India coronavirus lockdown, day 2 updates | March 26, 2020

According to WHO's March 25 update, globally, 18,589 have died and 416,686 have been infected.

March 26, 2020 08:24 am | Updated 11:46 pm IST

Pedestrians crossing a wall painting on the importance of social distancing at Dahanukar colony, Pune on Thursday.

Pedestrians crossing a wall painting on the importance of social distancing at Dahanukar colony, Pune on Thursday.

India has 716 confirmed cases of COVID-19 , according to data from the Health Ministry and State governments. The death toll stands at 18.

COVID-19 | Interactive map of confirmed 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: . The Prime Minister has announced a WhatsApp helpdesk number:  9013151515.

Here are the latest updates:

10.00 pm | Rajasthan

Three more test positive in Rajasthan

Three more COVID-19 cases reported in Rajasthan. One from Jodhpur and two from Bhilwara. Two Bhilwara cases are close contacts and family members of the senior citizen who died earlier today. One is his son and the other is his granddaughter. Total confirmed cases in Rajasthan are now 43.

9.35 pm | Maharashtra

Death toll rises to 5 in Maharashtra

A 65-year-old woman who had tested positive for COVID-19 died at a hospital here on Thursday evening, taking the death toll of coronavirus patients in Maharashtra to five, officials said.

The woman died at civic-run Kasturba Hospital, said the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

She was also suffering from diabetes and hypertension, the BMC statement said.

In the morning, health officials had informed that test report of a woman from Navi Mumbai who had died on March 24 came out positive for coronavirus.

Of the five persons who have died in the state so far, three were from Mumbai and two from the peripheral Mumbai Metropolitan Region.

The woman who died on Thursday evening had been admitted to the Kasturba Hospital on March 23 after she complained of breathlessness.

Number of coronavirus cases in Maharashtra increased by three to 125 during the day.

9.15 pm | Modi at G20 summit

Let's put human beings rather than economic targets at centre, says Modi at G20 meeting

While speaking in the videoconference of the G20 summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said "Let’s put human beings rather than economic targets at centre of our vision for global prosperity, cooperation."

Mr. Modi called for sharing freely and openly medical research for development of humankind.

At the G-20 summit, Mr. Modi pitched for developing more adaptive, responsive, affordable, human healthcare system to be deployed globally, say sources.

The sources further added that Mr. Modi sought strengthening of global organisations like WHO to deal with healthcare issues.

8.55 pm | Andaman

One tests positive in Andaman

Man tests positive for COVID-19 in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, says official.

8.30 pm | World

Virus infections near 500,000 as health systems buckle

The number of coronavirus infections closed in on a half-million worldwide Thursday, with both Italy and the U.S. on track to surpass China, and a record-shattering 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits in a single week in a stark demonstration of the damage to the world’s biggest economy.

In the U.S., an unprecedented $2.2 trillion economic rescue package to help businesses, hospitals and ordinary Americans make it through the crisis cleared the Senate and is expected to be voted on in the House on Friday. The plan would dispense checks of $1,200 per adult and $500 per child.

At least 2.8 billion people, or more than one-third of the Earth’s population, are under severe travel restrictions. But the head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, scolded world leaders for wasting precious time in the fight against the virus that has already killed more than 22,000 people and infected over 480,000, thrown millions out of work and ravaged the world economy.

"The time to act was actually more than a month ago or two months ago,” he said Wednesday. “We squandered the first window of opportunity. ... This is a second opportunity, which we should not squander and do everything to suppress and control this virus.”

8.15 pm | G20 leaders


Saudi king to G20: let's unite against coronavirus

Saudi Arabia's King Salman called on Thursday for G20 leaders to boost funding for a coronavirus vaccine, resume the normal flow of goods and services as soon as possible, and help developing countries overcome the global health crisis.

His remarks came at the opening of an extraordinary, 90-minute video conference convened by the world's major economies to coordinate action over the outbreak that has infected more than 470,000 people and killed more than 21,000 worldwide.

“We must have an effective and coordinated response to this pandemic,” the king said. “On the trade front, the G20 must send a strong signal to restore confidence in the global economy by resuming, as soon as possible, the normal flow of goods and services, especially vital medical supplies.”


7.15 pm | Tamil Nadu

Two more reports positive in Tamil Nadu

Two more positive cases were reported in Tamil Nadu. A 24-year-old man and 65-year-old woman both returned from London have been tested positive and are admitted in isolation wards at KMC Hospital. According to Tamil Nadu Health Department both the patients are stable and the total stands now at 28.

