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PM announces free education, health insurance for children orphaned by Covid-19

PM Modi New Delhi :  Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced a number of welfare measures for children who lost their parents to COVID-19, including ensuring a corpus of Rs 10 lakh when they turn 18 and providing for their education.

Chairing a meeting to deliberate on steps which can be taken to support such children, he said they will be supported under the “PM-CARES for Children” scheme.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a statement that fixed deposits will be opened in the names of such children, and the PM-CARES fund will contribute through a specially designed scheme to create a corpus of Rs 10 lakh for each of them when he or she reaches 18 years of age. This corpus will be used to give a monthly financial support or stipend from 18 years of age for the next five years to take care of his or her personal requirements during the period of higher education. On reaching the age of 23 years, they will get the corpus amount as one lump-sum for personal and professional use.

The number of daily coronavirus cases has been consistently declining in the country with a total of 1.73 lakh new cases reported in the last 24 hours. While releasing the daily Covid-19 data, the Union Health Ministry said that the declining trend in the Covid-19 trajectory is maintained. Mirroring the fall in the daily tally of Coronavirus, the active caseload of coronavirus patients also fell to 22.28 lakh as per the data provided by the Ministry. There was a fall in the number of active cases by 1.14 lakh on Friday alone along with 2.84 lakh Covid-19 patients recovering from the disease in the last 24 hours.

Highlighting the fact that the daily positivity rate of Coronavirus pan India has remained below 10 percent in the last five days, the Health Ministry said that the decline in the Covid-19 cases across the country was consistent. The positivity rate of Coronavirus cases was found to be about 8.36 percent in the last 24 hours which translates to every 8 people testing positive out of the 100 samples tested. A total of 10.8 lakh samples were tested across the government and private testing facilities in the country. The government also said that the positivity rate has remained below the 10 percent mark continuously for the last 5 days.

The Health Ministry also provided a weekly positivity rate figure of 9.84 percent at the present juncture. The weekly positivity rate is a better indicator to analyse the spread of the infection among the population as it obliterates the impact of daily fluctuations in the Covid-19 tally and provides a better picture of the spread of the disease.

Even as the number of coronavirus cases registers a consistent decline and clamour for opening up the economy increases, state governments are treading a cautious path so as to not lose the gains reaped by strict Covid-19 restrictions in the last 2 months.