Notice Board

Cabinet assign the Minister to present plan regarding reopening of mosques

 

 

The government spokesperson Tariq Al-Muzram, said that the cabinet decided to assign the Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs to present the ministry’s plan regarding reopening of mosques during the coming period, according to the guidelines of the health authorities.

In the press conference that was held today at Seef Palace after the weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers, Al-Muzram added that the mandate includes how some entities attached to the mosques carry out their work.

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Swarms of locusts enter Jaipur residential areas in India

 

 

Locusts normally affect districts in western Rajasthan but this time the swarms have travelled as far as Jaipur city. The swarms later headed towards Dausa district.The swarms are travelling farther and damaging trees as there are no standing crops for them to feed on, an official said.

In Jaipur's Murlipura and Vidhyadhar Nagar areas, people beat 'thalis' at the locusts that had settled on walls and trees, hoping to make them move on.

"The menace of locust has spread to 18 districts of Rajasthan and they are rapidly travelling in search of food," Om Prakash, the commissioner of state agriculture department, told PTIHe said the swarms were in Nagaur and reached Jaipur and nearby areas on Sunday.They were seen in residential areas of the city on Monday and then they moved towards Dausa, Prakash said.

"There is no standing crop on ground so they are staying on large trees and moving fast. Locust control teams conducted operations by sprinkling pesticide in Jaipur last night and today remaining swarms have moved towards Dausa," he said.

Centre's Locust Warning Organisation in Jodhpur and the state agriculture department are working in coordination to handle the locust attack issue.

The latest such attack occurred on April 11 when the swarms entered from Pakistan and damaged cotton crops in Ganganagar to some extent.The swarms later travelled to various other districts and have now crossed Jaipur.

The director of agriculture department informed that 200 teams are working in the field to monitor the movement of locusts and nearly 800 tractor-mounted sprayers are being used.

He said, fire department is also involved in the operations against the locusts.Prakash said the swarms have covered almost 54,000 hectare area in the state this time and containment operations were conducted in 40,000 hectare area.

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Kuwait to end full curfew after May 30 and to honor employees working in the frontline

 

 

Kuwait government will not extend full curfew due to end Saturday, May 30 and will turn to partial curfew to pave way for restoration of normal life, Deputy Premier and Interior Ministry Anas Al-Saleh said on Monday.

Al-Saleh, also Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs, was speaking at an online news conference following a cabinet meeting to discuss how to restore normal life next week.He said the government would be announcing more details about the gradual restoration of normal life on Thursday.The government was expecting improvement of the health situation due to compliance with the full curfew, which entered force on May 10.

Al-Saleh said the Ministry of health believed the full curfew contributed to improving the situation in the country. Al-Saleh, meanwhile, said the government formed a committee with a mandate of honoring those working in the frontline in line with His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah's instructions.

Bader Al-Hamad, Undersecretary of the Civil Services Commission (CSC), spoke in the same news conference about honoring the employees working between February 24 and May 31 financially.He said the committee classified employees working during the pandemic crisis into three segments.

The first were employees of the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Health who were directly dealing with infected people and suspected infectees, said Al-Hamad.

The second, he added, were people working in government departments who were dealing with suspected cases, working in border crossings, quarantine facilities and clinics.

The third category, said Al-Hamad, were employees working in supporting lines who were assigned to work during the partial or full curfew.

Those employees, continued Al-Hamad, would be honored in accordance with the degree of risk they were exposed to: high and medium.He said the government would consider people dying from the virus as martyrs and infectees would be given a special allowance until their recovery.

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Reliance officially launched JioMart in India across almost all regions

 

 

Reliance started testing JioMart, it’s e-commerce platform, last month in some parts of Maharashtra. The company has officially launched JioMart in the country across almost all regions. Currently, JioMart is available as a web version but the mobile version is expected to be available very soon. No official words from Reliance as of yet.

To purchase groceries and daily essentials from JioMart you will first need to check whether the service is available in your area or not by entering your pin code.The service is available in almost all areas and the rest will get it soon.

