India coronavirus lockdown day 5 updates | March 29, 2020

Since the lockdown was announced, India has added between 75-100 cases a day on average.

March 29, 2020 08:03 am | Updated 11:40 pm IST

A health official places the home quarantine stamp on a passenger in a bus at Mithapur bus stand in Patna, Bihar. Many took a bus from Mumbai to reach their hometowns during the 21-day national lockdown to control the coronavirus pandemic.

A health official places the home quarantine stamp on a passenger in a bus at Mithapur bus stand in Patna, Bihar. Many took a bus from Mumbai to reach their hometowns during the 21-day national lockdown to control the coronavirus pandemic.

India on Sunday reported more than 100 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the overall case load to 979. Reports from State health authorities put the death toll from COVID-19 at 29, with 1,121 positive cases . Maharahstra reported two fatalities, while J&K and Delhi reported one each on Sunday. Maharashtra and Kerala continued to have the most cases at 203 and 202 respectively. Kerala reported 20 new cases, while 1.41 lakh people are under observation, State Health Minister K.K. Shailaja said. Maharashtra had 22 new cases, with 10 from Mumbai.

Since the lockdown was announced on March 24, India has added between 75-100 cases a day on average. According to district-wise updated figures from the Union Health Ministry, Mumbai recorded the highest number of cases at 81, followed by Kasargod in Kerala with 78. Bangalore came next with 26.


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:

10.50 pm | New York

New York state nears 1,000 coronavirus deaths

New York state’s coronavirus death toll is nearing 1,000.

The state accounts for more than 40% of coronavirus deaths in the U.S.

The number of disease-related deaths in the state jumped Sunday to 965 from 728 the day before, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

The vast majority have been in New York City. Figures released Sunday morning showed 678 coronavirus deaths in the city, which continues to be the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S.

Meanwhile, new data is showing which parts of the city are being hit the hardest by disease and that nearly a quarter of the people who’ve died of coronavirus in the state were nursing home residents.

10.05 pm | Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe braces for 21-day coronavirus lockdown

Zimbabweans braced Sunday for a three-week lock-down to curb the spread of the coronavirus which has killed one person so far and infected six others, and for many the lockdown means tough times ahead.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared a 21-day “total” lockdown from Monday that will curtail movement within the country, shut most shops and banks, and suspend flights in and out of Zimbabwe.

With independent sources saying the official number of infections is understated, the spread of COVID-19 could prove devastating for a country whose economy is crippled by hyperinflation and whose social health care systems are crumbling.

Poor rains have exacerbated the crisis, with half of the 15-million-strong population facing severe food shortages.

“We are not against the lockdown,” said Isaac Sayeed, who runs a stationery stall in the capital, Harare.

9.55 pm | Andhra Pradesh

2 more test positive for coronavirus in AP

In fresh cases of person-to- person transmission, two people tested positive for coronavirus in Andhra Pradesh on Sunday, taking the total to 21 in the state.

The cases were from Visakhapatnam and both were contacts of the person who had returned from Birmingham in England and tested positive for coronavirus on March 17, the Medical and Health Departments latest bulletin said.

It said that of the total 85 samples tested in the state on Sunday, all except the two turned negative.

Meanwhile, the 65-year-old person in Visakhapatnam, who returned from Medina and tested positive for Covid-19 on March 17, responded well to the treatment and was stable now.

The patient (number 3 in the state) was tested negative for Covid-19 yesterday and today, the bulletin added.

With two new cases on Sunday, Visakhapatnam topped the list in the state with six cases in all.


8.47 pm | Armed forces

Two Army personnel test positive

Two personnel of Indian Army tested positive to COVID-19 on Sunday - a Colonel (Dr) in kolkota and a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) in Dehradun. Both had history of travel in first and second week of this month, Army sources said. “Necessary contact tracing done and identified persons quarantined. Affected two persons are keeping good health and stable,” an Army officer said.

7.45 pm | New Delhi

Transportation of all essential, non-essential goods allowed during lockdown: MHA

Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla on Sunday asked all states and Union territories to allow transportation of all goods, without distinction of essential and non-essential, during the lockdown period.

The home secretary made it clear that the newspaper delivery supply chain was also allowed under exemptions given for print media.

In a letter to chief secretaries of the states and the Union territories, Bhalla said the entire supply chain of milk collection and distribution, including its packing materials, has also been allowed during the lockdown period.

