Here are the day’s top updates:

  •  The number of cases in India rose to 2,547 on Friday, with the number of deaths at 62, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. As many as 162 patients have been cured or discharged, and one has migrated.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked people to switch off all lights at 9 pm on Sunday, and light a diya, a candle or a mobile flashlight for nine minutes to signify unity in the fight against coronavirus.
  •   The number of Covid-19 cases worldwide is now 10,56,777, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The toll is now 55,781. More than 2.21 lakh people have recovered worldwide. Italy has the most deaths – 13,915 – followed by Spain (10,935) and France (5,387). The US, however, has the most cases – 2,57,773, followed by Spain (1,17,710) and Spain (1,15,242). 
  • The Congress party hit out at Narendra Modi’s speech. Congress MP called Modi the “prime showman” and said he had no vision for the country’s future after the pandemic. However, Tharoor said he will light a lamp on Sunday at 9 pm.
  • The Ministry of Home Affairs said on Friday evening that 647 of the cases recorded in India were linked with the Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi last month. Ministry of Home Affairs spokesperson Punya Salila Shrivastava said that 960 foreigners who are connected with Tablighi Jamaat have been blacklisted.
  •   Telangana recorded 75 new cases – its highest ever daily count. Two people have died. The total number of cases is now 186.
  • The total number of cases in Maharashtra surged to 490 on Friday with 67 new cases, including 43 in Mumbai. Six patients died on Friday, taking the toll to 25.
  • Tamil Nadu reported 102 new cases in a day, taking its total number to 411. But the Centre has confirmed only 309 cases in the state so far.
  • Indian Railways said it produced more than 2.8 lakh masks and over 25,000 litres of sanitiser in its production units till April 1.
  •    The United Nations warned that the coronavirus pandemic threatens to cause food shortages for hundreds of millions of people, especially in Africa.

10.42 pm: Doctors from various hospitals in the national capital, where the members of Tablighi Jamaat are admitted, have complained to the Delhi government that the patients are not cooperating with the staff, PTI reports. The doctors have also demanded enhanced security outside and within the hospitals.

10.38 pm: New York suffers its deadliest single day from the coronavirus, with 562 additional deaths across the state for a total of 2,935 fatalities, Reuters reports quoting Governor Andrew Cuomo.

10.30 pm: Italy reports 766 more deaths from Covid-19 on Friday, but its rate of admissions to intensive care units has fallen drastically over the last few days, The Local reports. The number of new infections in the last 24 hours stand at 4,585, slightly lower than 4,668 on Thursday and indicating a continuing declining trend.

10.19 pm: Singapore’s Health Ministry has said that there are seven Indians among the 65 people diagnosed with coronavirus on Friday. The ministry says three new clusters have been discovered – one at a nightclub, one at Singapore Cricket Club and a third at a construction site in the Raffles Place area, The Straits Times reports.

10.09 pm: Several mosques have remained opened on Friday across Pakistan and people offered prayers there despite a government ban on big congregational gatherings, PTI reports. The mosques made announcement urging people to pray at home, but some people defied the instruction and visited them. Some clerics also urged people to visit mosques.

Muslims pray at a mosque in Karachi on Friday. (Photo credit: Akhtar Soomro/Reuters)

10 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says that if people want any information on the virus, they can dial 8800007722 and send a “hi” or “hello” or any text, ANI reports. A menu will open on the number, which can be used to access further information.

9.51 pm: With 67 persons diagnosed for Covid-19 on Friday, the number of coronavirus cases in Maharashtra has gone up to 490, PTI reports. Of these, 43 have been reported in Mumbai, 10 in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, nine in Pune, three in Ahmednagar district, and one each from Washim and Ratnagiri.

9.40 pm: Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu have explored possibilities for cooperation on fighting the pandemic between India and Israel, The Indian Express reports. This includes “improving availability of pharmaceutical supplies and by innovative use of high technology”.

9.30 pm: The West Bengal government has announced virtual classes for students from Class 9 to Class 12, PTI reports. Education minister Partha Chatterjee says that from April 7, during a particular time of the day, students from class 9 to 12 can take classes by watching the DD Bangla channels, where teachers will teach them.

9.20 pm: Telangana has recorded 75 new cases – its highest ever daily count. Two people have died, ANI reports. The total cases in the state has now rised to 186.

9.10 pm: The Maharashtra Health Department says 67 new Covid-19 cases were reported in the state on Friday, taking the number of cases to 490. Six more people died today, taking the toll to 25, ANI reports.

As many as 1,225 people who returned from the Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi have been identified in the state. Of this, 1,033 have been located and 738 people were quarantined. Seven have tested positive for the coronavirus so far – two each from Pune, Ahmednagar and Pimpri Chinchwad, and one person from Sangli.

9 pm: Twelve people and 50 unidentified persons have been booked for allegedly pelting stones at the police in Hubli’s Mantur area in Karnataka, ANI reports. They allegedly pelted stones when the police forbade a group of people from offering Friday prayers at a mosque.

