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Friday, March 20, 2020

Kamal Nath resigns as Madhya Pradesh CM Friday March 20,2020

Over 15 months after he took over as the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, Kamal Nath resigned from the top post on Friday March 20,2020

His move comes a day after the Supreme Court directed that a floor test be conducted in Madhya Pradesh Assembly to prove that the Congress government led by him enjoys majority in the House following the rebellion by 22 MLAs of his party

Nath submitted his resignation to Governor Lalji Tandon at the Raj Bhawan here this afternoon.
“He submitted his resignation to the governor,” a Raj Bhawan official told

In his resignation letter, Nath said, “In my 40-year- long public life, I have always done politics of purity and valued democratic norms and given priority to it. But what transpired in the last two weeks is a new chapter of devaluation of democratic values.”

In the letter, he also congratulated new chief minister of the state and said he will also extend help in the development of the state

Before submitting his resignation, Nath addressed a press conference, where he announced his resignation

During the press conference, he also accused the BJP of killing the democratic values by conspiring against his government and blamed former Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia for the current political crisis in the state

“I have decided to submit my resignation to the governor. But I will continue to work for the welfare of the people...I did the politics of value,” he said

“I took over as the CM on December 17, 2018. During my political career, I have always believed in development. I was given an opportunity for a period of five years to give a new identity to the state,” he said

“The BJP didn’t like the people-centric works carried out by my government during our 15-month rule, so they kept conspiring against me,” he said

Nath alleged that 22 Congress MLAs were held captive in Bengaluru by the BJP, which has been witnessed by the entire country

“BJP killed the democratic values by conspiring,” he said

“I have proved my majority on the floor of the House several times during the past 15 years...but the BJP betrayed the people of state by destabilising the government,” he said.

Coronavirus: All Offices and Non-Essential Shops in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur Ordered to Shut Till March 31,2020

India’s financial capital is shutting down all its offices. Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday March 20,2020 ordered that all workplaces in Mumbai, and in the greater Mumbai Metropolitan Region as well as in Pune, Nagpur and Pimpri Chinchwad will remain closed till March 31 to rein in the spread of novel coronavirus.

The chief minister, beefing up precautionary measures, also announced the mandatory closure of all shops till the end of the month. Only essential services, including medical stores, grocery and milk stores, as well as banks, will be allowed to stay open

While all private companies have been told to let employees work from home, government offices in the state will function with 25 per cent staff strength.

“We have now decided that only 25 per cent government staff will work. Except essential goods, please close down all other shops. We are shutting down all offices, shops till March 31. All those who feel that work from home is not possible, we have to forcibly shut them. We are left with no alternative. It is essential to stay at home for living. For us, the health givers are fighting a brutal war,” he said.

Maharashtra has reported the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country at 52 so far, including one death. Five of the patients have been cured.

Cannes Film Festival is POSTPONED for the first time in history amid the coronavirus crisis

The Cannes Film Festival has been postponed for the first time in its history due to the coronavirus crisis, it was revealed on Thursday March 19,2020

The annual film festival was due to take place between May 12 and May 23, but because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic organisers have said the event 'cannot be held on the scheduled dates'

No plans are yet in place for the festival, but organisers are looking at pushing it back until late June or early July, with a firm decision set to be made in due course. 

California's Governor Issues Statewide '' Stay At Home '' Order Thursday March 19,2020

California's Governor on Thursday March 19,2020 issued an unprecedented statewide 'stay at home order' directing the state's 40 million residents to hunker down in their homes for the foreseeable future in the face of the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic

Governor Gavin Newsom's directive, effective immediately, marks the largest and most sweeping government clampdown yet in the worsening public health crisis brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak, which he predicted could infect more than half the state within eight weeks

'We are confident the people of California will abide by it, they will meet this moment,' Newsom, a Democrat in his first term as governor of the nation's most populous state, said at a late-afternoon news briefing from the state capital in Sacramento.

UK's coronavirus infections rise by 643 to 3,269 and death toll goes up 33 to 144

Britain's coronavirus death toll has today risen to 144 as the number of cases surpassed 3,200, Scotland's fatality toll doubled overnight and Northern Ireland confirmed its first victim of the life-threatening infection

Officials announced 40 more deaths, the highest daily fatality count recorded on British soil since the crisis began to rapidly spiral out of control last week.  

The new deaths include a 47-year-old – the second youngest British victim. MailOnline understands the patient was a woman from the Midlands, who had high blood pressure and another underlying health condition.

Coronavirus death toll tops 10,000 worldwide as crisis continues to escalate in Europe

The coronavirus death toll has topped 10,000 worldwide, doubling in one week, as the crisis continues to escalate in Europe

Almost half of all COVID-19 deaths have occurred in Europe, with Italy reporting devastatingly high numbers every day

China, where the killer virus first emerged, accounts for a third of all victims, having battled the disease since December 2019

More than 245,000 cases have been reported across the globe, soaring from 100,000 reported just two weeks ago

More than half (164,600) are outside of China, despite it originally reporting 90 per cent of all cases in the early days of the pandemic. 

Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees or The 1951 Refugee Convention

The 1951 Refugee Convention is the key legal document that forms the basis of our work. Ratified​ by 145 State parties, it defines the term 'refugee' and outlines the rights of the displaced, as well as the legal obligations of States to protect them
India has signed neither the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention nor its 1967 Protocol, which has 145+ signatories, an overwhelming majority of the world’s 190-odd nations. 
India is home to diverse groups of refugees, ranging from Buddhist Chakmas from the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh, to Bhutanese from Nepal, Muslim Rohinygas from Myanmar and small populations from Somalia, Sudan and other sub Saharan African countries.

According to the UNHCR, there were 204,600 refugees, asylum seekers and “others of concern" in India in 2011. They were made up of 13,200 people from Afghanistan, 16,300 from Myanmar, 2,100 from various other countries and the two older populations of around 100,000 Tibetans and 73,000 Sri Lankan Tamils. The UNHCR financially assisted 31,600 of them.

