PIB’S DAILY BULLETIN ON COVID-19

IAS Prelims 2023


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(Contains Press releases concerning Covid-19, issued in last 24 hours, inputs from PIB Field Offices and Fact checks undertaken by PIB)

 

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Exponential rise in India’s testing; Cumulative tests cross 15 Cr, 1 crore Tests conducted in the last 10 days; Less than 40,000 Daily New Cases since the last 11 days continuously; For the last Five days, less than 500 daily deaths recorded
India has crossed yet another landmark milestone in the fight against the global pandemic. The cumulative testing has crossed 15 Cr. 9,22,959 samples were tested in the last 24 hours which has increased India’s total cumulative tests to 15,07,59,726. The past one crore tests were added in just 10 days. Comprehensive and widespread testing on a sustained basis has resulted in bringing down the positivity rate. In another significant achievement, India has reported less than 40,000 new daily cases for eleven continuous days. In the last 24 hours, only 31,521 persons were found to be COVID positive in the country. India also registered 37,725 new recoveries in the same duration which has led to a further contraction of the Active Caseload. India’s present active caseload of 3,72,293 consists of just 3.81% of India’s Total Positive Cases. The total recovered cases have surpassed 92.5 lakh (92,53,306) today. The Recovery Rate has improved to 94.74%. The gap between Recovered cases and Active cases is steadily increasing and presently stands at 8,881,013. 77.30% of the new recovered cases is contributed by ten States/UTs. Maharashtra saw 5,051 persons recovering from COVID. Kerala and Delhi reported 4,647 and 4,177 new recoveries, respectively. Ten States/UTs have contributed 74.65% of the new cases. 77.67% of the 412 case fatalities that have been reported in the past 24 hours are from Ten States/UTs. 18.20% of new fatalities reported are from Maharashtra which reported 75 deaths. Delhi also saw a figure fatality count of 50 contributing another 12.13% of the fatalities. The daily new deaths have been less than 500 from the last five days.

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PM lays foundation stone of New Parliament Building

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the New Parliament Building today. The new building is an intrinsic part of the vision of ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’ and will be a landmark opportunity to build a peoples’ Parliament for the first time after independence, one which will match the needs and aspirations of ‘New India’ in the 75th anniversary of independence in 2022. Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said today is a milestone in India’s democratic history, filled with the idea of ​​Indianness. He added that the start of the construction of Parliament House of India is one of the most important stages of our democratic traditions. He gave a call to the people of India, to build this new building of the Parliament together. He said it can’t be more beautiful or more pure than the new building of our Parliament witnessing   when India celebrates 75 years of its independence. He remarked that many new things are being done in the new Parliament House that will increase the efficiency of the MPs and modernize their work culture. He said if the old Parliament House gave direction to post-independence India, the new building would become a witness to the making of a ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat.’ If work was done to fulfill the needs of the country in the old Parliament House, then the aspirations of 21st century India will be fulfilled in the new building.

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Text of PM’s address at the laying of foundation stone of New Parliament Building

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Dr Harsh Vardhan digitally addresses the virtual Curtain Raiser Ceremony by ICMR-National Institute of Research in Tribal Health, Jabalpur as a part of 6th India International Science Festival 2020

Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Science and Technology, and Earth Sciences digitally addressed the virtual Curtain Raiser Ceremony by ICMR-National Institute of Research in Tribal Health, at Jabalpur as a part of 6th India International Science Festival 2020 (IISF 2020). The 6th IISF‐2020 is being organized by Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) in collaboration with Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Department of Science and Technology (DST), Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Vijnana Bharati (VIBHA). Delivering the address, Dr Harsh Vardhan said, “IISF, launched in 2015, has always been about showcasing the progress of science and its application for the betterment of the lives of our people. It is indeed a privilege to preside over this Curtain Raiser Ceremony being organized by the ICMR-NIRTH, Jabalpur.”

