As India is under lockdown for a week now, the government has said the 21-day period will not be extended . The country is seeing a spurt in the number of coronavirus cases , with Gujarat, Punjab, Telangana and West Bengal reporting deaths.
COVID-19 has claimed 59 lives in India, according to data from the Health Ministry and State governments. As many as 1,897 people have tested positive for the coronavirus.
The new 24/7 national helpline numbers are 1075 , 1800-112-545 and 011-23978046 .
The Prime Minister has announced a WhatsApp helpdesk number : 9013151515 .
Here are the latest updates:
A 56 year-old man became the first confirmed Corona positive patient from Mumbai's Dharavi, and was declared dead at Sion hospital today late evening. His immediate contacts are being tested while his building with 300 flats and 90 shops was sealed on Wednesday.
Maharashtra's death toll is now 16. The State government updated four new deaths and confirmed two old deaths, a 50-year-old man from Palghar and a 86 year old woman who died in Hiranandani.
Seven persons in Churu and four in Tonk, who attended the Tablighi Jamat event in Delhi, test COVID-19 positive in Rajasthan. With this, the number of persons found positive today has soared to 26. The total number of Coronavirus positive cases detected so far is 102, though 21 of them have been confirmed as negative and 11 have been discharged.
Fifteen attendees test negative
Fifteen of the 20 people from Odisha who attended a religious conference in Nizamuddin West in Delhi last month have been tested negative for coronavirus. The reports of remaining five were awaited, the State government said on Wednesday evening.
Wimbledon canceled for 1st time since World War II
Wimbledon was canceled on Wednesday because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the first time since World War II that the oldest Grand Slam tennis tournament won’t be played.
The All England Club announced after an emergency meeting that the event it refers to simply as The Championships is being scrapped for 2020.
Wimbledon was scheduled to be played on the club’s grass courts on the outskirts of London from June 29 to July 12.
Instead, the next edition of the tournament will be June 28 to July 11, 2021.
Engineering entrance exam postponed
JEE Advanced, which was scheduled to be held on May 17, has been postponed due to the COVID-19 situation, says IIT-Delhi, which is conducting the exam this year. The examination, which is meant for entrance to the IITs, will be rescheduled after the JEE-Main examination, which is now likely to be held in the last week of May.
- Priscilia Jebraj
Gujarat reports 13 new cases
"Thirteen new Coronavirus positive cases reported from Gujarat. Total cases have jumped to 87", says Health department
32 new COVID-19 cases in Delhi
Thirty-two new COVID-19 cases were reported in Delhi on Wednesday, taking the total number of cases to 152, according to the Delhi government.
This is the biggest single-day jump in the number of cases in the city so far.
Twenty-nine of the 32 positive cases are people from a centre run by Tablighi Jamaat in Nizamuddin which has been evacuated by the authorities.
A total of 53 people from the centre have tested positive for COVID-19 so far just in Delhi alone.
No pending board exams to be conducted in foreign countries, says CBSE
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will not conduct pending class 10 and 12 examinations in foreign countries due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to officials.
“There are several CBSE schools located in 25 countries. Each of these countries are also under lockdown or have decided to close down the schools for various and differential lengths of time. Under such circumstances, it is felt that the board will not be in a position to hold differential set of exams for each of these countries,” CBSE Secretary Anurag Tripathi said.
Meanwhile, after assessing the COVID-19 situation, CBSE will give 10 days notice before rescheduling the postponed Class 10 and 12 board examinations.
Only board examinations in 12 key subjects for Class 12 will be rescheduled. Exams in 28 minor subjects for Class 12 and 2 subjects for Class 10 will not be held at all.
- With inputs from PTI
CJI, other SC judges provide financial assistance to battle COVID-19
All Supreme Court judges including Chief Justice of India donated ₹50,000 each to the PM CARES fund to aid the nation’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
An official of the apex court told PTI that all the 33 judges including the CJI have donated ₹50,000 each to the fund.
33 new coronavirus cases in Maharashtra
The number of coronavirus cases in Maharashtra increased by 33 to 335 on Wednesday, a health official said.
Thirty of these cases were found in Mumbai alone, two in Pune and one in Buldhana, he said.
The state had reported 302 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday.
Health Minister Rajesh Tope had said earlier in the day that the number of cases would increase further because there were around 5,000 persons in “high-risk” category.
PM Modi to hold video conference with State CMs tomorrow
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a video conference with all chief ministers on Thursday during which issues such as ways to contain the spread of COVID-19, movement of migrants and contact tracing of Tablighi Jamat participants are likely to come up for discussion, sources said on Wednesday.
The availability of essential items will also be discussed during the conference, they added.
