Coronavirus India lockdown day 7 updates | March 31, 2020

Global death toll tops 40,000.

Updated - March 31, 2020 11:06 pm IST

Published - March 31, 2020 09:27 am IST

Firefighters spray disinfectant on a residential building at Todhunter Nagar in Saidapet, Chennai, on Tuesday, March 31, 2020.

Firefighters spray disinfectant on a residential building at Todhunter Nagar in Saidapet, Chennai, on Tuesday, March 31, 2020.

As India is under lockdown for a week now, the government has said the 21-day period will not be extended. The country is seeing a spurt in the number of coronavirus cases, with Gujarat, Punjab, Telangana and West Bengal reporting deaths.

Also read |No plans to extend lockdown: says Cabinet Secretary

COVID-19 has claimed 47 lives in India as of March 31, according to data from the Health Ministry and State governments. As many as 1403 people have tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Hindu  has brought out a multi-language e-book  on essential COVID-19 information, in addition to  covering the developments  related to the coronavirus pandemic as it unfolded.

Here are  answers from experts  on your queries about the virus, a list of  State Helpline numbers , and  a map of confirmed cases in India .

The new 24/7 national helpline numbers are  1075 , 1800-112-545  and 011-23978046 .


The Prime Minister has announced a WhatsApp helpdesk number :   9013151515 .

Here are the latest updates:

10.20 pm | World count

World death toll tops 40,000

The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 40,000 people worldwide with nearly three-quarters of the deaths in Europe, according to an AFP tally on Tuesday using official figures.

A total of 40,057 deaths have been recorded across the world, including 29,305 in Europe, with Italy registering 12,428, followed by Spain with 8,189 and China with 3,305.

Since the virus emerged in China in December, 803,645 global infections have been confirmed, more than half of them in Europe, which has 440,928.;

The United States and Canada has 172,071 cases and 3,243 deaths and Asia has 108,421 cases with 3,882 deaths.

10.10 pm | Bengaluru

Section 144 extended till April 14 in Karnataka

Prohibitory orders in Bengaluru under Section 144 of the CrPC have been extended from March 31 midnight to April 14 in view of the growing number of COVID-19 patients in the State, Bengaluru Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao said.

Mr. Rao noted that it had become imperative to take stringent measures in the jurisdiction of commissionerate of Bengaluru city to prevent the spread of the disease.

Those exempted from the lockdown are essential services, defence, police forces,public utilities, electricity, sanitation, APMC Mandis, hospitals and transport of essential services.

The Commissioner said all schools and places of worship will remain shut.


10 pm | New Delhi

Government promulgates Ordinance to give effect to various relief measures related to income tax and GST compliance.


10 pm | Jerusalem

After PM Netanyahu, Israel’s army chief goes into quarantine

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen Aviv Kochavi, along with two of his senior commanders, went into isolation on Tuesday after a senior commander they came in contact with recently was tested positive for coronavirus, the army said.

The development came a day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his close advisers were placed under quarantine after an aide on parliament affairs tested positive for COVID-19.

Lt. Gen Kochavi, along with Home Front Command head Maj. Gen. Tamir Yadai and Operations Directorate Commander Gen. Aharon Haliva, had attended a meeting 10 days ago in which a commander in the reserves, who later tested positive for the virus, participated.


9.55 pm | Chandigarh

Total cases in Chandigarh rise to 15

Two more COVID-19 cases were reported in Chandigarh, taking the total number of infected persons in the Union Territory to 15, officials said.

Of the two, one in a 31-year-man who has no travel history. He contracted the infection from a COVID-19 patient, an official statement said.

Another is a 40-year-old city resident who contracted the virus after coming in contact with a person who earlier had tested positive for infection, it said.

The city administration has ordered a massive search for contact tracing and quarantine of their contacts, the release said.


9.50 pm | New Delhi

Indiabulls Group pledges Rs. 21 crore to PM-CARES Fund

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic that has spread across the world, the Indiabulls Group today pledged Rs. 21 crore to the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund’(PM-CARES Fund), it said in a statement.


9.30 pm | London

U.K. reports record 381 coronavirus deaths in 24 hours

Britain reported a record daily coronavirus toll of 381 today (March 31), more than double the number of nationwide deaths posted in the previous 24 hours.

“As of 5 p.m. (1600 GMT) on 30 March, of those hospitalised in the U.K., 1,789 have sadly died,” the Health Ministry said on its Twitter page, up from 1,408 on March 30.