2020 Tokyo Olympics July 24 - Aug 09,2020 - Olympic flame lands in Japan amid concerns over impact of coronavirus on Games

A plane carrying the Olympic torch from Greece arrived on Friday March 20,2020 on Japan’s north-western coast ravaged by a 2011 tsunami, but the welcome ceremony will have no spectators, amid worries the Games could be cancelled over the coronavirus pandemic

The flame arrived at Japan Air Self-Defence Force’s Matsushima base and will tour the Tohoku region hit by the tsunami and earthquake, in what the organisers call a “recovery flame” tour until the official kick-off ceremony in Fukushima on 26 March.

Organisers have repeatedly said the Games, set to run from 24 July 24 to 9 August, will go ahead, but as the rapid spread of the virus brings the sports world to a virtual standstill, fears are growing that the Olympics may be postponed or cancelled.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

2020 US Presidential Election - Tulsi Gabbard quits US presidential race, endorses Joe Biden

US congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard dropped out of the Democratic presidential nomination race Thursday March 19,2020 and immediately endorsed rival Joe Biden as flag bearer heading into the November 2020  election against President Donald Trump.

“Today, I’m suspending my presidential campaign and offering my full support to vice president Joe Biden in his quest to bring our country together,” the lawmaker from Hawaii said in an online video message.

“Although I may not agree with the vice president on every issue, I know that he has a good heart, and he is motivated by his love for our country and the American people.”

Her move leaves front runner Biden and leftist Senator Bernie Sanders as the final two candidates in the Democratic race.

Tulsi Gabbard’s endorsement comes as somewhat of a surprise, given that she was a fierce supporter of Sanders in 2016 and supports his Medicare for All plan for a government health system to cover every American.

But Sanders is under mounting pressure to drop out after performing poorly in several recent primaries including three states swept by Biden this week.

Italy overtakes China, registers highest number of coronavirus deaths

The death toll in Italy from the coronavirus overtook China’s on Thursday March 19,2020 in a stark illustration of how the outbreak has pivoted toward Europe and the United States

Italy, with a population of 60 million, recorded at least 3,405 deaths, or roughly 150 more than in China — a country with a population over 20 times larger

Italy reached the bleak milestone the same day that Wuhan, the Chinese city where the coronavirus first emerged three months ago, recorded no new infections, a sign that the communist country’s draconian lockdowns were a powerful method to stop the virus’ spread

On Thursday, a visiting Chinese Red Cross team criticized Italians’ failure to properly quarantine themselves and take the national lockdown seriously.

Google Doodle celebrates Ignaz Semmelweis, first person to discover benefits of handwashing Friday March 20,2020

Google Doodle on Friday honoured Hungarian physician Dr Ignaz Semmelweis, who was the first person to discover the medical benefits of handwashing

The doodle features an animated video showing the correct technique of handwashing with Ignaz Semmelweis maintaining a timer

The reason behind celebrating Semmelweis on this particular date is because on March 20, 1847, he was appointed Chief Resident in the maternity clinic of the Vienna General Hospital. While working at the hospital, Semmelweis had concluded that doctors must wash their hands frequently as that reduces the transmission of diseases

Semmelweis was born in Budapest in 1818 and received a doctorate from the University of Vienna and master's degree in midwifery. During his tenure at the Vienna General Hospital in the mid 19th century, an infection called Childbed Fever wreaked havoc and escalated high mortality rates in new mothers in maternity wards across Europe

Determined to discover the cause of Childbed Fever, Semmelweis conducted an extensive research and found out that infections were being passed on from doctors - after conducting operations - to patients through their hands

Soon after, Semmelweis insisted doctors and other medical staff to wash hands extensively after examining each patient. This observation worked as infection rates began reducing

"Today, Semmelweis is widely remembered as "the father of infection control," credited with revolutionizing not just obstetrics, but the medical field itself, informing generations beyond his own that handwashing is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of diseases," Google Doodle said on its website.


2019- 20 Premier League - Matches Suspended till April 30,2020 over Coronavirus

The shutdown of English football was extended until at least April 30,2020  after the Premier League and English Football League (EFL) held crisis meetings on Thursday March 19,2020

"We've collectively agreed that the professional game in England will be further postponed until no earlier than Thursday 30 April," said a joint statement by the English Football Association, Premier League, EFL, players and managers' bodies

2012 Delhi Gang Rape Convicts Hanged at Tihar Jail Friday March 21,2020

The 4 men convicted in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case were hanged to death at 5.30am on Friday March 21,2020, bringing to end a protracted legal battle of over seven years

All legal routes to escape the noose closed on Thursday March 20,2020 for the 4 men who brutalised a 23-year-old physiotherapy student in a Delhi bus with a barbarity that shook the nation

Mukesh Singh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Kumar Singh, were held guilty of gang-raping the young woman on the night of December 16, 2012, so brutally that she died of her injuries a fortnight later

Their death warrants were deferred by a court thrice on the grounds that they had not exhausted all their legal remedies and that the mercy petition of one or the other was before the president

On Thursday, however, all the legal routes seemed to have closed for the four men

The Supreme Court Of India (SCI) refused to entertain Mukesh Singh’s last-ditch plea that he was not in the city when the crime took place. A bench of Justices of R Bhanumati, Ashok Bhushan and AS Bopanna said he had exhausted all his remedies and no fresh evidence can be entertained

The Supreme Court Of India (SCI) also dismissed Akshay Kumar's plea challenging the rejection of his second mercy petition by President Ram Nath Kovind, saying no ground was made out for a judicial review of the decision

On a parallel track, a Delhi court dismissed the pleas of Akshay Kumar, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma seeking stays on their execution

With just hours to go for the execution and no legal hurdle left, Nirbhaya's mother Asha Devi said her daughter's soul will now rest in peace.

India Moves to Close Borders, Will Block Arrival of All International Flights From Sunday March 22,2020 to Stop Coronavirus

The central government is moving to harden India’s borders and will implement a new travel ban with effect from March 22 as arrival of all international flights will be banned for a week starting Sunday.

India’s decision to stop international flights and isolate itself from overseas visitors follows similar decision taken by governments in Australia and New Zealand to stop the spread of the novel Coronavirus

The government had earlier already banned flights from several high-risk nations, including from the European Union, till March 31

Covid-19, which has infected over 2 lakh people across the globe and led to deaths of over 9,000, has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation(WHO)

The decision to ban all flights was announced soon after the health ministry reported that a patient died of the virus in Punjab on Thursday, making it the fourth death in the country. The total number of cases reported so far is 173.