To start shopping from JioMart you will head to jiomart.com on the web browser and the page will appear. Jio claims that JioMart offers all products at 5 per cent below MRP. Interestingly, the platform further claims that all products listed are sourced directly from the registered farmers. With JioMart, the company wants to move farmers online to sell their products and boost their business.To sign up with JioMart you will just head to the official website and click on Sign up > enter your mobile number > enter the OTP you received on your phone number within the allotted time. It’s as simple as that. After entering the details you can start shopping.

Despite being a new e-commerce platform JioMart offers products across several categories including fruits, dairy, staples, snacks, personal care, home care, and baby care. JioMart is also selling face masks, a product that is in demand at this time of crisis. After adding the products to the cart by tapping on add to cart option head over to the cart and recheck if you’re missing anything. Then click on proceed. JioMart claims that the order will be delivered in just two days. 

As far as the payment options are concerned, JioMart allows customers to make the payment via debit/credit cards of almost all banks, Paytm, JioMoney, PhonePe, UPI, Mobikwik. It is also offering the cash-on-delivery option that a lot of competitors have disabled due to contactless delivery. There’s no option for payment via WhatsApp or booking order via WhatsApp. Overall, the web version of JioMart looks pretty clean and offers a great shopping experience.

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Indian nurse died In Kuwait after battling with COVID-19

 

 

chacko

Indian nurse from State of Kerala passed away after battling with coronavirus at Mubarak hospital here on 24th May. The deceased is identified as Pathanamthitta native Annamma Chacko. Wife of late P. T Chacko, she was 59 year old.

She was serving as a head nurse at Al-Shaab Medical center. She was admitted to Mubarak hospital 3 days back.

She left behind her children Sara and Thomas Jacob, both are working in Kuwait.

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New York Times dedicates Sunday’s front page to COVID victims

 

 

The New York Times has devoted Sunday’s entire front page to a long list of names of people who have died in the coronavirus pandemic.The names and brief descriptions culled from obituaries from around the country fill six columns under the headline “U.S. Deaths Near 100,000, an Incalculable Loss,” with a subheadline reading: “They Were Not Simply Names on a List. They Were Us.'”

The all-text list takes the place of the usual articles, photographs and graphics in an effort to convey the vastness and variety of lives lost, according to Simone Landon, assistant editor of the graphics desk, who described “a little bit of fatigue with the data.”

“We knew we were approaching this milestone,” she said in a New York Times article explaining the project. “We knew that there should be some way to try to reckon with that number.”A tally kept by Johns Hopkins University says more than 96,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the United States.

Times researcher Alain Delaqueriere compiled a list of nearly a thousand names from online obituaries and death notices and a team of editors sought to capture the uniqueness of each in a few words: “Alan Lund, 81, Washington, conductor with ‘the most amazing ear.”

Tom Bodkin, chief creative officer of The Times, said he did not remember any front pages without images, though there have been pages with only graphics, during his 40 years at the newspaper.

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Article 17 visa holders can now renew residency online through the website

 

 

The Ministry of Interior has allowed the renewal of residency for state body employees to be conducted online through the website www.moi.gov.kw ..

The move comes amid ongoing efforts to develop security services in the country, saving nationals and expatriates time and effort and allowing procedures to be completed in a more efficient manner, the ministry said in a statement.

The MOI calls upon all ministries, government agencies & institutions and diplomatic missions operating in the State of Kuwait to send the names of their authorized candidates to renew the residency of their employees, including the name of the authorized signatory, the phone number and the email address. Where the details will be sent to the authorized signatory in his email, in addition to the steps of the renewal process, The administration indicated that the authorized signatory, after activating his account will have the right to appoint a person who will be responsible to carry out the process of online for renewing the residency of their employees.

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Expats with expired residency can apply for 3 month extension

 

 

Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior for Residence Affairs Major General Anwar Al-Barjas issued an instructions which enables expatriates with expired residency permits to apply for 3 month extension, local Arabic news paper Al-Anbaa reported.

According to Al-Anba daily, this instruction already came into effect from last Wednesday. Expatriates who's residency expired due to various reasons such as expiry of passport, not enough validity for passport, etc can benefit from this decision and they can apply for 3 month extension through the link https://eres.moi.gov.kw/individual/en/auth/login.