The patients were aged between 19 and 98, and all but 28 had underlying health conditions, NHS England said in a statement.

The country’s previous highest daily toll was 260, recorded on March 28, with the number dropping to 180 on March 30.

Some 25,150 people have now tested positive for the virus in Britain, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a daily increase of 3,009.


9 pm | Lagos

Lagos in lockdown

Africa's largest city Lagos appeared deserted after Nigeria locked down its economic hub and shuttered its capital, in the continent's latest effort to brake the juggernaut of coronavirus.

Businesses were closed, markets abandoned and streets empty as the megacity of 20 million, along with the capital Abuja, shuddered to a halt on the first full day of a two-week shutdown.


8.30 pm | New Delhi

Enforcement Directorate officials donate one day's salary to PM-CARES relief fund.

8.15 pm | Mumbai

"State has enough ration supply, trust us," says Uddhav Thackeray

"After corona, we will be facing financial crisis. We have to take actions from now itself. We will be giving government employees salaries in instalments. No salary cut is announced," Uddhav Thackeray  tells reporters.

He says that the decisive phase of the fight against corona was currently on and adds, "If there are foreign travellers who have yet not tested themselves, then they should come forward."

"Even if they have travelled to the countries not listed by the Centre, they should come forward to get themselves tested," he appeals.

"Avoid drinking cold drinks and cold water. Avoid using AC. This is not a treatment for the virus, but steps to avoid getting infected with cough and cold," Mr. Thackeray says.

"I again appeal to private medical practitioners to open their hospitals. Treat all, except those suffering from cough and cold. Government doctors will treat them."

"2 lakh labourers are being given food. Over 1,000 centres are opened. Do not move anywhere. Entire country is under a lockdown. There is enough supply of ration with the State. Trust us. There will be no shortage," he says.

He apologises for any inconvenience and concludes, "Do not hide any symptoms of cold, cough and fever. Come forward and get treated."

- Alok Deshpande

8 pm | Chennai

50 new cases of COVID-19 in T.N.

50 more people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Tamil Nadu, taking the total n umber of positive cases in the State to 124.

7.55 pm | Time

Assam gets first COVID-19 patient

A 52-year-old has tested positive for COVID-19 in Assam. He is Assam's first CIOVID-19 patient. He is undergoing treatment at Silchar Medical College. His condition is stable, tweets Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

7.45 pm | Rishikesh

U.S. tourist tests positive for COVID-19 after her return from Rishikesh

A U.S. national, who stayed here for several days, tested positive for COVID-19 after her return on March 13, officials said.

She posted her health update on a social media post recently, causing concern among officials here as she had come in contact with quite a few people during her stay in a resort here, Narendra Nagar SDM Yukta Mishra said.

People who had come in contact with the woman have been identified, she said, adding action is being taken as per treatment protocol of COVID-19.

Muni ki Reti police station in-charge Ram Kishore Saklani said the woman had stayed in a resort in Sarai area.


7.30 pm | Bihar

Five new cases in Bihar

With five new cases of COVID-19 in Bihar - four from Siwan and one from Gaya - the total number in the State stands at 21.

- Amarnath Tewary

7.10 pm | New Delhi

Case registered against Maulana Saad and others of Tableeqi Jamaat

Case registered against Maulana Saad and others of Tableeqi Jamaat under Section 3 of Epidemic Disease Act, 1897 read with Sections 269, 270, 271 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code for violation of government directions given to the management of Markaz of Basti Nizamuddin regarding restriction of social/political/religious gathering and for taking safety measures, including social distancing for prevention and treatment of COVID-19 viral infection.

- Saurabh

6.50 pm | Islamabad

Pakistan Cabinet approves Rs. 1,200 bn relief package as coronavirus cases rise

Pakistan’s Cabinet approved a Rs. 1,200-billion relief package to deal with the growing coronavirus crisis in the country as COVID-19 cases rose sharply, claiming the lives of 25 people and infecting nearly 1,900.

The package was unveiled by Prime Minister Imran Khan last week and it was formalised on March 30 by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) in its meeting, chaired by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh.

Prime Minister Khan chaired the Cabinet meeting which granted approval to the relief package on March 31, his Advisor on Information Firdous Ashiq Aawan told the media. The Cabinet unanimously approved Rs. 1,200-billion coronavirus relief package with the commitment that it would help defeat the virus, said Awan.


6.45 pm | Lucknow

7 new cases detected in U.P.

