Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a complete lockdown across the country for 21 days from midnight tonight to contain the spread of Covid-19. He warned that if Indians do not observe social distancing, the country may have to pay an unimaginable cost. He assured people that governments will ensure the supply of essential items and asked them to stay home.
Modi’s second address to the nation on the topic came after the toll due to Covid-19 patients rose to 10 in India. The number of positive cases also rose to 536.
Earlier in the day, the International Olympic Committee accepted Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s proposal of a one-year postponement for the Tokyo Olympics due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is the first time in history that the Summer Games will be postponed during peacetime.
The pandemic has infected 3,92,331 people globally, and killed 17,156, according to an estimate by Johns Hopkins University.
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
11.01 pm: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath appeals to people not to go out of their homes. He says the state has identified more than 10,000 vehicles that will undertake door-to-door delivery of essential items such as medicines, vegetables, milk and fruits, ANI reports.
10.57 pm: Tamil Nadu Opposition party Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam lauds Modi’s decision for a three-week lockdown. “I wholeheartedly welcome the 21-day lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to stop the (spread) of coronavirus,” DMK chief MK Stalin said on Facebook. “The people of the country should realise that there is no other way other than this to prevent diseases.”
10.46 pm: The number of positive cases in India goes up to 536, according to ICMR.
10.34 pm: Climate activist Greta Thunberg says she has been in isolation for two weeks and about 10 days ago began feeling some symptoms of Covid-19. In an Instagram post, she says she and her father were both unwell after travelling from Brussels, though his symptoms were worse than hers. Thunberg urges people to stay home because the symptoms are so similar to a cold or flu.
10.30 pm: Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala criticises the government for not announcing measures to assist healthcare workers and daily workers during the shutdown.
“The country will heed all requests for a lockdown,” he tweets. “But what did you do to stop the epidemic? How will health workers be protected? What did you do about the crisis of jobs and subsistence? How will the poor spend the 21 days?”
10.26 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says the 21-day lockdown is very important. “I assure everyone in Delhi that supply of essential items will not be disrupted for the next three weeks,” he says.
10.19 pm: Many of India’s top Olympic-bound athletes, including stalwarts such as MC Mary Kom and Saina Nehwal, lauded the Tokyo Games’ postponement amid the Covid-19 pandemic that has pushed the world into chaos.
10.15 pm: Unidentified officials tell PTI that the National Population Register exercise has been deferred. Work for the NPR, the first phase of the next census, was set to start from April 1 and continue till September 30.
10.08 pm: Three new cases of coronavirus are confirmed in Chennai, ANI quotes Tamil Nadu Health Minister C Vijayabhaskar as saying. One of them has returned from the United Kingdom and another from New Zealand.
10.06 pm: Among the private establishments allowed to function are delivery of essential items such as food and medicines through e-commerce, and telecommunications, internet and broadcasting services.
10.03 pm: Hospitality services, except places housing stranded tourists, quarantined people, and emergency staff, will be suspended. Social, religious and cultural gatherings will be banned, and only up to 20 people will be allowed to attend funerals. Places of education, educational training, and worship will remain shut.
10.01 pm: All transportation – by road, rail, and air – will be suspended except for emergency and law and order personnel, and transport of essential goods.
10 pm: All hospitals and related medical establishments will remain open. Government offices will be closed.
9.50 pm: The list of private services that will remain open according to the home ministry includes banks and ATMs, petrol pumps and gas retail outlets, private security services, shops selling essential goods such as food, groceries, meat and dairy products, print and electronic media, and others.
9.34 pm: The Home Ministry issues a list of essential services that will remain open during the lockdown.
9.28 pm: Modi asks citizens to not indulge in panic buying.
9.19 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweets that “there is absolutely no need to panic”. “Essential commodities, medicines etc would be available,” he says. “Centre and various state governments will work in close coordination to ensure this.”
8.58 pm: Maharashtra issues a list of essential services that will be excluded from the restrictions. This includes government offices, ATMs, print and electronic media, pharmacies, e-commerce delivery of essential goods, veterinary establishments for pets, and others.
8.56 pm: The Ministry of Home Affairs will issue guidelines of measures to be taken and exceptions that can be made during the three-week lockdown, reports ANI.
8.46 pm: Last week, a health ministry official had advised against using the word “lockdown”, and days later, one was imposed. India is now taking a different path compared to most other countries.
8.39 pm: One more person has died of the virus, in Delhi, taking the toll to 10.
8.29 pm: “I am sure people will listen to their local administration. Please look after yourselves, and your loved ones.”
8.28 pm: Anyone with symptoms, please do not self-medicate. This will make your health worse, he says.
8.27 pm: People must also be cautious about spreading rumours, I appeal to you not to believe in superstitions and rumours.
8.26 pm: The government has allocated Rs 15,000 crore to strengthen health facilities, he says. Training of medical staff and manpower will also be done. I’ve urged state governments that their first priority should be health care. I am happy the private sector is also working and standing with the people during this crisis.
