At least 250 people have died and more than 7,500 have tested positive for COVID-19 in India. Assam recorded its first death on Friday when a 65-year-old man died in Silchar hospital.
Punjab became the second State to extend the lockdown beyond April 14, a day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets Chief Ministers to take stock of the situation.
The Union Home Ministry also sought views of State governments on the 21-day lockdown including on whether more categories of people and services need to be exempted, officials said, amidst indications of a possible two-week extension of the nationwide restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The Hindu has brought out a multi-language 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 , a State-wise tracker for COVID-19 cases, deaths and testing, and a map of confirmed cases in India .
Numbers to note:
24/7 national helpline can be reached at 1075 , 1930, 1944 (dedicated to Northeast), 1800-112-545 and 011-23978046 .
WhatsApp helpdesk number: 9013151515 .
Here are the latest updates:
Ten COVID-19 patients recover in Odisha
Ten COVID-19 patients recovered and tested negative in Odisha. Total number of cases increased to 50 with detection of two new cases on Friday. Active cases stand at 37 at present, as two patients had recovered and one had died earlier. Of the ten recovered, five are from Bhubaneswar, two from Bhadrak and one each from Cuttack, Jajpur and Puri.
- Prafulla Das
Fishing, marine aquaculture activities exempted from lockdown
The Union government on Friday exempted the operations of the fishing or marine aquaculture industry, including harvesting, sale and marketing activities, from the purview of the ongoing nationwide lockdown.
In a communication to the Chief Secretaries of all states and Union territories, the Union Home Ministry said the decision has been taken by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla in his capacity as chairperson of the National Executive Committee constituted under the Disaster Management Act.
Tripura reports its second case
Tripura reported its second case on Friday as a 32-year-old man, who is a trooper in the Tripura State rifles, tested positive.
The patient is from Madhya Pradesh and had travelled with the last positive case in train, said Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb.
- Syed Sajjad Ali
Rajasthan announces relief of Rs. 50 lakh for COVID-19 workers who die on duty
Rajasthan government on Friday announced it will provide an assistance of Rs. 50 lakh to the family of any employee who dies due to COVID-19 while on duty, an official statement said.
This assistance scheme also includes State government contractual employees deployed on coronavirus related duty, it said.
However, those healthcare workers for whom central government had announced Rs. 50 lakh insurance cover will not come under this scheme, the statement said.
183 new cases reported in Delhi, death toll goes up to 14
Two deaths and 183 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Delhi on Friday, taking the total number of deaths to 14 and cases to 903, according to a daily health bulletin of the Delhi government.
Out of the 183 new COVID-19 positive cases, 154 are people from a centre run by Tablighi Jamaat in Nizamuddin, which was evacuated by the authorities.
A total of 584 people from the centre have tested positive for COVID-19 so far in Delhi alone.
Out of the total 903 cases reported so far, 26 people have been discharged from hospitals and 862 are still undergoing treatment.
- Jatin Anand
Disclose travel history or face murder charges, Tablighi Jamaat members told
Tablighi Jamaat members in Rajnandgaon district of Chhattisgarh have been directed to inform authorities of their travel history since March 1, and failure to do so could attract charges of murder and attempt to murder, a senior official said on Friday.
“If any case of non-disclosure is found then the concerned person will face action under sections 302 (punishment for murder) and 307 (attempt to murder) of Indian Penal Code and provision of the National Disaster Management Act 2005,” an official order said.
Mumbai's Dharavi reports six new cases, total goes up to 28
Six more people tested have tested positive in Dharavi. In a health camp taken up at Mukund Nagar earlier this week, five residents were found COVID-19 positive. Besides, another resident from Rajiv Gandhi chawl tested positive. In all, 11 more cases were detected from the area today.
With these, the tally for Dharavi has risen to 28.
- Tanvi Deshpande
7,372 test positive, national toll rises to 248
As of 8 p.m. on Friday, April 10, as many as 7,372 people have tested positive for COVID-19. Of these, 6,490 are active cases.
248 people have died so far.
