Coronavirus live updates | March 24, 2020

According to WHO's March 23 update, globally, over 14,000 people have died, and more than 334,000 have been infected.

March 24, 2020 10:13 am | Updated March 25, 2020 07:03 am IST

People wearing face masks as a precaution against the new coronavirus at Ernakulam South Railway Station on March 23, 2020

People wearing face masks as a precaution against the new coronavirus at Ernakulam South Railway Station on March 23, 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 24 stands at 564.

On Monday, the government announced a slew of measures , including the suspension of all domestic flight operations until the end of March, to slow down the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Thirty States and Union Territories moved to a complete lockdown mode, and governments warned of strict punitive action against those who violate preventive measures.

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

9: 30 pm | Chennai

Three fresh cases detected in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar, in a tweet, announced that three new cases have been identified in Chennai. One of the cases, a 65-year-old male, is a returnee from New Zealand who is being treated in a private hospital. The second one, a 55-year-old woman, has been admitted to Kilpauk Medical College Hospital.

The third one, who is being treated at Rajiv Gandhi Government Hospital, is a 25-year-old male who recently returned from London. With this, there are 17 cases in Tamil Nadu, which also includes two foreign nationals.

8:30 pm | Tirupati

New case in Tirupati

One more positive COVID-19 case has been reported at Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh. Total positive cases in the State is now eight.

7:40 pm

New cases detected in Gurugram, Uttar Pradesh

Two more positive COVID-19 cases have been detected in Gurugram, taking the total number to 10. Of the total 232 samples taken so far, reports for 50 samples are still awaited.

COVID-19 positive count in Uttar Pradesh shot up to 37 with three fresh cases in Noida and one in Shamli.

7:20 pm | Mangaluru

Three new cases test positive in Mangaluru

Three persons from Kasaragod district tested postive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, according to a statement by Deputy Commissioner Sindhu B Rupesh. A total of five passengers who arrived at the Mangaluru International Airport have been tested positive so far.

7:00 pm | Thiruvananthapuram

With 14 new cases, Kerala overtakes Maharashtra in active case count

Kerala reports 14 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, taking the number of those undergoing treatment to 105, announced the State's Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Kerala has overtaken Maharashtra, whose confirmed cases numbered 104 today.

Government takes over the closed down Anjarakandy Kannur medical college for converting it as designated or special hospital in the wake of increasing cases of COVID in Kannur and neigbhouring districts.

6:50 pm | Chandigarh

Haryana to appoint 447 new doctors, creates revolving fund of ₹100 crore for medical departments

In an effort to contain COVID-19, the Haryana government on Tuesday decided to appoint  447 recently selected doctors besides creating a revolving fund of ₹100 each for the departments at the forefront of the battle against the infection.

Among the other health measures, the government decided to notify hospitals for the treatment of the victims apart from allowing private laboratories at four places to conduct tests. The cost of tests referred to the private laboratories will be borne by the state government.

6:35 pm | Delhi

22 private lab chains registered with ICMR for coronavirus tests: Health ministry

At least 22 private laboratory chains, having around 15,500 collection centres spread all over the country, have been registered with the Indian Council of Medical Research (CMR) till Tuesday for conducting COVID-19 tests, Health Ministry officials said.

Besides, 118 government laboratories have been included in the ICMR network of COVID-19 testing. The network has a capacity to test 12,000 samples daily. In the last five days, on an average, 1,338 samples have been tested by government labs each day, an ICMR official said.

6:15 pm | Cairo, Egypt

Egypt imposes night-time curfew for two weeks starting March 25

Egypt will impose a night-time curfew for two weeks from March 25 to contain the spread of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli announced.

“Movement will be banned on all public roads from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.... for two weeks,” Mr. Madbouli told a Tuesday news conference.

“All mass transport, public and private, will be halted over the same period,” he said and added that penalties for violators include a fine of up to 4,000 Egyptian pounds (just over $250) and even imprisonment.

6:05 pm | Bhopal

Two new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday take count to nine in Madhya Pradesh

Two persons, one each in Shivpuri and Gwalior districts, tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, taking the total count in Madhya Pradesh to nine.

"Some days ago the person had returned from abroad, and had been in home quarantine since," said Shivpuri Collector Anugraha P. "Today, the person, on being tested positive, has been shifted to the isolation ward of the district hospital, where doctors are monitoring the case. The condition of the person is stable now."

