Two more deaths due to Covid-19 – one each in West Bengal and Himachal Pradesh – took the toll in India to nine on Monday. The number of cases so far rose to 468 – an increase of nearly 100 within a day.
Meanwhile, as at least 21 states and Union Territories ordered curfews or lockdowns to contain the spread of the virus, the Centre said domestic flights cannot operate after 11.59 pm on Tuesday. The Centre urged state governments to take action against those who violate lockdown orders.
Covid-19 has infected 3,53,692 people, and killed 15,430 worldwide, according to an estimate by Johns Hopkins University, which is live-tracking cases reported by the World Health Organization and additional sources.
The national helpline number for the coronavirus is 011-23978046, and a toll-free number 1075. Here are the helpline numbers for states and the Union Territories: https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/coronvavirushelplinenumber.pdf
Here are the updates from the day:
10.32 pm: Tamil Nadu Health Minister C Vijayabaskar confirms three new cases in the state.
10.28 pm: United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres calls for an “immediate global ceasefire” in all corners of the world. “Our world faces a common enemy: Covid-19,” he says. “The virus does not care about nationality or ethnicity, faction or faith. It attacks all, relentlessly.”
Guterres says: “The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war. That is why today, I am calling for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world. It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives.”
9.50 pm: The number of cases in Maharashtra is now 97, state health officials say, according to PTI and ANI news agencies. The updated number has not yet been confirmed by the Union Health Ministry.
9.47 pm: Karnataka will be locked down from midnight until April 1, ANI reports.
9.40 pm: The number of cases in Bihar rises to three as a 24-year-old man with travel history to the United Kingdom tests positive, PTI reports.
9.38 pm: World Health Organization Regional Director (South-East Asia) Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh says airborne spread of coronavirus has not been reported so far and it is transmitted mostly through respiratory droplets and close contact, PTI reports.
9.37 pm: Assam will be under a lockdown from 6 pm on Tuesday till March 31, PTI reports. Essential services such as pharmacies, water supply, banking and petrol pumps will be exempted. The state border will be sealed and no vehicles, barring those on essential duties, will be allowed.
9.32 pm: Gujarat will be under a lockdown from midnight until March 31, state police chief Shivanand Jha tells ANI. State borders have been sealed, he says.
9.31 pm: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot says that the state will ban all private vehicles on roads from Tuesday, ANI reports.
Puducherry has also imposed a curfew with immediate effect till March 31, Chief Minister V Narayanasamy says.
In Uttar Pradesh, 17 districts are now under a lockdown after it has been imposed in Jaunpur too, ANI reports.
9.29 pm: Tihar Jail in Delhi will release around 3,000 inmates in the next three to four days – half of them on parole and the rest on interim bail, ANI reports.
9.25 pm: Four new cases reported from Pratapgarh and Jodhpur, taking the total number of cases to 32 in Rajasthan, ANI reports, quoting the state health department. In Uttar Pradesh, the state health department says the number of cases is 33, of whom 11 have been discharged.
9.20 pm: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says that to ensure the adequate supply of foodgrains to the public and to financially assist state governments, her ministry has agreed to the proposal that foodgrain for three months can be lifted by states and Union Territories on credit from Food Corporation of India, ANI reports.
9.05 pm: Himachal Pradesh Additional Chief Secretary RD Dhiman says a 69-year-old Tibetan refugee, who died at a hospital in Tanda in the state, had tested positive for COVID-19, ANI reports. He had returned from the United States on March 15.
9.01 pm: The All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi has decided to indefinitely shut down Out Patient Department services, including specialty and all new and follow-up registration, PTI reports. The order will come into effect from Tuesday.
8.59 pm: The Delhi Police have appealed to people via social media to stay at home and leave it only in case of an emergency. The Delhi Police has imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code in the national Capital till March 31.
8.55 pm: The Indian Army has taken several measures in Kashmir to prevent the spread of coronavirus in its ranks. “To contain the spread of the pandemic in Kashmir, the Army has ceased all non-essential movement of its personnel and strict screening and quarantine protocols have been put in place,” an Army officer says. “Necessary precautionary steps being taken include measures like extension of leaves, ceasing all congregations and examining all supplies.”
8.50 pm: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik creates a fund to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Patnaik also says that he would donate three months’ salary for the cause.