Seven new cases of COVID-19 reported in Uttar Pradesh. Five in Bareilly and one each in Noida and Ghaziabad.

Total caases in the State now stand at 103.

- Omar Rashid

6.15 pm | Gujarat

A COVID-19 patient who died in Bhavnagar last week had attended the Tabligh Jamaat religious congregation. A total of six people had attended it, says Gujarat police.

- Mahesh Langa

6.10 pm | Jammu

Army assists 36 stranded people in J&K’s Rajouri

The Army assisted 36 stranded people including students and labourers with food, water and other essential items in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district, officials said.

Amid the ongoing lockdown, 21 casual labourers and two students, who were travelling from Srinagar to Thanamandi via Poshana on old Mughal road were stranded at Dogrian in the district, PRO, Defence said.

The Army provided them rations, water, soap, medicines and coronavirus protection kits comprising of masks, gloves and hand sanitisers.


6 pm | New Delhi

Letters issued to States to trace and quarantine those who visited India for Tabligh activities: MHA

Ministry of Home Affairs says around 2,100 foreigners visited India for Tabligh activities since January 1. As on 21 March, 824 dispersed to different parts of the country and as many as 216 of them were staying at Nizamuddin Markaz. Letters have been issued to all States to trace and quarantine them.

On March 28, the State police were advised to collect the names of the Indian Tabligh Jamaat workers from the local coordinators, locate them on the ground, get them medically screened and quarantine them. So far, about 2,137 such persons have been identified in different States.

- Vijaita Singh

5.50 pm | Raipur

Two COVID-19 patients discharged in Chhattisgarh

Two COVID-19 patients, including an elderly man, were discharged from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here in Chhattisgarh following their recovery, hospital authorities said.

A 68-year-old man from Raipur and a 33-year-old man from Bhilai in Durg district were discharged from the hospital a week after they tested positive, Dr Karan Peepre, Medical Superintendent, AIIMS, told PTI .

The two were admitted to the government-run hospital after they tested positive for the novel coronavirus on March 25, he said.


5.45 pm | Chennai

T.N. extends property tax, water cess deadlines

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami "requests" landlords to defer the collection of house rents from tenants for March and April to "after two months" in view of the prevailing circumstances.

The CM also said deadline for paying property tax and water cess stands extended for three months (until June 30, 2020).

- Dennis Jesudasan

5.40 pm | New Delhi

"Officers won't be spared for any lapse"

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Nizamuddin congregation:

There is no community transmission of coronavirus yet in Delhi.

1,548 people, who attended the religious congregation at Nizamuddin markas (centre), have been evacuated. Of those who attended the gathering, 441 people have been admitted to hospitals while 1,107 have been quarantined.

If there is any lapse on part of any officer, he will not be spared.

It is wrong to organise large gatherings of people in wake of coronavirus outbreak. Delhi govt has written to L-G Anil Baijal for registering an FIR in connection with the Nizamuddin religious congregation. 

I appeal to all religious leaders not to do this irrespective of their religion. I will not hesitate to take strict action in such cases where lives of people are put in danger.

At this time, we need testing kits, ventilators, personal protective gear. Anyone who wants to donate such equipment is welcome.


5.30 pm | Jharkhand

Jharkhand reports first case of coronavirus after woman tests positive for COVID-19, says official.


5.15 pm | Maharashtra

Now, Maharashtra govt says no pay cut, salary to be disbursed in two installments

Hours after announcing cut in salaries of all elected representatives, including the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister and all ministers, Maharashtra government has withdrawn it.

Instead, the government will be disbursing the March salary in two installments.


5.10 pm | Odisha

The Odisha government said that three persons from the State who attended a religious conference at a centre in Nizamuddin West in Delhi have been quarantined in government hospitals.

Their families have been advised home isolation. Efforts are on to trace some other people who also participated in the said event.

--Prafulla Das

5.00 pm | India

Govt. sanctions ₹10-crore special fund for CRPF for relief works

The Union Home Ministry has granted a special ₹10-crore fund to the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), enabling it undertake relief works for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic , officials said.

COVID-19 | Interactive map of confirmed coronavirus cases in India

The fund, as per a March 30 Home Ministry order, accessed by PTI , is meant “to procure COVID-19 preventive items.”


4.55 pm | India

Srinagar COVID-19 victim attended Nizamuddin event, travelled widely

A Srinagar-based businessman who attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Nizamuddin travelled by air, train and road to Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and back to Jammu and Kashmir before he died of COVID-19, raising fears he may have infected many others along the way, officials said.