All persons, who have arrived into India after February 15, 2020, in addition to all those, who have already been advised, should remain in strict home/institutional quarantine for a period decided by health officials.

6.40 pm | Riyadh

Saudi king urges ‘effective’ G20 response to virus crisis

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Thursday urged G20 leaders to take “effective and coordinated” action to combat the global crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, and called on them to assist developing nations.

“We must have an effective and coordinated response to this pandemic and restore confidence in the global economy,” the King said in his opening remarks as G20 leaders began an emergency online summit.

“It is our responsibility to extend a helping hand to developing countries and least developed countries to enable them to build their capacities and improve their infrastructure to overcome this crisis and its repercussions,” he added.

6.30 pm | Maharashtra

Essential services can remain open for 24 hours, says Uddhav

Maharashtra Chief Miniter, on Thursday, announced that "all grocery shops, chemists and other essential services can remain open for 24 hours."

Mr. Thackeray further said "These shops will have to follow rules of social distancing and must take care in terms of health of customers."

6.20 pm | Kerala

19 new COVID-19 cases reported in Kerala, 1.20 lakh under observation

Kerala reported 19 more positive cases of coronavirus on Thursday, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.  India has more than 700 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to data from the Health Ministry and State governments. The death toll stands at 17.

Kannur accounted for the highest number cases on Thursday with nine, while three cases each were from Kasaragod and Malappuram districts, followed by two from Thrissur and one each from Idukki and Wayanad, he told reporters here after a COVID-19 review meeting.

He said more than 1.20 lakh people are under observation in the state.

The Chief Minister welcomed the relief package announced by the central government to mitigate the sufferings of people in the wake of coronavirus outbreak.

6.00 pm | Spain

Spain virus death toll tops 4,000

The coronavirus death toll in Spain surged to 4,089 after 655 people died within 24 hours, the health ministry said on Thursday.

It was a 19 percent increase on figures released Wednesday by the authorities in Spain, which has the world’s second highest death toll from the disease after Italy.

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose to 56,188, the ministry said.

Despite a national lockdown imposed on March 14, which parliament on Thursday agreed to extend until April 11, both deaths and infections have continued to mount, with officials warning this week would be particularly bad.

But the rise in the number of new deaths was smaller than that recorded on Wednesday when the figure rose by 738 or 27 per cent.

Health authorities are hoping it will soon become clear whether the lockdown is having the desired effect.

-- AFP

5.45 pm | New Delhi

 IAF creates nine quarantine facilities

The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Wednesday said it has created nine quarantine facilities of 200-300 personnel capacity each at its nodal bases across the country to combat the outbreak of COVID-19 . “To monitor the prevailing situation and provide immediate response and assistance as required, a 24x7 crisis management cell has been set up at the IAF Headquarters and various Command Headquarters,” stated an IAF press release.

5.40 pm | Anantapur

First COVID19 positive case from Anantapur being treated in Bengaluru

A 64-year-old male resident of Anantapur district has tested positive for COVID19 and is currently being treated in Bengaluru Rural district. This is the first case of any patient who had gone from Anantapur, testing positive for the Corona Virus.

According to the official information given by the Government of Karnataka, he had returned from a trip to France on March 1 and later travelled again to Himachal Pradesh and returned to Puttaparthi. He travelled from Puttaparthi to Bengaluru on March 21 (Saturday) and during screening there, he tested positive.

The confirmation came last night along with three other cases. This is the 54th case out of 55 positive cases recorded by Karnataka State. Out of the 55 positive cases 3 persons have been discharged after treatment and two had died till 8 a.m. on Thursday in Karnataka.

About the Anantapur patient it said: “He has been isolated and being treated in the designated hospital in Bengaluru Rural District,” the communique said.

Meanwhile, the Anantapur district administration and District Medical and Health officials are in the process of finding out where exactly he was living, the condition of people whom he met in Puttaparthi, his own family members, if they live here.


5.30 pm | Tamil Nadu

TN issues order to extend lockdown

The Tamil Nadu government on Thursday announced extending the ongoing lockdown of the State to stem the spread of coronavirus till April 14, coinciding with the 21-day national lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The lockdown, announced by Chief Minister K Palainswami on Monday as part of the government’s measures to tackle COVID-19, was originally scheduled to be in force till March 31, 2020.

