Coronavirus Live Updates for India: Total cases at 2,069; Here is the latest
How is the coronavirus spreading in India? What are the latest developments in our fight against coronavirus? Catch all the live updates here.
Here are the latest stats and data according to ministry of health and family welfare:
Day 10 of lockdown: Friday, April 3, 2020
Active Cases: 1,860
Cured/Discharged/Migrated Cases: 156
Death Toll: 53
The Helpline Number for corona-virus : +91-11-23978046
Toll Free No: 1075
Here are the latest updates to the global health crisis, and its impact on India:
Following is data on the spread of the coronavirus in South Asia, according to government figures:
* Pakistan has registered 2,386 cases, including 32 deaths.
* India has registered 2,069 cases, including 53 deaths.
* Sri Lanka has registered 151 cases, including three deaths.
* Afghanistan has registered 259 cases, including four deaths.
* Bangladesh has registered 56 cases, including six deaths.
* Maldives has registered 31 cases and no deaths.
* Nepal has registered six cases and no deaths.
* Bhutan has registered five cases and no deaths
A Mask might not be enough protection: US White House advises the world
Wearing a face mask alone is not adequate enough to protect an individual from coronavirus, the White House has said, emphasising that the strict enforcement of social distancing measures and other precautions are key in the fight against the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
The White House announcement came amidst an intense debate in the US on the necessity of wearing a face mask.
"Just remember, it (face mask) is not a substitute for everything that were asking people to do," Deborah Brix from the White House Task Force on Coronavirus told reporters at a news conference on Thursday.
PM Modi plans staggered exit from vast coronavirus lockdown
India will pull out of a three-week lockdown in phases, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday, as officials battle to contain the country's biggest cluster of coronavirus infections in the capital, New Delhi.
The shutdown, which has brought Asia's third-largest economy to a shuddering halt, is due to end on April 14.
Modi had ordered India's 1.3 billion people indoors to avert a massive outbreak of coronavirus infections, but the world's biggest shutdown has left millions without jobs and forced migrant workers to flee to their villages for food and shelter.
He told state chief ministers that the shutdown had helped limit infections but that the situation remained far from satisfactory around the world and there could be a second wave.
"Prime minister said that it is important to formulate a common exit strategy to ensure staggered re-emergence of the population once lockdown ends," the government quoted him as saying in a video conference.
COVID-19: Over 1,300 people booked for curfew violations in Mumbai
The Mumbai Police has registered 709 offences against as many as 1,364 people for violating prohibitory orders during the coronavirus lockdown in the last 13 days, an official said on Thursday. The Maharashtra government has invoked section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and the state is under lockdown in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The police have registered around 709 offences against 1,364 people under section 188 (disobeying an order issued by a public servant) of the Indian Penal Code since March 20, the official said.
Of the 1,364 accused, 1,100 were arrested and later released on bail, while 166 were allowed to go after being served notices to appear before court as and when required, he said. At least 98 accused were still at large, he added. The police have also penalised drivers of 269 vehicles, which were being plied during the lockdown, the official said.
Resumption of international flights
Resumption of international flights will be considered on a case-by-case basis after India's lockdown ends and will depend on which countries they are coming from, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Thursday.
"Any incoming flights to bring Indians back home will have to await the lifting of the lockdown," he told reporters at a press conference.
"The lockdown is till April 15. And, we can start considering the resumption of flights on a case-by-case basis depending on where they are coming from after that," Puri said.
328 new COVID-19 cases and 12 deaths reported since Wednesday: Health ministry
About 400 COVID-19 positive cases have been found whose epidemiological linkage can be traced to the Tablighi Jamaat cluster, the health ministry said on Thursday.
Addressing the daily briefing, Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agrawal said 328 new cases of the novel coronavirus and 12 new deaths have been reported since Wednesday.
He said 1,965 coronavirus cases have been reported so far in India.
"Yesterday, the cabinet secretary through video conferencing with chief secretaries and DGPs asked them to initiate intensive contact tracing of Tablighi Jamaat participants and implement containment measures on war-footing,” Agrawal said.
After contact tracing and sampling, about 400 positive cases have been identified whose epidemiological linkage can be traced to the Tablighi Jamaat cluster, he said.
This includes 173 from Tamil Nadu, 11 from Rajasthan, nine from Andaman and Nicobar Islands, 47 from Delhi, two from Puducherry, 22 from Jammu and Kashmir, 33 from Telengana, 67 from Andhra Pradesh and 16 from Assam.
These numbers are increasing as more samples are being tested, Agrawal said.
Regarding the Dharavi COVID19 positive case, he said the building there has been sealed and sample collection and contact tracing is going on as per protocol.
The joint secretary said that the prime minister has urged states to manage the coronavirus crisis at the district level.
Orders have been placed for over 1.5 cr personal protective equipment (PPEs) and supply has already started, he said, adding that domestic manufacturing of N-95 masks has been stepped up.
The official also informed that there have been limited cases of doctors on duty testing COVID-19 positive and asserted that it is important to follow infection prevention control at hospitals
About 9,000 Tablighi Jamaat members, primary contacts quarantined in country: MHA
About 9,000 Tablighi Jamaat members and their primary contacts have been quarantined till now across the country in view of the coronavirus infection, a senior home ministry official said on Thursday.
Punya Salila Srivastava, a joint secretary in the Union Home Ministry, told reporters during a daily briefing that out of about 2,000 such Tablighi Jamaat members in Delhi, 1,804 have been shifted to quarantine centres while 334 symptomatic persons have been admitted to hospitals.
She said these numbers are a result of a "massive effort" that was undertaken by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in coordination with states to identify Tablighi Jamaat workers or members in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19: Naval Dockyard designs low-cost temperature sensor
The Naval Dockyard here has developed a low-cost handheld temperature sensor to screen its personnel in light of the coronavirus outbreak in the city, an official said on Thursday. As many as 20,000 personnel enter the 285-year-old naval dock and Western Naval Command in South Mumbai every day. All personnel are allowed inside only after proper screening at the gates, the official said. The infrared-technology-based sensor is manufactured using in-house resources under Rs 1,000 (which is fraction of the cost of temperature guns available in the market), he said. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, screening became essential to prevent the spread of the virus within the yard and the Western Fleet, he said.
UP labourer ends his life over lack of work during lockdown
A 20-year-old labourer was found hanging from the ceiling at his home here, police said on Thursday, with his family members claiming he was under stress due to lack of work during the ongoing lockdown.
The labourer, Javed, was found dead at his home in Niyazupura village on Wednesday, police said.
The family members of Javed said he was married four months ago and claimed that he took the extreme step as he was worried over not getting work due to the lockdown.
The country is under the 21-day lockdown announced by the government on March 24 to combat the coronavirus outbreak.
BCG-COVID study: Large-scale epidemiological research needed, say doctors
With a new study linking BCG vaccination with scale of severity of COVID-19 globally, doctors in India said "large-scale epidemiological studies" need to be conducted before drawing any conclusion.
According to the study led by a US-based researcher, a combination of reduced morbidity and mortality could make the Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccination a "game-changer" in the fight against novel coronavirus.
The BCG vaccine is part of India's universal immunisation programme and administered to millions of children at birth or soon after it.
Arvind Kumar, lung surgeon at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said, while there seems to be an apparent link between BCG vaccination and COVID-19 cases reported in various countries, it will be "premature" to say there is a direct correlation.
"Large-scale epidemiological studies need to be conducted before we can draw any conclusion on this link, as suggested by the study," he told PTI.
The lung surgeon conjectured that as far as India and its demography is concerned, there is a possibility that "we have developed a better immune system to this virus through prior infections" which people in the western countries may not have been exposed too.
The yet to be published study from the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) states while citing the examples of Italy and the US that the severity of COVID-19 impact may be linked to national policies on BCG childhood vaccination.
"We found that countries without universal policies of BCG vaccination such as Italy, the Netherlands, and the United States, have been more severely affected compared to countries with universal and long-standing BCG policies," noted the researchers led by Gonzalo Otazu, assistant professor of biomedical sciences at NYIT.
