The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s latest update said India had a total of 1,397 Covid-19 cases in the country. Out of these cases, 1,238 are being treated, 123 have recovered, 35 people have died, and one person has migrated.
Earlier in the day, Chief Justice of India SA Bobde ordered the Centre to ensure that migrants in shelters have enough food and supplies, even as the government ensured the court that everyone was off the roads as of 11 am on Tuesday.
Many people from across the country who tested positive for Covid-19 had attended a religious event in Nizamuddin area of Delhi or were close contacts of the participants. Health Minister Satyendra Jain said 24 people staying at the mosque have tested positive for the coronavirus.
The coronavirus has infected 8,23,479 people, and over 40,000 patients have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The national helpline number for the coronavirus is 011-23978046, and a toll-free number 1075.
10.30 pm: Here is a roundup of the top updates from Tuesday:
- India’s Health Ministry confirmed 146 new patients of Covid-19 on Tuesday. This took the number of cases so far to 1,397. Of these, 123 have been discharged and 35 have died. The toll until Monday night was 32.
- Globally, the number of Covid-19 cases crossed 8 lakh and the toll rose over 40,000 on Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University.
- A mosque in Nizamuddin locality of Delhi began to emerge as a source of several cases across the country. The Centre said the mosque was the centre of nationwide activities of the Tablighi Jamaat group, and workers from across India as well as foreign countries had gathered there. State governments are now tracing hundreds of persons who returned after attending the event, and are likely to test or quarantine them.
- At the daily press briefing, the Centre said state governments had set up over 21,000 relief camps to give shelter to more than 6 lakh people during the ongoing countrywide lockdown. Indian Council of Medical Research official Dr R Gangakhedkar said that 42,788 samples have been tested so far, including 4,346 on Monday. This represents 36% of the total capacity, he said.
- A 93-year old man in Kerala and his 88-year-old wife have recovered from Covid-19, the deadly disease caused by the novel coronavirus, the government said on Tuesday. The couple had contracted the infection from their son, who had returned from Italy.
- The Centre on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that there are no migrant workers on the roads “as of 11 am on March 31” and they have all been taken to the nearest available shelter. The court was hearing petitions seeking relief for thousands of labourers who have been attempting to return home after being left without work during the 21-day lockdown because of the novel coronavirus. The Supreme Court directed the Centre to ensure that migrant workers who have lost their jobs and homes amid the lockdown are provided food and medicines. The court also emphasised on the need to provide counselling to the migrants workers to ease their fears.
- The coronavirus epidemic is “far from over” in the Asia-Pacific region, and current measures to curb its spread are buying time for countries to prepare for large-scale community transmissions, Takeshi Kasai, regional director at the World Health Organization, said.
9.22 pm: The Union Ministry of Health’s latest update says India has a total of 1,397 cases. Of these, 1,238 are being treated, 123 have recovered, 35 people have died, and one person has migrated.
8.29 pm: Senior officials and other employees of Rajya Sabha Secretariat to contribute part of their salaries to the PM CARES Fund to support the fight against coronavirus, PTI reports.
8.24 pm: Navy personnel in Visakhapatnam design a novel contraption that can help connect one oxygen cylinder to six patients at a time, PTI reports.
8.21 pm: Head of Russia’s top coronavirus hospital, who also met president Vladimir Putin, tests positive for the infection, AFP reports.
8.17 pm: Tamil Nadu Health Secretary says 50 out of the 1,500 people from the state who attended the religious gathering in Delhi’s Nizamuddin have tested positive for the coronavirus.
7.53 pm: Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has confirmed the state’s first Covid-19 patient, reports ANI. “A 52-year-old person has been found positive for coronavirus and is Assam’s first Covid-19 patient,” he says. “He is undergoing treatment at Silchar Medical College. His condition is stable.”
7.17 pm: In Kerala, one patient died on Tuesday. Seven persons have tested positive, taking the number of cases to 215, says Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
7.15 pm: Three persons who recently returned from Delhi to Odisha after attending the congregation in Nizamuddin have been quarantined, PTI reports.
7.09 pm: Maharashtra reports 72 new Covid-19 patients on Tuesday, taking the number to 302, according to PTI. Of these, 59 are in Mumbai.