“The lockdown and related orders announced till March 31 are being extended till April 14,” an official release in Chennai said.

The decision was taken at a review meeting chaired by the Chief Minister with various department heads and district collectors to discuss the steps taken to tackle the spread of the virus, it said.

To implement the lockdown, the section 144 of Cr.Pc. was issued. It prohibits assembly of more than five persons.

5.25 pm | Europe


More than 250,000 declared coronavirus cases in Europe

The number of declared coronavirus cases in Europe topped 250,000, according to an AFP tally on Thursday, more than half of which are in hard-hit Italy and Spain.

Europe is the worst-affected region in the world with 258,068 cases, including 14,640 deaths, ahead of Asia’s 100,937 infections and 3,636 fatalities, according to a tally compiled from national health data and World Health Organization figures.

Italy has 74,386 registered infections and Spain has 56,188.

The global number of infections now stands at 481,230 across 182 countries, with 21,867 deaths.

The number of actual infections is believed to be higher since many countries are only testing severe cases or patients who require hospitalisation.

5.18 pm | New Delhi

Order released on online delivery withdrawn

The order which allowed online delivery services to operate in the Capital has been withdrawn by Delhi Police within hours of issuing.

In an order dated March 26, which was released by police on Thursday morning, read that online delivery services like Zomato, Flipkart, Amazon, Swiggy, Myntra among others are allowed to operate in Delhi. However, the order was later withdrawn.

The order shared around 4pm read “This message may please be treated as withdrawn with immediate effect. Revised instructions shall follow”.

5.05 pm  | New Delhi

The Central government has capped the price of 3-ply meltblown face masks at Rs. 16/piece till June 30.

5.00 pm | New Delhi

Army looks at additional infrastructure for quarantine centres

The Army has started the process of identifying additional infrastructure for setting up quarantine centres in each station for its personnel to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak, senior officials said on Thursday.

The force is also preparing a plan to “sidestep” medical personnel from lesser virus-affected areas to those severely affected by the outbreak, the officials noted.

4.50 pm | Chennai

Tamil Nadu CM orders banks to stop collecting interest

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami orders private banks/small finance institutions and SHGs to stop collecting daily/weekly/monthly interest from parties until further orders. Criminal action will be initiated against violators.

4.30 pm | Odisha

Odisha plans biggest COVID-19 hospitals in the country

The Odisha government has planned to set up the biggest COVID-19 hospitals in the country. Tripartite agreements have been signed between the State, corporates and two medical colleges in Bhubaneswar - SUM and KIIMS Medical Colleges - to set up State-level hospitals with a capacity of 1,000 beds for treatment of COVID-19 patients.


4.00 pm | New Delhi

Rate of increase in cases has slowed: Health Ministry

Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry, in a press briefing says any person who doesn't support the Centre in social distancing and lockdown would make the government's efforts infructuous. "We request those who have come from abroad to follow quarantining," he adds. There's a containment strategy being followed aggressively.

The cases are increasing, but the rate of increase has slowed. However, nothing can be taken for granted yet. The Cabinet secretary had a meeting with chief secretaries of States on preparedness. Online training has been initiated across country for doctors with AIIMS. Behavioural health modules have been introduced with NIMHANS to educate people about mental health, along with training and orientation for Asha health care workers, says Mr. Agarwal.

Essential good and services, health services should be unrestricted, says a health ministry official.

There are special charters for the northeast regions for supplying medicines. We implore people to stay where they are and avail required care locally.

Rejecting a claim made by actor Amitabh Bachchan recently that houseflies can spread the COVID-19, the official says that the disease is an infectious disease and doesn't spread through flies.

As many as 64,411 people are under suveillance, he adds.

All patients with SARI (severe pulmonary) can be tested, says an ICMR official. However, all healthcare workers need not be tested.

We are not seeing any unusual mortality among the elderly, says the ICMR, adding that nonetheless the elderly are more vulnerable.

A meeting of a GoM (Group of Ministers) is on to take further decisions regarding travel.

There is no evidence yet of community transmission. If we are unable to trace the contact history of one or two positive patients, it's not an instance of community transmission, says the ICMR official.

Also read: Coronavirus | No community transmission yet, says Health Ministry


"Only when it is happening in large numbers and we are unable to verify it, we will let you know. In fact that might necessitate further steps," he adds.