8.24 pm: We’re making efforts to give priority not just to what is required for daily life but for protecting life itself, he says.
8.22 pm: Also think of police personnel working through this and facing ire from the people.
The Centre and states are working to handle the pandemic. We are taking steps to ensure essential supplies.
8.21 pm: Please pray for sanitation workers, those cleaning our neighbourhoods and roads. Also think of media persons working 24 hours to give you the correct information.
8.20 pm: I appeal to all of you, pray for the people putting their lives at risk in the line of duty. Remember the doctors, nurses, paramedics and pathologists who are working around the clock in hospitals.
8.18 pm: “No matter what, stay at home.” India is at a stage where our actions will decide how we handle this crisis, he says.
8.17 pm: This is why the virus wreaked havoc in countries like China, Italy, Iran (because there was no lockdown). Remember these nations have good healthcare facilities.
Remember that the health services in Italy and US are among the best in the world, Modi says.
“The ray of hope comes from the countries that have been able to fight the virus. Citizens of these countries didn’t leave their homes for weeks.”
8.16 pm: What is scary is that the third lakh of people were infected in just four days. Once it starts spreading, it is very difficult to stop.
8.15 pm: It took 67 days for 1 lakh people to get infected. After that, the next 1 lakh were infected in 11 days, Modi reminds people.
8.13 pm: People initially affected with the virus may not show any symptoms. Unknowingly, the disease gets transmitted to all others that person meets. The WHO says if one person gets infected, hundreds of people can get infected in a matter of days.
8.12 pm: You will invite a grave disease into your homes if you step out, says Modi. From tonight, there has effectively been a “lakshmanrekha” drawn in front of your door.
8.11 pm: If we are not able to manage a lockdown for 21 days, many families will be destroyed forever. For a few days, forget about venturing out.
8.10 pm: I request you to remain wherever you are in this country. The lockdown will be enforced for 21 days. The next 21 days are crucial for us.
8.08 pm: To save India, the entire country is going on lockdown. This is essential in the fight against coronavirus. This will come at an economic cost, but saving the life of each Indian is my first priority.
8.07 pm: For the past two days, many parts of the country have been in lockdown. The nation is going to take a very big decision today. From midnight tonight, the entire country will go into lockdown, says Modi.
8.06 pm: Experts say the only way to fight the coronavirus is through social distancing, Modi says.
8.04 pm: Modi praises people for following the “janata” curfew or people’s curfew imposed on Sunday.
8.01 pm: Modi begins his address to the nation.
7.41 pm: The number of patients in Karnataka goes up to 41 after eight more cases, PTI reports.
7.40 pm: Finance ministers and central bank governors of G7 nations say they are working cooperatively with “substantial and complementary packages” to help companies weather the impact of Covid-19, AFP reports. “We will do whatever is necessary to restore confidence and economic growth and to protect jobs, businesses, and the resilience of the financial system,” the group says in a statement.
7.39 pm: The number of Covid-19 patients in Kashmir goes up to four after samples of three more people tested positive, PTI reports.
7.38 pm: The Uttar Pradesh government declares the coronavirus a state disaster, PTI reports.
7.19 pm: Union Home Minister Amit Shah asks Delhi Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava to ensure security of doctors who are facing harassment by landlords and other people, PTI reports. Shah’s order comes hours after a representation was sent to him apprising him about the incidents of harassment of doctors by some landlords, claiming that coronavirus could be transmitted through the medicos.
7.12 pm: Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa warns people not to come out onto the streets unnecessarily, PTI reports. He says strict action will be taken against those who do so. “We will take action, we will take very severe action, if they don’t follow the law,” he says. Yediyurappa asks people to keep Ugadi celebrations on Wednesday low-key.
7.09 pm: The Mumbai Police have arrested three people who allegedly fled quarantine facilities, PTI reports. The trio had returned from Dubai. After they arrived at Mumbai airport from Dubai last week, they were screened and taken to quarantine facilities in Sakinaka, Andheri and Goregaon. However, they fled quarantine and went to their friend’s house in Wadala.
7.07 pm: India asks its students stranded in Bangladesh to stay in their hostels and not to panic, PTI reports. India has closed its border with Bangladesh amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
7.04 pm: As many as 26 private laboratories have been made functional for testing Covid-19 cases in India, the government says according to News18.
7.02 pm: The Indian Olympic Association says it is happy with the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics, PTI reports. The association says the decision relieves athletes of training worries amid the pandemic.
6.59 pm: Delhi Police Public Relations Officer MS Randhawa says people who work to provide essential services do not need passes to move about in the city, ANI reports. They can show their identity cards to the police. He said vehicles transporting essential goods and services also do not need passes.
6.52 pm: Egypt has announced a two-week nationwide curfew starting on Wednesday to counter the spread of coronavirus, Reuters reports. The curfew will begin at 7 pm on Wednesday.