4.50 pm | Iran

Iran's death toll from coronavirus climbs to 2,898: Health Ministry

Iran's death toll from coronavirus has reached 2,898, with 141 deaths in the past 24 hours, Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur told state TV on Tuesday, adding that the total number of infections has jumped to 44,606.

“In the past 24 hours, there have been 3,111 new cases of infected people. Unfortunately, 3,703 of the infected people are in a critical condition,” Mr. Jahanpur said.


4.40 pm | India

Mass migration defeats preventive measures: MHA report in SC

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) told the Supreme Court that the 21-day national lockdown was "inevitable" in the face of an "unprecedented global crisis" like COVID-19. The government blamed "fake and misleading" messages on social media about COVID-19 for creating widespread panic, which led to mass "barefoot" journey of migrant workers from cities to their native villages in rural India.

"Deliberate or inadvertent fake news and material capable of causing serious panic in the minds of the public is found to be the single most unmanageable hindrance in the management of this challenge... Will set up a separate unit headed by a joint secretary level officer in the health ministry and consisting of eminent specialist doctors from recognised institutions like AIIMS to answer the queries of citizens," MHA's 39-page status report assured.

--Krishnadas Rajagopal

4.30 pm | Kerala

Alcohol will now be made available to those experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms: Kerala govt.

Alcohol will now be made available to those experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms, as per the new government order on Monday.

The ‘patient’ has to take an OP ticket at a health centre or a hospital in the government sector and get examined for withdrawal symptoms. When the doctor’s prescription is shown at an Excise Department office, a pass for a specified quantity of alcohol will be given.


4.10 pm | India

Increase in cases due to lack of support from people: Health Ministry

"There has been an increase in number of cases due to lack of support from people and cases not being apprised of in time," Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agrawal said. "There have been instances of landlords evicting doctors and nurses."

"WHO has not given categorical guidance on use of masks. Ministry of Health says it is still examining PSA guidelines on masks. Suitable guidance to be issued soon," Mr. Agrawal added.

"21,000 relief camps have been set up and around 6,00,000 have been given shelter and 23 lakh provided food, according to information from States. This is for migrant labourers and the poor and destitute," a Home Ministry spokesperson said. "Situation of migrant labourers is under control."

"We have tested 42,788 samples; 4346 were tested yesterday. It is at 36% of our capacity. 399 have been tested in private labs," said Dr. Raman R. Gangakhedkar of ICMR.

"There are 3 kinds of strains of Cov-2 circulating in India. There is no evidence so far that the virus would affect Indians any differently than people in other countries," he added. "Those who are not sick or showing symptoms need not wear masks. It depends on risk of exposure."

"The cases we are now seeing is from 2 weeks ago because incubation is 14 days. Effect of lockdown can be judged once the effect of old cases are accounted for," Mr. Gangakhedkar further said.

--Jacob Koshy

4.05 pm | Odisha

Odisha churches resort to live-streaming of worship

At a time when religious congregations are seen as places that facilitate faster spread of  Coronavirus , churches in Odisha are using technology to make the faithful participate in Sunday worship from remote locations — a first in local church history.

After the  Odisha government  asked the authorities of religious institutions to practice social distancing, Internet-based social media came to the rescue of the church leadership.


4.00 pm | India

Modified rail coaches to provide 3.2 lakh isolation beds: Indian Railways

Further fine-tuning its plans to offer 20,000 coaches converted into isolation wards for coronavirus patients, the Indian Railways said these coaches can accommodate up to 3.2 lakh possible beds.

It has also earmarked targets for its 16 zones, with the South Central Railways headquartered at Secunderabad in Telangana leading the pack with 486 coaches being allocated for conversion, followed by Mumbai headquartered Central Railway being allocated 482 coaches.


3.50 pm | India

Vodafone Idea offers prepaid validity extension for low-income feature phone subscribers

Vodafone Idea on Tuesday announced an extension of validity on prepaid plans availed by low income customers using feature phones till April 17, and ₹10 talktime credit to help such users stay connected during the lockdown to contain coronavirus pandemic.


3.45 pm | Tamil Nadu

Maintenance allowance for persons with disabilities to be paid in advance

The Tamil Nadu government has announced that the maintenance allowance to persons with disabilities would be paid in advance for two months to beneficiaries.