This will be the second such interaction in less than two weeks on the critical issue of the COVID-19 outbreak and related matters, and the first after the Central government imposed a 21-day nationwide lockdown from March 25. The last interaction took place on March 20.
States violating lockdown measures: Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla
Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla writes to all States saying some States are allowing exceptions beyond what has been allowed under lockdown measures by the MHA. This amounts to violation of the lockdown measures under Disaster Management Act, 2005 and may defeat the overall objective of containing the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
Tamil Nadu's COVID-19 tally crosses the 200-mark
As many as 110 people who returned to Tamil Nadu from Tablighi Jamaat meet in Delhi tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday, taking the total cases in the state to 234, a top Health department official said.
This is a quantum jump as the state recorded the highest number of new cases in a single day so far.
Health Secretary Beela Rajesh told reporters here that 110 people hailing from 15 districts of the state have tested positive for the contagion.
All of them had participated in the Delhi religious congregation and the tally of COVID-19 cases in the state now stood at 234, she said.
CBSE students to be automatically promoted to higher classes
All CBSE students in Class 1-8 to be automatically promoted to the higher class in view of the situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, says the HRD Ministry. Class 9 and 11 students will be promoted based on internal school-based assessments including projects, periodic tests, term exams conducted so far. Those not promoted can appear for school-based tests, online or offline.
- Priscilia Jebraj
600 quarantined in Indore in last eight days
.At least 600 people in Indore in Madhya Pradesh have been quarantined in the last eight days to prevent the spread of coronavirus, a senior official said here on Wednesday.
Indore is among the cities that are worst affected by the coronavirus outbreak, with 63 patients testing positive and three fatalities.
“As precautionary measures, around 600 people have been moved to quarantine centres set up at marriage gardens and other places in the city.
“It is suspected that these people had come into contact with the patients who were found positive for the infection in some way. Most of them are family members of the COVID-19 patients,” Chief Medical and Health Officer Dr Praveen Jadia, Indore district, told reporters.
He said the condition of all the 600 people kept in the quarantine centres is being constantly monitored.
86 Tablighi Jamaat-returnees suspected in Bihar, 37 identified
As many as 86 people have travelled to different districts of Bihar after attending the congregation of Tablighi Jamaat Markaz (center) at Nizamuddin in New Delhi. Bihar, so far, has reported 23 COVID-19 positive cases with one death.
“Out of the 86 who had come to Bihar after attending the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in New Delhi, 37 - 17 from Patna, 13 from Buxar and 7 from Katihar have been identified and the Anti-terrorism Squad (ATS) is working on tracing the remaining 49”, Bihar Director General of Police, Gupteshwar Pandey told media persons on Wednesday after a high-level meeting in Patna. He also said that identification of 57 international travellers too is under way.
- Amarnath Tewary
503 including 72 foreigners who attended Nizamuddin event traced in Haryana
Haryana’s Home Minister Anil Vij said on Wednesday that 503 people, including 72 foreigners, who attended the Tabligh-e-Jamaat congregation in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area last month have been traced in the state.
He said that health teams are at their job after Haryana police traced the congregation attendees in various districts including Gurgaon and Ambala.
On the purpose of this group entering Haryana, the minister said that after attending the congregation they are assigned duties and sent to different places across India to preach. “They stay in mosques, go to people’s homes and hold meetings.”
Eight villages in J&K's Udhampur declared red zones
Eight villages in Jammu and Kashmir’s Udhampur have been declared as red zones after it was found that 10 people from the district had attended the Tablighi Jamaat religious congregation in Delhi’s Nizamuddin, officials said on Wednesday.
They have been traced and sent to quarantine, officials said, adding that two of them have tested positive for COVID-19. “After some people tested positive, Megani area and its surrounding villages have been declared as red zones,” District Magistrate of Udhampur, Piyush Singla said.
The villages include Kotli Paie, Chopra Shop, Rehambal, Megiyot, Rakh Sansu, More Duggar, Padam and Jib, he said.
CM Arvind Kejriwal on coronavirus situation in Delhi:
Community transmission has not started in Delhi.
Doctors and nurses working on the frontline are like soldiers and if anybody dies, their family will get ₹1 crore
Doctors have complained that many patients are getting aggressive and we have made arrangements with the Delhi Police to provide protection for them.
Doctors have said that there is a shortage of testing kits. I appeal to the Central government to provide testing kits.
We have identified 10 lakh people who may not have ration cards. They can go to the Delhi government website and apply for a ration card and we will provide ration as long as the coronavirus lockdown lasts.
Phone tracing will be done to ensure that people who are in quarantine do not step out.