6.46 pm: BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain applauds the clearing of the Shaheen Bagh site, where anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protestors had been demonstrating since December 15, PTI reports. Hussain says that in these “grave times”, humankind needs to stand together and fight the coronavirus pandemic.
6.44 pm: A 20-year-old man who returned from Australia around five days ago has been booked in Hyderabad for violating home quarantine norms prescribed by the government, PTI reports. He has been taken to the Gandhi Hospital for Covid-19 tests.
6.39 pm: The Indian Railways has asked people not to cancel the tickets they have booked online for those trains that have been cancelled, News18 reports. The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation says that the passengers will automatically be refunded.
6.34 pm: The Calcutta High Court and the district judiciary in West Bengal will not function from March 25 to April 9, Chief Justice TBN Radhakrishnan has announced, according to PTI.
6.27 pm: States have been asked to set up dedicated hospitals to treat coronavirus patients, ANI reports. Several states have already begun work on this.
6.25 pm: Doctors at Sanjay Nursing Home say they have housing and food problems amid the lockdown, ANI reports. “Doctors who are living on rent here are being asked to vacate their houses as their landlords believe that they will spread the virus,” Senior Resident Dr Amandeep Singh says.
6.23 pm: “Police are prohibiting our mess workers from bringing food from outside,” Dr Adarsh, a doctor working at Sanjay Nursing Home in New Delhi says according to ANI. “We request Prime Minister Narendra Modi to solve problems faced by the health professionals.”
6.21 pm: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s wife Anupama Venugopal donates Rs 2 crore to Telangana government to help the poor with supply of essential commodities during Covid-19, ANI reports. Her father KR Venugopal hands over the cheque to Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.
6.19 pm: Biju Janata Dal vice president and floor leader in Rajya Sabha, Prasanna Acharya has donated his three-month salary to the chief minister’s relief fund, ANI reports.
6.16 pm: Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla says he will contribute his one month’s salary to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund. “We are all in this together,” Birla tweets.
6.12 pm: Srinagar District Magistrate Shahid Choudhary says that the first case of Covid-19 in the city has been successfully treated, ANI reports.
6.08 pm: The number of cases internationally is at 392,331, with 17,156 deaths. The most deaths have been recorded in Italy, where 6,077 people have died of coronavirus so far, according to Johns Hopkins University.
6 pm: The Ministry of Health confirms 519 cases of the virus now, of which 470 are active. Nine deaths are confirmed.
5.59 pm: Europe now has more than 200,000 cases of the virus, reports AFP.
5.57 pm: Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is proposing a one-year postponement for the Tokyo Olympics due to the coronavirus outbreak during talks with IOC President Thomas Bach, the country’s NHK public television reported Tuesday.
5.51 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announces that the state will increase the number of night shelters and give Rs 5,000 to construction workers since their livelihood has been affected, ANI reports.
Kejriwal takes note of a landlord who evicted a woman for being a nurse, and says people should change such mindsets. There have been reports of airline staffers also being harassed for doing their work. “These people are risking their lives for us,” says Kejriwal.
5.50 pm: The states that will start working on Covid-19 hospitals are Gujarat, Assam, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Goa, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, and Jammu and Kashmir, says Agarwal.
5.45 pm: Those at home should also try and maintain social distancing indoors, the fruits of social distancing will be seen soon, says the ministry.
5.44 pm: Hydroxychloroquine cannot be taken on one’s own and is bad for those under the age of 15 and those over 60 years old, the ministry says.
5.40 pm: Agarwal adds that three testing kits have been approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research.
5.37 pm: The Centre has issued orders to states to release funds to help tackle the virus. The government is acting quickly to ensure there is enough equipment such as ventilators. There is a ventilator prototype at AIIMS that is also being developed, says Agarwal.
5.36 pm: The home ministry is monitoring the situation, and action is being taken against those violating lockdown.
5.34 pm: Ministry official Lav Agarwal lists out what essential services should be functioning despite the lockdown.
5.33 pm: Almost all states and Union Territories are under lockdown, the ministry confirms. Partial implementation will not be effective, 100% implementation of the lockdown is necessary.
5.25 pm: The Ministry of Health says social distancing is 62% effective in avoiding the spread of Covid-19.
5.20 pm: The Ministry of Health holds its daily press briefing.
5.09 pm: Almost all state and Union Territories have imposed a lockdown to contain the novel coronavirus. However, states are using different terms, such as curfew and lockdowns. So what is the difference between the two terms, and what can citizens do in these places?
5.06 pm: The lockdown imposed in Wuhan – where the highly-contagious coronavirus originated – will be lifted next month. The decision to relax restrictions came after no new cases of coronavirus were reported from Hubei last week, a drastic fall from the height of the outbreak that infected more than 81,000 people in China.
5.04 pm: Iceland records its first death due to coronavirus, reports AFP. The patient was a woman in her 60s who had a chronic illness.
4.57 pm: The International Monetary Fund warned on Monday that the damage caused to global economy by the coronavirus pandemic could be as bad as the Great Recession in 2008 and will need an emergency response.
