Coronavirus Live Updates: 218 Indians stranded in Italy rescued
The United Nations said that as of Friday, 39 countries had closed schools worldwide, affecting more than 420 million children and young people.
The coronavirus outbreak, declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday, has led to more than 5,800 deaths globally.
As of mid-March, COVID-19, the deadly respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus, has infected 156,00 people globally and killed more than 5,800.
A total of 218 Indians, including 211 students, stranded in coronavirus-hit Italy arrived in India on Sunday, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said. He said all of them will be quarantined for 14 days.
The flight landed around 9.45 am at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) here, an airport official said. "Air India always spreads its wings to stand by the nation in its hour of need," an airline spokesperson said soon after the flight from Milan landed here.
The government has suspended all visas, barring a few categories like diplomatic and employment, in an attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus as cases across India rose to more than 90.
The government has been carrying out evacuation of Indians from countries, including Iran and Italy.
On Sunday, in India the number of coronavirus infections has risen to 107, an increase of 23 from Saturday.
The sample of a 71-year-old man who died on Saturday while under quarantine in Buldhana in Maharashtra for suspected exposure to novel coronavirus has returned negative, a health official said on Sunday. It was feared earlier that the septuagenarian became the first victim of Covid-19 in the state, which has reported 32 confirmed cases as on Sunday.
The man, with a history of diabetes and high blood pressure, had returned from the United Arab Emirates some days ago, an official said.
"He was admitted in Buldhana general hospital, where he died on Saturday. His sample, which was sent to Nagpur for testing, has returned negative," Civil Surgeon Premchand Pandit told PTI.
There have been no deaths due to viral transmission in Maharashtra so far.
An unprecedent empty Easter mass
All of Pope Francis' Easter services next month will be held without the faithful attending due to the coronavirus outbreak, Vatican said on Sunday, in a step believed to be unprecedented in modern times.
The services, four days of major events from Holy Thursday to Easter Sunday, usually draw tens of thousands of people to sites in Rome and in the Vatican.
A note on the website of the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household also said that until Easter Sunday on April 12, the pope's general audiences and Sunday blessings will continue to be seen over the internet and television without public participation.
The number of novel coronavirus cases in the country rose to 107 on Sunday, with 12 fresh cases in Maharashtra, the Union Health Ministry said.
The number of cases include two persons who died in Delhi and Karnataka.
While a 76-year-old man from Kalaburagi who had recently returned from Saudi Arabia died on Thursday, a 68-year-old woman in Delhi who had tested positive for coronavirus passed away at the Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital on Friday night.
Delhi has reported seven positive cases and Uttar Pradesh 11 so far. Karnataka has six coronavirus patients while Maharashtra 31, Ladakh three and Jammu and Kashmir 2. Telangana reported three cases.
Besides, Rajasthan also reported two cases. Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Punjab have reported one case each.
Kerala has recorded 22 cases, including three patients who were discharged last month after they recovered from the contagious infection with flu-like symptoms.
The total number of confirmed cases includes 17 foreigners -- 16 Italian tourists and a Canadian, the ministry officials said
Amid rising coronavirus cases in India, the government has asked people not to panic, saying no community transmission of the virus has been observed and there has only been a few cases of local transmission so far and that it is "not a health emergency" in India at present.
With the World Health Organisation (WHO) declaring COVID-19 a pandemic, a Health Ministry official said over 4,000 people who had come in contact with the 93 positive cases have been identified through contact tracing and were being tracked while 42,000 people across the country are under community surveillance.
He said all essential facilities like community surveillance, quarantine, isolation wards, adequate personal protective equipment (PPEs), trained manpower, rapid response teams are being strengthened further in all states and union territories.
The government on Wednesday suspended all visas, barring a few categories like diplomatic and employment, in an attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
It has asked Indian nationals to avoid all non-essential travel abroad.
All incoming international passengers returning to India should self-monitor their health and follow the required do's and dont's as detailed by the government.
Mexico warned on Saturday that the coronavirus outbreak could last all year as it began rolling out tougher measures to contain the spread, calling for an end to large gatherings and extending Easter school holidays.
The education ministry said some 33 million students will head into the Easter break at the end of next week, doubling the length of their vacation. Meanwhile, the health ministry recommended canceling gatherings with 5,000 people or more.
"We're preparing for an epidemic that could last all year," Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell told a news conference.
Mexico's confirmed coronavirus infections had risen to 41 on Saturday, from 26 a day earlier, the government said. It has not reported any fatalities from the virus.
Lopez-Gatell's strong message belied what has so far been a relatively hands-off approach to the virus.
Unlike the United States and much of Central America, Mexico has not imposed significant travel curbs, but says it is worried about the virus spreading from across the U.S. border.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador shrugged off the risk of infection at the weekend, continuing to hold rallies with hundreds of supporters.
"I greeted the people and dealt with their requests," Lopez Obrador said in a post on Twitter.
Footage from the southwestern state of Guerrero posted on his Twitter feed showed the president being mobbed by a crowd of people trying to hug and kiss him or snap selfies.
Some social media users expressed alarm to see the 66-year-old Lopez Obrador kissing small children proffered up by supporters in the town of Ometepec, Guerrero.
"The rest of the world is in quarantine, and our president goes around kissing people," wrote one critic on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Mexico's top-tier football league, Liga BBVA MX, said some matches scheduled for Saturday and Sunday as well as other tournaments will be played behind closed doors. Mexico's top baseball league delayed the start of the season to May 11.
Under the education ministry's direction, Mexico's Easter school vacations will start on Friday, March 20, and last for 30 days instead of 15. The ministry also set out other measures including extra education on hygiene and sanitation.
"We don't want that students leave for vacation and all stick together," Education Minister Esteban Moctezuma told a news conference. "We want this to be preventative isolation."
A 59-year-old woman tested positive for coronavirus in Aurangabad city of Maharashtra on Sunday, a state health official said. With this, the number of coronavirus positive cases has gone up to 32 in the state.
"The woman has tested positive for coronavirus infection. She had travelled to Russia and Kazakhstan. She has been quarantined at Dhoot Hospital in Aurangabad," the official said.
The Uttarakhand government has declared novel coronavirus an epidemic and shut all multiplexes, cinema halls, degree colleges and technical institutes across the state till March 31, official sources said. The decision was taken at a meeting of the state council of ministers here late on Saturday night.
However, medical colleges will remain open, they said.
Under the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897, the Centre has authorised state governments to take preventive measures to control the spread of coronavirus, state government spokesperson and Urban Development Minister Madan Kaushik said. The state government has the authority under the Act to close any school, college or theatre incase it feels they may pose a threat to public health, he said.
There has been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state.
However, a 26-year-old IIT-Roorkee student with suspected symptoms of coronavirus was admitted to an isolation ward of a hospital in Haridwar on Saturday. The M.Tech student had returned from Japan on March 3.