While the US has reported almost 1,90,000 cases with more than 4,000 deaths, Italy has 1,05,000 cases and over 12,000 fatalities. The Netherlands has reported more than 12,000 cases of the disease and over 1,000 deaths.
Cash reserve sufficient for next six months: Banks to Goa govt
Banks have assured the Goa government that there is enough cash reserve in the state for the next six months, a senior official said on Thursday. The state finance department on Wednesday convened a meeting with bankers to discuss the position of liquid cash in the state amid the COVID-19 lockdown, he said. As per the minutes of the meeting, a copy of which is with PTI, the Reserve Bank of India and other bankers clarified that there is sufficient cash reserve for the next six months.
Significant improvement in air quality across India due to coronavirus lockdown: CPCB
The nationwide 'Janta Curfew' on March 22 and the 21-day lockdown imposed since March 24 to combat the coronavirus outbreak have resulted in a significant improvement in air quality in the country, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has said.
Travel restrictions and closure of industries have helped reduce the pollution level.
"The major sectors contributing to air pollution are transport, industries, power plants, construction activities, biomass burning, road dust resuspension and residential activities. In addition, certain activities such as operation of DG sets, restaurant, landfill fires, etc. also contribute to air pollution," the pollution watchdog said.
"As a result of stringent travel restrictions and shutting down of non-essential activities including those of air polluting sectors, air quality improvement has been noted in many towns and cities across the nation," it added.
Lucknow Metro rolls out food packets for stranded workers from its kitchen
The city’s metro rail service has ground to a halt but some of its staff members are still at work, cooking food for those left without jobs after the lockdown to halt coronavirus.
"There are a number of people, especially migrant labourers who have been left stranded in the state capital because of the lockdown,” Uttar Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation Managing Director, Kumar Keshav said.
“The Lucknow Metro kitchen staff is preparing food packets in its kitchen at the metro depot situated in Transport Nagar," he told PTI.
The food packets, about a 1,000 every day, are then handed over to the municipal authorities for distribution at ‘rain baseras’ and other shelters for helpless people set up in the city.
The Nagar Nigam also provides the raw material for the food cooked in the metro kitchen, which in normal times serves the staff canteen.
On the first day of the operation, the kitchen rolled out 500 food packets. This has gone up to 1,000 per day, he said.
Health Min identifies 20 existing, 22 potential hotspots in India
The Union Health Ministry on Thursday said it has identified 20 existing and 22 potential hotspots of COVID-19 in the country and asserted that although there is no evidence of widespread community transmission, containment measures will require large human resource.
The ministry said this in an advisory on human resource management of COVID-19 to provide guidance to the states on manpower that can be mobilized for the management of the disease along with possible role assignments and their training requirements.
The advisory stressed on capacity building, saying identified human resource needs to be trained online using online training programs developed by the ministry.
For COVID-19 management, it advised the district administration to pool-in the requisite human resources who would stay in the containment zone till such operations are over.
For surveillance activities, the ministry said COVID Warriors @ 1 per 250 population may be identified and trained.
It stated quarantine facilities are meant to house asymptomatic cases and the number identified and trained manpower should be equal to the number of COVID Warriors.
The advisory highlights major areas where enhanced deployment of human resource is required such as surveillance activities at grass root level, supervisory management of containment operations, laboratory testing and clinical management of suspect/confirmed cases in isolation wards.
COVID-19 effect: Air India suspends contract of around 200 pilots
Air India on Thursday temporarily suspended the contracts of around 200 pilots, who were re-employed after retirement, as all domestic and international commercial passenger flights have been suspended in the country till April 14 to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, a senior official said.
"Since almost all the planes have been grounded and the carrier's revenues have taken a significant fall during the last few weeks, the airline has decided to temporarily suspend the contract of around 200 pilots who were re-employed after their retirement," said the official.
The national carrier has already cut the allowances of all employees, except cabin crew, by 10 per cent for the next three months in order to save money amid the coronavirus pandemic.
AP govt urges Centre to extend financial aid to overcome crisis
Hinting that the state's revenue has fallen to an abysmal low of Rs 2 crore a day, the Andhra Pradesh government on Thursday made a desperate plea to the Centre to extend liberal financial assistance to tide over the "grave crisis" under the impact of COVID-19 and the consequent lockdown.
"We are facing a grave financial crisis, so much so that we could not even pay full salaries for the month of March to our officers and employees. Our revenues have fallen to negligible levels," Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy told Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a videoconference on Covid-19 management.
"We have promised Rs 1,000 to each BPL family as relief because of the lockdown and we immediately need 1,500 crore for this on April 4," the Chief Minister said. He urged the central government to extend liberal financial assistance to overcome the pathetic situation and bail out the state.
Official sources, who took part in the videoconference, said the Chief Minister also requested that the Centre supply coronavirus testing kits and personal protection equipment in view of the spurt in the number of cases.
Noting that the state recorded 132 coronavirus positive cases so far, the Chief Minister informed the Prime Minister that 111 of them were related to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in New Delhi.
Reddy said the patients and suspects were being kept in home isolation and quarantine facilities and provided all necessary medical help. "We require a lot of PPEs and also test kits. Kindly ensure their supply to AP," the Chief Minister said.
He also explained about the door-to-door survey being undertaken in both rural and urban areas to keep a tab on Coronavirus patients and also identify possible carriers.
One more COVID-19 patient dies in Indore; Madhya Pradesh death toll reaches 8
A 54-year-old man died of coronavirus infection in Indore on Thursday, taking the COVID-19 toll in Madhya Pradesh to eight, an official said.
This is second coronavirus related death reported from the state on Thursday. The man, who was a resident of Moti Tabela area, was admitted to the Maharaja Yeshwantrao Hospital on March 29.
"The patient was having breathing problems since the last two days. He was suffering from fever for last 15 days. He did not have cold-cough problem," the official said. He had not travelled anywhere in the recent past, the official said.
As of now, there is no information about whether he came in contact with a COVID-19 patient. Earlier in the morning, a 65-year-old woman succumbed to coronavirus at the Government Manorama Raje TB Hospital here, the official said.
She was already suffering from diabetes and thyroid, he said, adding it was not clear how she contracted the infection.
Eight coronavirus patients have died so far in the state. These include five from Indore, two from Ujjain and one from Khargone.
Out of the total 98 coronavirus cases in the state, 75 have been reported from Indore, eight from Jabalpur, six from Ujjain, four from Bhopal, two each in Shivpuri and Gwalior and one from Khargone, a health department official said.
President, Vice President to hold second video conference with Governors, Lieutenant Governors on Friday
President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu will hold a video-conference on Friday with Governors, Lieutenant Governors and administrators of all states and union territories to bolster the fight against coronavirus.
The agenda of the conference will be the status of COVID-19 in the states, the role of the Red Cross with focus on vulnerable sections, and the role of civil society/voluntary organisations/private sector in complementing the efforts of the Union and state governments to contain the spread of coronavirus, the statement said.
In the first video-conference held on March 27, Delhi Lt Governor and 14 Governors -- from the worst hit areas -- were shortlisted to share their experiences. The remaining Governors/LGs and Administrators will share their experiences on this Friday.
Making music during lockdown for lifting community spirit, inspired and written by West Bengal CM
Popular singer-musicians of West Bengal are composing songs during lockdown for lifting community spirit by hoping that people will emerge stronger after the coronavirus pandemic.
Leading the pack is singer-musician Kabir Suman who has given the form of classical vocal to lyrics penned by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on the coronavirus outbreak.
Having christened the 'raag' as Mamata, the 'Tomake Chai' singer said on Wednesday, he was communicating with Banerjee on WhatsApp about music, when the chief minister messaged him a lyric in Bengali -Jhar theme jabe ekdin (the storm will come to an end one day).