Centre should talk to U.S. to prevent job losses of Indians holding H-1B visa: Congress
The Congress on Friday urged the Modi government to talk to the Trump administration to prevent job losses of Indians holding H-1B visa in the U.S. due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said after compromising the “India First” policy in the hydroxychloroquine drug climb-down, the government is again failing to secure the safety and livelihood of Indians in the U.S.
Gujarat reports 70 new cases, State tally rises to 378
At least 70 new COVID-19 positive cases were recorded in Gujarat on Friday, taking the number of total cases to 378.
So far, 33 patients have recovered and have been discharged, while 19 have died.
- Mahesh Langa
Indications of Punjab moving towards Stage 3, says CM
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said on Friday there were indications that Punjab was moving towards the community transmission stage of COVID-19 outbreak, but asserted that his government was gearing up for every challenge, and announced mass testing in COVID-19 hotspots from next week.
Speaking to the media through video conference, Mr. Singh quoted a PGIMER study to say that the virus infection is likely to touch its peak by mid-September and may likely affect 58% of the country’s population.
Police books 64 foreigners who attended Nizamuddin event
Police have registered an offence against 64 foreigners, including some COVID-19 patients, and 10 others from different States, all of whom were found hiding in Bhopal after attending Delhi’s Tablighi Jamaat event held last month, an official said on Friday.
The police have also registered a case against 13 local residents, who provided shelter to them in different mosques, Additional Superintendent of Police (Zone-1) Rajat Saklecha told PTI on Friday.
Total number of cases in Maharashtra touches 1,574
The total number of confirmed cases in Maharashtra rose to 1,574 on Friday.
110 deaths have been reported so far in the State.
- Shoumojit Banerjee
Retailers body urges people not to indulge in panic buying
The Retailers Association of India (RAI) has urged people not to indulge in panic buying of essential items. “There is enough stock of grains, pulses and other daily essentials for the lockdown period and beyond. There is no need for citizens to believe otherwise and engage in panic buying,” RAI said in a statement.
“RAI, along with its members, is working closely with various State Governments and with the Centre to resolve supply concerns with regards to essentials as they arise at the earliest,” it said.
- Lalatendu Mishra
Salaries of Arunachal ministers, MLAs to be slashed by 30%
In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Arunachal Pradesh Cabinet on Friday approved an ordinance to reduce salaries of all ministers and MLAs, including the chief minister, by 30% for a year with effect from April 1, 2020.
180 flights for transporting cargo operated so far, says Civil Aviation Ministry
A total of 180 flights have operated since the beginning of the 21-day lockdown under the ‘Lifeline Udan’ scheme, carrying 258.24 tonnes of cargo as on Thursday, the Civil Aviation Ministry said on Friday.
The ‘Lifeline Udan’ scheme has been started by the ministry for transport of essential goods through aerial routes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As many as 218 persons tested positive for COVID-19 in Mumbai on Friday, said the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.
Total cases in Tamil Nadu touch 911
As many as 77 persons tested positive for COVID-19 in Tamil Nadu on Friday, said Chief Secretary K. Shanmugam. While the total number of cases in the State has now touched 911, 44 people have recovered.
One more person died today, taking the State toll to nine.
- Serena Josephine M.
10-month-old girl dies at quarantine centre in U.P.
A 10-month-old girl died on Friday at a quarantine centre set up in a primary school in Uska Bazar area of neighbouring Siddharthnagar district, a senior official said. The toddler was rushed to the district hospital in an ambulance but doctors declared her brought dead, he said.
The baby’s parents had come from Mumbai and were at the quarantine centre since March 29.
Northeast Frontier Railway turns 315 coaches into isolation wards
The Northeast Frontier Railway has modified 315 coaches as isolation wards with 2,520 beds for various locations in Assam, Tripura and West Bengal in case of any contingency amid the COVID-19 pandemic, an official said on Friday.
Equipped with all basic facilities needed for isolation as per guidelines issued by the Railway Board, these coaches are also fitted with mosquito nets, charging points and space for paramedics, CPRO Subhanan Chanda said.