8.45 pm: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has announced a package under which one month ration will be given for free to all the card holders, PTI reports. Three months advance pension will be given immediately to all the beneficiaries of schemes like Mukhya Mantri Vridhjan Pension, those given to differently abled persons, widows and old age over pensioners, Kumar says.
8.40 pm: The number of cases in India has now risen to 467, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare says. This includes 424 active cases and eight deaths. Out of the rest, 34 have been cured and discharged, while one has left the country.
8.37 pm: The Manipur government has announced a lockdown till March 31, PTI reports.
8.34 pm: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has extended the lockdown to all districts of the state, The Indian Express reports. The lockdown will be in place until further orders.
8.31 pm: The Punjab government has imposed a curfew in the state, after lockdown measures failed to prevent people from visiting markets in hoards, PTI reports. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh says he was forced to take the extreme measure in the “larger interest” of the state. The administration of the Union Territory of Chandigarh has also imposed a curfew.
8.29 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked Indian companies to maintain production lines of essential commodities and ensure there is no hoarding as well as black marketing, PTI reports. Interacting with industry representatives via video-conferencing, Modi said the impact of the pandemic on the economy will be felt for some time to come with several sectors such as tourism, construction and hospitality being hit.
8.27 pm: A 45-year-old woman who returned from Saudi Arabia after a month-long trip has tested positive for the coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh’s Pilibhit district, PTI reports. The woman, a resident of Har Raipur village, had gone to Mecca to offer the Umrah pilgrimage along with 37 others. She has been admitted to the isolation ward of the district hospital after she showed symptoms.
8.22 pm: The number of coronavirus cases in Pakistan has risen to 873, Dawn reports. As many as six people have died so far. Saeed Ghani, a minister in the government of the Sindh province, has also tested positive for COVID-19.
8.18 pm: A 24-year-old woman who recently travelled from the USA and showed possible symptoms of coronavirus has died at a hospital in Kangra in Himachal Pradesh, PTI reports. Her samples were sent for testing to Tanda’s Dr Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College but she died before the results arrived.
Himachal Deputy Director-cum-State Surveillance Officer, Integrated Disease Surveillance Project, Sonam Negi says it is not clear whether the woman died of COVID-19. The hospital doctors, staff and those who remained in touch with her have been quarantined as a precautionary measure.
8.14 pm: The Centre says contractual and outsourced staff working for the government will be considered “on duty” and will not lose any wages amid the pandemic.
7.13 pm: Chandigarh announces a curfew from midnight, reports ANI.
7.10 pm: Here is a look at the number of cases in India right now and the spike in infections.
7.05 pm: People living in Wuhan, China, from where the virus started, have been allowed to leave their homes in small groups for the first time in weeks, reports The Guardian. Non-residents, who have been stranded there since January 23, can apply for permits to leave, and public transport is slowly resuming.
7.02 pm: New York State now accounts for nearly 5% of the world’s confirmed cases of Covid-19, with more than 15,000 patients.
6.59 pm: Modi says he asked the media to keep reiterating the importance of social distancing and remaining indoors.
6.55 pm: Narendra Modi says that he has had video conferences with members of the electronic media today and expresses his gratitude to those reporting from the ground and in newsrooms. “Even greater caution, zero carelessness,” he tweets. “Urged electronic media to counter misinformation related to COVID-19, which is creating panic. Also urged them to take relevant precautions in their own organisations especially when their team members do on ground reporting.”
6.52 pm: The Rajya Sabha is adjourned sine die.
6.50 pm: The Delhi High Court tells the state government to set up a health facility with doctors and emergency equipment at a relief camp for victims of the communal violence that took place last month, ANI reports. The camp is in Mustafabad Eidgah.
6.49 pm: The Home Ministry says people from northeastern states are being harassed in light of Covid-19 and instructs all states to be sensitised in dealing with such cases.
6.48 pm: Emirates reverses its decision to suspend all flights.
The airline on Sunday said it would stop all flights from March 25, but on Monday announced it will continue to fly to the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, South Africa, the United States and Canada.
“We continue to watch the situation closely, and as soon as things allow, we will reinstate our services,” AFP quoted the airline’s chairman and CEO, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum as saying.
6.30 pm: The Ministry of Health updates its figures to 433 cases, of which 402 are active ones.