"I was simply struck by the lyrics which prophesised about the ending of the storm and the ground covered with stray leaves thereafter. At once, I decided to make it into a song. I have aptly named the raga after her", he said. Kabir Suman, an icon of Bengali contemporary music, has penned and set to tune another song tumi theko manusher sathe rastay (you are on the road with people), referring to Banerjees visit to crowded markets for creating awareness about the preventive measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
"I salute her for being among people at this hour, as a true leader of people, and wrote the lines," he said. Another brief song of the chief minister has already been rendered by singer and Minister of State for Cultural Affairs Indranil Sen.
The lyrics "Bhir theke sabbai dure thako/Coronake chhute diyo na ( Everyone maintain distance from crowd, don't allow corona to touch you) has been set to tune by Banerjee as well.
Meanwhile, singer-lyricists Anupam Roy, Srijato Bandyopadhyay, Anindya Chattopadhyay and Chandril Bhattacharya are collaborating from their homes to bring out a song on the lockdown.
"This is the first time four of us have come together to share our experiences on the lockdown in a creative way," Srijato Bandyopadhyay said.
"Samner din achena/pather khabor nei," (we have to be ready for the unknown path in the coming days) are some of the lyrics of the song jointly being written by the four, with Anupam Roy lending his voice to the composition. Popular singer Nachiketa has composed a poem dwelling on the coronavirus crisis and how the fear is bringing people closer.
The crisis is building up a united nation leaving aside all differences, Nachiketas song points out. All the songs will be available digitally.
Ex-servicemen mobilised to combat coronavirus pandemic: Defence Ministry
Amid the nationwide lockdown to combat the coronavirus pandemic, the Defence Ministry announced on Thursday that it is mobilising ex-servicemen (ESM) to assist the state and district administrations wherever required.
"Rajya Sainik Boards, Zila Sainik Boards are playing a dynamic role in identifying and mobilising maximum ESM volunteers to assist the state and district administration in performing public outreach activities such as contact tracing, community surveillance, management of quarantine facilities or any such tasks assigned to them," the ministry said in a press release.
Till now, 1,965 people have been infected with the novel coronavirus and 50 people have died due to it in India, according to the Union health ministry.
In Punjab, an organisation called 'Guardians of Governance' comprising 4,200 ESM is assisting in data collection from all villages, the ministry noted.
"The Chhattisgarh government has employed some ESM to assist the police. Similarly, in Andhra Pradesh, all the district Collectors have asked for ESM volunteers," the ministry said.
The defence ministry said that in Uttar Pradesh, all 'Zila Sainik Kalyan Adhikaris' are in touch with district control rooms and retired Army Medical Corps personnel have been identified and kept ready.
"In addition, Sainik rest houses are being readied in Uttarakhand to act as isolation/quarantine centres if need arises. In Goa, a control room has been established and ESM have been asked to remain on standby for any assistance to the local administration," the ministry noted.
India imposed a 21-day lockdown on March 25 to combat the spread of the virus that has killed more than 45,000 people worldwide till now.
Aggressive contact tracing campaign in J-K to contain spread of coronavirus
An aggressive contact tracing campaign is underway in Jammu and Kashmir to contain the spread of coronavirus with nearly 2000 contacts of positive cases identified so far, officials said.
Hot spots have been isolated and sealed and all movements in those areas have been fully restricted, the officials said.
On Wednesday, chief secretary, BVR Subhramanyam, directed all Deputy Commissioners to carry out aggressive contact tracing campaign and to put all such persons under quarantine after taking their samples as per health protocol.
The chief secretary also asked them to further minimize movement on roads in order to contain the spread of coronavirus.
They said tight curbs have been put in place across the valley to minimize the movement of the people in order to contain the spread of the infection.
Most of the roads in the valley have been sealed off and barriers erected at several places by security forces to check the unwanted movement of the people and to enforce the lockdown for containing the spread of the coronavirus infection, the officials said.
Markets across the valley have been shut and public transport was off the roads with only pharmacies and groceries allowed to open, the officials said.
Educational institutions across Kashmir have been closed, while all public places including gymnasiums, parks, clubs and restaurants have been shut down more than a week before the nationwide lock down announced by the Prime Minister.
While the Prime Minister announced the country-wide lockdown on the evening of March 24, the union territory administration here had on March 22 announced a lockdown across Jammu and Kashmir till 31 March as part of its efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The administration said essential services including healthcare personnel have been exempted from the restrictions.
Restrictions were first imposed in many parts of the valley on March 19 to contain the spread of the virus infection. The measures were taken after a 67-year-old woman from Khanyar area of the city, who had returned on 16 March from Saudi Arabia after performing Umrah, tested positive for COVID-19 infection.
The total number of positive cases in the union territory has gone up to 62, which includes 50 cases in the valley.
Two patients – both from the valley -- have succumbed, while two – one each Kashmir and Jammu -- have recovered.
Not the time to cause chaos by congregating in religious places: AR Rahman on COVID-19
Stressing that congregating in religious places will cause "chaos" in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, music maestro AR Rahman has urged people to adhere to the advice of the government and self-isolate.
The Oscar winner's appeal comes after Tabligh-e-Jamaat's Markaz in Delhi's Nizamuddin West emerged as an epicentre for spread of COVID-19 in different parts of the country after thousands of people took part in a congregation from March 1-15.
In a lengthy statement on Twitter, Rahman on Wednesday asked people to be "kind and thoughtful".
"God is inside your heart (the most sacred shrine), so this is not the time to cause chaos by congregating in religious places. Listen to the government's advice. Self-isolation for a few weeks may give you many more years.
"Do not spread the virus and cause harm to fellow humans. This disease does not even warn you that you are a carrier, so don't assume you are not infected. This is not the time to spread false rumours and cause more anxiety and panic," he wrote.
Rahman also thanked the healthcare workers on the frontlines, battling the pandemic in order to save several lives in the country.
"This message is to thank the doctors, nurses, and all the staff working, in hospitals and clinics all across India, for their bravery and selflessness. It fills one's heart to see how ready they are to deal with this most dreadful pandemic. They risk their lives to save ours," the 53-year-old composer said.
He said one must help their neighbours, senior citzens, the underprivileged and migrant workers during this health crisis.
"It's time to forget our differences and unite against this invisible enemy that has turned the world upside down. It's time to bring the beauty of humanity and spirituality into action," he added.
Oscar-winning sound engineer Resul Pookutty and Rahman's collaborator on the award-winning film "Slumdog Millionaire" shared the same sentiments.
"... God is in your hearts not in shrines, you don’t have to congregate now, follow Govt rules, few days of isolation might give you many years of life!" Pookutty tweeted on Thursday.
First death due to COVID-19 in Haryana, 67-year old man from Ambala dies
Haryana recorded its first COVID-19-related death as a 67-year-old man from Ambala died at the PGIMER here soon after testing positive for coronavirus, a senior health department official said on Thursday.
The man had multiple underlying health conditions and had reported to Ambala civil hospital with acute respiratory distress from where he was referred to the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh, he said.
"He tested positive for coronavirus around midnight Thursday and passed away around the same time," the health official from Ambala told PTI.
Haryana has so far reported 29 positive cases of coronavirus.
More on the agricultural shock of the lockdown:
Kerala: Strawberry & carrot growers face problems in selling their produce in Munnar area of Idukki due to #CoronavirusLockdown. "Strawberry is mostly sold in retail markets that are shut due to lockdown," said Arul Mani, a recipient of Best Strawberry Farmer Award. pic.twitter.com/M9n78XFvhd— ANI (@ANI) April 2, 2020
There has been another death in Gujarat:
A 52-year-old #COVID19 patient lost his life today morning. He had a history of travel to Sri Lanka&was admitted to SSG Hospital, Vadodara on 19 March. 4 members of his family have also tested positive for the virus&are undergoing treatment: S Agarwal, Vadodara Collector #Gujarat— ANI (@ANI) April 2, 2020
3 more test positive for COVID-19 in Assam, total cases rise to 16
Three persons tested positive for COVID-19 in Goalpara district here on Thursday, taking the total number of coronavirus cases in the state to 16, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.
All the patients had attended the religious congregation at Tablighi Jamaat Markaz in Delhi's Nizamuddin West earlier this month, he said.