7.06 pm: More than 200 cases were filed and 3,763 people detained on Tuesday for violating lockdown orders in Delhi, police say, according to PTI.
6.53 pm: The Home Ministry says all those spreading false information and rumours about Covid-19 will be booked under the Disaster Management Act, and will face strict action. Those who came from abroad and breached their visa conditions will also face strict action and risk being blacklisted, the ministry says.
6.30 pm: In its statement, the Ministry of Home Affairs says it had shared the details of foreign and Indian workers of the Tablighi Jamaat with all the states on March 21, after Covid-19 cases were reported among some of them in Telangana.
“The swift action was taken with a view to identify, isolate and quarantine TJ [Tablighi Jamaat] workers who might be Covid-19 positive,” the ministry says. Instructions were issued to chief secretaries and police chiefs of all states as well as the Delhi police commissioner, it says. Workers of the outfit staying at the Markaz in Nizamuddin were also “persuaded for medical screening” by state authorities and police, the ministry adds.
Nearly 162 workers had been screened and moved to quarantine facilities by March 29. So far, 1,339 workers have been shifted to quarantine facilities in Narela, Sultanpuri and Bakkarwala quarantine facilities as well as to government hospitals in Delhi. The rest are being medically screened for Covid-19.
Foreigners who visit India as a part of the Tabligh team usually come on tourist visas, the ministry says. Action will be taken in case of violation of visa conditions, it says.
6.13 pm: Foreigners who visited the Markaz came from countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Kyrgyzstan, the Home Ministry says, according to PTI.
6.11 pm: Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy says six persons from the Union Territory visited the Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi, of which five have been kept under observation, ANI reports.
6.09 pm: The Home Ministry says about 2,137 persons who attended the Markaz have been identified in different states, ANI reports. “This process is still on and more such people would be identified and located,” the ministry says.
6.06 pm: The Ministry of Home Affairs says that 1,746 persons, including 216 foreigners, were staying at Nizamuddin’s Markaz on March 21, ANI reports. Around 824 foreigners had been doing activities related to the Tablighi Jamaat outfit by then, the ministry says. The details were shared with police in states on March 21, and a week later, states were advised to collect the names of Indian Tablighi Jamaat workers to get them medically screened and quarantined.
5.51 pm: Seventeen people from Himachal Pradesh attended the congregation organised by the Tablighi Jamaat in Delhi’s Nizamuddin locality, state police say, according to PTI.
5.50 pm: Virendra Sharma, a UK lawmaker of Indian origin, has been discharged from hospital after suffering from Covid-19, PTI reports.
5.49 pm: A 57-year-old man tests positive in Kolkata, ANI reports.
5.29 pm: Kejriwal says it is wrong to organise large gatherings, and appeals to all religious leaders not to do this irrespective of their religion, PTI reports.
5.28 pm: Kejriwal says 1,548 people have been brought out of the Markaz in Nizamuddin and 441 of them are symptomatic. They have been sent to hospitals for tests, while the others have been sent in quarantine, he says.
5.27 pm: Jharkhand reports its first case, according to ANI. The patient is a Malaysian woman and she has been sent into isolation.
5.24 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says 24 of the 97 patients in the city had visited the Markaz in Nizamuddin, 41 had foreign travel history and 22 are their family members. Ten cases are yet to be ascertained, he says. Kejriwal denies any local community transmission.
The Delhi government has written to Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal to seek an FIR in the Nizamuddin case, the chief minister says. “If any negligence is found on part of any officers then action will be taken against them also,” he says.
5.16 pm: Here is the number of Covid-19 tests conducted in India, both per day and in total.
5.12 pm: The inspector general of police in Sindh province of Pakistan has instructed all police officers to ensure that Tableeghi Jamaat members across the province remain in the marakiz (centres), and consider such centres as quarantine centres, Dawn reports. The order was issued after 36 people tested positive for the coronavirus in Hyderabad’s Noor Mosque, where some 200 Jamaat members were initially quarantined.
5.03 pm: Visits to Maharashtra’s Raj Bhavan for citizens have been suspended till April 30, ANI reports quoting Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari. People with confirmed booking for Raj Bhavan visit for April will be accommodated at subsequent dates.
