Coronavirus live updates | Three new cases surface in Tamil Nadu

March 23, 2020 08:29 am | Updated March 24, 2020 12:29 pm IST

A Jammu Municipal Corporation health worker fumigates an area as a precautionary measure against the spread of coronavirus at Government Medical College hospital in Jammu, Thursday, March 19, 2020.

A Jammu Municipal Corporation health worker fumigates an area as a precautionary measure against the spread of coronavirus at Government Medical College hospital in Jammu, Thursday, March 19, 2020.

Based on a combination of numbers reported by the central Health Ministry, and updates from the States, the total number of confirmed cases in the country on March 23 stands at 425.

All train, metro and inter-State transport services across the country were suspended on Sunday till March 31.

On Sunday, India observed  a 'Janata Curfew' from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., called for by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to practise social distancing in a bid to curtail the spread of COVID-19 .

COVID-19 | Interactive map of confirmed coronavirus cases in India

The Hindu has brought out an  e-book  on essential COVID-19 information, in addition to  covering the developments  related to the coronavirus pandemic as it unfolded. Here are  answers from experts  on your queries about the virus, a list of  State Helpline numbers , and  a map of confirmed cases in India .

The new 24/7 national helpline numbers are 1075 and 1800-112-545 and  011-23978046. Email:

Here are the latest updates:

10:10 pm | Chennai

Three new cases surface in Tamil Nadu

Three new COVID-19 cases have surfaced in Tamil Nadu, according to State Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar.

One of the new patients is a 25-year-old male from Purasawalkkam, who returned from London recently. He is currently admitted to the Rajiv Gandhi Government Hospital. The second one, also a returnee from London, is a 48-year-old man from Tiruppur who has been admitted to the ESI Hospital in Coimbatore. The third, a 54-year-old male from Madurai, admitted to the Rajaji Hospital, has no travel history to an affected country.

Mr. Vijayabaskar said they will retrace his steps to see if he had any contact with an affected individual and added that all three of them are currently in isolation.

-Serena Josephine M.

10.00 pm  | Rajasthan

Rajasthan announces ₹2,000 crore financial assistance

Rajasthan government announces a package of ₹2,000 crore for providing financial assistance to poor and marginalised people during the lockdown period.

About 1.41 crore families in the State will benefit from the package.

9:50 pm | Bengaluru

Chief Minister Yediyurappa announces lockdown in Karnataka

Karnataka CM B.S. Yediyurappa announces lockdown from March 24 till 31 in entire State.

9:25 pm | Gujarat

Complete lockdown in Gujarat till March 31

The entire State of Gujarat will be put under complete lockdown from midnight of March 24 to March 31. Inter-State borders have been sealed and vehicle movement would be restricted to just essential services, according to Shivanand Jha, Director General of Police, Gujarat.

9:00 pm | Tripura

Tripura to be put under lockdown

Tripura will be placed under lockdown from 2 p.m. on Tuesday till March 31 in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb announced.

Public transport would not be permitted during this period and shops, commercial establishments, offices, factories and workshops will remain closed, he announced at a press conference on Monday.

Any gathering in public places has been banned as Section 144 has already been imposed.

8.55 pm | Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh reports one more case

The number of confirmed COVID-19 patients rose up to 7 in Andhra Pradesh, the latest number is third case from Vizag. The other three are from Nellore, Kakinada and Prakasam

8:10 pm | Lucknow

Cases in Uttar Pradesh climb to 33

The number of COVID-19 cases in Uttar Pradesh climbed to 33, as per the Directorate of Health Services, with fresh cases from Ghaziabad and Pilibhit. According to the directorate figures, Agra, Noida and Lucknow have reported eight cases each and three have been detected in Ghaziabad. Lakhimpur-Kheri, Moradabad, Varanasi, Kanpur, Pilibhit and Jaunpur have reported one case each.

7:55 pm | Mumbai

8 new cases reported in Maharashtra

Maharashtra count has now gone up to 97. Three more cases reported from Mumbai, four from Sangli and one from Satara.

7:30 pm | Iran

Iran reports 127 new deaths, raising toll to 1,812

Iran on Monday announced 127 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, raising the official toll to 1,812 in one of the worst hit countries along with Italy, Spain and China.

