Coronavirus India May 7 Highlights: 8 lakh apply to leave Haryana

 

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With Indians stranded in the Middle East to be evacuated from Thursday, elaborate safety measures have been put in place at Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL), where the first flight from Abu Dhabi is expected that night.

Pilots and cabin crew of Air India’s first batch of flights have been given training in infection control practices, apart from undergoing RT-PCR test. Twelve Air India personnel, including four pilots, were trained by Kochi government medical college.

Medical college Resident Medical Officer Dr Ganesh Mohan said, “We trained them in using PPE suits and wearing face shield on board and handling health emergencies on flight. They were also trained in infection control practices. The demonstrations were held as per the protocol, and they were given PPE kits,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Delhi International Airport will see over 3,600 Indian nationals stranded in other countries being flown in over the coming week. The GMR-led Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) issued guidelines for passengers and staff to follow to ensure their safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting Thursday, the evacuation process will continue for a week with over 14 flights coming in from Malaysia, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, USA, Philippines and Singapore. The first flight is from Malaysia with over 250 passengers. Airport authorities have stated that the flights will land at Terminal 3. Out of the 14 flights, three are connecting flights — they will land in Delhi and proceed to Bengaluru/ Hyderabad.

As per the flight plan prepared by the External Affairs Ministry, the Delhi Airport won’t see more than three evacuation flights a day. Passengers will first be screened, then sent to quarantine centres. After two weeks, they will be sent to their hometowns.

To hold NEET amid pandemic, NTA to double test centres

Administering the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for 15 lakh candidates amid a pandemic is set to become the largest and most challenging exam management exercise for the Union government.

The National Testing Agency (NTA), The Indian Express has learnt, has been asked by the HRD Ministry to double the number of test centres to maintain social distancing during the exam.

Following government directions, the NTA is now planning to seat two candidates two metres apart, which, in other words, means it will need roughly 6,000 test centres, as opposed to the originally planned 3,000, to accommodate 15 lakh NEET aspirants. Till last year, two candidates were usually seated at a distance of one metre.

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China asks Pompeo to show ‘enormous evidence’ of COVID-19 originating from Wuhan lab

China on Wednesday dared US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to show the “enormous evidence” he has to prove that the novel coronavirus originated from a lab in Wuhan and asserted that the matter should be handled by scientists instead of politicians out of their domestic political compulsions in an election year.

In recent days, US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo have claimed that the deadly virus originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the outbreak was first detected last December. The two leaders have also said that China has refused to give international scientists access to learn what happened.