In the third tranche of a financial package, the government unveiled on Friday a mix of financial, legislative and reform measures primarily focused on the farm sector. The Rs 1.63-lakh-crore package attempts to free up agriculture markets and improve farm incomes. Meanwhile, coronavirus disease cases in India surpassed China’s tally, but experts pointed out that the infection has so far proved to be deadlier in the neighbouring country.
Sops, reforms for farmers in third tranche of govt aid
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s announcements on Friday aimed largely at increasing the pricing power of farmers – or share of profits in farm incomes –did not contain any direct cash transfer programme for farmers, or money in hand, but is a mix of new allocations and top-up to existing agriculturally critical schemes, some of them announced in Budget 2020-21 in February.
India goes past China in Covid cases but with lower rate of fatalities
The number of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in India on Friday crossed the total count of infections in China. The Covid-19 cases in the country rose to 85,709 on Friday, according to HT’s dashboard, with 2,680 people having died so far of the respiratory illness. China has so far reported 82,933 Covid-19 cases, 4,633 of whom have died of the disease.
How can we stop migrants from walking, asks SC as it nixes plea
The Supreme Court on Friday declined to entertain an application that sought a direction to the Union government to identify stranded migrant workers, take care of their needs, and provide free transport to them, with one of the judges on the bench remarking, “How can we stop them from walking.”
30 areas reporting most cases: Centre
Thirty municipal areas account for 79% of India’s coronavirus disease (Covid-19) caseload, but the country has done better than others in terms of reducing the fatality rate, the government said on Friday.
SC defers summer vacation till Jun 19 to make up for time lost
The Supreme Court on Friday deferred its summer vacation till June 19 to make up for the loss of working hours due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) lockdown, which has forced it to hold hearings of important cases via videoconferencing since March 23.
States look to ease curbs, restart interstate travel in lockdown 4.0
Several states on Friday submitted their proposals for Covid-19 lockdown 4.0, asking the Centre to allow interstate travel, easier movement in non-containment zones and sectors like tourism and hospitality to restart work to revive the economy, multiple officials said.
Need to wait on resuming air travel: Niti Aayog member
India needs to wait for flights to resume because the air that circulates inside the plane’s pressurised cabin may be conducive to the spread of the coronavirus disease, Dr Vinod Paul, a Niti Aayog member who is head of the government’s team to combat Covid-19, said on Friday.
World Bank gives $1 billion to India to aid social safety
The World Bank on Friday announced a US$1-billion “Accelerating India’s COVID-19 Social Protection Response Programme”, aimed at integrating India’s 400-plus fragmented social-security programmes for migrant workers hit by the outbreak, part of an initiative that seeks to rebalance access to safety nets between rural and urban India.
Humans can pass infection to animals, shows research
Two dogs who were reported to have contracted the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) recently likely got the infection from their owners, according to a new research paper that analysed cases in animals in Hong Kong. “An analysis of viral genetic sequences from the dogs showed them to be identical to those in the infected people,” an article on the findings said.
TN veggie market cluster pushes state tally past 10k
As Tamil Nadu crossed 10,000 cases on Friday — the first case, a 45-year-old man with a travel history to Oman, was detected in early March — a wholesale market of fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers in Chennai became the latest warzone for the administration battling the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The office is dead; long live the office
Work from home (WFH) is the new mantra — partly because it is safe and convenient, the most important things right now; and partly because it could mean lower real estate costs for companies struggling to cope with what the pandemic and the lockdown have done to their business.
China firmly denies covering up outbreak, delaying action
China said it did not know until January 19 how infectious the coronavirus is, pushing back against accusations that it intentionally withheld information about the severity of the outbreak in Wuhan from the world.
Wuhan starts ambitious drive to test its millions
Some eight million residents of Wuhan, the Chinese city where the coronavirus first emerged late last year, are undergoing the world’s largest mass testing for Covid-19. The campaign to test millions is being closely watched by countries all over the world because of its scale and feasibility.
‘If there are no crowds, will I be waving the flag alone?’
Sudhir Kumar Gautam is Indian’s most recognisable cricket fan. Now he is under quarantine at home, and the subject of attention he does not care for. He believes he will be inside the stadium when Team India play their first post-pandemic match, and his conch will announce the return of cricket. But he has a different worry. What is it?