Groceries, including hygiene products such as hand wash, soaps, disinfectants, oral care items, battery cells and chargers, are also allowed, he said.

The home secretary also included the services of the Indian Red Cross Society under the Establishment of National Disaster Management Authority.

7.40 pm | Germany

German minister commits suicide after 'virus crisis worries'

Thomas Schaefer, the finance minister of Germany's Hesse state, has committed suicide apparently after becoming "deeply worried" over how to cope with the economic fallout from the coronavirus, state premier Volker Bouffier said Sunday.

Schaefer, 54, was found dead near a railway track on Saturday. The Wiesbaden prosecution's office said they believe he died by suicide.

"We are in shock, we are in disbelief and above all we are immensely sad," Bouffier said in a recorded statement.


7.25 pm | Uttar Pradesh

Confirmed cases rise to 72 in UP

Number of positive COVID-19 cases in Uttar Pradesh climbs to 72, UP directorate of health services said. 11 new cases over the past 24 hours. Four in Noida, two in Ghaziabad, one in Bareilly and four in Meerut

7.20 pm | USA

Trump back-flips on New York lockdown -

Some eight hours after stunning the New York metropolitan region with a proposal to place it under quarantine, US President Donald Trump decides against imposing a broad lockdown.

His reversal comes on the same day as the US death toll tops 2,100, more than doubling in just three days. Of the fatalities more than a quarter are in New York City.

The US has the most confirmed cases in the world.

Health authorities urge residents in the states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days.

6.55 pm | Tamil  Nadu

Directive to schools, colleges and private organisations

Greater Chennai Corporation, all District Collectors to allow two to three persons from every school, college and private organisations to prepare the salary list for three days — March 30, 31 and April 1 during the lockdown, a Tamil Nadu Government order said.

The GO further said "Companies that had employed workers from other States should continue to ensure their accommodation, food and medical requirement; District Collectors to ensure compliance."

6.45 pm | World count

More than 31,000 deaths worldwide

At least 31,412 people have died worldwide from the coronavirus — some 22,260 of those in Europe — since the epidemic started in China in December, according to an AFP tally compiled on Saturday based on official sources.

With 10,023 deaths, Italy alone accounts for almost a third of the world death toll.

The next countries with the highest official deaths are Spain (6,528), mainland China (3,295), Iran (2,640) and France (2,314).

6.35 pm | New Delhi

Kejriwal asks migrant workers not to travel

In a press conference, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal appealed migrant workers not to travel home. “Stay where you are is the mantra of the lockdown” and we will fail to fight Coronavirus.

Mr. Kejriwal said "If you love your life and love your family members please do not try to return home and avoid crowded places."

The Delhi Chief Minister said "Indian villages have not had any any cases of Coronavirus if people try to leave the city and go to villages it will spread to villages."

Mr. Kejriwal said "We have made enough arrangements for food as well as stay. We have cleared classrooms in schools and we can clear stadiums as well to provide accommodation in Delhi."

6.30 pm | Maharashtra

One more succumbs in Maharashtra; death toll rises to 8

A 45-year-old man has succumbed in Buldhana taking the Maharashtra death toll to eight. This is the first death outside Mumbai Metropolitan Region and in the Vidarbha region. The number of cases has gone up to 203.

6.25 pm | New Delhi

Health Ministry issues SOP to guide ambulance staff in transporting COVID-19 cases

The Union Health Ministry on Sunday laid down the standard operating procedure (SOP) for medical staff attending to or transporting a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.

It said the SOP is meant to guide and train ambulance drivers and technicians in transporting COVID-19 patients.

“Ideally, there should be ambulances identified specifically for transporting COVID suspect patients or those who have developed complications, to the health facilities,” according to the SOP.

“Currently, there are two types of ambulances — ALS (with ventilators) and BLS (without ventilators). States may empanel other ambulances having basic equipment like that of BLS and use it for COVID patients,” the Health Ministry said.

It warned against use of the ‘102 ambulances’ for coronavirus patients and said they should only be used to transport pregnant women and sick infants.

The emergency medical technician (EMT), driver of ambulance must wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when handling, managing and transporting identified and suspected cases of COVID-19.

The patient and the attendant should be provided with triple-layer mask and gloves, the SOP said.

The ministry also provided a sample questionnaire to identify COVID-19 cases in its SOP.

