QBullet: PM to Address Nation as Coronavirus Tally Tops 150 & More

Catch all the top headlines of the day.

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QBullet: PM to Address Nation as Coronavirus Tally Tops 150 & More

1. COVID-19: PM Modi to Address Nation Today

India is looking at expanding the pool of random testing samples for COVID-19 to include patients with atypical pneumonia, which presents symptoms slightly different from pneumonia. WHO country representative Dr Henk Bekedam told The Indian Express that India does need to test more, and is already moving in that direction by looking at atypical pneumonia patients.

On Wednesday, the number of positive cases rose to 151. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation on Thursday at 8 pm to talk about steps being taken against the virus. This was announced at a review meeting he chaired on Wednesday evening.

(Source: The Indian Express)


2. Mumbai Prepares to Quarantine 26k Indians Coming From Gulf

File image of a nurse in hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic in India. Image used for representation purposes. 
(Photo: PTI)

As the total number of coronavirus cases in India went up to 171 and Maharashtra, with four more patients testing positive on Wednesday, 18 March, continued to lead the list at 45 (by a wide margin), the Mumbai civic body prepared to welcome around 26,000 Indians expected to land in the city between Thursday and 31 March from COVID-19-hit Gulf nations such as the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman.

The BMC’s estimate of 26,000 comes from arrivals at the city’s airport and information about travellers obtained from the Centre; 23 flights come to Mumbai from these countries every day. According to the Centre’s guidelines, all arrivals from the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman are to be mandatorily quarantined for 14 days starting 18 March.

(Source: The Times of India)

3. India Tally Tops 150, Global Rate Spikes

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Live Updates. 
(Photo: AP)

The number of cases of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in India rose to 151 on Wednesday, 18 March, after 14 fresh cases were reported, including first diagnoses in West Bengal and Puducherry, even as states continued intensifying restrictions on a day the recorded cases of the pandemic crossed 200,000 cases, with at least 8,300 dying globally.

Even as the confirmed cases continued to climb in the country, experts warned that an aggressive and more randomised testing mechanism remained out of the government’s scheme of things, raising fears of possible community transmission taking place silently.

(Source: Hindustan Times)


4. Taken for Coronavirus Test, Youth Back From Sydney Jumps to Death at Hospital

A 25-year-old man allegedly committed suicide by jumping off the seventh floor of New Delhi’s Safdarjung hospital, where he had been brought Wednesday night, 18 March, to be tested for coronavirus. The man, who hailed from Balachaur in Punjab, had arrived from Sydney on an Air India flight, that landed at IGI Airport in the evening.

Additional DCP-I (Southwest) Ingit Pratap said the man was taken to the hospital from the airport. Police received a PCR call at 9:39 pm.

A senior doctor at Safdarjung hospital told The Indian Express, “He complained of headache, breathlessness, and was scared.” His sample has been collected, but is yet to be sent for testing.

(Source: The Indian Express)

5. SC Refuses to Have MP MLAs’ Parade in Court

The continuing political deadlock in MP, where the Kamal Nath government’s majority has been challenged by BJP, may finally end on Thursday, 19 March.

While refusing on Wednesday BJP’s offer to parade 16 rebel Congress MLAs before the Supreme Court judges to counter Congress’s charge that the legislators were coerced to quit the party and held in captivity by BJP in Bengaluru, the court said it would “proceed to dictate the judgment (in the case), once arguments get over on Thursday afternoon”.

(Source: The Times of India)


6. CBSE Boards, JEE Mains Postponed Till 31 March

Image used for representation only.
(Photo: iStock)

The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development, in a directive on Wednesday, said all class 10 and 12 board examinations have been postponed till 31 March in view of the coronavirus epidemic.

The Joint Entrance Examination Mains, which were scheduled to be conducted from 5 April, have also been postponed.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Wednesday night announced that it was postponing all class 10 and 12 board exams which were scheduled to be conducted between 19-31 March. This includes re-examinations, which were to be conducted for students from north-east Delhi, where exams were postponed during the communal riots last month.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

7. CDR Collection: Govt Comes Under Fire for ‘Surveillance’ Bid, Says Fixing Call Drops

The Congress, on Wednesday, slammed the government over media reports claiming that it was carrying out surveillance of citizens in transgression of the Right to Privacy and accused it of seeking to create a surveillance state.
(Photo Courtesy: iStockphoto)

The government came under attack in Lok Sabha Wednesday, 18 March, for seeking call data records of all mobile subscribers across pockets of the country, with the Congress calling it a “matter of great concern” and demanding adjournment of business in the House to discuss the matter.

The Indian Express reported Wednesday that cellphone operators had red-flagged ‘surveillance’ after local units of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) sought call data records of all mobile subscribers across several pockets of the country for specific days over the past few months.

(Source: The Indian Express)


8. City Hospitals Cancel Elective Surgeries

COVID-19 testing: AIIMS doctors point out lack of protective equipment to deal with COVID-19
(Photo: PTI)

All routine or non-emergency surgeries scheduled to take place at Safdarjung hospital and a Delhi government-run Guru Nanak Eye Centre from Thursday, 19 March, onwards have been cancelled in view of the COVID-19 outbreak.

AIIMS, Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) and Lok Nayak hospitals are also contemplating the move but no decision has been taken yet, sources said.

“It has been decided to cancel all elective surgeries in the hospital with immediate effect,” an order by the medical superintendent stated.

(Source: Times of India)

9. Subhash Chandra to Anil Ambani to Naresh Goyal: 5 Skip ED Summons

File Image of RCom Chairman Anil Ambani.
(Photo: Reuters) 

At least five of seven big businessmen summoned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the Yes Bank probe have cited different reasons – personal and professional – for their inability to appear before the agency.

While Anil Ambani of Reliance and Kapil Wadhawan of DHFL skipped the summons on Monday and Tuesday, respectively, Subhash Chandra of Essel Group and Naresh Goyal of Jet Airways failed to appear before the agency on Wednesday. Sameer Gehlot of Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd, summoned for an appearance on Friday, has also written to the ED, expressing his inability to make it, sources said.

Anil Ambani cited “personal reasons” for his inability to appear before the ED on Monday, and has now been called Thursday.

(Source: The Indian Express)

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