India coronavirus lockdown, day 4 updates | March 28, 2020

The coronavirus outbreak has infected some 5,80,000 people and killed over 26,000 around the world after emerging in China in December 2019.

Updated - March 29, 2020 12:47 am IST

Published - March 28, 2020 08:27 am IST

An aerial view of the deserted junction of Hanumanthwaka Highway in view of the lockdown in Visakhapatnam on Friday, March 27, 2020.

An aerial view of the deserted junction of Hanumanthwaka Highway in view of the lockdown in Visakhapatnam on Friday, March 27, 2020.

COVID-19 has claimed more than 20 lives in India as of March 28, according to data from the Health Ministry and State governments. As many as 987 people have tested positive for the coronavirus.

The outbreak has infected some 5,80,000 people and killed over 26,000 around the world after emerging in China in December 2019. IMF chief said that the world has entered a recession worse than the 2008 one, but projected a recovery next year.

In United States , the coronavirus infections climbed past 1,00,000, with more than 1,600 dead. Meanwhile in Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson became the first major world leader to test positive.

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 , 1800-112-545  and 011-23978046 .  Email: The Prime Minister has announced a WhatsApp helpdesk number:   9013151515 .

Here are the latest updates:

10.55 pm | Rome

Italy's coronavirus toll tops 10,000

Italy's death toll from the novel coronavirus shot past 10,000 on Saturday with 889 new deaths, the country's civil protection service said.

The toll in Italy, which has suffered more deaths than any other country, now stands at 10,023. An additional 5,974 infections brought to 92,472 the number of people who have officially tested positive for COVID-19 in Italy since the crisis began last month.


10.45 pm | Turkey

Turkey coronavirus deaths pass 100: health minister

More than 100 people have died from the novel coronavirus in Turkey, according to the health minister on Saturday, as 1,704 new cases were recorded.

Fahrettin Koca shared the latest figures in an image on Twitter, showing 16 more people had died in the last 24 hours, pushing the total death toll to 108. With the new cases of COVID-19, Turkey has officially recorded 7,402 people with the virus.

9.50 pm | Andaman

Total case rises to 9 in Andaman

Three more test positive for COVID-19 in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, total cases in UT rise to 9, says an Health Official.

9.15 pm | Telangana

Telangana reports first death

Telangana reports first COVID-19 death. Samples taken from 74-year old man after death tested positive on Saturday, says State Health Minister.


8.25 pm | Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka asks returnees from Chennai report to health authorities

Travellers who recently returned from Chennai in India have posed a high-risk in Sri Lanka’s efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus, the country’s health authorities said on Saturday, ordering them to immediately report to public health officers.

Director General of Health Services Anil Jasinghe said two of the COVID-19 positive cases reported on Saturday were those who recently returned from the Tamil Nadu capital.

He issued directions that anyone who returned from Chennai during the last 14 days must inform the public health officers of their area and must go into self-quarantine for 14 days.

Returnees from Chennai are high risk cases, they must immediately report to health authorities,” Mr. Jasinghe said.

He said that in view of increase in the number of coronavirus cases in Chennai it is very important for the returnees to undergo quarantine.

8.20 pm | Europe

Europe death toll from coronavirus surges past 20,000

The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 20,000 people in Europe, according to a tally of official figures gathered by AFP at 1415 GMT on Saturday.

Europe is now the most affected continent with 20,059 deaths from a total of 337,632 cases. The COVID-19 disease has killed 9,134 in Italy and 5,690 in Spain — the two hardest-hit countries in the world, accounting for three quarters of all deaths in Europe.

8.00 pm | Suresh Raina

Raina donates Rs 52 lakh

Former India batsman Suresh Raina on Saturday donated Rs 52 lakh to the country’s fight against COVID-19 pandemic and urged others also to contribute in these times of health crisis.

Raina’s contribution is biggest from any Indian sportspersons across disciplines.