8.47 pm: Railways says it has produced more than 2.8 lakh masks and over 25,000 litres of sanitiser in its production units till April 1, PTI reports. Central Railway has produced 22,580 masks and 2,693 litres of sanitiser followed by Western Railway with 46,313 masks and 700 litres of sanitiser, North Central Railway making 26,567 masks and 3,100 litres of sanitiser and Eastern Railway manufacturing 14,800 masks and 2,620 litres of sanitiser.

8.39 pm: “I appeal to people to support Narendra Modi’s call to turn off lights of their homes for 9 minutes at 9 pm on April 5 and light a candle or a ‘diya’ or use the mobile flashlight to mark India’s fight against the coronavirus,” says former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis according to ANI.

8.33 pm: Meghalaya BJP chief Ernest Mawrie writes to Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, seeking permission to open wine shops as alcohol consumption is a “way of life” in the state, PTI reports. Mawrie is also the secretary of the Khasi Hills Wine Dealers and Welfare Association. He claims that wine shop owners are facing immense public pressure to operate their outlets and are receiving several calls.

8.24 pm: As many as 2,547 cases of the coronavirus have now been reported in India, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. This implies a single-day highest spurt of 478 cases in 24 hours. As many as 62 people have died.

8.18 pm: The Indian poultry industry is staring at a loss of Rs 22,500 crore since February following the outbreak of Covid-19, PTI reports. The industry has appealed to the government for a bailout package. All India Poultry Breeders Association Vice President Suresh Chitturi says that the rumours that coronavirus is spread through chicken and eggs has hurt the sector a lot.

8.11 pm: Coronavirus forces San Francisco, California to move around 10,000 homeless people off the streets and into shelters, including some hotels which are now empty, Reuters reports.

Homeless persons wait for food outside a restaurant in San Francisco, California on Friday. (Photo credit: Reuters)

8.01 pm: Two persons, who had attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi last month, are among six people who tested positive for coronavirus in Punjab on Friday, PTI reports.

7.54 pm: The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport has shut a department where one of its employees worked, after he tested positive for Covid-19, PTI reports. It has asked its other staffers to remain under home quarantine for 14 days.

7.51 pm: Odisha reports three more Covid-19 cases, taking the total to nine, according to PTI.

7.47 pm: The United Nations warns that the coronavirus pandemic threatens to cause food shortages for hundreds of millions of people, especially in Africa

, AFP reports. “Generally we are used to dealing with a supply-side shock, like a drought, or a demand-side shock like a recession – but here it is both... and at a global level,” World Food Programme Chief Economist Arif Husain says. “This makes it truly, truly unprecedented.”

7.39 pm: The BJP has set up 35 control rooms across 35 states and Union Territories to help the poor in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic, ANI reports.

7.35 pm: Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa directs the labour department to deposit an additional Rs 1,000 each into the bank accounts of 15 lakh construction labourers in the state, PTI reports. The government has already deposited Rs 1,000 into the accounts of 15 lakh construction labourers.

7.30 pm: The Ministry of Home Affairs approves release of Rs 11,092 crores under State Disaster Risk Management Fund to all states, ANI reports.

7.26 pm: The Haryana Police has warned of strict action against those sharing misleading and unverified information related to Covid-19 on social media, PTI reports. All such rumour-mongers will be booked after holding them responsible under relevant sections of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Navdeep Singh Virk says.

7.18 pm: The Uttar Pradesh government says that 1203 people who had attended Tableeghi Jamaat event in Delhi have been identified, ANI reports. Samples of 897 of them have been sent for testing. As many as 47 of them have tested positive.

7.10 pm: As many as 11 Central Industrial Security Force jawans posted at Mumbai airport tested positive for Covid-19, the CISF says according to ANI. As many as 142 were under quarantine, of which four tested positive on Thursday and others on Friday.

7 pm: The Delhi Police have registered over 150 FIRs and detained 3,195 people for violating lockdown norms on Friday, PTI reports. As many as 365 vehicles have been impounded under the Delhi Police Act.

6.54 pm: Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte wants the European Union to help his country fight Covid-19 by issuing billions of euros in “coronabonds”, helping Italy to borrow more cheaply, The Local reports. Around 14,000 people have died in Italy.

A woman wearing a face mask walks on a nearly empty street in Milan, Italy on Friday. (Photo credit: Daniele Mascolo/Reuters)

6.49 pm: Karnataka minister S Suresh Kumar says 13 Tablighi Jamaat members who attended the Delhi event have tested positive, ANI reports. As many as 187 have been found negative while the results of 88 others are yet to be received.

6.44 pm: Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury claims that instead of working on a plan to revive the economy and fix the lacunae in the healthcare sector, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is trying to turn the coronavirus pandemic into a “political event”, PTI reports. “What purpose will lighting a lamp serve when people are losing jobs and starving,” he asks. “Such diversionary tactics won’t work.”

6.40 pm: Left parties have asked the government to focus on “scientific measures” to fight the disease, PTI reports. “The entire nation is geared up united and showed its strength to fight and contain the deadly coronavirus,” the party says in a statement. “The prime minister says that ‘to defeat this darkness, we have to show the light in all directions’. Days and nights are natural process in the universe as much as the light and darkness.”

