The Union health ministry said India has reported 2,069 cases so far, and 53 of these people have died. Several states are still identifying and tracing people linked to a religious event held at the Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi last month. The ministry said 400 confirmed coronavirus cases are linked to the event, and there might be more.
Globally, the number of Covid-19 positive cases rose to 9,81,221, including 50,230 deaths, according to a tracker by Johns Hopkins University. The toll in Spain has crossed 10,000.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during a video conference with all state chief ministers, asked for ideas on how to implement a “staggered reemergence” of the people once the lockdown ends.
The national helpline number for the coronavirus is 011-23978046, and a toll-free number 1075.
Here are the day’s top updates:
10.55 pm: Two more people died in Delhi on Thursday, taking the toll to four, PTI reports. Both of them were evacuated from Tablighi Jamaat’s Nizamuddin Markaz. The number of positive Covid-19 cases rose sharply to 293. It was 152 the previous day.
The Centre, however, has so far confirmed only 219 cases.
10.49 pm: The Delhi Police has registered a case against the management committee of the Majnu Ka Tilla Gurdwara for allegedly violating lockdown orders and not maintaining social distancing, PTI reports.
However, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee President Manjeet Singh Sirsa says the Delhi and Punjab governments had been informed that devotees were stranded in the gurdwara. “The stranded people were safe in the gurdwara but the Delhi government shifted them to a school where they are living in unhygienic conditions,” he claims. “Now, they have filed a complaint against the DSGMC which was told to give these people food.”
10.40 pm: The global toll due to Covid-19 has gone past 50,000. As many as 50,230 people have died due to the pandemic, and 9,81,221 people have been infected across 180 countries or regions.
10.30 pm: Four members of Tablighi Jamaat, including three foreigners, test positive for coronavirus in Bhopal, PTI reports.
10.12 pm: A 50-year-old coronavirus patient dies at the Sassoon Hospital in Pune, PTI reports. The woman had no foreign travel history and was admitted as she had severe pneumonia, hospital dean Ajay Chandanwale says.
10.10 pm: The Centre allows transit arrangements for stranded foreign nationals and also the evacuation of foreigners who came to India after February 15 and who test negative after their quarantine period is over.
10.07 pm: British Airways temporarily lays off 28,000 employees amid the coronavirus crisis, AFP reports.
10.05 pm: UN Human Rights chief Michelle Bachelet says she is distressed by the plight of migrants who have been affected by the lockdown in India. “The lockdown in India represents a massive logistical and implementation challenge given the population size and its density and we all hope the spread of the virus can be checked,” the High Commissioner for Human Rights says. “It is nonetheless important to ensure that measures in response to the COVID-19 are neither applied in a discriminatory manner nor exacerbate existing inequalities and vulnerabilities.”
10 pm: Free speech organisation PEN Delhi criticises the Indian government’s attitude towards media organisations amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“In a democracy, cracking down on a pandemic requires the active support of a free press and must not include a crackdown on it,” a statement says. “This is essential because fighting a pandemic requires a free media not just to inform the people likely to be affected by it but also to act as a watchdog for them, ever more important in a time of crisis.”
It adds: “It is in this context that PEN Delhi notes with concern the attitude of the Indian government, state governments and police authorities towards the media in India, during the ongoing battle against CoVid 19 and the nationwide lockdown it has led to.”
9.55 pm: Sixteen Haj houses have been turned into quarantine centres, says Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.
9.50 pm: The Telangana government says 27 more people have tested positive for Covid-19, taking its cases to 154. This includes 17 people who have recovered and nine deaths, ANI reports. The Centre, however, has so far confirmed only 107 cases, including one discharged person and three deaths.
9.40 pm: More than 3.9 billion people, or half of the world’s population, have now been asked to remain in their homes, AFP reports.
9.35 pm: The Karnataka health departments says 14 new Covid-19 cases have been confirmed in the last 24 hours, taking the number of cases to 124. This includes three deaths and 11 discharged people, according to ANI. But according to the Centre, there are 110 cases, including three deaths and nine discharged people.
9.25 pm: A 32-year-old man was arrested in Mumbai for allegedly hoarding three-ply masks worth more than Rs 35 lakh, PTI reports. Mahendra Ramsundar Koli is an electronics dealer in Santacruz who bought the masks and sold them for higher prices, the police say.
9.20 pm: Another doctor from AIIMS has tested positive for Covid-19, ANI reports. This person is the wife of the first doctor from the hospital to test positive earlier in the day. She is nine months pregnant and has been isolated.