Health ministry spokesman Kianouche Jahanpour said 1,411 new cases had been recorded in Iran over the past 24 hours, bringing the total of those infected to 23,049. Mr. Jahanpour, who was speaking during his daily news conference devoted to the pandemic, said he would no longer give a breakdown of cases by province.

This was necessary, he said, to avoid sparking undue concern among residents of the most stricken areas and ensure that those in less affected zones remained cautious. All of Iran’s 31 provinces have been hit by the novel coronavirus outbreak.

7:15 pm | Mumbai

Uber suspends services across country

Uber has suspended services across the country in compliance with government directives to limit movement for reducing the spread of COVID-19.

Andhra Pradesh: Tirupati, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam

Delhi NCR

Gujarat: Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot

Jharkhand: Dhanbad, Jamshedpur, Ranchi 

Maharashtra: Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune

Punjab: Amritsar, Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Ludhiana

Rajasthan: Ajmer, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kota, Udaipur

Telangana: Hyderabad

Uttar Pradesh: Agra, Bareilly, Kanpur, Lucknow, Prayagraj, Varanasi

West Bengal: Asansol, Durgapur, Siliguri

Uber Pool and Uber Intercity services have been suspended across the country, until further notice, the release said.

7:10 pm | Delhi

HRD Ministry asks Navodaya schools to allow medical facilities in unoccupied hostels

The Ministry of Human Resource Development on Monday directed Navodaya schools in the country to make their unoccupied hostels available to respective district administrations to be used as any kind of medical facility in view of the coronavirus outbreak.

“Assessing the current situation, I have advised Commissioner Navodaya Vidyalaya to make their hostels (where no students are staying) available for the respective District Administrations, aiding them to fight COVID-19,” Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ said.

7 pm | Agartala

12 students from Tripura stranded in Punjab

The Tripura government on Monday requested its counterpart in Punjab to provide logistics and food to 12 students, including girls from the State, who were driven out from hostels in Punjab. The state government swung into action after a student in a tweet made an appeal to Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb.

The student, Shubhanjan Das, informed that they were expelled from their hostels in Punjab in wake of the severe coronavirus outbreak. Their flight to Delhi was slated for March 25.

-Syed Sajjad Ali

6:45 pm | Chandigarh

Chandigarh to go under curfew from March 24

Curfew to be imposed in Union Territory Chandigarh starting March 24 till further orders in wake of COVID-19, a government statement on Monday said.

6.20 pm | Kerala

Kerala announces lockdown upto March 31, 28 new cases detected

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan while briefing the media said that the lockdown will be implemented in Kerala up to March 31 following a sharp spike in coronavirus cases on Monday. He announced that 28 new cases had been detected in the State. The total number of cases in Kerala is 92.

5:40 pm | Delhi

Lockdown announced in national capital

"We have taken the decision to effect lockdown because of the magnitude of the danger that COVID-19 poses to each one of us, our families, our children, announced Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday.

He said Delhi's track record in the containment of the viral disease has so far been good and added that there will be strict enforcement of curfew from March 24.

"This is the time to show your humanity; for one human being to help another human being. Please help and feed those who require this help," Mr. Kejriwal said.

He also announced that 50% of the total public buses in the region, instead of 25% as announced earlier, will ply from tomorrow.

-Jatin Anand

5:30 pm | Kolkata

West Bengal records first Coronavirus death

West Bengal reported the first death of a COVID-19 patient on Monday. A 57-year-old resident of Dum Dum was admitted to a private hospital in the city on March 16. The patient was tested positive on Saturday.

About an hour back, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee confirmed the death during an all-party meeting at the State Secretariat. She said the patient had a history of travel to Italy and his son and other family members stay there.

"The 57-year-old male patient, who was admitted to the Salt Lake unit on 16.03.2020 with high fever and cough, expired on 23.03.2020 at around 3:35 pm….He was detected COVID-19 positive after samples were sent to NICED [National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases] and SSKM Hospital on 20.03.2020 and 21.03.2020,” a statement from the private hospital where the patient was admitted said.

So far, seven patients had tested positive.


5:20 pm | Mumbai

Maharashtra imposes curfew

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said he has imposed curfew in the entire State. All the district borders have been sealed.  The government has also placed restriction on the number of travellers in cars and autorickshaws - 3 and 2 respectively, including the driver.