5 pm: Panama President Laurentino Cortizo says from Wednesday, men and women will be allowed on the streets only on alternate days, AFP reports. They will also be able to leave their homes for only two hours at a time. Men will be able to go to the supermarket or the pharmacy on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and women will be allowed out on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. No one will be permitted to leave home on Sundays.
4.57 pm: Afghanistan’s health ministry has confirmed 29 new coronavirus cases in last 24 hours, taking the total number of infections to 174, The Guardian reports. The country plans to extend its testing capacity to 1,000 tests per day by the end of the week.
4.54 pm: “The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Department of Science and Technology, and Department of Biotechnology will work with Indian Council of Medical Research to further the agenda of the development of a vaccine for Covid-19,” says Gangakhedkar.
4.53 pm: Gangakhedkar says that the increase in number of hospitals and other facilities has been done for preparedness purposes, not because the government has any specific model for the number of cases in mind.
4.50 pm: Lav Agarwal says that the models which project a huge number of cases in India do not take into account that stringent social distancing measures have been implemented. He says India started taking action 13 days before the WHO declared the virus to be a matter of international concern.
4.49 pm: Gangakhedkar says people feel there is going to be a huge outbreak of coronavirus. He claims people do not believe in the steps the government has taken. “Even the statistician is afraid to put forward his data,” he says. “The incubation period is 14 days. The cases you are seeing today are old cases. When we stop seeing old cases, then only can I estimate the trend.”
4.47 pm: Gangakhedkar says the cost of testing kits, calculated at Rs 4,500 per kit, was right when it was calculated. “Availability of these kits is a big issue,” he says. “It continues to be in a shortage mode.” He says market competition will reduce the prices of the kits.
4.43 pm: ICMR member R Gangakhedkar says that only people who have a cold and cough should wear a mask. Social distancing is more appropriate, he says.
4.40 pm: Lav Agarwal says that the government has advised that common people do not always need to wear masks when they step out. He says the matter of using homemade masks is also being considered in a technical manner.
4.36 pm: Over 21,000 Covid-19 relief camps have been made operational in the country, the home ministry says according to PTI. More than 6.6 lakh people are sheltered in these camps, it says.
4.33 pm: The Home Ministry says that police and public order is a state subject, asked whether paramilitary troops will be deployed in the country. It adds that paramilitary troops can be deployed on examining requests from state governments.
4.29 pm: We are using cluster containment strategies and doing rigorous contact tracing in Covid-19 hotspots, PTI reports.
4.24 pm: A Home Ministry official says that the ministry will provide separate information about the coronavirus outbreak in Nizamuddin in New Delhi, refusing to answer a question related to it.
4.21 pm: Lav Agarwal says that a hotspot is a place where even a single case is reported. He said that if the government is able to close the chain of transmission in that location, it ceases to be a hotspot. He adds that with over 1,200 cases in the country, the number of hotspots has increased.
4.18 pm: The ministry says it is not aware that any medical supplies or personal protection equipment are being sent to Serbia. It adds that PPEs are being imported from South Korea and Vietnam.
4.16 pm: The ministry says 4,346 samples were tested on Monday. It adds that 49 private labs have been given permission to operate, where 399 people have been tested.
4.14 pm: The Union Health Ministry says the lockdown is effective at the state level. The availability of essential commodities is also sufficient. It adds that the condition of migrant workers is no longer a problem.
4.13 pm: In the UK, business leaders and lawyers have called on the Ministry of Justice to grant early release to prisoners convicted of non-violent offences, The Guardian reports. These individuals have also asked the ministry to release prisoners who are medically vulnerable and at risk of being infected with Covid-19 in jail.
4.10 pm: The Union Home Ministry has granted a special Rs 10-crore fund to the Central Reserve Police Force to undertake relief works for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic, PTI reports.
4.06 pm: Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal says in the daily press briefing that the Delhi government has asked all authorities to take action against landlords which try to evict doctors and nurses.
4 pm: Uttar Pradesh Congress President Ajay Kumar Lallu writes to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath requesting to waive off six months’ electricity bill for farmers, small shopkeepers, and common people as a relief measure, ANI reports.
3.55 pm: India’s highest science advisory body has recommended the widespread use of masks, The Hindu reports. The Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor, however, does not recommend the use of the health mask or the N95 mask by people, as they are expensive and non-reusable.