In an official release, the State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities and Director for Welfare of the Differently Abled, said the advance payment of maintenance allowance for two months would be made to protect the livelihood of persons with disabilities who are already benefiting under this scheme.


3.40 pm | India

Air India pilots say safety protocols during COVID-19 ops inadequate

Air India pilots have expressed concern over “flimsy protective gear, inadequate sanitisers, shoddy disinfection procedure” as they embark on flights chartered by countries like Germany and the UK to repatriate their citizens stranded in India due to the nationwide lockdown over  COVID-19 .


3.30 pm | Spain

Spain registers overnight death toll of 849, highest so far

Spain registered 849 fatalities related to coronavirus overnight - the highest number in 24 hours since the epidemic started, although the increase in percentage terms was slightly lower than in the previous days, the Health Ministry said.

The death toll rose to 8,189 on Tuesday from 7,340 on Monday, while the number of cases rose to 94,417 on Tuesday from 85,195 on Monday.


3.10 pm | Rajasthan

Nine Indians who returned from Iran test positive

Nine Indians who returned from Iran recently and were quarantined at the Army wellness centre in Jaisalmer have tested positive for COVID-19, Army sources said. They are among the 17 positive cases detected among evacuees from Iran.

Presently, there are 484 people at the Jaisalmer facility.

“Six evacuees at Jaisalmer facility and one at Jodhpur facility tested positive on Monday. Three more evacuees tested positive to COVID-19 at Jaisalmer today,” an Army source said.

-- Dinakar Peri


3.00 pm | India

Use more masks, India's top science advisory body recommends

India's highest science advisory body has recommended the widespread use of masks. The Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor's (OPSA) is a key coordinating agency among government scientific bodies and industry to accelerate decisions on dealing with COVID-19.

It doesn't recommend the use of the health mask or the N95 mask that are expensive, not-reusable and largely used in hospital settings.

-- Jacob Koshy


2.50 pm | India

SC directs govt. to ensure welfare of migrant workers, orders setting up of portal to disseminate information

The Supreme Court directed the government to ensure that migrant workers who have been stopped from crossing the inter-State borders are provided food, shelter and medicines in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

A Bench led by Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde, through video-conferencing, asked the government to tap community and religious leaders to speak to the migrant workers lodged in shelters. The court asked the government to have trained counsellors talk to the workers.

-- Krishnadas Rajagopal

2.45 pm | India

SpiceJet to cut 10%-30% salary of all employees in March

Budget carrier SpiceJet has decided to cut 10%-30% salary of all its employees in March, with Chairman Ajay Singh opting for highest 30% trimming in compensation, the airline said in an e-mail communication to the staff.

“SpiceJet management has decided to implement a pay cut between 10-30 per cent in March across our employee base. Our Chairman and Managing Director (Ajay singh), in fact, has opted for the highest cut of 30 per cent in compensation,” the airline said in the communication.


2.40 pm | Rajasthan

Four new cases in Rajasthan

Four more COVID-19 cases have been reported in Rajasthan today, one each from Jaipur, Ajmer, Jhunjhunu and Dungarpur.

With this, the number of positive cases in the State has increased to 76. Along with the 17 positive cases among the evacuees from Iran, staying in Jodhpur and Jaisalmer, the overall number is 93.

-- Mohammed Iqbal

2.35 pm | Karnataka

45 from Karnataka participated in Tablighi Jamaat conference

As many as 45 from Karnataka participated in the Tablighi Jamaat conference in Nizamuddin West in Delhi. Many people from across the country who  tested positive for COVID-19 had attended the conference  or were close contacts of the participants.


2.30 pm | Tamil Nadu

Siddha concoction goes viral in Tamil Nadu

A Siddha concoction called Kabasura Kudineer is in high demand in Tamil Nadu. People are queueing up at Siddha pharmacies and hospitals to buy this medicine after videos went viral that it can prevent novel coronavirus.

People crowd at a Siddha clinic inside Government Pentland Hospital, Vellore, to get a herbal concoction called Kabasura Kudineer.

People crowd at a Siddha clinic inside Government Pentland Hospital, Vellore, to get a herbal concoction called Kabasura Kudineer.


While there is no study available to categorically back this claim, Siddha practitioners have been recommending it as a regular preventive medicine to relieve throat pain.

The herbal concoction, a mixture of 15 herbs including Nilavembu, Karpooravalli and Lavangam, was suggested as a preventive medicine during the 2015 swine flu outbreak.