"These are not times for entertainment... This has been done because despite telling softly, some people aren't listening," Mr. Thackeray said.

- Alok Deshpande

4:55 pm | Pune

Pune police likely to stop vehicular movement in city to combat spread of contagion

With several citizens in the city still treating the COVID-19 contagion with more than a touch of levity, the Pune police on Monday said it was considering a complete stoppage of vehicular movement in the city till March 31.

While a formal announcement in this regard is awaited, Dr. K. Venkatesham, Commissioner of Police, Pune City, indicated the same on Microblogging site Twitter . “Vehicle movement will be stopped completely in the evening today pl note…rqst [request] to reduce vehicle movement till formal order. Grocery, medicine , milk, vegetables, chicken, mutton may be taken from neighbourhood ( walking distance) pl do not plan for inter district vehicle movement. Stay home is mantra,” he said in a series of tweets while responding to queries on Twitter.

The Pune police’s move is prompted by the large vehicular movement, especially the presence of private vehicles, in the city’s streets a day after the Janata Curfew, which swept off virtually every two- and four-wheeler off the city’s densely crowded streets.

4:50 pm | Chandigarh

Haryana has extended the lockdown for the entire State

Chief Minister Manohar Lal in a press conference announced a slew of relief measures  in view of the state-wide lockdown.

BPL families in Haryana will get free ration for the month of April. Registered construction workers will be be paid Rs.1,000 per week starting from March 3. Wheat or rice will be supplied to government school children to their homes under mid-day meal scheme

Vendors and rickshaw-pullers not registered with the government can fill forms in each district for registration for relief.

4:40 pm | Delhi

Domestic flights to be grounded from March 24

The Ministry of Civil Aviation has announced that domestic flight operations will cease with effect from 23.59 hours IST on March 24, 2020.

4.05 pm

ICMR prescribes anti-malarial drug for high-risk COVID-19 cases

The National Task Force for COVID-19, constituted by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has recommended the use of hydroxy-chloroquine for treatment of high-risk cases of those infected with SARS-CoV-2 or novel coronavirus.

Also known as HCQ, hydroxy-chloroquine, is used to treat malaria.

4 pm | Delhi

Delhi Budget allocates more money to health sector

A ₹65,000 crore Budget for financial year 2020-21 for Delhi, up over 18% from the last fiscal, was tabled in the Assembly on Monday, the first day of a lockdown in the national capital to prevent the possible community spread of the coronavirus.

Presenting the annual budget, Delhi Finance Minister Manish Sisodia announced the allocation of ₹3 crore immediately and ₹50 crore in the next fiscal in the health sector, especially given the current circumstances. The amount would fund efforts to confront the coronavirus pandemic.

Allocation of ₹2,820 crore for power subsidy across various categories was also announced. The subsidy will continue, Sisodia added.

Talking of public transport, he said that 2,485 new buses will be inducted this fiscal and 1,880 buses will be inducted in the next fiscal. While ₹250 crore have been earmarked for procurement of DTC buses, Rs 1100 crore will be allocated for viability gap funding in the cluster scheme. The free bus ride scheme will continue.

3.30 pm | Telangana

Telangana reports first case of local transmission

The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Telangana rose to 30, with three new cases reported today.

Hyderabad has detected first case of local transmission on March 20. The patient is the son of a person living with COVID-19, who had recently returned to Hyderabad from Dubai.

The Health Department officials has confirmed it as a case of local transmission today.


3.30 pm | Delhi

Delhi HC suspends all operations

Delhi high court suspends all operations including that of all district courts in the capital till April 4. Urgent matters will, however, be heard using video conference.

2.30 pm | Tamil Nadu

State-wide lockdown in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami announced State-wide restrictions from 6 p.m. tomorrow. He said the district borders would be closed.

Section 144 would be imposed from 6 p.m. tomorrow. Even transport and taxis would not ply. Orders would be in force till March 31.

Tamil Nadu Transport Secretary said, “Private vehicles are different from public vehicles. People can use their personal vehicles.” As for media vehicles, he added, “They are allowed.”

1.55 pm | Telangana

As people take lockdown “lightly”, Telangana Government tightens rules

The Government of Telangana has decided to tighten the rules governing  the lockdown imposed  in the State till March 31 to check the spread of  coronavirus . There will be 100% curfew between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m., it had announced.