4.54 pm: Around 80% of people who get coronavirus recover without needing specialist treatment, but one in six people with Covid-19 develops difficulty breathing and becomes seriously ill, reports The Guardian. A senior respiratory physician tells the British daily that almost all serious cases of the virus features pneumonia.
4.47 pm: IndiGo says it is waiving all ticket cancellation fees for people scheduled to travel in the next week and they can reschedule their travel up to September 30. Airline chief Ronojoy Dutta says in compliance with government rules, they are suspending flights from midnight tonight to 11.59 pm on March 31.
4.45 pm: The government bans the export of ventilators and sanitisers.
4.27 pm: The toll in Spain due to coronavirus rises by 514 to 2,696, reports AFP.
4.24 pm: Jammu and Kashmir leader Omar Abdullah jokingly says if anyone needs advice on surviving a lockdown, he has “months of experience at my disposal”. “Perhaps a blog is in order,” he adds.
Abdullah was released earlier today after being under house arrest on August 5, when the Centre revoked Section 370 that had granted Jammu and Kashmir autonomy.
4.13 pm: West Bengal’s lockdown has been extended from March 27 to March 31.
4.10 pm: There is another case of the virus in Noida, where there have been nine who have tested positive for Covid-19 so far, reports PTI. The infected woman reportedly has no history of travelling abroad.
Her family has been quarantined, while the society in which she lives has been sealed off.
“The society has been temporarily sealed from 2 pm of March 24 till 10 am of March 26. Entry into or exit from the society will not be allowed during the period,” PTI quoted District Magistrate BN Singh as saying.
4.09 pm: Myanmar has its first case of coronavirus, reports News18.
4.05 pm: The US risks becoming the next epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic, warns a WHO official. The spokesperson says the US has had a “very large acceleration” in the number of cases.
This comes as President Trump promised to reopen North America, earlier in the day. “Our country was not built to be shut down,” he said earlier. “We are going to be opening up our country for business because our country was meant to be open. We are going to get it all going again very soon.”
3.56 pm: Pakistan has more than 900 coronavirus cases now, reports PTI. The toll due to the virus is now seven.
Passenger trains have been suspended, and on Monday the government called in armed forces to help in administration during the pandemic.
3.51 pm: The Centre directs all states to deploy enough fiscal resources to help establish additional medical facilities to manage the virus outbreak.
3.46 pm: The number of cases in Maharashtra rises to 106, ANI reports.
3.36 pm: West Bengal will give free ration to more than 8 crore people over the next six months, says Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, as the state gets ready to go into lockdown from 5 pm.
3.32 pm: Iran has had 122 more deaths due to coronavirus in the past 24 hours, taking its toll to 1,934, reports AFP.
3.28 pm: A curfew is announced in Himachal Pradesh.
3.25 pm: Karnataka Police arrest seven people for violating prohibitory orders under Section 144 in Mangaluru, reports ANI.
3.15 pm: As for the volatility in the markets, Sitharaman says the ministry is looking closely at that too.
3.12 pm: Several groups are giving us inputs and the finance ministry is looking closely at these suggestions coming in from multi-layered task forces. We will come out with an announcement on an economic package soon. Today’s announcements are to ease the burden on tax and compliance, she says.
3.10 pm: Every attention is being given to the economy and the prime minister himself is paying close heed to the situation, Nirmala Sitharaman says.
3.04 pm: There will be no minimum balance requirement in banks now, Sitharaman says. Bank charges for digital trade transactions are also being reduced.
3.03 pm: Debit card holders can withdraw money for free from any other bank’s ATMs for three months.
2.57 pm: She moves on to fisheries announcements.
All sanitary import permits, for any aquaculture, which were to expire between March 1 and April 15 are being extended by three months.
2.53 pm: The existing threshold for default is hiked from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1 crore so that insolvency proceedings are not triggered for MSMEs.
“We will watch the situation, in case the situation continues to be similar to today’s beyond April 30, we may consider suspending Sections 7, 9 and 10 of the IBC [Insolvency and Bankruptcy] Act for six months. This is so that companies can be stopped from being forced into insolvency proceedings,” says the finance minister.
2.50 pm: Company directors who cannot comply with the rule that they must reside in India for 182 days a year will be allowed. This will not be treated as a violation.
2.47 pm: No late fees needed for MCA 21 registry, and there will be a moratorium till September 30. The requirement to hold board meetings is also relaxed for 60 days.
2.43 pm: Customs clearance will operate 24/7 until June 30 at least, says the finance minister. This is to ease conditions for importers and exporters.
2.41 pm: The last date for the Sabka Vishwas scheme in the indirect tax regime is extended to June 30. There will be no interest levied if dues are paid by June 30.
2.37 pm: The last date for filing GST returns is also June 30.