US President Donald Trump signs $100BILLION coronavirus relief package

US President Donald Trumphas signed into law a multi-billion dollar emergency Coronavirus relief bill

The signing of the bipartisan bill came Wednesday evening March 18,2020, just hours after it passed in the Senate. 

The $105 billion bill provides safety net programs for Americans affected by COVID-19, including paid sick and family leave. 

The legislation also provides free testing for the highly contagious virus, which has infected more than 9,000 Americans

The bill passed in the Senate 90-8 on Wednesday afternoon March 18,2020, around the same time that Trump stated that he was on 'wartime footing' in a bid to combat the pandemic and the subsequent economic fallout

Coronavirus: ATP, WTA Seasons Suspended Until June 07,2020

The ATP and WTA tennis competitions have extended the suspension of their seasons until June 7 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the two tour organisers announced on Wednesday March 18,2020

 "The professional tennis season is now suspended through 7 June 2020, including the ATP Challenger Tour and ITF (International Tennis Federation) World Tennis Tour," the ATP and WTA said in a joint statement. At this time, tournaments taking place from 8 June 2020 onwards are still planning to go ahead as per the published schedule."
The announcement temporarily shuts down the men's and women's European clay court season a day after the French Open was pushed back to Sep 2020

It also further pushes back the restart to the tennis season as both tours were already shut down, with the ATP last week originally halting proceedings until April 27 and the WTA announcing no play until May 2 on Monday March 16,2020

"In these challenging times, it is more important than ever for our sport to pull together to provide as much certainty as possible to all those affected by these postponements," said ITF president David Haggerty

"We recognise the huge impact this will have, but ultimately the health and safety of players, officials and spectators has to be our primary concern."

Events affected by the shut down include the combined ATP/WTA tournaments in Madrid and Rome, the WTA events in Strasbourg and Rabat and ATP events in Munich, Estoril, Geneva and Lyon

Qantas And Jetstar Suspend All International Flights From March 2020

Qantas has told two thirds of their 30,000 staff members to stand down until May as the coronavirus pandemic grinds travel to a halt

The airline released a statement to the ASX saying they are cutting scheduled international flights from late March until May 2020

It comes after the government's recommendation that Australians do not travel overseas due to the COVID-19 outbreak

Essential domestic, regional and freight connections will be maintained as much as possible
The stand down applies to baggage handlers, catering staff, flight attendants and pilots

More than 150 aircraft will be temporarily grounded, including all of Qantas' A380s, 747s and B787-9s and Jetstar's B787-8s.  

During the stand down, employees will be able to draw down on annual and long service leave, including leave at half pay and early access to long service leave

Employees with low leave balances at the start of the stand down will be able to access up to four weeks' leave in advance of earning it


Coronavirus - All U Need To Know

What is the Coronavirus?
A coronavirus is a type of virus which can cause illness in animals and people. Viruses break into cells inside their host and use them to reproduce itself and disrupt the body's normal functions.

Coronaviruses are named after the Latin word 'corona', which means crown, because they are encased by a spiked shell which resembles a royal crown.

The coronavirus from Wuhan is one which has never been seen before this outbreak. It has been named SARS-CoV-2 by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. The name stands for

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2.

Experts say the bug, which has killed around one in 50 patients since the outbreak began in December, is a 'sister' of the SARS illness which hit China in 2002, so has been named after it.

The disease that the virus causes has been named COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 2019.

Dr Helena Maier, from the Pirbright Institute, said: 'Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that infect a wide range of different species including humans, cattle, pigs, chickens, dogs, cats and wild animals. 
'Until this new coronavirus was identified, there were only six different coronaviruses known to infect humans. Four of these cause a mild common cold-type illness, but since 2002 there has been the emergence of two new coronaviruses that can infect humans and result in more severe disease (Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronaviruses)
'Coronaviruses are known to be able to occasionally jump from one species to another and that is what happened in the case of SARS, MERS and the new coronavirus. The animal origin of the new coronavirus is not yet known.'
The first human cases were publicly reported from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where approximately 11million people live, after medics first started publicly reporting infections on December 31,2019
By January 8, 59 suspected cases had been reported and seven people were in critical condition. Tests were developed for the new virus and recorded cases started to surge
The first person died that week and, by January 16, two were dead and 41 cases were confirmed. The next day, scientists predicted that 1,700 people had become infected, possibly up to 7,000
Where does the virus come from?
According to scientists, the virus almost certainly came from bats. Coronaviruses in general tend to originate in animals – the similar SARS and MERS viruses are believed to have originated in civet cats and camels, respectively
The first cases of COVID-19 came from people visiting or working in a live animal market in Wuhan, which has since been closed down for investigation
Although the market is officially a seafood market, other dead and living animals were being sold there, including wolf cubs, salamanders, snakes, peacocks, porcupines and camel meat
A study by the Wuhan Institute of Virology, published in February 2020 in the scientific journal Nature, found that the genetic make-up virus samples found in patients in China is 96 per cent identical to a coronavirus they found in bats
However, there were not many bats at the market so scientists say it was likely there was an animal which acted as a middle-man, contracting it from a bat before then transmitting it to a human. It has not yet been confirmed what type of animal this was
Dr Michael Skinner, a virologist at Imperial College London, was not involved with the research but said: 'The discovery definitely places the origin of nCoV in bats in China
'We still do not know whether another species served as an intermediate host to amplify the virus, and possibly even to bring it to the market, nor what species that host might have been.'
So far the fatalities are quite low. Why are health experts so worried about it? 
Experts say the international community is concerned about the virus because so little is known about it and it appears to be spreading quickly
It is similar to SARS, which infected 8,000 people and killed nearly 800 in an outbreak in Asia in 2003, in that it is a type of coronavirus which infects humans' lungs. It is less deadly than SARS, however, which killed around one in 10 people, compared to approximately one in 50 for COVID-19.