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6th Instalment of Rs.6,000 crore released to the States as back to back loan to meet the GST compensation shortfall

The Ministry of Finance has released the weekly instalment of Rs. 6,000 crore to the States to meet the GST compensation shortfall. Out of this, an amount of Rs. 5,516.60 crore has been released to 23 States and an amount of Rs.483.40 crore has been released to the 3 Union Territories (UT) with Legislative Assembly (Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir & Puducherry) who are members of the GST Council. The remaining 5 States, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim do not have a gap in revenue on account of GST implementation. The Government of India is borrowing this amount on behalf of the States and UTs through a special borrowing window to meet the estimated shortfall of Rs.1.10 lakh crore in revenue arising on account of GST implementation. The amount released this week was the 6th instalment of such funds provided to the States. The amount has been borrowed this week at an interest rate of 4.2089 %. So far, an amount of Rs. 36,000 crore has been borrowed by the Central Government through the special borrowing window at an average interest rate of 4.7106%.

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FM lauds concerted efforts resulting in higher procurement and payment of over Rs 21000 crore to MSMEs upto November

Union Minister of Finance Smt Nirmala Sitharaman reviewed the situation about payment to the MSMEs and expressed satisfaction and appreciation on the excellent work done by the Ministry of MSME. As part of Prime Minister of India’s vision the Finance Minister had announced AtmaNirbhar Bharat package in May, 2020, it was also stated that the MSME dues should be paid in 45 days. Since the month of May 2020, regular follow-up and concerted efforts have been made by Government of India, particularly by the MSME Ministry for payment of these dues. Particular focus was placed on Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) and the Central Government Agencies for payment of dues to MSMEs. As a result, over Rs 21000 crore of MSME dues have been paid in past 7 Months since May 2020 by the Central Govt Agencies and CPSEs. The highest level of Procurement was achieved in October of over Rs 5100 crore and payment of over Rs 4100 crore. Going by the reports received in first 10 days for November 2020, this level of performance is expected to be surpassed as Procurement of about Rs 4700 crore and payment of about Rs 4000 crore have already been reported. 

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India and UN-Based Better Than Cash Alliance organized a joint Peer learning exchange on fintech solutions for responsible digital payments at the last mile
Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance yesterday hosted a learning session “Accelerating Responsible Digital Payments: Unlocking the Role of Fintech in Last Mile Service Delivery” with leaders from States and Union Territories across India. This Peer Exchange is a result of the tremendous success and opportunities highlighted during COVID-19 and is co-organized with the UN-based Better Than Cash Alliance. Various Ministries and agencies made presentations on Open APIs, Smart City Cards, Blockchain use cases, Account Aggregator Eco system etc. State Government presented case studies on use cases. During the COVID-19 relief efforts, nearly Rs 68,000 crore of cash was provided as direct benefits transfers directly into the bank accounts of the most vulnerable. The Digital Payment Infrastructure established by Government of India including Jandhan accounts, Aadhaar and Mobile phone (JAM) was put to excellent use during the pandemic. The Government of India has taken several initiatives to foster innovation and adoption of technology to bring in greater inclusive growth.

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Union Education Minister virtually interacts with teachers, parents and students on upcoming competitive and board exams

Union Education Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank ’virtually interacted with teachers, parents and students across the country on upcoming competitive and board exams. During the one-hour interaction, the Minister responded to the various concerns and queries of the students relating to school examinations, entrance examinations, among others. Speaking on the occasion Shri Pokhriyal said that the students are the brand ambassadors of the National Education Policy-2020. Emphasizing that all of us have to take collective efforts to make the policy a grand success, he sought the cooperation of students and teachers in effective implementation of the policy. While hoping that students will soon return to their normal school days, the Minister urged them to continue their studies along with adhering to all the precautions and guidelines on COVID. Addressing the students, he suggested that student can use this time to revive the pen friend culture that is writing letters to friends. Going beyond the current trend of SMS, Whatsapp, this practice of writing letters to friends will bring in more joy and happiness.