The daily also reported that if the head of the family is outside the country and his wife and children are inside Kuwait, they will be also granted temporary residence according to the prescribed conditions and conditions.

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Eid to be celebrated in India on Monday

 

 

Eid will be celebrated in the country on May 25 as the moon could not be sighted on Saturday, Shahi Imam of Delhi's Jama Masjid Ahmed Shah Bukhari said.

This will be perhaps the first time that there will no mass namaz at mosques and idgahs across the country as the government has prohibited all kinds of religious gatherings to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Eid marks the end of the fasting month of Ramzan.

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Private companies have initiated steps to change their work culture in order to adapt to the pandemic

 

 

As countries begin loosening restrictions and easing lockdowns, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) released guidelines to allow private offices in India to operate at 100 per cent capacity, but urged people to work from home as much as possible.

Not just India, several countries have released norms for employees. In New Zealand, for instance, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said that those businesses in the “position to do so” should consider a four-day workweek in order to boost domestic tourism.

In South Korea, on the other hand, the government has encouraged that workshops and trainings be conducted online, asked colleagues to sit two metres apart, urged people to regularly disinfect places that hands often touch and refrain from shaking hands. Further, employers are encouraged to minimise international and domestic business trips and use video conferencing and phone calls as much as possible.

New Zealand and South Korea are two countries that have been able to contain the spread of the virus. Their guidelines for workers could hold lessons for other countries.

Some private companies too have initiated steps to change their work culture in order to adapt to the pandemic. Tech giant Twitter, for example, was among the first global companies to allow employees to work from home. In a blog post published on May 12, Jennifer Christie, the leader of the People Team at Twitter, said “with very few exceptions”, offices would not open before September and there would be no in-person company events till the end of 2020. Later, CEO Jack Dorsey said he would allow employees the option to permanently work from home.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Thursday said in a live-streamed staff meeting that the company would allow many employees to work from home permanently. He said that as many as 45,000 Facebook employees could be working from home within the next decade.

Microsoft has allowed employees to work from home till October, while Google has said the option was open until the end of this year.

Due to Covid-19, it is likely that people would want to change their work environments, even after the pandemic. A Gallup poll found that three in five (59 per cent) US workers, who have been working from home during the pandemic, said they would prefer to continue even after restrictions are lifted. Over 41 per cent, meanwhile, said they would prefer to return to their workplace. At the time of this survey, 62 per cent of employed Americans said they worked from home during the pandemic.

Further, Covid-19 might also change the notion that creative work demands corporate campuses built by companies such as Facebook and Google, complete with free food, open office plans and ping pong tables, a report in the Associated Press said.

A shift in remote work could also lead to the movement of workers from big cities where the cost of living is higher. Significantly, if workers are given the option to work from anywhere, it may also affect their pay. If remote work becomes the norm, salaries may be pegged to cost of living, which may bring down salaries for employees who shift locations to smaller cities with lower costs of living.

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New rules for domestic flights in India

 

 

As India prepares to begin domestic flight operations from May 25, there are new standard operating protocols in place. According to reports, a face mask inside a place is now mandatory, while passengers will need to board and deplane in batches.

Also, the entire process from now on will be contact-less, and all this points to the fact that flying is never going to be the same again. According to the standard operating protocols, passengers are now required to do web-check-ins, and get online baggage tickets. So the entire process is now actually starting from home. Additionally, passengers need to reach the airport two hours before their scheduled departure.

Here are some of the salient features of the new standard operating protocols for domestic flights.

  1. Passengers are now required to download the Arogya Setu App, and activate it as well. Children below 14 years of age are exempted from this rule.
  2. Face masks are absolutely essential at all times, even inside the aircraft.
  3. Airports will not have newspapers, and magazines at the lounges.
  4. Passengers will now be discouraged from using trolleys in arrivals and departures.
  5. Baggage will be sanitised before entering the airport.
  6. The boarding and deplaning will occur in batches.
  7. Passengers will have to go through thermal screenings, and the entire process will be contact-less.
  8. The baggage collection area will have markings that will ensure social distancing is practiced.
  9. Passengers will be provided with safety kits.
  10. Inside the aircraft, passengers are not to queue in front of the bathrooms.
  11. Meals will not be served inside the aircraft. Water will be provided.