Wearing masks in public now compulsory in Telangana
The Telangana government has made wearing a mask covering nose and mouth compulsory when going out and while interacting with others, a Government Memo said while stating that some people do not show COVID-19 symptoms despite being positive of the virus.
“The earlier advisory on “Masks only for the sick” is being updated with “Mask on while stepping outdoors, in enclosed spaces and while interacting with others.”
India set to ship hydroxychloroquine sought by Trump for coronavirus
India is set to begin shipping the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to the United States where President Donald Trump has touted it as a potential weapon against the coronavirus.
“The first shipments should start next week,” said Sudarshan Jain, secretary general of Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA).
Centre tells States to not allow religious gatherings
In view of the festival season in April, the Central government on Friday asked the States and Union Territories to strictly adhere to the ongoing 21-day lockdown and not allow any social or religious gathering and procession.
In a communication, the Union Home Ministry also said that appropriate vigil on social media should be maintained against circulation of any objectionable content.
FCI announces insurance cover of up to Rs. 35 lakh for workers
Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Friday announced a life insurance cover of up to Rs. 35 lakh per person to over 1 lakh FCI officials and workers in case they succumb to COVID-19 after six months of performing duty from the day of lockdown on March 24.
Currently, there is a provision to provide compensation to family members of FCI officials in case of death due to terrorist attack, bomb blast, mob violence and natural disasters. However, regular and contractual labourers are not included.
Village in Punjab’s Mohali sees 10 fresh cases, total now 32
Ten people tested positive for coronavirus in Jawaharpur village in Punjab’s Mohali district on Friday, taking the number of confirmed cases in the area to 32, officials said here.
The village located in Dera Bassi of Mohali has become a coronavirus hotspot in the State. The number of cases stood at 22 on Thursday.
Rural areas to see relief from lockdown, cities to remain strictly shut
Stoppered supply lines with trucks waiting on highways, the ongoing harvest season and procurement of food grains in various parts of the country are some of the issues that will inform the kind of lockdown the country will continue to have post April 14.
The Delhi Police have registered a total of 137 cases against individuals for not wearing masks under section 188 IPC (disobeying an order issued by a public servant).
-- Saurabh Trivedi
Punjab extends lockdown till May 1
The Punjab government on Friday announced to extend the curfew in the State till May 1, 2020.
The cabinet also approved the Punjab Clinical Establishment (Registration and Regulation) Ordinance 2020, to bring the state’s private hospitals under the umbrella of the COVID-19 battle.
The decisions were taken at a meeting of the Council of Ministers, chaired by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, to check community spread of the pandemic and to prevent overcrowding at the ''Mandis'' in the light of the ensuing wheat harvesting - procurement season.
Mr. Singh will convey the decision about curfew to Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Saturday’s conference with the chief ministers, according to an official statement.
-- Vikas Vasudeva
NHRC tells govt to address concerns of mentally ill during lockdown
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Friday asked the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to address the concerns of mentally ill people on the streets of the country during the coronavirus lockdown.
The NHRC took cognisance of a complaint about the alleged human rights violation and asked the MHA to inform it of the arrangements made for the mentally ill within two weeks.
“In the meantime necessary directions may be issued by them [MHA] to all the States and Union Territories to ensure that persons suffering from any kind of mental ailment under their jurisdiction are provided with proper counselling towards necessary precautions for their personal care and protection from the virus and not deprived of basic amenities like food, shelter and medical care etc.,” an NHRC statement said.
-- Damini Nath
Over 200 Gujarat farmers give Rs. 2,000 each to PM-CARES fund
Over 200 farmers from Amreli and Bhavnagar districts in Gujarat have donated their Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi amount of Rs 2,000 to the PM CARES fund set up to fight the coronavirus outbreak, officials said.
As part of the Centre’s Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, farmers get Rs 6,000 as minimum income support in three equal installments, the last of which was disbursed recently, they said.
The National Commission for Women launches Whatsapp number 07217735372 for survivors of domestic violence and women in distress due to the lockdown.
-- Jagriti Chandra
More than three times the requisite HCQ tablets available: Health Ministry
So far, 20,473 foreign nationals have been successfully evacuated on request of several countries, an MHA spokesperson said.
