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Lockdown is the best way to practice social distancing and curb the spread of the coronavirus. Pixabay

As novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases continue to increase in the country, at least 88 per cent Indians feel that the 21-day nationwide lockdown, scheduled to end on April 14, should be extended further, a new poll said on Thursday.

The findings showed that 88 per cent of the respondents are refraining to order food online during the lockdown period, according to the survey by news platform Inshorts.


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The poll which included response from 40,000 app users revealed that 92 per cent of the respondents feel private sector should be allowed testing of COVID-19 in order to augment testing facilities for the respiratory disease.

“Lockdown is the best way to practice social distancing and curb the spread of the coronavirus,” said the survey.

The Odisha government on Thursday decided to extend the lockdown period till April 30 to combat the COVID-19 outbreak. It also decided to keep the educational institutions closed till June 17. Odisha is the first state in the country which extended the lockdown period by another 15 days.

The total tally of novel coronavirus cases in India reached up to 5,734 on Thursday. Of these, 5,095 are active cases, 166 are dead, one has migrated, while 472 people have been discharged after recovery.

ALSO READ: Vitamin-D Rich Food May Be Good For Your Heart Health

Maharashtra is the worst affected state so far with 1,135 active cases, 117 cured and discharged and 72 have died. (IANS)


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Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Killer Smog in Delhi.

Developed by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, a Decision Support System (DSS) that extends the ability of the existing air quality early warning system (AQEWS) to have decision-making capability for air quality management in Delhi-NCR was launched on Tuesday.

The website for the DSS (https://ews.tropmet.res.in/dss/) is designed to help the Commission for Air Quality Management for NCR and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) by delivering quantitative information about the contribution of emissions from Delhi and its 19 surrounding districts; the contribution of emissions from eight different sectors in Delhi; and the contribution from biomass-burning activities in the neighbouring states.

These information would assist in managing the air quality in a timely manner, a release from the Ministry of Earth Sciences said.

The need was stated by the CAQM, which was formed by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, during a meeting held in January 2021.

Recently, the Commission reviewed the progress made by IITM and had in principle approved the current version of DSS for air quality management in the Delhi-NCR. The IITM has also developed a new website for DSS with the entire system made operational, the release said.

Union Minister of State for Earth Sciences, Jitendra Singh, while launching the website for AQEWS on the occasion of 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' week organised by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, said, "DSS is a significant contribution to 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' on behalf of MoES and IITM and suggestions are invited on this issue."

The website also has a feature whereby the users can create their own emission reduction scenarios (from 20 different districts, including Delhi) so as to examine the possible projected improvement in air quality in Delhi for the next five days.

"This information would explicitly highlight the most important emission sources responsible for the degradation of air quality in Delhi and suggest possible solutions to ameliorate the same. With a plethora of quantitative data, the AQEWS integrated with DSS could become a user-friendly tool for air-quality management in and around Delhi," the release said. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Delhi, India, Pollution, IITM, Ministry of Earth Sciences