9.15 pm: Globally, the number of Covid-19 positive cases rose to 9,65,246, including 49,236 deaths, according to a tracker by Johns Hopkins University.
9.04 pm: Resident doctors at AIIMS have alleged that the administration and corporate social responsibility section has redirected Rs 50 lakh meant for PPEs to the PM-CARES fund, The Hindu reports.
“We met with the administration on Wednesday and told them about our concerns and requested that all personal protection equipment will have to meet the safety standards prescribed by the Health Ministry and that neither doctors nor other patients should be put at risk of catching the infection,” AIIMS Resident Doctors’ Association General Secretary Dr T Srinivas Rajkumar says.
9 pm: Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has warned violators that they would be shot dead, Reuters reports. He adds that abuse of medical workers is a serious crime that will not be tolerated.
8.54 pm: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is still positive for the coronavirus, says his official spokesperson. Johnson was supposed to leave self-isolation on Friday.
8.52 pm: As many as 569 people have died in the United Kingdom on Thursday, The Guardian reports. As of 9 am GMT (2.30 pm Indian Standard Time) on Thursday, a total of 163,194 people have been tested of which 33,718 tested positive.
8.45 pm: The police have arrested seven persons in connection with stones pelted at health workers in Tatpatti Bakhal area of Indore in Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday, ANI reports.
8.39 pm: Two people evacuated from Nizamuddin Markaz have died due to coronavirus, says Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal according to PTI. He says that of the 2,346 people evacuated from the Markaz, 108 have tested positive so far. Kejriwal warns of a spike in the number soon, as the government has decided to test everyone evacuated from the mosque.
8.33 pm: Saudi Arabia has extended curfew restrictions on Mecca and Medina to 24 hours to stem the spread of coronavirus, AFP reports. The announcement comes amid uncertainty over the hajj which is due to take place at the end of July. Saudi authorities have urged people to postpone preparations for the hajj.
8.28 pm: The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare says that the number of cases in India has risen to 2,069, and 53 people have died
8.23 pm: Six Indian Navy ships are on standby for assistance to neighbouring countries, while five medical teams are on standby for deployment on request in Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Afghanistan, say Indian Navy officials according to ANI.
8.17 pm: A consignment of masks heading from China to one of the worst hit coronavirus areas of France was taken away by American buyers, The Guardian reports. The masks were on a plane on the tarmac at Shanghai Airport ready to take off when US buyers turned up waving wads of cash and offered three times what the French were paying.
8.13 pm: Three people who attended the Tablighi Jamaat’s congregation in New Delhi last month and came to Himachal Pradesh have tested positive for the coronavirus, PTI reports. This takes the number of cases in the state up to six.
8.10 pm: The Karnataka Police have arrested three people in connection with the attack on an Asha worker in Bengaluru, ANI reports.
8.02 pm: Police personnel were attacked and at least nine of them were injured in various parts of West Bengal while enforcing the lockdown, PTI reports. The attacks took place in the districts of South 24 Parganas and West Midnapore.
7.54 pm: Zhong Nanshan, China’s leading respiratory disease expert, says that with every country taking stringent measures, the coronavirus pandemic could be in control by April end, The South China Morning Post reports. “After late April, no one can say for sure if there will be another virus outbreak next spring or if it will disappear with warmer weather…though the virus’ activity will certainly diminish in higher temperatures,” he adds.
7.44 pm: “I would urge Congress President Sonia Gandhi that it is not the occasion to create a political divide and do something which in a way seeks to bring political fissures to the common determination in the fight against Covid-19,” Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad says according ANI.
7.22 pm: The Delhi government writes to Commissioner of Police SN Shrivastava telling him that medical superintendents of hospitals earmarked for treating Covid-19 patients have reported that patients, especially those from the Markaz, have been creating a commotion and causing law and order problem at these facilities, ANI reports. The state requests for adequate deployment of police personnel at hospitals.
7 pm: Russian President Vladimir Putin has extended the non-working period in his country to the end of April, AFP reports.
6.40 pm: BJP National President JP Nadda asks Congress to play a “responsible role at this difficult time”, PTI reports. He says the Centre is taking all states along while making decisions. “Sonia Gandhi’s remarks on lockdown are insensitive, this is not the time for politics but to serve the country unitedly,” he adds.
6.35 pm: As many as 81 new Covid-19 cases have been reported in Maharashtra on Thursday, the health department says according to ANI. Of these, 57 are from Mumbai. The total number of cases in the state has risen to 416, with 19 deaths.
