Here are the day’s top updates:

11 pm: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court will only hear urgent cases till March 31.

10.50 pm: Prohibitory orders have been imposed in Nagpur amid coronavirus fears.

10.42 pm: Pakistan reports 131 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours, ANI reports. The count in Pakistan is now 186.

10.32 pm: Jammu and Kashmir Principal Secretary Planning Rohit Kansal says: “One more case, with travel history to Saudi Arabia, confirmed positive. Had reported high viral load earlier. Total three positive cases now in the union territory.”

10.24 pm: Anti-Citizenship Act protestors in Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh locality have released a statement after the administration’s ban on gatherings of over 50 people, including ongoing protests, till March 31.

“Legal and medical experts are in dialogue with us at the moment to find best ways forward for our protest,” the statement said. “Our fight is not against the ways of nature, but against the oppressive ways of our fellow humans. We have sat through the coldest winter of a century, and we shall also find ways to overcome our present conditions with utmost precautions to ensure the safety of our fellow protestors.”

Also read:

Coronavirus: Delhi bans gatherings of over 50 persons – protests included, weddings exempted

10.21 pm: Community kitchen has been banned in Himachal Pradesh’s Shimla district till March 31 to contain the spread of coronavirus, PTI reports, citing a government official. The state has not reported any infections so far.

10.08 pm: EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen proposes that the bloc close its borders to non-essential travel, AF reports. “The less travel, the more we can contain the virus. Therefore... I propose to the heads of state and governments to introduce temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the European Union,” she says.

10.05 pm: “Without exponentially increasing the number of laboratories, the estimate of the number of persons in our country infected by COVID-19 cannot be determined with accuracy,” the petition in the Supreme Court says, according to PTI. “The number of designated quarantine and isolation centres in the Country appear to be fairly insufficient given the extent of seriousness of the prevailing circumstances.”

It adds: “It is imperative in larger public interest to review and enhance current capability available in India and create nationwide centralized management authority to handle preventive measure and treatment facilities to inspire, confidence in public at large, who are currently gripped with fear and uncertainty, due lot of misinformation about the situation that’s dynamic and unfolding new and unknown dimensions each day.”

10 pm: A petition in the Supreme Court seeks more authorised laboratories for testing COVID-19 and an increase in quarantine centres and more temporary beds in rural areas, besides thermal screening at public places, PTI reports.

“Thermal screening is required for persons within the country at all public places including work places, metro stations, railways stations; schools and colleges to name a few, as a precautionary measure to screen persons who may exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 to prevent spreading of the same,” the plea says.

9.58 pm: Malaysia places ban on citizens from travelling abroad and also stops foreign arrivals, PTI reports.

9.55 pm: Two new cases of the virus were found in Maharashtra on Monday, ANI reports. One case is of a 51-year-old woman from Yavatmal and the other is a Philippines citizen who was visiting Navi Mumbai. With this, total number of COVID-19 cases rises to 39 in Maharashtra, the highest in India.

9.51 pm: Tiger projects, national parks and sanctuaries in Maharashtra will be closed till March 31, PTI reports.

9.50 pm: Sikkim bans the entry of domestic tourists into the state. Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland have also taken similar measures.

8.57 pm: “Non-essential travel should be avoided,” the health ministry adds. “Buses, trains and aeroplanes to maximize social distancing in public transport besides ensuring regular and proper disinfection of surfaces.”

The advisory also asks hospitals to follow necessary protocol on managing coronavirus patients.

8.52 pm: “Keep already planned weddings to a limited gathering, postpone all non-essential social and cultural gatherings,” the advisory of the Union Ministry of Health says. Local authorities have been asked to urge organisers to postpone mass events, and also appeal to religious leaders to regulate mass gatherings with “at least one metre distance”.

8.51 pm: The health ministry’s advisory for restaurants includes handwashing protocol and proper cleanliness of frequently touched surfaces. “Ensure physical distancing (minimum 1 metre) between tables; encourage open air seating where practical with adequate distancing,” it adds.

8.45 pm: The Health Ministry adds that possibility of postponing exams should be looked into, and ongoing exams should be held after “ensuring physical distance of one meter amongst students”. The advisory for private sector includes work from home wherever feasible.