The state reported 12 cases on Wednesday and one on Tuesday. While eight patients are getting treated at a hospital in Jorhat, four are undergoing treatment in Guwahati and one in Silchar.
The exercise of tracing the contacts of those who tested positive is going on, the minister said.
There are 347 people now in Assam who returned from the Tablighi congregation by March 16, and out of them 230 people have been traced and located so far while the rest could not be reached as their mobile phones were switched off and family members were not cooperative, he said.
Sarma appealed to all those who attended the congregation and those who came in contact with them to get tested for COVID-19 and quarantine themselves.
12 more COVID-19 cases in Indore; MP tally jumps to 98
Twelve more people have tested positive for coronavirus in Indore, taking the total number of COVID-19 cases in Madhya Pradesh to 98, a health official said on Thursday. None of the 12 new patients have any travel history. Out of the total 98 coronavirus cases in the state, 75 have been reported from Indore, eight from Jabalpur, six from Ujjain, four from Bhopal, two each in Shivpuri and Gwalior and one from Khargone, the official said.
Six people have so far died, including three from Indore, two from Ujjain and one from, he added.
US begins repatriation of its nationals from India, receives help from govt: official
The US has begun repatriation of its stranded nationals, who want to return home, from India which is undergoing a 21-day lockdown to stem the spread of coronavirus pandemic, a senior American diplomat has said, praising the Indian government for extending full support to undertake this "important mission".
The repatriation from India is part of the massive effort being undertaken by the US for its citizens from across the world. So far, the US has repatriated over 30,000 citizens from over 60 countries on more than 350 flights.
A severe shortage of labour, triggered by the lockdown, will disrupt harvesting of winter crops in the country.
Keep in mind, India is the world's second largest producer of staple food grains, such as wheat.
The northern bread basket states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh rely on farm labourers from eastern India, but after the lockdown began on March 24, most of them returned home to their villages.
"We've never seen anything like this," said Ramandeep Singh Mann, a farmer from Punjab, whose family grows wheat, rice and cotton on more than 45 acres (18 hectares) and would employ about 10 workers if they used mechanical harvesters. "We've no-one at all for harvests."
Late harvests mean lower yields, reduced returns, and a smaller window to plant next season's crops, as well as leaving crops vulnerable to rain and hailstorms.
India has stockpiles of wheat, rice and sugar for its own population and has not been exporting wheat, so international grains markets are unlikely to be affected for now by the labour issues. But trade and industry officials say delays in arrival, berthing and other shipping operations could affect rice exports, while the lack of workers could limit exports of fresh vegetables, such as onions.
Even if farmers manage to bring in the harvest, they could struggle to get produce to market because of a lack of drivers for the trucks that can carry large volumes. Most farmers sell produce at wholesale markets, which depend on large numbers of labourers to unload produce and weigh and pack grain. The staffing shortage could also delay farmers' payments for produce.
"Who is going to put grains in the bag, bring produce to wholesale markets, and then transport it to various storage facilities?" asked Jadish Lal, a merchant at the Khanna grain market in Punjab.
In sum, the labour shortage is likely to paralyse activity at the wholesale markets, Sudhir Panwar, head of the farmers' group Kisan Jagriti Manch said, adding vegetable and horticulture growers are likely to struggle to sell produce, as well as the wheat and rapeseed farmers.
India has forecast wheat output at a record 106.21 million tonnes this year, and farmers are likely to produce 7.8 million tonnes of rapeseed.
Some farmers harvested early sown wheat and rapeseed varieties in March, but most growers will collect ripening crops by mid-April.
The Indian navy has developed a device that can screen temperatures of a large number of people at once, for under Rs 1000
The number of COVID-19 cases climbed by more that 375 in last 24 hours to 1,637 in the country on Wednesday, with Maharashtra, Kerala and Tamil Nadu reporting the highest, while the death toll rose to 38, according to the Union Health Ministry.
The number of active COVID-19 cases stands at 1466, while 132 people were either cured or discharged and one had migrated, the ministry stated.
It said the three fresh deaths were reported, one from Kerala and two from Telengana.
The Health Ministry said 154 new positive cases of the disease have been reported due to the transit-related history of those who attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Nizamuddin in the national capital. The area has emerged as a COVID-19 hotspot.
Till Wednesday night, Maharashtra had reported the most deaths (9) so far, followed by Gujarat (6), Karnataka (3) Madhya Pradesh (3), Punjab (3), Telangana (3), Delhi (2), West Bengal (2), Jammu and Kashmir (2) and Kerala (2).
Tamil Nadu, Bihar and Himachal Pradesh have reported a death each.
The highest number of confirmed cases of the pandemic was reported from Maharashtra at 302 followed by Kerala with 241 cases and Tamil Nadu at 124 so far.
The number of cases in Delhi has gone up to 120.
Uttar Pradesh has reported 103 positive cases so far, while the cases in Karnataka have risen to 101 and in Telangana to 94.
Rajasthan has reported 93 cases, Andhra Pradesh 83, Gujarat 74 , Jammu and Kashmir 55 while Madhya Pradesh has 47 positive patients so far.
Punjab has reported 41 cases, while 43 COVID-19 cases have been detected in Haryana.
The number of cases has risen to 26 in West Bengal. Bihar has 23 while Ladakh and Chandigarh reported 13 cases each.
Ten cases have been reported from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Chhattisgarh has nine positive patients while Uttarakhand has reported seven cases.
Goa has reported five coronavirus cases, while Odisha has four cases and Himachal Pradesh has reported three cases. Puducherry, Mizoram and Manipur have reported a case each.
Cases rise in Rajasthan
Total number of COVID-19 cases in Rajasthan rose to 108 after 18 evacuees from Iran, who were in Army Quarantine facility in the state, tested positive.
Hydroxychloroquine only for doctors and COVID-19 probables: ICMR
Dr Raman R Gangakhedkar, senior scientist at Indian Council of Medical Research, says anti-malarial drug Hydroxychloroquine is only being given to doctors and contacts of confirmed Covid-19 cases, PTI reports.
COVID-19 cases rise to 62 in Jammu and Kashmir
Cases of coronavirus have risen on 62 in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the government said on Wednesday, adding that 58 of those cases are active.
"While 58 of the active cases have been reported in Kashmir division, 10 are in Jammu. 17,041 people are under active surveillance," said Rohit Kansal, Principal Secretary (Planning), Jammu and Kashmir administration.
110 positive cases reported from Tamil Nadu can be traced back to Tablighi jamat event
A total of 110 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday, taking the overall tally to 234. Beela Rajesh, the state health secretary, said all the people who tested positive today are Tablighi Jamaat attendees in Delhi's Nizamuddin Markaz. This is a quantum jump as the state recorded the highest number of new cases in a single day so far.
Health Secretary Beela Rajesh told reporters here that 110 people hailing from 15 districts of the state have tested positive for the contagion. All of them had participated in the Delhi religious congregation and the tally of COVID-19 cases in the state now stood at 234, she said.
Around 1,500 people from Tamil Nadu had attended the Nizamuddin event last month and of them over 1,131 have returned to the state so far
Kerala and Tamil Nadu report 24 and 110 new cases respectively on Wednesday
PTI reported that Kerala has conformed 24 new cases on Wednesday and ANI said that Tamil Nadu has reported 110 new cases from 15 disctricts. This takes the total number of cases in Tamil Nadu to 234.
191 locations identified in Mumbai as 'containment areas'
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) identified 191 areas in various locations of Mumbai and marked them as 'Containment Areas'. These areas have been chosen on the basis that there are confirmed COVID-19 cases. "Entry/exit is restricted for all such areas and residents of the area are instructed to remain home quarantined," read a statement from BMC.
236 people discharged after quarantine period in Srinagar city
A total of 236 people were discharged from various quarantine facilities in the Srinagar city here on Wednesday after they completed their isolation period, officials said. "Today, 236 more persons were discharged from various facilities after completing the mandatory two-week quarantine period," they added. They said the quarantined group is now being sent back to their homes.