2.35 pm: There will be no move to declare a financial emergency, the Sitharaman says. The ‘Vivad se Vishwas’ scheme is extended to June 30, 2020, and from now to June 30, there will be no 10% additional charge.
2.30 pm: Aadhar-PAN linking date is extended to June 30, says Sitharaman.
2.27 pm: The last date for income tax returns for financial year 2018-2019 is extended to 30 June, 2020. TDS deposits (delayed deposit) interest rates are cut from 18% to 9%.
2.26 pm: Announcements will be made on compliance and regulation related to income tax-related matters, compliance and deadlines related to the GST, customs and central excise related, compliance and regulations under the MCA, IBC-related matters and bank-related compliances, fisheries and commerce.
2.22 pm: An economic package will be announced sooner rather than later, she says. It is being worked on.
March is usually the last month of the financial year, people are struggling to keep to deadlines, she says. The relief she is announcing now is statutory and compliance-related.
She will make the announcements in English, and Anurag Thakur will speak in Hindi later.
2.21 pm: Nirmala Sitharaman first thanks everyone attending the press conference in person and those on via video-conferencing amid the pandemic.
2.20 pm: The finance minister is set to make an address.
2.18 pm: Tamil Nadu reports three more cases, says PTI. All have a history of foreign travel.
1.55 pm: On Monday, United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson finally announced a lockdown to contain the spread of the virus. Fatalities in the country have climbed sharply, to 335. In an address to the nation, he said, “From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction you must stay at home.”
People will only be allowed to leave their homes for essential goods as infrequently as possible, one form of exercise once a day, to attend to a vulnerable person, to go to work, or to attend to a medical emergency, he said. Johnson said ideally, nobody should go buy essential goods and that they can be delivered to homes.
“No prime minister wants to enact measures like this... But, at present there are just no easy options. The way ahead is hard, and it is still true that many lives will sadly be lost,” he said.
1.39 pm: Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy urges people to stay at home, adding that the virus is spreading to family members of people who have returned home from abroad, reports PTI.
“So far, foreign returnees were infected with the virus. Now, it is spreading to their family members,” Reddy says. “So, we need to take precautions. People should not take the disease lightly and violate the curbs imposed to ensure social distancing.” This is a bigger war than the World War, he says.
“Developed nations with lesser population, good health facilities and best of the resources and technology have not been able to stop the spread of the disease. India being the second largest populated nation in the world with people still living in slums cannot afford to neglect. Therefore, we need to take more precaution,” he adds.
1.30 pm: Police have booked a 35-year-old who fled to Uttar Pradesh from Mumbai after returning from Sharjah, reports PTI. The woman arrived in Nagpur on March 15 and was told to remain under lockdown, a police official told PTI. A case was filed under Sections 188 (disobeying an order issued by a public servant), 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and other provisions of the IPC and the Epidemic Diseases Act.
1.26 pm: Tamil Nadu will also give free rice, sugar and Rs 1,000 to all ration card holders. This will be issued using tokens to avoid long queues, says Chief Minister Palaniswami.
1.21 pm: Tamil Nadu announces it will give a month’s salary as bonus to health department employees working through the current crisis, reports ANI.
1.19 pm: Actor and politician Rajinikanth donates Rs 50 lakh to the Film Employees Federation of South India Union as workers face with economic losses due to the coronavirus shutdown, reports ANI.
1.14 pm: Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri reacts to discrimination against airline staff. “Deeply distressed to know that some aviation professionals who have been at the forefront of India’s efforts to prevent and contain the spread of Coronavirus and even rescue fellow citizens from COVID19 around the world are being harassed by their neighbours, RWAs and others,” he tweets.
1.11 pm: West Bengal Imams Association has appealed to all mosques to bar the entry of people. Only four to five mosques with an Imam will perform azaan. They association has urged people to offer prayers inside their homes. All mosques in state are expected to follow the order till April 9, reports ANI.
1.09 pm: In India, two people who tested positive for coronavirus in Ladakh have completely recovered, reports ANI. Total confirmed cases in the Union Territory is 11.
1.08 pm: A military field hospital for coronavirus has been set up near a public hospital in Mulhouse in eastern France, reports AFP.
12.54 pm: The Chinese government is likely to ease travel restrictions to and from Hubei province, reports The Financial Times. The Hubei Health Commission has said this will initially apply to all areas except Wuhan city, where the virus is said to have originated last year. The travel ban for Wuhan will stay till April 8.
12.53 pm: In its latest update, the Indian Council of Medical Research has said 482 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in the country so far.
12.49 pm: Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan says the National Centre for Disease Control has been monitoring all potential coronavirus patients. “Today, more than 1,87,000 people in the country are being monitored by the way of community surveillance,” he adds, according to ANI.
12.48 pm: Delhi Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava tells ANI: “Action will be taken against all those who are found violating the prohibitory order under Section 144 Code of Criminal Procedure that is in place in Delhi. However, the response to the order has been good till now.”