3.50 pm: The Centre has asked all states and Union Territories to ensure normal functioning of banks and ATMs during the lockdown period, as the Rs 27,500-crore financial package announced under the Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Yojana will be disbursed soon, PTI reports.
3.44 pm: The Indian Railways says 20,000 coaches it plans to convert into isolation wards for infected patients can accommodate up to 3.2 lakh such patients, PTI reports.
3.39 pm: Doctors and nurses, who were due to retire on March 31 will serve for two more months on contract basis, says Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami, ANI reports.
3.31 pm: As many as 849 people died in Spain over the last 24 hours, the government says according to AFP.
3.25 pm: A 12-year-old girl confirmed infected with Covid-19 has died in Belgium, AFP reports.
3.19 pm: Iran has reported 141 more fatalities in the last 24 hours, taking the toll in the worst-affected country in West Asia to 2,898.
3.13 pm: A Srinagar-based businessman travelled by air, train and road to Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and back to Jammu and Kashmir before he died of Covid-19, and may have infected many others, including a doctor, officials in the Union Territory have said according to PTI. The businessman, who travelled to Delhi to attend a Tablighi Jamaat congregation, died on March 26 in a Srinagar hospital. Around 300 people have been quarantined because of him.
3.11 pm: The Maharashtra government has announced that it will cut salaries of elected representatives and state government employees, including Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, by 60% for March, the Hindustan Times reports. Class A and Class B government employees will take a 50% pay cut, in an effort to bolster the state’s treasury to deal with the pandemic.
3.08 pm: The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has published a document called “Minding our minds during the Covid-19 pandemic”. It lists out suggestions to people to spend their time at home in a productive way to avoid boredom.
3 pm: People are queueing up at Siddha pharmacies and hospitals in Tamil Nadu to buy Kabasura Kudineer, a concoction which allegedly prevents Covid-19, The Hindu reports.
2.56 pm: “Tomorrow is 1st April, the April Fool’s Day,” Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh says. “In the current situation, I appeal to everyone to not spread rumours & misinformation. Strict action will be taken against those who indulge in rumour-mongering.”
2.49 pm: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has reviewed the Covid-19 sampling and testing strategy and said all efforts should be made to procure testing kits immediately for supply to laboratories, PTI reports. Vardhan orders officials to ensure states have all the required facilities and do not face shortage of testing kits, reagents or equipment.
2.47 pm: Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh says labourers from other states should not leave, as the government has made adequate arrangements of food and shelter for them, ANI reports.
2.41 pm: Aam Aadmi Party MLA Atishi has sought strong action against the Nizamuddin Markaz authorities for organising a congregation which led to dozens of cases of Covid-19, PTI reports. She asks why the Delhi Police did not take any step despite the government prohibiting such gatherings.
2.39 pm: A 65-year-old Covid-19 positive patient from Mohali who was admitted to the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh has died, ANI reports. The total number of deaths in Punjab has now risen to four.
2.36 pm: Bengaluru Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao has instructed his subordinates to shift migrant labourers stuck on highways to marriage and community halls in the city, PTI reports. Rao says these halls have been booked on the instructions of the state government.
2.32 pm: Telangana minister KT Rama Rao says that there are over 9 lakh migrant workers in the state, which has established more than 170 camps in Hyderabad for the labourers to stay, ANI reports.
2.28 pm: Four more people have tested positive for Covid-19 in Rajasthan, taking the total number of cases in the state up to 93, ANI reports.
2.21 pm: Europe has sent medical gear to Iran through first sanction-bypass deal, the German government says according to AFP.
2.18 pm: The number of deaths from the coronavirus pandemic has risen to over 37,000 worldwide by Tuesday morning, and the number of cases to over 7,87,000.
2.12 pm: Vietnam will begin 15 days of social distancing from Wednesday to curb community transmission of the coronavirus, Reuters reports. “From midnight April 1, everybody is required to stay at home and can only go out to buy food or in emergency cases and must keep at least two meters [distance] from others,” Prime Minster Nguyen Xuan Phuc says.