The party adds that the Centre should invest in measures such as producing medicines, vaccines and other immediate health products to fight the virus.

6.34 pm: India’s oldest Covid-19 survivors, a 93-year old man and his wife have been discharged from a government hospital in Kottayam, PTI reports.

6.25 pm: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan says nine people have tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday, ANI reports. Of these, seven are in Kasargod and one each in Kannur and Thrissur districts. Out of them, three people had attended the Tablighi Jamaat event, he adds.

The total number of cases in Kerala has now risen to 295. Of these, 251 are active cases, and 206 have a travel history abroad.

6.18 pm: Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla writes a fresh letter to chief secretaries of all states and Union Territories for effective exemption of agricultural operations from the lockdown, ANI reports. Bhalla says states should ensure smooth harvesting and sowing by farmers.

6.15 pm: “A total of 1200 people, who participated in Delhi’s Tableeghi Jamaat event, have been traced in the state,” says Tamil Nadu Health Secretary Beela Rajesh according to ANI. “All of them have been placed under quarantine.”

6.12 pm: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor says the Centre’s earlier financial package was not adequate. “A lot of people felt left out and marginalised,” he claims. “Prime Minister Modi has not addressed their needs. He has not dealt with lack of personal protective equipment and of rapid testing kits. Photo ops will not solve Covid-19 problem.” However, Tharoor says he will light a lamp in solidarity with the people of India.

6 pm: Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb says the people of the state, who attended the religious congregation at Nizamuddin in Delhi, have tested negative for the coronavirus, reports PTI.

5.55 pm: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh says that any decision on extending the lockdown beyond April 14 will depend on the prevailing situation, reports ANI.

5.46 pm: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he is in isolation with mild symptoms of the coronavirus, including a high temperature, seven days after he first tested positive.

“Although I’m feeling better and I’ve done my seven days of isolation, alas I still have one of the symptoms, a minor symptom, I still have a temperature,” Johnson says in a video message posted on Twitter. “So in accordance with government advice I must continue my self isolation until that symptom itself goes...I just urge you not to do that [go out]. Please, please stick with the guidance now.”

5.42 pm: Four more people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Assam, says Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. “Three are from Nalbari district and one is from South Salmara District,” he says in a tweet. The fresh cases, too, are connected to the Tablighi Jamaat event held in Delhi last month. Assam now has a total of 20 cases.

5.39 pm: Jammu and Kashmir Principal Secretary Rohit Kansal says 75 coronavirus cases have been reported so far, reports ANI. Of these, five cases were reported today. “Four of the new cases are from Kashmir while one came into light in Jammu,” he adds.

5.32 pm: A policeman in Goa urges people to stay indoors amid the coronavirus lockdown by singing.

Watch the video here

5.30 pm: In a video-conference with the governors, lieutenant governors and administrators of all states and Union Territories, President Ram Nath Kovind expresses concern over the gathering of migrant workers in Anand Vihar and the religious congregation of Tablighi Jamaat in Nizamuddin, says a press statement. He says these incidents have caused a setback to the efforts to combat coronavirus.

5.27 pm: A coalition of more than 70 scientific bodies say that research on the prevention of treatment of the coronavirus in poor and developing nations is urgently needed to avert a “complete breakdown” of health services, reports AFP.

5.25 pm: Officials say two policemen in Uttar Pradesh’s Kannauj district have been attacked after they stopped people from gathering for Namaz in a mosque amid the coronavirus lockdown, reports PTI. “The incident took place when 25 to 30 people, who were gathering for Friday prayers at the mosque were stopped by the police, following which they were attacked,” says Superintendent of Police Amrendra Prasad Singh.

5.18 pm: Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin says the coronavirus situation in the country could yet develop into a worst case scenario, and that the epidemic has not peaked there yet, reports Reuters.

5.15 pm: Tamil Nadu government reports 102 new coronavirus cases, taking the total cases in the state to 411, according to PTI.

5.10 pm: Kejriwal urges people to adhere to lockdown norms. He says free ration will be provided to 71 lakh people in Delhi.

5.09 pm: Five people have died due to the coronavirus in Delhi, says Kejriwal, adding that of all the patients in hospitals, only two are in critical condition.

5.08 pm: Arvind Kejriwal says 259 out of the 384 cases are linked to gathering in Nizamuddin.

5.05 pm: Arvind Kejriwal says a total of 384 coronavirus cases have been detected in Delhi till now. “There has been a rise of 91 cases in the last 24 hours,” he adds.

5 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal addresses media about the coronavirus situation.

4.56 pm: Several instances have been reported across India where medical workers have been infected with the coronavirus due to the lack of safety gear. However, many of the doctors who spoke against this have been warned by the hospitals.

Read here: ‘Don’t be revolutionaries,’ Doctors protesting coronavirus safety gear shortage warned by hospitals

4.52 pm: Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has ended her self-quarantine and returned to work, reports CNN. Merkel went into quarantine two weeks ago after she came into contact with a doctor who later tested positive for the coronavirus.