70 out of 86 cases in Andhra Pradesh linked to Tablighi meet at Nizamuddin
Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has confirmed that 70 out of 87 Covid-19 positives in the state are linked to the Tablighi meet at Nizamuddin, which was held mid-march.
Know more about the fiasco here.
13 new cases, 2 Covid-19 deaths in UP on Wednesday
Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday recorded 13 new cases and two Covid-19 deaths. These two amounted to be the first two deaths in UP. The deaths were reported from Basti and Meerut. The total positive Covid-19 cases in UP are 116 including 48 in Noida and 19 in Meerut.
Delhi government to track mobile phones of quarantined people
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the government will be tracking the mobile phones of people under quarantine to check their movement. "we gave 14,345 phone numbers to Delhi Police," said Kejriwal.
"Total 120 positive cases have been reported till Wednesday morning and 766 people with COVID-19 symptoms admitted at hospitals across Delhi," Kejriwal added.
He also said, 29 out of total 120 COVID-19 patients in Delhi contracted disease from people already infected with virus.
The spike in numbers doesn't represent a national trend: Health Ministry
With 386 cases reproted in the last 24 hours India registered its biggest single-day jump in number of confirmed COVID-19 cases. Health Ministry's Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said though there's been a spike in numbers it doesn't reflect a national trend and it's the manifestation of a fiasco like that of the Tablighi Jamaat even held in Delhi's Nizamuddin.
Depsite early signs of flattening the much talked about 'curve', it seems be on a steep rise for India at the moment. Can we flatten it? If yes then how? Find out here.
Centre opens mail ID for information to be checked beforehand
"The Supreme Court has said that misinformation needs to be checked. For that, we've created email id — firstname.lastname@example.org — through which a joint secretary-rank officer of Health Ministry and specialised doctors of AIIMS will provide technical support, "said Lav Aggarwal, Health Ministry.
Delhi police launches 'COVID patrol'
'COVID Patrol' with 40 motorcycles have been launched by Delhi Police in South District to spread awareness about COVID-19 through bike patrolling & announcements.
54 Tabhligi Jamaat event attendees identified and quarantined in Nagpur
Like other parts of the country, 54 people from Nagpur, who attended the Tablighi Jamat meet in Delhi's Nizamuddin, have been identified and quarantined, said Nagpur Municipal Corporation Commissioner Tukaram Mundhe.
Nearly 48,000 COVID-19 tests conducted so far: Health Ministry
ICMR's Dr RR Gangakhedkar said a total of 47,951 COVID-19 tests have been conducted across the country till date and that 816 tests in private labs since yesterday.
Over 130 cases linked to Nizamuddin Markaz event: Health Ministry
Health Ministry's Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said a total of 134 cases have been linked to Nizamuddin Tableeghi Jamaat event in various states.
In its daily press briefing, he said 1,800 people related to Tablighi Jamaat have been moved to nine hospitals and quarantine facilities. He says states where cases have been reported have been asked to begin rigorous contact-tracing and containment strategies.
“The surge in the number of cases does not represent the recent national trend, we know that when anyone makes a mistake, it can lead to more cases,” Agarwal says.
Over 9,000 beds in military hospitals: CDS Bipin Rawat informs Defence Minister
Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat informed Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh that separate hospitals have been identified to exclusively deal with Covid-19 and more than 9,000 hospital beds have been made available. Over 1,000 evacuees are quarantined at facilities in Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Chennai, Manesar, Hindon and Mumbai. Their quarantine period will end by April 7.
3 more test positive in Mohali
Three more COVID19 cases emerged in Mohali today. They are stated to be close contacts of the positive cases in Chandigarh & have been put under quarantine: Mohali district administration
Sonia Gandhi writes to PM seeking advance payment of 21 days' wages to MGNREGA workers
37 attendees of Delhi's Tablighi Jamaat event traced & placed under quarantine in Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan
Thirty-seven attendees of Delhi's Tablighi Jamaat event have been traced & placed under quarantine in Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan. We will collect their samples for testing & take further action accordingly: Chief Medical Health Officer Pratap Singh
1200 from Telangana attended the event at Nizamuddin Markaz
Telangana Health Minister Eatala Rajender said that around 1,200 people from Telangana had attended Markaz gathering in Delhi. "some of them were found COVID-19 positive, six of them died. In the last three days only those who had gone to Delhi for Markaz have tested positive for COVID19," said the minister.
Around 1,200 people from Telangana had attended Markaz gathering in Delhi, some of them were found #COVID19 positive, six of them died. In the last three days only those who had gone to Delhi for Markaz have tested positive for COVID19: Eatala Rajender, Telangana Health Minister pic.twitter.com/8ssP2sslZ6— ANI (@ANI) April 1, 2020
PM Modi to chair virtual meet with state CMs tomorrow
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be chairing a virtual meeting with all state chief ministers on Thursday as India completes a week of the 21-day nationwide lockdown. This will be PM Modi's second video conferencing meet with state CMs over the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Four Markaz attendees test positive in Assam
A day after reporting its first coronavirus patient, four other patients were tested positive today. All four had attended the Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi.
On Monday, the Assam government announced a slew of relief measures for the poor in the wake of the nationwide lockdown. An official statement from the Chief Minister's Office said that from April 1, 58 lakh families would be getting free rice under the National Food Security Act (NFSA). Additionally, there would be a one-time cash assistance of Rs 1,000 for families without the NFSA card.
If anyone loses their life while serving COVID-19 patients will be provided Rs 1 crore: Delhi CM
"If anyone loses their life while serving COVID-19 patients, whether sanitation workers, doctors or nurses, their family will be provided Rs 1 crore as respect to their service. Whether they are from private or government sector doesn't matter," said Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.
I&B Minitry says foreigners who participated in Tablighi jamaat even had violated visa norms: Report
The ministry of information and broadcasting said, "It has been found that foreigners who had participated in the Tablighi Jamat had violated visa conditions. Concerned states were asked to initiate action for violation of visa condition against the foreigners & the organizers of the event," reported news agency ANI.
It has been found that foreigners who had participated in the Tablighi Jamat had violated visa conditions. Concerned states were asked to initiate action for violation of visa condition against the foreigners & the organizers of the event: Ministry of Information & Broadcasting https://t.co/azr3S6FAYR— ANI (@ANI) April 1, 2020
Passengers of 5 trains under watch over possible infection from Tablighi groups
Railways is looking for information regarding thousands of passengers who travelled on five trains with people who participated in the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi, many of whom have tested positive. All these trains began from Delhi between March 13 and March 19 - the Duronto Express to Guntur in Andhra Pradesh, the Grand Trunk Express to Chennai, the Tamil Nadu Express to Chennai, New Delhi-Ranchi Rajdhani Express and the AP Sampark Kranti Express.
Delhi CM says "no community transmission yet"
"Coronavirus came into India a little later than other countries. This is why we can learn from other countries the ways they are dealing with the infections," Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, emphasising that there's no community transmission yet. He also thanked the medical workers for their dedication and role in this fight
Wipro Ltd, Azim Premji Foundation Commit Rs 1,125 Cr to Combat COVID-19
Wipro Limited, Wipro Enterprises Ltd and Azim Premji Foundation have together committed Rs 1,125 Crore towards tackling the unprecedented health and humanitarian crisis arising from COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, reported PTI.
Two Markaz attendees test positive in Puducherry
Two persons, who had attended a religious congregation in Delhi's Nizamuddin area, tested positive for coronavirus in Puducherry on Wednesday, a senior official said. Director of Health and Family Welfare Mohan Kumar said the two had returned from Delhi after attending the congregation and were admitted to the State Government hospital.
The Puducherry CM said, "We've identified 6 people from Puducherry & 3 from Karaikal who had attended Tablighi Jamaat meeting in Delhi. Their samples have been taken & sent for tests. I appeal to all other people who had attended the meeting to come forward & identify themeselves."
Ten people who arrived in Poonch, J&K after attending Tablighi Jamaat identified and quarantined
Ten people who arrived in Poonch district after attending Tablighi Jamaat (in Delhi's Nizamuddin) have been identified by District Administration. All of them have been kept under quarantine: Ramesh Angral SSP District Police, Poonch, Jammu & Kashmir.