2.10 pm: A doctor of a mohalla clinic in Babarpur in New Delhi has tested positive for Covid-19, ANI reports. A notice has been put up in the area asking patients who had visited the clinic between March 12 and March 20 to self-quarantine at home for 15 days.
2.05 pm: The Czech Republic has decided to extend the closure of shops and restaurants and restrictions on people’s movements till April 11, Reuters reports. The measures, in place since March 14 and previously set to end on April 1, still allow grocery stores, pharmacies, drugstores, gas stations and some other places to operate.
“We hope that the epidemic will develop in such a way that after Easter, it will be possible to loosen some measures,” Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis says. It has also been made compulsory for people to wear face masks in public.
2.02 pm: In shockingly sexist advice, the Malaysian government has urged women to dress up at home and avoid nagging their husbands in order to avoid domestic conflicts while the country remains in lockdown, The Guardian reports.
2 pm: The National Testing Agency has revised the dates of submission of online application forms for various examinations in light of the pandemic.
1.57 pm: Jammu and Kashmir Principal Secretary (Planning) Rohit Kansal says that six new cases have been confirmed in Kashmir, ANI reports. All those newly infected are contacts of previous positive cases, he adds.
1.54 pm: China’s National Health Commission says that Chinese minister Ma Xiaowei and US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar spoke on a phone call on Monday night, the South China Morning Post reports. Ma assured Azar that China was willing to work with the United States to contain the outbreak.
1.49 pm: Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma says the government has a list of 299 people “who were present in and around the hotspot near Nizamuddin Dargah”. They have alerted district chiefs and asked them to quarantine those who are still in the state following the religious congregation, he tweets.
1.45 pm: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath cuts short a visit to coronavirus-affected districts to hold an emergency meeting on the Nizamuddin sit-in from where multiple cases are now being reported, says PTI. So far, 24 people who attended the religious meeting have tested positive for the virus.
1.38 pm: The hearing ends. The matter will be heard next on April 7.
1.36 pm: Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava says the top court should pass orders directing all states to comply with the central government’s directions. Justice L Nageswara Rao says this is not necessary since invoking the Disaster Management Act allows that the Centre’s orders are binding on all states and districts.
1.35 pm: The lawyer for the petitioners, Rashmi Bansal, says the Centre’s submissions do not include details on social distancing at shelters and sanitisation. “These shelters are crowded,” Live Law quotes her as saying.
1.30 pm: Bobde instructs the government to ensure that there is enough water in shelters, as summer is approaching. He says there must be sufficient water, food, medicine and beds at all shelters, Live Law reports.
The Centre says there is enough food for one year.
1.28 pm: Bobde also instructs the government to entrust the managing of shelters to volunteers, not the police. “You ensure that you bring volunteers. There shouldn’t be use of force or intimidation,” Bobde says.
1.25 pm: Chief Justice Bobde tells the solicitor general to look into petitions from MPs on the coronavirus, Live Law reports. “We have not listed them yet, we want you to look at them.”
1.17 pm: “We are facing an unprecedented situation. There is need for unprecedented orders,” Mehta tells the court.
Chief Justice Bobde says there is a section of the Indian Penal Code that makes it punishable to disobey orders from the government, Live Law reports. “You can invoke that section also, Section 188 CrPc.”
1.12 pm: The Supreme Court asks the Centre to crack down on those spreading fake news. Mehta says the Centre is setting up a panel to address citizen queries, to which the chief justice says the committee should be set up within 24 hours.
1.10 pm: Mehta says the government will mobilise religious leaders and trained counsellors to speak to migrants in shelters and reassure them, reports Live Law. This follows the chief justice saying that panic will destroy lives and that counsellors need to be made available during the pandemic.
1.07 pm: The home secretary puts it on record that “as of 11 am on March 31, nobody is in the road. They have all been taken to the nearest shelter available”, reports Bar and Bench.
1.05 pm: The Centre claims the rural population so far is less affected by the novel coronavirus, reports News18. “According to the last census, there were about 4.14 crore persons who migrated for work, but reverse migration is taking place due to coronavirus fears,” the government said. “We are trying to ensure that no migration during the lockdown period and there is a possibility that three out of 10 moving from cities to rural areas are carrying the virus,” says the solicitor general.