12.32 pm: A 65-year-old man, with travel history to the United Arab Emirates, has died in Mumbai’s Kasturba Gandhi Hospital. He was suffering from fever, lung ailment, and respiratory problems, says a release by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. However, the state says he died of renal failure and not Covid-19.
12.28 pm: In Kolkata, doctors and staff of AMRI Hospital at Eastern Railways, who looked after the 57-year-old coronavirus patient who died on Monday, have been home quarantined, reports ANI.
12.25 pm: Gagneet Singh Aujla APRO Mohali, Punjab says, according to ANI: “Milk, medicine and vegetable shops to open for public between 4 pm to 6 pm today. From tomorrow onwards until further orders, the milk, medicine and vegetable shops to remain open between 6 am and 9am.”
12.22 pm: Uttarakhand Police in Karanprayag, Chamoli district, is making those flouting lockdown curbs click photographs with pamphlets reading: “I’m enemy of society; I won’t stay home” if they are found violating, reports ANI.
12.01 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says no new cases have been reported in the Capital in the last 24 hours. “Five people have been recovered after treatment,” the chief minister tweets. “Now, we have to face the biggest challenge to not let the situation go out of control. Your cooperation is needed to ensure this.”
11.58 am: In Jharkhand, Ranchi Police has taken action against those flouting lockdown restrictions, reports ANI. Action has been taken against shops that were selling items other than essential commodities. A few evening walkers have also been booked. A total of 12 first information reports have been registered against over 30 people, police said.
11.45 am: The patient from Manipur, who is receiving treatment at an isolation ward, is a resident of Thangmeiband area of Imphal West, says a press release from the state government.
11.38 am: Visuals from Karnataka which is under complete lockdown.
11.36 am: Congress chief Sonia Gandhi has appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide immediate support to workers in the informal sector.
11.35 am: A journalist shares a thread on how Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh protest site was cleared amid heavy police deployment.
11.29 pm: A News18 journalist has shared visuals of people crowding around Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh anti-CAA protest site after it was cleared this morning amid coronavirus outbreak. The crowd has now dispersed.
11.25 am: There are 32 states and Union Territories under lockdown after Mizoram and Sikkim also decided to impose restrictions.
11.23 am: Visuals from West Bengal amid a lockdown in the state. Police have taken strict action against those flouting curbs, reports ANI.
11.21 am: Two more people test positive for coronavirus in West Bengal. Number of confirmed cases in the state rises to eight, reports PTI, citing unidentified officials.
The Union health ministry’s latest update has confirmed seven cases, and one person has died due to Covid-19.
11.18 am: Gujarat Principal Secretary (Health) Jayanti Ravi says 27,000 people in the state with travel histories to other nations are being monitored, reports ANI.
11.17 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation at 8 pm today on vital aspects relating to the menace of COVID-19.
11.16 am: Odisha has decided to lock down the entire state (all 30 districts) from Tuesday midnight till March 29, says state government spokesperson Subroto Bagchi, according to ANI.
11.15 am: The Election Commission of India has postponed the Rajya Sabha Elections, reports ANI. The elections were scheduled for March 26.
11.11 am: Indian Army spokesperson Colonel Aman Anand says only two positive cases have come in until now during evacuations of 1,186 people from other countries, reports ANI. He adds they are being treated at civil hospitals while 796 people are in quarantine under military supervision.
“All others released after full protocol observed,” Anand says. “More evacuees are expected soon, armed forces are geared up to absorb them in our care.”
11.08 am: Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan meets officials of the National Centre for Disease Control in Delhi, reports ANI.
11.07 am: Nepal and Bhutan has sealed borders with India in an attempt to contain the spread of Covid-19, reports Hindustan Times.
10.47 am: Delhi Police has also cleared out the Hauz Rani protest site. Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Atul Kumar Thakur told The Indian Express: “Hauz Rani protest site has been removed. No one arrested or detained.” Similar protest in Jaffrabad and Turkman Gate have also been cleared out.
10.45 am: A 23-year-old woman who returned to Manipur from the United Kingdom has tested positive for coronavirus, reports PTI, citing an official.
10.44 am: Journalist Tarun Shukla shares an account of an IndiGo crew member on the discrimination faced by her family.
10.42 am: After Air India, budget carrier IndiGo has said its employees are being targeted due to their “line of duty and travel history”, reported NDTV.
In a statement on Monday, the airline said: “There are some instances when our employees have been ostracised from their communities as a result of their line of duty and travel history,”
10.39 am: Two more people in Gujarat test positive for coronavirus. Total number of Covid-19 patients in the state rises to 33, says Gujarat Principal Secretary (Health) Jayanti Ravi, according to ANI.
10.39 am: Visuals from Delhi-Ghaziabad border where entry of vehicles in Delhi is restricted.
10.34 am: Senior International Olympic Committee official Dick Pound has said that postponement of this year’s Tokyo Olympics is now inevitable as the world reels from the coronavirus pandemic.
Read more here:
10.04 am: The total number of coronavirus cases in Maharashtra rises to 101 including three new cases in Pune and one in Satara, says the state health department, according to ANI.