4.47 pm: Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison refuses to offer any economic support to international students who were unable to support themselves during the coronavirus crisis, reports PTI. ‘’People should know though, in particular for students, all students who come to Australia in their first year have to give a warranty that they are able to support themselves for the first 12 months of their study,” he says.

4.45 pm: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami urges the general public against stepping out of their houses to shop daily for essential supplies and tells them to stock supplies for at least a week amid the coronavirus outbreak.

4.30 pm: Forty-seven people who attended the Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi have tested positive in Uttar Pradesh, says Additional Chief Secretary Awasthi Awasthi, according to The Hindu.

4.22 pm: Indian Council of Medical Research says guidelines on rapid testing kits is likely to be released tomorrow.

4.20 pm: Indian Council of Medical Research’s Manoj Murhekar says so far 180 labs are in place for coronavirus testing. Of these, 130 are government and 52 private ones. He adds that around 8,000 samples, which is the highest till date in one day, were tested on Thursday and states that around 66,000 samples have been tested till date.

4.19 pm: The home ministry official says said strict action will be taken against those attacking health workers.

4.18 pm: Action against foreigners who attended the Nizamuddin gathering will be taken only after they test negative, says Srivastava.

4.17 pm: Punya Salila Srivastava, a joint secretary in the home ministry, 960 foreigners on tourist visa have been blacklisted,360 foreigners who left country will also be blacklisted. She adds that Disaster Management Act and Foreigners Act will be used to take action against them.

4.14 pm: He says the there have been 30 lakh downloads till date of the government app for coronavirus called as “Aarogya Setu”.

4.11 pm: Agarwal says 12 deaths have been reported on Thursday.

4.10 pm: Health ministry Joint Secretary Luv Agarwal says out of 2,301 cases in the country, 647 of them in the last two days are linked to Tablighi Jamaat workers who attended a gathering in Nizamuddin.

4.08 pm: The Union Health Ministry addresses the media about the coronavirus situation in the country.

4 pm: Rajasthan Health Department says total number of positive coronavirus cases in the state is 161, reports ANI. This includes 21 evacuees from Iran and 24 others from Nizamuddin in Delhi.

3.59 pm: Delhi Police says 10 to 12 personnel who were involved in vacating the Nizamuddin site have been sent on leave, reports ANI. “It is a routine rotation process [after lockdown] and co-incidentally these 10-12 police personnel are those who were part of the evacuation team at Nizamuddin Markaz,” adds the police.

3.55 pm: Reserve Bank of India notifies changes in the trading hours for various markets to minimise the risks and to ensure that market participants maintain adequate checks amid the coronavirus outbreak.

3.45 pm: The top court bats for amicable settlement of Karnataka blocking the road border with Kerala. The matter will be taken up next on April 7.

3.42 pm: Supreme Court directs the health secretary to conduct a meeting with chief secretaries of Karnataka and Kerala and decide how to facilitate the movement of people for medical treatments, reports ANI.

Karnataka had challenged in the Supreme Court a Kerala High Court order to remove the road blockade at the inter-state border to facilitate flow of vehicles carrying essential items and patients in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.

3.38 pm: Uttar Pradesh government to set up Rs 1,000 crore fund to enhance coronavirus testing facilities and procurement of ventilators, masks, sanitisers, reports ANI. Efforts will be made to ensure testing facilities in all the 24 government medical colleges.

3.33 pm: Uttar Pradesh reports 46 fresh coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total to 172, reports PTI, citing an unidentified health official.

3.26 pm: Andhra Pradesh State Nodal Officer Arja Srikanth says the delay in identifying the state’s first coronavirus-linked death is due to the victim’s health record, reports ANI. “After thorough testing, it is confirmed that he died of the coronavirus,” he adds.

3.23 pm: A 70-year-old-woman from Delhi, who was staying in a guest house with her husband in Himachal Pradesh’s Solan district, has died due to the coronavirus. The case was not reported earlier, Solan Deputy Commissioner KC Chaman tells PTI.

3.18 pm: At least 1,000 undertrial prisoners have been released from various correctional homes in West Bengal after Supreme Court’s directions to decongest the jails due to the coronavirus outbreak, reports PTI.

3.15 pm: Spain reports more than 900 virus deaths for the second day, according to AFP

3.11 pm: Police in Pakistan will enforce a strict lockdown to prevent people from going to mosques to offer Friday prayers amid a rise in coronavirus cases, reports Reuters.

3.06 pm: A chart of testing done in India so far.

3.03 pm: A chart showing new cases in India.

3 pm: A chart showing the cumulative figure of the coronavirus cases in India.

2.58 pm: Lok Nayak Hospital and Govind Ballabh Pant Hospital in Delhi close their outpatient department, reports ANI. Medical emergency services at both the hospitals will continue. The order will come into effect from Saturday.

2.52 pm: A 55-year-old man who died at a government hospital in Vijayawada on March 30 is Andhra Pradesh’s first fatality due to the coronavirus, reports NDTV. The man, who was diabetic and suffered from hypertension, died within an hour of reaching the hospital.