6.21 pm: Kerala announces a complete lockdown and says its state borders will be closed. The state reports 94 cases, an increase of 28 cases in one say, reports PTI.
6.15 pm: Rahul Gandhi suggests a “criminal conspiracy” behind the Centre not acquiring enough life-saving equipment such as ventilators, despite WHO guidelines issued earlier. He asks why the government allowed the export of materials till March 19. “Which forces encouraged these games? Isn’t this a criminal conspiracy?” he asks.
6 pm: One more person tests positive in Gujarat, taking the number of cases there to 30.
5.44 pm: Maharashtra announces a state-wide curfew and seals district borders. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray says people “did not listen” when a lockdown was announced on Sunday, so the state has been “compelled” to announce a curfew.
5.41 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal appeals to people to stay at home and says the state will tighten restrictions on public movement from Tuesday. He also says 50% of Delhi buses will ply since some essential services employees found it difficult to go to work today.
5.33 pm: Manipur also goes into lockdown, reports PTI.
5.26 pm: One of the country’s top epidemiologists says a shutdown may not be the solution. Jayaprakash Muliyil estimates that as much as 55% of India’s population could be infected and cautions against adopting a strategy of “suppression” involving complete lockdowns.
“In an organised society, where food can be delivered into each house, it is possible, not in India... That is not my response to a public health emergency. Community participation is.”
He adds that the stage of community transmission of the virus has already begun. “We have to get ready for the next stage,” he says.
5.21 pm: The situation due to coronavirus is getting worse, admits Tokyo Olympics chief Toshiro Muto. “The situation is getting worse and worse,” says Muto, but he adds, “For now, the decision made one week ago (to proceed as planned) is still appropriate.”
5.18 pm: The toll due to coronavirus crosses 15,000, says Johns Hopkins University. The toll is 15,308 as of now.
5 pm: The patient who died in Kolkata was a 57-year-old man who recently returned from Italy, ANI reports.
4.59 pm: A patient in Kolkata, West Bengal has died, reports PTI, quoting unidentified hospital officials.
4.55 pm: Cargo flights can continue operations, says the ministry.
4.46 pm: All domestic flight operations will be suspended after 11.59 pm on Tuesday, the Ministry of Aviation says.
4.35 pm: At its daily press briefing, the Health Ministry says that since the Centre’s directive on Sunday, 19 states and Union Territories have issued complete lockdown orders, six have imposed a lockdown in some areas, while three have ordered the shutdown of some specific activities.
The states and Union Territories that have ordered complete lockdown are: Chandigarh, Delhi, Goa, Jammu and Kashmir, Nagaland, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Ladakh, Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Tripura, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
4.12 pm: Here is the list of accredited private labs that will be allowed to conduct extended coronavirus testing in India. There is one in Delhi, Gujarat and Karnataka each, two in Haryana and Tamil Nadu each, and five in Maharashtra.
4.10 pm: There have been 127 more deaths due to the virus in Iran, taking the country’s toll to 1,812, reports AFP.
4.06 pm: National Conference leader Hasnain Masoodi asks Home Minister Amit Shah to release people from Jammu and Kashmir detained under the Public Safety Act, in the state and outside.
3.47 pm: There are 33 cases of coronavirus in Telangana now, says the state’s health minister.
3.40 pm: The ICMR recommends the use of hydroxychloroquine for treatment of Covid-19 cases and has issued an advisory on it.
3.35 pm: In light of the pandemic, the Delhi government says it will implement the central health scheme Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana. The state refused to implement the scheme earlier as it was a central government-run programme.
3.31 pm: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami clarifies that the state is going close borders and impose Section 144 of the CrPc from Tuesday at 6 pm, not today. It will be in place till March 31. The government’s Amma canteens will remain open, he says.
3.30 pm: The Delhi High Court and district courts also close till April 4, reports The Times of India. Urgent matters will be heard via video conference.
3.21 pm: Jammu and Kashmir Police file an FIR against two people in Awantipora for concealing their travel history, reports ANI. The two had gone to Bangladesh and Pakistan.
3 pm: The Lok Sabha has been adjourned sine die after passing the Finance Bill.
2.49 pm: The health ministry says any airline crew exhibiting any symptoms after coming from abroad must inform the government and be put in isolation immediately. They must also be tested, the ministry says, according to PTI.