'Media should not report isolated incidents'

Media should not report isolated instances of untraceable contacts as it could spread fear, says Raman Gangakhedkar, chief scientist at ICMR.

As many as 25 private labs are providing testing services. They have nearly 20,000 collection centres. However, testing has not been expanded majorly as several have not got their tests yet. 

If we implement the steps that we have imposed, then all the modelling that predict lakhs and millions of cases in India will be proved wrong. We should all strive for that, says Mr. Agarwal.


4.00 pm | Hyderabad

Three more test positive in Telangana

Three more COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Telangana till Thursday afternoon, including a doctor couple from Domalguda in the city. Till now, the total number of cases in the State stands at 44, including one person who was discharged.

Telangana reports three more COVID-19 positive cases including a doctor couple

3.50 pm | Chennai

Migrant labourers from Andhra Pradesh walking towards the TN - AP border on Thursday.

Migrant labourers from Andhra Pradesh walking towards the TN - AP border on Thursday.


3.45 pm | Bihar

The test result of suspected COVID-19 patient from Bettiah in West Champaran of Bihar who died today has come negative, RMRI director Dr. Pradeep Kumar Das in Patna told The Hindu.


3.40 pm | New Delhi

Christian Michel moves Delhi HC

Christian Michel James, alleged middleman arrested in connection with the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam, moved the Delhi High Court on Thursday seeking interim bail citing risk of contracting COVID-19 in Tihar Jail, where he is currently lodged.

Coronavirus | Christian Michel moves Delhi HC seeking interim bail in AgustaWestland case citing risk in jail


3.30 pm | Nagpur

One more patient has tested positive in Nagpur. With this, the total number of positive cases in Maharashtra touched 125.

2.40 pm | Rajasthan

Rajasthan reports two new cases

Two new COVID-19 positive cases have been detected in Rajasthan. One is a 45-year-old man  from Jaipur, and the other a 35-year-old man from Jhunjhunu. Both have travel history to the Middle East. The total number of confirmed patients in Rajasthan is now 40.

Meanwhile, a 73-year-old man died in Bhilwara today. He was admitted in a state of coma from March 3 to 11 at a private hospital where some doctors were later found COVID-19 positive. Rajasthan Health Department says the man has died in coma because of kidney failure and brain stroke, and not due to COVID-19.

2.35 pm | Hyderabad

Apollo Hospitals launches ‘ Project Kavach’ to tackle COVID-19


Apollo Hospitals has launched ‘ Project Kavach’, a comprehensive approach to tackle COVID-19. This includes online self assessment for risk, testing, preventive measures, isolation rooms, engaging with and managing the patient.

Group Chairman Prathap C. Reddy in a virtual press conference said the healthcare chain will launch its first set of isolation rooms with medical supervision on Saturday.

They have idenfied 250 beds across India for COVID-19 patients, which can be scaled up.

2.30 pm | Mumbai

An elderly couple gets their grocery delivered with the help of rope instead of going to shop, at Parel in Mumbai.

An elderly couple gets their grocery delivered with the help of rope instead of going to shop, at Parel in Mumbai.


2.30 pm | New Delhi

Around 1,100 people in contact with COVID-19-infected doctor asked to home quarantine

Around 1,100 people came into contact with a 49-year-old male doctor (case 28) and we are asking them to home quarantine themselves for 14 days, said a Delhi health department official. So far the administration has reached out to more than 900 of them, the official said.

Most of them are the doctor's patients.

"Also, 1,400 people, came into contact with case 10, and we are asking all of them also to home quarantine for 14 days. Most of them are from 500 houses in her area," the official told The Hindu.

Case 10 is a 38-year-old woman, who travelled to India from the Saudi Arabia.

Eight people, including the doctor (case 28), who have been primary or secondary contacts of case 10, have tested positive for COVID-19 so far, according to officials.

2.25 pm | Nagaland


Petrol pumps to remain open on alternate days in Nagaland, groceries for 4 hours daily


The Nagaland government on Thursday announced that petrol pumps across the State will remain open on alternate days. The State government has issued a directive to grocery shop owners to keep their shops open from 10 am to 2 pm daily.


No positive coronavirus case has been reported in the State yet.

2.20 pm | Patna

Bihar to provide Rs. 100 crore from CM's relief fund to the State Disaster Management

The Bihar government has provided Rs. 100 crore from Chief Minister's relief fund to the State Disaster Management department to make arrangement of stay and food to all those from Bihar who are stuck at different place, either in the State or outside due to lockdown.