Police will trace phones to ensure that people do not break quarantine.
— Jaideep Deo Bhanj
Till date 47,951 tests done, says ICMR chief Raman Gangakhedkar.
We have reached 38% capacity utilisation, he says. As many as 816 tests in private labs since yesterday, 126 ICMR labs are testing.
51 private labs have been approved for testing, he adds. - Jacob Koshy
47,951 tests for COVID-19 conducted in country so far out of which 4,562 tests done at ICMR network labs on March 31
21,486 relief camps have been set up across the country to lodge migrants and homeless, Home Ministry spokesperson says, adding that 6,75,133 persons are being sheltered there.
- Jacob Koshy
Cases have increased due to Tablighi Jamaat congregation; it does not show national trend.
5,000 railway coaches have been modified to set up quarantine facilities.
States where cases have been reported asked to initiate rigorous contact tracing and containment strategies.
States asked to carry out intensive drives to ensure tests of those who came in contact with affected people.
We urge people to follow guidelines during lockdown period, avoid congregations and religious gatherings.
Railways setting up 3.2 lakh isolation and quarantine beds, 20,000 coaches being modified in process.
India to get 80,000 isolation beds by modifying railway coaches
In his daily briefing, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Lav Agarwal says, "India is preparing 80,000 isolation beds by modifying railway coaches."
As many as 24 classes of medical devices will be regulated as drugs, he says. This would mean these devises cannot increase prices by more than 10%.
- Jacob Koshy
89 cases in Rajasthan so far
Jaipur has reported 13 more COVID-19 positive cases today. All of them are contacts of the first person who was found infected in Ramganj locality.
The number of positive cases in Rajasthan has soared to 89. This is without taking into account Iran evacuees lodged in Army facilities - Mohammed Iqbal
Fresh cases in Assam
Assam has reported four new cases. All of them have attended the Nizamuddin congregation, according to State Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
Second death in UP due to COVID-19. A 72-year-old patient in Meerut has passed away, confirms R. C. Gupta, Principal, Meerut medical college.
The deceased,tested positive in March 29, was the father-in-law of an earlier positive case. The victim was also suffering from chronic pulmonary disease and was a diabetic, says Dr. Gupta. - Omar Rashid
TN CM requests Delhi meeting participants to come forward
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Wednesday requested those who participated in the religious conference at Nizamuddin West in Delhi to voluntarily come forward, so that they can be tested and treated for COVID-19 if necessary. Mr. Palaniswami, responding to a question, also said if there were symptoms among any participants at the Isha Foundation event held recently, they would also be subjected to testing.
Two more deaths in West Bengal
Two more deaths were reported from Coronavrius in West Bengal on Wednesday taking the number of deaths due to contagious viral infection in the State to six.
While one patient who was admitted to NRS Medical College and Hospital passed late on Tuesday evening another person died in at a private health facility in Belghoria in the northern parts of the city on Wednesday.
The State has reported 27 cases, out of which three have been discharged. - Shiv Sahay Singh
The COVID-19 positive cases in Bihar has gone up to 23, confirmed state principal health secretary Sanjay Kumar. The latest two positive cases have come Nalanda and Begusarai districts and have travel history. - Amarnath Tewary
Tripura to provide free ration to 6.19 lakh poor families for one month
Tripura government on Wednesday announced that 6.19 lakh poor families in the state would get free ration for one month in view of the COVID-19 situation and the 21-day lockdown.
As per the Public Distribution System (PDS) records, Tripura has 5.79 lakh 'poor' families including 1.09 lakh Antodaya Annapurna Yojana (AAY) families, 4.70 lakh priority group or BPL families. - PTI
COVID-19 tally doubles in Andhra Pradesh with 43 new cases
Due to a major overnight spike, the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the State doubled making the total count to 87 on Wednesday. As many as 43 new cases from eight districts were reported.
As many as 373 samples were tested overnight and 330 turned negative while 43 came as positive. Kadapa and West Godavari districts which did not have a single positive case until yesterday now reported 15 and 13 positive cases respectively. Chittoor reported five new cases and it is followed by Prakasam with four new cases, Nellore and East Godavari two each cases and Visakhapatnam and Krishna one each case. - Tharun Boda
First death in UP
A 25-year-old man from Basti district in Uttar Pradesh died at the BRD hospital in Gorakhpur on Monday. His sample has tested positive, as per a doctor in district hospital Basti but still waiting for official confirmation from the King George's Medical University in Lucknow where the sample was sent. This would be the first death due to COVID in the State.