6.30 pm: Gujarat Director General of Police Shivanand Jha says that 84 people from Gujarat who attended the Nizamuddin event have been traced so far, PTI reports. Till Wednesday, the state police had identified 72 persons, including a 70-year-old person from Bhavnagar who had died of coronavirus infection.
6.26 pm: Himachal Pradesh Director General of Police Sitaram Mandi says 190 people from the state who attended the Tablighi Jamaat event have been quarantined, PTI reports. He also requests Muslims not to visit mosques for prayers.
6.20 pm: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan says 21 more people have tested positive for Covid-19, including eight from Kasargod district, PTI reports.
6.18 pm: Tamil Nadu Health Secretary Beela Rajesh says 75 more persons have tested positive for Covid-19, of which 74 are those who attended the Tablighi Jamaat event, ANI reports. The total number of cases in the state is now 309, including 264 who attended the event.
6.15 pm: The Centre asks all states and Union Territories to take penal action against those who violate restrictions imposed during the countrywide lockdown. Anyone obstructing enforcement of lockdown could face imprisonment up to two years in prison, while anyone who makes false claims can be sentenced to two years imprisonment and can be fined.
6.11 pm: The head of the World Health Organization’s office in Europe says figures show that more than 95% of people who have died of coronavirus on the continent are above the age of 60, AP reports. The United Nations health agency says 10% to 15% of people under 50 with the disease have moderate or severe infection.
6.08 pm: The Shatabdi Express Hospital in Kandivali in Mumbai has been placed under quarantine, Times Now reports. Staff at the hospital were put under quarantined after identifying 190 “red zones”.
6.03 pm: Tablighi Jamaat chief Maulana Saad Kandhlawi has released an audio message, saying he has put himself in self quarantine at an undisclosed location on a doctor’s advice. “I am in self-quarantine in Delhi as advised by the doctors and appeal to all Jamaat wherever they are in the country to follow the directives of the law,” Kandhlawi says.
5.59 pm: The Centre has allowed Maharashtra to conduct rapid, mass-scale Covid-19 testing by using blood samples to expedite the detection of coronavirus cases, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope says according to PTI. Tope says Narendra Modi made the remarks in a video conference with all chief ministers.
5.54 pm: However, Union Home Minister Amit Shah has accused the Congress of playing “petty politics” over Covid-19. “Under PM @narendramodi’s leadership, India’s efforts to fight Coronavirus are being lauded domestically and globally,” Shah tweets. “130-crore Indians are united to defeat COVID-19. Yet, the Congress is playing petty politics. High time they think of national interest and stop misleading people.”
5.48 pm: The Congress Working Committee adds that the government has “miserably failed” to provide adequate livelihood support to the poor, through a “miserly” Financial Action Plan. “Supply chains to crores of people, including those living in towns, cities and remote villages, have been severely disrupted by poor preparation and thoughtless orders and notifications,” the party says.
5.42 pm: The Congress Working Committee criticises the Narendra Modi-led government’s approach to the pandemic. In a statement, it says there have been “grave shortcomings” in the government’s strategy. The Congress says the Centre should follow a policy of extensive testing instead of limited testing. It adds that the government must undertake massive production and procurement of Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE.
5.38 pm: “The way lockdown was imposed by govt with few hours of prior information has created problems for common people,” says Congress President Sonia Gandhi. “Lakhs of migrant workers were forced to return to their villages in the absence of transportation services. This has hurt many people.”
5.36 pm: A Health Ministry official says around 50 members of the medical staff, including doctors, nurses and paramedics have tested positive for Covid-19 so far, ANI reports.
5.33 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi says that at 9 am on Friday, he will “share a small video message” with the people of the country.
5.31 pm: Maharashtra allots 30 government hospitals for Covid-19 treatment, reports PTI. There are 2,305 beds at these state-run hospitals.
5.29 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says the number of virus cases in the country might shoot up in the coming days, and that two people who attended the Nizamuddin Markaz died due to the coronavirus today, PTI reports. “There are 31,307 people under self-quarantine; 108 coronavirus patients are from the markaz,” he says.
5.25 pm: Home Minister Amit Shah claims the Congress is playing petty politics over the coronavirus outbreak and misleading people. He adds that the party should think about what is in the national interest now. He says Narendra Modi’s steps towards tackling the virus have been lauded within India and abroad, and that 130 crore Indians are united against the disease, PTI reports.