Also read: Nirmala Sitharaman announces ₹1.70 lakh crore package for poor


1.45 pm | New Delhi

A senior Delhi police officer has been qurantined. His daughter had recently returned from foreign country, said a police source.

1.30 pm | Karnataka

SSLC exams to begin only after April 20

The SSLC exams, which were scheduled to  begin from March 27 and were postponed, will now be conducted only after April 20.

The Department of Primary and Secondary Education has issued an order stating that fresh dates will be announced only after April 20. Furthermore, even the exams for class 7 to 9 have been postponed and will be conducted after April 20. The department has said that the examinations were earlier scheduled be conducted after March 31, but the lockdown has forced further postponement.

1.30 pm | New Delhi

Scientists identify 69 effective drugs for treatment

An international team, including some Indian scientists, has identified 69 drugs and experimental compounds which may be effective in treating COVD-19.

According to the researchers, some of the medications are already used to treat diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, and repurposing them to treat COVID-19 may be faster than trying to invent a new vaccine.

1 pm | Karnataka

No more retail sales in Mangaluru central market

The Dakshina Kannada district administration has decided to suspend retail sales inside the Mangaluru central market.

Taking into account the surge of coronavirus cases in the neighbouring district, the public will not be allowed inside the market from Thursday, an official release said.

12.40 pm | Delhi

Establishments providing essential services can be open 24/7: Delhi LG

Delhi LG Anil Baijal said that establishments providing essential services and products will be allowed to stay open 24/7.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that he as asked all police officers and district in-charges to ensure that all shops and stores dealing in essential items are fully-stocked. He added that they have also been instructed to ensure that units manufacturing such items are operational.

A patient waits for his turn outside a mohalla clinic in Delhi.

A patient waits for his turn outside a mohalla clinic in Delhi.


Dismissing rumours that all mohalla clinics will be shut after a doctor in one particular clinic was tested COVID-19 positive, Mr. Kejriwal said that the clinics will remain open.


12.30 pm | India

Nodal officer appointed in Kazakhstan to help stranded Indian students

The Indian mission in Kazakhstan has appointed a nodal officer to help around 200 students who are stuck in the country after India suspended all international flights to fight the  COVID-19  crisis. The decision came hours after the  Delhi High Court directed the Ministry of External Affairs  (MEA) to provide assistance to the Indian nationals.

In a public notice, the Embassy of India in Nur Sultan declared Martin Cyriac Clemense, the Officer-in-Charge of Representative Office of India in Almaty, as the nodal person for ensuring the immediate necessities of the students, including “boarding, lodging, food, medicine etc”.


12.20 pm | Time

Filipino shares his experiences as coronavirus survivor

When Carlo Navarro, his wife and 15-year-old daughter visited Japan from the Philippines in February, they knew they were taking a chance with the coronavirus, but thought they would be spared if they took precautions. They wore masks and gloves and always had alcohol handy to sanitize their hands.

But Mr. Navarro, a 48-year-old tax lawyer, began showing symptoms after they returned home. He was the fourth case in the Philippines, but the first Filipino to be confirmed with  the disease .



12.15 pm | Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh registers 20 confirmed cases

The number of COVID-19 cases in Madhya Pradesh rose to 20 with five more patients in Indore hospitals testing coronavirus positive, health officials said on Thursday.

The tally includes a Ujjain-based woman, who died on Wednesday in Indore, the officials said.

Among the five new cases in Indore, two are women, said a government medical college spokesperson.

12.10 pm | Chhattisgarh

Three new coronavirus cases takes Chhattisgarh tally to six

Three more persons, including a woman, have tested positive for  coronavirus  in Chhattisgarh, taking the total number of confirmed cases in the state to six, officials said on Thursday.

One of the cases was reported from the State capital Raipur, and one each from Durg and Bilaspur, they said.


12 pm | Tamil Nadu

Strict enforcement of lockdown

In Chennai, police book two wheeler riders found violating the 21-day national lockdown.

In Chennai, police book two wheeler riders found violating the 21-day national lockdown.

11.45 am | West Bengal

One more tests positive West Bengal, total cases at 10

One more person tested positive for COVID-19 in West Bengal on March 26, taking the number of cases with the viral infection to 10.

The 66- year-old resident of Nayabad in south Kolkata, who tested positive is admitted at a private health facility in the city. The patient’s samples were tested positive at the State-run SSKM Hospital, another testing facility in the State.


