Coronavirus lockdown has significantly improved air quality, says pollution control board

The Central Pollution Control Board said on Thursday that the countrywide “janata curfew” on March 22 and the 21-day lockdown imposed since March 24 to combat the coronavirus outbreak have resulted in a significant improvement in air quality in the country, PTI reported. The pollution has been reduced by travel restrictions and closure of industries.

Covid-19: Calcutta HC directs police to return mobile phone seized from doctor over critical posts

The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday directed the West Bengal police to return the mobile phone and SIM card seized from a doctor over his social media posts criticising the government for lack of proper protective gear for front-line workers to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, LiveLaw reported. The court observed that freedom of speech and expression granted under Article 19 of the Constitution has to be scrupulously upheld by the state.

Coronavirus: Centre grants Maharashtra permission to do rapid testing on mass scale

The Centre on Thursday granted Maharashtra the permission to conduct rapid Covid-19 testing at a mass scale by using blood samples to accelerate the process of detecting coronavirus cases in the state, PTI reported. Maharashtra has over 335 coronavirus cases – the highest in India. However, state health officials have said there are 416 cases and 19 deaths.

Covid-19: Nine clerics who attended Nizamuddin event arrested in UP

The police in Uttar Pradesh have arrested nine clerics who went to hiding after attending the Tablighi Jamaat’s congregation in Delhi’s Nizamuddin – which has been declared a hotspot of the coronavirus infection and has trigged a massive search for contacts across states ­– last month, PTI reported on Thursday.

Coronavirus: Those who violate lockdown could be fined, jailed for up to two years

The Centre on Thursday asked all states and Union Territories to take penal action against those who violate restrictions imposed during the countrywide lockdown to contain the coronavirus pandemic, PTI reported. The violators will be charged under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Disaster Management Act, 2005, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said in a letter.

Covid-19: Health workers manhandled in Bengaluru while collecting data on Tablighi Jamaat returnees

Accredited Social Health Activist, or Asha, workers engaged in collecting data about the coronavirus in Bengaluru were allegedly manhandled on Thursday, prompting the Karnataka government to issue a stern warning to the offenders, PTI reported. Several states are identifying and tracing 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.

Coronavirus: Hiding Tablighi Jamaat chief releases audio message, says he is in self quarantine

Tablighi Jamaat chief Maulana Saad Kandhlawi on Wednesday released an audio message, saying he has put himself in self quarantine at an undisclosed location on a doctor’s advice. Several states are still identifying and tracing 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.

Covid-19: Three-day-old boy, mother test positive in Mumbai, family blames hospital for transmission

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 Covid-19 patient.

Delhi violence: Jamia student arrested for allegedly conspiring to incite communal riots

A PhD student at the Jamia Millia Islamia University was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly conspiring to incite large-scale communal violence in Delhi in February, PTI reported.

Coronavirus: Resident doctor at Delhi’s AIIMS tests positive

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 However, Dr DK Sharma said the doctor was not involved in any patient care services.

Covid-19: ‘Testing, tracing, isolating and quarantine should be our focus,’ PM tells chief ministers

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.

Covid-19: Bengaluru Police paint ‘I’ll come to your home’ warning message on road amid lockdown

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. The message was written on a road at the Nagenahalli checkpost by the police in the regional language.

Coronavirus: BMC sanitation worker is second case from Mumbai’s Dharavi area

Another case of the novel coronavirus was reported from Mumbai’s Dharavi area on Thursday after a civic body worker tested positive, News18 reported. On Wednesday, a 56 year-old resident of the slum area died from Covid-19 at Sion Hospital in the city.

‘Recipe for disaster’: Kerala HC stays order to allow sale of liquor on prescription amid lockdown

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, Live Law reported.

‘Don’t jail Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha amid Covid-19 crisis,’ global scholars urge India

More than 15 social rights organisation and over 5,000 individuals across the world have signed a statement in solidarity with activists Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha, urging the Centre to delay their arrest in the Bhima Koregaon violence case in view of the coronavirus outbreak.

