India coronavirus lockdown, day 3 updates | March 27, 2020

Worldwide, the number of coronavirus cases tops half a million, and deaths climb past 24,000.

Updated - March 27, 2020 11:43 pm IST

Published - March 27, 2020 08:19 am IST

Two wheeler passengers explain to the police the purpose of their travel during a spot-checking at Kozhikode in Kerala.

Two wheeler passengers explain to the police the purpose of their travel during a spot-checking at Kozhikode in Kerala.

COVID-19 has claimed 21 lives in India as of March 27, according to data from the Health Ministry and State governments. As many as 871 people have been tested positive for the coronavirus.

The United States overtook China and Italy to occupy the grim title of the country with the most coronavirus infections. China, meanwhile, reported its first locally transmitted coronavirus infection in three days, and 54 new imported cases. Worldwide, the number of cases topped half a million, and deaths climbed past 24,000.

In Iran, the death toll rose to 2,378 and South Africa recorded its first coronavirus deaths , as confirmed cases rose above 1,000. Spain's death toll rose by 769 overnight to 4,858.

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 , 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 today's updates:

10:05 pm | Chennai

Second patient discharged in Tamil Nadu

Patient no. 3, the young student who returned from Dublin and tested positive a week ago, on March 20, was discharged on Tuesday. They have been asked to be under home quarantine for 28 days, Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar told  The Hindu  on Friday. 

The 21-year old is the second patient to be discharged, after Case no. 1, a 45-year-old male patient from Kancheepuram, with travel history to the United Arab Emirates, who tested positive on March 7. He was discharged on March 19, and put under home quarantine.

Another patient, Case no. 2, who travelled in a train from Delhi to Chennai, and tested positive on March 19, will be discharged in a day or two. “He has already tested negative twice for the infection, and will be sent home soon. He is in the step down unit at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital," the Minister said.

-Ramya Kannan

9:40 pm | Port Blair

Cases in Andaman and Nicobar Islands rise to 6

Five persons tested positive for COVID-19 in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands on Friday, taking the total number of such cases in the Union Territory to six, a senior official said.

All the patients are part of the same group that returned to Port Blair on March 24, Chief Secretary Chetan Sanghi said.


9:35 pm | Chennai

Three new cases in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar announced in the tweet that three new cases of COVID-19 have been detected in the State.

The patients, a 73-year-old female from Chennai, who is at the Rajiv Gandhi Government Hospital, a 61-year-old male contact of Indonesian nationals, who has been admitted to the Salem Medical College, and a 39-year-old male from Anna Nagar, Chennai, at the Kilpauk Medical College Hospital, are all stable and are being kept in isolation.

-Serena Josephine M.

9:20 pm | Kolkata

Five, including three children, test positive in West Bengal 

Five persons, including a 11-year-old boy, a six-year-old girl and a nine-month-old female infant,  tested positive for the coronavirus in West Bengal on Friday, taking the number of people infected with the virus to 15.

"They have a history of contact with a positive case from Delhi who came from U.K.  on March 16,"  the official bulletin of State Health Department said . It also added that all those five of them belonged to "a closed group of siblings and relatives." 

The adult females who were diagnosed were 45 and 27 years old.

-Shiv Sahay

9.10 pm | New Delhi

NEET postponed till last week of May

The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), the examination for admission to undergraduate medical degree programmes, which was scheduled to be held on May 3, has been postponed. It is now likely to be held in the last week of May, though no exact date has been decided as yet, the National Testing Agency (NTA) said on Friday. The decision has been taken in view of the hardships faced by parents and students due to the COVID-19 epidemic, said the NTA, an autonomous body under the Ministry of Human Resource Development which conducts the examination. HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said he has directed the NTA to postpone the NEET as well as the already delayed Joint Engineering Examination's main paper (JEE-Main) until the last week of May.


8:55 pm | New Delhi

KV school buildings for suspected COVID-19 cases

Kendriya Vidyalaya school buildings to be made available for temporary housing and quarantine of suspected COVID-19 cases, on the request of district administration or defence authority: Human Resource Development Ministry

-Priscilla Jebaraj

8:50 pm | Mumbai

28 more cases crop up in Maharashtra, count becomes 153

With 28 persons testing positive for coronavirus in Maharashtra, the number of patients in the State rose to 153 on Friday, a Health Department Statement said.