8.42 pm: India’s Ministry of Health issues new advisories to prevent coronavirus. “Closure of all educational establishments (schools, universities etc), gyms, museums, cultural and social centres, swimming pools and theatres,” the advisory says. “Students should be advised to stay at home. Online education to be promoted.”

The ministry adds that the “proposed interventions shall be in force till 31st of March”, and will be reviewed according to the situation.

8.40 pm: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu says the state has closed its doors to tourists temporarily to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the state, reports ANI. Arunachal Pradesh had earlier barred entry of foreigners in the state.

8.39 pm: All the national monuments and museums under the Archaeological Survey of India will remain closed till March 31, Tourism Minister Prahlad Patel tells ANI.

8.36 pm: The coordination committee of all district courts of Delhi passes resolution, saying lawyers practising at trial courts of the city will abstain from work and attend to only urgent matters such as cases of bail to prevent coronavirus infections, reports PTI.

8.32 pm: Board of Control for Cricket in India to shut down offices from Tuesday in wake of COVID-19, employees have been asked to work from home, reports PTI.

8.31 pm: Three more positive cases of coronavirus in Kerala, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 24 in the state, Chief Minister Vijayan says. A total of 12,740 people are under observation, of which 12,470 are under home quarantine and 270 are admitted in hospital. 72 new patients came in on Monday.

8.26 pm: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan says “Break the Chain” campaign has been launched by the state health minister to spread awareness. The campaign urges people to use sanitizers, which will be made available in all offices, reports ANI.

8.19 pm: India’s health ministry says the restrictions on travel from certain foreign countries are temporary measures and shall be in force till March 2020 and will be reviewed subsequently.

8.18 pm: “No airline shall board a passenger from these nations to India with effect from 1200 GMT [5:30 pm Indian Standard Time] on 18th March 2020,” the health ministry says. “The airline shall enforce this at the port of initial departure.”

8.02 pm: India’s health ministry has said the passengers travelling from the European Union, European Free Trade Association, Turkey, and the United Kingdom to India will not be allowed entry from March 18.

7.59 pm: Tamil Nadu government has announced that all educational institutions, theatres, malls, gyms, amusement parks, swimming pools will remain closed till March 31. The state government announces that no permission has been given for rallies, public meetings, summer camps, conferences, exhibitions, cultural, or sporting events till March 31, reports ANI.

7.56 pm: Another positive coronavirus case has been reported in Hyderabad. Total confirmed cases goes up to four in the state, reports ANI, citing the state health ministry. The patient has a travel history to Scotland. The person is now admitted in a hospital in Hyderabad and receiving treatment.

7.49 pm: A 32-year-old man from Bengaluru has tested positive for COVID-19, reports ANI. The man returned from the United States through London on March 8. He was in home quarantine, and has now been admitted in an isolation facility.

7.47 pm: Aggarwal says contact tracing activity of these positive cases has led to the identification of more than 5,200 contacts, who are kept under surveillance.

7.45 pm: In Jammu and Kashmir, district administration of Ganderbal has imposed Section 144 of CrPC in the district, till March 31, reports ANI.

7.41 pm: Union Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Aggarwal says fourth batch of 53 evacuates from Iran have arrived today, and are being quarantined at the Army facility in Jaisalmer, reports ANI. All are reported to be asymptomatic as present and are in quarantine as per protocol.

7.13 pm: The Health Ministry of India has said that important measures against spread of coronavirus, include closing of schools, swimming pools, shopping malls, allowing employees to work from home, decrease in use of public transport, one meter distance between people should be maintained till March 31.

6.24 pm: The Reserve of Bank of India announces that people can use non-cash digital modes of payment (NEFT, IMPS, UPI and BBPS) from the convenience of their homes through online channels like mobile banking, internet banking, cards, and avoid using cash that may require going to crowded areas, reports ANI.

6.19 pm: The Odisha government says its directives for foreign visitors is also applicable to Indians residing abroad, who are returning to the state, reports ANI.

6.18 pm: Bombay High Court and its benches in Nagpur, Aurangabad, and Goa will function for only two hours in a day from Tuesday until further orders, reports PTI.

6.17 pm: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray asks district collectors to make sure no crowding occurs at religious sites, reports PTI.

6.15 pm: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh says suspension of pilgrimage to Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara in Pakistan is a “temporary measure”, reports PTI.