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Last date for submission of application forms for Haj 2021 extended up to 10th January 2021

Union Minister for Minority Affairs Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has said that the last date for submission of application forms for Haj 2021 has been extended up to 10th January 2021. Embarkation Points-wise estimated cost per Haj pilgrim has also been reduced. Shri Naqvi was addressing a press conference after chairing a meeting of Haj Committee of India at Haj House, Mumbai, today.Shri Naqvi said that todaywas supposed to be the last date for submission of application forms for Haj 2021 and now it has been extended up to 10th January 2021. More than 40,000 applications have been received for Haj 2021 till now, including more than 500 applications under women without “Mehram” category.Shri Naqvi said that after thorough discussions according to Embarkation Points and feedback received from Saudi Arabia; the Embarkation Points-wise estimated cost per Haj pilgrim has been reduced.Shri Naqvi said that national-international Protocol Guidelines due to Pandemic Position will be implemented and followed strictly during the Haj 2021. Shri Naqvi said that Haj 2021 is scheduled for June-July 2021, and the entire Haj process is being held according to the necessary guidelines issued by the Saudi Arabia Government and the Government of India in view of Corona Pandemic to ensure health and well-being of the people in India and Saudi Arabia.

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Shri ThaawarchandGehlot E-Inaugurates ADIP Camp to Provide AIDS and Assistive Devices to 8797 Divyangjan of Latur, Maharashtra

Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Shri ThaawarchandGehlot e-inaugurated an ADIP Camp for free distribution of assistive aids and devices at Block level for identified Divyangjans of Latur District under the ADIP scheme of Government of India through online video streaming today. Delivering inaugural address, Shri ThaawarchandGehlot said that in COVID-19 Pandemic situation, special measures have been taken by Government of India so that the benefit of welfare scheme may continue uninterrupted in the interest of persons with disabilities. He said that ALIMCO is being modernized with a cost of Rs 338.00 crores in order to provide free aids and assistive devices to Divyangjan in our country. Since year 2014-15, 9331 ADIP Camps have been organized to benefit 16,87 lakhs beneficiaries with aids and assistive devices worth Rs 1003.09 crores. 637 Special Camps have been organized and Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is trying its best to cover all parts of the country with such Camps.

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Government, academia & industry representatives from India & Portugal discuss possible areas of tech collaboration

Dignitaries from India and Portugal discussed about areas like water, healthcare, agritech, waste management, cleantech climate solutions, and ICT in which the two countries can collaborate to bring about solutions for societal challenges and build a holistic and mutually beneficial relationship at the high-level Tech Leadership Plenary Session of the DST-CII Technology Summit. India and Portugal have been rediscovering each other through science, technology, innovation, industry and markets and started collaboration in co-creating bilateral knowledge, collaborative projects in science, technology and innovation and co-operating on multilateral issues,” Secretary, Department of Science and Technology (DST), Prof. Ashutosh Sharma said in his keynote address at the summit on Monday. Dr. Naresh Trehan Chairman and Managing Director Medanta- The Medicity highlighted that the COVID pandemic has tested India’s potential very efficiently as the country scaled up from a situation where there was no equipment and material for dealing with the pandemic to one in which ventilators and PPEs were produced not only to meet the country’s demands but also for export.