1 pm: Mehta says an advisory was issued to the states that inter-state migration be banned. ““I have instructions to state that no one is now on the road. Anyone who was outside has been taken to the available shelters”, he tells the judges.
12.55 pm: Solicitor General Tushar Mehta tells the bench, led by the chief justice, that the government is ensuring food is available to the homeless and migrant workers, Bar and Bench reports. He tells the court that the lockdown was imposed to contain the virus.
“We are trying to ensure that no migration is permissible, it would be risky for them [migrants] and the village population,” Mehta says.
12.50 pm: The Supreme Court is hearing petitions seeking essentials and medical facilities for migrant workers who are now out of work.
12.46 pm: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Bhagel says Modi should have consulted the states before abruptly announcing a lockdown, reports The Hindu. Bhagel says the displacement of lakhs of migrants could have been avoided if the lockdown was better planned.
“Who is to implement the lockdown?” Bhagel says. “Can the Union government on its own do so. The answer is no. Ultimately, it’s the State government’s job to implement it. Did the Prime Minister talk to any of the State governments before unilaterally announcing it? No,”
12.43 pm: Ambulance drivers in Uttar Pradesh are threatening to stop working, reports The Hindu. They say they have not been paid since January and have not been given proper protective gear amid the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak.
12.37 pm: People under home quarantine in Karnataka have been directed to send selfies to the government every hour. “All persons under home quarantine shall send their selfies to the government on a mobile application every hour,” Medical Education Minister DK Sudhakar told reporters. “Failing to do so, teams will reach such defaulters and they will be liable to be shifted to quarantine centres made by the government.”
12.18 pm: To tackle the coronavirus spread, the Rajasthan government has reserved 47 private hospitals, with a total bed capacity of 5,283, in Jaipur district to meet a crisis situation, reports The Hindu. The hospital buildings will be used as isolation and quarantine centres when needed.
12.15 pm: The Odisha government sanctions Rs 54 lakh to feed stray animals in various cities during the three-week coronavirus lockdown period, reports PTI.
12.12 pm: US home rental firm Airbnb says it is allocating $250 million to help offset losses by hosts around the world whose guests have cancelled bookings in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, reports AFP.
12.08 pm: Seventeen new coronavirus cases have been detected in Andhra Pradesh since Monday night, taking the total infections to 40, reports ANI. Of these, two are from Anantapur district, eight are from Prakasam district, five from Guntur district, one each from Krishna district and East Godavari district.
12 pm: The Andhra Pradesh government confirms that at least 369 people from the state had attended the religious event in Nizamuddin, reports News18.
11.56 am: South Korea reports 125 new coronavirus cases , bringing the total number of infections to 9,786, according to Reuters.
11.53 am: Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal says administration needs to continue awareness programs about social distancing. “Information,education and communication activities need to be intensified on ground,” he tweets. “Social distancing norms have to be ingrained in one and all.”
11.46 am: Centre says driving licenses and other motor vehicle documents that expired on February 1 will now be valid till June 30 due to the coronavirus outbreak.
11.44 am: Seventeen more people test positive for coronavirus in Indore, reports PTI. The total number of Covid-19 cases in Madhya Pradesh has risen to 66.
11.40 am: Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal says ensuring social distancing is top priority at the moment. “There have been reports about violations of social distancing norms at some food distribution centres.” he tweets.
He also adds that it has been decided to increase the number of food distribution centres from 500 to 2,500 so that people follow social distancing.
11.30 am: Tamil Nadu reports seven new coronavirus cases, says State Health Minister C Vijayabaskar. The patients include a 43-year-old male with a travel history to Thiruvananthapuram, a 28-year-old male who was a coworker of a patient who tested positive earlier, and five males with travel history to Delhi. All patients are stable and in isolation, says the minister.
11.25 am: Visuals of people being shifted to hospital and quarantine centers from Nizamuddin area in New Delhi.
11.22 am: Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma urges those who attended the religious event in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area earlier this month to report voluntarily to the nearest government hospital or use the helpline number 104. “Please treat this as very important,” he tweets.
11.17 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi shares a video of a yoga nidra during the 21-day lockdown period to encourage people to stay fit. “Whenever I get time, I practice Yoga Nidra once or twice a week,” he tweets. “It furthers overall well-being, relaxes the mind, reduces stress and anxiety. You will find many videos of Yoga Nidra on the net. I’m sharing a video each in English and Hindi.”