6.20 pm | Karnataka

Two more men test positive for COVID-19 in Udupi

Two more men have tested positive to COVID-19 in Udupi district on Sunday.

According to the information provided by the District Health and Family Welfare Officer, a 35-year-old man from Udupi who had returned from Dubai on March 17, was admitted to a hospital in Karkala with symptoms of COVID-19 on March 27. His throat swab had been sent for testing and according to the report received on Sunday, he had tested positive for COVID-19.

A 29-year-old man from Udupi had gone to Thiruvananthapuram and had returned from there. He was admitted to the hospital here with symptoms of COVID-19 on March 26 and he too had tested positive for COVID-19. Both these men had since been admitted to the Kasturba Hospital in Manipal for treatment, the release said.

With this the total number of persons who had tested positive for COVID-19 in Udupi district goes up to three. It may be recalled that a 34-year-old man from Udupi district who had arrived in a flight from Dubai on March 18 and had tested positive for COVID-19 on March 25.

-- Karnataka Bureau

6.10 pm | Kerala

Kerala reports 20 new cases

Kerala reports 20 new cases of coronavirus. Total number of people under treatment for the infection rises to 181, says state Health Minister K K Shailaja.

6.00 pm | Tamil Nadu

Eight more test positive in TN

Tamil Nadu Health Minister Vijayabaskar tweeted "TN reports 8 new positive cases from Erode (contact of the Thai Nationals who are undergoing treatment at IRT Perundurai). The patients were identified through TN Health's tracing. All patients are isolated for treatment."

5.45 pm | Uttar Pradesh

Ensure no one sleeps hungry during lockdown, says Adityanath

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday held a meeting with 12 nodal officers of UP who have been appointed in different states and asked them to ensure that no one sleeps hungry during the 21-day lockdown imposed across the country in view of coronavirus outbreak.

He asked them to co-ordinate with their respective state governments and local administrations, and ensure availability of food and lodging facilities for the people of UP, who are stranded in various states.

“Lockdown means a person stays wherever he/she is, and it should be implemented in everyone’s interest. This will ensure health safety,” an official statement, quoting the chief minister, said.

“Efforts should be made to speak politely to the affected person and his/her problems must be resolved,” the CM said.

While reviewing the lockdown situation in the state with the senior UP government officials at his residence, Mr. Adityanath said his dispensation is working in coordination with the Centre in the fight against coronavirus.

5.40 pm | Tamil Nadu

Two discharged in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu Health Minister Vijayabaskar tweeted "Two patients returned from US admittd at the Rajiv Gandhi Government Hospital as positve coronavirus cases from Porur were discharged on Sunday. They have recovered from the illness and tested negative twice. They will be home quarantined for next 14 days. I appreciate the Dean & team who took care of the patients."

5.20 pm | India

JSW Group commits ₹100 crore to fight COVID-19

Sajjan Jindal led JSW Group has committed Rs 100 crore to the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM-CARES Fund) in support to all on-going relief efforts in light of the current COVID -19 Crisis. Chairman of the JSW Group, Mr. Sajjan Jindal while announcing the group’s support said,, “We are continuously evaluating the situation and I can earnestly say that the JSW Group is committed to assisting the government in all ways possible to deal with all COVID - 19 related fallouts. These immediate contributions is what we see is the need of the hour, and we have earmarked further monetary and non-monetary contributions so as to allow us to dynamically respond to all societal requirements in the future.”

-- Piyush Pandey

5.10 pm | Maharashtra

3 more test coronavirus positive in Maharashtra, tally rises to 196

With three more persons testing positive for coronavirus in Maharashtra, the number of such patients in the state has gone up to 196, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on Sunday.

However, he did not specify the places where these three new patients belong to.

“Three more people have tested positive, taking the tally to 196. However, 34 people have been discharged so far in the state. So the number of active COVID-19 patients in the state is 155,” Tope said.

All the cured and discharged people have been advised to observe mandatory home quarantine for 14 days from the date of discharge, he said.

“The current count of COVID-19 patients in the state is 196- Mumbai and Thane Region 107, Pune 37, Nagpur 13, Ahmednagar 3, Ratnagiri 1, Aurangabad 1, Yavatmal 3, Miraj 25, Satara 2, Sindhudurg 1, Kolhapur 1, Jalgaon 1 and Buldhana 1,” he said.