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INPUTS FROM PIB FIELD OFFICES

  • Assam: In Assam, 146 cases detected out of 28,896 tests conducted with positivity rate of 0.51% while 178 patients are discharged yesterday. Total cases- 214165 out of which recovered are 97.88% & active cases are 1.65%.
  • Sikkim: With 24 new cases, Sikkim’s COVID-19 count reaches 5,239. The number of discharged patients has further improved to 4,661 with the release of 19 patients from hospital and home isolation.There are currently 368 active cases of novel Coronavirus in the State.
  • Kerala: Despite the Covid pandemic and the strict measures to curb it, voters thronged the polling booths in five central districts in the second phase of the Kerala local body elections. Brisk polling is being witnessed in many places pushing the voting percentage to cross 70 %.  Meanwhile Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has convened a meeting of senior officials next week to decide on opening of schools in the state which were closed following the outbreak of the pandemic. The Covid Expert Committee had recommended that Classes for tenth standard and higher secondary can be resumed in January. Covid-19 was detected in 4,875 more people in the state yesterday. Covid death toll has touched 2,507. The current test positivity rate is 9.26.
  • Tamil Nadu: Tamil Nadu’s electricity demand increased over 9% to 9,086 million units in October this year from 8,266 million units in the same period last year, posting a positive growth for the first time since the lockdown was imposed in March to curb the spread of COVID-19. Meanwhile, active Covid-19 cases in Tamil Nadu dropped to 10,491 on Wednesday while 1,232 new cases and 14 deaths were recorded. The case tally touched 7,94,020 and the cumulative death toll reached 11,836
  • Karnataka: 279 new cases, 3218 discharges & 20 deaths were reported in Karnataka yesterday. Total positive cases are 8,96,563 while active cases are 23,056. Deaths: 11,900; Discharges: 8,61,588.
  • Andhra Pradesh: Following the government guidelines, the officials in the districts have geared up to administer the vaccine. Committees were formed at mandal and town level also. In Chittoor district, the DM&HO has conducted a one-day training camp for vaccine cold chain handlers on the e-VIN app (electronic vaccine intelligence network). Using the cold chain method vaccine will be safeguarded and administered to the healthcare workers. Meanwhile, the severity of the mysterious disease in Eluru is said to be slowing down with many victims being decreased every day. District officials, who have so far examined the results of test samples are currently awaiting reports from central agencies. 
  • Telangana: 643 new cases, 805 recoveries & 2 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours in Telangana; Total cases 2,75,904 Active cases: 7,497, Deaths: 1482 Discharges :2,66,925 with a recovery rate of 96.74 per cent.
  • Maharashtra: Maharashtra’s Health Secretary Pradeep Vyas has informed that over 16,000 people have registered their names on the CO-WIN portal as vaccine administrators while close to a lakh have registered as beneficiaries. While giving a detailed presentation on the State’s preparedness to roll out the COVID vaccine, Mr. Vyas informed the Steering Committee headed by Maharashtra’s Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar, that a cold storage chain of 3,135 centres is currently available to store and move the vaccine to its desired locations across the State.  Mr. Vyas said vaccination booths will be set up at primary healthcare clinics and private hospitals initially to administer the vaccine to healthcare workers. At a later stage, such booths will be set up at schools, community halls and civic offices wherein frontline workers like police personnel, essential services providers, people above the age of 50 and those with co-morbidities will be vaccinated. Meanwhile, Maharashtra Cyber Cell has issued an advisory, informing about a warning given by the Interpol in connection to a potential increase in cybercrime scams surrounding the availability of COVID-19 vaccines being approved for use. The state cyber cell also highlighted that organized crime networks could target the vaccine supply chains and create various shady websites selling illegal and/ or fake products.
  • Gujarat: In Gujarat, after a spike in Covid19 cases post Diwali festival, now new cases are slowly decreasing. The new cases of Covid19 recorded during the last 24 hours have fallen below the 1,400 mark. The number of active cases in the state is 14,027.
  • Rajasthan: Rajasthan recorded 17 more fatalities due to Covid on Wednesday, taking the death toll to 2,845, while the infection count rose to 2,85,627 with 1,511 fresh cases. The state has 19,792 active COVID-19 cases.
  • Madhya Pradesh: Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday reported 1,272 fresh coronavirus positive cases, taking the state’s infection count to 2,18,574. With the virus claiming eight more lives in the state, the death toll rose to 3,366. The active case count in the state is 13,221.

 

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