“It’s time we all do our bit to help defeat COVID19. I’m pledging Rs. 52 lakh for the fight against Corona (Rs. 31 lakh to the PM-CARES Fund & Rs. 21 lakh to the UP CM’s Disaster Relief Fund). Please do your bit too. Jai Hind,” Raina tweeted.


6.45 pm | Tamil Nadu

Two more test positive in TN

Tamil Nadu Health Minister Vijayabaskar tweeted saying "A 60-year-old from Rajapalayam, Virudhunagar district, on Saturday, tested positive. He was admitted in Madurai Medical College. The patientis in isolation ward and is said to be stable."

"Another 25-year-old male from West Mambalam, Chennai has been confirmed positive. The patient is undergoing treatment in isolation at a private hospital. His condition is said to be stable," said Mr. Vijayabaskar

6.40 pm | Kerala, Telangana

Six more cases in Telangana, Kerala

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, on Saturday, said that "6 new Covid cases in Kerala today. One death (first in state). 1,34,370 under surveillance." Mr. Vijayan also announced introduction of rapid testing to check for community transmission.

In another south Indian State, six more were reported positive in Telangana taking the total to 65.

6.20 pm | New Delhi

All BJP MPs to release Rs 1 crore from MPLAD funds for coronavirus relief: Nadda

BJP president J P Nadda on Saturday announced that all party MPs will release Rs 1 crore from their annual development fund to the central relief fund to fight coronavirus pandemic. In his tweets, he also said that all party MPs and MLAs will donate their one month salary towards it as well.

“All MPs & MLAs of Bharatiya Janata Party will donate their one month remuneration/salary to the central relief fund to support the fight against Covid19. All MPs of BJP will release Rs 1 crore from their MPLADS fund to the central relief fund in support to fight against Covid-19,” he said.

The party at present has 386 MPs — 303 in Lok Sabha and 83 in Rajya Sabha. An MP gets Rs 5 crore every year as part of the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS).

6.10 pm | New Delhi

Govt has committed all support to migrant workers during lockdown: Shah

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday said the Central government has committed all support to migrant workers during the 21-day lockdown announced to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

The home ministry has also asked states and union territories to immediately set up relief camps for migrant workers, pilgrims etc., who are returning to their domicile states or trying to do so during this lockdown period.

“As per the directions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government has committed all support to migrant workers during lockdown period,” Shah said, while reviewing the country’s preparedness to contain the spread of COVID-19.

According to a home ministry statement, Mr. Shah has authorised states to use State Disaster Relief Fund for relief measures for migrant workers during the COVID-19 lockdown.


5.50 pm | New Delhi

Cong constitutes task force to handle situation in party-ruled states

The Congress on Saturday constituted a task force to intensify efforts of party-ruled states to deal with the situation due to COVID-19 and help mitigate the sufferings of people.

The task force includes P Chidambaram, Jairam Ramesh, Tamradhwaj Sahu and M Veerappa Moily.

“Congress president has constituted a task force to intensify the efforts of Congress-ruled state governments to deal with the situation prevailing on account of COVID-19, in a coordinated manner,” said an official communication from the party.

The members of the task force will start work immediately with the respective Congress-ruled state governments to ensure that the daily distress and suffering of people is mitigated, the statement said.

“P Chidambaram, Jairam Ramesh, Tamradhwaj Sahu and Veerappa Moily, i.e, the chairmen of respective manifesto implementation committees in the Congress ruled states will be its members,” the Congress communication added.


5.45 pm | Spain

Spain counts 832 deaths in 24 hours, pushing toll to 5,690

The death toll from coronavirus in Spain surged over 5,600 on Saturday after a record 832 people died in 24 hours, and the number of infections soared over 72,000, the government said. 

Spain has the world's second-highest coronavirus death toll after Italy with 5,690 fatalities. The number of confirmed cases have jumped to 72,248 as the country moves to significantly increase testing.

Although Spain's latest figures showed a daily increase of more than 8,000 cases, the rate of new infections appears to be slowing, with officials saying the epidemic appeared to be nearing its peak. 


