Centre to provide 5 kg free food grains to 80 cr beneficiaries for next 2 months

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New Delhi, April 23: In the wake of rise in the number of COVID-19 cases and lockdown-like restrictions in several states, the Centre on Friday announced that it would be providing food grains for free to the poor and needy families under the Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana, new agency ANI reported. This facility can be availed in the month of May and June.

“5 kg free food grains to be provided to around 80 crore beneficiaries, Centre said adding, “Government of India would spend more than ₹26,000 crore on this initiative.”

The announcement came on the same day India reported over 3.32 lakh new coronavirus cases in a single day taking the country’s tally to 1,62,63,695, while active cases crossed the 24-lakh mark.

Earlier this month, Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray also announced that the state would be providing free ration to the poor while the COVID-triggered restrictions are in place. On 13 April, the state had imposed several lockdown-like restriction owing to the sudden surge in the number of COVID-19 cases. On the same day, the CM said, “Maharashtra Government will provide three kilos of wheat and two kilos of rice for free for next one month to every poor and needy person while coronavirus-induced restrictions are in place.”

The Union Health Ministry on Friday pointed out that Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Rajasthan reported 75.01 per cent of the new COVID-19 cases registered in a day.

Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 67,013. It is followed by Uttar Pradesh with 34,254 fresh infections, while Kerala reported 26,995 new cases, the ministry said.

India’s active case count has reached 24,28,616 and now comprises 14.93 per cent of the country’s total infections. A net increase of 1,37,188 cases was recorded in the total active COVID-19 cases in a day.

Five states — Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala — cumulatively account for 59.12 per cent of India’s total active cases. (The Awam News)

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