The new patients included 15 persons in Islampur in Sangli western Maharashtra's Sangli district. They had come in contact with a family which had returned from Saudi Arabia and some members of which had tested positive for the coronavirus. In Nagpur, four persons who had come in contact with a diagnosed patient tested positive.

Two persons tested positive each in Mumbai and Thane and one each in Palghar, Kolhapur, Gondia and Pune. Another patient who tested positive is from Gujarat, the Health Department said.


8:20 pm | Chennai

Tamil Nadu announces additional curfews on shops, fuel stations

Starting Sunday, shops selling vegetables and essential commodities will be open only between 6 a.m. and 2.30 p.m., Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami said in an announcement on Friday. This restriction would also apply to petrol and diesel pumps, he said.

Mr. Palaniswami also asked those who returned from abroad since February 15 and those who were in physical contact with them to voluntarily go into self-quarantine and apprise the local bodies about it.

In addition to this, the government would allow food delivery services to function between 7-9.30 a.m. for breakfast, 12-2.30 p.m. for lunch and 6-9 p.m. for dinner, as a special case, he added.

-Dennis S. Jesudasan

8: 15 pm | Uttar Pradesh

Seven new positive cases detected in Uttar Pradesh, taking the total to 50.  Four of the cases have been reported in Noida while two from Ghaziabad and one from Agra. Meanwhile, the State Health Department has announced plans to make Level-1 COVID-Hospitals operational in all 75 districts of the State.

- Omar Rashid

8:10 pm | Gujarat

Three more cases detected in Gujarat, taking the total number of cases to 46. The cases have been reported in Rajkot.

-Mahesh Langa

7:45 pm | Jaipur

Entire Walled City of Jaipur put under curfew after a man residing in Ramganj locality tested positive for the virus. The curbs were imposed in a limited area last night.

-Mohammed Iqbal

7:30 pm | Bhopal

A man tests positive for COVID-19 in Bhopal, taking the count of active cases to 25 in Madhya Pradesh. There are three cases in the State capital now. Two deaths owing to the illness have occurred in the State so far.

-Sidharth Yadav

7:20 pm | Guwahati

Assam to turn 3 state-run hospitals into centres for treating

Even though no coronavirus case has been reported in Assam so far, the State government has decided to turn three State-run hospitals into centres for treating COVID-19 patients to deal with the situation as and when it arises, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Friday.

All patients admitted to the general wards of the medical college and hospitals in Guwahati, Dibrugarh and Silchar will be shifted to private medical establishments, he told reporters.


7:05 pm | Paris

Death toll across world stands at 24,663

The number of deaths around the world from the novel coronavirus stood at 24,663, according to a tally compiled by AFP   on Friday from official sources.

More than 539,360 declared cases have been registered in 183 countries and territories since the epidemic first emerged in China in December.

Of these cases, at least 112,200 are now considered recovered. The tallies, using data collected by AFP offices from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), likely reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections.

Many countries are now only testing cases that require hospitalisation.


7:00 pm | Thiruvananthapuram

39 fresh cases detected in Kerala

Kerala reported 39 fresh cases on Friday, taking the total number of people under treatment to 164, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.

Of the 39 cases, 34 are from the worst affected northernmost district of Kasaragod, he told reporters after a review meeting here.

From Kannur, two cases were reported and one each from Thrissur, Kozhikode and Kollam, he said.

A total of 1,10,299 people are under surveillence and 616 are in isolation wards of various hospitals, he said.


6:50 pm | Mumbai

Mumbai surgeon dies from COVID-19, civic body to reconfirm test results

A senior surgeon attached to a South Mumbai hospital has become the latest casualty of COVID-19. The doctor was a contact of his U.K. returned grandson who has also tested positive. This has taken Maharashtra’s death toll to six. However, the civic body has said that they are reconfirming the test report as it was carried out in a private laboratory.

-Jyoti Shellar

6:40 pm | Bhubaneswar

Odisha announces ₹2,200-crore package for welfare of the poor

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday announced a ₹2,200-crore financial package to assist the weaker sections of the society, which are grappling under the unprecedented lockdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The package will benefit about 1.64 crore people of the State's total population of 4.5 crore. Mr. Patnaik said all the 94 lakh poor families covered under the food security scheme will get financial assistance of ₹1,000 each.

The Odisha government has started providing foodgrains for three months to all the beneficiaries, he added. It is also providing advance social security pension for three months to the beneficiaries. The State will bear an expenditure of around ₹932 crore towards this measure, he added.