The patient didn't reveal travel history to Mumbai and was admitted to the COPD after complaining of breathing issues, says the doctor in-charge of Basti hospital. - Omar Rashid
Another death in Madhya Pradesh
A 65-year-old man from Khargone, who had died on March 29 at a hospital in Indore, tests positive for COVID-19, says Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College, Indore. The toll owing to the illness climbs to six in Madhya Pradesh. - Sidharth Yadav
The Nizamuddin Tablighi centre building was evacuated after a 36 hour-long operation. A total of 2,361 people were evacuated and 617 of them were sent to hospitals and 1,744 were sent to quarantine facilities, says Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.
Delhi State Cancer Institute has been shut and is being sanitized after a doctor at the hospital tested positive for COVID-19, says Delhi government spokesperson. - Nikhil M. Rao
Eight new Coronavirus positive cases found in Ahmedabad. Gujarat’s total no of cases jump to 82. - Mahesh Langa
20 new COVID-19 cases in MP
Twenty more people tested positive for coronavirus in Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday, taking the total number of such cases in the state to 86.
Among the new cases, 19 were reported from Indore and one from the neighbouring Khargone district.
Among the new cases, nine patients live at the same postal address in Tanzim Nagar in Indore. They include six women aged 45,21,30,36,23,30, two female toddlers aged three and five and a boy aged eight. A man aged 39 and woman 66 also live at the same address at another location in Indore, so do two men aged 24 and 74.
Two who attended Nizamuddin event test positive in Puducherry
Two persons, who had attended a religious congregation in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area, tested positive for coronavirus in Puducherry on Wednesday.
Director of Health and Family Welfare Mohan Kumar said the two had returned from Delhi after attending the congregation and were admitted to the State Government hospital.
Over 100 from Pune attended Tablighi event
At 182 persons in Pune division including more than 130 in Pune district had attended the fortnight-long conclave hosted by the Tablighi Jamaat, a global Islamic organisation in Delhi’s Nizamuddin West area earlier this month, said authorities on Wednesday.
Speaking to The Hindu , Pune Divisional Commissioner Dr. Deepak Mhaisekar said that the divisional authorities had requisite information regarding their whereabouts and that they were tracking down the concerned persons who had participated in the conclave, some of whom were foreign nationals. - Shoumojit Banerjee
Yediyurappa to donate one year’s salary to fight COVID-19
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Wednesday announced he will donate his one year’s salary to the Chief Minister Relief Fund COVID-19.
He has appealed to Ministers, legislators, Members of Parliament, officials and citizens to also do their bit and contribute in whatever capacity possible to help the state in fighting the coronavirus outbreak. - PTI
Srinagar Mayor's escort ‘isolated’
The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Tuesday quarantined the entire escort of Srinagar Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu after the brother of a police personnel tested positive for COVID-19. In a separate action, seven people associated with Tablighi Jamaat were booked for hiding travel history.
Prominent virologist Gita Ramjee dies from coronavirus
World-renowned virologist Gita Ramjee has become the first Indian-origin South African to have died after contracting the novel coronavirus that has killed five people in the country. Ramjee, a stellar vaccine scientist and an HIV prevention research leader, had returned from London a week ago but reportedly showed no symptoms of COVID-19.
COVID-19 worst crisis since World War II, says U.N. chief
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned that the world faces the most challenging crisis since World War II, confronting a pandemic threatening people in every country, one that will bring a recession “that probably has no parallel in the recent past.”
Deadliest day for Europe hotspots
Deaths from the coronavirus spiked in Europe on Tuesday with Spain , France and Britain reporting their highest daily tolls to date, as field hospitals shot up across New York, the epicentre of the U.S. outbreak bracing for dark times ahead.
250 Rajya Sabha members to contribute from MPLADS fund
Many members of the Rajya Sabha have consented to contribute from their Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) funds to the common central pool to fight COVID-19. Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu had asked the MPs to contribute at least ₹1 crore each from their MPLAD funds. Under the scheme, each MP has the choice to suggest to the District Collector works estimated at ₹5 crore a year to be taken up in their respective constituencies.
Twenty places declared Red Zones as positive cases touch 55
The Jammu and Kashmir administration has declared over 20 villages and five urban pockets as no-go ‘Red Zones’ as the number of COVID-19 cases jumped to 55. Six more people tested positive on Tuesday. “The six positive cases were reported from the Kashmir division,” said J&K spokesperson Rohit Kansal.
Concern over migrant labourers stranded in India
The government of Nepal is taking stock of the exodus of its migrant workers from India as civil society commentators intensified criticism of Kathmandu’s decision to close the border for its citizens in India. Sources in the government of Nepal said Kathmandu is closely watching the arrival of the workers from different parts of India at major border crossings, but an early decision is unlikely to resolve the issue.
(With inputs from Agencies)