- Covid Times:The number of COVID-19 cases in India rose to 30,317 on Tuesday evening, while the total death toll so far is 965. Health Ministry has said that plasma therapy is still in an experimental stage and there is no evidence it works.
India’s doubling rate of cases has been 8.7 days over the last 14-day period, and cases have doubled at the rate of 10.9 days in the past three days. India will be able to produce RT-PCR and antibody test kits by May-end. All processes are at an advanced stage. Production will start after getting approval from ICMR. It will help us in meeting our target of 1 lakh tests per day by May 31. We have issued directions to expedite the development of antibody detection kits, real-time PCR-based detection kits, and vaccines for COVID-19 under ‘Make in India’said Health Minister Dr. Harshvardhan.
- HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank had a meeting with State education ministers and instructed them to initiate the evaluation of Board exam answer sheets without waiting for the lockdown to be lifted. The HRD Minister said the mid-day meal scheme in government schools would be extended over the summer holidays.
- Meanwhile, the NITI Ayog office was sealed after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. Also, in Mumbai, all police constables aged 55 and above have been sent on compulsory leave. Officials said this policy is being followed because the three police personnel who have died of COVID-19 so far were all over the age of 50, which is regarded as a vulnerable group.
- Surat saw another protest by hundreds of migrant workers demanding that they be allowed to return to their native States. This is the third such protest in less than a month. Today’s incident occurred at Surat’s under-construction Diamond Bourse, where migrants damaged several vehicles and threw stones, damaging glass windows at the construction site.In a similar incident in Dindoli area of Surat, hundreds of migrant labourers protested on the railway tracks, demanding that they be allowed to go to their villages in their States. Stones were thrown at policemen who tried to push the protesters back indoors.
- The Kerala High Court on Tuesday stayed for two months the State government order deferring the payment of six days salary of its employees and staff of other government institutions every month, from April to August. Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas, while issuing the stay order, observed that the law authorising the government to issue such an order was found wanting. Besides, he also noted that there was some ambiguity regarding the manner in which the amount was proposed to be set apart and utilised.
- Nokia and Bharti Airtel has announced a $1 billion multi-year agreement to deploy Nokia’s SRAN solution across nine circles in India. This will help Airtel enhance the capacity of its networks, in particular 4G, and improve customer experience. A joint statement by the companies said that the Nokia-supplied networks, with their low latency and faster speeds, would give Airtel the best possible platform when the 5G networks are launched across the country.