Another reason for concern is that nobody has any immunity to the virus because they've never encountered it before. This means it may be able to cause more damage than viruses we come across often, like the flu or common cold
Speaking at a briefing in January, Oxford University professor, Dr Peter Horby, said: 'Novel viruses can spread much faster through the population than viruses which circulate all the time because we have no immunity to them
'Most seasonal flu viruses have a case fatality rate of less than one in 1,000 people. Here we're talking about a virus where we don't understand fully the severity spectrum but it's possible the case fatality rate could be as high as two per cent.'
If the death rate is truly two per cent, that means two out of every 100 patients who get it will die. 
'My feeling is it's lower,' Dr Horby added. 'We're probably missing this iceberg of milder cases. But that's the current circumstance we're in
'Two per cent case fatality rate is comparable to the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918 so it is a significant concern globally.'
How does the virus spread?
The illness can spread between people just through coughs and sneezes, making it an extremely contagious infection. And it may also spread even before someone has symptoms
It is believed to travel in the saliva and even through water in the eyes, therefore close contact, kissing, and sharing cutlery or utensils are all risky. It can also live on surfaces, such as plastic and steel, for up to 72 hours, meaning people can catch it by touching contaminated surfaces
Originally, people were thought to be catching it from a live animal market in Wuhan city. But cases soon began to emerge in people who had never been there, which forced medics to realise it was spreading from person to person
What does the virus do to you? What are the symptoms?
Once someone has caught the COVID-19 virus it may take between two and 14 days, or even longer, for them to show any symptoms – but they may still be contagious during this time
If and when they do become ill, typical signs include a runny nose, a cough, sore throat and a fever (high temperature). The vast majority of patients will recover from these without any issues, and many will need no medical help at all
In a small group of patients, who seem mainly to be the elderly or those with long-term illnesses, it can lead to pneumonia. Pneumonia is an infection in which the insides of the lungs swell up and fill with fluid. It makes it increasingly difficult to breathe and, if left untreated, can be fatal and suffocate people
Figures are showing that young children do not seem to be particularly badly affected by the virus, which they say is peculiar considering their susceptibility to flu, but it is not clear why
What have genetic tests revealed about the virus? 
Scientists in China have recorded the genetic sequences of around 19 strains of the virus and released them to experts working around the world
This allows others to study them, develop tests and potentially look into treating the illness they cause
Examinations have revealed the coronavirus did not change much – changing is known as mutating – much during the early stages of its spread
However, the director-general of China's Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Gao Fu, said the virus was mutating and adapting as it spread through people
This means efforts to study the virus and to potentially control it may be made extra difficult because the virus might look different every time scientists analyse it
More study may be able to reveal whether the virus first infected a small number of people then change and spread from them, or whether there were various versions of the virus coming from animals which have developed separately
How dangerous is the virus?  
The virus has a death rate of around two per cent. This is a similar death rate to the Spanish Flu outbreak which, in 1918, went on to kill around 50million people
Experts have been conflicted since the beginning of the outbreak about whether the true number of people who are infected is significantly higher than the official numbers of recorded cases. Some people are expected to have such mild symptoms that they never even realise they are ill unless they're tested, so only the more serious cases get discovered, making the death toll seem higher than it really is
However, an investigation into government surveillance in China said it had found no reason to believe this was true
Dr Bruce Aylward, a World Health Organization official who went on a mission to China, said there was no evidence that figures were only showing the tip of the iceberg, and said recording appeared to be accurate

Can the virus be cured? 
The COVID-19 virus cannot be cured and it is proving difficult to contain
Antibiotics do not work against viruses, so they are out of the question. Antiviral drugs can work, but the process of understanding a virus then developing and producing drugs to treat it would take years and huge amounts of money
No vaccine exists for the coronavirus yet and it's not likely one will be developed in time to be of any use in this outbreak, for similar reasons to the above
The National Institutes of Health in the US, and Baylor University in Waco, Texas, say they are working on a vaccine based on what they know about coronaviruses in general, using information from the SARS outbreak. But this may take a year or more to develop, according to Pharmaceutical Technology

Currently, governments and health authorities are working to contain the virus and to care for patients who are sick and stop them infecting other people
People who catch the illness are being quarantined in hospitals, where their symptoms can be treated and they will be away from the uninfected public
And airports around the world are putting in place screening measures such as having doctors on-site, taking people's temperatures to check for fevers and using thermal screening to spot those who might be ill (infection causes a raised temperature)
However, it can take weeks for symptoms to appear, so there is only a small likelihood that patients will be spotted up in an airport
Is this outbreak an epidemic or a pandemic?   
The outbreak was declared a pandemic on March 11,2020.

A pandemic is defined by the World Health Organization as the 'worldwide spread of a new disease'
Previously, the UN agency said most cases outside of Hubei had been 'spillover' from the epicentre, so the disease wasn't actually spreading actively around the world.

Coronavirus in United Kingdom

Britain's coronavirus death toll has today Wednesday March 18,2020 risen to 104 after the number of new daily fatalities doubled in the space of just 24 hours

Officials today announced 33 more deaths from the life-threatening infection in the UK – up from 16 yesterday and 20 on Monday, amid fears the outbreak in Britain is spiralling out of control

In preparation for an inevitable influx of deaths, a mortuary in Westminster today revealed it was having to double its capacity from 102 corpses to more than 200, in case the crisis continues to escalate as predicted

It comes as the number of confirmed cases in the UK today rose by almost 700, with 2,626 patients known to have been infected across the home nations – but the true toll is being masked by officials. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Coronavirus in Italy

Italy Reports 475 New Coronavirus Deaths, Highest One-day Toll of Any Nation

Italy on Wednesday March 18,2020 reported 475 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, the highest one-day official toll of any nation since the first case was detected in China late last year

Total deaths in Italy have reached 2,978, more than half of all the cases recorded outside China, while the number of infections reached 35,713

The previous record high of 368 deaths was also recorded in Italy, on Sunday March 15,2020

Coronavirus in Pakistan

Pakistan Confirms First Death from Coronavirus as Number of Positive Cases Rise to 289

Pakistan on Wednesday March 18,2020 reported its first casualty due to the deadly coronavirus that has infected 289 people across the country

"Sad to report one patient who passed away in Mardan,"

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Minister Taimur Khan Jhagra tweeted late Wednesday night

The number of cases in the worst-hit Sindh province reached to 208 on Wednesday after 19 people in Karachi tested positive, said Meeran Yousuf, the media coordinator of the health and population welfare minister