2.25 pm | Madhya Pradesh

One more case in Madhya Pradesh

A person who had returned from London and escaped from quarantine in Indore has tested positive for COVID-19. Cases in Madhya Pradesh climb to 66.

He had run away to Bhopal, where he got himself admitted to a hospital, but didn't have contact with anyone in the city, said Tarun Kumar Pithode, Bhopal Collector.

-- Sidharth Yadav

2.20 pm | Uttar Pradesh

UP police book mufti of Bijnor mosque after 8 Indonesians coming from Delhi Jamaat meet found there

Five members of a mosque in Bijnor, including the maulvi, have been booked for allegedly hiding information about the presence of Indonesian nationals who had returned after attending the Tablighi Jamaat meeting in Delhi on March 21 .

The 8 foreigners have been put under home quarantine, said a police officer.

-- Omar Rashid


2.15 pm | Tamil Nadu

Food packets distributed among migrant workers

Greater Chennai Corporation Zone 7 Ambattur and Ambattur Estate Police Station inspector Vijayaragavan Team distribute food packets to various migrant labourers  from various States, at Menambedu Road, Coramandal, Amattur Estate on Tuesday, March 31, 2020.

Greater Chennai Corporation Zone 7 Police Inspector Vijayaragavan's team distributes food packets to migrant labourers from various States, at Menambedu Road, Coramandal, Ambattur Estate on Tuesday, March 31, 2020.


2.10 pm | J&K

Six new cases in Kashmir

Six more COVID-19 cases have been detected in J&K on Tuesday, taking the toll to 55.

"Six new positive cases were confirmed in the Kashmir division. All contacts of previous positive cases," said J&K spokesman Rohit Kansal.

The fresh cases come a day after 11, including a doctor, tested positive for COVID-19. The doctor contracted the virus at the microbiology division of the Government Medical College, Jammu.

--Peerzada Ashiq

2.00 pm | Punjab

Punjab reports fourth death

Punjab reported its fourth death due to COVID-19.

A 65-year-old patient, a resident of Nayagaon in Ajit Singh Nagar district, who was tested positive for COVID- 19 has died, Deputy Commissioner Girish Dayalan told The Hindu.

--Vikas Vasudeva

1.50 PM

AP, Telangana tracing people who attended Nizamuddin event

After Telangana reported six deaths on Monday — all of them who had been to the Tablighi Jamaat meet in New Delhi — the Telugu states have stepped up the vigil.

As many as 70 people who attended the meet have been quarantined at Rayalaseema University, while 41 have been sent to isolation ward in Visakhapatnam.

Telangana police have launched a massive exercise to track them down.

Authorities on the Telangana-Maharashtra inter-State border on Penganga river on NH 44 in Adilabad district intercepted a lorry carrying 32 passengers in the small hours Tuesday.

The passengers, who were headed for their homes in Medipally in Jagtial district were returning from the Tablighi Jamaat held at Nizamuddin in New Delhi between March 13 and 15.

1.30 pm | India

Bharti Enterprises, Petronet LNG and Hero Group commit Rs 100 crore each

Petronet LNG, Bharti Enterprises and Hero Group have separately committed Rs 100 crore each to support efforts to combat the COVID-19 in the country.

While Petronet LNG said that the entire sum will be contributed to the PM CARES Fund, Bharti Enterprises and Hero Group will put a part of the contribution in the Fund and a part will be spent on other relief efforts.

-- Yuthika Bhargava

1.20 pm | Madhya Pradesh

17 new cases in Madhya Pradesh

COVID-19 cases continue to spiral in Indore , the most populous city of Madhya Pradesh, with 17 residents testing positive on Tuesday. 44 of the State's 65 cases are from Indore. Three have succumbed to the disease in the city.

--Sidharth Yadav

1.00 pm | Delhi

1,000 evacuated from Nizamuddin centre; sent to hospitals, quarantine facilities

Over 1,000 people have been evacuated from a centre in Nizamuddin West in Delhi till Tuesday morning,  amid a novel coronavirus scare at a centre  where a religious conference had attracted participation of people from several States.


12.50 pm

G20 Trade Ministers agree to ensure uninterrupted flow of vital medical supplies

Trade and investment Ministers of the G-20 group have agreed to ensure fair trade and continued flow of vital medicines as well as other essential goods to tackle  COVID-19 pandemic .