5.20 pm | New Delhi

PM announces emergency relief fund for coronavirus fight

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced the creation of an assistance and emergency situation relief fund where people can contribute and help in the government’s fight against coronavirus.

The Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund will go a long way in creating a healthier India, he said on Twitter.

“People from all walks of life expressed their desire to donate to India’s war against COVID-19,” he said, adding the fund has been constituted respecting that spirit.


5.10 pm | New Delhi

Kejriwal appeal to migrants

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, on Saturday, said "We had appealed to migrant workers to stay back and some have decided to but some others haven’t; if we migrate in such large numbers, the possibility of the community spread of the coronavirus becomes significant; we are making arrangements for you, please stay where you are, we have made arrangements."

Mr. Kejriwal said "Today, arrangements have been put in place at around 800 facilities including schools to feed the needy; in addition there are also flying squads which are helping us in doing so."

The Delhi Chief Minister said "Arrangements to provide ration have been made across Delhi and each area’s MLAs are ensuring that this is distributed while maintaining social distancing."

5.05 pm | United Kingdom

British PM Johnson speaks to Trump after coronavirus diagnosis

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke to US President Donald Trump over the phone to discuss the coronavirus pandemic soon after he took to social media to announce that he has tested positive for COVID-19 and has gone into self-isolation.

The 55-year-old, who is believed to be the first world leader to have tested positive for the deadly virus, said his symptoms are mild which means he will carry on leading the response to the outbreak in the UK — where the death toll jumped by 181 to hit 759 and the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 stood at 14,543 on Friday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke with US President Donald Trump on Saturday. The President wished the Prime Minister a speedy recovery from coronavirus, a Downing Street spokesperson said on Friday evening.

They agreed to work together closely, along with the G7, the G20, and other international partners, to defeat the coronavirus pandemic, the spokesperson said.

4.50 pm | World count

More than 600,000 coronavirus cases recorded globally

More than 600,000 cases of the new coronavirus have been officially recorded around the world since the outbreak of the epidemic, according to an AFP tally at 1045 GMT on Saturday.

There were 605,010 cases of infection with 27,982 deaths in 183 countries and territories.

The United States had 104,837 cases of which 1,711 were fatal. Italy had the highest number of deaths at 9,134 and a total of 86,498 cases.

China, the epicentre of the outbreak, had 81,394 cases and 3,295 deaths.

The figures represent only a fraction of the number of infections as many countries only carry out tests on suspected cases if they are hospitalised.

-- AFP

4.45 pm | Gujarat

One more death in Gujarat

A 46-year-old woman who had coronavirus infection died at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Hospital in Ahmedabad on Saturday afternoon, taking the number of COVID-19 patients who have died in Gujarat to four, authorities said. The total death toll in India rises to 23.

The woman had tested positive for the virus on March 26 and had been put on ventilator, the hospital said in a statement.

She was also suffering from hypertension and diabetes, it said.

On Thursday, a 70-year-old COVID-19 patient died in Bhavnagar district. Before that, one death each was reported from Ahmedabad and Surat.

4.40 pm | U.P.

Five new cases in Gautam Budh Nagar

Five news cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Gautam Budh Nagar, district officials said. With this, the total number of cases in the district has reached 23.

“Three persons have been tested positive in Noida, while a couple has been tested positive for the virus in Dadri area of Greater Noida,” said Anurag Bhargav, Chief Medical Officer, Gautam Buddh Nagar. He said the travel history of the persons was being ascertained.


Pigeon fanciers turn to ragi to feed their birds

Against the backdrop of widespread uncertainty, which includes worries about reaching essential supplies to people in the next three weeks, at the least, feed-supply for homing pigeons certainly looks as big an issue as the size of a single grain.

For pigeon fanciers though, this concern is big enough to crease their brow with a thousand worry lines.


4.20 pm | India

Tata Trusts commit  ₹500 crore


Industrialist Ratan Tata announced on Twitter that the Tata Trusts have pledged ₹500 crore to provide protective equipment for medical personnel on the frontline, testing kits, modular treatment facilities and training for health workers among other provisions.