5.00 pm | India

Indian Railways extends its medical services to all central govt. employees

Indian Railways has extended services of all its hospitals and dispensaries to all central government employees and their families in view of the spread of coronavirus, a Railway Board order said.

The services include those of all 128 hospitals and 586 dispensaries of the Indian Railways all over the country.


4.40 pm | West Bengal

Coronavirus | Migrant workers returning to Balarampur village in West Bengal told to live in trees

The families and villagers of seven migrant labourers returning home to Balarampur village in West Bengal’s Purulia district were told to make trees their home during self-quarantine.

Also read | An urgent appeal for immediate assistance to migrant workers

According to local MLA, Shantiram Mahato, the labourers had returned on March 27 and were advised self- quarantine for 14 days as a precaution against COVID-19.


4.20 pm | India

Focus on clusters with high numbers of cases: Health Ministry

"We are focusing attention on clusters where there are a high number of cases," said Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agrawal.

"10 empowered groups constituted to manage medical management, improve quarantining facilities, upgrade healthcare facilities. These groups will coordinate.

"1.25 lakh wagons of essential goods consisting of sugar, grains, oil etc have been transported.

"By and large, lockdown is being implemented well," said Home Ministry spokesperson Punya Salila Shrivastava.

"Stranded labour has to be taken care of. Labourers must be quarantined for 14 days. Their wages must be paid in full. No rent to be charged from them for a month," Mr. Shrivastava added.

"We have conducted 35,000 tests," said Dr. Raman R. Gangakhedkar of ICMR. "We are using 30% of our testing capacity."

"Abbot test that detects covid in 5mins not yet available in India. But it's an antibody test, not a PCR test," Mr. Gangakhedkar said.

The government's toll-free number 08046110007 was also shared, for anyone facing mental health problems. It is coordinated by NIMHANS.

--Jacob Koshy

4.00 pm | Goa

Two more cases in Goa

Two more COVID-19 positive cases have been recorded in Goa, taking total cases to 5.

One of the patients had returned from the Bahamas, while the other was in touch with one of the three men who had tested positive earlier this week.

-- Aditya Anand

3.50 pm | Kerala

Migrant workers stage protest defying lockdown

High drama prevailed in Payipad town on the outskirts of the Kottayam district on Sunday morning when hundreds of  inter-state migrant workers  staged a public protest defying the country-wide lock down.

The protests began by 11 a.m when the  inter-state migrants , mostly from West Bengal and Assam, staged a blockade on the Changanassery-Mallappilly Road demanding food and travel facility for returning to their homelands. The attempts by the police and the Payippad Panchayat authorities to pacify the protesters are yet to reach a breakthrough.


3.45 pm | India

Defence Ministry employees to contribute one day's salary to PM-CARES Fund

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has approved a proposal for the contribution of one-day salary by the employees of Ministry of Defence to the PM-CARES Fund to fight COVID-19.

It is estimated that around Rs 500 crore will be collectively provided to the fund from various wings, including the three Services Defence PSUs and others, according to the Ministry pf Defence.

-- Dinakar Peri

3.40 pm | Punjab

Punjab govt issues advisory, asks industry not to sack workers, reduce wages

The Punjab government has issued an advisory to industries and commercial establishments in the state, asking them not to terminate employees or deduct their wages, as non-essential factories remain shut due to a countrywide lockdown to combat coronavirus.

Any employee who takes leave due to the COVID-19 pandemic should be treated on duty as also the workers of factories or units made non-operational by any government order over coronavirus, the advisory said.


3.30 pm | India

Indian Railways apprehend "enormous" rush to hospitals soon

The Indian Railways apprehend an "enormous" rush to hospitals soon and have decided to hire the services of retired para-medical staff.

In a note to all General Managers of Zonal Railways and Production Units, the Railway Board on Saturday said "keeping in view the pandemic situation because of the outbreak of Coronavirus disease, it is apprehended that extra para-medical staff will be required for handling the enormous rush expected in few weeks."

3.15 pm | Haryana

Haryana govt provides over 800 buses to UP to ferry migrant workers to their villages

The Haryana government has provided over 800 State roadways buses to Uttar Pradesh to ferry migrant workers stranded on the Delhi-Ghaziabad border to their villages, officials said.

The decision was taken in view of the current situation on the border with large number of migrant workers assembling near Anand Vihar bus terminus, Haryana Transport Minister Mool Chand Sharma told PTI over phone.