The government will decide on how to manage the return of Indian nationals, the spokesperson said, adding that "our ambassadors and High Commissioners are in regular touch with them, giving all support to them. MEA has also set up a COVID-19 control room, where helplines are active and a full team is taking calls and guiding them. The situation is under control."
The issue of export of HCQ was reviewed over a period of time, keeping in view domestic priorities, and the restrictions were gradually relaxed. HCQ is in high demand globally; a lot of requests are already there from several countries. Taking into view domestic stock and requirement, keeping a sufficient buffer for our own requirement, decision was taken by a group of Ministers to release some in a staggered manner, the MHA said.
"The first batch of HCQ export has been released, the next batches are to follow," the spokesperson said.
Urban local bodies have intensified measures in the hotspots. In view of the coming festivals, State governments have again been told to enforce lockdown. The Home Minister had a meeting with BSF through video-conferencing, giving instructions to intensify monitoring along the Indo-Pak border. Those living in the border areas are also being sensitised, it was added.
"As per details available on April 9, a total of 37,978 relief camps, catering to 14.30 lakh stranded migrant workers and the other needy, are being run across the country. Of them, over 34,000 are by State governments, and 3,900 by NGOs.
"Also, 26,225 food camps are feeding over 1 crore people. Of them, 14,999 are being run by State governments and 11,426 by NGOs. About 16.50 lakh people are being given shelter and good by their employers or the industry," the spokesperson said.
Amit Shah directs BSF to enhance vigil along Pakistan, Bangladesh borders
"Union Home Minister Amit Shah has directed the BSF to enhance vigil along the Indian borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh, especially in the non-fenced areas.
"The Minister reviewed the security of the two borders on Thursday and also directed the BSF to ensure that no cross-border movement takes place at these two fronts," Joint secretary in the Ministry, Punya Salila Srivastava told reporters.
The Health Ministry said that about 1 crore tablets of HCQ will be required. 3.28 crore tablets are available with us. Therefore, compared to projected requirements, more than three times the tablets are with us already.
Arrangements for an additional 2-3 crore tablets have also been made. Through private sectors, two crore tablets have been sent in the fields, the Ministry added.
"We have today 146 labs in public sectors, and 68 private labs with 16,500 collection centres.
"Yesterday, we conducted over 16,000 tests, in which 0.2% were found to be positive.
"Rapid diagnostic kits have been sanctioned, orders have also been given. They will be available at the earliest.
"Earlier 9 lakh N95 masks were available; 20 lakh N95 masks have now been made available to the States," the Ministry added.
The Ministry spokesperson expressed concern over the attacks on healthcare workers and appealed to the public to encourage the frontline workers.
"If there is any community transmission, we will ourselves inform you about it," he added.
The ICMR representative said that till 9 p.m. yesterday, 1.44 lakh samples tested, adding that "yesterday we expanded our testing strategy by including all symptomatic cases in hotspot areas".
When asked about an ICMR study showing that about 40% instances of the surveyed patients did not have travel history, the spokesperson said that VRDL lab test results are from the areas where the cases were prevalent. "The findings about patients with no travel history have to be further inquired into".
-- Devesh Pandey
PMO reviews efforts to check coronavirus spread
The production of personal protective equipment (PPE) is being ramped up, a meeting held by the Prime Minister’s Office to review the efforts to tackle the spread of coronavirus was informed on Friday.
Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister P K Mishra chaired the meeting of the empowered groups of officers set up to tackle the challenges arising out of COVID-19.
The meeting reviewed and expressed satisfaction on the detailed testing protocol and procedure, under which 1,45,916 samples have been tested across the country till date.
‘Operation SHIELD’ has stalled COVID-19 from spreading at Dilshad Garden, claims Delhi govt.
‘Operation SHIELD’, aimed at countering the community spread of the Novel Coronavirus, announced by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday, has stalled COVID-19 from spreading at Dilshad Garden, the Delhi government claimed.
In the last 10 days, the government claimed in a statement, there had been no reported cases from the Dilshad Garden area, terming it the first instance of the “successful implementation” of the initiative.