Total 342 people from Karnataka attended the Nizamuddin meet, 200 qurantined
Karnataka health minister B Sriramulu said that a sum total of 342 people from Karnataka had attended the Tablighi Jamaat meet at Nizamuddin in mid-March. He also said that 200 people including 4 from Bengaluru & 5 from Belgaum, who participated in the meet, have been quarantined.
107 people in Madhya Pradesh quarantined after attending Nizamuddin meet
All 107 people from Madhya Pradesh who attended the religious congregation at Nizamuddin West, which has turned out as one of the major COVID-19 hotspots in the country, have been identified and quarantined, a senior official said on Wednesday. The gathering at Markaz Nizamuddin, the Delhi headquarters of the Tabligh-e-Jamaat, was held earlier this month.
"We have identified all the 107 people from Madhya Pradesh who attended the Tabligh-e-Jamaat's event in Delhi. They have been put under quarantine and are being examined thoroughly," Bhopal Collector Tarun Kumar Pithode told PTI.
Health ministry releases fresh data, sharp spike seen
The sharp spike seen in cases from across the nation in the last few days started reflecting the ministry of health and family welfare's latest numbers as total cases rose to 1617, with 1466 active at the moment.
Health ministry calls for social protection for migrant workers to overcome trauma in lockdown
The Health Ministry on Wednesday called for providing a social protection to migrant workers, saying they are prone to social, psychological and emotional trauma in lockdown situations. Immediate concerns faced by such migrant workers relate to food, shelter, healthcare, fear of getting infected or spreading the infection, loss of wages, concerns about the family, anxiety and fear. "Sometimes, they also face harassment and negative reactions of the local community. All this calls for strong social protection," the ministry said in a document. It further said that migrant workers faced with the situation of spending a few days in temporary shelters, which may be quarantine centres, while trying to reach to their native places, are filled with anxieties and fears stemming from various concerns, and are in need of psycho-social support.
Access the document here.
Uttar Pradesh records first COVID-19 death
25-year old man from Basti who passed away in BRD Hospital in Gorakhpur was found positive after his death , sparking the fear of having passed it on to everyone including doctors and paramedics that he came in touch with.
Another dies of COVID-19 deaths in West Bengal, state death toll at 6
An elderly person from Kolkata's Belghria area died today morning. It was found out on Tuesday that he has COVID-19. He had been admitted to the hospital on 26th after showing signs of respiratory infection. With this state death toll rises to 6 and the total number of cases in West Bengal stands at 37.
43 new COVID-19 cases reported in Andhra Pradesh in 12 hours
Highlighting the recent surge in number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, 43 new cases were detected in Andhra Pradesh between 9 PM on 31st March and 9 AM today. "With this, the total number of positive cases in the state has increased to 87," said the Nodal Officer, Andhra Pradesh.
Two more doctors test positive in Delhi
Two more cases of healthcare professionals being infected with COVID-19 in Delhi have come to the fore. A 32-year-old doctor working in the department of pediatrics in Delhi government's Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel hospital (SVBPH) tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, days after his wife working in Safdarjung hospital tested positive for the disease.
Delhi doctor tests positive, hospital shut to disinfect
As the number of cases continues to spike in the national capital, a working at Delhi State Cancer Institution in East Delhi has tested positive for COVID-19. "The hospital has been shut for today and is being disinfected," said Delhi Health Minister Satyender Jain. Though the doctor was not treating coronavirus patients and had no foreign travel history, "she visited her brother's house recently, who returned from the United Kingdom few days back," said the minister.
Yediyurappa to donate one year's salary to fight COVID-19
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Wednesday announced he will donate his one year's salary to the Chief Minister Relief Fund COVID-19. He has appealed to Ministers, legislators, Members of Parliament, officials and citizens to also do their bit and contribute in whatever capacity possible to help the state in fighting the coronavirus outbreak.
"It is a very difficult time that we are all going through. And it is important that we fight this epidemic together. Personally, I am donating my one year's salary to the #CMRF Covid19. I request you all to contribute, however small, and help #Karnataka fight #Corona.Thank you," Yediyurappa tweeted along with a video message announcing the same.
Yediyurappa on March 25 had appealed to people to help the state government by donating money for the advanced medical support system to fight the spread of COVID-19.
Those willing to donate can transfer funds online and also send cheques or DDs to Chief Minister Relief Fund COVID- 19, he had said.
82 People from Nizamuddin identified and quarantined in MP
The Madhya Pradesh government has identified 82 of the 107 people from the state who attended a religious congregation at Nizamuddin in Delhi, that has become a key source for the COVID-19 spread in the country, and put some of them in quarantine, a top official said on Tuesday. The gathering at Markaz Nizamuddin, the Delhi headquarters of the Tabligh-e-Jamaat, was held earlier this month.
We have the addresses of 82 persons out of the 107 (from Madhya Pradesh) who attended the Tabligh-e-Jamaat's Markaz in Delhi. Some of them have been put in quarantine, the official said. Efforts are on to identify the remaining people and they would be traced soon, he said. However, the officer refused to divulge the exact number of people who have been quarantined.
Earlier in the day, Chief MinisterShivraj Singh Chouhan had directed officials to quarantine over 100 people from the state who had participated in the congregation.
The Delhi government on Tuesday said 24 people, who took part in the congregation, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
According to an official, Chouhan held a high-level meeting where he said that over 100 people from Madhya Pradesh had participated in the meet and arrangements should be made to quarantine them.
The Chief Minister has asked district collectors and superintendents of police to track down these people and keep a tab on pilgrims visiting places of worship, he said. People from across the country had taken part in the mega meet. After the matter came to light, the Centre and the
Delhi government swung into action to trace people who attended the congregation. Six people from Telangana and one from Jammu and Kashmir, who attended the event, died due to coronavirus.
Man dies of COVID-19 in West Bengal, toll rises to 4
A man died of coronavirus at a state-run hospital here on Tuesday, taking the total number of COVID-19 deaths in West Bengal to 4, officials said.
The man, whose identity hasn't been revealed yet, died at the Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College and Hospital.
West Bengal has reported 28 coronavirus cases so far, including the four deaths.
COVID-19 cases in Delhi rise to 120
The total number of coronavirus cases in Delhi climbed to 120 on Tuesday after 23 new cases of the pandemic was reported in the past 24 hours, the Health Department said.
These 120 cases include 24 people who took part in a religious congregation at Nizamuddin West area earlier this month.
At least five have been discharged, two have had died and one has migrated out of the country, according to the Delhi Health Department.
Till Monday night, the number of cases of the deadly COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) stood at 97, including two deaths.
Another doctor of a mohalla clinic tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, officials said.
Over 3,700 detained for violation of lockdown in Delhi
More than 200 cases were registered and 3,763 people detained on Tuesday for violating government orders during the coronavirus lockdown, Delhi police said.
According to the data shared by the police, 239 cases were registered under section 188 (for disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code till 5 pm.
A total of 3,763 people have been detained under section 65 (persons bound to comply with reasonable directions of police officers) and 546 vehicles have been impounded under section 66 of the Delhi Police Act, they stated.
A total of 1,254 movement passes have been issued on Tuesday, police said. On Monday, 145 cases were registered under section 188 of IPC till 5pm and a total of 3,750 people were detained under section 65 of the Delhi Police Act.
Delhi to set up 2,700 food centres
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has announced that the government will set up more than 2,700 food centres to feed 10-12 lakh people daily.
Covid-19 spread contained so far due to proactive steps, fake news biggest hindrance: Centre to SC
The Centre informed the Supreme Court Tuesday that it has taken "proactive and preemptive timely steps" to deal with the coronavirus pandemic due to which its spread is so far contained but fake news causing serious panic, is the "single most unmanageable hindrance" in the management of this challenge.
In a status report filed in the apex court, the government has given details of the steps taken, including enhancement of testing capacity and issuance of order to purchase 40,000 ventilators to meet the contingencies, to prevent coronavirus or Covid-19 and its spread in the country.