6.11 pm: Opposition Congress MLAs stage walkout from Gujarat Assembly after the Speaker refuses to accept their demand to postpone the ongoing Budget Session amid coronavirus scare, reports PTI.

Also read:

Gujarat: Fifth Congress MLA resigns ahead of Rajya Sabha elections

6.05 pm: These are the helplines to reach the Ministry of External Affairs in India:

Control Room : 1800118797 (toll free)
+91- 11- 23012113
+91- 11- 23014104
+91- 11- 23017905

Fax: +91- 011- 23018158

6.03 pm: Amid coronavirus scare, the Delhi High Court has issued various directions including hearing of only urgent matters and added that no undertrial prisoner would be produced before the subordinate courts till March 31, reports ANI.

6 pm: In Maharashtra, the morning visits to Raj Bhavan in Mumbai are being suspended between March 17 and March 31, reports ANI.

5.56 pm: In New Delhi, the Jawaharlal Nehru University issues an advisory for students amid coronavirus scare, asks all students to return to their homes, and take adequate preventive measures according to the Indian administration’s guidelines, reports ANI.

The university also declares that hostel services will be limited to only basic mess facility and will be available in the hostels for foreign visitors and for students who stay back in hostels for valid reasons.

5.54 pm: Pune Divisional Commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar says under Section 144 (1) and (2) whatever curbs were required to contain the spread of coronavirus have been imposed. “If needed, further restrictions will be added and action will be taken accordingly,” he says, according to ANI.

5.51 pm: In Madhya Pradesh, devotees will not be allowed to attend “Bhasmarti” at Mahakaleshwar Temple in Ujjain till March 31, reports ANI

5.19 pm: In Maharashtra, Ajanta and Ellora caves will be closed from Thursday as a precaution against coronavirus, reports PTI. The state’s Health Minister Rajesh Tope declares that schools, colleges in rural Maharashtra will also be shut till the end of March.

5.17 pm: The Odisha Government asks all foreign visitors to register their arrival into state and home quarantine for 14 days. The state administration announces an incentive of Rs 15,000 for every visitor after registration, failure to do so will be considered a crime, reports ANI.

5.15 pm: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar says people with symptoms of coronavirus should immediately visit hospitals to ensure they get treatment in time. “There is no need to be scared,” he says, according to ANI. “Isolation facility is being developed in medical colleges. We should stay cautious and prepared.”

5.13 pm: The Tripura government has declared that all educational institutes, cinemal halls, swimming pools, gyms will remain closed between March 17 and March 30, reports ANI. Hostels of the educational institutes will be vacant from March 21 to March 31.

5.08 pm: The Government of Tripura has announced that anganwadi centres will be closed till March 31, reports ANI. Supplementary Nutrition Programme will be given to guardians as take home ration during home visits, the administration has said, adding “take home rations to the pregnant/lactating mothers will also be provided without disruption”.

5.06 pm: Indian Army Spokesperson Colonel Aman Anand says a team of Army medical personnel, including six doctors and eight paramedics, are in the Maldives since March 13 to set up a viral testing lab, reports ANI.

5.03 pm: Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das has said that the “second round of effects of the pandemic could operate through a slowdown in the domestic economic growth and it would obviously be a result of synchronised slowdown in global growth and as a part of that, the growth momentum in India would also be impacted somewhat”, according to ANI.

4.59 pm: The Chandigarh administration announces that all social, cultural, sports, political, religious, academic and family mass events of 100 or more people are banned till March 31 with immediate effect, reports ANI.

The administration also declares that all cinema halls, gyms, pubs, swimming pools, coaching centres, shopping malls, except grocery shops and pharmacies in the shopping complexes shall remain closed till March 31.

4.57 pm: In Maharashtra, entry of devotees into the Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai will be closed from Monday evening till further notice, reports PTI.

4.49 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee asks cinema halls to be shut amid coronavirus scare, adds that the situation will be reviewed on March 30, reports PTI.

4.35 pm: The Ministry of Health announces four new cases, one each in Kerala, Ladakh, Odisha, and Jammu and Kashmir. This takes the total active cases to 114, from last night’s 110.

4.31 pm: He says the RBI is encouraging digital payments. “In times like this, minimise social contact and it may be good idea to use digital modes of payment.”

