PIB’S DAILY BULLETIN ON COVID-19

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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)

India has recorded an unprecedented high of single day recoveries. 87,472 active cases have recovered and been discharged in the past 24 hours from home/facility supervised care and hospitals. India has been consistently reporting a very high level of daily recoveries of more than 70,000 since the past 11 days. The Recovery Rate has further escalated to 78.86% today. The total recovered cases thus stand at 41,12,551. Recovered Cases are 4.04 times the number of Active Cases as recoveries outnumber the latter by 30,94,797. The top 5 States with high Active Caseload are also the ones which are presently reporting a high level of recoveries. 59.8% of the active cases are being reported from Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh. These States are also contributing to 59.3% of the total recoveries. 90% of the new recoveries are reported from 16 States and UTs. Maharashtra (19,522) contributed 22.31% of the new recoveries while the States of Andhra Pradesh (12.24%), Karnataka (8.3%), Tamil Nadu (6.31%) and Chhattisgarh (6.0%) followed with 32.8% of the new recoveries. These States together contribute 55.1% of total new recoveries. Case Fatality Rate (CFR) currently stands at 1.62%.

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On the occasion of second World ‘Patient safety Day’, a webinar was organized by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare & National Health System Resource Centre yesterday,to give impetus to the endeavours directed towards improving the safety of patientsas well as health care worker, since both are closely inter-linked.The COVID-19 pandemic has unveiled huge challenges and risks, which front-line health workers face while caring for the patients. The theme for Patient safety this year is “Health Worker Safety: A Priority for Patient Safety” and the Slogan is “Safe health workers, Safe patients”In his address, the health secretary emphasised different steps, which the Government of India has taken for protection of hospital workers. A few of the such steps are ensuring availability of PPE and Masks, insurance coverage of Rs. 50.0 Lakhs, functional helpline, advisory on chemoprophylaxis, etc. The Health secretary also highlighted the importance of putting a transparent “Reporting and Learning System” in place.

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Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, attended Joint G20 Finance and Health Ministers Meeting through video conference, yesterday.Dr. Harsh Vardhan extolled the virtues of investing in public health, an approach already underway in India under the leadership of Prime Minister Sh. NarendraModi. He said that  there is need to focus on creating effective health systems for improved pandemic preparedness. While all the other action plans are a response to a pandemic, a well-developed healthcare system can support even in containing the pandemic. The minister urgedto ensure that access to COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines is fair and equitable and access to protection should not be a factor of ability to pay.

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Prime Minister dedicates the historic Kosi Rail Mahasetu to the Nation; Inaugurates New Rail Lines and Electrification Projects in Bihar for the benefit of passengers; PM lauds Railways for working tirelessly during COVID times

The Prime Minister Shri NarendraModi dedicated the historic Kosi Rail Mahasetu to the Nation and inaugurated new Rail Lines and Electrification Projects in Bihar for the benefit of passengers through video conference.Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Shri NarendraModi said a new history has been created in the field of rail connectivity in Bihar.The Prime Minister said for the past 6 years, efforts are being made to shape the Indian Railways as per the aspirations of a new India and fulfil the expectations of a ‘AtmaNirbhar Bharat’. He said today Indian Railways is cleaner than ever before. He added Indian Railways have been made safer than ever by eliminating unmanned rail crossings from the broad gauge rail lines.The Prime Minister lauded the railways for working tirelessly during the crisis of Corona. He said Railways played a prominent role in providing employment to migrant labourers and also bringing them back through Shramik Special Trains.

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India has one of the lowest cases per million population. It is 3445 for India as compared to 19295 for USA, 20146 for Brazil, 7283 for Russian Federation and 10929 for South Africa. However, cases per million population for India is high as compared to other countries in South East Asia. The low case fatality in India can be attributed to early case detection through community-based surveillance, containment measures including strict perimeter control, house-to-house case search & follow-up with monitoring of oxygen saturation, early referral to COVID treatment facilities and adequate case management.The Minister of State (Health and Family Welfare), ShAshwini Kumar Choubey stated this in a written reply in the LokSabha here today.

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World Health Organization, Country office, India alerted India on 6th January, 2020 about outbreak of pneumonia of unknown origin in Wuhan city of China. WHO issued a statement on 9th January, 2020 about a novel coronavirus, which was later named as SARS-CoV-2 virus and the disease was named COVID-19 by WHO on 11th February, 2020.The first Indian case of COVID-19 was reported on 30th January 2020. Before the Nationwide lockdown, a series of actions were undertaken in a pro-active, graded and pre-emptive manner based on the evolving scenario.To prevent entry of disease, India started point of entry screening of passengers at ports, airports and land border crossings on 18th January, 2020 to identify symptomatic travelers from affected countries. Subsequently universal screening was done for all passengers. Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme followed up these international travelers in the community and contacts of suspects and confirmed cases.The Minister of State (Health and Family Welfare), ShAshwini Kumar Choubey stated this in a written reply in the LokSabhatoday.