4.15 pm | India

Focus now on COVID-19 hotspots: Health Ministry

The Health Ministry’s focus is now on hotspots where a large number of cases are being registered, said Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agrawal.  "We are working with the States," he said.

"Our focus now is to get the health infrastructure ready for COVID-19 patients. Ours is a graded effort.

"Have asked CGHS to issue three months' medicine to patients," Mr. Agrawal said.

AIIMS is to offer online training for doctors and nurses, he added. He also says that social distancing is going to be crucial in breaking the chain of transmission. We have been pre-emptive and graded in our approach... We went for lockdown even when there were limited cases of local transmission." Yesterday 40,000 ventilators were ordered in addition to the existing ventilators.

ICMR has no vaccine yet that is suitable for human trial, said Dr. Raman R. Gangakhedkar of ICMR.

4.00 pm | Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister seeks ₹9,000 crore from PM Modi to combat COVID-19 and its aftermath

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to grant ₹9,000 crore to Tamil Nadu and allocate a special grant of ₹1 lakh crore to the State governments to combat the COVID-19 disease and to deal with its aftermath.

3.55 pm | India

Mohun Bagan donates 20 lakh for fight against COVID-19

Designated I-League champion Mohun Bagan has announced a donation of ₹20 lakh in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

“Mohun Bagan will donate Rs 20 lakh towards the West Bengal State Emergency Relief Fund to be used to combat the deadly coronavirus pandemic,” Mohun Bagan announced on their official Facebook page.


3.50 pm | Assam

Police opens fire in air to quell unrest at Assam market

Police opened fire in the air in Assam’s Bongaigaon district this morning to disperse an unruly mob at a market that attacked the security personnel when asked to abide by the lockdown order, an officer said.

Nobody was injured, he said.

People had gathered in large numbers at meat and poultry shops of Bhawlaguri market in the district without maintaining social distancing norms.


3.30 pm | Iran

Iran records 139 more deaths

Iran announced that 139 more people had died from the novel coronavirus, raising the official death toll to 2,517 in one of the world's worst-affected countries.

Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour told a news conference that 3,076 more cases had been confirmed in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of infections to 35,408.


3.15 pm | U.S.

U.S. to airlift its citizens stranded in India

The U.S. government is making arrangements to airlift over 2,000 American citizens stranded in India due to the suspension of flights and the lockdown in the country to limit the spread of the cornovirus pandemic, the State Department has said.



3.05 pm | Kashmir

Seven more cases in Kashmir

Out of the seven who tested positive for COVID-19, four cases have history of contact with positive cases during religious congregations and three others have travel history outside Jammu and Kashmir, according to J&K government spokesman Rohit Kansal.

--Peerzada Ashiq

3.00 pm | Karnataka

Ten new cases in Karnataka

Ten new positive cases of COVID-19 have been detected in Karnataka in the last 15 hours, taking the total number to 74 in the State.

While three of these are from Uttara Kannada and contacts of a patient who had tested positive earlier, five are contacts of of the 70-year-old woman from Gowribidanur in Chikkaballapur who died on March 24.

2.50 pm | Delhi

Helpline set up for stranded J&K residents in Delhi

The Jammu and Kashmir administration has set up a dedicated helpline centre in Delhi to address the issues faced by stranded residents of the Union Territory due to the ongoing countrywide lockdown, an official spokesperson said.

The 24x7 helpline with three telephone numbers -- 011-24611210, 24611108, 24615475 -- has been established in Jammu and Kashmir Resident Commission, New Delhi, to address the issues of the local residents stranded in the national capital and elsewhere in the country, the spokesman said.


2.45 pm | India

MHA issues order allowing States to use SDRF for relief to the homeless

The MHA issued an order allowing States to use State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) for "Provision for temporary accommodation, food, clothing medical care etc." to homeless people including migrant labourers stranded due to lockdown measures and sheltered in the relief camps and other places.

