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PM Modi announces emergency relief fund for coronavirus fight

PM Modi announces emergency relief fund for coronavirus fight

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday announced the creation of an assistance and emergency situation relief fund where people can contribute and help in the government's fight against coronavirus. The Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM-CARES) will go a long way in creating a healthier India, he said on Twitter.

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"People from all walks of life expressed their desire to donate to India's war against COVID-19," he said, adding the fund has been constituted respecting that spirit.

"People from all walks of life expressed their desire to donate to India's war against COVID-19," he said, adding the fund has been constituted respecting that spirit. "It is my appeal to my fellow Indians, kindly contribute to the PM-CARES Fund. This Fund will also cater to similar distressing situations, if they occur in the times ahead," he said.

A statement posted on his official website said while the prime minister is the chairman of the new public charitable trust, its members include the defence minister (Rajnath Singh), home minister (Amit Shah) and the finance minister (Nirmala Sitaraman). In India, like the rest of the world, the spread of coronavirus has been alarming and is posing severe health and economic ramifications for our country, it said.

On March 25, PM Modi declared a 21-day nationwide lockdown starting midnight, saying it was the only way of containing the coronavirus infection. Some states had already announced a lockdown, but this announcement extended it to all states and Union Territories. He said, "Social distancing is the only way to break the cycle of infection."

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Saturday said that a total of 918 cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) were reported in India, with 775 active cases, 78 patients being discharged, and 19 fatalities. Kerala on Saturday reported its first COVID-19 death. The deceased (69) had returned from Dubai and was admitted to Kalamassery Medical College on March 22nd following symptoms. He later tested positive. He's a resident of Chullikkal in Kochi.

Maharashtra on Saturday reported eight new cases with the tally rising to 167, while Gujarat reported six new cases with the total number in the state at 53. Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that he has been told to "prepare for a potential Stage 3 outbreak of Covid-19 in Delhi" and was, therefore, taking steps to handle the situation even if it gets to 1,000 COVID-19 cases a day. In other news, an 85-year-old general surgeon died hours after he tested positive in Mumbai.

(Inputs and image from theindianexpress.com)

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