“The U.P. government had made a request to us to provide nearly 1,000 buses,” he said.

“The buses have been sent from Karnal, Panipat, Sonipat, Rohtak, Jhajjar, Gurugram, Faridabad, Palwal and Nuh, the places in Haryana which are close to the national capital,” he said.

The buses have been sanitised, drivers and conductors provided masks and hand sanitisers and all other necessary precautions are being taken, he said.


3.00 pm | India

Rahul Gandhi writes to PM Modi

Expressing solidarity with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India's fight against COVID-19, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi asked Mr. Modi to adopt a more "nuanced approach" that factors India's complex realities and unique position.

Mr. Gandhi argued that a complete lockdown could result in "catastrophic" loss of life as unemployed youth rush back to their villages and endangering the elderly population.

In his letter, released by the Congress party hours after the Prime Minister's Man Ki Baat , Mr. Gandhi also offered suggestions to deal with the exodus of migrant workers, informal sector and financial institutions as the Congress leader anticipated a further extension of the lockdown.

2.50 pm | India

Homeless shelters to provide 3 meals a day: HUA Ministry

Urban homeless shelters would provide three meals a day to those living in and around the premises to help people cope with the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry officials said.

The HUA Ministry secretary, Durga Shanker Mishra, said on Saturday that three meals a day would be provided to around 1 lakh people living in and around 1,500 shelters for the homeless in cities.

2.40 pm | India

EPF scheme members can now withdraw non-refundable advance

The Union Labour and Employment Ministry said that it had notified an amendment to the Employees’ Provident Scheme (EPF) allowing members to withdraw non-refundable advance amounts in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic .

As announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on March 26 , the Ministry notified the amendment on March 27, making it effective from March 28.


2.30 pm | India

13 lakh railway employees to donate a day’s salary: Goyal

The Railway Ministry will donate ₹151 crore to PM-CARES fund to help combat the COVID-19 outbreak, Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal said on Sunday.

“Following PM @NarendraModi ji’s call, I, & MoS Suresh Angadi will donate 1 month’s salary & 13 lakh railway & PSU employees will donate 1 day’s salary, equal to ₹151 cr, to PM-CARES fund My grateful thanks to my colleagues & we all pray that our country remains safe and healthy,” said Mr. Goyal in a tweet.


2.20 pm | India

Centre asks States to ensure strict implementation of lockdown

In view of the largescale exodus of migrant workers, the Centre has directed the States to enforce strict implementation of the 21-day lockdown and prohibit movement of people across cities and highways.

Those who have travelled during the lockdown period will be subjected to a minimum 14-day quarantine in government facilities. Detailed instructions on monitoring of such persons during quarantine have been issued to the States, said the government, adding that the three weeks of strict enforcement was essential to contain the COVID-19 spread.

-- Devesh Kumar Pandey

2.15 pm | Rajasthan

One more case in Rajasthan

One more COVID-19 positive case has been reported from Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan. The 21-year-old man came from Philippines to Delhi on March 18 and travelled to Jhunjhunu by taxi.

He was quarantined at home from March 18 to 22 and shifted to a medical quarantine facility on March 23. He developed symptoms on March 26. His sample was collected and sent for testing on March 27. He was tested positive today. Number of patients in Rajasthan is now 56, according to the Medical & Health Department.

--Mohammed Iqbal

2.10 pm | Maharashtra

Maharashtra reduces cost of Shiv Bhojan Thali to ₹5 from ₹10

Maharashtra reduced the cost of Shiv Bhojan Thali to ₹5 from ₹10. This will be applicable till June 2020 as of now. Shiv Bhojan is the State govt's flagship scheme, which gives one full meal at ₹10 and was launched a month ago.

"The scheme will be expanded at every tehsil lever with a target of distributing 1 lakh meals daily to the poor and needy. State will spend Rs 160 crore for the same.

"All political parties, including opposition is together in this battle against the coronavirus.

"I request to all labourers from different States to not go out. Maharashtra govt. will take care of you. We have started 163 centres for the same. Stay where you are.

"Please follow the lockdown. There are still reports that people are coming out. It leads to clash with the police. The situation is nothing less than an emergency. Please follow the orders," CM Uddhav Thackeray said.

-- Alok Deshpande

1.35 pm | Delhi

Stranded workers continue to wait for transport on the Yamuna Expressway

Migrant workers of East Uttar Pradesh coming from Delhi and other parts of U.P., stranded on a street in Lucknow as there was no bus to board at the Qaiserbagh bus station.