She said the province recorded total 36 new cases on Wednesday

Majority of Pakistan's COVID-19 cases are linked to those who went on pilgrimage to Iran, one of the countries hardest-hit by the disease, while less than half a dozen are locally transmitted.
Pakistan shares a 960-kilometre border with Iran, with the main crossing point at Taftan in Balochistan province

The Taftan border has been closed since March 16, but thousands of Pakistan Shia pilgrims who were visiting religious sites in Iran have been allowed to return subject to two weeks' quarantine

More 10 cases were reported in Gilgit-Baltistan and its Chief Minister Hafeezur Rehman said that the total number of infection in the region was 15

Also, the first coronavirus case was reported from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, where a 45-year old person who had recently come back from Iran was found positive

Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar said two new cases emerged in the province where the total number rose to 28

Buzdar also announced that the restaurants, hotels and shopping malls would be shut down by 10pm every day to reduce exposure. He also said that number of staff at offices will be reduced

Already 19 cases were reported from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 16 from Balochistan and 2 from Islamabad

Authorities in Pakistan have screened over 1,015,900 travellers since the virus was first detected in the country. At least 20,088 travellers have been screened in the last 24 hours

Sindh government has come out criticising Centre for lack of foresight in quarantine arrangements in Taftan where over 9,000 pilgrims returning from Iran had been quarantined by the Balochistan government in a tent city'

After completing the 14-day incubation period, the pilgrims were allowed to travel back to their cities. However, Sindh and K-P sent the pilgrims to isolation facilities in Sukkur and Dera Ismail Khan and tested them before allowing further travel

In its March 13 National Security Committee meeting, Centre formed a Novel Coronavirus Core Committee with daily meetings between federal and provincial authorities

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government tasked National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to coordinate with provincial governments and lead the fight against novel coronavirus.

The federal government also decided to ban public gatherings, close all educational institutions until April 5 and cancel Pakistan Day parade on March 23. It also sealed borders and limited international flights operations to Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi

However, the NSC decision on international travel was taken back on Tuesday when the government lifted restrictions on all airports except Gwadar and Turbat

In Sindh, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) government edges towards lockdown after it closed all restaurants, malls, shopping centres and imposed Section 144. Only grocery stores and pharmacies have been allowed to operate

Balochistan government banned public gatherings, suspended biometric attendance, limited activities and closed educational institutions

K-P also banned public gatherings, closed educational institutions and directed police to ensure people were not arranging private events

Meanwhile, junior doctors and nurses have announced a strike in public sector hospitals in Punjab province protesting shortage of kits and non-provision of other precautionary gear for medics

Nurses at the Sheikh Zayed Nursing College (SZNC) RahimYar Khan on Wednesday refused to perform duties during the coronavirus emergency and held a protest against the administration for forcing them to perform duty in the hospital without taking any precautionary measures to save them from the virus

Grand Health Alliance (GHA) Chairman Salman Haseeb said the ailing people visit hospitals in life-threatening conditions only

"Doctors will attend to only serious patients and strongly oppose treating others at outpatient departments of state-run hospitals. The health authorities only provided 1,200 kits to hospitals across Punjab (a province of 110 million) for frontline employees attending to suspected and confirmed patients of coronavirus, he said

The representative of the junior doctors said the government needs to hire services of doctors from the Pakistan Army for the purpose
"We will shut also down services in emergency wards if (corona) kits are not provided to them," Dr Haseeb said.

Punjab Health Minister Yasmin Rashid has declared young doctors' strike immature and uncalled for.
She said the government will ensure provision of kits and other protective gear to the doctors and nurses treating coronavirus patients and suspected patients.

Coronavirus in Portugal

Portugal Declares 15-day State of Emergency as Coronavirus Cases Rise to 448

Portugal declared Wednesday March 18,2020 a nationwide 15-day state of emergency to fight the spread of coronavirus, which will make it easier for the government to reduce people's movements

"This is an exceptional decision for an exceptional period," conservative President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said during a televised address in which he explained his reasons for adopting the measure which comes into effect Wednesday at midnight.

"This is not an interruption of democracy. It is democracy trying to prevent an irreparable interruption in people's lives." It is the first time that a state of emergency has been declared in the country of around 10 million people since it returned to democracy in the 1970s following decades of rightist dictatorship.

The decree declaring a state of emergency allows the government to suspend some constitutional rights and freedoms, such as the freedom of movement and the right to go on strike. It also allows the government to force people into quarantine.

The government will unveil what concrete measures it will adopt under the state of emergency on Thursday following its weekly cabinet meeting.
Socialist Prime Minister Antonio Costa said the decree — which was approved by parliament — would not be used to impose a "mandatory curfew".

The measures that are adopted will "reinforce the fight and prevention" of this pandemic, he added.

The state of emergency can be renewed once the initial 15-day period is over and the premier said it could last several months.

Portugal has so far reported 448 confirmed cases of coronavirus and two deaths, but the government has warned that the number of infections in the country is expected to keep climbing "at least" until the end of April.

The country has already limited gatherings to no more than 100 people, shut schools and nightclubs and imposed restrictions on the number of people who can visit restaurants and limited visitors to retirement homes.

Earlier on Wednesday the government ordered the central city of Ovar, which is home to around 55,000 people, to be put on lockdown after about 30 people tested positive for coronavirus there.

Governments on every continent have implemented measures to contain the disease, which has infected more than 200,000 people and killed over 8,000 since it first emerged.

Former CJI Ranjan Gogoi Takes Oath as Rajya Sabha Member Thursday March 19,2020

Former Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi on Thursday March 19,2020 took oath as Rajya Sabha member in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who attended the 11 am ceremony

Several members of the Congress, which has criticised his RS nomination, shouted ‘shame’ and ‘deal’ as the former CJI took oath

Gogoi, 65, retired as CJI last November after a tenure of a little over 13 months. He will be the first former CJI to be nominated to Rajya Sabha, with opposition parties kicking up a controvesy and criticising his appointment

He headed benches that pronounced several key judgements, including in the sensitive Ayodhya land dispute case. He also led the benches that ruled on the Rafale fighter jet deal and the entry of women in Kerala's Sabarimala temple

The former CJI was nominated to the Rajya Sabha by President Ram Nath Kovind on March 16. A notification announcing his nomination to the Upper House was issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on Monday night

"In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-clause (a) of clause (1) of article 80 of the Constitution of India, read with clause (3) of that article, the President is pleased to nominate Shri Ranjan Gogoi to the Council of States to fill the vacancy caused due to the retirement of one of the nominated members," a notification issued by the home ministry said

His nomination was questioned by many parties, reacting to which Gogoi said he would speak in detail about accepting the offer of a seat to the Upper House after he takes oath. "Let me first take oath, then I will speak in detail to the media why I accepted this and why I am going to Rajya Sabha," he said on Tuesday

"My presence in parliament will be an opportunity to project the views of the judiciary before the legislature and vice versa," he said.