According to a joint statement issued after a video conference, the ministers agreed to support the availability and accessibility of essential medical supplies at affordable prices, on an equitable basis, where they are most needed and will guard against profiteering and unjustified price increases.


12.40 pm | Maharashtra

Maharashtra govt announces cut in salaries of all elected representatives

The Maharashtra government has announced a cut in salaries of all elected representatives, including Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister and all Ministers.

The pay cut is by 60% for all elected representatives and by 50% for Class I and II employees. Class III employees are to have 25% salary cut. There will be no cut in salaries of Class IV employees.

This pay cut is applicable for the salary of March 2020.

This decision has been taken after discussing with representatives of government employee unions, Deputy CM and State Finance Minister Ajit Pawar said.

-- Alok Deshpande

12.30 pm | Delhi

Over 20,000 houses marked ‘home quarantine’ in Delhi: Lt Governor

Over 20,000 houses have been marked as “home quarantine” by the Delhi government in the wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak, Lieutenant Governor (LG) Anil Baijal said.

Taking to Twitter, Mr. Baijal said the number of food distribution centres will also be increased to ensure social distancing in the national capital.


12.15 pm | Telangana

Returnees of Jamaat in New Delhi’s Nizamuddin stopped at Telangana-Maharashtra border

Authorities on the Telangana-Maharashtra inter-State border on Penganga river on NH 44 in Adilabad district intercepted a lorry carrying 32 passengers in the small hours Tuesday.

The passengers , who were headed for their homes in Medipally in Jagtial district were returning from the  Tablighi Jamaat  held at Nizamuddin in New Delhi between March 13 and 15.

12.15 pm | Uttar Pradesh

Ambulance workers in U.P. threaten to halt work

Around 16,000 emergency ambulance workers in Uttar Pradesh have threatened to stop work if the company hiring them did not provide them with proper protective gear while handling the  COVID-19  cases.

They have also demanded that their salary, which is allegedly not paid since January, be immediately released for them to carry out their work.


12.00 pm | Maharashtra

The total number of cases reported from Maharashtra has climbed to 230.

-- Jyoti Shelar

11.50 am | West Bengal

Third death in West Bengal

West Bengal recorded its third death due to COVID-19. The patient was a 48-year-old woman from Howrah district who was admitted to Howrah State General Hospital and died late on Monday evening even before the test reports were received by the hospital  authorities.

"We had got the samples by 12 noon  and by later in the evening we confirmed that the patient from Howrah was suffering from COVID019," a doctor at the Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (IPGMER) and SSKM Hospital, a  State-run testing facility in Kolkata told  The Hindu.

-- Shiv Sahay Singh

11.45 am | Rajasthan, Assam

47 private hospitals in Jaipur reserved for COVID-19 treatment; MoU inked in Assam

Scaling up its  efforts to tackle  the  COVID-19 outbreak , the Rajasthan government has reserved 47 private hospitals, with a total bed capacity of 5,283, in Jaipur district to meet a crisis situation. The hospital buildings will be used as isolation and quarantine centres when needed in urgency, requiring a swift action.


11.40 pm | Bihar

Bihar reports another COVID-19 positive case, raising the total number of  cases in the State to 16.

-- Amarnath Tewary

11.35 pm | Gujarat

Three more cases in Gujarat

Three more COVID-19 cases have been reported in Gujarat, taking the total toll to 73. So far, there have been six deaths in the State.

Five patients have been discharged. Three of them are more than 60 years of age, according to the State Health Department.

--Mahesh Langa

11.30 pm | Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh toll touches five as Indore woman dies

A 49-year-old woman died of  COVID-19  in Indore on Monday, taking the toll to five in Madhya Pradesh, according to the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College, Indore. The city recorded two deaths on the same day. The patient, who died at 10.20 p.m. on Monday at the MRTB hospital, had no contact or travel history. Besides, she was suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure, according to a bulletin issued by the college.


11.20 pm | Maharashtra

17 new cases in Maharashtra take tally to 225, Buldhana district sealed

Maharashtra saw a further surge in  Covid-19  positive cases on Tuesday with new cases from Pune, Mumbai and Buldhana taking the State’s tally to 225.

Two more cases were reported from Pune district, which recorded its first death resulting from the contagion on Monday, while one was reported from Mumbai and, more worryingly, two new cases were reported from the rural hinterland of Buldhana district in the Amravati division.


11.10 pm | Andhra Pradesh

Cases rise from 23 to 40 overnight in Andhra Pradesh

Seventeen new positive cases have been reported from six districts. Twelve of them attended a religious meeting in Delhi; two were close contacts of those who attended.