11.15 am: Bihar Nodal Officer Abhishek Sen says a 35-year-old man from Gopalganj district has tested positive for Covid-19, reports ANI. The patient has a travel history to Saudi Arabia.
11.11 am: The number of coronavirus cases in the Czech Republic has exceeded 3,000, reports Reuters. The country, which has carried out more than 43,000 tests and is ramping up daily testing, has reported the largest number of cases among central European states, but far fewer than bigger western neighbours, such as Germany.
11.04 am: Two more people test positive for the coronavirus in Gujarat, says Jayanti Ravi, the principal secretary of the state health and family welfare department. The total number of cases in the state is now 73, according to ANI.
11 am: A meeting is underway at the residence of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal regarding the coronavirus situation and three-day religious conference held in Nizamuddin, reports ANI.
10.50 am: Jain adds that the organisers of the religious event in Nizamuddin committed a crime. “Disaster Act and Contagious Diseases Act was enforced in Delhi, no assembly of more than 5 people was allowed,” he says. “Still they did this. I’ve written to lieutenant governor to take strictest action against them. Delhi government has given order to file FIR.”
10.42 am: Satyendra Jain says it is estimated that 1,500 to 1,700 people had assembled at Markaz building for the religious event, reports ANI. He adds that 1,033 people have been evacuated so far and of these 334 of them have been sent to hospital and 700 sent to quarantine center.
10.35 am: Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain says 24 test positive for the coronavirus from the mosque in Nizamuddin. A religious event was held there earlier this month and many people from across the country who tested positive for Covid-19 had attended that or were close contacts of the participants.
10.28 am: The world economy will go into recession this year with a predicted loss of trillions of dollars of global income due to the coronavirus pandemic, says a United Nations trade report. “This will spell serious trouble for developing countries, with the likely exception of China and the possible exception of India,” adds the report.
10.22 am: The Centre’s failure to adequately plan the 21-day nationwide lockdown forced hundreds of thousands of people to try to walk back home, sometimes hundreds of kilometres, since work and wages in the city had dried up.
10.17 am: A team of South Municipal Corporation of Delhi has been called to sanitise the Alami Markaz Banglewali Masjid, the headquarters of the Tablighi Jamaat in Nizamuddin area of South Delhi, reports ANI. The medical team and administration present at the area are allowing people to be shifted to hospitals only after noting down their name, address, contact number and date of arrival.
10.08 am: The Markaz Nizamuddin – the Delhi headquarters of the Tablighi Jamaat – has been sealed after many people from across the country who tested positive for the coronavirus had attended a three-day religious conference or were close contacts of the participants, reports NDTV.
10 am: Rajasthan Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Rohit Kumar Singh says seven people who were evacuated from Iran have tested positive for Covid-19, reports ANI. The total number of positive cases in the state rises to 83.
9.56 am: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has tested negative for the coronavirus, reports Reuters. The 70-year-old leader went into self-isolation after one of his aides had contracted the virus.
His spokesperson Ofir Gendelman says that Netanyahu, his family and staff all tested negative, but “he will remain quarantined until further instructions are issued by the ministry of health”.
9.49 am: West Bengal records its third death due to the coronavirus after a man died at a hospital in Howrah district, reports PTI. “The person died on Monday night before test results came,” an official was quoted as saying. “His test results confirmed that he was infected with the coronavirus.”
9.42 am: Dilshad Garden and Nizamuddin in Delhi have been identified as “hotspots” where “unusual” coronavirus transmission has been detected, reports The Indian Express. Other “hotspots” include Noida, Meerut, Bhilwara, Ahmedabad, Kasaragod, Pathanamthitta, Mumbai and Pune.
9.40 am: The Delhi Police has evacuated 860 people from the Markaz building in Nizamuddin and shifted them to hospitals with the help of health department, reports The Hindu. Over 300 are still in the Markaz building and they will be evacuated later in the day.
9.33 am: Rajasthan health department confirms four new coronavirus cases in the state, reports ANI. This includes a 44-year-old man from Jhunjhunu with travel history to Dubai, a 17-year-old girl from Ajmer and a 65-yr-old man from Dungarpur and a 60 year-old man from Jaipur.