Ms. Anugraha advised people to stay home for at least 14 days in a bid to contain the disease. She further said the district had been put under lockdown until March 31, during which only essential services will be available.

Meanwhile, a person in Gwalior district, who had returned from Khajuraho in Chhatarpur district recently, has tested positive. "The person may have come in contact with an infected foreign national there," said a Gwalior district official.

5:50 pm | Punjab

Six new cases in Punjab, tally increases to 29

With six fresh cases reported on Tuesday, the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Punjab have reached 29, said a government statement.

5.00 pm

I&B orders State governments to facilitate print and electronic media outlets to fight fake news around COVID-19

In a bid to fight 'fake news', rumours and speculations that have been doing rounds on social media regarding the coronavirus, the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry has issued directions to all State governments to facilitate functioning of all print and electronic media outlets.

 In an order issued on Monday, the Ministry has said that proper functioning of the media network is essential to create awareness among people, to give important messages and also to keep the nation updated of the latest status.

"False and fake news need to be avoided and good practices need to be promoted and these network play a pivotal role in ensuring the same," the Ministry said in its directive. 

4.40 pm

Country should have taken coronavirus threat more seriously: Congress

The Congress on Tuesday alleged that the government is criminally culpable of not defining specifications of personal protection equipment for doctors and health workers till March 2, with party leader Rahul Gandhi saying the country should have taken  the coronavirus threat  more seriously.


4.30 pm

Railways to release full salary to lakhs of contractual workers during suspension of service

In a huge relief to lakhs of contractual employees, the railways has decided to release their full salaries even as it suspended all its passenger services till March 31.

In an order issued on Tuesday, the railways has said that due to prevailing COVID-19 situation in India and the stoppage of trains, several contractual staff engaged in on-board housekeeping service, sanitation, pantry car and commercial activities have been stranded and have to compulsorily stay at other places, while others have to be in readiness to attend duties at a short notice.


4.15 pm

Need to tackle spread of pessimism and negativity, PM tells journalists

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it is imperative to keep the fighting spirit of the people up as the country tackles the spread of coronavirus, and emphasised the need to tackle the spread of pessimism, negativity and rumour-mongering.

Interacting with senior journalists from the print media via video links, he also said the citizens need to be assured that the government is committed to countering the impact of COVID-19.

4 pm

Centre asks states to allow veterinary hospitals, clinics to function amid lockdown

Amid complete lockdown in many States, the Centre has directed State governments to allow normal functioning of veterinary hospitals and clinics.

However, veterinarians and related officials should ensure strict personal hygiene and avoid public gathering, the Union Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fishery Ministry said in a directive.

3.50 pm | Noida

Woman with 'no travel history' tests positive in Noida

A Noida woman in her mid-40s has been tested positive for COVID-19, taking the total number of infected people in Gautam Buddh Nagar to nine, district officials said.

Anurag Bhargav, Chief Medical Officer, Noida told  The Hindu.  “The test report of a resident of Sector 137, with no travel history, has been found positive. Her sample was sent to Lucknow three days back.” Dr Bhargav said the information from the Chartered Accountant husband of the woman, revealed one of his British client visited him and stayed in India for three days. “It seems the British citizen infected the husband and he, in turn, seems to have infected his wife, who works in Delhi.”

He said as per the information with them the U.K. citizen has left the country. “The samples of the husband and his daughter have been sent for investigation. They have been isolated and the entire society is being sanitised.”

3.30 pm

Government extends tax deadlines in view of lockdown due to coronavirus

Giving relief to citizens unable to meet deadlines due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the last date for filing of income tax returns for FY2018-19 has been extended to June 30.

Also, interest rate on delayed payment has been cut to 9% from 12%, she told reporters.


3.10 pm | Jammu and Kashmir

Two persons have tested positive for COVID-19 in Jammu and Kashmir. Total number of cases stands at 6, according to a government spokesperson.

-- Peerzada Ashiq

3.00 pm | Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh cancels SSC public exams

The SSC Public Examinations have been postponed for two weeks and the revised schedule will be announced on March 31.

2.50 pm | Telangana

Three more cases in Telangana

With three new COVID-19 cases reported in Telangana, the State total has climbed to 36.

Scene from a village in Telangana's Khammam district.

Scene from a village in Telangana's Khammam district.


2.40 pm | Karnataka

Four new cases have been reported in Karnataka, raising the State total to 38. Orders have been issued to extend the lockdown to the entire State till April 1.

