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200 new trains a day from June, boost to vaccine hopes: Covid-19 news today

Here is a preview of the top Covid-19 news today from India and the world.

Updated: May 20, 2020 08:20 IST

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times New Delhi

Stranded people sit inside a railway compartment before the train towards Jammu and Kashmir leaves from Pune railway station, India, on May 19, 2020. (Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)

The government on Tuesday announced 200 new trains a day from June 1 in addition to the Shramik Specials for migrant workers and the premium passenger trains connecting Delhi with 15 cities. The new non-AC trains are expected to cater to small towns, in a fresh step to boost connectivity that has been thrown off track by the lockdown imposed to stop the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). On the vaccine front, Moderna’s experimental vaccine has emerged as a front-runner in global efforts to stop the pandemic.

From June 1, govt to restart 200 trains but without ACs, bookings to start soon

Indian Railways will run 200 special passenger trains a day from June 1 and online ticket booking will begin soon, railway minister Piyush Goyal said on Tuesday, in a fresh step aimed at gradually resuming normalcy in the services of the national carrier. Read more

Covid-19: What you need to know today

Is Mumbai India’s New York? And is Maharashtra, India’s New York State? The questions are in the context of the coronavirus disease. New York State accounts for 356,278 (as of Tuesday morning) of the total of around 1.51 million cases in the country – around 23.5%. Read more

22 migrant workers killed in road accidents across 5 states

Twenty-two people were killed in separate road accidents in five states on Tuesday, taking the death toll in such incidents involving migrant labourers to at least 162 during the lockdown imposed to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). Read more

Faster vaccines likely if Moderna effort succeeds

Moderna’s experimental vaccine against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) has emerged the front-runner in the global effort to stop the pandemic after an early trial showed it produced virus-neutralising antibodies similar to those found in recovered patients. Read more

Virus ideally suited to infect humans: Study

The novel coronavirus is ideally suited to infecting human cells rather than animal ones, a new study by researchers in Australia claims, raising questions about the origin of the virus, which has, until Tuesday, killed over 318,000 people and sickened more than 4.8 million globally. Read more

Temperature, humidity may do little to halt the spread of Covid

Higher temperature and humidity may do little to arrest the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, a new study has found, adding to a growing body of literature that indicate that the correlation between local climate conditions and virus transmission is weak. Read more

Whole new ball game in art of swing

Saliva is out. The International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Cricket Committee, led by Anil Kumble, recommended a ban on using saliva and allowed only sweat to shine the ball, as part of its guidelines to resume the game in the time of Covid-19. Read more

‘Mutations in virus not specific to India,’ says Harsh Vardhan

The Sars-CoV-2 viruses causing coronavirus disease (Covid-19) has three major strains, but no key mutation specific to India has been found that affects infectiveness or disease severity, said Minister of Health and Science & Technology Dr Harsh Vardhan in his first interview after Covid-19 cases crossed 100,000 in India on Monday. Read more

Donald Trump shoots letter to WHO, threatens to exit world body

US President Donald Trump on Monday threatened to pull America out of the World Health Organization (WHO) and permanently stop US funding for the world body if it did not “commit to major substantive improvements” in the next 30 days. Read more

ICMR releases guidelines for testing suspected Covid deaths

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has directed all hospitals to take nasal swab samples from dead bodies of suspected coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases, to test for the virus, in a detailed autopsy guideline for patients. Read more

Covid-19 crisis: 100,000 samples tested for second straight day

Over 100,000 samples were tested for Covid-19 in India on a second consecutive day (101,475) on Tuesday and took the total number of tests to more than 2.4 million in about four months, officials aware of the matter said. Read more

Shramik Specials:Consent of receiving states no longer required

Consent of states where trains ferrying migrants terminate is not needed to run the special Shramik trains, the government said on Tuesday, reversing an earlier order that called for the mutual agreement of both sending and receiving states in order to transport stranded labourers to their hometowns. Read more

Cong offer on buses for migrants sparks UP tussle

The Uttar Pradesh government and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s office continued to exchange letter (over e-mail) and charges related to the latter’s plan to send 1000 buses to help transport migrants in Uttar Pradesh. Read more

Sonia Gandhi to chair Oppn leaders’ meeting

Congress president Sonia Gandhi will on Friday chair an opposition leaders’ meeting via video-conferencing to discuss the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown, the Centre’s Rs 20 lakh crore package, the plight of migrants, farmers and the suspension of labour laws in Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled states. Read more


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