Similarly, 22 lakh construction workers will get ₹1,500 each for the losses incurred due to the lockdown, Mr. Patnaik said.


6:30 pm | Srinagar

Army distributes rations to migrants, daily wagers in Kashmir

The Army supplied free rations to daily wage earners and migrant labourers in Kashmir on Friday in the wake of the lockdown to combat the coronavirus threat, officials said.

“Hundreds of people benefitted and many more will be reached out to in the coming days,” Army spokesperson Col. Rajesh Kalia said.

He said Army personnel also distributed posters and leaflets containing various advisories and precautionary measures about the pandemic throughout the Kashmir valley.


6: 20 pm | Colombo

Over 2,000 Indians stranded in Sri Lanka due to lockdown

Over 2,000 Indian nationals are among the 16,900 foreign tourists stranded in Sri Lanka due to the lockdown imposed by the government after the coronavirus outbreak, official figures released showed on Friday.

At 2,439, the Indians are the highest among the number of tourists stranded in the island nation followed by the Chinese at 2,167, data from the Sri Lanka Tourism and Development Authority said.


6:15 pm | New Delhi

Mobilise voluntary, religious organisations to help: President to Governors, L-Gs

President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday asked Governors and Lieutenant Governors of States and Union Territories to mobilise voluntary and religious organisations to aid efforts in containing the spread of coronavirus, the Rashtrapati Bhavan said.

In a video-conference with the administrators, the President and Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu, asked them to find ways to complement the efforts of the Centre and States in meeting the challenges arising from the outbreak.

6.10 pm | New Delhi

Centre releases Rs. 4,431 crore to clear pending wages under MGNREGA

The Centre has released Rs. 4,431 crore to clear pending wages under the rural job scheme MGNREGA and will pay all dues by April 10, officials said a day after the government announced increase in wages under the programme.

The announcement was made at a time a countrywide lockdown to combat the coronavirus outbreak has left wage labourers with no work and financial resources.

The government will clear all pending wages under the employment guarantee scheme amounting to Rs. 11,499 crore by April 10, out of which Rs. 4,431 crore has been released till March 27, officials said.

They said all the funds will be transferred directly into the beneficiaries’ bank accounts.

Officials said the increase in wages under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) will come into effect from April 1.

With this rise in wages, the national average wage under MGNREGA will increase to Rs. 202 per person per day from Rs. 182.

There are 13.62 crore job card holders under the MGNREGA, out of which 8.17 crore are active job card holders.

Officials also informed that individual-oriented work under MGNREGA such as work carried out by beneficiaries belonging to SCs and STs on their own land may continue.

Similarly, the work done by women who are bread-earners of their families on their own land may also continue during the lockdown.

But all other MGNREGA works have been stopped due to the threat of coronavirus.

5.40 pm | India

GoAir offers its aircraft, crew, airport staff to govt for emergency services

GoAir said it has offered the government its aircraft, crew and airport staff to carry out emergency services and repatriation of citizens, two days after another low-cost carrier IndiGo made a similar offer.

Currently, while there is a ban on international and domestic passenger flights in the country, all-cargo flights can operate as usual, according to aviation regulator DGCA.


5.30 pm | Telangana

10 new cases reported in Telanagana

People queue up to buy vegetables and groceries at Shaikpet during the lockdown on Friday, March 27, 2020.

People queue up to buy vegetables and groceries at Shaikpet during the lockdown on Friday, March 27, 2020.


With 10 new COVID-19 cases reported in Telanagana today, the total number of cases in the State rose to 59, said Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao.

"Out of this, one person has been discharged after treatment and the others are under treatment," the Chief Minister said at a press conference. Besides, about 20,000 people are currently in home quarantine or in Government faculties under surveillance, he said, adding all these people were being taken care of well.

-- PTI

5.25 pm | Kashmir

Four more have tested positive for COVID-19 in Kashmir, according to officials.


5.25 pm | Uttar Pradesh

Six more test positive in U.P., count rises to 49: Official

Six more persons have tested positive for coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh, taking the number cases to 49, a top official said.

 “Six fresh cases were found positive for coronavirus in the state on Friday,” Principal Secretary Health Amit Mohan told reporters.

“While four cases were found positive in Noida, two cases were found positive in Ghaziabad,” Director,Information, Shishir told PTI.