Covid-19: Eight foreigners who attended Nizamuddin event quarantined, their passports seized in UP

The Uttar Pradesh Police on Thursday said passports of eight persons from Iran, Afghanistan and the United Kingdom had been confiscated as they had attended a religious gathering organised by the Tablighi Jamaat in Nizamuddin area of Delhi last month, PTI reported. The gathering, held amid the Covid-19 pandemic, has been a source of dozens of infections across the country.

Covid-19: Great domestic demand for ventilators, but ready to help India, says China

China on Wednesday said its manufacturers were working at full capacity to produce ventilators for Covid-19 patients domestically as well as overseas, including in India, but underlined that it may not be possible to immediately help other countries. The country, where the pandemic originated, said there was great domestic demand for ventilators and it was under pressure to prevent new infections.

Covid-19: Congress calls for stronger strategy to handle crisis, says millions in chaos and pain

Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Thursday said that the ongoing 21-day lockdown was necessary to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic but the “unplanned manner” of implementation had caused “chaos and pain” for millions of migrant workers. She called for the government to put in place a comprehensive strategy to handle the crisis.

Covid-19: Doctors attacked while screening residents in Indore, two injured

Residents in a locality of Madhya Pradesh’s Indore city attacked a team of health officials with stones during their visit to screen people for the coronavirus on Wednesday, IANS reported. The attacks took place even as the entire country has been in a state of lockdown to contain the spread of the highly-contagious virus, with no one allowed to leave home except for accessing essential supplies.

Kabul: NIA to inquire gurdwara attack, registers its first overseas case under amended law

The National Investigation Agency on Wednesday registered a case to look into the terror attack at a gurdwara in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul on March 25, in which 27 Sikh worshippers, including an Indian, were killed.

Covid-19: Dharavi man with no foreign travel history dies, Maharashtra minister voices concern

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Wednesday expressed concern that a coronavirus case was detected in Mumbai’s Dharavi, which is Asia’s largest slum. His comments came after a 56 year-old man, the first confirmed Covid-19 patient from Dharavi, died at Sion Hospital in the city.

Covid-19: India reports 12 deaths in 24 hours, patient count doubles to 1,965 in four days

India has confirmed 328 new Covid-19 patients and 12 more deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the number of positive cases to 1,965 by 9 am on Thursday. The toll has now risen to 50.

Covid-19: Padma Shri singer Nirmal Singh dies in Amritsar a day after testing positive

Singer Nirmal Singh, a Padma Shri recipient, died in Amritsar on Thursday morning, a day after he tested positive for Covid-19, reports said. He was 62 years old, and had recently returned from abroad.

Covid-19: Prateek Hajela, ex-Assam NRC coordinator, now removed from MP health department

Bureaucrat Prateek Hajela, who was earlier the coordinator for National Register of Citizens in Assam, has been removed from his new role as health commissioner of Madhya Pradesh amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Covid-19: Delhi civic hospital rejects resignations of doctors who cited lack of PPE, say reports

The North Delhi Municipal Corporation on Wednesday said it would not renew the contracts of some contractual doctors who wanted to resign amid the coronavirus outbreak. Earlier, the civic body had rejected their resignations and had threatened disciplinary action against them.

Covid-19: India now has 1,834 cases after biggest single-day jump; global count nears a million

India on Wednesday night reported a 31% jump in the number of coronavirus cases as the Union ministry of health’s last update recorded 437 new infections. The number of confirmed cases soared to 1,834, and 41 coronavirus patients have died so far. Out of the total cases, 1,649 are being treated, 143 people have recovered, and one person has left the country.

FIR filed against ‘The Wire’ editor for allegedly spreading fake news against Adityanath

The Uttar Pradesh Police on Wednesday registered a first information report against the editor of news website The Wire for spreading fake news against Chief Minister Adityanath. The FIR was filed based on the complaint of Nitish Kumar Shrivastav, a resident of Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh.

Covid-19: NPPA takes over monitoring of protective equipment, includes medical devices as drugs

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority on Wednesday 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.

Covid-19: Mobile phones of people in home quarantine in Delhi will be tracked, says Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday 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.

Coronavirus: Over 700 citizens urge Centre to prepare post-lockdown plan, expand testing of cases

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.