Gist of The Hindu: MAY 2020
SC asks central government to treat migrants humanely
- The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the police and the authorities to treat migrant workers journeying home in fear of COVID-19 in a humane manner.
- Considering the situation, we are of the opinion that the State governments/Union Territories should endeavour to engage volunteers along with the police to supervise the welfare activities for the migrants,” a Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde, said.
- The court ordered the government to ensure that migrant workers stopped from crossing the inter-State borders were given food, shelter and medicines. The government said it was imperative to stop the mass migration as there was a likelihood that three out of every 10 workers might be carrying the coronavirus. The court expressed its satisfaction with the government measures.
- The Bench, through videoconferencing, asked the government to urge community and religious leaders to speak to the migrant workers lodged in shelters. It asked the government to have trained counsellors talk to the workers.
- The court directed the government, represented by Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta, to set up an expert committee and a dedicated portal within 24 hours to disseminate authentic information about the virus and stop the spread of fake news.
- A status report filed by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs said the propagation of deliberate or inadvertent false information was the “single most unimaginable hindrance” faced by the government in its battle against the virus.
- Chief Justice Bobde said that Section 188 (disobedience to order promulgated by public servant) of the IPC makes it a penal offence to disobey orders made by government authorities in public interest.
- The court, on March 30, sought a report from the government on the steps taken about the large scale movement of workers. Tuesday’s order came on petitions by advocates AlakhAlokSrivastava and RashmiBansal for a direction to the government to redress the “heart-wrenching and inhuman plight of thousands of migrant workers” walking back to their villages from the cities without essentials.
Health ministry releases revised guidelines on Hydroxychloroquine combination
- The Union Health Ministry has allowed the use of Hydroxychloroquine in combination with Azithromycin under close monitoring for patients with severe disease and requiring ICU management as per the revised Guidelines on Clinical Management of COVID–19.
- Hydroxychloroquine was previously under testing and was allowed to be administered only to doctors and caregivers in direct contact with COVID-19 positive cases.
- The Health Ministry has noted that no specific antiviral has been proven to be effective as per currently available data. However, based on the available information (uncontrolled clinical trials), the following drugs may be considered.
- It has, however, cautioned that the medication is presently not recommended for children less than 12 years, pregnant and lactating women. “The revised guidelines are based on currently available information and would be reviewed from time to time as new evidence emerges,” it added.
- ● Health Ministry’s Revised National Clinical Management of COVID-19 is intended for clinicians taking care of hospitalised adult and paediatric patients of COVID–19. “This is not meant to replace clinical judgment or specialist consultation but rather to strengthen clinical management of these patients and provide up-to-date guidance,” noted the document.
- “We are also offering support to treating physicians and AIIMS, New Delhi is running a 24x7 helpline to provide support to the treating physicians on clinical management. The helpline number is 9971876591. The identified nodal doctor of the State, appointed for clinical management of COVID–19 should only contact AIIMS Call Centre,” said a senior Health Ministry official.
Govt.extends existing foreign trade policy by an year
- The Government today extended the existing foreign trade policy (2015-20) for one year till March 2021 amid coronavirus outbreak and the lockdown to contain the virus spread.
- The Directorate General of Foreign Trade, DGFT in a notification said, the existing foreign trade policy 2015-20 which is valid up to March 31 this year is extended up to March 31, 2021. Various other changes are also made extending the date of exemptions by one year and extending validity of DFIA and EPCG authorisations for import purposes.
- Exports during April-February this fiscal dipped by 1.5 per cent to 292.91 billion dollars.Imports during the period declined by 7.30 per cent to 436 billion dollars, leaving a trade deficit of 143.12 billion dollars.
- Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) is an export promotion scheme under which an exporter can import a certain amount of capital goods at zero duty for upgrading technology related with exports.
- On the other hand, advance authorisation is issued to allow duty free import of inputs, which is physically incorporated in export products. Under the Duty Free Import Authorisation (DFIA) scheme, exporters are allowed to import certain goods like sugar at zero duty.
Courtesy: The Hindu