas Indian scholars, students and friends yesterday on last-mile energy access in India.

Articulating India’s energy vision, Mr Pradhan said, Prime Minister has envisioned a clear roadmap for India’s energy future which rests on five key enablers. They are energy availability and accessibility for all, affordability to the poorest of the poor, efficiency in energy use, sustainability for combating climate change and energy security for mitigating global uncertainties.

About self-reliance in oil and gas sector, Mr Pradhan said, the government has set a target for reduction of 10 per cent in energy import dependency by 2022. He also talked about India’s energy diplomacy and said, India has made its presence felt in the global energy map.


In Uttar Pradesh, swarms of Locust have caused severe damage to crops at various places in the state. Agriculture department ed farmers regarding the locusts and people are taking various steps to save crops from the attacking insects. The swarm reached Sitapur district yesterday and caused destruction to the crops in four Tahsils of district. More from out Lucknow correspondent:

A swarm of locusts that reached  Sitapur district  has caused a big loss to crops  in  various villages of 10 blocks under four Tahsils  - Misrikh, Maholi Mahmudabad, and  Bisawan . Farmers and officials of agriculture department  scared away the locusts out of the fields by clanging thalis, drums and producing sounds by various other means . According to agriculture department the locust swarm that entered from Hardoi district has flown towards Bahraich district where farmers have been put on . One swarm was witnessed in Safipur block of Unnao district yesterday where agriculture department sprayed pesticides on it. Another swarm was seen flying from Etah district towards Farrukhabad  and Kannauj districts. MS Yadav AIR News Lucknow"


Indian Coast Guard rescued six Sri Lankan fishermen from Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in Andaman Sea. During the EEZ surveillance of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, the ICG Dornier located a boat adrift at approximately 190 Nautical Miles North-West of Port Blair. The boat has been identified as Sri Lankan and was reportedly in distress due to technical snag. Acting over the situation, a rescue mission was launched from Port Blair. ICG Ship RAJKAMAL rescued the six Sri Lankan fishermen along with the boat early yesterday morning.


NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission has launched the ATL App Development Module for school children across the country. The ATL App is an online course, which is completely Free. Through six project-based learning modules and online mentoring sessions, young innovators can learn to build mobile apps in various Indian languages and showcase their talent. Additionally, to build capacities and acumen for app development within school teachers, periodic Teacher Training sessions will be conducted on the AIM App Development course.

NITI Aayog Chief Executive Officer Amitabh Kant has said that COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a big disruption, which is being tackled through the use of technology to aid for everyday lives. He said, the Prime Minister has been encouraging the citizens to use technology and innovate for an Aatmanirbhar Bharat. Mr Kant said, it is crucial for the young Indians to learn skills at a young age and to enable them to become the next generation of technology leaders.


In Nagaland 23 more persons have been tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday morning, taking the total number of COVID-19 cases in the state spiked to 771.

In a tweet, Health Minister S Pangnyu Phom informed that out of the 23 new cases, 18 are from Dimapur, four from Phek, and one from Kohima tested positive for COVID-19.

With this, the number of active cases in the state stands to 458 while 313 have recovered. Nagaland has so far not reported any COVID-19 related death.


Arunachal Pradesh government has extended the on-going total 'lockdown' clamped on July 6 in Itanagar Capital Region (ICR), by one more week in view of spike in COVID-19 cases. Addressing a digital press conference yesterday, Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar said that the Cabinet meeting took cognizance of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the Capital Region and decided that the lockdown will be extended by one more week till 5 am of July 20. Mr. Kumar denied of any community transmission of the virus in the capital region.


Now, Let us take a look at the weather s for today.

The national capital Delhi is witnessing cloudy sky today and Heavy rain is also expected. The minimum temperature was recorded at 24 degree Celsius while the maximum is expected to be around 35 degrees.

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

In Chennai, the temperature will hover between 26 and 35 degrees Celsius. The city will have generally cloudy sky towards evening or night with possibility of rain or thundershowers accompanied with squall.

Kolkata will have partly cloudy sky with possibility of moderate rain or Thunderstorm.The maximum temperature will be nearly 35 degrees.

In Jammu and Kashmir; the minimum temperature was 26 degree Celsius in Jammu while maximum will be around 34 degrees. The city is likely to have partly cloudy sky with possibility of rain or thunderstorm or dust-storm.

In Srinagar, the temperature will hover between 16 and 31 degrees Celsius. The city is expected to witness partly cloudy sky with possibility of rain or thunderstorm or dust-storm.

In Gilgit, the minimum temperature was recorded at 18 degree Celsius while the maximum will be around 33 degrees. It is expected to have thunderstorm with rain.

Muzzafarabad may see Partly cloudy sky with possibility of rain or Thunderstorm or Duststorm. The place witnessed a minimum temperature of 19 degree Celsius while maximum temperature will be around 35 degrees.

Chandigarh will see a generally cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers. The minimum temperature was recorded at 22 degree Celsius and maximum temperature will be around 35 degrees.

Bengaluru is expected to have temperatures between 21 and 29 degrees Celsius. The city will experience cloudy sky with moderate rain.

Ahmedabad will also have a generally cloudy sky with moderate rain. Minimum temperature in the city was 25 degrees Celsius while maximum is expected to be around 36 degrees.

Generally cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers expected in Patna. The temperature will fluctuate between 27 and 34 degrees Celsius.



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