11.40 am | Chennai

Pathways at Koyambedu market cleared of clutter to promote social distancing

The COVID-19 situation has brought about many changes in the functioning of the Koyambedu market — changes in operational hours and even short closures for cleaning operations are only to be expected. Significantly, the crisis seems to have also led to the resolution of one long-pending issue — cluttered pathways.

On all the three sections, dedicated to the sale of three categories of perishable items: flowers, fruits and vegetables, at the Koyambedu Wholesale Market complex, pathways have been freed of clutter and made wider so that visitors, who are mostly small traders, can practise a form of social distancing.


11.30 am | India

ICMR invites quotations from manufacturers for COVID-19 test kits

In an urgent move towards expanding the  COVID-19  diagnostics in India, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has invited quotations from manufacturers for supply of kits for testing.

According to the apex health research body, it will procure seven lakh US FDA-EUA/CE-IVD/ICMR-NIV Pune-approved RNA extraction kits.

Any manufacturer with an Indian-based supplier can submit quotations by Thursday 2.30 pm, the ICMR said.


11.25 am | Gujarat

Three dead in Gujarat; 43 confirmed cases so far

Gujarat registered its third COVID-19 death after a 70-year-old man died of COVID-19 infection in Bhavnagar on Thursday morning. The other two deaths were reported from Surat and Ahmedabad.

The total number of COVID-19 confirmed cases in Gujarat jumped to 43 on Thursday. The State department said that the maximum number of cases have been detected in Ahmedabad, where 17 COVID-19 positive cases have been observed.

11.20 am | India

Sonia Gandhi writes to PM Modi in support of lockdown

Congress president Sonia Gandhi writes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing her and the Congress party's support for the 21-day lockdown.

Pigeons flock on the Delhi-Chandigarh highway, one of the busiest roads in Delhi, during the second day of the national lockdown in New Delhi

Pigeons flock on the Delhi-Chandigarh highway, one of the busiest roads in Delhi, during the second day of the national lockdown in New Delhi


"At this challenging and uncertain time, it is imperative for each one of us to rise above partisan interests and honour our duty towards our country  and indeed, towards humanity," Ms. Gandhi writes in a four-page letter, along with suggestions for different sectors.

11.05 am | Bihar

Junior doctors at special hospital for COVID-19 in Bihar want to go on home quarantine

Cocking a snook at the Bihar government’s preparedness for COVID-19, as many as 83 junior doctors at Nalanda Medical College and Hospital (NMCH), which has been designated as the State’s first special hospital, have written to their superintendent seeking 15-day home quarantine as many of them have developed symptoms of the viral disease in the absence of protective kits and masks.

Their petition has been forwarded to the Principal State Health Secretary Sanjay Kumar for further direction.


11 am | USA

U.S. Senate unanimously passes $2.2 trillion coronavirus rescue package

The U.S. Senate late Wednesday passed an unparalleled $2.2 trillion economic rescue package steering aid to businesses, workers and health care systems engulfed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The unanimous vote came despite misgivings on both sides about whether it goes too far or not far enough and capped days of difficult negotiations as Washington confronted a national challenge unlike it has ever faced.


10.55 am | India

Death toll due to COVID-19 rises to 13 in India, and the number of confirmed cases is 649, says Health Ministry.

10.50 am | Maharashtra

COVID-19 death toll in Maharashtra touches 4

The test report of a woman who died on March 24 turned out positive for coronavirus on Thursday, taking the COVID-19 death toll in Maharashtra to four.

The woman, who hailed from Navi Mumbai, had symptoms similar to the coronavirus infection. Thus, as a precautionary measure, her samples were taken and sent for testing.

“The test came out positive this morning. We are now taking the necessary precautions for her relatives as well,” an health official told PTI.


10.45 am | West Bengal

West Bengal detects 10th case

An elderly man has been tested positive for COVID-19 in West Bengal, the tenth case of the deadly viral disease in the State.

The 66-year-old from Nayabad in Kolkata had no history of travelling abroad or outside the State.

He is undergoing treatment in the isolation ward of a private hospital and his family kept in home isolation under police protection.

10.40 am | Manipur

Under lockdown, Manipur running out of essential commodities

Prices of all essential commodities have been hiked unreasonably in Manipur which is under a lockdown to check the spread of  COVID-19 . Some media reports quoted people as saying that rice and flour were not available. Some grocery shops which used to sell these items through the backdoor, in view of the curfew restrictions, have closed down as stocks had run out. The government’s announcement that PDS rice for April will be distributed free of cost by March is yet to be translated into reality.