2.42 pm: Parliament is likely to be adjourned sine die today, reports say.
2.39 pm: Section 144 is imposed in Tamil Nadu, reports Times Now. District borders will be sealed, only vehicles carrying essential commodities will be allowed to travel across.
2.26 pm: Police have booked 40 people for gathering in Ahmedabad on Sunday despite a curfew in place to promote social distancing. Commissioner of Police Ashish Bhatia tells PTI an FIR was filed against 40 people at Khadia police station under Section 188 (disobedience of an order duly promulgated by a public servant) and Section 3 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897. The group had gathered to pay tribute to service personnel.
Earlier on Monday, the Centre told state governments to take strict action against people flouting curfews and lockdowns that are in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
2.18 pm: Indian Revenue Services trainees at Nagpur’s National Academy of Direct Taxes have been asked to vacate the premises. However, public transport facilities have been suspended in the state.
2.15 pm: Vehicular movement in Pune will be stopped from Monday evening, says the city’s police commissioner according to Times Now.
2.12 pm: Nearly half of the cases in Rajasthan are in Bhilwara city. The Rajasthan government has put the city under lockdown alongwith Jhunjhunu, Sikar and Jaipur.
2.09 pm: The finance minister’s office says that spending corporate social responsibility, or CSR, funds coronavirus is eligible.
2.01 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee writes to the prime minister requesting him to stop all domestic flights from entering her state.
1.59 pm: Hong Kong bans the entry of all non-residents for two weeks, starting from 11.59 pm on Tuesday.
1.52 pm: The number of cases in Telangana is now 30, says the government.
1.49 pm: Italy records 5,476 deaths due to the virus after 651 people died in the country on Sunday, reports Al Jazeera.
More than 100 people died in the US on Sunday, while 674 people passed away in France.
1.39 pm: Those bearing the home quarantine stamp will be arrested if found outside in Bengaluru, reports NDTV.
1.34 pm: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray asks citizens to stay at home. On Sunday, he announced a lockdown in certain districts, including in Mumbai city, and prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code which bans the gathering of crowds. Despite this, there have been people on the streets and many vehicles on the main roads, PTI reports.
“People should take this war against Covid-19 seriously,” Thackeray says. “Section 144 is invoked so that essential services continue to operate while rest of the services are suspended till March 31. People should not violate rules by crowding the streets.”
1.28 pm: The Kerala High Court will be closed from Tuesday to April 8.
1.23 pm: The Supreme Court suggests that all states consider releasing prisoners facing up to seven years imprisonment, News18 reports. Panels in states and Union Territories should be set up to look into this in consultation with the State Legal Service Authority.
1.15 pm: The UAE suspends all flights, including transit flights, for two weeks amid the coronavirus pandemic. This will come into effect in 48 hours, reports AFP.
Saudi Arabia has announced an evening curfew starting from Monday, which will last three weeks. The curfew will be in place from 7 pm to 6 am.
1.10 pm: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has issued several guidelines to airlines during domestic flights. This includes one metre space between passengers at check-in counters, passengers to be seated only in alternate seats so that there is space between them during flights, sanitisers for staff and passengers at the airplane entry, no bunching of people during boarding and exiting, etc.
1.08 pm: The Uttar Pradesh health department says it traced all 266 people who came in contact with virus-infected singer Kanika Kapoor, and that all tested negative for Covid-19, reports The Indian Express.
1.05 pm: AIIMS closes out patient department services at all its hospitals, reports ANI.
12.55 pm: Entry into Meghalaya will be allowed only from 11 locations – Ratacherra in East Jaintia Hills, Saitama, Umransu and Dawki in West Jaintia Hills, Byrnihat in Ri Bhoi, Dainadubi and Bajengdoba in North Garo Hills, Phulbari, Tikrikilla and Dalu in West Garo Hills, and Garodoba in South West Garo Hills.
People who want to enter the state have to register themselves on the Covid-19 monitoring system (meghalayaonline.gov.in/covid) and undergo health screening.
12.50 pm: Meghalaya imposes several restrictions to tackle the pandemic. Government offices are working at 50% capacity, while it is adopting a “one day open, two days closed” method. For instance, between March 23 and 25, the state government said on March 23, all essential services will be open, while private establishments must remain closed.