5.20 pm | Delhi

Out of the 39 cases of in Delhi, 29 are of those individuals who came from outside and the rest contracted the disease in Delhi, said Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.

It is currently under control in Delhi, he said.

"I appeal with folded hands to those migrant workers who are trying to leave the city not to do so, we are making arrangements for you to stay and be fed in Delhi.

Pension to as many as eight lakh people across categories has been disbursed so far. The amount is Rs. 5,000 for widows, the differently-abled, he said.

-- Jatin Anand

5.15 pm | Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand CM releases Rs 50 lakh for stranded people

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Friday sanctioned Rs 50 lakh from the CM relief fund for the people from the state stranded in Delhi on way to their homes due to a nationwide lockdown.

The amount has been handed over to Uttarakhand’s Additional Resident Commissioner in Delhi.


5.10 pm | J&K

Police tracing all persons who came in contact with J-K’s first COVID-19 casualty: DGP

A day after a native of Srinagar who had a long travel history succumbed to COVID-19, Jammu and Kashmir police chief Dilbag Singh said efforts are on to trace all those people who came in contact with him so that they can be quarantined.

He appealed to people to voluntarily come forward and said hiding information could prove to be “fatal“.

-- PTI

5.00 pm | India

Elderly, differently-abled, widows to get 3 months’ pension in advance

The Centre will give three months’ pension in advance to nearly three-crore widows, senior citizens and differently-abled in the first week of April amid the lockdown over the novel coronavirus pandemic, officials said on Friday.

Under the National Social Assistance Program (NSAP), a monthly pension is being given to the poor senior citizens, widows and persons with disabilities.


4.40 pm | UK

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Health Secretary test positive

British PM Boris Johnson has mild symptoms and will self-isolate. Britain's Health Secretary Matt Hancock on Friday said he had also tested positive for COVID-19.

“Following medical advice, I was advised to test for #Coronavirus. I've tested positive. Thankfully my symptoms are mild and I’m working from home & self-isolating,” Hancock announced on Twitter.

4.15 pm | India

India looking to participate in global clinical trials: ICMR

Most of those deceased due to COVID-19 were elderly and had co-morbidities, said Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agrawal.

The government is working to break transmission, he said.

"We have asked a public sector unit to produce 10000 ventilators and bharat electronics Ltd has been asked to procure 30,000 additional ventilators within 3 months. This is to address shortage of ventilators, he added.

President Ram Nath Kovind held video conferences with governors,  Lt. governors, Red Cross society, to control COVID 19, he said.

"1.4 lakh companies have asked their employees to work from home.

"Home Ministry has allowed cargo movement and States have to ensure their smooth movement.

"States and UTs have to take care of food and sanitation of migrant workers.

"Indigenous manufacturers in the process of increasing supply of PPEs and N95 masks," Mr. Agrawal also said.

A Home Ministry official said there is no plan to allow domestic flights to ferry migrants returning home.

India is looking to participate in global clinical trials as now cases have increased-, said Dr. Raman R. Gangakhedkar, ICMR.

"Out of 3.4 million probes ordered from Germany, 5 lakh were to have come today. However this isn't affecting testing," he further said.

-- Jacob Koshy

4.10 pm | India


Rahul seeks proper medical facilities in residential educational institutions

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday wrote to Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank to ensure proper medical facilities for residential educational institutions.

Mr. Gandhi also requested the Minister to facilitate regular communication between students of such institutions and their parents.


4.00 pm | India

ANI reports:

Restrictions on domestic flights extended till April 14, 2020, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) announced.

3.50 pm | Kerala

Sabarimala temple festival deferred for the first time in 55 years

For the first time in its history, the 10-day annual festival at the Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple has been deferred in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The annual temple festival was scheduled to begin with the customary kodiyettu ceremony on March 29 to culminate with the ceremonial Aratt in river Pampa on April 7. However, the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) has postponed the festival to a later date following the nationwide lockdown declared by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an effort to contain the disease.


3.40 pm | India

SC seeks govt reply on over 800 stranded pilgrims in Iran

The Supreme Court on Friday sought a response from the Centre on a plea to immediately evacuate and provide medical support to 800-odd Shia pilgrims stranded in Qom, Iran, on account of the COVID-2019 pandemic.