Over all, airports are required to ensure that all these rules are being followed by passengers, and constant announcements for the same will be made at regular intervals. There will be a heightened degree of sanitisation of the airports.

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The fiercest cyclone to hit West Bengal in 100 years left 72 people dead

 

 

Cyclone Amphan weakened Thursday, a day after tearing through West Bengal where 72 people were killed and two districts were 'completely devastated' with thousands of people left homeless, bridges washed away and low-lying areas in waist deep water.The fiercest cyclone to hit West Bengal in 100 years destroyed mud houses and crops, and uprooted trees and electric poles.

It also wreaked havoc in Odisha damaging power and telecom infrastructure in several coastal districts. Odisha government officials estimated that the cyclone has affected around 44.8 lakh people in the state.

Senior officials of the West Bengal government said it was too early to estimate the exact death toll or damage to property as the worst hit areas were still not accessible.In Kolkata, hundreds of cars were overturned in the strong winds with speed up to 125 kmph that also felled trees and electricity poles blocking key arterial roads and intersections. Large parts of Kolkata and other affected districts went without power.

Mobile and internet services were also disrupted as the fierce cyclone had damaged several communication towers.Residents recalled 'living through hell' for six hours as the winds howled incessantly.Windows buckled from the pressure of the storm, cars floated on water logged roads, bumping against each other.Parts of air conditioners were flying around like missiles.Buses and taxis crashed against each other, small fishing boats turned turtle and grounded planes shook at the inundated Kolkata airport.

Packing heavy rain and winds with speeds of up to 190 kmph, the cyclone barrelled through coastal districts of North and South 24 Parganas of Bengal and Odisha on Wednesday unleashing copious rain and windstorm.

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Facebook enables profile lock for Indian users, preventing anyone not friends with them from seeing any photos or posts

 

 

Facebook has introduced a new feature that lets users lock their profiles, preventing anyone not friends with them from seeing any photos or posts shared on the page, or expanding the profile picture. Though aimed at ensuring the safety of women users, even men will be able to opt for the locked profile feature. The feature will roll out to all users India over the course of the next week.

Facebook Product Manager Roxna Irani said the feature, which comes as a successor of the profile picture guard, has taken into account feedback from users. “We started first with the profile, because that was the picture that women were most nervous about being downloaded and shared. And so that’s when we first launched profile picture guard. And then over time, we realised it extends beyond the current profile picture to other photos as well,” Irani said over a video call, underlining how the new feature has been the culmination of a “multi-year journey”. How to lock your Facebook profile

Once the profile lock is enabled, users will be able to see just the profile pictures of the person, but will not be able to expand it or see anything else on the page. A blue badge will show that the profile is locked. The feature is accessed from the more options in profile, where users will have to tap on Lock Profile. The process will clearly onboard the users on what locking a profile means.

Once Profile Lock feature is activated, users will not be able to post publicly. Once this feature is activated, users will not be able to post publicly. A pop up will appear reminding the user that the profile is locked. A public post will be possible only once the profile is unlocked again. Users can still be tagged on other people’s posts, but these will not appear on the timeline of the user till they allow it.

Ankhi Das, Public Policy Director, Facebook -India, South & Central Asia, said Facebook has a “multi-pronged approach in terms of looking at having the right policies and enforcing them”. She said the social network has worked to ensure there is enough community education in terms of the tools that help users, secure their privacy, and protect themselves.

She said Facebook’s partnerships with the civil society organisations work as an excellent input factor in terms of research at the product and programmatic levels. Das underlined how photos safety was an important factor when it comes to online access for women, especially in South Asia where women are 51% less likely to use mobile internet.