Public transport will run at 25% of its normal frequency. On March 24 and 25, all public transport will stop running, gatherings of five or more people will be banned, and all services besides health, and other essential services will be prohibited from functioning.
12.49 pm: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan says all bars and beverage shops across the state will be shut till further orders, ANI reports.
12.45 pm: Sri Lankan cricketer Kumar Sangakkara has said he is currently in self-quarantine, following his government’s guidelines for those recently returning from Europe, which has now become the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. The authorities are concerned over people returning from the most-affected Covid-19 countries in Europe not registering with the police and practising isolation.
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12.43 pm: A 23-year-old man tests positive for coronavirus in Chandigarh, PTI reports. With this, the number of cases go up to seven, the report says. The Centre has, however, only confirmed five cases so far. He came in contact with the brother of Chandigarh’s first patient, a 23-year-old woman.
12.39 pm: Arunachal Pradesh announces lockdown from Monday evening till March 31, PTI reports. All essential services will be available, Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar says. “No public transport services, including operation of taxis, auto-rickshaws, will be permitted except transport of all kinds to and from hospitals, airport, helipad, railway stations, and goods carriers carrying food and essential commodities,” a notification says.
12.35 pm: The Delhi government tells the High Court that eligible convicts will be granted special parole or furlough so that prisons can be decongested, PTI reports. The court asks the government to implement its proposal by Monday.
12.34 pm: Protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act at Nagpada in Mumbai put on hold due to the pandemic, PTI reports. The protest was also known as the Mumbai Bagh protest.
12.32 pm: Himachal Pradesh CM Jairam Thakur says there will be a complete lockdown in the state from today.
12.28 pm: La Liga leaders Barcelona are in talks with the captains of the club about a possible salary cut for players due to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the club and Spanish football as a whole. Television revenue is the major source of income for football clubs across Europe and with matches being suspended it is unlikely that Barcelona would be able to cover its budget of over one billion euros if the season does not start anytime soon.
Read more here:
12.25 pm: Congress MP B Manickam Tagore files a motion in Lok Sabha to raise the incident of racism against the Manipur woman on Sunday night.
12.20 pm: The Delhi Police register a case against a man who allegedly spat on a woman from Manipur and called her “corona” in Vijay Nagar on Sunday night, ANI reports.
12.16 pm: Six Pakistani revenue officials in Khairpur district have been suspended for clicking a selfie with a colleague who tested positive for coronavirus, PTI reports.
12.14 pm: Shah Rukh Khan uses clips from his films to explain the pandemic and has some suggestions to stay safe.
12.12 pm: Visuals from bus stands in Bhubaneswar and Delhi amid the lockdown in the cities.
12.05 pm: “Looks like we’ll be taking an extended period of rest and social distancing. We hope you do too. Stay home and stay safe,” the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation says.
12.10 pm: The Supreme Court is working out options to allow lawyers to argue from their homes.
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11.50 am: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh directs provision of free food, shelter and medicines to those who need it, reports ANI.
11.47 am: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot orders officials to prepare 1 lakh isolation beds, the Hindustan Times reports. “There is nothing bigger than saving lives and for this, the government will ensure all possible measures by taking all into confidence,” he says.
11.45 am: The West Bengal Board of Secondary Education asks teachers checking Class 10 state board examination papers to hold the process till further orders, PTI reports.
11.43 am: The Supreme Court orders the shut down of lawyers’ chambers, NDTV reports. The court says it is working out a system so that lawyers can argue their cases from home.
11.40 am: The DGCA says there are no restrictions on domestic or foreign air operators carrying out cargo operations at any airport in India, ANI reports.
11.37 am: The Indian Olympic Association on Monday said it will “wait and watch” for at least a month before taking any call on the country’s Olympic participation after Canada created a flutter by becoming the first nation to pull out of the showpiece if it is held this year.
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11.36 am: Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, whose positive coronavirus test prompted the NBA to shut down its season, says the virus has caused him to lose his sense of smell. The French big man, whose defensive talents earned him the nickname the “Stifle Tower,” tested positive for Covid-19 on March 11, the result bringing the NBA season to an abrupt halt.
11.33 am: The Delhi High Court suspends the breath analyser tests of air traffic controllers till March 27, ANI reports.
11.30 am: After the government in Goa extended the civil curfew for three more days, Panaji wears a deserted look. Here are some visuals.