Soon after  indefinite curfew was clamped , Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh said: “The curfew will be in force for some time and people should stay indoors. There will be no shortage of essential items. While inter-State bus services are suspended trucks transporting essential items will not be obstructed. People should also stop panic buying since there shall be no shortage”. However, ground realities are worrisome.



10.20 am | Jammu and Kashmir

Kashmir reports first death

A 65-year-old man hailing from the Hyderpora area of the city died on Thursday, becoming the first fatality in Jammu and Kashmir due to coronavirus.

"As we share the sad news of our first #Covid19 fatality, my heart goes out to the family of the deceased. We stand with you and share your grief," Mayor of Srinagar Junaid Azim Mattu tweeted.

Government spokesperson Rohit Kansal also confirmed the death via Twitter.


In Spain’s capital, ice rink turned into makeshift mortuary as number of cases soar

Nurses and doctors demanded action after Spain reported its sharpest daily increase in coronavirus cases on Tuesday and said about 14% of the nearly 40,000 infections were among health workers.

The capital's Palacio de Hielo mall, home to an Olympic-sized ice rink, began operating as a makeshift mortuary after authorities said facilities were unable to cope.

10 am | Gujarat

Thousands of migrant workers leave on foot or motorcycles

Facing lockdown and no work, major cities of Gujarat, including Surat, Ahmedabad and Vadodara, are witnessing an exodus of migrant workers leaving in the thousands, either walking or on motorbikes, with a complete shutdown of transportation services.

Local officials said over 5,000 motorcycles have left Surat. “Migrant workers from diamond and other sectors are leaving on motorbikes because factories are shut,” a senior official from Surat said.

Watch | COVID-19: Dos and don'ts from the Health Ministry

Madhya Pradesh

Shivraj Singh Chouhan announces advance pension, home delivery of medicines

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday announced that all Below Poverty Line (BPL) families would be provided a month’s ration free, in view of the lockdown . Mr. Chouhan further said ₹1,000 would be provided to labourers as support through the State Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board.



NRDF puts 84 response teams on standby

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) will be part of the control rooms being opened in the States, at the order of the Union Home Ministry, to oversee the 21-day lockdown. Each of the 12 NDRF battalions has been divided into 84 response teams that have been put on standby. “All the battalions are on a high alert and ready to respond to any emergency. The situation is being monitored round the clock...,” said an official. In Delhi, four teams had been deployed.


Amarinder Singh urges steps to evacuate pilgrims

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has urged the Central and Maharashtra governments to evacuate pilgrims stranded at the gurdwara at Nanded in Maharashtra amid the lockdown to fight the coronavirus .

In a letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Captain Amarinder Singh said around 2,000 pilgrims from Punjab who had gone to the Hazur Sahib in Nanded. Hazur Sahib is one of the five spiritual and temporal centres of Sikhism.


370 foreign tourists evacuated

Three hundred and seventy foreign tourists from the U.K. and Russia, who came to Goa for holidaying but were left stranded owing to the COVID-19 outbreak, were flown out in two special relief flights on Wednesday.

The relief flights approved by the Indian government saw 249 tourists fly to Manchester, while another 121 left for Moscow. Goa Airport Director Gagan Malik said despite all odds and skeletal staff on duty, the relief flights to Manchester and Moscow were handled well.


We will celebrate Gudi Padwa once we tackle this crisis: CM

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday refrained from making any negative comments about the Centre even as he acknowledged the panic buying spree in the State after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech on Tuesday announcing the 21-day nationwide lockdown.


7,990 under quarantine in Kannur

The number of people under quarantine in homes and hospitals for COVID-19 reached 7,990 in Kannur district on Wednesday.

According to the District Health Department, 81 persons are under observation in hospitals. Currently, 41 persons are in Kannur Government Medical College, 26 persons are in the District Hospital and 14 in the Thalassery General Hospital. So far, 240 samples from the district have been sent for testing, of which 149 have tested negative. Results for 86 cases are yet to be received.

Sri Lanka

Indian among 100 patients

An Indian is among the nearly 100 COVID-19 positive patients undergoing treatment in Sri Lanka, The Hindu has learnt. Three other patients, who are Sri Lankan nationals, also tested positive on their return from India earlier this month, officials said.



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