 "This has been done  for the containment of spread of COVID-19 virus in the country,"  the order said.

-- Vijaita Singh


2.40 pm | Rajasthan

Two more cases reported in Rajasthan

The two new COVID-19 positive cases are both nursing staff of emergency at a private hospital in Bhilwara. With this, the tally in the State rises to 54.

-- Mohammed Iqbal

2.35 pm | India

Farm activities exempted from lockdown rules to ensure food security: Narendra Singh Tomar

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said farming operations and related activities have been exempted from the lockdown rules for smooth harvesting of rabi crops and to ensure food security in the country.

“At this critical time, the exemptions have been given for agriculture related activities to ensure enough food supply to the people after the lockdown. It is also done to ensure ordinary citizens and farmers do not face problems,” Mr. Tomar said in a statement.


2.30 pm | Madhya Pradesh

The Madhya Pradesh government issued a fresh order, asking the liquor shops owners to keep their outlets shut till April 14 in view of the lockdown. - PTI

2.00 pm | India

Gadkari asks NHAI chief, toll operators to ensure food, water support to migrant workers

Migrant workers on their way to their home towns, like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and other States, photographed at  Raja Garden in New Delhi on Saturday, March 28, 2020.

Migrant workers on their way to their home towns, like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and other States, photographed at Raja Garden in New Delhi on Saturday, March 28, 2020.


Union Minister Nitin Gadkari asked NHAI Chairman and toll operators across National Highways to provide food, water and other necessary support to migrant workers.

The directions came amid reports that migrant workers are facing severe hardships while stranded at various parts in the country on account of nationwide lockdown in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.

1.50 pm | India

Centre tells states, UTs to take action in maintaining hygiene in jails, handling prisoners

Inmates at Hamirpur jail in U.P. maintain physical distance while they wait to use the phone to communicate with their relatives, on March 28, 2020.

Inmates at Hamirpur jail in U.P. maintain physical distance while they wait to use the phone to communicate with their relatives, on March 28, 2020.


The Centre has asked all States and Union Territories to take appropriate action for maintaining proper hygiene in jails and handling prisoners, including foreign nationals, in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

In a letter to Chief Secretaries and DGPs of all States and Union Territories, the Home Ministry said the prevailing situation in the country is being monitored at the highest level and it is considered necessary that appropriate measures are taken at all levels without any exception.


1.30 pm | Gujarat

Six more test positive for COVID-19 in Gujarat; count rises to 53

Gujarat recorded six new cases of coronavirus in the last 12 hours, taking the State’s tally of COVID-19 patients to 53, a senior official said.

As many as six new cases were reported since Friday evening, taking the count of coronavirus patients to 53, principal secretary (Health) Jayanti Ravi said.


1.20 pm | Maharashtra

Maharashtra tally reaches 160 as seven more test positive

With seven more persons testing positive for coronavirus in Maharashtra, the total number of such cases in the state has gone up to 160, officials said.

Of these seven new COVID-19 patients, five are from Mumbai and two from Nagpur, Health Department officials said.

On Friday, 28 persons were found infected in different parts of the State, they said.


1.10 pm | Telangana

Job continues...

To maintain social distancing as advised by the government, TV media personnel use a long stick with mike attached to take interview of a police official outside the historic Charminar in Hyderabad.

To maintain social distancing as advised by the government, TV media personnel use a long stick with mike attached to take interview of a police official outside the historic Charminar in Hyderabad.


1.00 pm | Madhya Pradesh

Four new cases in Madhya Pradesh

Three men from Indore and one from Ujjain tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday night, taking the count of active cases in Madhya Pradesh to 31, according to the  Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College, Indore.

The college had received 52 samples for testing on Thursday, of which three were inappropriate and 45 tested negative. Those who tested positive are aged 60,42 and 23 in Indore, and 23 in Ujjain.


12.45 pm | India

Railways manufactures prototype of isolation ward in coaches

The railways has manufactured a prototype of an isolation ward for treating COVID-19 patients by converting non-air-conditioned train coaches, it said on Saturday.


