The government has politely sidestepped the periodic “advice” from the WHO and, instead, leaned on the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the experience of several state governments.
The government’s advisory on the use of masks while stepping out of the house was at variance with that of the WHO, which said this should be only for those who are symptomatic, health workers, or caregivers to COVID patients.
WHO has been working closely with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and various state governments on preparedness and response measures for COVID-19.
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign, making former Vice President Joe Biden the presumptive nominee to face Republican President Donald Trump in the Nov. 3 election.
His departure sets up a battle between the 77-year-old former vice-president, Joe Biden, and President Donald Trump, who is seeking a second four-year term in office.
Sanders, who also mounted an unexpectedly strong challenge in 2016 to eventual Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, had been under pressure to halt his campaign after Biden won resounding victories in primary contests on March 17 in Florida, Arizona and Illinois.
With the Centre expecting an extreme cash crunch due to the COVID-19 crisis, most Central government departments have been asked to cut their first quarter expenditure to 15-20% of the year’s budget estimates (BE).
Departments considered crucial to dealing with the pandemic and the resultant lockdown will not be affected by these restrictions, including Health, Pharma and Ayush, Agriculture, Rural Development and Textiles, Food and Consumer Affairs, as well as Civil Aviation and Railways.
The economic slowdown had already spurred the Finance Ministry to cap spending in the last quarter of 2019-20 (January-March 2020) to 25% of BE, from the earlier 33%.