The Union Health Ministry has confirmed 87 cases in its update on Tuesday morning.
10.03 am: Visuals of police in Delhi checking vehicles amid lockdown.
10.02 am: The Delhi Police has set up a separate lane at the Noida border for emergency services.
9.58 am: The Delhi Police say it has prosecuted over 900 people for flouting lockdown restrictions on Monday under sections of Indian Penal Code and The Delhi Police Act. “Residents of Delhi are advised to strictly follow the lockdown directions,” the official handle of Delhi Police tweets.
9.55 am: Kolkata Police have arrested 255 people till late on Monday for violating restrictive orders. They have been prosecuted under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code, which provides for disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant.
9.53 am: In Tamil Nadu, out of the 113 passengers who were evacuated from Malaysia on an Air Asia flight to Chennai on Monday night, nine symptomatic passengers were referred to a hospital. The rest of the 104 people have been taken to the Air Force quarantine facility in Tambaram, reports ANI.
9.50 am: A total lockdown has been imposed in Jammu and Kashmir as a preventive step against coronavirus, reports ANI.
9.48 am: Delhi Police clears the anti-Citizenship Act protest site outside Jamia Millia Islamia University, reports ANI. The police also used drones to monitor the situation.
9.25 am: Here are some videos of people coming up with innovative ways to deal with the lockdown:
9.20 am: Delhi Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava urges people to stay indoors. “No movement or gathering of people is allowed, prohibitory orders issued in this regard,” he says, according to ANI. “People associated with essential services exempted.Strict action to be taken against those who defy orders.”
9.19 am: What are India’s hospitals doing to avoid becoming disease hotspots? The infection of six medical practitioners in Rajasthan’s Bhilwara serves as a warning. Read more here.
9.17 am: Uefa announced on Monday that it has postponed the Champions League, Europa League and women’s Champions League finals, originally scheduled for May, due to the coronavirus pandemic, with no new date given. European football’s governing body had already postponed the competitions until further notice earlier this month. Uefa said that “no decision has yet been made on rearranged dates”.
Read more here:
9.15 am: Here are some other visuals of empty streets amid the lockdown and curfew:
9.10 am: US president Donald Trump signs an executive order to prevent hoarding of medical supplies and personal protective gear. The US on Monday registered 139 deaths in a single day due to Covid-19, PTI reports. The country now has more than 43,700 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 550 fatalities.
“Very simply, we will not allow anyone to exploit the suffering of American citizens for their own profit,” Trump says.
9.05 am: Despite the lockdown, people are out on the streets, either for morning walks or to shop, in several cities. Here are some visuals:
8.55 am: The World Health Organization on Monday said that India had tremendous capacity and had, in the past, helped the world in eliminating smallpox and polio. Michael Ryan, the executive director of WHO Health Emergencies Programme, urged India to be aggressive in its efforts to combat the virus.
Read more here:
8.50 am: Here is a state-wise breakdown of the cases:
- Andhra Pradesh: 7
- Bihar: 2
- Chhattisgarh: 1
- Delhi: 31
- Gujarat: 29
- Haryana: 26
- Himachal Pradesh: 3
- Karnataka: 37
- Kerala: 95
- Madhya Pradesh: 7
- Maharashtra: 87
- Odisha: 2
- Puducherry: 1
- Punjab: 21
- Rajasthan: 33
- Tamil Nadu: 12
- Telangana: 32
- Chandigarh: 6
- Jammu and Kashmir: 4
- Ladakh: 13
- Uttar Pradesh: 33
- Uttarakhand: 3
- West Bengal: 7
8.45 am: The number of cases in India rise to 492, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Of these, 446 cases are active cases, and 36 people have been discharged. Nine people have died.
8.30 am: The Nepal government announces lockdown till March 31.
8.25 am: Jayaprakash Muliyil, one of India’s foremost epidemiologists, with decades of experience in the study of infectious diseases, says the stage of community transmission, when the source of infection for a large number of patients cannot be traced to a confirmed case, has already set in the country, even though the government is reluctant to admit it. He estimates that as much as 55% of India’s population could be infected. Yet, he cautions against adopting a strategy of “suppression” involving complete lockdowns.
Read more here:
8.20 am: The COVID-19 outbreak has disrupted football competitions across the globe with all the major European leagues suspended and unlikely to resume any time soon. In India, the I-League, its second-tier football competition is facing a similar fate after the All India Federation decided to suspend the remainder of the campaign till March 31.
Read more here:
8.15 am: Singapore’s response to the coronavirus has been held up by many around the world as a model. As of this week, the country has had 266 total cases, with zero deaths, and its infection rate is much slower than the rest of the world.
Read more here:
8.10 am: Couples are either downsizing, postponing or cancelling their plans for their big day. Covid-19 has likely cast a gloom on hundreds of such families across wedding-crazy India. For cancelling such an event means emotional and financial resources, corralled over months, going waste, besides the lost time and effort.