12.40 pm | Assam

Low number of COVID-19 cases in northeast no reason to be complacent, says Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma

Cases of COVID-19 have been low in the country’s northeast, but challenges on how to combat the disease are tougher. Speaking to The Hindu , Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the low number of cases currently in the region was no reason to be complacent, and that the State government was taking various measures to build hospital-bed capacity and for Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and ventilators.

12.30 pm | Andhra Pradesh

First positive case from Visakhapatnam tests negative after treatment

People maintain social distance as they stand outside a rythu bazar  in Rajahmundry, on Saturday, March 28, 2020.

People maintain social distance as they stand outside a rythu bazar in Rajahmundry, on Saturday, March 28, 2020.


The 65-year-old man from Allipuram area in Visakhapatnam, who was the first to test COVID-19 positive from the city and was under treatment at Government Hospital for Chest and Communicable Diseases, was tested negative by the Virus Research and Diagnostic Laboratory at Rangaraya Medical College, Kakinada.

12.20 pm | Kerala

First COVID-19 death in Kerala

A 69-year-old man who was admitted to the COVID-19 care centre in Ernakulam died at 8 a.m. on March 28. He is Kerala's first COVID-19 victim.

The man, who had returned from Dubai, was admitted to Ernakulam Medical College Hospital with pneumonia on March 22, said the authorities in a statement.


12.00 pm | Madhya Pradesh

COVID-19 positive journalist booked for negligence in Bhopal

The Bhopal police have registered a case against a journalist, who attended former Chief Minister Kamal Nath's press conference , and later tested positive for COVID-19 for negligence and violating prohibitory orders.

"Despite knowing his daughter was infected, the man went around the city and violated the lockdown too," said V.K. Singh, incharge, Shymala Hills police station.


11.50 am | Karnataka

Complete lockdown in Dakshina Kannada

Dakshina Kannada observed complete lockdown with the district administration withdrawing the permission given for the sale and purchase of essential commodities from 6 a.m. to noon after two new positive cases were reported in the district yesterday.

Some milk booths in the city and other towns in the district sold the packets for some time early in the morning. Later they closed down. Hence the milk vans of Dakshina Kannada Cooperative Milk Union Ltd (DKMUL) had to return from many towns in the district and places in the city.

All vegetable and grocery shops which otherwise operated from 6 a.m. to noon remained closed. The main central market in the city wore a deserted look.

11.40 am | Tamil Nadu

TN records two new cases

Tamil Nadu has recorded two new COVID-19 positive cases, TN health minister Dr. C. Vijayabaskar informed via Twitter.

This includes a 42-year-old male from Kumbakonam and a 49-year-old from Katpadi. Both have a history of foreign travel and had transit via Middle East. The former had returned from West Indies and the latter from United Kingdom, and are in isolation at the Thanjavur Medical College Hospital in Thanjavur and at a Vellore private hospital respectively.

Both the patients are stable.

11.30 am | India

There was no leniency in screening for foreign travellers, 'prosperous Indians', says Centre

India has been “proactive and preemptive, and graded” in its response to the COVID-19 crisis, the government said on Saturday.

Amid criticism that the three-week lockdown announced on March 24 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was without prior planning, the Centre released a timeline of its actions since the breakout of the global pandemic.

It said India acted much before WHO declared COVID-19 as a public health emergency of international concern on January 30, to put in place a “comprehensive response system” at its borders.


11.20 am | Britain

Oxford University’s coronavirus vaccine opens for clinical trial on humans

As the world is grappling with thousands of deaths and lakhs of coronavirus-infected cases , there is some hope as the world’s top university Oxford has announced its vaccine is entering Phase 1 clinical trials in humans.

In a press release, University of Oxford stated that its researchers working in an unprecedented vaccine development effort to prevent COVID-19 have started screening healthy volunteers (aged 18-55) on Friday for their upcoming ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine trial in England’s Thames Valley. The vaccine based on an adenovirus vaccine vector and the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is already in production but won’t be ready for some weeks still.