5.21 pm: A three-day-old boy has tested positive for the coronavirus along with his mother in Mumbai, The Indian Express reported on Thursday. It is suspected that they caught the infection from the bed of a Covid-19 patient at Sai Hospital in Mumbai. The boy is Maharashtra’s youngest coronavirus patient.
5.20 pm: The Kerala High Court on Thursday stayed for three weeks the state’s government order to allow the sale of liquor to those with doctor’s prescription amid the 21-day nationwide lockdown to contain the coronavirus pandemic. “No document in medical literature supports such prescription of alcohol to persons with alcohol withdrawal symptoms,” Justice AK Jayasankaran Nambiar said.
5.12 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held a video conference with chief ministers of all the states and the Union Territories to contain the coronavirus pandemic. Modi said the Centre and states must have a “common exit strategy” for staggered re-entry of population after the three-week nationwide lockdown to stem the spread of coronavirus.
5.10 pm: A resident doctor of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi on Thursday tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the medical superintendent confirmed to Scroll.in. However, Dr DK Sharma said the doctor was not involved in any patient care services.
4.45 pm: Karnataka Chief Minister Yediyurappa distributes milk to the poor in urban areas, reports PTI.
4.31 pm: Air India’s chief Rajiv Bansal says a few ground staff workers fell ill but they all tested negative for the coronavirus. He adds that the airline is providing personal protective equipment to cabin crew, pilots and ground staff. Cabin crew members have been told to isolate themselves after flights.
4.20 pm: One person from Dharavi has died, Agarwal confirms. The building has been sealed along with surrounding shops. Contact tracing and other protocol is now being conducted by more than 4,000 people.
4.19 pm: Agarwal says the prime minister in a meeting with chief ministers spoke about all religions joining hands to fight the virus, and to enforce social distancing.
4.18 pm: Guidelines have been issued for dialysis, and for the psychosocial support of migrant workers, as per Supreme Court instructions.
4.15 pm: He says there may be more cases linked to the Nizamuddin cluster. Around 9,000 people have been quarantined in connection with the event.
Agarwal says about 400 positive cases can be traced to the Tablighi Jamaat cluster. Of around 2,000 Tablighi Jamaat members in Delhi, 1,804 have been quarantined and 334 admitted to hospitals.
4.13 pm: The health ministry says at least 151 people have recovered from the coronavirus so far. There are 1,965 confirmed cases, states ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal.
4.10 pm: Anyone making false claims can also be punished up to two years of jail.
4.08 pm: Punya Salila Srivastava, joint secretary, home ministry, says the home secretary has instructed states that anyone obstructing enforcement of lockdown can be punishable for jail term of up to two years.
4.05 pm: The Ministry of Health’s daily press briefing begins. Watch it live here.
4 pm: Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope says around 3.25 lakh migrant labourers in are in the state’s shelters, reports PTI.
3.56 pm: Pakistan places the city of Raiwind under quarantine after 40 Tablighi Jamaat preachers tested positive for the coronavirus, reports PTI.
3.54 pm: Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope says the state has been allowed to conduct “rapid coronavirus tests” to expedite detection of cases, reports PTI.
3.27 pm: The toll in Spain crosses 10,000, says Catalan News. The toll due to the virus is now 10,003, after 950 people died in the last day.
3.23 pm: The traffic police in Bengaluru on Thursday inscribed messages on the roads admonishing people about coming out of their homes amid the countrywide lockdown to contain the coronavirus pandemic. “If you come to road, I’ll come to your home,” the message read, according to ANI.
3.14 pm: All students in West Bengal from classes 1 to 8 will be promoted to the next grade, says state Education Minister Partha Chatterjee.
“The department is passing on instruction to the schools (state-run and state-aided) to fully enforce the ‘no detention’ policy in all institutions for those studying up to the eighth standard, in view of the present situation,” PTI quoted Chatterjee as saying.
Earlier, the government had instructed the Central Board of Secondary Education to move all students up one grade, as classes remain suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak.
3.10 pm: North Korea continues to insist it has no cases of the novel coronavirus, AFP reports. “Not one single person has been infected with the novel coronavirus in our country so far,” Pak Myong Su, director of the anti-epidemic department of the Central Emergency Anti-epidemic Headquarters, told AFP.
The country had closed its borders in January.
3.09 pm: A physiology resident doctor at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, tests positive for the virus and has been moved to a private ward, reports ANI.
His family will also be tested.
3.06 pm: Union Home Minister Amit Shah talked about effective implementation of the government’s guidelines and the need to implement the lockdown more strictly in some places.
