Coronavirus outbreak in India LIVE updates: General public not to be allowed in parliament complex; COVID-19 declared "notified disaster"
Here are the latest updates on the Covid-19 outbreak in India
India has reported 83 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus from across the country. Two people have died of the disease, the latest being a 68-year-old woman from Delhi on Friday. The other was a 76-year-old man from Southern Karnataka.
Kerala has reported the highest number of confirmed cases – 19. Ten people have been cured or discharged from hospital.
Karnataka, Kerala, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Haryana and Delhi have restricted public gatherings to prevent the spread of the disease.
In a move to quarantine itself from the rest of the world, the country suspended all the visas with effect from Friday.
Globally the disease has affected 130,000 people and killed 5,000. The World Health Organisation has declared Covid-19 as a pandemic.
General public not to be allowed in parliament complex as a precautionary measure
In the wake of Coronavirus scare, Lok Sabha Secretariat on Saturday suspended public gallery passes and showaround of parliament complex as a precautionary measure. Following this order of the secretariat, now general public can't visit parliament complex.
"Continuing the precautionary measures at Parliament House Estate in view of rising concerns over the spread of novel Coronavirus, it has been decided that the issue of Public Gallery Passes and Showaround(s) in Parliament House be suspended till further notice," Lok Sabha Secretariat said in an order.
It said members of the house are requested not to recommend issuance of public gallery passes and for showaround of parliament house complex.
Swaminarayan sect to close its all temples globally
The Swaminarayan sect has announced that it will close all its temples globally and suspend routine activities until further notice as part of its efforts to protect the health of volunteers, visitors and local communities from Covid-19.
The temples in the US, Canada, Europe and Australia have been closed while those in India and Africa will be closed soon, maybe in a week, the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam (BAPS) Swaminarayan Sanstha said.
Curbs on visitors to malls, gyms, beaches in Kerala's capital
In the wake of three positive cases of coronavirus being reported from the state capital, Kerala government on Saturday imposed restrictions on visitors entry at malls, gyms and beaches and warned people not to venture out of their homes unless necessary. So far, 19 people have been found positive for the virus, including three from Thiruvananthapuram. The government had earlier closed schools, colleges and cancelled all public functions in the state to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
No new cases, 10 Covid-19 patients stable: Pune official
There were no new positive cases of novel coronavirus here in the past 24 hours and the 10 Covid- 19 patients are stable, Pune Divisional Commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar said on Saturday. In the last 24 hours, the reports of 23 people whose samples were sent for testing for suspected exposure to novel coronavirus has returned negative, Mhaisekar added.
The central government has declared COVID-19 a 'notified disaster' and called the move "a special one-time dispensation". This would allow the government to provide compensation and aid to infected people and the families of those who killed by the virus under the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).
Bombay HC limits hearings to urgent matters
The Bombay High Court on Saturday said the functioning of the court will be restricted only to urgent matters for a week from March 16 in view of the coronavirus outbreak. Ad-interim and interim relief orders shall continue to operate during this period, it said. A circular issued by the high court registrar general noted that the Union and Maharashtra governments have advised against mass congregations.
Delhi's COVID-19 victim cremated
The last rites of a 68-year-old woman, who died in the national capital after being infected with coronavirus, were performed on Saturday at the CNG crematorium at Nigambodh ghat here under supervision of medical authorities.
Doctors from the Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) hospital here and from MCD oversaw the funeral after the crematorium staff reached out to the authorities seeking directives on ensuring that the infection didn't spread from the body.
All schools, colleges in West Bengal to remain shut till Mar 31
All educational institutions in West Bengal will remain shut till March 31 in the wake of coronavirus threat, officials said on Saturday. Board examinations will, however, continue as per schedule, they said. Internal examinations of these institutions will also remain suspended during this period, the officials said. There will be a review of the situation on March 30, following which further decision will be taken, they added.
Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Saturday said so far nearly 12 lakh passengers coming from abroad have been screened for coronavirus at various airports across the country. Speaking at "Wings India 2020", an aviation-related event being held here, the Union Minister said there would be a drop of 15 to 20 per cent in domestic air traffic for time being due to the virus concerns.
He further said, out of over 11 lakh passengers who were screened at 30 airports only 3,225 were referred to tests. Indian airports have "set up a benchmark" for other countries in terms of taking precautionary measures such as screening and making facilities available at aerodromes in the wake of the virus outbreak, he added.
Delhi is facing a shortage of masks, which has prompted Health Minister Satyendar Jain to urge healthy people not to use N95 masks. He said that such masks should be for healthcare workers. He also said that the government is constituting teams to take action against hoarding and overcharging for masks and sanitisers.
Delhi: Some pharmacies have stopped selling N95 masks due to increase in prices amid #COVID19 pandemic.A pharmacist in Connaught Place says,"We've stopped selling N95 masks as wholesellers are selling it to us at high prices&if we ask customers for more money they fight with us". pic.twitter.com/XLJs3tyUZk— ANI (@ANI) March 14, 2020
Fresh coronavirus case reported in Telangana
Another case of coronavirus was confirmed in Telangana on Saturday taking the total number of those infected to two, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said here. The patient with travel history to Italy has been admitted to the state-run Gandhi hospital in the city for quarantine purpose, Rao told the assembly. The samples of two others with suspected symptoms of the virus have been sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune, he said.
West Bengal seals border with Bhutan
The West Bengal government has sealed the state's border with Bhutan in the wake of novel coronavirus outbreak, a senior official said on Saturday. The West Bengal Police, which mans the border gate on the Indian side in Jaigaon in Alipurduar district, stopped the movement of goods and travellers from India to Bhutan on Friday evening, the official said. The move comes after Bhutan recently issued a notification to the Alipurduar district administration informing it about a halt in tourist and business activities in the wake of coronavirus outbreak, he said.
The Himalayan kingdom had earlier this month banned the entry of foreigners after an American tourist tested positive for the coronavirus.
Four admitted in Nagpur hospital return home without informing authorities
Four persons admitted to a government-run hospital here for suspected coronavirus infection, returned home without informing the authorities, police said on Saturday. The incident occurred late Friday night, they said. According to police, the four persons were later traced and asked to return to the hospital. Their test results are awaited. "Four persons, including two women, had come to the Indira Gandhi Government Medical College and Hospital (IGGMCH) on Friday morning to give their blood samples for suspected coronavirus infection. They were kept in the isolation ward. However, at night they left the hospital without informing the authorities," a police official said.
Punjab shuts down educational institutions till March 31
After ordering closure of all educational institutions in the state till March 31, the Punjab government is likely to shut down cinema halls, restaurants and clubs till the end of this month amid coronavirus scare.
Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said the government is contemplating to take this step keeping public health in view.
"Keeping public health in view, we are contemplating closure of cinemas, restaurants, gyms, clubs till March 31. Besides, we are also thinking to impose ban till the end of this month on all such public functions which attract big crowds," Sidhu told PTI over phone.