-- Jatin Anand
The number of cases in U.P. now stands at 431, said Amit Mohan Prasad, State Principal Secretary, Health department.
-- Omar Rashid
ICMR approves use of diagnostic machine used for drug-resistant TB for COVID-19
As part of its efforts to ramp up the testing capacity, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has approved the use of diagnostic machines used for testing drug-resistant tuberculosis for conducting coronavirus tests.
The ICMR has validated ‘TruenatTM beta CoV test on TruelabTM workstation’ and has recommended it as a screening test, the apex health research body said on Friday.
Issuing a guidance on the use of Truenat beta CoV, the ICMR said throat/nasal swabs will be collected in the viral transport medium (VTM) with virus lysis buffer provided along with the kit.
Spain's daily death toll eases again
The number of people dying of coronavirus in Spain each day fell again on Friday as the country registered 605 fatalities over the past 24 hours, the health ministry said.
The overall death toll rose to 15,843 on Friday from 15,238 the previous day, it said in a statement. The total number of coronavirus cases rose to 157,022 on Friday from 152,446 on Thursday.
SpiceJet operates 1st freighter service to Ho Chi Minh City, carries medical supplies
Budget carrier SpiceJet operated its first freighter service on Friday to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam from Hyderabad, carrying around 16 tonnes of medical supplies as part of the transportation of medical essentials, including medicines and other medical supplies, amid the coronavirus pandemic, the airline said.
Besides, one of its freighters flew with critical medical equipment from Singapore to Bangaluru, while a passenger aircraft transported medical supplies as in-cabin cargo to Guwahati from Kolkata, it said.
Tripura invokes Essential Services Management Act
The Tripura government has invoked the Essential Services Management Act (ESMA) after a few nurses at a state-run hospital complained about shortage of masks and other protective equipment in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
Tripura is the second State after Madhya Pradesh to have enforced the Act of 1986, which gives the police the right to arrest without a warrant anybody violating the ESMA’s provisions.
Under it, employees in a long list of “essential services” like post and telegraph, railway, airport and port operations are prohibited from going on strike.
22 discharged in Kasaragod
In a huge relief for Kasaragod district, which has witnessed the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the State , 22 patients have been discharged from various hospitals.
In the second stage of coronavirus infection, a total of 138 patients from Kasaragod are receiving treatment in various hospitals.
TN COVID-19 expert panel recommends extension of lockdown by two weeks
The Expert Committee of medical experts constituted to track the spread of COVID-19 in Tamil Nadu on Friday recommended to Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami to extend the ongoing lockdown by two weeks beyond April 14.
“Despite all the efforts taken by the government, cases [of COVID-19] have been increasing so far…All the doctors [on the 19-member panel] feel that it would be good if the lockdown is extended for 14 more days. This is among the recommendations of the Committee,” a panel spokesperson told journalists at the Secretariat in Chennai in the afternoon.
-- Dennis S. Jesudasan
Punjab in second stage of COVID-19: Amarinder Singh
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday said the State is in second stage of COVID-19. Ahead of State cabinet meeting, slated for today, Mr. Singh said he personally feels the lockdown should be extended.
He, however, added that the Cabinet would take a decision on the State's lockdown extension.
Addressing a press conference through video conference, Mr. Singh said Punjab will allow district-wise relief from lockdown only to farmers to allow them for harvesting of Rabi crop.
He said the state was expecting a bumper crop of 185 lakh tonnes of wheat and is making arrangements for harvest of the crop.
He said predictions by health experts about the spread of the pandemic are “horrendous and frightening“.
“Prediction by experts about spread of the virus are horrendous and frightening,” he said, adding that the government is preparing itself and gearing up for such a situation.
Bhilwara model breaks virus transmission chain in district
The “ruthless containment” model adopted in Bhilwara , which emerged last month as the worst-affected district in Rajasthan, has succeeded in breaking the chain of novel coronavirus transmission. Among the 27 COVID-19 positive cases found earlier, 25 patients have been cured of the infection and 15 of them discharged from hospital.