New COVID 19 helpline numbers 080-46848600 and 080-66692000 are now functional in the State, apart from the existing helpline number 104 Arogya Sahayavani.


2.30 pm | Goa

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has announced a hundred percent lockdown in the State from midnight.

2. 20 pm | Manipur

Statewide curfew clamped in Manipur

A statewide curfew was declared in Manipur after a 23-year-old woman tested positive for COVID-19, officials said.

The State was on Monday evening placed under a lockdown till March 31, however, people were still venturing out, they said.

The curfew was imposed to further check the movement of people in the wake of the first COVID-19 case in the northeastern region being reported from the state, they said.

It will remain in force till further orders, they said.

2.10 pm | West Bengal

Two new cases in West Bengal

The number of cases in West Bengal has increased to nine with two new cases reported today. Both patients have a history of foreign travel. One person returned from London and the other from Egypt.


2.00 pm

Labour Ministry issues advisory to all Chief Ministers and Lieutenant-Governors to transfer money into accounts of construction workers registered with their labour welfare boards.

About Rs.52,000 crore is available in the cess fund for the 3.5 crore registered workers, the Ministry says.


1.40 pm | Sikkim

Sikkim to be under lockdown

Sikkim will be placed under lockdown from 6 am on Wednesday till March 31 to check the spread of coronavirus.

Jacob Khaling Rai, the political secretary to Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang, said all shops and business establishments will remain shut throughout the State. Private vehicles and taxis will not be allowed to ply.

Essential services such as pharmacies, petrol pumps, LPG supply and movement of government and Army vehicles have been kept out of the purview of the lockdown.

Other essential services such as telecom, internet, postal, banks and ATMs will remain operational during the period. Civil defense personnel will also be exempted.

1.35 pm | Tamil Nadu

Chennai reports three new cases

Three people from Chennai have been diagnosed with COVID-19. All three of them have recently reported from abroad. Two of them have been admitted to Stanley medical college hospital, while the third one is undergoing treatment at KMC. Their conditions are stable, State Health department said.

1.35 pm | Madhya Pradesh

MP govt designates Bhopal Memorial Hospital as treatment facility

The Madhya Pradesh government has issued an order designating the ICMR-run Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre (BMHRC), which caters to Bhopal gas tragedy survivors, as the State-level COVID-19 treatment facility. 

Only patients suffering from the infection will be treated there now, read an order issued by Pallavi Jain Govil, Principal Secretary, Public Health and Family Welfare Department.

So far, the State has recorded seven cases: six in Jabalpur, and one in Bhopal. On Monday night, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan imposed curfew in both the cities.

1.30 pm | Uttar Pradesh

The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to extend lockdown in 17 districts to the entire State (75 districts) by Wednesday morning.

1.15 pm

India has tremendous capacity in eradicating coronavirus pandemic: WHO

India, which led the world in eradicating two silent killers – smallpox and polio – in the past, has a tremendous capacity in eradicating the deadly coronoavirus pandemic that has now claimed nearly 15,000 lives globally, according to a top WHO official.

The executive director of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Michael Ryan, said India, the world’s second most populous country, has a tremendous capacity to deal with the coronavirus outbreak as it has the experience of eradicating the small-pox and polio through targeted public intervention.


12.40 pm | Maharashtra

Third death in Mumbai

A 65 year old man who tested positive for COVID-19 succumbed in Mumbai’s Kasturba Hospital on Monday. The patient was brought in critical condition and died within hours of admission. This is the third death from Mumbai.

12.30 pm | Karnataka

All Indira canteens to be closed in Karnataka

Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on Tuesday said all Indira canteens will remain closed during the COVID-19 lockdown period to avoid gathering of large number of people.

On Monday, the State government had announced that Indira Canteens would provide food free of cost for the benefit of daily wage workers and poor people in the wake of a complete lockdown.

When asked about what alternative the government would provide, he said , “Closure of canteens is needed to avoid the rush near the canteen as it may lead to problems.”


11.50 am | Delhi

Modi to address nation at 8 pm today

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation at 8 p.m. today, March 24 on vital aspects relating to the menace of COVID-19, he tweeted.

11.40 am | Tamil Nadu

TN CM announces ₹3,280 crore package for low income groups

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Tuesday announced a ₹3,280 crore package to provide relief to the poor, senior citizens, agricultural labourers, autorickshaw drivers, construction workers and daily wagers who would be affected by the lock-down necessitated as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19.