Das also announces long term repo operations up to Rs 1 lakh crore, and a sell/buy swap.

4.27 pm: “Financial markets across the world are facing intense volatility.” He adds that several sectors such as hospitality and travel have been affected by the pandemic.

4.26 pm: There is considerable uncertainty about the duration of the pandemic, he says.

4.35 pm: “India is not immune to this pandemic,” says RBI chief Shaktikanta Das.

4.23 pm: The Ministry of Health says a toll-free number has been activated for coronavirus support. The number is 1075.

4.21 pm: Hockey India postpones the national championships for Junior and Sub Junior categories for men and women.

4.18 pm: Bahrain reports its first coronavirus death. Its Ministry of Health says the victim is a “65-year-old female Bahraini national who was suffering from underlying and chronic health problems”.

4.14 pm: There will be a press briefing by the government on coronavirus at 5.30 pm, says PIB.

3.38 pm: The government of Meghalaya closes all schools and colleges and cancels all major events till March 31, PTI reports.

“All educational institutions within the state are to remain closed except for holding of examinations,” Health Minister AL Hek says in the Assembly. He says people have been asked not to go to places visited by large crowds like cinemas, to avoid non-essential travel, to avoid tourist spots, and to work from home if possible.

3.27 pm: Another UK leader, MP Kate Osborne, tests positive for coronavirus.

3.22 pm: #WhereisBoris has been trending on Twitter over the weekend, as people in Britain have vented their frustration at their government for not having a stronger approach to containing the virus. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s cautious approach, which has not involved closing down schools or public spaces, has received tremendous criticism from healthcare experts as well as international governments.

A group of 200 scientists questioned Johnson’s methods, saying they were “deeply preoccupied” with his government’s proposed plan at managing the virus, “which aims at delaying social distancing measures even further”.

3.17 pm: The Ministry of Health has not announced an updated number of coronavirus cases in India today. Here is a look at where the 110 cases, announced on Sunday, are in the country.

3.15 pm: Bihar’s Assembly has been adjourned, reports ANI. A date for its resumption has not been set.

3.13 pm: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar says the state will bear the expenses of all those who test positive for the virus, reports PTI.

3.10 pm: Here are all the state end Union Territory helpline numbers:

2.58 pm: Chhattisgarh’s health minister writes to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan requesting expanded testing for coronavirus. TS Singh Deo tells Harsh Vardhan in his letter that Indian has one of the lowest rates of testing in the world – just three tests per million. He adds that countries such as South Korea have testing rates at around 4,000 per million.

He suggests that more testing kits be distributed, and that public hospitals are not the only ones allowed to test for the virus.

2.53 pm: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy says there is no need to worry about coronavirus, reports ANI. He also claims that paracetamol is the only medication for the virus.

“There is no need to get panic about coronavirus,” ANI quotes him as saying. “Its impact is majorly on senior citizens aged above 60 years. It is dangerous to those suffering from diabetes, blood pressure, asthma and kidney diseases. For others, it is not so much dangerous. And paracetamol is the only medication for coronavirus.”

2.45 pm: Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das to hold press conference at 4 pm amid the spread of coronavirus, reports PTI.

2.40 pm: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar says in the Assembly that continuous screening of people is being done at 49 locations at the India-Nepal border, reports ANI.

2.19 pm: The Delhi High Court says it will issue more directions about precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus, reports PTI. An advocate mentions before a bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar that the photocopy shops and cash counters in the complex should accept also digital payments.

2.10 pm: Former RSS ideologue KN Govindacharya moves the Supreme Court seeking live streaming of proceedings because of the growing coronavirus pandemic, reports PTI.

2.05 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi shares a video on Instagram about steps to contain the spread of COVID-19. “Rumours are spreading fast at this time...I urge all of you to stay away from rumours,” he says. “While those who are infected are already quarantined, even those who are suspected to have the infection should not be scared... Contact doctor immediately and heed the advice of experts.”

2 pm: Jerome Salomon, head of the health service in France, says the coronavirus outbreak in the country is “very worrying” and “deteriorating very fast”, reports AFP. “I want our citizens to realise that there are people who are sick, who are in intensive care and that [their number] runs into hundreds,” he adds.

