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“Covid 19”: death toll reaches 18 across India; Maharashtra to release 11,000 prisoners on parole

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By Raju Vernekar
Mumbai, March 27

With a steep increase in “Covid 19” patients across India, the number of confirmed cases has crossed 640 and death toll reached up to 18 on Friday, whereas 66 patients were cured till now.
The death toll is : Maharashtra 4, Gujarat 3, Karnataka 2, Madhya Pradesh 2, Bihar 1, Delhi 1, Himachal Pradesh 1, J & K 1, Punjab 1, Tamil Nadu 1, West Bengal 1. The new death figures include the death of a 35 year old man in Madhya Pradesh and the death of a 65 year old man at Sopor (J & K) on Friday.
Maharashtra and Kerala remain the top two worst coronavirus-hit states in the country. The break up of confirmed cases is :Maharashtra (125), Kerala (118),Karnataka (55), Telangana (45), Gujarat (43), Rajasthan(41), Uttar Pradesh (41), Delhi (36), Haryana(30) and Punjab (33), Tamil Nadu (29) and Madhya Pradesh (20) J & K (13), Andhra Pradesh (12), West Bengal (10), Chandigarh (7), Chhatisgarh (6), Bihar (6), Uttarakhand (4), Goa(3), Himachal Pradesh (3), Odisha(2), Andaman(1), Manipur(1),Mizoram(1)and Pondicherry(1). 
Following government guidelines on imposing a 21-day country-wide lockdown, the  Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has extended the suspension of international flights to and from India to 14 April.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the RBI on Friday, cut the repo rate by 75 basis points to 4.40 percent versus 5.15% earlier. Accordingly, the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate stand reduced to 4.65 percent from 5.40 percent. The reverse repo rate under the LAF stands reduced by 90 basis points to 4.0 percent.
“RBI has taken several measures to inject substantial liquidity. Priority is to undertake strong and purposeful action to protect the domestic economy, Need for all stakeholders to fight against the pandemic and banks should do all they can to keep credit flowing,” RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said.
In view of the countrywide lock down, the Union Ministry of Road, Transport and Highway has announced temporarily suspension of toll collection at toll plazas to ease emergency services in view of the coronavirus outbreak. Union Minister for Road, Transport and Highway Nitin Gadkari has stated the maintenance of roads and availability of emergency resources at toll plaza would continue in a usual manner.
The Maharashtra Government has decided to release 11,000 under trials and convicts lodged in 60 prisons on parole to reduce the crowd. Those serving imprisonment of 7 years or less will be granted parole immediately, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said
In another development, the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) has decided to donate Rs. 50 lakh towards Chief Minister’s Relief fund as an aid for coronavirus relief and rehabilitation measures. The MCA has also decided to make available Wankhede Stadium located in South Mumbai, to quarantine people if need be. This was decided in a meeting of MCA members held via video conferencing on Thursday, MCA Secretary Sanjay Naik said.
Gadkari has declared to donate one month’s salary towards PM’s relief fund. Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has announced to donate Rs one crore from his MPs fund. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has announced donation of Rs. 2.66 crore. Similarly all Shiv Sena MPs and MLAs will be donating one month’s salary towards Maharashtra CM’s relief fund.

Raju Vernekar

Raju Vernekar is a Media Professional based in Mumbai and is a regular contributor of Imphal Times. He had served as Chief Reporter at Free Press Journal (1996 – 2015 ). His Activities includes writing for different news papers, script writing/production for TV channels, Films Division. Writing poems in Marathi, Hindi, English, Guiding mass media students and helping people to solve their problems. Raju may be contacted at [email protected]

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