Authorities suspect received the infection from his son, who has also tested positive and returned from Delhi on March 17.

2.44 pm: The Manipur government asks 31 people who had travelled in a flight from Delhi to Imphal on March 11 along with the state’s second Covid-19 patient to report to the Control Room, reports PTI.

2.40 pm: Odisha government urges Indian Council of Medical Research to allow three more hospitals in the state to conduct coronavirus tests to ensure timely diagnosis of the infection, reports PTI.

2.38 pm: The Indian Council of Medical Research gives its consent for initiation of coronavirus testing in laboratories under the Department of Biotechnology, Department of Science and Technology, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and Department of Atomic Energy, reports PTI.

2.32 pm: Mexican brewer of Corona beer says it is suspending production because of the health emergency in the country due to the coronavirus crisis, reports AFP.

2.26 pm: Centre tells the Supreme Court that it will publicise helpline numbers for effective implementation of its notification meant to control prices of face masks and sanitisers to combat the coronavirus pandemic, reports PTI.

2.22 pm: Opposition leaders hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for asking people to light candles on Sunday. They say his video message is a mere “symbolism” and ask him if he has any concrete relief measures or vision of the future.

Read here: Opposition attacks PM’s candle-lighting call, say it’s ‘symbolism’ to curate a ‘feel-good moment’

‘Next we’ll have a rangoli contest’: Modi’s candle-lighting plan invites jokes and anger

2.20 pm: Odisha reports sixth positive coronavirus case in Cuttack, according to ANI. The Department of Health and Family Welfare says the person has a travel history to Delhi.

2.15 pm: Supreme Court rejects plea seeking direction for using resorts and hotels for migrants workers amid the three-week nationwide lockdown, reports PTI. Many migrant workers have been forced to undertake journeys for hundreds of kilometres on foot to their villages in the absence of public transport.

2.10 pm: “They will not follow the law, nor will they accept order,” says Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath on patients who attacked medical staff, reports ANI. “They are the enemies of humanity, what they have done with women healthcare providers is a heinous crime. We are invoking the National Security Act against them, we will not spare them.”

2.05 pm: Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong says most workplaces, except for essential services and key economic sectors, to be closed for a month starting next Tuesday, reports Reuters.

2 pm: The Indore district administration has invoked the National Security Act against four men for allegedly attacking health workers in Taatpatti Bakhal area of the city, reports PTI.

1.43 pm: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath has ordered charges under the National Security Act against six members of Tablighi Jamaat, who attended a religious gathering in Delhi last month, after allegations of assault on nurses and obscene behaviour at a hospital in Ghaziabad. “They will not follow the law, nor will they accept order,” says Adityanath, according to NDTV. “They are the enemies of humanity, what they have done with women healthcare providers is a heinous crime. We are invoking the National Security Act against them, we will not spare them.”

1.34 pm: The Supreme Court seeks the Centre’s response to a plea filed seeking enforcement of fundamental right to life for migrant workers and payment of wages to them, reports PTI. The bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and Deepak Gupta posts the matter for further hearing on April 7.

1.29 pm: Of the 57 people who attended the Delhi mosque event from Bihar, 35 have been have been traced, says Director General of Police Gupteshwar Pandey.

1.21 pm: Eight more people test positive in Haryana today, says the state government. Of these, five are from Gurugram and three from Nuh. The state so far has are 43 cases, including 13 people who have been discharged.

1.13 pm: No positive case has been reported in Gautam Buddh Nagar in the last 24 hours, says District Magistrate Suhas LY. The district has 48 cases till now. Of them, six have recovered.

1.11 pm: A woman from Baddi in Himachal Pradesh’s Solan district has died at Chandigarh hospital, Deputy Commissioner KC Chaman tells PTI. This is the second death in Himachal Pradesh due to Covid-19.

1.10 pm: The Tamil Nadu government notifies 21 state-run hospitals as designated facilities to treat coronavirus patients, reports PTI.

1.08 pm: Thirty-four new cases have been reported in the last 24 hours at King George’s Medical University in Lucknow, says Dr Sudhir Singh, the isolation ward in charge.

1.07 pm: Andhra Pradesh till now has 161 confirmed cases. Of these, 140 had attended the Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi and their contacts, says the Chief Minister’s Office.

1.03 pm: The Karnataka government says there are till date 125 cases in the state, according to ANI. This includes three deaths and 11 people have been cured.

1.02 pm: The Odisha government will impose complete lockdown in Bhubaneswar and Bhadrak for 48 hours from 8 pm today to prevent community transmission, says Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy.

12.02 pm: Seven more people test positive in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad, reports PTI. The total number of infections in the state is now 95.

11.56 am: The number of cases in Uttar Pradesh is now 134 as eight more people test positive in Agra and Jaunpur, according to PTI.

11.55 am: The Manipur government has asked 31 people who had travelled in a flight from Delhi to Imphal on March 11 along with the state’s second COVID-19 patient to report to the Control Room, reports PTI.