Bhilwara Collector Rajendra Bhatt said on Friday that the remaining 10 persons, who were under observation, would be discharged in a couple of days. The two elderly patients who died after testing COVID-19 positive reportedly had co-morbidity and other medical complications, while one of them was also in a state of coma when he was tested.
-- Mohammed Iqbal
Doctor in Nagapattinam tests positive for COVID-19, clinic sealed
The district administration has sealed a private hospital run by a doctor after he tested positive for COVID-19.
The doctor who had returned from USA about 20 days ago, is the 12th COVID-19 positive patient in the district. The doctor's residence and clinic have been made containment zones.
Two more test COVID-19 positive in Puducherry
Two more persons , who returned from the Tablighi Jamaat conference in New Delhi, tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, taking the total tally of active patients in the Union Territory to seven.
It doesn’t matter what’s the cost involved in flattening the curve: Kerala Finance Minister
Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac reveals in an interview with The Hindu , the State’s plans to use the COVID-19 fight as a window of opportunity to set up agriculture processing industries and pharma consortiums.
Two nurses from Dadar hospital test positive
Two nurses from Dadar's Sushrusha Hospital have tested positive. About 28 other nurses have been put in quarantine in the same hospital. Besides, the management has been ordered to stop new admissions and shift patients out in 48 hours.
Another senior citizen has tested positive from Dadar, bringing the total to six from the area.
Ten new cases in Karnataka
Ten new cases have been detected in the State on Friday, taking the total number to 207.
The new cases include five from Mysuru and two from Bengaluru. All the patients from Bengaluru and Mysuru are contacts of patients who tested positive earlier.
A 55-year-old male from Kalaburagi, who is suffering from severe acute respiratory illness, is also a contact of another positive patient. Two from Bengaluru Rural have also tested positive.
With Friday's additions, a total of 42 cases have been reported from Mysuru. This includes 31 from the Pharma company, three who returned from Dubai and the remaining who returned from Delhi.
Dwarka councillor violates quarantine, tests positive
A councillor in the Dwarka area, her husband and son have tested positive for Covid-19.
The Delhi Police has registered a case against them for violating home quarantine guidelines.
-- Saurabh Trivedi
Detailed inquiry to be undertaken into DHFL promoters' lockdown violation: NCP
Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has spoken to CM Uddhav Thackeray regarding DHFL chairman Kapil Wadhawan and his family violating the lockdown by travelling, and a detailed inquiry will be done regarding the same, NCP chief spokesperson Nawab Malik said in a press note.
Pending inquiry, Amitabh Gupta, Principal Secretary (Special), Home Department, has been sent on a long leave , the note said.
"IPS and IAS officers come under the ambit of the PMO. If the Central Government wishes to take action against Amitabh Gupta, they are free to do so. We will welcome the same," Mr. Malik added.
The number of COVID-19 patients in Siwan district has gone up to 29. The total number of infected persons in Bihar goes up to 60.
Priyanka Gandhi writes to Adityanath, seeks increased testing for COVID-19 in U.P.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, in a letter to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, urged the State government to considerably increase testing for COVID-19 and cited the example of Congress-ruled Rajasthan.
The letter, dated April 9, was released by the Congress on Friday.
Two new cases in A.P.
Two new COVID-19 positive cases have been reported from Anantapur district in Andhra Pradesh in the testings conducted from 9 p.m. on Thursday to 9 a.m on Friday, taking the total number of positive cases in the State to 365.
According to a bulletin released by the State nodal officer, COVID-19 tests were conducted on 892 people in the last 24 hours and 17 of them tested positive. Of the total 365 positive cases, 10 persons have been discharged after recovery, six of them succumbed to the virus and 349 are undergoing treatment.
--P. Sujatha Varma
Maharashtra records 16 more cases as tally rises to 1380
At least 16 more Covid-19 positive cases were reported from Maharashtra on Friday as the cumulative tally climbed to 1380, with Pune recording an alarming spike of nine fresh cases over a 12-hour span, said officials.
With this, Pune tally has surged to 218, with a total of 25 deaths reported from the district.
