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Restore relief clause: Kerala CM to PM

CM Vijayan termed the order a 'welcome step'
“The ministry has deleted the beneficial provisions. By deleting these clauses, the spirit behind relief/assistance intended by the State Disaster Response Fund is defeated,” Vijayan said in a letter sent on Saturday night.
“The ministry has deleted the beneficial provisions. By deleting these clauses, the spirit behind relief/assistance intended by the State Disaster Response Fund is defeated,” Vijayan said in a letter sent on Saturday night.
(Telegraph file picture)

PTI   |   Thiruvananthapuram   |   Published 15.03.20, 09:14 PM

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has sought the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to restore the beneficial clauses in the State Disaster Respond Fund (SDRF) for providing relief to coronavirus patients.

On Saturday, the Union home ministry had issued an order permitting the use of the SDRF for “responding appropriately” to the virus but later made some modifications to it.

According to the initial order, the fund could have been used to provide compensation in case of any death related to the virus as well as for treatment of patients.

Terming the order a “welcome step”, chief minister Vijayan pointed out that a “partial modification” of the order on the same day took away the beneficial provisions.

“The ministry has deleted the beneficial provisions. By deleting these clauses, the spirit behind relief/assistance intended by the State Disaster Response Fund is defeated,” Vijayan said in a letter sent on Saturday night.

The order would have equipped the state government to give Rs 4 lakh in case of any coronavirus-related death and provide permission to use the SDRF for the treatment of the virus-positive cases.

Vijayan urged the Prime Minister to restore the beneficial clauses. “The deleted two clauses being those that directly benefited and provided relief to the covid-19 affected families need to be restored. I request you to reconsider the partial modification and restore the earlier one in its entirety,” Vijayan said.

Indians from Iran

Two Air India flights carrying over 230 Indians from coronavirus-hit Iran landed in Jaisalmer on Sunday morning. The passengers have been quarantined at the Indian Army Wellness Centre at Jaisalmer.

External affairs minister S. Jaishankar said 234 Indians had been evacuated from Iran. Defence spokesperson Col Sombit Ghosh said: “236 persons have landed in Jaisalmer by two Air India flights this morning.”

Jaishankar said the batch was made up of 131 students and 103 pilgrims. “234 Indians stranded in Iran have arrived in India; including 131 students and 103 pilgrims. Thank you Ambassador Dhamu Gaddam and India_in_Iran team for your efforts. Thank Iranian authorities,” Jaishankar tweeted.

The Indian Army Wellness Centre at Jaisalmer is fully equipped and a functional facility to help Indian citizens undertake the mandatory quarantine period under the supervision of skilled medical authorities, Col Ghosh said. Soldiers have volunteered to provide care and support to the countrymen returning from overseas, he said. 

Civic polls deferred

Elections to rural and urban local bodies in Andhra Pradesh were on Sunday put off for six weeks by the State Election Commission in view of the spread of the coronavirus.

The nomination process had already been completed.

The commission decided to exercise its plenary powers under Articles 243K and 243ZA of the Constitution to put on hold the election process for a period of six weeks or till the threat of covid-19 is arrested or declined and normalcy restored, state election commissioner N. Ramesh Kumar said. 

Shooting on hold

Film outfits in India, including the Federation of Western

Indian Cine Employees (FWICE) and Indian Film & Television Directors’ Association (IFTDA), have decided to put on hold shootings of films, TV shows and web series from March 19 to March 31.

The meeting at which the decision was taken was also attended by the representatives of the Indian Motion Pictures Producers’ Association (IMPPA), the Western India Film Producers’ Association (WIFPA) and the Indian Film and TV Producers Council (IFTPC).

“All shootings will stop till March 31. After that, we will take a call,” Ashoke Pandit, president of the IFTDA, said in Mumbai. “We have given a gap till Thursday so that people get ready accordingly, pack up and return from outstation. Our TV industry is an important one and even they will get time to organise things,” he added. 

Identity stick

A medical superintendent of a hospital was placed under suspension for disclosing the identity of a suspected coronavirus patient in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said on Sunday.

The identity of a person with travel history to Saudi Arabia and suffering from fever and cold was revealed. Privacy features in the charter of patients’ rights, issued by the Union ministry of health and family welfare. 

Gujarat closure

The Gujarat government on Sunday ordered the closure of educational institutions, cinema halls and swimming pools for two weeks starting Monday as part of preventive measures against the novel coronavirus threat, an official said in Ahmedabad. The state has not reported any positive case of coronavirus till now.

March case

Five people were booked in Satara in Maharashtra for violating social-distancing rules by organising a religious event on March 13 in which over 5,000 people participated, police said on Sunday.

The five are members of the Bavdhan Yatra Sanyojan Samiti that organises the Bavdhan Yatra in Wai in Satara, some 230km from Mumbai.

A case was also registered in Shirdi in Ahmednagar district against some people for organising a ‘parikrama’ by flouting social distancing orders in place to stop the novel coronavirus outbreak, an official said. 



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