11.53 am: A team from the World Health Organisation will visit Rajasthan’s Tonk district today to conduct a survey, says Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot. “There has been a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the state in last 24 hours with an increase in the number of positive cases reported from Tonk,” he tweets. “Given this critical situation, a team from WHO will visit and conduct a survey in Tonk today. We will strictly adhere and follow the report and guidelines as submitted by WHO. Prevention and containment of the virus spread is our utmost priority. If we act responsibly, the spread of the virus can be controlled.”

11.48 am: Sachin Tendulkar, PV Sindhu and Hima Das are among those participating in a video conference with Modi.

11.43 am: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison warns his citizens against travel during Easter and urges them to follow social distancing policies. The country has 5,315 infections. The toll stands at 28.

11.39 am: No fresh case has been reported from Rajasthan’s Bhilwara in the last three days, says District Collector Rajendra Bhatt.

11.37 am: Twelve more persons test positive in Andhra Pradesh, confirms Nodal Officer Arja Srikanth. The total number of positive cases in the state is now 161.

11.31 am: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram also criticises Modi’s video message. “Dear [PM] Narendra Modi, We will listen to you and light diyas on April 5,” he says. “But, in return, please listen to us and to the wise counsel of epidemiologists and economists.”

11.30 am: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor hits out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his video message. “Listened to the Pradhan Showman. Nothing about how to ease people’s pain, their burdens, their financial anxieties,” says Tharoor. “No vision of the future or sharing the issues he is weighing in deciding about the post-lockdown. Just a feel-good moment curated by India’s Photo-Op PrimeMinister!”

11.25 am: The Western Railway says it will convert 410 coaches for isolation of possibly infected patients, reports ANI.

11.23 am: Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan lauds the staff of Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. “The country will always be proud of your contributions and sacrifices, and will always remember it,” he adds.

11.22 am: A meeting of Group of Ministers is under way at Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s residence.

11.18 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is holding a meeting with 40 sportspersons via video conferencing the coronavirus crisis, reports ANI.

11.02 am: A patient recovers and is being discharged from a government hospital in Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh.

10.59 am: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will hold a meeting of Group of Ministers at his residence today at 11 am, reports ANI. Union Home Minister Amit Shah and other ministers will also be present at the meeting.

10.50 am: Madhya Pradesh reports eight new cases, reports PTI. The state’s tally is now 119.

10.46 am: The administration in Bhilwara has imposed a complete shutdown and curfew from today to April 13, reports News18. No one will be allowed on the road during this period. Milk kiosks and medical stores will also remain closed.

10.45 am: Two patients have recovered in Rajasthan’s Bhilwara, says state health department. So far, 17 out of 26 patients have recovered in the city.

10.43 am: President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu speak with governors, lieutenant governors and administrators of all states and Union Territories via video conferencing.

10.41 am: The Meghalaya government sanctions Rs 26.38 crore for procuring 1.17 lakh quintals of food grains during the lockdown, Food and Civil Supplies Minister James PK Sangma tells PTI.

10.35 am: The Union health ministry says there are 2,301 cases so far. Of these, 56 people have died.

10.31 am: Singapore reports another coronavirus-related death, the Health Ministry says in a statement, according to Reuters. The total number of fatalities rises to five.

10.30 am: South Korea reports 86 new cases.

10.28 am: The first Covid-19 patient in Odisha has recovered and tested negative, says the state health department. There are three active cases in the state now.

10.24 am: The Delhi Police have lodged 21 FIRs at different police stations across Dwarka district against people who violated home quarantine norms, reports ANI.

10.23 am: China to observe April 4 as mourning day for coronavirus victims, reports Xinhua. During the commemoration, national flags will fly at half-mast across the country and in all Chinese embassies and consulates abroad, and public recreational activities will be suspended across the country. People will observe three minutes of silence to mourn the deceased.

10.20 am: Fourteen more people test positive in Rajasthan, reports ANI. The total number of cases is 154 now, says the state health department.

10.18 am: Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh says permission for a gathering like the one held in Delhi was revoked at the last minute, reports PTI. A two-day mega religious programme was planned in Vasai, on the outskirts of Mumbai on March 14-15.

Also read

Covid-19: Maharashtra says it stopped Delhi-like Tablighi Jamaat gathering as virus began to spread

10.15 am: There is a massive shortage of key personal protective equipment at the district and village levels, finds a government survey of district collectors and district magistrates, according to The Indian Express. It also finds that the officers on ground feel the 21-day lockdown period should be extended.

10.12 am: Exams like TOEFL, GRE to be taken at home except in mainland China and Iran, says Educational Testing Service.

10.05 am: The Editors Guild of India says it is “deeply perturbed” by the government blaming the media for the mass exodus of migrant workers from cities amid the coronavirus crisis. It also calls the FIR against the editor of news website The Wire “an overreaction and an act of intimidation”.

Also read

Editors Guild ‘deeply perturbed’ by Centre’s move against media, calls SC’s advice ‘gratuitous’

10.01 am: Jazz guitarist John Pizzarelli dies at the age of 94. His family tells The New York Times that they believe the cause of death was coronavirus. Pizzarelli had tested positive for the virus on Sunday.