Four more cases were reported from Akola taking the district’s tally to 13, while two more were reported Buldhana district, taking the district’s tally to 17, and one positive case was reported from Ratnagiri district.
97 deaths have been reported from the State so far, with 54 of these being from Mumbai.
-- Shoumojit Banerjee
PM to interact with CMs tomorrow; extension of lockdown on agenda
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with Chief Ministers of all States on Saturday via video, where a call would be taken on whether the 21-day lockdown to check spread of coronavirus should be extended .
The video conference comes after several States have favoured the extension to contain the virus.
10 COVID-19 patients in Andaman and Nicobar Islands recover
Ten persons, who tested positive for COVID-19 after returning from a religious congregation in Delhi last month, have recovered, officials said on Friday.
All of them returned to Port Blair via Kolkata on March 24, they said.
They have tested negative and will soon be shifted from the GB Pant Hospital, where they are undergoing treatment, to a quarantine facility before being discharged, a health official said.
IndiGo to suspend meal service for some time, fill only 50% seats in airport buses post lockdown
India's largest airline, IndiGo, will temporarily discontinue meals onboard as well as run coaches at half their capacity. These are among its new set of operating procedures as it prepares to resume flights once the lockdown that followed the COVID-19 outbreak is lifted.
14 new cases in Bhopal
As many as 14 persons tested positive for COVID-19 in Bhopal on Friday morning, taking the tally in the city to 109, said district administration officials. Madhya Pradesh has recorded 445 cases and 33 deaths so far.
Govt. removes customs duty, cess on COVID-19 medical equipment
The government on Thursday removed customs duty and health cess on ventilators, face and surgical masks, personal protection equipment and COVID-19 test kits with a view to boost availability of these products in the country to fight coronavirus pandemic.
Chief Secretary reviews situation at containment zones
Chief Secretary Vijay Dev has reviewed the situation at 22 areas in Delhi designated as containment zones. A multi-agency containment plan has been put in place, according to the office of the Chief Secretary.
Police authorities of the area have been directed to ensure the containment of the area, adequate barricading and deployment of police personnel to prevent any unauthorized movement of persons. Civil Defence volunteers have also been deployed in shifts in the Containment Zones for enforcing the lockdown effectively, the office said.
Surveillance of the Containment Zones will be carried out by a dedicated team with the help of Surveillance App. A dedicated helpline for grievance redressal is being set up for the ‘Containment Zone’. The Containment Plan will be reviewed constantly based on experience and field inputs, it added.
-- Jatin Anand
Telangana Cabinet to hold meeting tomorrow; to discuss lockdown extension
Telangana Cabinet will have a meeting on Saturday at 3 p.m. to discuss rising cases of Covid-19 and the resultant situation. The Cabinet will also discuss the prospect of extending lockdown and the present financial situation, relief being extended to poor, migrant workers , purchase of agricultural produce and other issues.
Five more test positive in Mumbai’s Dharavi
Dharavi reported five new cases on Friday, bringing the total to 22. These five include two people who had attended the Markaz at Delhi.
On Friday, the number of cases jumped from 17 to 22. Among the new cases is the wife of a doctor from Wockhardt hospital who had earlier tested positive. Two cases are from new areas of Dharavi- PMGP colony and Murugan chawl- while two are from areas that had previously reported cases.
Among the two new positive cases were people who had returned from Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi and were already being quarantined, screened for symptoms. After they developed symptoms, they were tested positive and moved to a hospital. Besides, five other couples who had attended the Markaz and stayed briefly in Dharavi are suspected to be the source of first Covid-19 patient in the area who eventually died.
26 fresh cases in Rajasthan
Rajasthan records 26 new cases of coronavirus infection today, taking the State's tally to 489.
As many as 12 COVID-19 positive cases were reported from Banswara, followed by 8 in Jaisalmer district's Pokhran town, 3 in Jhalawar and 1 each in Alwar, Bharatpur and Kota.
The State's tally of 489 cases includes 42 evacuees from Iran staying in Army's facilities, according to Medical & Health Department. - Mohammed Iqbal
4 test positive for COVID-19 in Udhampur
Four people have been confirmed positive for COVID-19 in Udhampur district, taking the total number of cases in Jammu and Kashmir to 188.