1.53 pm: Authorities in Jammu and Kashmir announce the closure of all parks and gardens in Srinagar till further orders.

Meanwhile, a person who had recently travelled to Saudi Arabia has been put in isolation on suspicion of having contracted the coronavirus, reports PTI.

1.49 pm: Yavatmal District Collector MD Singh says another person with a travel history to Dubai has been tested positive for coronavirus, reports ANI. With this, total number of COVID-19 cases rises to 38 in Maharashtra, the highest in India.

1.44 pm: The prime minister says authorities are working in sync to contain the spread of coronavirus. “No stone is being left unturned to ensure people are health,” he says in another tweet.

1.40 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi says many people are highlighting different aspects of how India is combating the spread of coronavirus. “This is certainly boosting the morale of all those doctors, nurses, municipal workers, airport staff and all other remarkable people at the forefront of fighting COVID-19,” he tweets.

1.31 pm: Kejriwal says protests with gathering of over 50 people will also be not allowed in Delhi.

1.30 pm: The AAP chief says he will examine if thermal screening for coronavirus can be done in Delhi Metro as well.

1.29 pm: Arvind Kejriwal says a plan is underway for allowing people to pay and stay at designated hotels during quarantine.

1.26 pm: “Public transport is being disinfected on a daily basis,” says Kejriwal. “Have also started free disinfection for taxis and auto at bus depots.”

1.25 pm: The chief minister orders all district magistrates to install 300 dispensers in their areas with liquid soap and water.

1.22 pm: It is imperative that those who have been asked to home quarantine themselves due to coronavirus stay at home, says Arvind Kejriwal.

1.18 pm: The chief minister says all gyms, nightclubs, spas will be closed till March 31. He adds that any political, religious and social gathering with more than 50 persons will not be allowed. He says this excludes weddings but also requests people to postpone them if possible.

1.17 pm: Kejriwal says Delhi has seven coronavirus patients and two of them have been recovered and discharged.

1.15 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal addresses a press conference on the steps taken to deal with coronavirus.

1.11 pm: AIADMK MP SR Balasubramaniam suggests that the ongoing Budget session of Parliament could be curtailed because of spread of coronavirus, reports PTI.

1.08 pm: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Health Minister Rajesh Tope are conducting a review meeting with district magistrate via a video conference, reports ANI. The state has highest number of positive coronavirus cases in India.

1.06 pm: Germany closes its borders with Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg and Denmark as the country seeks to curb the spread of coronavirus, reports CNN.

As of Sunday, there were 4,838 cases of coronavirus in Germany, with 12 deaths.

1 pm: Bihar Assembly’s Budget session has been cut short because of the spread of coronavirus, says Speaker Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, according to PTI.

12.55 pm: Four new positive COVID-19 cases have been reported from Maharashtra. This includes three in Mumbai and one in Navi Mumbai, according to PTI.

The total count in the state now stands at 37. However, these cases are yet to be confirmed by the health ministry.

Also read: Coronavirus will put all of India’s state systems to the test

12.50 pm: Officials in Odisha request tourists to leave Puri as all educational institutions, gyms, cinema halls and swimming pools have been closed to contain the spread of COVID-19, reports ANI. “We are convincing tourists, foreign and domestic, to not enter the city,” says Regional Transport Officer SK Roy.

12.42 pm: Bobde says a system can be put in place to facilitate daily media briefing by the secretary general. He also says video conferencing facility may be brought into place but not sooner than one week from now.

12.40 pm: Chief Justice SA Bobde tells journalists that rules for preventing overcrowding in courts cannot be relaxed for them based on their profession, reports Bar and Bench. He advises them to share notes and information, adding that the court does not want to prevent any reportage.

12.33 pm: The top court says mass gathering is a big problem and can become the centre for spread of the coronavirus. The court issues notice to director general of prison and chief secretary of all states on the steps taken to contain the spread of COVID-19.

12.32 pm: The Supreme Court says some states have taken steps amid the growing coronavirus pandemic but there are others who have not taken appropriate measures to contain overcrowding in the prisons, reports PTI.

12.25 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is conducting review meetings with all district authorities on the measures taken to contain the spread of COVID-19.

12.22 pm: Chhattisgarh Assembly session has been adjourned till March 25 because of coronavirus outbreak, reports ANI.