Migrant workers of East Uttar Pradesh coming from Delhi and other parts of U.P., stranded on a street in Lucknow as there was no bus to board at the Qaiserbagh bus station.


Hundreds of people remained stranded  at Zero Point  on the Yamuna Expressway on Sunday as migrant workers headed to their homes in Uttar Pradesh, goaded by fears of joblessness and the desire to unite with their families in the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic.


1.30 pm | India

CBI officials donate one day's salary to PM CARES Fund

CBI officials have decided to donate their one day's salary to Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES Fund) to help the Center in its efforts to fight coronavirus in the country.

-- Devesh Kumar Pandey

1.00 pm | Maharashtra

A 40-year-old woman who was suffering from severe chest pain and breathing difficulty died in Mumbai, taking Maharashtra’s death toll to seven.

As of noon, the number of cases in Maharashtra stands at 193.

--Jyoti Shelar

12.20 pm | J&K

Five more test positive in J&K

Five more have tested positive in Jammu and Kashmir, taking the total number of cases to 38.

Two of the cases are from Srinagar, two from Budgam and one from Baramulla, according to Jammu and Kashmir government spokesperson Rohit Kansal.

-- Peerzada Ashiq

12.10 pm | India

SpiceJet pilot tests positive, staff sent on home quarantine

A SpiceJet pilot tested positive for COVID-19, following which the airline says it has asked all staff who came in his  contact to undertake self-quarantine for 14 days.

The airline said that the last flight undertaken by the pilot was from Chennai to Delhi on March 21, following which he was under self quarantine. According to the airline, the pilot did not operate any international flight in March.


11.30 am | Maharashtra

Maharashtra's tally surges  to 193 positive cases

Yet another person in contact with the  Sangli family , 23 of whose members had been previously diagnosed for COVID-19, has tested positive for the virus, taking the total tally in the district to 25 even as the State tally shot up to 193 on Sunday with fresh cases being reported from Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur.

District authorities said that a total lockdown has been imposed in Islampur tehsil — from where 24 of the 25 cases have been reported — for the next three days and the town sealed off for a radius 3.5 km from the residence of the persons diagnosed with the virus.


10.50 am | Madhya Pradesh

Five test positive for COVID-19 in Madhya Pradesh, bringing number of confirmed cases to 40

Four men in Indore and a girl in Ujjain tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, according to the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College, Indore. With this, active cases in Madhya Pradesh have climbed to 38 in Madhya Pradesh.

So far, the State has recorded 40 cases, including two who had succumbed to the illness,

Men aged 40,48,21 and 38, who contracted the illness, are residents of Indore, while the case in Ujjain is a 17-year-old girl. While all have a contact history, none has a travel history.


11.30 am | West Bengal

PM addresses first Mann ki Baat amid COVID-19 lockdown

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the first Mann ki Baat amid the 21-day-long COVID-19 lockdown, on Sunday March 29.

“Today, there is only one issue that is gripping the world. I apologise to the countrymen and my conscience says you will forgive me. When I look at the poor people, they must be thinking what kind of the Prime Minister is this who has put you through this hardship. Some of you may be unhappy with the lockdown," said PM Modi.

"There was only this option. It is a battle for life and death," he added.


10.50 am | India

No fuel crisis in India; enough stock of petrol, diesel, LPG available to last lockdown: IOC

India, the world’s third largest energy consumer, has enough petrol, diesel and cooking gas (LPG) in stocks to last way beyond the three-week nationwide lockdown as all plants and supply locations are fully operational, Indian Oil Corp (IOC) Chairman Sanjiv Singh said.

Mr. Singh said there is no shortage of any fuel in the country and customers should not resort to panic booking of LPG refills.


10.40 am | Gujarat

Gujarat registers 5th death

Another death caused by COVID-19 in Ahmedabad has taken the death toll of Gujarat to five.

The 47-year-old man was admitted to the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital on Sunday morning. He was suffering from diabetes. With his death, the death toll in Ahmedabad climbs to three.

The health department said that the total number of coronavirus infections in the State is currently 58.

10.20 am | Maharashtra

Seven new cases detected in Maharashtra

Seven more cases of COVID-19 positive patients have been detected in Maharashtra, confirmed the Chief Minister's Office on Sunday.