11.20 am: Sensex drops 11.15%, or 3,336.53 points to 26,579.43. Trading was stopped for 45 minutes earlier in the day after the BSE Sensex fell to its 10% lower lower circuit level amid sell-off.
Nifty50 drops 10.91% lower, or 953.9 points, to 7,791.55.
11.18 am: Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope says the state has not yet entered the “community spread” phase. “There are total 89 positive Coronavirus cases in the state including 14 new cases in Mumbai and 1 in Pune,” he says. “We are issuing orders to disburse the crowds at various checkpoints of Mumbai... Police can take action under section 144.”
11.15 am: Area around ghantaghar in Lucknow, where women have been protesting against CAA for months now, is being sanitised after the women called off their protest temporarily, ANI reports.
11.04 am: A total of 415 individuals have been confirmed positive among suspected cases and contacts of known positive cases, the Indian Council of Medical Research announces. As of 10 am on Monday, a total of 18,383 samples from 17,493 individuals have been tested, it adds.
11 am: The government has asked states to strictly enforce lockdown, ANI reports. “Legal action” will be taken against violators, the government has reportedly said.
10.58 am: US President Donald Trump says he is “upset” with China. “They should have told us about this,” Trump says, according to PTI. “I’m a little upset with China. I’ll be honest with you, because as much as I like [Chinese] President Xi [Jinping] and as much as I respect and admire the country.”
10.57 am: Adding to the list of education boards that have postponed their 2020 board exams, now Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh boards have postponed all the theoretical and practical examinations until further notice. The exams now will be conducted in the month of April and new timetable will be released soon.
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10.56 am: Visuals from Jammu, where there is a complete shutdown till March 31.
10.55 am: Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury files an adjournment motion notice in the Lok Sabha. Due to the “menacing progression of coronavirus”, which has been a threat for all of us, Census/NPR exercise should be shelved, he says.
10.48 am: Watch how Mukesh Ambani and his family observed ‘5 pm for 5 minutes’ on Sunday. Ambani can be seen ringing a bell, with the sea stretching away in the background.
10.46 am: Olympic champion swimmer Cameron van der Burgh said Sunday that he had contracted Covid-19, offering insight into how coronavirus infection could affect 2020 Olympic hopefuls. “I have been struggling with Covid-19 for 14 days today,” South Africa’s van der Burgh wrote on Twitter. “By far the worst virus I have ever endured despite being a healthy individual with strong lungs (no smoking/sport), living a healthy lifestyle and being young (least at risk demographic).”
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10.45 am: The Union health ministry’s guidelines for Covid-19 testing in private laboratories has complicated matters for Indian manufacturers as only the United States Food and Drug Administration or European Conformitè Europëenne (CE) certified kits was mandated for use, The Times of India reported on Monday. These guidelines, released by the ministry on Saturday, excluded all the Indian National Virology Institute-validated test kits.
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10.44 am: Gujarat has reported 29 cases and one death, ANI reports. But the Centre has confirmed only 19 cases, including a death.
10.42 am: Karnataka reports 27 positive cases. Its Health Minister B Sriramulu sys one hospital in every district is dedicated to Covid-19. “We have placed an order for 1000 ventilators,” he says, according to ANI.
10.39 am: The Economic Task force, headed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, will have to work quickly if it wants to effectively counter the supply- and demand-shock caused by the virus and the lockdown, says Scroll.in’s weekly newsletter on Indian policy and politics.
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10.34 am: Australian Olympic officials Monday said “it was clear” that the Tokyo Games could not go ahead as scheduled and told its athletes to instead prepare for the event in 2021. The International Olympic Committee shifted its tone on the Games overnight as the coronavirus crisis spirals, saying it would step up planning for different scenarios, including postponement.
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10.33 am: The Air Traffic Controllers’ Guild (India) moves the Delhi High Court asking it to urge the Directorate General of Civil Aviation and the Airports Authority of India to temporarily suspend breath analyser tests, ANI reports.
10.30 am: Former England captain Alastair Cook has suggested the four-day County Championship may have to be curtailed or abandoned completely so officials can salvage “the most profitable parts of the English summer” following the coronavirus outbreak. On Friday, the England and Wales Cricket Board announced that no professional cricket would be played in England and Wales before May 28.