12.20 pm: Sri Lanka is conducting a week-long Buddhist prayers to combat the spread of novel coronavirus, reports AFP. The country has 11 confirmed cases with over 137 being hospitalised.

12.12 pm: The Supreme Court says that “soon, there will be virtual courts” as coronavirus cases continue to rise, reports NDTV. “In trial courts, it is very difficult because challenges there are different,” says Justice DY Chandrachud, who is heading one of the six benches today. “Our intention is that court should not be the place where infection spreads. Chief justice is constantly in touch with all high courts. We have taken the first step. The next step would be the filing will be digital and virtual courts.”

12.08 pm: Congress leader P Chidambaram says the government is not taking enough steps to tackle the spread of coronavirus, reports ANI. “I have no quarrel if the prime minister wants to call meeting of SAARC or G-20,” he adds. “States are taking bold measures whereas Centre is very diffident and seems to be behind the curve. There should be a video conference between the prime minister and the chief ministers.”

12.05 pm: Pope Francis prays at two shrines for the end of the coronavirus pandemic, reports Reuters. Francis left the Vatican unannounced to pray at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore and then walked along one of Rome’s main streets to visit St Marcello church to pray before a crucifix that was used in a procession when the plague hit Rome in 1522.

Pope Francis prays at the Santa Maria Maggiore basilica for the end of the coronavirus pandemic. (Credits: Vatican Media)

12 pm: Colleges in Tamil Nadu have declared summer vacation in view of the COVID-19 epidemic, reports The Hindu. SRM Institute of Science and Technology has closed the college up to March 31 and a detailed circular will be up on the institute’s website on Monday afternoon, while Vellore Institute of Technology has advanced its summer vacation.

Also read: Why Kerala has done more coronavirus tests than Tamil Nadu – and why this must change

11.56 am: Subroto Bagchi, Odisha government’s chief spokesperson on coronavirus cases, says the patient who tested positive in the state is stable, reports PTI. He had reached Delhi from Italy on March 6 and travelled to Bhubaneswar by train on March 12. He consulted the doctor a day later.

Bagchi says the state government has launched a “contact tracing exercise”.

11.52 am: A health worker in Rajasthan has been arrested in Dausa district for allegedly spreading fake news about the coronavirus, reports PTI.

11.46 am: The trust vote to test the strength of 15-month-old Congress government in Madhya Pradesh will not happen today as the Assembly was adjourned till March 26 amid concerns over the spread of COVID-19, reports NDTV.

11.44 am: The Madhya Pradesh Assembly session has been adjourned till March 26 because of the coronavirus outbreak, reports ANI. The floor test for the Kamal Nath-led government was supposed to take place today.

11.37 am: The US Peace Corps has decided to temporarily suspend all operations around the world and evacuate its volunteers as the coronavirus pandemic spreads, reports CNN.

11.31 am: Lawyers and litigants are being thermal-screened in the Supreme Court, reports PTI. The top court, which has taken several precautionary measures in wake of the coronavirus epidemic, has allowed only restricted entry of lawyers, litigants and journalists in the courtroom.

11.27 am: Vietnam confirms four more cases of coronavirus, all among foreign nationals, says its health ministry, according to Reuters. The total number of cases in the country rose to 57.

11.22 am: Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas says the rights to coronavirus vaccine research were not for sale, following reports that US President Donald Trump wanted to buy exclusive access to a potential vaccine developed by a German biotech firm, reports AFP. “German researchers play a leading role in drug and vaccine development and we cannot allow others to seek exclusive results,” says Mass.

11.17 am: M Anganuthu, secretary of tourism in Assam, says there are over 500 international and about 40,000 domestic tourists the state, reports ANI. He says arrangement have been for screening tourists.

Assam government had on Sunday announced closure of all schools, colleges, universities, gymnasiums, swimming pools and cinema halls in the state till March 29 to contain the spread of coronavirus.

11.11 am: The Jamia Millia Islamia issues advisory asking students to go home because of the coronavirus outbreak, reports ANI. The places of large gatherings like hostels, dining halls, libraries, kitchens are all highly-vulnerable and susceptible to the threat of the deadly COVID-19, according to the advisory.