Four cases have been confirmed in Mumbai, and one each in Pune, Sangli and Nagpur districts. This brings the total number of cases in the State to 193.

10.15 am | Tamil Nadu


The Directorate of Medical Education has postponed the admission process to postgraduate programmes in the State following lockdown due to COVID19.

 "The publication of merit list and counselling for admission to PG/MDS courses 2020-2021 session stands postponed till further orders," it informed via the website.

10.10 am | Jammu and Kashmir

 Second death in J&K, 33 positives cases so far

Jammu and Kashmir witnessed the second COVID19-inflicted death on Sunday even as 33 have tested positive in the Union Territory so far.

“There has been an unfortunate demise of another patient in Srinagar in the morning,” said J&K spokesman Rohit Kansal.

9.15 am | India

Kiren Rijiju donates one-month salary for fight against COVID-19 pandemic

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Saturday donated his one month salary over and above Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s directive to all BJP MPs to contribute ₹1-crore from MPLAD funds in the country’s fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

“PM Narendra Modi ji announced #PMCares Fund to strengthen disaster management capacities and to encourage research on protecting citizens. It accepts micro-donations too. Let us contribute to make India healthier and more prosperous for our future generations. I’ve donated my one month salary,” Mr. Rijiju wrote on his Facebook page.

“Also keeping in touch with District Administration and authorized my nodal DC to use my MPLAD funds to purchase emergency medical kits to fight #COVID-19,” he added.


8.45 am | USA

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative pledges USD 25M to fund researching COVID-19 treatments

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the philanthropic arm of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, has announced plans to team up with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to donate $25 million to a research fund exploring possible COVID-19 treatments.

“I’m really proud to share that (The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is) going to be joining Gates and others to put together something they’re calling the therapeutics accelerator to fight coronavirus,” Ms. Chan told CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King.

Ms. Chan told Ms. King that their goal is “to fund a group to screen all the drugs that we know have potential effects against coronavirus.”

The contribution from Mr. Zuckerberg and his wife comes after the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator earlier in March. The initiative started with $125 million in seed funding at its launch.

- AP

8.30 am | Italy

Italy’s death toll tops 10,000, becomes highest in world

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.


8.15 am | USA

In rare case, US infant dies from COVID-19

A U.S. infant has died from the COVID-19 illness, officials in the state of Illinois said on Saturday, marking an extremely rare case of juvenile death in the global pandemic.

The state Department of Public Health said the child who died in Chicago was younger than one year old and had tested positive for COVID-19.

“There has never before been a death associated with COVID-19 in an infant,” the department’s director Ngozi Ezike said in a statement.

A full investigation is underway to determine the cause of death, said authorities. Multiple studies have found the virus disproportionately affects older patients and those with underlying conditions.


8 am | USA

Deaths in U.S. surge past 2,000

Deaths from new coronavirus in the United States surged past 2,000 Saturday, doubling in just three days, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

The number of deaths late Saturday was 2,010, about a quarter of them in New York City, the country's hardest hit region, Johns Hopkins reported. That is fewer than the 10,023 in Italy, Spain’s 5,812, China’s 3,299 or the  2,314 in France , the tally showed.

7.45 am | Karnataka

Fresh restrictions in Hassan

The district administration has announced fresh restrictions on petrol pumps and  shops selling essential things in Hassan, with effect from Sunday.

The petrol pumps, grocery shops, milk booths, malls and others establishments that sell other essential things like vegetables will be open between 7 a.m. and 12 noon on all odd days in a week. On even days, only circulation of newspapers and sale of milk will be allowed between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m.

There is no restriction on medical shops. Hotels are allowed to offer home deliveries. Only two petrol pumps in each city limits will be allowed to open throughout the day.

The administration took this decision after J.C.Madhuswamy, Minister in-charge of the district, held a meeting in Hassan on Saturday.

7.30 am | Canada

Canadian PM's wife has recovered from coronavirus illness

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife said that she has recovered from being ill from COVID-19.

"I am feeling so much better,” Sophie Gregoire Trudeau said in a statement on social media. She said she received the clearance from her doctor and Ottawa Public Health.

Mr. Trudeau’s office announced on March 12 that she had tested positive for the coronavirus after she fell ill upon returning from a trip to London.

The Prime Minister and his family have been in self isolation at home since then. He and their three children didn’t show symptoms.

- AP

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