3.30 pm | India

Contingency plans in place, says Gen. Naravane

The Army has responsive and agile Quick Reaction Medical Teams (QRMTs) on standby to mobilise at six hours notice to meet the requirements of hospitals and the civil administration if needed, Chief of the Army Staff Gen. Manoj Naravane said on Friday.

Also read: Coronavirus | Armed forces have four quarantine facilities on standby: Brigadier Anupam Sharma


3.20 pm | Tamil Nadu

200 ambulances, over 3,000 new medical staff to join fight against COVID-19 in Tamil Nadu

The special ward for COVID-19 patients, which will be in operation from tomorrow which is being disinfected at Medical college on Wallajah Road, on March 27, 2020.

The special ward for COVID-19 patients, which will be in operation from tomorrow which is being disinfected at Medical college on Wallajah Road, on March 27, 2020.


As part of consolidating efforts against the spread of COVID-19 in the State, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami directed that newly-recruited medical staff join service within three days of receiving their appointment orders.

An official release stated that the CM has directed that 1,508 lab technicians, 530 doctors and 1,000 nurses newly recruited in accordance with rules through the Medical Recruitment Board, to join within three days after receiving their appointment orders.


3.15 pm | Karnataka

10-month-old tests positive in Dakshina Kannada

A ten month old baby has been tested positive for COVID-19 in Dakshina Kannada.

The child from Sajipanadu village in Bantwal Taluk was suffering from fever and severe acute respiratory illness and hence had been admitted to a private hospital in Mangaluru on March 23. The child’s throat swab had been sent for testing on the next day. It was confirmed as positive on March 23, a release from Ramachandra Bayari, District Health and Family Welfare Officer said today.


3.10 pm | Northeastern States

Assam’s neighbours worried by stamping of truckers

Assam’s neighbours are worried by the screening and stamping of truck drivers and handymen assigned transportation of essentials amid a countrywide lockdown.

The hill States in the Northeast surrounding Assam largely depend on supplies from outside the region. Because of a geographical advantage, essential commodities first reach Assam by train or road before being transshipped to the neighbouring States.


3.00 pm | India

MHA asks States to stop mass exodus of migrant workers

Construction workers leave for their native, Sindhanoor. They maintain social distance even as they walking, in Bengaluru's Kengeri Satellite Town on Friday, March 27, 2020.

Construction workers leave for their native, Sindhanoor. They maintain social distance even as they walk, in Bengaluru's Kengeri Satellite Town on Friday, March 27, 2020.


The Union Home Ministry on Friday asked State governments to prevent a mass exodus of migrant agriculture labourers, industrial workers and unorganised sector employees from their workplaces to hometowns amid a 21-day  nationwide lockdown  to combat the  COVID-19  outbreak.


2.50 pm | Tamil Nadu

Tasmac to keep all shops and bars closed until April 14

Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation Limited (Tasmac) has instructed its senior regional managers to keep all shops and bars closed until April 14.

A circular to all senior regional managers on Friday directed them to keep vigil and ensure that there is no illegal sale of liquor during this period and to co-ordinate with prohibition enforcement wing officials in the district and ensure that no untoward incidents take place.


2.40 pm | India

RBI Governor urges people not resort to panic buying; says Indian banking system is safe

Allaying depositors’ concerns, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das on Friday asserted there Indian  banking system is safe , and termed linking banks’ share prices to safety of deposits as “fallacious” thinking.

The comments, which came after a massive correction in banking stocks following the Yes Bank crisis and coronavirus outbreak, also urged depositors not to resort to panic withdrawals.


2.30 pm | India

Exempt PwD caregivers from lockdown curbs, States told

The Union Government has asked all the States and Union Territories to ensure that caregivers of persons with disabilities (PwD) are able to reach them during the three-week lockdown imposed by the government to control the spread of  COVID-19.


2.00 pm | Goa

Goa authority to take over Madgaon railway station platforms to provide shelter to homeless: order

The Disaster Management Authority, Goa, will take over platforms of the Madgaon railway station to provide shelter to homeless people in view of the lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, according to an order.

The order from Collector and Chairperson of South Goa District Disaster Management Authority Ajit Roy has issued a requisition under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 of the services of all platforms and station premises of Madgaon Railway Station which belongs to the Konkan Railway for shelter homes effective immediately


1.45 pm | Kerala

Kerala govt. registers case against IAS officer who jumped quarantine

The Kerala State government has registered a case against an IAS officer who jumped quarantine.

