No community transmission of coronavirus, says Centre

  • As India braced for a nationwide 14 ­hour lockdown on Sunday to break the spread of the novel coronavirus, and several State governments announced new, stringent measures to enforce social distancing, the Centre said there was no evidence of community transmission yet in the country.
  • Modi has called for people to stay at home from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday, observing a ‘Janata Curfew’. Essential services will not be disrupted during the lockdown.


ICMR revises testing norms

  • The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) revised its testing strategy, saying all hospitalised patients with Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (fever and cough and/or shortness of breath) will be tested for COVID­-19. Asymptomatic direct and high­ risk contacts of a confirmed case should be tested once between day 5 and day 14 of coming in his/her contact.


Centre likely to postpone Census and NPR exercise

  • The Union government looks all set to postpone the house­listing Census and updating of the National Population Register (NPR), which was scheduled to kick off in certain States on April 1, owing to the COVID­19 pandemic.
  • Census ­NPR operations be deferred by “at least one month” and the rescheduling of this exercise may be “reviewed in the last week of the deferment”.


Ayush Wellness Centre to come under NAM

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the inclusion of the AYUSH Health and Wellness Centre (AYUSH HWC) component of Ayushman Bharat in the National AYUSH Mission (NAM).
  • The move is aimed at establishing a holistic wellness model based on AYUSH principles and practices focusing on preventive, promotive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative healthcare by integration with the existing public health care system.
  • The National Health Policy 2017 has advocated mainstreaming the potential of AYUSH systems (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa­rigpa and Homoeopathy) within a pluralistic system of Integrative healthcare.


Centre releases local body grants to States

  • The Centre has released ₹2,570 crore in the 14th Finance Commission grants that had been withheld
    from the States for not conducting elections to the local bodies, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said.
  • Due to #COVID2019, the local bodies have to especially focus on providing basic civic services and ensure cleanliness,” said a tweet by Ms. Sitharaman.


Govt. approval for bulk drug parks

  • The Union Cabinet has approved a scheme for promotion of bulk drug parks with a financial assistance of
    ₹3,000 crore for the next five years.
  • The bulk drugs parks scheme is expected to reduce the manufacturing cost of bulk drugs in the country. It will also bring down the dependency on other countries for such drugs.


Free ration, double pension in Delhi

  • Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturay announced several measures, including doubling pension under various categories, in a bid to alleviate the financial stress on economically backward citizens of the Capital amid a surge in COVID­-19 cases.
  • Delhi Government has decided to provide 7.5 kg free ration to 72 lakh beneficiaries of our ration scheme for one month.
  • The Delhi government, he said, has also decided to double the pension under the widow pension scheme for 2.5 lakh beneficiaries, old age pension scheme for 5 lakh beneficiaries, and disability pension scheme for 1 lakh beneficiaries.