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10.27 am: Nine-time Olympic track and field champion Carl Lewis says he wants a delay of up to two years for the Tokyo Olympics but rejects any bid to cancel them outright. The 58-year-old US athletics legend told Houston television station KRIV that he backs the calls for postponement by USA Track and Field and USA Swimming due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
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10.25 am: This piece of classical music urging people to ‘not spread the disease’ is a social hit. Watch Sandeep Ranade’s song, composed in Raag Basant, here.
10.21 am: The World Health Organization on Sunday said that countries cannot just go under lockdown to combat coronavirus, and that public health measures are required to avoid an outbreak later.
“What we really need to focus on is finding those who are sick, those who have the virus, and isolate them, find their contacts and isolate them,” says Michael Ryan, the executive director of WHO Health Emergencies Programme. “The danger right now with the lockdowns...if we don’t put in place the strong public health measures now, when those movement restrictions and lockdowns are lifted, the danger is the disease will jump back up.”
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10.20 am: Karnataka state has also now put on hold the 2020 examinations for both the SSLC and 2nd PUC classes amidst the effort to control the Covid-19 outbreak. The new dates for the examinations will be announced in the month of April.
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10.18 am: Telangana Rashtra Samithi’s KK Ragesh also gives a suspension of business notice in the Rajya Sabha to discuss the spread of the coronavirus and to seek that the House adjourn.
10.15 am: In Gongma village, the roads have been deserted for weeks before the janata curfew swept people off the streets. Gongma is part of the Chuchot area in Ladakh. Along with the neighbouring hamlet of Yokma, it is the epicentre of the coronavirus cases in Ladakh. Gongma has been isolated since March 8, days after a pilgrim back from Iran tested positive for Covid-19. The cold, sparsely populated desert region has recorded 13 cases so far – two from Kargil district and 11 from Leh district. The economic strain of a prolonged lockdown is beginning to show.
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10.10 am: Many people are still not taking the lockdown seriously, Prime Minister Narendra Modi says in a tweet. “Please save yourself, save your family, follow the instructions seriously. I request the state governments to get the rules and laws followed.”
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10.08 am: Trading halts for 45 minutes as Sensex drops 10% to 26,924.11. Nifty50 drops 9.63% to 7,903 points.
10.06 am: There are many challenges but there is hope, a doctor who has worked in an Intensive Care Unit writes in Scroll.in.
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10.03 am: A 68-year-old man from Philippines, who had tested positive for coronavirus but later recovered, dies in Mumbai, PTI reports.
10.02 am: Brazil closes borders with Uruguay for 30 days to curb the pandemic.
10.01 am: Worry about the continued functioning of Parliament mounts. Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Tankha says he cannot attend Parliament due to isolation rules.
Meanwhile, Community Party of India (Marxist) MP KK Ragesh gives Suspension of Business Notice in Rajya Sabha over “2,000 people gathering at the Parliament including PM and MPs amid the spread of Covid-19”.
9.58 am: Visuals from Chennai Central railway station on Monday morning. The Indian Railways has cancelled all passenger trains till March 31.
9.54 am: US President Donald Trump identifies New York, California and Washington as the three major coronavirus hot spots. New York, which has more than 15,000 confirmed cases and 114 deaths, is the worst.
9.51 am: The US sees a significant spike in coronavirus cases. The total confirmed infections jump to 33,546 and the toll increased to 400, PTI reports.
9.49 am: English daily Hindustan Times will have no physical edition in Mumbai on Monday due to the restrictions in the city, its Editor Sukumar Ranganathan says. Maharashtra has the most positive cases in India.
Some reports say The Times of India will not print its Mumbai editions from Tuesday till March 31 but there is no official confirmation yet.
9.43 am: Shiv Sena leaders to stay away from parliamentary proceedings.
9.40 am: Visuals of a deserted Nagpur railway station. Passenger trains across the country have been cancelled till March 31.
9.37 am: According to the Union health ministry, there are 390 confirmed cases of the virus in the country, of which 359 are active. However, the Indian Council of Medical Research’s last update said a total of 396 people were infected as of Sunday evening.
9.32 am: Markets open on a low note. Both the Sensex and Nifty are around 8% lower. Sensex is trading 2,416.2 points lower at 27,499.71, while Nifty 50 is 696.3 points lower at 8,049.15.