11.05 am: Maharashtra health department says one more person has tested positive for coronavirus in Pimpri-Chinchwad, reports ANI. This takes total number of confirmed cases to 33 in the state. The health ministry is yet to confirm this case.

11 am: Vittorio Gregotti, an Italian architect who helped design the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics stadium, has died at the age of 92 because of coronavirus, The Guardian reports, citing local media.

10.57 am: The Trinamool Congress and the BJP in West Bengal have urged the state Election Commission to postpone the upcoming civic polls because of the coronavirus outbreak, reports News18. The poll body will meet the political parties later in the day to discuss the matter.

10.52 am: US State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus says Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar discussed the coronavirus outbreak and the ways in which both the countries can address the global pandemic.

10.49 am: Former union minister P Chidambaram says the government must pay attention to the increase in number of coronavirus cases in India and calls it “worrying”. “Yesterday I had asked the government to consider stronger and more determined measures to combat COVID 19,” he tweets. “We got a video conference that left us no wiser. While the SAARC meeting was welcome, government must pay heed to the warnings of WHO and ICMR [Indian Council of Medical Research], and now doctor Devi Shetty. Government must consider partial to total lockdown of many towns and cities.”

10.42 am: Jack Ma, Chinese entrepreneur and founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba, donates face masks and coronavirus testing kits to the United States.

10.39 am: Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee has kept one foreign and eight Indian students under 14-day isolation over fears of contracting COVID-19, reports ANI.

10.35 am: Ukrainian-born actress Olga Kurylenko announces that she has tested positive for the coronavirus and has been in self-isolation at her home with symptoms that include fever and fatigue.

10.33 am: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II has been shifted from the Buckingham Palace in London to Windsor Castle due to the coronavirus outbreak, reports PTI. The 93-year-old monarch and her 98-year-old husband, Prince Philip, are likely to be placed in quarantine at the royal Sandringham Estate in Norfolk.

10.30 am: Spain reports 2,000 new coronavirus cases and more than a hundred deaths over the last 24 hours, according to AFP. The new figures raise the country’s number of COVID-19 infections to 7,753 and the toll to 288.

10.28 am: Peru to close its borders to curb the spread of coronavirus, reports Reuters.

10.10 am: The Centre for Disease Control in US has recommended to postpone or cancel events having a gathering of 50 people or more for the next eight weeks to contain the spread of the coronavirus that has claimed 69 lives in the country, reports PTI.

10 am: South Korea reports 74 new coronavirus infections on Monday, slightly lower than the previous day, according to Reuters. The country now has 8,236, positive cases and 75 deaths.

9.55 am: A meeting of a group of Union ministers will also take place at Delhi’s Nirman Bhawan to discuss the coronavirus spread, reports ANI.

9.50 am: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will have a video conference call with all district authorities regarding the containment measures taken against the spread of coronavirus, reports ANI. The Deputy chief minister, health minister, chief secretary and health secretary will join the call from Delhi Secretariat.

9.43 am: The Odisha patient reportedly took a train from Delhi to Bhubaneswar to avoid scrutiny from officials, according to Hindustan Times.

9.39 am: A patient with a travel history to Italy has tested positive for coronavirus in Odisha, reports ANI. CBK Mohanty, director of health and education training, says the patient took a train from Delhi to Bhubaneswar after coming back from Italy. He is admitted at a Bhubaneswar hospital.

9.27 am: The mayors of New York City and Los Angeles, the two largest cities in the United States, say they were ordering restaurants, theaters, bars and movie houses to be closed in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, reports Reuters.

9.22 am: The daughter of a 76-year-old man from Kalaburagi in Karnataka, who was India’s first fatality from coronavirus, tests positive for the illness, reports The Indian Express. “She is already admitted in the Kalaburagi district hospital and her health condition is stable,” says Karnataka Health Commissioner Pankaj Pandey. “Three other contacts of P6 are declared negative. The contacts have been traced and containment measures have been initiated.”

9.20 am: Sensex opens 1,000 points lower at 33,103, Nifty at 9,588 amid fears of coronavirus spread globally.

9.15 am: Many hospitals in Delhi are not testing people with no foreign travel history despite having coronavirus symptoms, reports NDTV. “The disease is primarily reported in individuals with travel history to affected countries or close contacts of positive cases,” according to the Indian Council of Medical Research guidelines. “Therefore, all individuals need not be tested.”