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Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has decided to depute a high level Central team to Jammu. The district has reported a rise in the number of new COVID cases in the recent days.The team will support the State efforts towards strengthening containment, surveillance, testing and efficient clinical management of the positive cases. The Central team shall also guide in effectively managing the challenges related to timely diagnosis and follow up.As an ongoing effort to strengthen efforts of various State/UT Governments for COVID management, the Central Government has been deputing Central teams from time to time to visit various States/UTs.

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Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has informed that the requirements and guidelines to conduct clinical trial or grant of permission for marketing of new drugs including vaccines are prescribed under New Drugs and Clinical Trials Rules, 2019. CDSCO has informed that it has not received any report regarding such deviation from the standard procedures in research and development of vaccine for Coronavirus. Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has informed that it has granted test license permission for manufacture of COVID-19 Vaccine for preclinical test, examination and analysis to seven manufacturers in India. Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), an autonomous organisation under the Department of Health Research, has informed that it is facilitating the studies related to COVID-19 vaccines. The Minister of State (Health and Family Welfare), ShAshwini Kumar Choubey stated this in a written reply in the LokSabha here today.

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FiveNational COVID-19 Bio-repositories have been established by the Department of Biotechnology. This is a part of the Network of 16 COVID-19 biorepositories established in the country by Department of Biotechnology, Indian Council of Medical Research and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. Nationally, nearly 30 Covid vaccine candidates are under development, by both industry and academia. These vaccines are in different stages of pre-clinical and clinical development of which 3 candidates are in advanced stage of Phase I/II/III trials and 4 are in advanced pre-clinical development stage. Support is also being extended for development of vaccine associated research resources, establishment of clinical trial sites and notifying enabling regulatory guidelines.This information was given by the Union Minister of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences and Health and Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhanin a written reply in LokSabha today.

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Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship through National Skill Development Corporation is imparting on-line skilling through ‘e-SkillIndia’ platform in the midst of COVID-19 lockdown. Further, Ministry of Home Affairs has permitted the conduct of skill training programmes in physical form from September 21, 2020 onwards. Accordingly, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) has been issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for restarting the training.Under PMKVY, as on 17.03.2020, 42.02 lakh and 33.66 lakh candidates have been trained and certified, respectively, under Short Term Training courses. Out of these certified candidates, 17.54 lakh candidates have been provided with placement. Also, 49.12 lakh candidates who already have the informal skills but are not formally certified have been oriented under Recognition of Prior Learning component of the scheme.This information was given by the Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Shri R.K. Singh in a written reply in the RajyaSabha today.

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Since March 2020, during COVID-19 pandemic, regular meetings were held with the Export Promotion Councils (EPCs), Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Industry bodies and Associations to discuss issues and problems faced by the exporters and ways to promote exports during the pandemic. The issues raised by them were taken up with the concerned Ministries/Departments for an early redressal. Government has taken a few key steps to boost exports: The validity of Foreign Trade Policy (2015-20) extended by one year i.e. upto 31-3-2021 and relaxations granted and time lines extended due to COVID-19, Extension of export obligation period in respect of Advance Authorizations and Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) authorizations under Foreign Trade Policy (FTP), extension of Letter of Permissions (LoP) / Letter of Intents (LoI) of Export Oriented Units, various relaxations to SEZ units as a measure to make them functional and to ease compliances and simplification and liberalization of procedures of trade remedial investigations, Interest Equalization Scheme on pre and post shipment rupee export credit has been extended by one year i.e. upto 31-3-2021. Line Ministries have notified various sectoral incentive packages, such as Production Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI) by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and PLI Scheme by Department of Pharma for Key Starting Materials/ Drug Intermediates and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) etc. This information was given by the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Shri PiyushGoyal, in a written reply in the RajyaSabha today.

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Various restrictions were imposed to ensure social-distancing during lockdown under guidelines released by Ministry of Home Affairs, from time to time. During this period delivery of essential goods, including food, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment were encouraged through e-commerce. Since, the pandemic is still ongoing, it is too early to make an assessment of the impact of the pandemic on the e-commerce sector. E-commerce operators are liable to be registered irrespective of the value of supply made by them. The benefit of threshold exemption is not available to e-commerce operators. On specific categories of services the GST is payable by the electronic commerce operator if such services are supplied through them. The e-commerce operators are also required to collect Tax Collection at Source at the rate of one per cent of the net value of taxable supplies made through them, where the consideration w.r.t such supplies is to be collected by such operators. Under GST Act, every registered person shall self-assess the taxes payable and furnish a return for each tax period as specified. Therefore, e-commerce operators are liable to pay GST like any other supplier of goods or services. This information was given by the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Shri PiyushGoyal, in a written reply in the RajyaSabha today.