11.10 am | Uttar Pradesh

U.P. deploys buses to ferry migrants stuck on Delhi border to State

A small group of migrant labourers walk past a deserted Lucknow street  with their belongings to catch a bus  to their home in East U.P.

A small group of migrant labourers walk past a deserted Lucknow street with their belongings to catch a bus to their home in East U.P.


Uttar Pradesh government is deploying buses to ferry migrants stuck at various points on Delhi border to the State.

Around 200 buses will depart every two hours, said an official. Transportation of such people will continue today and tomorrow, it has been informed. Transportation of such people will continue today and tomorrow.


11 am | Karnataka

Infosys employee arrested in Bengaluru for post asking people to spread the virus on social media

The Central Crime Branch (CCB) on Friday arrested a software engineer who was employed with Infosys for allegedly putting up a post on social media encouraging people to spread the novel coronavirus .

In his tweet, the accused, Mujeeb Mohammad, 40, wrote, “Let’s join hands, go out and sneeze with an open mouth in public. Spread the virus.”

A CCB official said, “We have arrested the engineer for posting hate messages on social media. He has been booked under the IT Act and under Sections 269 and 270 of the IPC.”

The post went viral on Thursday. Infosys subsequently ordered an internal probe and terminated his employment.


10.50 am | Rajasthan

Two new cases detected in Rajasthan

Two more COVID-19 positive cases have been detected in Rajasthan, taking the total number of cases to 52.

One of the newly-detected cases is from Ajmer: a 23-year-old salesman who had recently travelled to Punjab. The second case is from Bhilwara. The patient is a 21-year-old female typist from the private hospital where three doctors were previously found infected.

10.40 am | USA

U.S. confirmed coronavirus cases cross 100,000: tracker

The United States now has more than 100,000 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus, a tracker maintained by Johns Hopkins University showed Friday. There have been 100,717 cases including 1,544 deaths as of 6:00 pm Eastern time.

The biggest cluster by far is in New York, home to almost half the cases, overwhelming the hospital system. The United States has around 15,000 more confirmed cases then the second country on the list, Italy, and 20,000 more than China, where the disease was first identified but has since peaked.

10.30 am | Mangaluru

Infosys Foundation sends critical medical supplies worth ₹28 lakh to Mangaluru

Infosys Foundation has sent critical medical supplies worth ₹28 lakh to Dakshina Kannada to tackle COVID-19, according to P. S. Harsha, Police Commissioner, Mangaluru.

The vehicle carrying the medical supplies reached Manngaluru on March 28, he tweeted on Saturday.

“Ms. Sudha Murthy responded to the call of Mangaluru Police on behalf of Dakshina Kannada district administration and within 36 hours critical medical supplies worth ₹28 lakhs have reached Mangaluru. We thank Madam Sudha Murthy and Infosys Foundation’s Ramdas Kamat and team,” the Commissioner tweeted.

10.20 am | USA

China to share coronavirus data with U.S.: Trump

China will share its data related to the novel coronavirus pandemic with the US and the country will learn from Beijing’s experience, President Donald Trump has said, a day after he held an hour-long conversation with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

Mr. Trump spoke to Mr. Xi over telephone , days after the U.S. president angered Beijing by referring to the coronavirus as  “Chinese virus” and his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said  China’s ruling Communist Party posed a “substantial threat” to Americans’ health and their way of life.


9.30 am | India

Railway moves 1.6 lakh freight wagons

Indian Railways on Friday said that it has moved more than 1.6 lakh freight wagons in the last four days, of which over one lakh wagons were carrying essential commodities, including food grains, milk, fruits & vegetables and petroleum products.

“Close coordination is being maintained with the State Governments so that rakes of essential commodities are handled smoothly without any delay, amidst various restrictions imposed in the wake of COVID-19,” an official statement said, adding that freight movement is being closely monitored.

The All India Station Masters Association on Friday also said that its members will contribute one day’s wage for the next three months, raising about ₹21 crore, to help tide over the impact of COVID-19.