--Tharun Boda

11.05 pm | Bihar


Youth beaten to death in Bihar for informing authorities about migrants’ return to village

A youth in Bihar’s Sitamarhi district was beaten to death on March 29 for informing local authorities that two villagers who had returned from Mumbai recently could be infected with  COVID-19 .


11.00 am | Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu reports seven new cases

Tamil Nadu has seven new positive cases , according to a tweet by State Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar.

A 43-year-old man with travel history to Thiruvananthapuram has been admitted to Rajiv Gandhi General Hospital in Chennai.

A 28-year-old male coworker of a patient who tested positive earlier, is undergoing treatment at Tiruvannamalai Medical College Hospital.

Three male patients with travel history to Delhi are at Villupuram Medical College Hospital and two male patients, also with a travel history to Delhi, have been admitted to Madurai Rajaji Hospital.

10.45 am | Kerala

Kerala records second death

Kerala recorded its second COVID-19 death on March 31 after a 68-year-old man, who had been in a critical condition in the ICU at Thiruvananthapuram Government Medical College since the past one week, died.


9.40 am | Chhattisgarh

PM should have consulted State govts. before announcing lockdown, says Chhattisgarh CM

The displacement of lakhs of migrants could have been avoided had Prime Minister Narendra Modi first consulted the State governments, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said in an interview to The Hindu .

“Who is to implement the lockdown ? Can the Union government on its own do so. The answer is no. Ultimately, it’s the State government’s job to implement it. Did the Prime Minister talk to any of the State governments before unilaterally announcing it? No,” Mr. Baghel said, speaking over phone from Raipur.


9.10 am | New Delhi

Nizamuddin markaz had sought help from authorities for vacating premises

The maulana of a markaz in west Nizamuddin in Delhi, from where 24 Covid-19 positive cases have been reported in Delhi alone, wrote to the police on March 25 stating that they had vacated 1,500 people and 1,000 people were still on the premises.


8.00 am | Kerala

Two more positive cases in Wayanad

The total number of people affected by COVID-19 has increased to three in the district with two more persons testing positive on Monday. Of the two confirmed cases, one is a 59-year-old resident of Kambalakkad and another a 22-year-old resident of Muppainad, said District Collector Adeela Abdulla.


8.00 am | India

More labs being opened by ICMR across country

Principal Scientific Adviser to the government K. VijayRaghavan on Monday said the the Indian Council of Medical Research ( ICMR ) is amplifying Coronavirus test sites and more laboratories are being opened across the country. He said the Indian industry is also working on vaccines, re-purposing, critical-care treatment and partnering with academia and start-ups.

7.00 am | Israel

Netanyahu tests negative

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was tested negative for the novel coronavirus, his office said, after one of his aides has contracted the virus. The prime minister’s office on Monday said in a statement that the tests of Netanyahu’s family and his close team also came out negative, Xinhua news agency reported.

6.45 am | U.S.

U.S. coronavirus death toll passes 3,000

The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus pandemic passed 3,000 on March 30, according to the running tally compiled by the Johns Hopkins University, with more than 163,000 confirmed cases.

The United States has recorded 3,008 deaths, according to the tally, while its 163,429 cases are by far the highest national number ahead of Italy, Spain and China.


Global lockdown tightens as deaths mount

Harsh lockdowns aimed at halting the march of the coronavirus extended worldwide Monday as the death toll soared past 35,000 and new waves of U.S. outbreaks pushed the nation’s containment efforts to the brink.



Health Ministry says ‘limited community transmission’

Even as the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) insists that there is no community transmission of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in India, on March 29, the Health Ministry on its website mentions that there is “limited community transmission”. In the document on standard operating procedure for transporting a suspect/confirmed case of COVID-19 , the Health Ministry website says that there is both local transmission and limited community transmission.


‘In eight days, all slum pockets will be disinfected’

BMC additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani says: For disinfection, we have five teams who cover the areas where positive cases are reported from. These teams are now concentrated on the slum pockets and in about eight days, all slums will be covered. Our next target for disinfection is thickly populated areas like Kalbadevi and Bhendi Bazaar. We are positive that these disinfection activities will give a good result.


No plans to extend lockdown: says Cabinet Secretary

Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba denied that the Centre had plans to extend the nationwide lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 to stall the spread of COVID-19. The three-week lockdown is scheduled to end on April 14.


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