India sets to enter into Lockdown stage 2; USA’s strong tactics of procuring medical material condemned | The Background

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India sets to enter into Lockdown stage 2; USA’s strong tactics of procuring medical material condemned

The Background:

India has so far reported 9644 COVID-19 cases and 337 deaths. Globally, the death toll has reached 118,459 with the total number of cases standing at 1,904,566.

In India, the 21-day nationwide lockdown ends on April 14 and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to talk about its possible extension. He will address the nation tomorrow at 10 a.m. The Prime Minister office tweeted, “Prime Minister @narendramodi will address the nation at 10 AM on 14th April 2020.”

Last month, the Prime Minister had addressed the nation twice- on March 19 and March 24.  He had also announced a ‘janata curfew’ on March 22. On March 24, he had announced the 21-day nationwide lockdown to check the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus.

Amid concerns that States need more funds to combat the spread of the coronavirus, the Union government is exploring the possibility of raising a loan to pay the shortfall in the Good and Services Tax (GST) compensation amount due to the States.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Monday evening announced an extension of the COVID-19 lockdown till April 30.

In an bid to arrest the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases in Mumbai’s densely populated slums, the civic body plans to distribute the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) as a prophylaxis for the community. The first of its kind pilot project will be implemented in Dharavi and Worli Koliwada this week.

The CPIM Polit Bureau has strongly condemned USA’s strong arm methods to get Hydroxychloroquine on the ground that it was on humanitarian grounds. The statement also said, “It has now come to light, that there is a delay in receiving the rapid test kits for the corona virus ordered from China since the consignment meant for India was diverted to the US.”

It is reported that a Chinese batch of 4 rapid test kits (RTK) was due to arrive in Tamil Nadu on Saturday to help the state’s corona virus testing process. But this cargo was diverted to the United States.

Also, Germany and Canada are among countries that are accusing the United States of virtually hijacking medical material. In what appeared to be an unprecedented heist, the White House reportedly authorized a “diversion” to US from Bangkok airport of a flight carrying 200,000 N95 face masks bound for Germany, causing Berlin to go apoplectic and accuse Washington of “modern piracy”.

Meanwhile, Chinese authorities on Monday urged efforts to send medical experts and resources from inland areas to border regions to help fight novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Xinhua reports.  The instruction was given at a meeting of the leading group of China’s COVID-19 epidemic response, which was chaired by Premier Li Keqiang, who is also a member of the Standing Committee of the Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) . The meeting called for continuously improving the measures to prevent imported COVID-19 cases, stressing identifying and eliminating the potential risks of an epidemic rebound to create the necessary conditions for work resumption.

There is a sudden spurt of infected people in China once again. Testing kits and facilities, and diagnosis and treatment equipment are to be sent to border regions and port cities, the meeting decided.





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