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NAM for global solidarity - PM
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NAM for global solidarity – PM

From Being the first Indian PM to miss Non-Alignment summit to addressing the first e-Non-Alignment Movement summit, Prime minister Modi has ushered a new era in India Foreign Policy.

Speaking at a virtual Non-Aligned Movement Summit through Video Conferencing this evening, the Prime Minister said that the Non-Aligned Movement can help promote global solidarity and it must remain inclusive. He mentioned that the humanity is facing a major crisis in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic and NAM can contribute in dealing with it, the world needs a new template of globalisation post COVID-19 based on fairness, equality and humanity.

During this crisis India has shown how democracy, discipline and decisiveness can come together to create a genuine people’s movement. He added that Indian civilization sees the whole world as one family and while caring for its own citizens, New Delhi is also extending help to other countries.

India is regarded as the pharmacy of the world especially for affordable medicines and despite its own needs during COVID 19 pandemic, it has ensured supply of medicines to 123 partner countries including 59 NAM members. He also said the country is active in global efforts to develop remedies and vaccines for COVID-19. 

NAM represents one of the largest groupings outside the United Nations and is described as one of founding pillars of Indian foreign policy. It gives India the opportunity to handle its own affairs without considering umbrellas of any other global powerhouse. NAM reflects India’s freedom to take decisions at the Global stage. 

After being elected to office, the PM has ignored NAM and had not participated in any of its summits. Many cited NAM has Nehru’s chief linchpin as one of the reasons of Indian Prime Minister’s silence on the Summit’s grouping. 

Relevance of NAM was being discussed and one of the chief relevance is its numerical strength and pan coverage of communities which India can help to bolster its image and help achieve its fundamentals of foreign policy. It can help India showcase its case against the Pakistani Government which PM even hinted at. He revealed that even as the world is fighting COVID-19 crisis, some people are busy spreading other deadly viruses like terrorism, fake news, doctored videos to divide communities and countries.  

Further Attempts must be made to harness the capabilities of NAM in order to fulfil our national interest.

2020 an exceptionally difficult year: IMF chief
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2020 an exceptionally difficult year: IMF chief

The IMF has remarked that the world will be facing the greatest economic fallout since The Great Depression. 

Just three months ago, the IMF was forecasting that 160 nations would enjoy positive income growth on a per capita basis. Now the expectation is that over 170 nations will have negative per capita income growth this year, Kristalina Georgieva, IMF Managing Director said.

The Managing Director said “I stress there is tremendous uncertainty around the outlook. It could get worse depending on many variable factors, including the duration of the pandemic.”

She also mentioned that the IMF is prepared to commit its $1 trillion in lending capacity to providing support to nations that need help dealing with the pandemic. “We are responding to an unprecedented number of calls for emergency financing from over 90 countries so far,” she said.

The IMF’s executive board has agreed to double the loan levels it will provide from its emergency facilities that she said should allow the IMF to provide around $100 billion in financing to low-income countries.

Georgieva said there was no question that 2020 will be an “exceptionally difficult” year. She said if the pandemic fades in the second half of the year, allowing the gradual lifting of containment measures and the reopening of the global economy, the IMF is forecasting a partial recovery in 2021.

No Community Transfer yet: Union Health Ministry
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No Community Transfer yet: Union Health Ministry

The WHO has defined the transmission scenarios that various countries are falling under. India, till now, has witnessed “Clusters of Cases” and not “Community Transfer”.

Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary Health Ministry, said there is no community transmission of the coronavirus viral infection, thus people should not panic. He said the infection rate from coronavirus is not huge, for example out of 16,000 tests in a day, only 0.2 per cent cases have tested positive.

In response to the World Health Organization’s situation report, India was under Community transfer scenario however WHO later on admitted error in its report saying that it has now been fixed. India has a cluster of cases and not community transmission.

WHO has defined four transmission scenarios: no confirmed cases, sporadic cases, clusters of cases and community transfer.

WHO defines community transmission as when countries experience a large number of cases not linked to transmission chains and multiple unrelated clusters in several areas.

Operation SHIELD
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Operation SHIELD introduced by Delhi Government

The Delhi government launched ‘Operation SHIELD’ in 21 containment zones in the state. The announcement was made by the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Operation Shield aims at curbing the spread of coronavirus pandemic within the National Capital Territory region which has over thousand virus contracted patients. Operation SHIELD stands for: 

S – Sealing 
H – Home quarantine
I – Isolation and Tracing
E – Essential supply
L – Local sanitation 
D – Door to door checks 

The area or surroundings of all the 33 zones are to be sealed. People living in these zones are to be home quarantined. The first and second contacts of the people are to be traced and isolated

The Government has also assured essential supply of commodities. The areas are to be sanitized by local authorities. Door-to-door health checks are to be conducted in these areas.

The project had been experimented at Dilshad garden and was found to be success. “We had experimented at Dilshad Garden when one foreign returned woman had turned positive and infected six or seven other people who came in contact with her. We then sealed the entire area. Operation shield was implemented there. All the steps taken under Operation Shield resulted in no new cases of Coronavirus being reported from the area (Dilshad Garden) in the past 10 days,” Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said. 

The CM further mentioned that all new areas in Delhi with a rising number of infections are being identified and will be soon declared containment zones where Operation SHIELD will come into effect.

arogya setu
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Aarogya Setu App: Government introduces technology to combat virus

PM Modi has announced the app targeted to locate people who have been contracted with the virus. 

The app has been developed by the National Informatics Centre, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. The App uses Bluetooth connectivity and location to contract tracing of the individual. Bluetooth helps the people to remain far from the containment area while location helps the Government to get access to the people who have been contracted by the virus.

It also has a chatbot built in it which takes down your symptoms to check which risk zone you are in. Individuals with high risk will be connected through the toll free 1075 line and will be taken to the nearest testing centre. 

The Prime Minister has urged various social media platform to promote the app saying that we have to take the right precautions and fight this pandemic. Aarogya Setu is an important step in that direction. By leveraging technology, it provides crucial information that will help users take necessary precautions. As the number of users increase, so will its effectiveness.

The app saw over 10 million downloads and is mulled to be used as an e-way passage amidst lockdown in the nation.

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