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Morning Digest: Centre promises India-made RT-PCR testing kits by May-end; Hillary Clinton endorses Joe Biden's Presidential bid and more

A man dressed as Yamraj gestures during an awareness event about social distancing and staying at home organised by Delhi Police in New Delhi on April 28, 2020.

A man dressed as Yamraj gestures during an awareness event about social distancing and staying at home organised by Delhi Police in New Delhi on April 28, 2020.   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

A select list of stories to read before you start your day

Coronavirus | Health Minister promises India-made RT-PCR testing kits by May-end

The Health Minister has said that India will be able to produce RT-PCR and antibody test kits by May-end.

“All processes are in an advanced stage and production will start after getting approval from ICMR. It will help us in meeting our target of 1 lakh tests per day by May 31. We have issued directions to expedite the development of anti-body detection kits, real-time PCR-based detection kits and vaccines for COVID-19 under ‘Make in India’,” Mr. Vardhan said.

Hillary Clinton endorses Joe Biden's White House bid

Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton endorsed Joe Biden's White House bid on Tuesday.

“I want to add my voice to the many who have endorsed you to be our president,” Ms. Clinton said during a live video conference with the former vice president.

Coronavirus lockdown | Explain Home Ministry order on full wages, Supreme Court tells government

The Supreme Court has given the Centre two weeks to explain a Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) order, issued on March 29, directing employers to pay full wages to their workers during the lockdown.

Data | From 129 to 430 districts in a month: how coronavirus cases are spreading thick and fast

As of April 28, as many as 430 districts in India have recorded at least one COVID-19 case, 301 more than the March 28 figure, indicating a wide and rapid spread.

The spread of the newly affected districts was unevenly distributed among States. Some States such as Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu saw a higher degree of spread with 41 and 26 new districts respectively recording their first case in this one-month period.

Coronavirus | NDRF gears up for floods during pandemic

With monsoon around the corner, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is preparing to face the twin challenge of coronavirus (COVID-19) and floods in different parts of the country. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast a normal monsoon, which is expected to hit Kerala on June 1.

Government starts planning for Haridwar Kumbh Mela

Crowds, or even the prospect of one, may be anathema everywhere, but the government has begun planning for the Maha Kumbh Mela in Haridwar, Uttarakhand, in January 2021.

Coronavirus | Tamil Nadu’s COVID-19 tally touches 2,058 with 25 deaths

With 103 fresh cases, Chennai’s tally of COVID-19 cases soared to 673. In fact, the State’s overall tally crossed the 2,000-mark on Tuesday. Tamil Nadu reported its first COVID-19 case on March 7. The total number of cases crossed the 1,000-mark on April 12. The count has doubled in 16 days, reaching 2,058*. There are 902 active cases — persons undergoing treatment in hospitals.

No improvement in Ganga water quality during lockdown

The lockdown in the wake of coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak may have dramatically reduced air pollution across the country but it hasn’t significantly reduced pollution in the Ganga, according to a report by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

Coronavirus | Massive evacuation planned from Gulf

The Union government is drawing up a major evacuation plan involving the Navy, the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Air India to bring back Indians stranded in West Asia following the nationwide lockdown and travel restrictions due to COVID-19, multiple defence sources said.

U.S. coronavirus death toll surpasses American deaths from the Vietnam War

The number of daily deaths from the novel coronavirus rose again in the U.S. Tuesday, a tally from Johns Hopkins University showed, as the country's total fatalities surpassed those of Americans in the Vietnam War.

U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom downgrades India in 2020 list

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has downgraded India to the lowest ranking, “countries of particular concern” (CPC) in its 2020 report. The report, released in Washington by the federal government commission that functions as an advisory body, placed India alongside countries, including China, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. India was categorised as a “Tier 2 country” in last year’s listing. This is the first time since 2004 that India has been placed in this category.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 6:18:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/morning-digest-april-29-2020/article31457891.ece

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