Scene at a petrol station in Hyderabad on March 23, 2020.

Scene at a petrol station in Hyderabad on March 23, 2020.


Exemptions would be given only to medical emergencies, and those violating the rules would be dealt with strictly. Checkposts would be set up at all police stations to see people came out only for buying essentials or in case of emergencies.


1.50 pm | Kerala

Brother and sister defy home quarantine, fly back to U.K.

A brother and sister, who were put under home quarantine after returning from the U.K. as per the  COVID-19  guidelines, defied quarantine and flew back to the U.K. without informing the health officials of North Paravur in Ernakulam.

The duo had arrived from the U.K. on March 13 and were asked by the health authorities to remain on mandatory quarantine for 14 days at their home at Peruvaram in North Paravur.


1.40 pm | Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh announces State-wide lockdown

People buy vegetables at Patamata Rythu Bazar on March 23, 2020. People thronged the market to buy essential commodities after Janata Curfew and heavy rush was seen in all markets.

People buy vegetables at Patamata Rythu Bazar on March 23, 2020. People thronged the market to buy essential commodities after Janata Curfew and heavy rush was seen in all markets.


With the aim of preventing the spread of COVID-19, a complete lockdown of Andhra Pradesh (A.P.) till March 31 came into effect on Sunday night. This is to facilitate a more aggressive action by the government in exercise of its powers under Section.234 of Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.


1.30 pm | Kerala

Contacts of new patients in Ernakulam alerted

The people, who were reported to have tested positive for the  COVID-19  on Sunday, had already placed themselves under quarantine after they reached Kochi from U.K. and Dubai.

While the 21-year-old woman had reached Kochi from U.K. via Dubai and Chennai on March 18 in the 6E 298 flight, the 61-year-old man had reached Kochi on March 16 in the Dubai-Kochi flight AI 934.


1.20 pm | Delhi

DGSMC offers Gurudwara Majnu Ka Tilla Sahib inn for quarantine facilities

The Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee wrote to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal offering the “Sarai” (inn) at Gurudwara Majnu Ka Tilla Sahib to be used as quarantine facilities for those affected by COVID-19.

The DGSMC also said that “langar” will be provided by Gurudwaras in the city, to the needy and those affected by the epidemic.

1.10 pm | Tamil Nadu

Indian Medical Association’s Tamil Nadu branch comes forward to help government

The Indian Medical Association’s (IMA) Tamil Nadu branch has come forward to help the State Government for the management of COVID-19.

IMA informed the government that willing member hospitals were ready to keep 50% of their bed strength reserved for the management of COVID-19 in case of any eventuality. If any private hospital was ready to convert its entire facility for COVID-19 management, that was also welcomed by IMA.

1.05 pm | Goa

Goa govt extends ‘Janata curfew’; industry delegation meets CM

Goa witnessed total shut down for the second consecutive day on Monday as the state government extended the ‘Janta curfew’ to contain the spread of coronavirus.

A delegation of various industrial bodies in Goa met Chief Minister Pramod Sawant at his residence on Monday, urging him to allow the industry work with 20% workforce.

1.00 pm

IOA to ‘wait and watch for a month’ after Canada pulls out of Tokyo Olympics

The Indian Olympic Association on Monday said it will “wait and watch” for at least a month before taking any call on Tokyo Olympics participation after  Canada created a flutter by becoming the first nation to pull out  of the showpiece event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


12.50 pm | Arunachal Pradesh

The Arunachal Pradesh government has announced a lockdown in the State from Monday evening till March 31, officials said.

All essential services will be allowed during the period, according to a notification issued by Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar on Sunday night.

12.40 pm | Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh placed under lockdown till further orders, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur announces in Assembly.

12.30 pm | Delhi

The last international flight landed in Delhi Airport just before midnight on March 23 before international arrivals were suspended till 0531 hours of March 29.

A Delhi airport official said that the last flight to land was AI 014 that flew the Ahmedabad Delhi sector and was coming from London. He added that all the passengers have exited the airport after screening.

12.25 pm | U.P.

Lucknow protest against CAA suspended as city comes under lockdown

The women holding a dharna against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, the National Population Register, and the National Register of Citizens at the foot of the Hussainabad Clocktower in Lucknow since January 17 suspended their protest on Monday due to the lockdown in the city over  COVID-19 .