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IndiGo to operate 97 repatriation flights to the Middle East-- 23 from Kuwait

 

 

Airline company IndiGo on Thursday said it has been authorised to operate 97 repatriation flights from West Asia to Kerala. This makes Indigo the first private airline to start international commercial operations to India after the government banned such operations on March 22. Till now, national carriers Air India and Air India Express have been undertaking the evacuation flights, airlifting Indians stranded in various countries under the Vande Bharat Mission.

“IndiGo has been authorised to operate 97 Kerala reparation flights to the Middle East. Adhering to all the precautionary measures, the flights will be operated between Kerala and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Doha, Kuwait and Muscat. IndiGo has been granted nearly half of the 180 repatriation flights allotted to private airlines,” a release said here.

It did not, however, mention the dates of the flights or the airfare. Ronojoy Dutta, chief executive officer, IndiGo, said, “We had expressed eagerness to support Indian government’s repatriation efforts from the Middle-East. We are grateful for the approval to operate flights to four countries to bring back our fellow citizens, who are either stranded due to suspension of operations or have registered to fly back owing to the economic landscape.” The 97 repatriation flights will include 36 flights from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 28 from Doha, 23 from Kuwait and 10 from Muscat to Kerala. 

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India domestic flight services to resume in phased manner from Monday

 

 

Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Wednesday domestic scheduled commercial passenger flights will resume in a calibrated manner from May 25, two months after the services were shut due to coronavirus.

All scheduled commercial passenger flights have been suspended in India since March 25, when the Modi government imposed lockdown to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

"Domestic civil aviation operations will recommence in a calibrated manner from Monday, May 25, 2020. All airports and air carriers are being informed to be ready for operations from 25th May," Puri said on Twitter.

"SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) for passenger movement are also being separately issued by the ministry of civil aviation," he added.

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Cyclone Amphan to reach Kolkata by 7 pm: IMD

 

 

The First arm of Cyclone Amphan has touched land. It is approaching Digha in West Bengal. The process which began at 2:30 pm will continue for four hours and will hit Kolkata, later in the evening, according to the Indian Meteorological Department.

Addressing a press briefing, IMD chief Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said the eye of cyclone is expected to touch land anytime now.  “The intensity of the cyclone near its centre as the landfall process started was recorded at 160-170 kmph, gusting to 190 kmph,” it said.

Heavy rain and gale wind have affected several districts in the Gangetic West Bengal since morning and the intensity of the downpour and wind increased gradually with every passing hour. The extremely severe cyclonic storm lay at 106 km south-southeast of Paradip, Odisha, 95 km south of Digha, West Bengal at 4:30 pm on Wednesday. Lakhs of people in West Bengal and Odisha have been evacuated from vulnerable areas and shifted to safer locations.

Earlier on Tuesday, NDRF chief SN Pradhan in a media briefing said that a total of 41 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed in West Bengal and Odisha to deal with any emergency situation arising out of Super Cyclone Amphan. IMD Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said since the super cyclone is gradually weakening, its impact is unlikely to be very severe on Odisha.

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COVID-19 vaccine developers report first positive sign in human trial

 

 

Early data from Moderna Inc’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate, the first to be tested in the United States, showed that it produced protective antibodies in a small group of healthy volunteers, the company said on Monday.

The data comes from eight people who took part in a 45-subject safety trial that kicked off in March. The Moderna vaccine is one of more than 100 under development intended to protect against Sars-CoV-2 – the virus that causes Covid-19. Overall, the study showed the vaccine was safe and all study participants produced antibodies against the virus.

“These are significant findings but it is a Phase 1 clinical trial that only included eight people. It was designed for safety. Not for efficacy,” said Dr. Amesh Adalja, in infectious disease expert at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security who was not involved in the study.

The very early data offers a glimmer of hope for a vaccine among the most advanced in development.

There are currently no approved treatment or vaccine for COVID-19, caused by the new coronavirus, and experts predict a safe and effective vaccine could take 12-18 months to develop.

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How to use WhatsApp Web to the fullest

 

 

Ever since WhatsApp launched its web version in January 2015, the acceptance of using the world’s most popular messaging app via your computer or laptop has been steadily increasing. The major reason for people’s fascination with the web client has been the use of the platform as an alternative to emails for quicker and easier file sharing, information transfer and professional messaging.

