COVID-19 updates (Updated daily): PM to address nation at 10 am tomorrow | Rapid testing kits from China delayed


March 27, 2020 | Number of cases: 724 | Number of deaths: 17

The cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba has called for states to track 15 lakh international travellers who arrived in the country between the start of the outbreak and the ban on international flights into the country which came into effect on March 22. The official wrote to the states and union territories noting that there has been a gap in monitoring based on the total number of travellers who arrived in the country and those who are being monitored for COVID-19. Such gaps could jeopardise efforts to contain the spread of the virus as many individuals among those who tested positive had a history of travel to affected nations.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has asked state governments to make necessary arrangements for stay and food for migrant workers in order to prevent mass movement of the workers during the lockdown. Reports have come from across the country of the hardships faced by stranded migrant workers in the face of the lockdown. The workers have lost jobs and without their daily wages have been unable to secure food or stay. Many of them have taken to walking hundreds of kilometres to reach their hometowns.

Binita Parikh writes from Ahmedabad:

Municipal Corporation tries innovative measures: The state government has announced “Vadil Vandana” scheme for needy, elderly people who will be supplied food without any cost in the seven main cities of the state including Ahmedabad,  Vadodara and Rajkot. A mobile number in each city had been set up and a nodal officer allocated, who will be responsible to ensure that those elderly people who call for help will get food and other people essentials delivered at home.

The Ahmedabad Municipal commission is also taking steps to ensure that the homeless and daily wage workers don’t suffer in the lockdown. It has put e-rickshaws into service for delivery of fruits and vegetables, and designated drivers for each ward of the city. The mobile numbers of these e-rickshaws have been distributed to citizens. Talks are on with retailers like BigBazar, Reliance Mart and Grofers to ensure home delivery of essentials.

Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has pressed e-rickshaws in service for delivery of fruits and vegetables.

A fixed time-table has been announced by the AMC with  morning 6.30 am to 9.30 am and evening 7 pm to 9 pm open for milk vendors, morning 9 am to 12 noon and evening 4 pm to 6 pm for grocery vendors, 8 to 10 am and 4 to 6 pm for retail fruits and vegetable vendors and morning 6 to 8 for wholesellers of fruits and vegetables.

Moreover, a Joint Enforcement team of Ahmedabad city police and AMC has been set up to oversee distribution of food packets, drinking water and milk powder to the needy. AMC has also roped in NGOs, religious institutions, hotels and restaurants, and clubs like Rajpath and Karnavati clubs to make and distribute food packets. The AMC has appealed to citizens to help it in this task and will be ensuring that these volunteers distribute food packets with adequate precautions
As of now, these teams are distributing 6300 food packets daily to the homeless and those in home quarantine. The state government has also monthly ration in advance to the BPL and ABP ration card holders.

Helpline: Vadil Vandana numbers

Ahmedabad: Prashant Pandya: 9724345560

Gandhinagar:Amit Singhai: 9909954709

Vadodra: Krishna Solanki: 962485427,0265-2459502

Rajkot: Chetan Ganatra: 9909992767, 0281-2476874

Jamnagar:A.K. Vastani: 9879638426, 0288-2553417

Bhavnagar: D.M.Gohil:9879638426, 0278-2424814/15

Junaghad: Hitesh Vamja: 9898146865

The Reserve Bank of India provided relief to borrowers with a three month moratorium on loan repayment. This move allows citizens to not pay EMI for three months on their loans. The demand for such relief had come from all quarters as many individuals faced job losses, pay cuts and closure of businesses. The move will apply for borrowings from banks, non-bank financial corporations and microfinance companies. The suspension of EMI will not affect the credit history of the borrowers. 

Odisha announced the setting up of two dedicated hospitals for COVID-19.The hospitals will have 500 beds each and are being set up as a public private partnership with Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital. The state has so far reported three positive cases, but is readying the infrastructure for when the situation could get worse. The hospitals are funded through the CSR funds of the Orissa Mining Corporation and Mahanadi Coal Limited.

Last updated, March 27th, 6:30 pm

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The News Desk at Citizen Matters puts out Press Releases, notifications and curated information useful to the urban reader.