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The Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Shri Lav Agarwal addressing a press conference on ‘COVID-19: Preparedness and Actions taken’, in New Delhi on March 23, 2020. The Principal Director General (M&C), Press Information Bureau, Shri K.S. Dhatwalia and the DG, ICMR, Dr. Balram Bhargava are also seen.

All domestic commercial airlines will cease their operations from tomorrow mid-night.

Newdelhi:23/3/20:All domestic commercial airlines will cease their operations from tomorrow mid-night. Giving this information today, Ministry of Civil Aviation informed that the restrictions shall not apply to cargo carrying flights. Briefing media in New Delhi, Joint Secretary in Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Lav Agarwal said, 19 States and Union Territories have issued orders for complete lockdown. These States and Union Territories include Chandigarh, Delhi, Goa, Jammu and Kashmir, Nagaland, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Ladakh, Jharkhand, Arunanchal Pradesh, Bihar, Tripura, Telangana, Chattisgarh, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.

He said, Cabinet Secretary has asked the Chief Secretaries of States and Union Territories to implement the restrictions strictly and action must be taken against the prohibitors. Home Secretary in the meeting with Director General of Police of the States have asked them to impose restrictions in stricter manner. Mr Agarwal informed that 415 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the country so far with seven deaths. He said, the main objective is to break the chain of transmission. He said, government is augmenting its health care capacities and states have been requested to prepare dedicated hospitals for treatment of Corona patients.

Indian Council of Medical Reasearch Director General Dr Balram Bhargav said, instructions have been issued to conduct the test and 12 laboratories chains having 15 thousand collection centres have started testing. He said, two kit manufacturers have been approved so far. On the use of drug Hydroxy-chloroquine as prophylaxis for COVID infection, he said, it can be given to asymptomatic health care workers involved in the care of suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 and asymptomatic household contact of laboratory confirmed cases. He refuted the reported shortage of Hydroxy-chloroquine and said there are enough stock in the country.

Joint Secretary in Depatment of Consumer Affairs Vineet Mathur said, there are no shortage of essential items in the country. Additional Secretary in Ministry of External Affairs Dammu Ravi has said that a flight will bring the stranded Indians from Kuala Lampur, Malaysia by today.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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