The web version simply mirrors the data (messages, contacts, images etc.) from a user’s mobile phone to his/ her computer, acting as an extension of the mobile application. Nevertheless, there are a lot of interesting capabilities in the web client, and here is a guide on how to use WhatsApp Web to the fullest.

–WhatsApp can be accessed on your computer in two ways – using WhatsApp Web, which is a browser-based application which runs on Google Chrome etc., or via WhatsApp Desktop, which is a desktop application which you can download on your computer to reduce the need of opening your browser every time.

–Message you send and receive are synced in real-time on your mobile application and on your web client. Hence, you can view and update information on either, even when WhatsApp is running on both platforms.

–To access the web app, you have to tap on Menu/ Settings in the top-right corner of the mobile application and then click on WhatsApp Web. After this, you must scan a unique one-time QR code on your desktop to enable the web client and sync your data. This login procedure ensures security and hence, conforms by WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption model even when messaging via the web client.

–It is impossible for the receiver to know whether you are using the web version or the mobile application to message him/ her. This further eases the syncing process and allows parallel access from both platforms.

. Uploading status updates, changing your profile picture and typing long, formal messages are much easier on WhatsApp web client

–Sending attachments via WhatsApp Web is much easier as compared to the mobile application. Whether it be images, videos or documents, you can simply attach or drag the file to the chat box on your web client to send it across. Since it is more comfortable to view large files on your computer than your mobile, WhatsApp Web significantly aids the transfer process.

–There is no protocol for automatic storage of data on your computer. For example, when you view an image in a chat box on WhatsApp Web, it is not stored in the computer’s memory unless explicitly downloaded. This is a major relief as compared to emails, especially when using WhatsApp Web on a foreign system or a public computer.

–Uploading status updates, changing your profile picture and typing long, formal messages are much easier on the web client compared to the limitations offered by touchscreen typing on the mobile application.

–Most of the features of the mobile application are incorporated into the web client. In fact, WhatsApp’s parent company Facebook is also planning to roll out Messenger Rooms on the web client in the near future. It is also expected that the Dark Mode for WhatsApp Web will be officially released soon, even though it is possible to use the much loved Dark Theme at present by implementing a trick involving changing the value of ‘body class’ to ‘web dark in the ‘inspect window’ element.

–The only drawback, if it can be considered one, is that in order to use WhatsApp Web, the user’s mobile phone must be connected to the internet, and the application must be running on the phone in order to access it on the web.

–Another constraint is the inability of WhatsApp Web to carry out video calls or voice calls, unlike several competitors such as Discord. However, with the expected integration of Messenger Rooms on the web client, video calling should become functional on the web application anytime soon.

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Union Minister D V Sadananda Gowda assured repatriation flights to Karnataka from Kuwait soon

 

 

Honorable Union Minister of Chemicals & Fertilizers and former Chief Minister of Karnataka Sri D V Sadananda Gowda assured Kannadigas residing in Kuwait that Indian government will arrange flights to Bangalore/Mangalore within 10 days for repatriation of 600 people who have registered online.

Various Karnataka associations in Kuwait have requested Indian government to arrange flights from Kuwait for the people of Karnataka stranded in Kuwait having medical emergency issues, Pregnant women, jobless Indians and expired visa people in Kuwait.

In a video conference with Honorable Minister D V Sadananda Gowda organized by Tulu Koota Kuwait on 16th May 2020, Ramesh S Bhandary, President of Tulu Koota Kuwait explained the situation of about 50,000 Kannadigas living in Kuwait and requested for repatriation of people affected by COVID-19 pandemic. Leaders of other associations participated in the meeting are Kuwait Kannada Koota association's Rajesh Vittal, Kuwait Canara Welfare association's Steven Rego, Karnataka Muslim Welfare association's Abdul Naser Khan, Kuwait Bhantara Sangha's Guru Hegde, Kuwait Billava Sangha's Krishna S Pojari and Indian Muslim Association's Jafar Sadik.

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