Read more here:
8.05 am: Heavy security deployed in Jafrabad area amid the lockdown in the national Capital, ANI reports.
8 am: “People at the protest site in Shaheen Bagh were requested today to clear the site as lockdown has been imposed,” the police said, according to ANI. “But after they refused, action was taken against violators as the assembly was unlawful. Protest site has been cleared. Some protestors have been detained.”
7.55 am: Shaheen Bagh in Delhi, which has been the site of protests against the amendments to Citizenship Act for months, has been cleared amid the lockdown over Covid-19 pandemic, ANI reports.
7.50 am: The Delhi Police on Monday moved to seal all border pickets, PTI reports. Curfew passes will be issued to people in the essential services. “Strict checking shall be done at the border pickets and internal pickets within the city in every police station area to ensure that no gathering or movement takes place in contravention of the prohibitory orders,” an order by the government says.
Patrolling is expected on Tuesday to ensure compliance with the prohibitory orders.
7.45 am: India on Monday intensified its efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus, and announced a complete shutdown in 30 states and Union Territories, covering 548 districts, reported PTI. Four other states and Union Territories have imposed partial lockdowns.
Read more here:
7.40 am: The Indian Council of Medical Research said on Monday that it has approved only two test kits in government and private laboratories for the coronavirus, as only those kits that have 100% concordance among true positive and negative samples are being permitted.
Read more here:
7.35 am: With state governments across the country putting in place severe restrictions on movement and services in anticipation of increase in the spread of the infection, India’s capacity to test people for the virus has taken centre stage. How many samples have India tested as on Monday? What is the government doing to increase the testing capacity, which is crucial for slowing down the spread of the virus and medical intervention for the patients?
Read more here:
7.30 am: How do you discuss self quarantine with a person sharing a tiny shanty with 10 people in a slum? How do you advise social distancing to a manual scavenger? How do you tell an Adivasi, who struggles for one meal a day, to prioritise hand sanitisers? How do you educate tuberculosis survivors about cough etiquette?
Read more here:
7.25 am: The Indian Council for Medical Research released a statement on Monday recommending the use of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine as a preventive medicine for those who face a high risk of coronavirus infection, provided they do not have any symptoms of the disease. The ICMR director Balram Bhargava emphasised that the recommendation applies only to these two categories of people and only for pre-exposure prophylaxis – or prevention before exposure. But this advice is likely to be ignored. The drug is already out of stock in many online pharmacies as panicked Indians have started hoarding hydroxychloroquine and another anti-malarial medicine chloroquine in the hope that the drugs are effective against Covid-19.
Read more here:
7.20 am: Rajasthan bans all private vehicles in the state from Tuesday.
7.18 am: The Kolkata Police have arrested 255 people for violating restrictions, PTI reports.
7.15 am: The Noida Police have registered 96 FIRs and 1,995 vehicles have been challaned for violating lockdown, ANI reports.
7.10 am: 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.”
7.05 am: Italy has the highest number of deaths – 6,077. This is followed by China (3,274), Spain (2,311) and Iran (1,812). The pandemic, which originated in China, has been controlled in the country, with very few cases reported in Hubei over the last few days.
7 am: As many as 3,78,679 people have so far been infected with Covid-19 globally, and 16,508 people have died, according to an estimate by Johns Hopkins University. As many as 1,00,985 people have recovered, it adds.
Here are the main updates from Monday
- India reported two more deaths, one in Himachal Pradesh and another in West Bengal, taking the toll from the Covid-19 outbreak to nine.
- As many as 471 people have been infected with the coronavirus so far, according to ICMR. The Health Ministry, however, has confirmed only 468 of these cases, of which 424 are active.
- All domestic flights would be suspended from Wednesday, the Centre said. International flights to India have already been banned. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation told airlines to ensure that passengers sit on alternate seats till Wednesday, to enforce social distancing.
- By Monday evening, as many as 21 states and Union Territories had imposed lockdowns and curfews. Maharashtra, Punjab and Chandigarh, which had issued orders for lockdowns, imposed curfews.
- Kerala reported 28 more infections on Monday, of which 25 were people who had returned from Dubai. This took Kerala’s count to 94, of whom three have been discharged. Maharashtra also reported a surge in cases, taking its count to 97. Maharashtra and Kerala are the two worst-affected states in India.
- In Mumbai, local trains stopped plying on Monday.
- The Bengaluru Police marked 5,000 people for home quarantine, and added that violators of the rule will be prosecuted.
- The Union Home Ministry asked states to take action against people who make racial attacks on people from Northeastern states, following a spate of such incidents.
- The Indian Council of Medical Research authorised physicians to use the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a potentially preventive measure for asymptomatic people closely working with patients infected with Covid-19.
- The Parliament session ended two weeks ahead of schedule on Monday. The Lok Sabha passed amendments to the Finance Act, moved by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, before it was adjourned.