3.04 pm: Modi asks chief ministers to think of ways to acquire grains for harvest since this is harvest season.
He also asks for ideas on a plan to ensure the “staggered re-emergence” of the population after the lockdown is over.
3 pm: The prime minister has asked states to ensure availability of separate medical facilities for Covid-19 patients, and has asked them to seek out more resources using Ayush doctors, the National Cadet Corps, the National Service Scheme, paramedical staff, and conducting online training, says PIB.
2.56 pm: In Modi’s video conference with chief ministers, the ministers spoke on their work towards tracking suspected cases of the virus, containing community transmission, improving medical infrastructure and supporting the health workforce, identifying and quarantining suspected cases from an event in Nizamuddin, Delhi, and maintaining social distancing practices, ANI reports.
2.46 pm: Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa says 391 people who attended Nizamuddin gathering in Delhi have been traced and quarantined, reports ANI.
2.42 pm: The National Commission for Women says it has received over 250 complaints since the country-wide lockdown was imposed to control the spread of coronavirus, reports PTI. Out of these, 69 cases were of domestic violence.
2.36 pm: Prime Minister’s Office says in his meeting with chief ministers he told them testing, tracing, isolation and quarantine should remain focus areas for the next few weeks, reports ANI. He also highlighted the necessity of maintaining supply of essential medical products, availability of raw material for the manufacture of medicines and medical equipment.
2.30 pm: No new positive coronavirus cases have been reported in Karnataka from 5 pm on April 1 to 10 am on April 2, according to The Indian Express.
2.22 pm: Assistant Municipal Commissioner of G North ward Kiran Dighavkar says the 52-year-old Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation sweeper who became the second person to test positive for the coronavirus was on duty in Dharavi until Monday when he developed symptoms, reports The Hindu.
“We do not know if the person contracted the virus in Worli or Dharavi,” he adds. “Since the first Dharavi patient was tested positive a week after he developed symptoms, it is possible that the sweeper contracted it in Dharavi. His co-workers are under home quarantine.”
2.20 pm: The Union Health Ministry says it has identified 20 existing and 22 potential hotspots of the coronavirus in the country, reports PTI. They maintain that there is no evidence of widespread community transmission, but add that containment measures will require large human resource.
2.12 pm: Health Secretary Preeti Sudan writes to chief secretaries of all states and Union Territories over redressal of grievances of migrant labourers in different parts of the country with the directions of the Supreme Court.
2.08 pm: Five hundred and seventy people have died in nursing homes in France’s eastern region since the outbreak of the coronavirus, reports Reuters.
2 pm: Andhra Pradesh government urges Centre to extend financial aid to tide over the coronavirus impact and the 21-day lockdown, reports PTI. “We are facing a grave financial crisis, so much so that we could not even pay full salaries for the month of March to our officers and employees,” Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy told Modi during the video conference. “Our revenues have fallen to negligible levels.”
1.55 pm: National carrier Air India suspends contracts with approximately 200 pilots who were re-employed after their retirement due to the coronavirus pandemic, reports PTI, citing officials.
1.52 pm: World Health Organisation Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praises Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his efforts to help the poor amid the three-week lockdown imposed to contain coronavirus spread. “Countries are asking people to stay home and shutting down population movement to limit Covid-19 transmission,” he says in a tweet. “These steps can have unintended consequences for the poorest and most vulnerable. I call on countries to ensure these populations have food & life essentials during the crisis.”
He appreciates Modi for announcing relief package that provided food rations, cash transfers and free cooking gas.
1.50 pm: A person has been arrested on charges of attacking Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation team on Wednesday, reports ANI. The team had reached Mumbai’s Dharavi slum to seal the building where a 56 year-old man had died of coronavirus.
1.28 pm: A 54-year-old man dies of coronavirus in Indore, reports PTI. Toll in Madhya Pradesh rises to eight.
1.18 pm: A BMC sanitation worker tests positive, according to multiple reports. He resides in Worli area but was posted at Dharavi for cleaning, reports India Today.
1.14 pm: The Supreme Court takes suo motu cognisance on the condition of children protection homes across the country, reports PTI. A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and Deepak Gupta will hear the matter through video-conferencing on Friday.
1.10 pm: Japan will send two reusable face masks to every home in the country.
1.08 pm: Congress President Sonia Gandhi says the ongoing 21-day lockdown is necessary but the “unplanned manner” of implementation had caused “chaos and pain” for millions of migrant workers.
1.04 pm: The Delhi Fire Service has begun disinfecting the Nizamuddin area, says director Atul Garg.