"It is submitted that as narrated in subsequent part of this status report, deliberate or inadvertent fake news and/or material capable of causing serious panic in the mind of population is found to be a single most unmanageable hindrance in the management of this challenge," it said.
The Centre has said that it would be setting up a separate unit, headed by a joint secretary level officer in the Ministry of Health and consisting of eminent doctors from recognised institutions like AIIMS, to answer every query of citizens and to provide real time and true facts regarding Covid-19.
"The detailed modalities in this behalf would immediately be worked out and the details regarding the web portal which can be approached by citizens for true, genuine, scientific and correct factual position will be displayed immediately," it said.
The status report was filed by the Centre in two separate pleas which have raised the issue of migration amid coronavirus spread and 21-day lockdown across the country.
Flying squads to conduct door-to-door survey in Mumbai
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday said flying squads have been set up in all 227 municipal wards of Mumbai for door-to-door survey as part of efforts to check the spread of coronavirus. The step has been taken in view of the high density of population in Mumbai where there is more possibility of spread of the disease compared to other districts. Thackeray held a meeting with municipal authorities and ward officials through video conference on Monday evening. In a release issued on Tuesday, he said the Worli Koliwada has been declared as the 'containment area' and residents have been prohibited from moving around.
The central tourism ministry has started a portal, named 'Stranded in India' to help foreign tourists stuck in the country amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.
To extend support to foreign tourists who are stranded in India, Ministry of Tourism has come up with a portal titled ‘Stranded in India’ to disseminate info regarding services that can be availed by foreign tourists who are stuck far away from their home land:Ministry of Tourism pic.twitter.com/UIxMDtjRej— ANI (@ANI) March 31, 2020
Confined to hostel amid lockdown, Hima writes to Rijiju for access to outdoor training at NIS
Confined to their hostel rooms at NIS Patiala amid the coronavirus-forced lockdown, some athletes, led by star sprinter Hima Das, have requested the sports ministry to allow them to train outdoors within the campus, which is out of bounds for outsiders right now.
Deputy chief national athletics coach Radhakrishnan Nair, who is supporting the move, told PTI that the Hima-led campers at the National Institute of Sports (NIS) are expecting a reply from the ministry in a day or two.
"Hima and some other athletes have written to the Sports Minister that they be allowed to train one or two hours a day in small groups at different times so that they can also practice social distancing while training at the same time," Nair told PTI from Patiala.
"They have written to Rijiju that they be sent home if no training is allowed. (But) going home is not feasible as the country is in a lockdown and Prime Minister has said everybody should be where they are.
"So, the ministry will not allow them to go back home but this outdoor training idea is feasible. We will know about it in a day or two," he added.
Nair said he and other coaches have supported the idea as there is no risk of any camper contracting the dreaded coronavirus as nobody is coming in and going out of the facility.
Meerut records second highest coronavirus cases in UP with six more testing positive
After Gautam Buddh Nagar from where the maximum 38 coronavirus cases have been reported in Uttar Pradesh, Meerut has emerged the second hotspot in the state with 19 people testing positive for the disease.
An official said 17 samples were tested on Monday, of which six were declared positive. Confirming this, Chief Medical Officer Dr Rajkumar said the first COVID-19 case was reported from the district last Friday.
Four of the six people tested positive for the disease on Monday are family members of the man who had recently returned from Maharashtra.
The total count of COVID-19 cases in Uttar Pradesh has crossed the 100 mark, said officials.
SBI staff commits Rs 100 cr for PM fund to fight Covid-19
Employees of SBI have donated Rs 100 crore to the Prime Minister's relief fund to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
The country's largest lender in a statement said its around 2,56,000 employees have decided to contribute two days’ salary to the PM CARES Fund.
With this collective effort and commitment of SBI employees, Rs 100 crore will be donated to the Fund, it added.
"It is a matter of pride for State Bank of India that all our employees voluntarily came forward to pledge their two days’ salary to the PM CARES Fund. We at SBI would keep continuing our support to the government in all its endeavours to address the challenges of this pandemic,” SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar said.
At this time of crisis, SBI is committed to providing best possible banking services to its customers, the bank said.
Last week, SBI had committed 0.25 per cent of annual profit for 2019-20 as a part of its CSR activities to fight Covid-19.
U'khand CM donates five months' salary for fighting coronavirus
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Tuesday donated his five months' salary to the CM relief fund for fighting the coronavirus outbreak, according to an official release.
The chief minister's wife Sunita and their two daughters also made donations to the fund, it said.
Among the others who donated to the CM relief fund included DG Health Amita Upreti, her husband Lalit Mohan Upreti, CM's OSD J C Khulbe, senior chief personal secretary K K Madan and senior personal secretary Hemchandra Bhatt.
65-year-old coronavirus patient dies in Punjab; COVID-19 deaths in state rise to 4
A 65-year-old man infected with the coronavirus died at a Punjab hospital on Tuesday, taking the COVID-19 death toll in the state to four, health officials said.
He was undergoing treatment at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), they said.
“He died around 1 pm,” Mohali Civil Surgeon Manjit Singh told PTI over phone.
The man was a resident of Nayagaon in Punjab's Mohali district and had tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday.
He was admitted to the PGIMER hospital six days ago after he complained of chest pain and breathlessness.
The man's test report confirming him to be positive for coronavirus came on Monday.
Live from Nizamuddin:
Our reporter is live on thr ground, showing us the scenario at Nizamuddin right now. Watch here.
Domestic airlines, cargo operators transport over 15 tons of medical supplies
Amid the lockdown imposed to help curb the spread of coronavirus, domestic airlines and cargo operators along with the Indian Air Force have transported 15.4 tons of medical supplies in 62 flights between March 26 and March 30, said Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday.
"The cargo essentially included COVID-19 related reagents, enzymes, medical equipment, testing kits & personal protective equipment (PPE), masks, gloves & other accessories of HLL & cargo requisitioned by State/union territories governments & postal packets," Puri said.
The Civil aviation ministry has formed a committee to facilitate movement of cargo across the country during the 21 day-lockdown period.
The ministry is facilitating the cargo movement using hub and spoke model.
"Cargo hubs have been created at Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Kolkata. Hubs feed to spokes at Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Agartala, Aizwal, Imphal, Coimbatore, Thiruvananthapuram," it said in a press release.
As India is under a 21 day-lockdown till April 14 to curb the spread of coronavirus, international commercial passenger flights have been suspended for this period.
However cargo flights, offshore helicopter operations, medical evacuation flights and flights that have got special approval from aviation regulator DGCA are permitted to operate.
"Domestic airlines & cargo operators along with Indian Air Force have so far transported 15.4 tonnes of medical supplies on 62 special flights between 26-30th March," said the minister on Twitter.
Markaz Nizamuddin says it has not violated any provisions of law
Markaz Nizamuddin, the place where a religious congregation left several people affected with coronavirus, on Tuesday said it has not violated any provision of the law and offered its premises for setting up a quarantine facility.
Markaz Nizamuddin, which is the international headquarters of Tabilghi Jamaat for close to 100 years, will cooperate with the authorities, it said in a statement.
Delhi government on Tuesday said twenty-four people, who took part in a religious congregation at Markaz Nizamuddin earlier this month, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said 700 people who attended this congregation have been quarantined while around 335 people have been admitted to hospitals."
Besides, participants from across India, the congregation was attended by people from different countries, including Indonesia and Thailand.
The Markaz statement referred to the directive of the Delhi government to take legal action against the Markaz administration.
"During this entire episode, Markaz Nizamuddin never violated any provision of law, and always tried to act with compassion and reason towards the visitors who came to Delhi from different states. It did not let them violate the medical guidelines by thronging ISBTs or roaming on streets," the statement said.
The statement said the Markaz would like to humbly offer the entire premises as a quarantine facility to help the authorities tide-over the challenge of current pandemic.
"Visitors/guests/devotees/worshippers from across the globe throng the place for pre-scheduled programmes and all the programmes are decided a year in advance in order to facilitate visitors from far-off places to plan their participation," it said.