Deputy Inspector General of Police, Kori Sanjay Kumar Gurudin, told  The Hindu  that Kollam Sub Collector Anupam Mishra, had returned recently from Singapore and the health authorities had advised him to go into quarantine at his camp office.


1.35 pm | Odisha

Odisha Assembly asked to stay under home quarantine as State reports third case

The staff members of Odisha Assembly have been directed to stay under home quarantine as one of them had come in contact with a person who tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday night.

He was the third COVID-19 patient in the State.

The staff members have been asked to quarantine themselves because one of the staff members, who had come in contact with the coronavirus patient, had interacted with staff members for several days, Speaker of the State Assembly Surjya Narayan Patro told The Hindu.


1.30 pm | India

DoT asks telcos to approach wireless wing for additional spectrum to meet data demand

The DoT has asked telecom operators to submit their requirement for additional spectrum -- necessitated due to the upsurge in data consumption because of the lockdowm -- to the Wireless Planning Commission, according to industry sources. Telecom operators have requested the Department of Telecom(DoT) for additional spectrum allocation to meet the rising load on networks due to the ongoing lockdown mandating people to stay at home.

-- PTI

1.20 pm | Maharashtra

Pune crime branch seizes face masks worth ₹4.30 lakh, arrests two

Against the backdrop of soaring demands for protective gear to ward off the coronavirus, the Pune police has arrested two persons and seized a hoarded cache of nearly 18,000 face masks worth more than ₹4 lakh from the city’s Somwar Peth area.

According to a senior police official, more than 17,800 masks worth ₹4.30 lakh were seized during a raid conducted by a unit of the Pune Crime Branch at a godown in Narpatgiri chowk on Thursday night.

-- Shoumojit Banerjee

12.35 pm | Punjab

Five new cases in Punjab

Five fresh positive cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Punjab. Confirmed cases have reached 38, Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu told The Hindu .

12.30 pm | Delhi

Thirty-nine cases reported in Delhi so far, says CM Arvind Kejriwal

A guard outside a bank offers sanitizer to customers standing in a queue as they maintain social distancing, at Tagore Garden in West Delhi on Friday, March 27, 2020.

A guard outside a bank offers sanitizer to customers standing in a queue as they maintain social distancing, at Tagore Garden in West Delhi on Friday, March 27, 2020.


Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal said a team of doctors tasked with creating a plan to tackle an increase in coronavirus cases has submitted its report.

This plan has been divided in three stages depending on the number of cases. The plan details preparations in terms of ICU, testing facilities and other necessary services for three stages: 100, 500 and 1000 daily cases, respectively. We are currently at stage one of this, he added.

Mr. Kejriwal also announced that the Delhi government was preparing to feed ten times the number of people who have lost their livelihoods due to the ongoing lockdown to contain the COVID-19 epidemic.

-- Jatin Anand

12.20 pm | Tamil Nadu

Six new cases have been reported in Tamil Nadu, according to the State's National Health Mission.

Chennai Corporation Health Department worker sprays disinfectant at State Guest House in Chennai.

Chennai Corporation Health Department worker sprays disinfectant at State Guest House in Chennai.

12.15 pm | Tamil Nadu

Tailors at government hospitals in T.N. come to the aid of healthcare workers, stitch cloth masks

Many government hospitals have tailors to sew torn bedsheets or other hospital linen. In the wake of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), some of these hospitals have given the tailors another task -- to stitch cloth masks for hospital personnel, both as a stop-gap measure and as an alternative to disposable masks.


12.10 pm | Karnataka

Karnataka records third death

A 65-year-old man, who died in Tumakuru, tested positive for COVID-19.

Addressing a press conference in Tumakuru, Deputy Commissioner,  Dr. K. Rakesh Kumar said that the person died around 10.45 am today.


12.00 pm | Andhra Pradesh

Twelfth case reported from Visakhapatnam

Visakhapatnam has reported one more positive case, taking the total count to 12 in the State.

The patient was a close contact of a 25-year-old male patient who returned from Birmingham in England to Visakhapatnam on March 17 via New Delhi by flights, according to the bulletin by the Health Department.

A good samaritan offers food to a roadside dweller in Tirupati on
Friday, March 27, 2020, in view of the lockdown.

A good samaritan offers food to a roadside dweller in Tirupati onFriday, March 27, 2020, in view of the lockdown.


It is the second case of direct transfer from an infected person both in the State and in Visakhapatnam city where the highest number of cases were reported in the State. 