"Let God give me the strength to have an independent voice in the parliament", the former CJI said, adding, "I have much to say, but let me take the oath in the parliament and then I shall open up"

On the criticism of his RS nomination, Gogoi told a local news television channel, "I have accepted the offer of the nomination to the Rajya Sabha because of a strong conviction that the legislature and judiciary must at some point of time work together for nation-building.

Justice Gogoi was among the apex court's four sitting judges who held an unprecedented press conference in January 2018 when they claimed then Chief Justice Dipak Misra had allotted "selective assignment of cases to preferred judges" and "sensitive cases were being allotted to junior judges".

2020 US Presidential Election - Joe biden Wins Florida, Illinois and Arizona in Democractic Primaries Tuesday March 17,2020

Joe Biden easily won Florida, Illinois and Arizona over Bernie Sanders on Tuesday, further cementing his position of probable 2020 Democratic nominee further thwarting the democratic socialist. 

Bernie Sanders' chance of winning the nomination was all but snuffed out a week ago when he lost in Michigan. But with a quick win in Florida for Biden this Tuesday night March 17,2020, and then in Illinois, and finally in Arizona, the Vermont senator's campaign became essentially dead.

Shahrukh Khan Gets All-New Hyundai Creta as Deliveries of SUV Begins in India

Shahrukh Khan gets himself the all-new Creta as the deliveries of the car began yesterday. The actor took the wraps off the new Creta at the 2020 Auto Expo where the car was unveiled for the first time India.

The Creta has been one of Hyundai's most successful products in India. And as the competition stiffens with offerings like the Kia Seltos, the new update for the car was much needed. The new Creta comes as a brand-new car, both in terms of cosmetics and mechanicals

On the outside, the car comes with three-part LED headlamps and squared wheel arches. The updated Creta also gets a new grille, a new set of alloy wheels, and a brand new cabin.

Speaking of which, the car gets a dual-tone black & beige cabin which is optional alongside black interiors with red accents. Also on offer is new leatherette upholstery and ventilated seats at the front. Hyundai has equipped Creta with a variety of new features including a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Advanced Blue Link Connectivity System, a 7.0-inch instrument cluster with digital display, Bose sound system with 8 speakers, tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) and a flat-bottom steering.

In terms of mechanicals, the new BS6 engine options on the Creta include a 1.5-litre petrol engine and a 1.5-litre diesel engine that are available with both a 6-speed manual transmission and an automatic transmission. There is also a 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine available with a 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT). The car comes with three driving modes (Eco, Comfort & Sport) and traction control modes (Snow, Sand & Mud) that are meant to optimise driving across different terrains.

All-New Hyundai Creta Launched In India

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Philippines suspends trading on stock exchange over Coronavirus

The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) on Tuesday March 17,2020 suspended trading operations. It is the first stock exchange in the world to close down owing to the recent COVID-19 (Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2) outbreak

The closure will be in effect "until further notice to ensure the safety of employees and traders in light of the escalating cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19)" said Ramon Monzon, president and CEO of the exchange

The PSE said that its decision to halt operations was connected to a lockdown of the Philippines' main Luzon island, which is home to nearly 57 million people. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte announced Monday that the lockdown would continue till April 12

The PSE expects the closure of operations to ensure the safety of its employees and traders. The exchange had given an indication of slowing down operations in February, when it postponed all of its major activities in March.

The PSE had also shortened its trading  hours from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. from March 17 to April 14.

2020 Copa America June 12-July 12,2020 - Tournament Re Scheduled To June 11-July 11 2021

The Copa America due to kick off in June in Argentina and Colombia was on Tuesday postponed by a year to 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic, organisers CONMEBOL said.

The announcement came shortly after UEFA's similar decision to also push back Euro 2020 by 12 months.
The Copa is South America's main continental competition between national sides and had been scheduled to run between June 12-July 12,2020

The competition was being staged for the first time in two countries rather than one.

The finals featuring 12 teams, for this edition included invitees Australia and Qatar.

"It's an extraordinary measure due to an unexpected situation, and therefore responds to the fundamental need to avoid an exponential evolution of the virus," said CONMEBOL.

The tournament is now rescheduled to run from June 11-July 11 2021.

The decision was taken in conjunction with UEFA's decision to postpone Euro 2020 to 2021.

"We also thank UEFA and its president Aleksander Ceferin for working together and the co-ordinated decision to also postpone the 2020 Euros for the betterment of the whole football family," added CONMEBOL.

The South American governing body had decided to align the Copa, which mostly used to be played in odd years, to the Euros in order to reduce the impact on European clubs, where a large number of South American international players ply their trade.

Club football all over the world has been suspended due to the coronavirus leaving teams and leagues sweating on whether they will be able to finish the current season.

Many governments have imposed travel restrictions, bans on sports events and even total lockdowns on their populations' movements

2020 French Open May 24 - June 07,2020 - Tournament Re-Scheduled to Sep 20 - Oct 04,2020

The second Grand Slam event of the year, French Open 2020, has been pushed behind to September and October 2020 due to the uncertainty revolving around the coronavirus crisis that has grappled the world.

French Open 2020 was originally meant to be held from May 24-June 7 but will now take place from September 20-October 4,2020

In the press release by the tournament organisers, they said, "In order to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved in organising the tournament, the French Tennis Federation has made the decision to hold the 2020 edition of Roland-Garros from 20th September to 4th October 2020

"Though nobody is able to predict what the situation will be on 18th May, the current confinement measures have made it impossible for us to continue with our preparations and, as a result, we are unable to hold the tournament on the dates originally planned."