In a suo motu statement in the Tamil Nadu Assembly on Tuesday, the Chief Minister said all the ration card-holders would get ₹1000 and free rice, dal, cooking oil and sugar.


11.20 am | Delhi

Sonia writes to Modi on plight of construction workers

Congress President Sonia Gandhi has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on rolling emergency measures for construction industry workers.

In her letter, Ms Gandhi said construction industry employs over 44 million people and is the second largest employer in India. They should be given emergency welfare measures such wage support.

11.10 am | Delhi

Election Commission of India has deferred the Rajya Sabha elections that were scheduled on March 26.

10.40 am

'What pandemic? I still prefer watching movie in a theatre'

A section of the Indian population is still not serious about the COVID-19 pandemic despite the growing number of cases each day, according to an ongoing study of the impact of the outbreak on movie hall-going behaviour.


The study, titled 'Impact of COVID-19 Outbreak on Theatre-Going Behaviour in India' is being conducted across 80 cities in the Hindi-Tamil-Telugu film industry zones with a sample size of 1,200 committed film-goers every week.


10.30 am | Gujarat

With four new cases, the total COVID-19 patients in Gujarat has risen to 33. The fresh cases were reported from Surat and Gandhinagar. - Mahesh Langa

10.20 am | Maharashtra

COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra crosses 100

Three persons from Pune have tested positive for the pandemic, while another case has been reported from Satara, taking the total number of cases in Maharashtra to 101.

Pune alone has reported 31 cases - Shoumojit Banerjee

10.00 am | Karnataka

Karnataka Legislature to wind up today

Congress leaders R.V. Deshpande and Siddaramaiah in the Legislative Assembly on Monday.

Congress leaders R.V. Deshpande and Siddaramaiah in the Legislative Assembly on Monday.


With the number of people affected by COVID-19 in Karnataka sharply increasing to 33, the Business Advisory Committee of the State legislature has decided to wind up the ongoing session on Tuesday.

Masks made an entry to the Legislature as well. Prominent among them was Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah, his son Yathindra, who is a doctor, and Anjali Nimbalkar, also a doctor.

9.40 am | Maharashtra

12 Mumbai patients on the way to recovery

In a positive development, a repeat test of Maharashtra’s index patients — the Pune couple — came negative on Monday. Civic officials in Pune said that samples of the couple will be sent for testing again on Tuesday and if they are negative, the husband and wife will be discharged from the hospital.

Twelve COVID-19 patients admitted in Mumbai have tested negative in their two consecutive samples.

9.15 am | Madhya Pradesh

Curfew in Bhopal, Jabalpur

The Madhya Pradesh government has imposed curfew in Bhopal and Jabalpur cities, where coronavirus cases have been found.

Lockdown has so far been ordered in 39 out of the total 51 districts of the state in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

Soon after assuming charge, state Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan held a meeting around Monday midnight and issued the directives. - PTI

9:00 am | Manipur

Manipur reports first case

Manipur has its first confirmed COVID-19 case. A young girl who recently returned from the U.S. was found positive.  It is first case in the Northeast region of the country.

(-Iboyaima Laithangbam)


S.Korea doubles coronavirus rescue package to 100 tln won

South Korea on Tuesday doubled a planned economic rescue package to 100 trillion won ($80 billion) to save companies hit by the coronavirus and put a floor under crashing stocks and bond markets.

The package includes 29.1 trillion won in loans to small- and medium-sized companies, while another 20 trillion won will be used to buy corporate bonds and commercial paper of companies facing a credit crunch, President Moon Jae-in said in an emergency economic policy meeting.

8:00 am | USA


139 COVID-19 deaths in 1 day, Trump signs executive order to prevent medical supplies hoarding

U.S. President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to prevent hoarding of vital medical supplies and personal protective equipment as the country for the first time registered over 130 deaths in a day due to coronavirus.

7:00 am | Japan

2020 Olympic Games will be postponed, says IOC member Dick Pound

The International Olympic Committee has decided to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games because of the coronavirus pandemic , IOC member Dick Pound said on March 23, as a window slowly began to open that would allow the showcase to be staged next year.

6:30 am | U.K.

Britain imposes lockdown to combat spread of coronavirus

Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered Britons on March 23 to stay at home to halt the spread of coronavirus, imposing curbs on everyday life without precedent in peacetime.

All but essential shops must close immediately and people should no longer meet family or friends or risk being fined, Johnson said in a televised address to the nation.

(With inputs from PTI)

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