9.58 am: The National Commission for Women flags a steep rise in cases of domestic violence and abuse during the lockdown period, reports The Indian Express. Chairperson Rekha Sharma says the NCW had received 116 complaints of crimes against women from across the country from March 2 to March 8. During the lockdown period, the number of the same for 10 days, from March 23-31, is 257.

Also read

Coronavirus: NCW expresses concern over rise in domestic violence cases during lockdown

9.54 am: Kyrgyzstan announces its first Covid-19 death, reports BBC. The 61-year-old patient suffered from other serious diseases. The country has 116 confirmed cases.

9.53 am: The US Navy removes a captain who said the force was not doing enough to halt a coronavirus outbreak on board an aircraft carrier, reports BBC. In a letter, Captain Brett Crozier had urged his superiors to act to prevent US troops dying outside of wartime.

9.50 am: A 78-year-old person from Godhra died at a hospital in Vadodara on Thursday night, says District Chief Medical Officer Uday Tilwat.

9.46 am: The Maharashtra government launches a Covid-19 self-assessment tool, reports PTI. Citizens can assess their symptoms on the digital platform and later contact authorities if they have any doubts about their condition.

9.44 am: Uttar Pradesh government orders strict action under the National Security Act against those who attack police personnel during the lockdown, reports ANI.

9.42 am: One more person test positive in Goa, says Health Minister Vishwajit Rane. The person he had travelled to Mozambique and Kenya. The total number of positive cases in Goa is now 6.

9.40 am: Two nursing officers at Delhi State Cancer Institution test positive, reports News18. They have contact history with the doctor of the institution who tested positive on April 1.

9.36 am: Seven more people test positive in Rajasthan – five in Tonk and two in Bikaner, reports ANI. The total number of cases stands at 140 in the state, says the health department

9.31 am: Sensex drops 375.34 points to 27,889.97 in opening session; Nifty tumbles 105.35 points to 8,148.45.

9.29 am: A premier hospital of Shillong has decided to admit non-COVID19 cases from other states only if they are critically ill, reports PTI. The protocol will be in force until the pandemic is over, says North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences Director DM Thappa. “Only critically ill non-COVID19 patient certified by the state health authorities concerned can seek treatment at the NEIGRIHMS and only one attendant will be allowed to accompany the patient. But such person will have to be quarantined for 14 days as per government directives,” Thappa adds.

9.16 am: “No force stronger than our spirit and enthusiasm,” says PM in video message.

Also read

Modi praises country’s discipline during lockdown, asks people to light lamps on Sunday at 9 pm

9.15 am: He urges people to maintain social distancing while lighting up lamps.

9.13 am: “I request all of of you to switch off all the lights of your house on April 5 at 9 pm for 9 minutes, and just light a candle, diya, or mobile’s flashlight, to mark our fight against coronavirus,” says Modi.

9.12 am: In his video message, Modi says the janata curfew on March 22 has become a model that is being emulated by other countries. “Janata curfew and ringing of bells, clanging utensils made the country aware of its unity amid this challenging time,” he adds.

9.11 am: “We have to move towards light from the darkness created by coronavirus,” says the prime minister.

9.10 am: Modi asks people to remember that no one is alone in this battle against Covid-19. “The strength of 130 crores of Indians is with each one of us,” he adds.

9.02 am: He says nations are following India’s example.

9.01 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi praises the public for the “discipline and service” during the lockdown.

8.55 am: The Asian Development Bank says India’s economic growth might slow down to 4% this fiscal because of the coronavirus pandemic, reports PTI. The bank says India’s growth might rise to 6.2% in the next fiscal.

Also read

Asian Development Bank cuts India’s growth forecast to 4% for 2020-’21 amid Covid-19 pandemic

8.30 am: Besides approving $1-billion aid for India, the World Bank also approved $200 million for Pakistan and $129 million for Sri Lanka.

Read more: World Bank approves $1 billion emergency Covid-19 financing for India

8.25 am: An oncologist in West Bengal who tweeted about shortages in personal protective equipment for medical workers alleges that he is being harassed by the police. Dr Indranil Khan was taken for hours of questioning on Wednesday night, he told Huffpost India, and though a court had ordered his phone be returned to him, it was not given back for at least 12 hours.

“My mobile phone is my only means of communication with my critically ill cancer patients,” he says “Their chemotherapy radiation therapy is getting delayed. Those who are having emergency health issues aren’t even able to reach me.”

An arrest notice issued invoked Sections 505 (making statements to cause public mischief), 506 (criminal intimidation), and 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language) of the Indian Penal Code.

8.10 am: Five more people test positive for the novel coronavirus in Rajasthan in connection with the Tablighi Jamaat event in Nizamuddin.

8.02 am: Even as medical officials try to track down those who came in contact with hundreds of infected people at the headquarters of the Tablighi Jamaat in Delhi, the state health secretary says many of those quarantined from the coronavirus hotspot are not cooperating with authorities, NDTV reports.