1.01 pm: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson vows to increase testing.
12.47 pm: The Kerala High Court stays the state government order to allow sale of liquor to people suffering from Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome, reports ANI. The stay is for a period of three weeks.
12.46 pm: President Kovind will hold a video conference on Covid-19 tomorrow.
12.45 pm: Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope expresses concern that a coronavirus case was detected in Mumbai’s Dharavi, which is Asia’s largest slum. His comments come after a 56 year-old man, the first confirmed Covid-19 patient from Dharavi, died at Sion Hospital in the city on Wednesday.
12.42 pm: The Kanpur Police have identified and quarantined eight foreigners from Iran, Afghanistan and UK who had attended the Delhi event, reports PTI. Their passports have been confiscated too, says DIG (Kanpur) Anant Deo Tiwari.
12.28 pm: PM Narendra Modi holds meeting with chief ministers via video conferencing.
12.27 pm: Railways clarifies on post-lockdown reservations.
12.26 pm: Singapore reports its fourth death, according to The Star.
12.22 pm: An Army jawan kills a woman after her family alerts authorities about his return from Kolkata, reports PTI.
12.20 pm: Musician AR Rahman urges people to self-isolate, reports PTI. He adds that congregating at religious places will cause “chaos”.
12.19 pm: Emmy winner Adam Schlesinger succumbs to Covid-19 complications, reports The Guardian.
12.17 pm: JC Passey, the medical director of Delhi’s Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital, says of the 216 Covid-19 patients admitted to the facility, 188 were part of the Delhi mosque event. “Many of them are objecting against testing and feel that they do not need admission,” he tells ANI. “So, this put security of our staff at risk. Now, police have been deployed around three blocks where they have been kept.”
12.11 pm: Here’s Sonia Gandhi’s full statement at CWC today. The meeting was held via videoconferencing.
12.10 am: The Producers Guild of India, Indian Film & Television Producers Council and Federation of Western India Cine Employees have set up a relief fund to support daily-wage workers affected by the suspension of all production activity in Mumbai. “The first tranche of funds raised by Guild and IFTPC will be made available to FWICE for disbursement to daily wage workers in the first week of April 2020, and both Guild and IFTPC will aggressively continue their efforts to raise funds for this purpose,” says the guild in a statement.
11.55 am: Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh urges people to stay home.
11.52 am: Australia has started the first stage of testing potential vaccines reports BBC. Pre-clinical testing by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation is underway at a biosecurity facility near Melbourne.
11.49 am: At the Congress Working Committee meeting, Rahul Gandhi says the most vulnerable were aged people, those with lung disease, diabetics and heart disease. “All state governments need to issue special advisory for these categories and take care,” he adds, according to Hindustan Times.
11.41 am: The Bengaluru City Police ban movements of all private vehicles from 12.30 pm today.
11.40 am: The Bengaluru City Police set up a special helpline for senior citizens. Officials request the elderly to call the toll-free number between 9 am and 5 pm, reports The Indian Express.
11.38 am: Congress stands one with the nation to take on the challenge of Covid-19, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh says at a Congress Working Committee meeting, according to PTI.
11.30 am: Sonia Gandhi says there is no alternative to constant and reliable testing to fight Covid-19. “Our doctors, nurses, and health workers need all the support,” she adds. “Personal Protection Equipment such as hazmat suits, N-95 masks must be provided to them on a war footing.”
11.28 am: American jazz musician Ellis Marsalis Jr has died from complications of Covid-19, reports BBC.
11.25 am: A 31-year-old person who participated in the Tablighi Jamaat congregration at Nizamuddin has tested positive in Arunachal Pradesh.
11.22 am: The Badaun district administration in Uttar Pradesh has put up notices outside the houses of 49 people who returned from foreign tours but did not inform the authorities, reports PTI. “The government has issued an order in which those who returned from foreign tours after March 12 have to provide information to the district administration otherwise they would have to face legal action,” says District Magistrate Kumar Prashant.
11.18 am: The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs says the global economy could shrink by up to 1% in 2020 if restrictions on the economic activities are extended without adequate fiscal responses, reports AP. “Millions of workers in these countries are facing the bleak prospect of losing their jobs,” it says in its analysis. “Governments are considering and rolling out large stimulus packages to avert a sharp downturn of their economies which could potentially plunge the global economy into a deep recession. In the worst-case scenario, the world economy could contract by 0.9 per cent in 2020.”
11.10 am: The Telangana government will to give incentives to the medical employees and the police personnel of the state “A formal announcement related to incentive details will come in a day or two,” says the Chief Minister’s Office, according to India Today.