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601 coaches have been converted into Covid Care Centers by Indian Railways (IR) in the months of March, April, May and June of 2020 to combat Corona virus pandemic. These special train coaches are to be used by the State Governments only after they have exhausted their own medical facilities. As on date, 813 coaches have been provided by IR, as requisitioned by the State Governments (De1hi-503, Uttar Pradesh-270 and Bihar-40).For conversion of these coaches into Covid Care Coaches, minor modifications like removal of middle berth and conversion of one toilet into shower room was carried out with provision of medical facilities and other items.This information was given by the Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, Shri PiyushGoyal in a written reply to the RajyaSabha today.

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Keeping in view the urgent requirement of movement of stranded persons Shramik specials were organized in a mission mode. These Shramik specials were organized as trains on demand, as and when State Governments requisitioned these trains, in accordance with the protocol and guidelines given by the Government. In all, 4621 Shramik Special have been operated between 1st May, 2020 to 31st August, 2020 carrying 63.19 lakh stranded passengers to their home states. There is no pending demand for Sharmik specials w.e.f 31.08.2020. This information was given by the Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, Shri PiyushGoyal in a written reply to the RajyaSabha today.

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From zero manufacturers in March 2020, 1100 indigenous manufacturers of PPE kits have been developed by the Government till date, most of them being from MSME sector. The capacity and production of PPE Coveralls for COVID-19 touched a peak of 5 lakh per day in mid May 2020. As on 13.9.2020, a total of 1.42 crore PPE kits have been supplied to M/s HLL Lifecare Ltd. – the procurement arm of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare for use of health professionals in government hospitals.This information was given in a written reply by the Union Minister of Textiles, Smt. SmritiZubinIrani in LokSabha today.

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The global pandemic of Covid-19 has affected the existing modus operandi of various textile sectors by posting restriction of social gathering, migration of laborers as well as affecting all the stakeholders right from farmers to traders/exporters in the value chain of textile sector and at the same time it has opened new window of opportunities which were previously less explored. The government has conducted a study viz. ‘Impact of Covid-19 pandemic on Indian silk industry’ to ascertain the crisis caused to the sector. It has been observed that there was a production decline and monetary loss at every stage of the value chain. The industry has faced various problems like loss in production, crash in cocoon and raw silk prices, transportation problem, non-availability of skilled workers, problems in selling raw silk and silk products, working capital and cash flow problems, non-availability of raw materials, reduction in demand for silk fabric, cancellation of export/import orders besides export and import restrictions. Since, textile sector being highly unorganized sector therefore, the government has not made any formal assessment with regard to the losses incurred by the sector.To withstand in COVID 19 pandemic, the Government of India has announced a special economic package viz. AatmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan for boosting economy of the country and making India self-reliant. Relief and credit support measures have been announced for various sectors including MSMEs.This information was given in a written reply by the Union Minister of Textiles, Smt. SmritiZubinIrani in LokSabha today.

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The Government has been regularly reviewing the situation in consultation with States/UTs. In order to improve the nutritional status of Women and Children, Ministry of Women and Child Development is implementing Supplementary Nutrition Programme under Anganwadi Services and Scheme for Adolescent Girls under the Umbrella Integrated Child Development Services Scheme to children (6 months to 6 years), Pregnant Women, Lactating Mothers and out-of-school Adolescent Girls (11-14 years).As per the directions issued by Ministry of Home Affairs, all the Anganwadi Centres across the country were closed to limit the impact of COVID-19. However, to ensure continuous nutritional support to Anganwadibeneficiaries, Anganwadi Workers and Helpers have been distributing supplementary Nutrition at the doorsteps of the beneficiaries. Further, WCD Ministry has issued necessary directions to the States/UTs to ensure distribution of food items and nutrition support by Anganwadi workers, once in 15 days, at the doorstep of beneficiaries. In addition, Anganwadi Workers and Anganwadi Helpers have been assisting the local administration in community surveillance, creating awareness or other works assigned to them from time to time.This information was given in a written reply by the Union Minister of Women and Child DevelopmentSmt. SmritiZubinIrani in LokSabha today.

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BRICS countries continue to cooperate in Telecom/ ICT activities on International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Forum”: Sanjay Dhotre

Shri Sanjay Dhotre, Minister of State for Communications, Electronics & Information Technology and Education, participated in the meeting on behalf of India during the sixth BRICS Communication Ministers Meeting held on 17th September 2020 in virtual format. In the meeting a broad consensus was built to continue cooperation among BRICS Countries on important areas such as, the role of Information and Communication Technologies in the fight against COVID-19, building trust and security in the use of ICTs, children online protection, granting the access and connectivity of people living in rural areas, as well as groups of persons with disabilities and the role of the digital economy in achieving Sustainable Development Goals.Shri Sanjay Dhotre highlighted various initiatives takem by Indian Government for Covid Management, such as, AarogyaSetu App, Covid Quarantine Alert System (CQAS), CovidSavdhan, ICT solutions to facilitate movement of migrant workers back to their homes, In-house development of affordable Video Conferencing Solutions to facilitate work from home and learn from home.

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