17 May 2020: PIB Summary & Analysis

May 17th, 2020 PIB:- Download PDF Here

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘AMPHAN’
2. COVID-19 Lockdown
3. NIF’s Challenge COVID-19 Competition (C3)

1. Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘AMPHAN’

Context:

Tracking Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘AMPHAN’.

Details:

  • As per the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) release, the depression over southeast Bay of Bengal (BoB) intensified into a deep depression into cyclonic storm ‘AMPHAN’ (pronounced as UM-PUN) on 16th May over the central parts of south BoB.
  • It further intensified into a severe cyclonic storm in the morning hours of 17th May, and lay centred over the same region near latitude 11.4°N and longitude 86.0°E, about 990 km south of Paradip (Odisha), 1140 km south-southwest of Digha (West Bengal) and 1260 km south-southwest of Khepupara (Bangladesh).
  • It is very likely to intensify further into a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm during next 12 hours.
  • Forecast: It is very likely to move nearly northwards slowly during the next 24 hours and then re-curve north-northeastwards and move fast across northwest BoB and cross West Bengal – Bangladesh coasts between Sagar Islands (West Bengal) and Hatiya Islands (Bangladesh) during afternoon/evening of 20th May 2020 as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm.

Warnings:

  • Rainfall and wind warnings have been given to the UT/state governments concerned.
  • Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the Bay of Bengal from 17th to 20th of May, along the coasts of parts of Odisha, West Bengal and adjoining Bangladesh coasts.

Know more about tropical cyclones at the linked article.


2. COVID-19 Lockdown

Context:

Extension of Lockdown up to May 31, 2020.

Details:

  • The government initially announced a lockdown, to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in India, on 24th March.
  • This lockdown was extended many times taking into account the situation in the country.
  • The government has decided to extend this lockdown till 31st May and have released new guidelines for people to follow.
  • Under the new guidelines, States and Union Territories (UTs) will now delineate Red, Green and Orange zones taking into consideration the parameters shared by the Health Ministry.
  • The zones can be a district, or a municipal corporation/municipality or even smaller administrative units such as sub-divisions, etc., as decided by States and UTs.
    • Within the red and orange zones, containment and buffer zones will be demarcated by the local authorities, after taking into consideration the Health Ministry guidelines.
    • Within the containment zones, only essential activities shall be allowed. Strict perimeter control shall be maintained, and no movement of persons would be allowed, except for medical emergencies and for maintaining supply of essential goods and services.
    • Buffer zones are areas adjoining each containment zone, where new cases are more likely to appear. In the buffer zones, more caution needs to be exercised.

Activities Prohibited throughout the Country

  • All domestic and international air travel of passengers, except for domestic medical services, domestic air ambulance and for security purposes or purposes as permitted by MHA;
  • Metro rail services;
  • Running of schools, colleges, educational and training/coaching institutions;
  • Hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services, except for the running of canteens in bus depots, railway stations and airports;
  • Places of large public gatherings such as cinemas, shopping malls, gymnasiums entertainment parks, etc.;
  • Social, political, cultural and similar gatherings and other large congregations; and, access to religious places/places of worship for public.

However, online/distance learning shall be permitted and encouraged; and, restaurants will be allowed to operate kitchens for home delivery of food items.

Activities Permitted with Restrictions

  • Sports complexes and stadia will be permitted to open only for sports activities. However, spectators will not be allowed in these complexes.
  • Movement of individuals by trains has been permitted.
  • Evacuation of foreign nationals from India, return of stranded Indian nationals from abroad, sign-on and sign-off of Indian seafarers, and intra-State and inter-State movement of stranded persons by bus and train will continue to be allowed.
  • Inter-State movement of vehicles and buses has also been allowed with mutual consent of the concerned States/UTs. Intra-State movement of vehicles and buses can be decided by the States and UTs.
  • Local authorities should ensure that shops and markets open with staggered timings, so as to ensure social distancing.
  • Night Curfew shall continue to remain in force on the movement of individuals, for all non-essential activities, between 7 pm and 7 am.
  • Vulnerable persons, i.e., persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years, shall stay at home, except for meeting essential requirements and for health purposes.

National Directives for COVID-19 Management

These guidelines apply to public places and work places.

  • Wearing of face covers is compulsory;
  • Spitting will be punishable with fine as may be prescribed in accordance with its laws, rules or regulations by the State/UT local authority;
  • Social distancing is to be followed by all persons in public places and in transport;
  • Marriage-related gathering shall not have more than 50 guests;
  • For funerals/last rites, the maximum number of persons allowed has been kept at 20;
  • Consumption of liquor, paan, gutkha and tobacco, etc., is not allowed in public places.
  • For work places:
    • The practice of work from home (WfH) should be followed to the extent possible; and staggering of work hours should be adopted in respect of all offices and other establishments.
    • There should be provision for thermal scanning, hand wash and sanitizers at all entry and exit points and common areas; and all work places and other sensitive locations are to be sanitized regularly.
    • In work places, social distancing would also need to be ensured through adequate distance between workers, adequate gaps between shifts, staggering the lunch break of staff and so on.

To know all about COVID-19, click on the linked article.


3. NIF’s Challenge COVID-19 Competition (C3)

Context:

S&T based innovative solutions by common people participating in NIF’s Challenge COVID-19 Competition (C3) ready to make a difference.

Details:                                                              

  • The National Innovation Foundation – India (NIF), an autonomous body of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) has identified several S&T based innovative solutions through the Challenge COVID-19 Competition (C3), a campaign which was running for a few days in March and May 2020 for engaging innovative citizens to come up with ideas and innovations to tackle the pandemic.
  • NIF is providing incubation and mentoring support for further dissemination to the generator of the ideas.
  • A foot-operated device for hand sanitization and washing and an innovative sprayer for sanitization are the two recently supported innovations under the campaign.

May 17th, 2020 PIB:- Download PDF Here

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