Speed of virus infections slows, doubling time rises in 18 States

  • Eighteen States and Union Territories have “shown improvement” in containing the spread of the COVID­19 pandemic, with Odisha and Kerala leading the pile.
  • These were States with a ‘doubling time’ (an indicator of how quickly cases increase) of more than 8.5 days which is higher that the national average of 7.5 days.
  • Kerala leads the list with a doubling rate of 72 days, followed at a considerable distance by Odisha at 39.8 days.


As Centre frowns, Kerala steps back on easing curbs

  • In a letter to Kerala Chief Secretary Tom Jose, on Sunday, the Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla had said the State government had “diluted” the national timetable for the lifting of curfew sanctions and had “violated” Central government orders and provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
  • The Centre had taken exception to Kerala’s decision to allow salons, dine­-in facility at restaurants, workshops and book stores in districts categorised as relatively low ­risk Green and Orange (B) zones.


China says Indian trade curbs are against WTO principles

  • India’s recent policy to curb opportunistic takeovers of domestic companies goes against the World Trade Organisation (WTO) principles, the spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy here said on Monday.
  • The first response from the Chinese side after the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in an April 17 decision imposed restrictions saying companies from countries that share borders with India can invest “only under the government route”.
  • More importantly, they do not conform to the consensus of the G20 leaders and Trade Ministers to realise a free, fair, non­-discriminatory, transparent, predictable and stable trade and investment environment, and to keep our markets open.
  • Chinese investments in various sectors of the Indian economy. He said China’s overall investment as of December 2019 was above $ 8 billion and it had driven key sectors like telecom, infrastructure, automobile and household goods in India.
  • It was understood that the Indian decision was a response to the news of an incremental purchase of
    shares in HDFC by the People’s Bank of China.


Aarogya Setu app must for labourers, says CPWD

  • Central government organisations involved in construction, including various metro rail corporations, were instructed by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) to ensure that “all labour personnel/staff” returning to work from Monday have downloaded the government’s COVID­19 tracking app — Aarogya Setu.
  • The Ministry issued an order allowing stranded migrant workers to return to their workplaces within the State they are located in, provided they are asymptomatic.