Health officials have denied that India has experienced any community transmission of the coronavirus. However, details of the travel and contact history of many patients has not been released by the government.

Also read: Health ministry denies community spread of coronavirus – but leaves patient history incomplete

9.12 am: In China, the National Health Commission says the country reported 16 new confirmed cases of coronavirus on Sunday, down from 20 a day earlier, according to Reuters. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in China so far to 80,860 and the toll from the pandemic reached 3,213.

9.08 am: A separate tally by Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking cases reported by the World Health Organisation and additional sources, estimates that number of coronavirus cases may now be around 169,387, with over 6,000 deaths.

9.05 am: Guatemala confirms its first fatality from coronavirus, reports Reuters. The victim was a 85-year-old man who had recently returned from Madrid without showing signs of illness.

9 am: There are 5,746 virus-linked deaths globally and the number of confirmed cases is 153,648, according to the World Health Organisation’s latest update.

8.10 am: As many as 20 passengers of a Dubai-bound Emirates flight have been offloaded at Kochi airport on Sunday shortly before takeoff after a Britisher among them tested positive for COVID-19, NDTV reports. The man had boarded the flight along with 19 others who were holidaying in the hill station of Munnar in Kerala and was under quarantine. However, he did not inform the airport authorities about this.

8.05 am: A spike in the number of deaths from the coronavirus in Spain and Italy has pushed the global toll above 6,000, AFP reports. Over 1,900 deaths have been reported in Italy till Sunday, the second worst-hit country after China.

8.01 am: As many as 368 people have died in Italy on Sunday, the highest single-day death toll, AFP reports. Political leaders have warned of a shortage of hospital beds and artificial respirators. The Vatican has cancelled its Easter Week celebrations in response to the crisis.

A man plays the guitar from a balcony to raise morale on the sixth day of a complete lockdown in Milan, Italy on Sunday. (Photo credit: Reuters)

7.59 am: The number of novel coronavirus cases in India has risen to 110, with Maharashtra reporting the highest number followed by Kerala. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has proposed the setting up of an emergency fund by member countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.

The government has suspended travel and registration of pilgrims to the Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib through the corridor from midnight on Sunday.

7.55 am: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said that the fourth batch of 53 Indians has arrived in India from Tehran and Shiraz in Iran. Of the 53, 52 are students and one is a teacher. “Fourth batch of 53 Indians - 52 students and a teacher - has arrived from Tehran and Shiraz, #Iran,” Jaishankar has tweeted. “With this, a total of 389 Indians have returned to India from Iran. Thank the efforts of the team @India_in_Iran and Iranian authorities.”

7.51 am: Some housing societies in Mumbai are taking extraordinary measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic, The Indian Express reports. For example, the Lokhandwala Oshiwara Citizens’ Association has arranged for digital thermometers to check non-residents entering the building. They have also hand sanitisers at the entrance of the building, and outsiders are not allowed in without washing their hands.

7.48 am: Two Italian tourists to Rajasthan who were administered anti-HIV drugs for their coronavirus have tested negative for the disease, The Indian Express reports. “They have tested negative twice, they are coronavirus free,” Rajasthan Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Rohit Kumar Singh says.

7.47 am: More than half of those who tested positive for COVID-19 in Maharashtra have either visited Dubai or remained in close contact with the infected cases, The Indian Express reports. Maharashtra has recorded 33 Covid-19 cases, of which 18 have a travel history to Dubai. However, the United Arab Emirates is not on the list of high-risk countries issued by the Indian government.

7.45 am: Here are the top updates from Sunday:

  • Leaders of the member nations of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation discussed the situation on video conference called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Modi proposed the creation of a COVID-19 emergency fund and said India can initially offer $10 million.
  • Pakistan representatives at the SAARC video conference sought the immediate lifting of the lockdown in Jammu and Kashmir to ensure that people receive appropriate medical care.  
  • The number of cases in India rose to 107, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy lashed out at the State Election Commission for postponing local body elections, claiming it was working at the behest of former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.
  • The Islamic State terrorist group issued a travel advisory for its operatives to stay away from coronavirus-affected Europe, calling it the “land of the epidemic”.
  • Iran announced that the toll has risen to 724, with the deaths of 113 people in a single day.