9.26 am: The protest near Ghantaghar in Lucknow has been called off due to the pandemic, ANI reports. Women have been staging protests against the amendments to Citizenship Act for months now.
9.23 am: Visuals from Ghaziabad, which is under lockdown till March 25, and Gurugram, which is under lockdown till March 31.
9.20 am: The Ernakulam Medical College in Kalamassery is transformed into a treatment enter for Covid-19. Only the Emergency, OPD and dialysis units will work, ANI reports.
9.18 am: Large crowds seen at a vegetable market in Kanpur though the city is under lockdown till March 25, ANI reports.
9.16 am: The number of positive cases in Maharashtra rises to 89, the state says, according to ANI. But the Health Ministry has so far only confirmed 69 cases.
9.11 am: The Central Bureau of Investigation has asked all its branches to suspend all non-urgent interrogations or recording of witness statements till April 4, Hindustan Times reports, citing official sources.
9.05 am: In India, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweets on lockdown: “My dear Delhiites, you faced troubles and contributed in fight against pollution whenever odd-even was implemented. You embraced the massive campaign against dengue. I am pretty confident that you will join this fight against Covid-19 and support the lockdown to protect your families.”
9.03 am: Former Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein, who is serving a jail term for sexual assault and rape, has tested positive for coronavirus, reports Reuters, citing Michael Powers, president of the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association. Weinstein has been placed in isolation.
Read more here:
8.56 am: In the United States, New York City’s mayor Bill de Blasio says the coronavirus outbreak will get worse. “We’re about 10 days away from seeing widespread shortages,” he says, according to BBC. “If we don’t get more ventilators people will die.”
8.53 am: Hyundai Motor India will suspend vehicle production at its Chennai facility from Monday till further notice as a measure to stop the spread of coronavirus, the company has said in a statement, reports PTI.
8.51 am: Indian citizens stranded in the United Kingdom and Malaysia have approached the embassies for help in looking for an accommodation as they await evacuation or resumption of flight services to India, reports The Indian Express.
8.49 am: Canada has said it will not send its athletes to compete in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, reports BBC.
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8.42 am: The number of positive cases in the world is 3,35,997, and 14,641 people have been killed.
8.15 am: Ride-sharing services of Ola and Uber will not be available in Delhi till March 31, reports PTI.
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8.10 am: In India, a man, who came from Denmark, and his mother has tested positive in Greater Noida (West), reports PTI.
8 am: The toll in France has gone up by another 112 to a total of 674, reports AFP.
7.48 am: United States Senator Rand Paul, a critic of emergency coronavirus funding, has become the first senator in the country to test positive, reports AFP.
7.45 am: United States President Donald Trump has said he ordered the deployment of emergency medical stations with a capacity of 4,000 beds to coronavirus-affected areas, reports AFP.
7.30 am: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said postponing the Olympics may be considered if it was impossible to go ahead with its “complete form”, reports Reuters.
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Here’s what happened on Sunday:
- The toll in India rose to seven, and the Union health ministry confirmed 360 cases of the virus. At least 80 districts, where people have been infected, went into lockdown. The Centre suspended all train, metro and interstate bus services across the country till March 31.
- Millions of citizens across India stayed at home following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for a “janata curfew” appeal to self-isolate themselves between 7 am and 9 pm. At 5 pm, people clapped and rang bells to show their appreciation for medical professionals, sanitation workers and others still working during the pandemic.
- Indian Railways cancelled all passenger train services in the country till March 31. However, goods trains will operate during this period.
- The Indian government said the maximum rate for every coronavirus test by private laboratories should be capped at Rs 4,500.
Around the world
- A European clinical trial with 3,200 participants has begun testing four possible experimental treatments for coronavirus.
- First cases of infections were confirmed in Syria, Grenada and Mozambique.
- The International Olympic Committee may postpone Tokyo 2020, and authorities said cancelling is “not on the agenda”.
- Nearly 1.5 million residents of the United Kingdom, particularly vulnerable to coronavirus, will be advised to stay at home for 12 weeks by the country’s National Health Service.
- The United Kingdom has reported 48 new deaths, and 112 people have died in France in a day.
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel has gone into self-quarantine after a doctor who gave her a vaccine tested positive.
- Germany banned meetings of more than two people.
- 23 people were killed and 83 were injured in overnight prison riots in Bogota as prisoners demanded better protection against the virus.