The total number of cases in the state has increased to 76.
9.30 am: The organisation adds that the management of Markaz had appealed to Delhi government and the police to support the stranded people but failed to get help. “Yet they fully cooperated and continue to comply with guidelines,” they say. “Jamaat management have ensured that all measures for the safety of those inside were taken. Out of the 200 suspected cases, not all are positive. It may be possible that out of those who left in the first batch, some may have been affected and they passed on the infection.”
9.26 am: The Tablighi Jamaat in Delhi say that the religious congregation took place before the lockdown was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The event in Delhi’s Nizamuddin was attended by hundreds of Indian and foreign Islamic preachers – many of whom travelled to different parts of India after the meet, raising concerns about the scale of the potential spread of infection at the event.
“3,400 people had gathered,” says the Jamaat. “2,000 were evacuated as soon as the lockdown was ordered. Around 1400 could not leave and the Jamaat started coordinating and requesting with authorities for assistance.”
9.15 am: China reports a rise in coronavirus cases, reversing four days of declines, due to an uptick in infections involving travellers arriving from overseas, according to Reuters. China had 48 new cases on Monday, the National Health Commission says in a statement, up from 31 new infections a day earlier.
9.06 am: Maharashtra health department says five more people have tested positive for the coronavirus in the state, taking the total to 225, reports ANI. This includes one fresh case in Mumbai and two each in Pune and Buldhana.
9 am: The condition of the man who died in Kerala was “extremely critical”, says a press release from the state-run Thiruvananthapuram Medical College and Hospital, reports PTI.
8.55 am: A 68-year-old man has died in Kerala, PTI reports citing the state government. The medical superintendent of the Government Medical College in Thiruvananthapuram tells ANI that the patient suffered kidney failure.
8.12 am: The toll from the coronavirus pandemic in United States has crossed 3,000, reports AFP.
8.10 am: There are 37,639 virus-linked deaths globally and the number of confirmed cases is 7,84,716, according to Johns Hopkins university’s update.
8.08 am: World Bank warns that millions could be driven into poverty in Asia due to the coronavirus pandemic, reports AFP.
8.05 am: Italy’s government says it would extend its nationwide lockdown measures against the coronavirus outbreak, due to end on Friday, at least until April 12, reports Reuters. Italians have been under lockdown for three weeks, with most shops, bars and restaurants shut and people forbidden from leaving their homes for all but non-essential needs.
8 am: People continue to board buses in the Nizamuddin area of Delhi for a coronavirus checkup.
As Scroll.in reported previously, thousands of Indians and hundreds of foreigners had attended the conference that took place on March 9 and 10 in the densely populated Nizamuddin area of Delhi. Many of them fanned out across the country to recruit people after this, raising concerns about the scale of the potential spread of infection at the conference.
7.50 am: Here are the top updates from Monday:
- India reported 227 new Covid-19 patients, taking the number of cases to 1,251. The number of deaths rose by seven to 32 by Monday night, the Union Health Ministry said. Both the increase in the number of cases and deaths were the highest ever in a single day. Of the total cases, 1,117 are active cases.
- The ministry continued to insist that India is still in the local transmission stage of the coronavirus. Earlier in the day, the government said there is no plan to extend the 21-day lockdown period.
- The Supreme Court asked for a status report from the Centre on the measures related to the large-scale migration of workers amid the Covid-19 outbreak in the country. The top court noted that the migration of labourers due to panic over the spreading Covid-19 was becoming a bigger problem than containment of the disease. The matter will be heard today.
- Meanwhile, the Kerala High Court took suo motu cognisance of reports of police brutality against those breaking the lockdown norms, and said it cannot allow fundamental rights of citizens to be infringed.
- The district magistrate of Gautam Buddha Nagar in Uttar Pradesh was transferred after Chief Minister Adityanath visited Noida to assess the coronavirus situation. Gautam Buddha Nagar district has reported 38 coronavirus cases in the state – the highest.
- The Tokyo Olympics, postponed last week due to the coronavirus pandemic, will now be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, the International Olympic Committee confirmed. The Paralympic Games have been rescheduled for August 24 to September 5.