12.15 pm | Kerala

Kerala converts Government Medical College hospital into COVID-19 centre

Kerala has converted the Government Medical College hospital, Ernakulam, into a COVID-19 centre. The 500-bed hospital will be used exclusively for COVID-19 patients.

A scene from Government Medical College, Ernakulam, as it is converted into a COVID-19 Centre.

A scene from Government Medical College, Ernakulam, as it is converted into a COVID-19 Centre.


All other patients presently under treatment at the hospital will be shifted to the District hospital in Aluva, General Hospital in Ernakulam or the Indira Gandhi Cooperative Hospital in Kadavanthra.

This apart, only emergency OP and dialysis centre will function here. Other patients have been asked to seek treatment at a nearby government hospitals.

12.10 pm | Chandigarh

Another case in Chandigarh

One more person in Chandigarh has been tested positive for (Covid-19), taking the total to such cases to 7 in the city, said a government statement.

According to the statement a 21-year old man has been tested positive for COVID-19. He is a secondary contact of a positive patient. The patient is undergoing treatment at the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) in Sector 32, said the statement.

-- Vikas Vasudeva

12.05 pm | Delhi

Will grant special parole to convicts to decongest prisons, Delhi govt. tells HC

The AAP government told the Delhi High Court that it had decided to decongest its prisons to check the spread of coronavirus by providing convicts with the options of special parole and furlough.

The Delhi government told a bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad that it was going to amend its prison rules to provide the options of special parole and furlough.

Also read:Coronavirus | Curbs at Kolkata prison trigger violent clash


12.00 pm

Supreme Court mulls shutting down

The Supreme Court on Monday said it was mulling over shutting down its functioning and considering to hear urgent matters through virtual means.

The top court said that by Tuesday evening, all lawyers’ chambers in and around the apex court premises would be sealed.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde said the apex court administration would temporarily cancel all proximity cards to dissuade lawyers from coming to the court.

The bench, also comprising justices L N Rao and Surya Kant, said only Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president Dushyant Dave could authorise lawyers to enter the top court premises for urgent reasons.

11.50 am | Maharashtra

BMC to take testing facilities to homes

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will be giving at-home COVID-19 testing services so as to ease the load on Kasturba Hospital, where people with flu-like symptoms are queuing up by the dozen.

If a doctor has advised a patient to undergo testing, the BMC or affiliated private hospitals will collect the sample from the patient’s home. -- Tanvi Deshpande


11.50 am | Maharashtra

Maharashtra Minister Jitendra Awhad (NCP) demands that the government should enforce a curfew since people are not taking the lockdown seriously anymore.

Scene from a petrol pump at Borivali, on March 23, 2020.

Scene from a petrol pump at Borivali, on March 23, 2020.


“Some people have no idea how dire the crisis is and while the lock down does not seem to work anymore, the Chief Minister should enforce a total communication ban now," he said.

-- Sharad Vyas

11.30 am | Delhi

The Delhi High Court has suspended breath analysing test through tube for air traffic controllers.

The Court directed authorities to hold an urgent meeting tomorrow for exploring alternative methods of the breath analysing test.

11.20 am

Centre asks State governments to strictly enforce lockdown: official statement

The Centre has asked State governments to strictly enforce the lockdown and take legal action against violators, according to an official statement.

11.10 am

Cases climb to 424 in the country

There are 424 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country till date. Of these, 393 are active cases. 47 new cases were reported overnight. There have been 18 new cases from Maharashtra and 11 from Gujarat.

11.00 am | Assam

Assam govt. asks residents stranded abroad to send details for financial aid

The Assam government has issued an e-mail id for residents of the State, who have been stranded abroad due to suspension of international flights in view of the coronavirus pandemic, to send their details for providing financial assistance, an official said.

An advisory issued by Chief Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna said that residents, who went abroad 30 days before the suspension of international flights from March 22 and are unable to return to their homes due to the coronavirus outbreak, will receive the one-time financial assistance of $2,000.

10.45 am | Gujarat

11 new cases reported in Gujarat, taking the total number of cases in the State to 29.

Ahmedabad tops the chart with the highest number of cases, 13, while Vadodara has six.

In Vadodara, four members of a family have tested positive.