11.06 am: Rameshwaram District Collector Veeraragavarav says 17 people have returned after attending the Delhi event. “Two of the returnees have been tested positive for Covid-19 and admitted to District Government Hospital,” he tells ANI. “15 others are in isolation.”
11.05 am: Karnataka Health Minister B Sriramulu says the state is monitoring 362 people who had attended the Delhi event. “Out of 27 people from Bidar who had attended, 11 have tested positive for Covid-19, while results of 16 others are awaited,” he adds. “Total positive cases in the state are 121.”
11.03 am: Mehbooba Mufti questions the focus on Tablighi Jamaat.
10.59 am: The UN Security Council is likely to meet “next week or before” to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, says Dominican Republic Ambassador Jose Singer who is the current president of the world body’s top organ. “Yes, as we all know the COVID19 will be the main topic in the world as we speak,” he tells reporters. “[We are] working on it. It was requested by five or six ambassadors, and we will make it happen...for sure next week or before.”
10.57 am: An 85-year-old patient from Alwar has died, says Rohit Kumar Singh, the additional Chief secretary of Rajasthan Health Department. The patient had a comorbid condition of brain stroke paralysis, adds Singh.
10.56 am: Thirty-two people test positive in Delhi out of which 29 had attended the mosque event in Nizamuddin, says Health Minister Satyendar Jain, according to ANI. “A total of 700 possibly infected and confirmed cases are in different hospitals in Delhi,” he adds.
10.54 am: Israel’s Health Minister Yaakov Litzman tests positive, reports Reuters.
10.50 am: As many as 21 more cases in Andhra Pradesh, says state Nodal Officer Arja Srikanth. The total number of positive cases in the state is now 132.
10.39 am: A Russian plane with medical supplies arrives in the US.
10.32 am: The government has provided relief for third-party auto insurance policy holders and health insurance policy holders, tweets Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
10.25 am: As many 131 new cases were reported in the last 12 hours, says the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The total number of positive cases now stands at 1,965 in India. Of these 151 have been cured, and 50 people have died.
10.20 am: The Sai Hospital in Mumbai’s Chembur area has been completely sealed while the Saifee Hospital, Jaslok Hospital, Bhabha Hospital and Hinduja Hospital have been partially affected due to exposure to coronavirus patients, reports ANI.
10.05 am: Naval Dockyard, Mumbai, has designed and developed handheld infra-red temperature sensor to screen personnel at the entry gates of the yard, reports ANI. The instrument has been manufactured under Rs 1,000.
10.01 am: Manipur reports one more case, reports ANI. The person had attended Tablighi Jamaat congregation at Nizamuddin Markaz, says Chief Minister N Biren Singh. The total number of positive cases in the state now stands at two.
9.51 am: A sub-inspector and a constable have been injured as a group of villagers in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district attacked a police team trying to enforce the lockdown, reports PTI. Three villagers, including a former village head, have been arrested, says Circle Officer Ram Mohan Sharma.
9.48 am: A six-week-old baby dies in the US state of Connecticut, says Governor Ned Lamont, according to AFP. It just is a reminder that nobody is safe with this virus, adds Lamont.
9.40 am: A 52-year-old Covid-19 patient dies in Gujarat, says Vadodara Collector S Agarwal. He had a history of travel to Sri Lanka and was hospitalised in Vadodara on March 19. Four members of his family have also tested positive.
9.38 am: A 67-year-old man from Ambala in Haryana dies at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh, says Chief Medical Officer Kuldeep Singh.
9.24 am: Nearly 9,000 people are at risk because of their link with the Delhi mosque event, says Centre, reports NDTV. The Union Home Ministry says it has identified at least 7,600 Indians and 1,300 foreigners who have links to the Islamic group that organised the religious congregation in Delhi last month. Earlier on Tuesday, the Centre identified the markaz as a hotspot for Covid-19.
9.20 am: Britain reports 563 deaths on Wednesday. For the first time, the national toll exceeded 500. “As of 5 pm on 31 March, of those hospitalised in the UK who tested positive for coronavirus, 2,352 have sadly died,” tweets the health ministry.
9.16 am: US President Donald Trump doubts the accuracy of official Chinese toll, reports AFP. “How do we know [if they are accurate]?”asks Trump. “Their numbers seem to be a little bit on the light side.” This comes after US lawmakers accuse Beijing of a cover up, citing an intelligence report.