The organisers said that any tickets purchase that has already been made will either be refunded or exchanged for the new dates, the details of which will be released later

"We have made a difficult yet brave decision in this UNPRECEDENTED situation, which has evolved greatly since last weekend. We are acting responsibly, and must work together in the fight to ensure everybody's health and safety," Bernard Giudicelli, president of the FFT, said in the release.

Why a Textile Shop in Kerala Has Become a Selfie Spot After Coronavirus Outbreak

The word corona across the globe is now the most dreaded one, but not in Kerala's Muvattupuzha town, where it has become the cynosure of all eyes

Located about 40 kms from the commercial capital of the state, 'Corona' is a textile shop owned by Pareed, and for several years he has been popularly known as 'Corona Pareed'

"Now, I am a sought after person here. While many want to take a selfie, others just smile, when they look at me. I see many people travelling in vehicles and when they pass through in front of my shop, they pop their head out and take a glance," said Pareed.

Corona Textiles sells all cloth materials and also has a stitching unit.

When asked how did he settle for this name, pat came the answer, "I looked up in the dictionary and liked the word."

And, Pareed wary of what the word today means, has made it sure that the now deadly corona is kept out of his shop. He has kept a sanitiser for all those who enter his shop.

Euro 2020 Postponed by a Year by UEFA, Scheduled to be Held from June 11-July 11,2021

Euro 2020 has been postponed by a year to 2021 due to the coronavirus crisis that has wrecked havoc in the world with all sporting events hit massively

After Norweigan Football Association announced on social media that the tournament will now take place from June 11 to July 11, 2021, UEFA confirmed the postponement.

In its media release, UEFA said, "The health of all those involved in the game is the priority, as well as to avoid placing any unnecessary pressure on national public services involved in staging matches.

The move will help all domestic competitions, currently on hold due to the COVID-19 emergency, to be completed."
Euro 2020 was originally supposed to take place this year from June 12 to July 12 at 12 venues across Europe.

UEFA has also put on hold club and national team matches for both men and women until further notice.

South Africa suspends football and cricket

Football and cricket activities in South Africa are being suspended as the country seeks to minimise the impact of coronavirus

On Sunday March 15,2020, South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa declared coronavirus a national disaster, and the South Africa Football Association (Safa) and Cricket South Africa (CSA) have responded by suspending their sports in the country

Any gatherings for football of 100 people or more are now banned, while all forms of cricket have now been terminated for a 60-day period

"This measure has a direct impact on all our football activities, particularly matches as most if not all our matches are attended by more than 100 people," said Safa's acting CEO Thamsanqa Gay Mokoena.

"Some of the football authorities elsewhere in the world have taken measures such as playing matches in "empty" stadiums without spectators. This response has not proven to be effective in minimizing the spread of the virus.

"In Europe, some players who were participating in matches "behind closed doors" have recently been found to be positive. Therefore, we do not believe that the practice of playing behind closed doors is effective."

Dr Jacques Faul, Acting Chief Executive for the CSA, echoed the comments, saying "We at CSA take this pronouncement by the President and the cabinet very seriously and we will most certainly use our leverage to ensure that we minimise the impact of the virus in our spaces.

"Consequently and during this time of absolute caution and surveillance, we would like to call upon all our members and affiliates to desist from taking part in any cricket related gatherings and other transversal events that will include the congregation of large numbers of people and/or up to 100 people".

South Africa is the latest African country to announce that it was suspending sport owing to coronavirus, following similar actions by Morocco and Ghana.

Coronavirus cases climb to 400 across Africa

There are now more than 400 known cases of coronavirus across the continent, with nations imposing a range of measures to try to prevent the spread.

According to the latest data, the breakdown is as follows:
  • Algeria - 60
  • Benin - 1
  • Burkina Faso - 15
  • Cameroon - 5
  • Central African Republic - 1
  • Congo-Brazzaville - 1
  • DR Congo - 2
  • Egypt - 126
  • Eswatini - 1
  • Ethiopia - 5
  • Equatorial Guinea - 1
  • Gabon - 1
  • Ghana - 6
  • Guinea - 1
  • Ivory Coast - 3
  • Kenya - 3
  • Liberia - 2
  • Mauritania - 1
  • Morocco - 37
  • Namibia - 2
  • Nigeria- 3
  • Rwanda - 7
  • Senegal - 26
  • Seychelles - 4
  • Somalia - 1
  • South Africa - 62
  • Sudan - 1
  • Tanzania - 1
  • Togo - 1
  • Tunisia - 24
Whilst many countries are closing schools, banning large gatherings and shutting borders, in Kenya telecom companies have slashed the cost of mobile money transfers in a bid to encourage people to go cashless.

An anti-corruption court in the capital, Nairobi, has relocated and set up outside.

There is increasing concern about the potential economic impact in Africa.

People working in other parts of the world are likely to have less money available to send to their families back home so there is likely to be a drop in these remittances.

Coronavirus,Flu,Cold - All U Need To Know

Half a billion students miss school amid coronavirus outbreak: United Nations(UN)

More than half a billion children and youth are unable to go to school because of the coronavirus, the UN education agency said, as the outbreak continues to spread to new countries

Global Education Disruption

Localised school closure
Country-wide school closure

At least 56 countries have shut down schools nationwide with a further 17 implementing localised closures, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said on Monday March 16,2020

Coronavirus: Philippines quarantines island of 57 million people

President Rodrigo Duterte has put the entire Philippine island of Luzon under an "enhanced community quarantine" until April 12,2020 to stop the spread of coronavirus infections.

In a televised public address on Monday March 16,2020, Duterte said public movement would be restricted to only buying food, medicine and other essential items necessary for survival.

"Only establishments that provide services like food and medicine shall be open," said Duterte.

The president instructed the labour and social welfare departments to implement measures that would alleviate the burden of the lockdown on small business and wage workers. He also urged businesses to release the mandatory 13th-month pay to their employees.

According to the health department's latest figures, there are 142 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines and 12 deaths.

Iraqi President Barham Salih Appoints Adnan al-Zurfi as the country's new prime minister

Iraqi President Barham Salih has appointed Adnan al-Zurfi as the country's new prime minister-designate, in the latest bid to resolve a months-long political crisis.

Al-Zurfi heads the Nasr parliamentary grouping of former Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

His appointment on Tuesday  March 17,2020 came more than two weeks after former Prime Minister-designate Mohammed Allawi withdrew his candidacy for the post, accusing political parties of obstructing him.