10.40 am | West Bengal

Seven cases in West Bengal as State braces for four-day shutdown

Beginning from 5 pm on Monday, entire West Bengal will be shut down till March 27 midnight. The decision was taken after the State reported seven COVID-19 cases till Sunday night.

Morning markets and shopping complexes witnessed heavy rush on Monday as people wanted to stock essential supplies.


10.20 am | Delhi

Even as the National Capital Region is under lockdown, the Delhi government has decided to present the Budget on Monday.

Today. Budget will be presented in the Delhi Assembly. Despite lockdown in Delhi, it is necessary to do this because without passage of budget, the government won't be able to spend money from April 1," Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi. - Jatin Anand

10.30 am

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed his anguish that several people are not taking the lockdown seriously.

In a tweet in Hindi, Mr. Modi said: "Many people still not taking lockdown seriously. Please save yourself, save your family and follow instructions." He also requested the State governments to ensure the lockdown is strictly enforced.

10.15 am | Gujarat

19 booked for 'Corona festival'

Ahmedabad Police has booked 19 people who celebrated "Corona festival" in Khadia locality on Sunday. On the day when India was observing 'Janata curfew', these people allegedly took out a rally at 5 pm for 'thanksgiving.' - Mahesh Langa

10.00 am | Maharashtra

The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra rose to 89, State Health has said.

A 68-year-old man from Philippines, who tested positive for coronavirus infection and later recovered, has died at a hospital in Mumbai, the city civic body said on Monday.

8.30 am | Tamil Nadu

No lockdown in Tamil Nadu today

The Tamil Nadu government will on Monday take a decision on imposing stringent restrictive measures in Chennai, Kancheepuram and Erode districts, which figure among the 80 districts countrywide where the Centre has advised maintaining only “essential services” in view of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We will take a decision on imposing severe restrictions in these districts at a high-level meeting on Monday morning. We want to be cautious before announcing closure of establishments in Chennai and elsewhere,” a government official said.

Another senior official said that the State government is taking stock of the situation and will come up with a notification. “No lockdown as of now. It is a normal day tomorrow [March 23]. The State government will take a call,” he added.



7.30 am | Japan

Tokyo Olympics may be postponed due to coronavirus

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said for the first time on Monday that the Tokyo Olympic Games may need to be postponed if the event cannot be held in its “complete form” due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Sunday after an emergency meeting that it is stepping up its “scenario planning” for the 2020 Games due to start on July 24, including a possible postponement.




UAE to suspend all passenger flights

The United Arab Emirates announced on March 23 it will temporarily suspend all passenger and transit flights amid the novel coronavirus outbreak .

The Emirati authorities "have decided to suspend all inbound and outbound passenger flights and the transit of airline passengers in the UAE for two weeks as part of the precautionary measures taken to curb the spread of the COVID-19", reported the official state news agency, WAM .



Singapore Airlines grounds most of its fleet

Singapore Airlines Ltd announced on Monday that it would cut capacity by 96% and ground almost all of its fleet in response to coronavirus travel restrictions that the carrier said was “the greatest challenge” it had ever faced.

Shares of the airline were down more than 8% by 0129 GMT, while the broader market was down over 7%.

The move comes as global travel hub Singapore closed its borders to travellers and transiting passengers in an effort to stem the spread of the virus.





80 districts in lockdown to contain virus spread

Unprecedented restrictions were imposed in 80 districts across 17 States and five Union Territories affected by the pandemic.

“State governments will issue orders allowing only essential services to operate in districts with confirmed COVID-19 cases. The focus should be on closure of all activities except essential services such as hospitals, telecom, medicine shops and provision stores,” an official release said.


South Asian coordination on pandemic crisis intensifies

Members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation intensified anti-COVID-19 steps to secure people from the pandemic. Sri Lanka evacuated a large number of Buddhist pilgrims from India in the early hours of Sunday before India stopped all flights as Kathmandu boosted health inspection on the Indo-Nepal border.


Four pvt. labs get approval to carry out COVID-19 tests

Four private laboratories — Thyrocare, Suburban Diagnostics, Metropolis Healthcare Ltd. and HN Reliance Foundation Hospital — have received approval from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to carry out COVID-19 tests. At least 16 more laboratories are in the pipeline for approval and more names will be added to the list within this week.

(With inputs from PTI)

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