PM Modi launches Rs 50,000 crore Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan for migrant workers: WHO says world in ‘new and dangerous phase” of Covid-19 pandemic

PM Modi launches Rs 50,000 crore Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan for migrant workers: WHO says world in ‘new and dangerous phase” of Covid-19 pandemic

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced the launch of a massive rural public works scheme, the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan, today to create jobs for millions of migrant workers who returned home during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In presence of Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, the Prime Minister launched the scheme worth Rs 50,000 crore through video conference

from Telihar village in Khagaria district of Bihar.

Chief Ministers of five states – Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha- and Union ministers of concerned ministries participated in the virtual launch.

The scheme of 125 days spread across 116 districts aims to work in mission mode to help migrant workers. All these districts in six states have received more than 25,000 migrant workers during the lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus.

The scheme will involve intensified and focused implementation of 25 different types of jobs to provide work and create infrastructure in the rural areas of the country.

Rural development secretary NN Sinha said that under the scheme, migrant workers will be involved in the laying of fibre optics cable, railway works, rurban mission jobs, sanitation works, waste management, poultry, farm ponds and training through Krishi Vigyan Kendras.

The secretary further stated that there is no bar for other districts to join the programme if they also have more than 25,000 migrant workers.

WHO warns world in new and dangerous phase of Covid-19 pandemic

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization cautioned on Friday of a “new and dangerous phase” of the Covid-19 pandemic with people fed up of shutdowns despite the infection’s accelerating spread.

The warning came as it was found that the virus was present in Italy in December 2019, months before its first confirmed cases and about the same time as the disease was first reported in China.

The virus, which has sofar left more than 454,000 dead and infected 8.4 million people globally, is surging in the Americas and parts of Asia even as Europe starts to ease curbs. 

Lockdowns imposed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus have caused crippling economic damage, but the WHO said the pandemic still posed a major threat.

In a virtual press briefing, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the world is in a new and dangerous phase as many people are understandably tired of being at home… but the virus is still spreading fast.

A vaccine to cure the disease remains months off at best despite several trials and studies, while scientists and researchers are still finding out more about the virus, its symptoms and the extent to which it may have spread before being identified.

Italian sewage

Meanwhile, Italian researchers found genetic traces of SARS-CoV-2 — as the virus is officially known — in samples of waste water collected in Milan and Turin at the end of 2019, and Bologna in January, the  ISS National Health Institute said in a statement.

Italy’s first confirmed cases of Covid-19 were not until mid-February.

The statement added that the results help in understanding the start of the circulation of the virus in Italy.