Coronavirus in USA

Schengen free-travel area - All U Need To Know



History of the Schengen Travel Zone

On June 14, 1985, leaders from France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Belgium met in a Luxembourg village called Schengen. Their goal was to do away with internal border control for states in the European Union (EU), so working people in Europe could travel freely in and between any EU state.

Schengen has often been held up as a cornerstone of the EU belief established after World War II for a peaceful and united Europe.

Five years later, in June of 1990, the same five countries met again and made the Schengen Agreement into the Schengen Area

 The Schengen Area countries agreed to abolish internal border controls, accept one uniform visa valid for participating countries and create a single police database: the SIS, or the Schengen Information System.

Between 1990 and 2011, the Schengen Area grew from 5 countries to 26. Some are in the EU and some are not, such as Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

  1. Austria
  2. Belgium
  3. Czech Republic
  4. Denmark
  5. Estonia
  6. Finland
  7. France
  8. Germany
  9. Greece
  10. Hungary
  11. Iceland
  12. Italy
  13. Latvia
  14. Liechtenstein
  15. Lithuania
  16. Luxembourg
  17. Malta
  18. Netherlands
  19. Norway
  20. Poland
  21. Portugal
  22. Slovakia
  23. Slovenia
  24. Spain
  25. Sweden
  26. Switzerland

Since its beginnings, the Schengen Area has opened its borders to many other countries including the United States.

The area has experienced a huge influx of travelers, making tighter security screenings necessary.

That led to the creation of ETIAS, the European Travel Information and Authorization System.

 Going into effect January 1, 2021, ETIAS will allow visitors from ETIAS eligible countries to apply for ETIAS approval and travel visa-free.

The Schengen Travel Zone maintains its border-free beliefs, and traveling with an approved ETIAS will help you travel in and between participating Schengen countries more easily, as long as your trip is 90 days or less within a 180-day period

Iran releases 85,000 prisoners from overcrowded jails to stop spread of coronavirus

Iran has released around 85,000 prisoners, including political prisoners, from its jails to combat the spread of coronavirus, a judicial spokesperson said.

"Some 50 percent of those released are security-related prisoners...also in the jails we have taken precautionary measures to confront the outbreak," said Gholamhossein Esmaili on Tuesday.

On March 10,2020, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran said he had asked Tehran to free all political prisoners temporarily from its overcrowded and disease-ridden jails to help stem the spread of coronavirus

Iran has the third highest case load after China and Italy, according to World Health Organisation data

Iran's death toll from the coronavirus has reached 853 and a total of 14,991 people have been confirmed infected across the country, one of the worst national outbreaks outside China, where the new virus originated.
Iran has temporarily freed about 85,000 prisoners in an attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said: ‘Some 50% of those released are security-related prisoners… Also in the jails we have taken precautionary measures to confront the outbreak. Last week, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran said he had asked Tehran to free all political prisoners temporarily from its overcrowded and disease-ridden jails to help stem the spread of coronavirus.

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Iran has temporarily freed about 85,000 prisoners in an attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said: ‘Some 50% of those released are security-related prisoners… Also in the jails we have taken precautionary measures to confront the outbreak. Last week, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran said he had asked Tehran to free all political prisoners temporarily from its overcrowded and disease-ridden jails to help stem the spread of coronavirus.

Read more:
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Iran has temporarily freed about 85,000 prisoners in an attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said: ‘Some 50% of those released are security-related prisoners… Also in the jails we have taken precautionary measures to confront the outbreak. Last week, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran said he had asked Tehran to free all political prisoners temporarily from its overcrowded and disease-ridden jails to help stem the spread of coronavirus.

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Remembering Kalpana Chawla(March 17,1962 - Feb 01,2003)first woman of Indian Origin To Go To Space

The first woman of Indian origin to go to space, Kalpana Chawla was born on March 17, 1962.

Though born in India, Kalpana, who had a keen interest in aeroplanes and flying, became a naturalized US citizen in April 1991, and subsequently applied for the NASA Astronaut Corps.
Chawla's first space mission was on November 18, 1997, where she was a part of the six-astronaut crew of STS-87.

She returned to space in the ill-fated STS-107 mission. She, along with six other crew members, died on February 1, 2003, when the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated over Texas, during its re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere.

On her 58th birth anniversary, here’s looking at a few interesting facts about her

She was part of the six-astronaut crew who were onboard the Space Shuttle Columbia flight STS-87 on November 19, 1997.

After completing her PhD in aerospace engineering from the University of Colorado Boulder in 1988, Kalpana started to work at the NASA Ames Research Center, where she did computational fluid dynamics (CFD) research on vertical and/or short take-off and landing (V/STOL) concepts

In 2001, Kalpana was selected for her second flight as part of the crew of STS-107

Kalpana died on February 1, 2003, over the southern United States when the Space Shuttle Columbia STS-107 perished during entry, 16 minutes prior to the scheduled landing

In 2003, the then government announced that the meteorological series of satellites, MetSat, was to be renamed "Kalpana"

The Kalpana Chawla Award was instituted by the Government of Karnataka in 2004 to recognise young women scientists

Kalpana is survived by her husband Jean‐Pierre Harrison

Several scholarships, streets, universities and institutions have been named in honour of Kalpana Chawla.

Coronavirus in United Kingdom

Coronavirus cases in the UK are rapidly climbing, and the spiralling outbreak prompted Prime minister Boris Johnson to take the drastic step of advising against all social contact in a dramatic measure to delay the spread of infection.

But despite these distancing measures, the government estimates many more people will catch the disease which has so far killed 55

Civic Polls Deferred in Andhra Pradesh for 6 Weeks Over Coronavirus Fears

Elections to rural and urban local bodies in Andhra Pradesh were put off for six weeks by the State Election Commission on Sunday March 15,2020 in view of spread of coronavirus.

Elections to gram panchayats have been kept in abeyance for six weeks, State Election Commissioner N Ramesh Kumar said

Taking due consideration of emerging challenges posted by coronavirus spread, the SEC is of the firm view that continuing with the election schedule may be detrimental and harmful to the public health at large," he told

Elections to Mandal Parishad Territorial Constituencies and Zilla Parishad Territorial Constituencies were originally scheduled for March 21,2020