11.50 am | Jammu and Kashmir

Restrictions continue in J&K, most mosques, shrines closed

The restrictions on the movement and assembly of people to contain the spread of the  coronavirus  continued in Kashmir for the ninth day on Friday as most mosques and shrines were shut to avoid large gatherings for congregational prayers, officials said.


11.40 am | Bihar

Three fresh cases reported in Bihar

With three new cases of COVID-19 reported in Bihar, the figure touched nine in the State. Bihar, so far,  has reported one fatality .


11.30 am | Madhya Pradesh

One man died of COVID-19 in Indore on Thursday. Active cases jump to 24 in Madhya Pradesh.

-- Sidharth Yadav

11.10 am | Rajasthan

Two new cases detected in Rajasthan

Two new COVID-19 positive cases have been detected in Rajasthan's Bhilwara city. Both are close relatives of the 60-year-old man who had tested positive and died yesterday because of dysfunctional kidney and other complications. The total number of confirmed patients is 21 in the worst-affected Bhilwara city and 45 in Rajasthan.

10.40 am | India

A total of 724 individuals have been confirmed COVID-19 positive in India with 17 deaths, according to data updated by the Union Health Ministry on Friday. As per State-wise data, 18 deaths have been reported.

A total of 27,688 samples from 26,798 individuals have been tested for SARS-CoV2 as on March 27, 9 a.m., noted a release issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research.

10 am | Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Second COVID-19 case in Andaman and Nicobar as man tests positive

A man has tested positive for COVID-19 in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the second such case in the Union Territory, a senior official said on Friday.

A man, who returned from Kolkata on March 24, tested positive for the deadly virus on Thursday and the second patient had travelled with him on the same flight, Chief Secretary Chetan Sanghi said.

Both were undergoing treatment at a hospital here, he added.

All the 55 passengers of the plane were quarantined after the first case came to light.


9.30 am | Karnataka

Hydroxychloroquine now a schedule H1 drug

Hydroxychloroquine is now a schedule H1 drug, and can be sold on prescription only.

According to a gazette notification issued by the Union Health Ministry, the sale of the drug from now on should be in accordance with the conditions for sale of drugs specified in Schedule H1 to the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945.


9.10 am | Chennai

Koyambedu wholesale market to function on March 27 and 28

The Koyambedu wholesale market, including vegetable and fruits market, will continue to work on March 27 and March 28, according to traders welfare associations.

Various traders associations had earlier announced that the market would remain closed on these two days in solidarity with the nation-wide lockdown. However, the decision was withdrawn after a meeting with the authorities concerned on Thursday morning.


8.50 am | Mangaluru

Business as usual in Mangaluru's Central Market

Notwithstanding Deputy Commissioner's prohibition on retail sales at the Central Market from Thursday, business was as usual at the wholesale vegetable and fruit market of Mangaluru on Friday morning.

Thousands thronged to the market throwing all safety norms to the wind. However, customers had to park their vehicles outside the barricaded area and walk into the market, unlike usual.

The DC's promise to make alternative arrangements outside the market for availability of essentials remained unfulfilled.

8.20 am | India

Rate of spread has slowed relatively, says Health Ministry

With 16 deaths and 694  COVID-19  positive cases, India is now showing a relatively slower spread of COVID-19 infection rate, Joint Secretary, Union Health Ministry, Lav Agarwal said on Thursday. But he added, “We cannot be relaxed about restrictions put in place to contain the virus.”

Reports from the States put the number of deaths at 18 with Maharashtra, Karnataka and Jammu and Kashmir each reporting a fatality. The total  number of positive cases  stood at 716 — Kerala had the highest number at 137, followed by 129 in Maharashtra and 52 in Karnataka.


8 am | USA


US tops world in COVID-19 cases, overtaking China and Italy

The United States on Thursday took the grim title of the country with the most  coronavirus  infections and reported a record surge in unemployment as world leaders vowed $5 trillion to stave off global economic collapse.

More than 5,00,000 people around the world have now contracted the new coronavirus, overwhelming healthcare systems even in wealthy nations and triggering an avalanche of government-ordered lockdowns that have disrupted life for billions.

In the United States, more than 82,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19, edging out Italy, which has reported the most deaths, and China,  where the virus was first detected  in December in the metropolis of Wuhan.

(With inputs from PTI, Reuters, ANI, AFP, BBC)

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