The Markaz said when the Prime Minister announced the 'Janata Curfew' on March 22, the ongoing programme was discontinued immediately, but a large number of people were stuck in the premises due to the closure of railway services on March 21.
The statement said the Markaz observed the 'Janata Curfew' and the visitors stayed put in the premises.
"Before the Janta Curfew could be lifted at 9 PM, the Chief Minister of Delhi announced lockdown of Delhi beginning at 6 AM on March 23 till March 31, thereby further diminishing any chances of these visitors availing road transport for their journey back home," the statement said.
The statement said around 1500 people left the Markaz on March 23 by "availing whatever meager transport was available".
On the evening of March 23, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide 21-day lockdown, the statement said, adding there was no option for Markaz Nizamuddin but to accommodate the stranded visitors with prescribed medical precautions. On March 24, a notice was issued by SHO of the Hazrat Nizamuddin police station seeking closure of Markaz premises.
The Markaz responded to the notice the same day by stating that around 1000 visitors belonging to different states and nationalities were present in Markaz while 1500 had left.
The Markaz had also requested the SDM of the area to issue vehicle passes so that the remaining people could be sent back to their native places outside of Delhi.
"It is relevant to indicate here that lists of 17 vehicles with registration numbers along with the names of the drivers plus their license details were submitted to the SDM so that the stranded visitors/guests could be ferried towards their destination. The requisite permission is still awaited," the statement said.
It said on March 27, six persons were taken for medical check-up while the next day, the SDM and WHO team visited the Markaz and 33 persons were taken for medical checkup to Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Hospital.
On March 28, another notice was issued, by the Office of ACP, Lajpat Nagar, reiterating the prohibitory orders and warning of legal action, the statement said, adding, that "this being totally oblivious of the above deliberations and steps that had already been taken by Markaz in consultation with the authorities".
The Markaz said it replied to the second notice as well.
Severe shortage of medical equipment in India; doctors using raincoats and helmets as protective gear
Shortages of protective health gear in India are forcing some doctors to use raincoats and motorbike helmets while fighting the coronavirus, exposing the weak state of the public health system ahead of an anticipated surge in COVID-19 cases.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government on Monday said India was trying to procure bulk quantities of such gear, called personal protective equipment (PPE), domestically and from South Korea and China to meet the shortages.
But more than a dozen doctors on the front lines of treating the novel coronavirus, which has so far infected 1,251 people in India and killed 32, told Reuters they were concerned that without proper masks and coveralls, they could become carriers.
According to one projection, more than 100,000 people could be infected by mid-May, putting India's underfunded health system and scarce doctors under severe strain.
In Kolkata, junior doctors at the major coronavirus treatment facility - Beleghata Infectious Disease Hospital - were given plastic raincoats to examine patients last week, according to two doctors there and photographs reviewed by Reuters.
"We won't work at the cost of our lives," said one of the doctors, who declined to be named because he feared retaliation from the authorities.
The hospital's medical superintendent in-charge, Dr. Asis Manna, declined to comment.
In Haryana, Dr. Sandeep Garg of ESI Hospital said he had been using a motorbike helmet because he didn't have any N95 masks, which offer significant protection against virus particles.
"I put on a helmet - it has a visor in front so it covers my face, adding another layer over the surgical mask," Garg said.
The plight of doctors in the pandemic has cast a light on a dilapidated and overburdened public health system that has for years been starved of funds and an overhaul. India spends about 1.3% of its GDP on public health, among the lowest in the world.
"We are living on a prayer, it's not that we can save ourselves by relying on the health system," said a senior federal government official in New Delhi, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the situation.
In Rohtak, Haryana, several junior doctors have been declining to treat patients unless they have adequate safety equipment.
They also established an informal COVID-19 fund, to which each doctor contributed 1,000 rupees to buy masks and other face coverings, one of the doctors said.
"Everybody is scared," the doctor said. "Nobody wants to work without protection."
Don't post fake news on COVID-19 on April Fool's Day: Maha HM
Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Tuesday issued a stern warning against spreading fake news about coronavirus as part of April Fool's Day pranks, stating that it could trigger panic during the lockdown. In a pre-recorded video message, the minister said,
"The lockdown is in force to contain the coronavirus outbreak. I appeal to people not to spread any fake messages that can trigger panic among people."
The Maharashtra cyber crime has been asked to step up and take strict action against those who post fake or misleading information on social media platforms, Deshmukh said.
Maharashtra has recorded 230 positive cases of coronavirus, the highest in the country so far.
KK Shylaja rubbishes concerns of community spread in Kerala
The Kerala government on Tuesday rejected concerns of community spread of novel coronavirus in the state in the wake of the second death of a patient here who had no travel history or reported contact with any infected person.
Setting aside the concern, Health Minister K K Shylaja said the deceased man, a native of nearby Pothancode, was already suffering from several other health issues including high blood pressure.
The 68-yearold man died at the government medical college here, taking the total number of COVID-19 deaths in Kerala to two, the government said.
"We have got information that the deceased man had come in contact with some persons arrived from the Gulf. As he was very sick and was not in a position to speak, we could not collect details from him directly," she told reporters here.
"So we had to collect such details from his relatives now. As per preliminary assessment, it was a case of contact spread. So, as of now, there is no need to get panic about the community spread," she said
The possibility of death was high among patients, aged above 60 years and suffering from other diseases like heart ailments or diabetics, she said.
"That's why we are giving strict directions to the elderly people to remain in homes and avoid contact with infected persons, " the minister said.
However, the minister directed those came in contact with the deceased person to remain in self-quarantine and inform the authorities if they developed any infection symptoms.
In both the coronavirus deaths in the state, the deceased persons were aged and were suffering from other diseases, she added.
Guj: Survivors share experience of fighting coronavirus
Social distancing and strong will power are the 'mantras' shared by some of the coronavirus patients who defeated the deadly viral infection and recovered from it. Their stories offer a ray of hope to other patients who are battling the disease.
While one of the survivors said she has emerged stronger after recovery, another one urged people to follow social distancing and stay at home, saying it is the only way to contain the spread of the infection.
A 34-year-old woman who returned from Finland and couple in their early 60s, who had history of travel to Saudi Arabia, tested positive for coronavirus on March 18 and 20, respectively. They were discharged from a hospital here on Monday.
Besides, 21-year-old woman from Surat, who had history of travel to the UK, was admitted to a hospital on March 18 and was discharged on Sunday. The Surat-based woman, who was among the first few cases of coronavirus reported in Gujarat, posted an emotional note on Instagram after being discharged.
"I have come out of the pandemic (as a) stronger (person). I wouldn't have made it without the support of my family, friends, well-wishers and most importantly God. I walked the journey - of being the first positive coronavirus case in Gujarat to the first recovery in Gujarat. I pray that each affected person be healed as fast as I did," she said.
The 34-year-old woman from Ahmedabad who has recovered regretted her decision to travel abroad which resulted in her contracting the infection.
She urged people to remain indoors in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus. Talking to some mediapersons over phone, she said,
"From my personal experience, I must say that there is no alternative to staying home. The risk of going abroad I took was absolutely not worth it. You are safe till you are home." Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani spoke to the four survivors over phone on Monday and wished them a healthy life ahead.
The survivors also thanked Rupani and his government for providing them the medical treatment which helped them recover from the deadly infection.
20,000 Homes Quarantined in Delhi
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 on Tuesday.
Taking to Twitter, the LG said the number of food distribution centres will also be increased to ensure social distancing in the national capital.
Baijal held a meeting with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar Dev and Police Commissioner through video conference to discuss measures to combat COVID-19.
"It has been decided to increase the number of food distribution centres from the present 500 to 2500 so that social distancing is adhered to effectively. Home quarantine has to be strictly monitored. More than 20,000 homes have been identified by GNCTD for home quarantine," he tweeted.
In another tweet, the LG said that the decision to increase food distribution centres was taken after reports that social distancing norms were violated at some centres.
"My advice to administration & police is to keep very strict watch on social distancing & home quarantine. Take deterrent actions for any violation & widely publicise. Separately, action to ramp up medical facilities to be expedited,"