9.20 am | Turkey

Turkey adopts ‘voluntary quarantine’, suspends international flights

President Tayyip Erdogan called on March 27 for a “voluntary quarantine” in which Turks stay at home except for shopping or basic needs to stem a surge of  coronavirus cases , which jumped by a third in a day to 5,698 with 92 dead.

“If we don't want these measures to reach a further stage, we must abide by the voluntary quarantine rules verbatim. What does this voluntary quarantine mean? It means do not leave your house,” Erdogan told a press conference late on Friday.

9.10 am | Hungary

Hungary imposes two-week lockdown

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced a two-week lockdown on March 27 and pressed on with plans to give the government extra powers to fight  COVID-19 , despite criticism by rights groups.

People will be allowed to go to work and do basic errands and exercise in the open, but not gather in large groups under measures that take effect on March 28. Orban said the epidemic was expected to peak in Hungary in June or July and flagged more ecomomic stimulus to be announced in April.

9 am | Kerala

Cooking gas shortage a possibility in Kerala

The fourth day of the COVID-19 lockdown on Friday raised the prospect of a shortage of cooking gas cylinders in the State.

The 80-odd distributors in the region supply cooking gas to over 13 lakh households. The lockdown has hit the movement of LPG tankers from Mangalapuram in Karnataka to the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) bottling plant in Kollam.

The closure of wayside hotels has deterred gas tanker drivers from attempting the nearly 18-hour journey from the LPG terminal to the refilling plant, an estimated 550 km. The number of LPG loads has lessened since last Saturday. Another distributor says the backlog of orders has mounted to 1,200 in the past 48 hours and is climbing.


8.50 am | Tamil Nadu

Grocers, fuel pumps in Tamil Nadu to shut at 2.30 p.m. from March 29

From March 29, provisional stores, vegetable and fruit shops and petrol/diesel pumps in Tamil Nadu would be allowed to function only between 6 am and 2.30 pm during the COVID-19 lockdown period. However, “medical shops and restaurants (only takeaway) would continue to function through the day”, an official release said.

The State also permitted app-based food delivery operators Swiggy and Zomato to operate between 7 am and 9.30 am for breakfast; 12 noon and 2.30 pm for lunch; and 6 pm and 9 pm taking into account that elderly persons and others were in need of such service.


8.30 am | South Korea

South Korea reports 146 new coronavirus cases, highest in a week

South Korea reported 146 new coronavirus cases on Friday, the highest number in a week, its disease control agency said on Saturday, with the country suffering a rise in imported cases from Europe and the United States during recent days.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) did not say how many of Friday's new cases were imported as it was still investigating.


8.20 am | USA

U.S. announces $174 mn aid to 64 countries including $2.9 mn to India

The United States on Friday announced $174 million financial assistance to 64 countries including $2.9 million to India to help them fight the coronavirus pandemic.

This is in addition to the $100 million aid announced by the U.S. in February.

The U.S. State Department said it is providing $2.9 million to help the Indian government prepare laboratory systems, activate case finding and event-based surveillance, and support technical experts for response and preparedness, and more.


8.10 am | Brazil

'Sorry, some will die': President Jair Bolsonaro on Brazil's coronavirus death toll

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro on Friday cast doubt on Sao Paulo's death toll from the  coronavirus  outbreak and accused the state governor of manipulating the numbers for political ends, without giving evidence for his claims.

Mr. Bolsonaro's accusations were the latest broadside in an  ugly battle with Brazil's governors , who have chafed at the President's view that protecting the economy takes priority over social distancing measures to combat the spread of the highly contagious virus.


8 am | India

Coronavirus cases in India climb to 834, death toll reaches 19: Health Ministry

The number of COVIOD-19 cases climbed to 834 in India with the death toll rising to 19, according to the Union Health Ministry. However, according to inputs from the State authorities, the death toll stands at 21, and that of confirmed cases at 871.

(With inputs from PTI, AFP)

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