9.13 am: Three more confirmed cases from Maharashtra. Of these, two are from Pune and one is from Buldhana. The total number of positive cases in the state is now 338, confirms Maharashtra Health Department.
9.12 am: Nine more people test positive in Rajasthan, according to PTI. Seven of the nine cases are from Ramganj in Jaipur and one each is from Jodhpur and Jhunjhunu, confirms Additional Chief Secretary (medical and health) Rohit Kumar Singh. The total number of positive cases in the state is 129.
9.08 am: Twelve more people test positive for coronavirus in Indore, reports PTI. The total number of cases in Madhya Pradesh is now 98. None of the 12 new patients have any travel history.
9.05 am: Padma Shri awardee and former “Hazuri Raagi” at the Golden Temple dies in Amritsar, Government Medical College Principal Sujata Sharma tells PTI. Sixty-two-year-old Nirmal Singh had recently returned from abroad and tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday.
9.03 am: Three more people test positive in Assam’s Goalpara district, reports PTI. The total number of cases in the state is now 16, confirms Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. All the three had attended the religious congregation in Delhi’s Nizamuddin West last month.
8.09 am: As harvest season looms, how will the coronavirus lockdown affect agriculture?
7.59 am: United States President Donald Trump has refused to issue a national stay-at-home order, saying that different states have different levels of coronavirus cases. “States are different and I understand that the governor of Florida, great Governor Ron DeSantis issued one today and that’s good, that’s great,” he said on Wednesday afternoon. “But there are some states that are different. There are some states that don’t have much of a problem.”
7.57 am: In Spain, 864 coronavirus patients have died on Wednesday – the highest in one day, as the total number of deaths across Europe has risen beyond 30,000, reports BBC.
7.55 am: Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro removes online video of shortages at a market due to Covid-19 after local journalists found the market to be well-stocked, reports AFP.
7.50 am: Toll in the United States in the past 24 hours hits a one-day record of 884 and new cases exceed 25,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.
7.37 am: Twelve people who attended the Nizamuddin event have tested positive for Covid-19 in Assam, taking the number of such cases in the state to 13, PTI reports.
7.36 am: Globally, the number of Covid-19 positive cases has crossed the nine lakh mark. The number now stands at 9,32,605, including 46,809 deaths, according to a tracker by Johns Hopkins University.
7.34 am: The United Kingdom has reported 563 deaths due to Covid-19 on Wednesday, AFP reports. This is first time the country reported 500 deaths in a single day. The toll is now 2,352.
7.30 am: A person linked to the Nizamuddin event allegedly attempted to kill himself by jumping from the sixth floor of a hospital in Delhi, ANI reports. He was saved by hospital authorities.
7.20 am: Fresh data was released by the Union Health Ministry on Wednesday night. India reported a 31% jump in the number of coronavirus cases within a day – 437 new infections were reported and three new deaths. The number of confirmed cases is now 1,834, of whom 41 have died. Out of the confirmed cases, 1,649 are being treated, 143 people have recovered, and one person has left the country.
Here are the top updates from Wednesday:
- The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Wednesday afternoon said 386 fresh Covid-19 cases were reported in the country since Monday night – the biggest single-day increase. The number of confirmed cases rose to 1,637, and 38 people have been killed so far, according to the ministry.
- The ministry attributed the spike in cases to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation held in Nizamuddin, Delhi, in mid-March. Several states continued to identify and trace people linked to a religious event held at the Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi last month, after dozens of them began testing positive for Covid-19 in parts of the country in recent days. The Delhi government and the police evacuated 2,361 people from there in the early hours of Wednesday. So far, 91 people who attended the programme, or their contacts, have tested positive for the virus.
- The Centre on Wednesday proposed ways in which migrant workers can be provided “psycho-social” support amid a spike in Covid-19 cases in the country.
- A person in Dharavi, Mumbai, who tested positive for the novel coronavirus has died, according to reports. Seven members of his family are now under quarantine.
- Over 700 scientists, academics and public health professionals on Wednesday urged the Narendra Modi government to prepare a post-lockdown plan, expand testing, and institute urgent welfare measures for those in the unorganised sector to reduce the severity of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the Delhi Police has been ordered to track mobile phones of all the people in home quarantine to check their movement and ensure that there are no violations.
- The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority took over the monitoring of personal protective equipment by including them under medical devices to ensure its availability for all healthcare professionals in India fighting against the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Wimbledon chiefs cancelled the Grand Slam tournament for the first time since World War II as the coronavirus wreaks further havoc on the global sporting calendar.