The four are the contacts of a 61-year-old woman who died of coronavirus on Wednesday.
The positive cases included two grand-daughters, daughter-in-law and a neighbour of the deceased woman. - PTI
Two die in Gujarat
Gujarat records two deaths and 46 news cases of Coronavirus infection on Friday. The deaths were reported from Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar.
Total 259 patients are under treatment out of which two are on ventilator support, the State's Health Department bulletin said.
The infection has now spread to 19 of the 33 districts in the State.
Totally 308 cases have been reported in Gujarat, including 19 deaths. So far, 30 patients have recovered and discharged from their hospitals. - Mahesh Langa
Bokaro man tests positive for COVID-19
A 35-year-old man, who attended a religious congregation in Delhi last month, tested positive for COVID-19 in Bokaro district, taking the total number of coronavirus cases in Jharkhand to 14. - PTI
Kerala gets nod for trial of plasma therapy
Kerala is not easing its level of preparedness or its efforts to stay ahead of the virus even when it is clear that the progression of COVID-19 epidemic in the State is currently well below the case progression graphs plotted by mathematic modellers.
With Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan making it clear that the State would be exploring all currently available treatment options the world over, Kerala has once again gone a step ahead and won Indian Council of Medical Research’s (ICMR) approval for the clinical protocol exploring the feasibility of an experimental therapy, convalescent plasma transfusion, which may be administered to severe COVID-19 patients.
Yemen reports first coronavirus case
Yemen on Friday reported its first case of coronavirus in a southern province under the control of the government, the supreme national emergency committee for COVID-19 said.
Aid groups have warned that when the virus does hit Yemen’s broken healthcare system, the impact will be catastrophic.
“The first confirmed case of coronavirus has been reported in Hadramout province,” the committee, which belongs to the internationally recognised government, said on Twitter.
UN chief warns COVID-19 threatens global peace and security
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned the U.N. Security Council on Thursday that the coronavirus pandemic is threatening international peace and security, “potentially leading to an increase in social unrest and violence that would greatly undermine our ability to fight the disease.”
The closed meeting was the first by the council on the pandemic and afterward it issued its first brief press statement expressing “support for all efforts of the secretary-general concerning the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to conflict-affected countries and recalled the need for unity and solidarity with all those affected.”
Israel PM Netanyahu thanks India for delivering hydroxychloroquine
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday thanked his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi for rushing a five-tonne cargo of medicines, including anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine, seen as a possible cure for COVID-19.
“Thank you, my dear friend @narendramodi, Prime Minister of India, for sending Chloroquine to Israel. All the citizens of Israel thank you!”, Mr. Netanyahu said in a tweet Thursday evening.
No significant rate of increase in COVID-19 positive cases, says ICMR
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Thursday said the country has maintained a steady rate of COVID-19 positive cases — 3% to 5% over the past month and half — and has registered no significant increase in this trend so far.
The country currently has 5,865 confirmed cases and 169 deaths. This includes 591 new cases and 20 deaths in the last 24 hours, Joint Secretary in the Union Health Ministry Lav Agrawal said at the daily press briefing. He added that 473 people had recovered and been discharged so far.
With seven more positive cases detected in Bihar from Siwan and Begusarai districts, the total number of COVID-19 positive cases in the State has gone up to 58.
The total number of COVID-19 positive cases in Odisha has increased to 48 with six new cases detected by 11 p.m. on Thursday, according to the State government.
Boris Johnson leaves intensive care, remains under observation
Prime Minister Boris Johnson left intensive care on Thursday evening as he continues to recover from COVID-19, but he remains under close observation in hospital, his office said on Thursday.
Mr. Johnson, 55, was admitted to St. Thomas' Hospital on Sunday evening with a persistent high temperature and cough, and was rushed to intensive care on Monday where he spent three nights receiving treatment.
“The Prime Minister has been moved this evening from intensive care back to the ward, where he will receive close monitoring during the early phase of his recovery,” a spokesperson from his office said in an emailed statement. “He is in extremely good spirits.”