Health Secretary Padmini Singhala, in a letter to the Delhi police commissioner, requests extra security to manage the thousands of people quarantined from the Nizamuddin markaz. More than 2,000 people were moved out of the area earlier this week, and over 9,000 have been quarantined in connection with the virus hotspot.

7.58 am: Prime Minister Modi on Thursday held a video conference with the chief ministers of all states. At the meeting, Bharatiya Janata Party ally and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had several complaints, reports NDTV. Kumar said that his state had asked for 5 lakh protective kits for doctors but had got only 5,000, and got no ventilators at all when it had asked for 100 of them.

“Against our demand of 10 lakh N-95 masks, we got just 10,000,” a statement from Nitish Kumar’s government said. “We asked for 10 lakh Pl mask, but got just 1 lakh. Against a demand for 10,000 RNA extraction kits, Bihar got 250,” the Chief Minister had said, the state government said in a co

7.53 am: Donald Trump says the scarf is better than a face mask because it is thicker. Medical-grade face masks are also required in hospitals, which are reporting massive shortages as the US’ coronavirus numbers continue to rise. Earlier, Trump had insisted face masks were not necessary during the pandemic.

The White House is set to issue guidelines on wearing such masks in the coming days, reports CNN. “I don’t think they’ll [masks] be mandatory because some people don’t want to do that,” Trump says. He says people can “decide for themselves” whether they need masks.

7.46 am: US President Donald Trump tests negative for the coronavirus a second time. “He is healthy and without symptoms,” says White House physician Sean Conley.

7.40 am: France reports 471 more deaths at hospitals due to Covid-19, taking the country’s toll to 4502, reports AFP.

7.23 am: Indian-American politician Nikki Haley doubts the accuracy of China’s official coronavirus figures. “China has reported only 82,000 coronavirus cases & 3300 deaths in a nation of 1.5 billion people,” she tweets. “This is clearly not accurate. China cares more about its reputation than helping the rest of the world defeat a virus that was started in their country.”

Also read

Covid-19: Donald Trump questions China’s official figures, says numbers ‘on the light side’

7.20 am: US President Donald Trump asks Americans to stay indoors and practice social distancing for the next four weeks. He adds that the country is at a “very critical” phase.

7.16 am: The World Bank approves an aid of $1.9 billion for 25 countries. The largest amount of assistance is $1 billion for India. Pakistan gets $200 million while Sri Lanka has been earmarked $129 million. World Bank President David Malpass says the bank could provide up to $160 billion in assistance over the next 15 months.

7.10 am: As many as 980 people have been arrested in Kolkata since Wednesday 5 pm for defying the lockdown, reports PTI. Those arrested will be prosecuted under IPC sections dealing with disobedience of order, says a police officer.

7.07 am: At least 34 folk dancers have been arrested from several villages in Odisha’s Ganjam district for allegedly violating the lockdown, reports PTI.

7.05 am: Here are the top updates from Thursday

  • About 9,000 Tablighi Jamaat members and their primary contacts who attended a religious event held at the Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi last month – that later emerged as an infection hotspot – have been quarantined as of Thursday, the home ministry said.
  • The Indian Council of Medical Research on Thursday issued an advisory for the use of antibody tests in areas emerging as coronavirus hotspots for faster diagnosis. The Centre has so far identified 20 Covid-19 hotspots and 22 potential ones, according to PTI. The criteria for marking a place a hotspot is, however, not known. India has reported 1,965 Covid-19 cases so far, and 50 deaths.  
  • 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.
  • The government on Thursday allowed transit arrangements for stranded foreigners and also evacuation of those foreigners who arrived in India after February 15. The Ministry of Home Affairs said in a notification that these foreigners can be evacuated after they have finished their quarantine period and have tested Covid-19 negative. It said only those foreigners who are asymptomatic will be allowed to leave India.
  • 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 triggered a massive search for contacts across states ­– last month.
  • 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. 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.
  • A three-day-old boy has tested positive for the coronavirus along with his mother in Mumbai. 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.  
  • 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 residentof the slum area died from Covid-19 at Sion Hospital in the city. The 52-year-old patient is a resident of Worli area, but was posted at Dharavi for cleaning.  
  • 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. The gathering, held amid the Covid-19 pandemic, has been a source of dozens of infections across the country.
  • 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.
  • Hours after the Congress criticised the Centre for implementing the coronavirus lockdown in an “unplanned” way, Union Home Minister Amit Shah hit back.“Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, India’s efforts to fight Coronavirus are being lauded domestically and globally,” Shah wrote on Twitter. “130-crore Indians are united to defeat COVID-19.” Shah said the Congress must put the interest of the nation first. “The Congress is playing petty politics,” he added. “High time they think of national interest and stop misleading people.”  
  • Congress leader P Chidambaram on Thursday attacked the Uttar Pradesh government after the state police registered a first information report against an editor of news website The Wire, for allegedly spreading fake news related to Chief Minister Adityanath’s comments about the coronavirus pandemic. Chidambaram called the FIR a “deplorable act”, intended to suppress media freedom.
  • A resident doctor of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi, and his nine-month pregnant wife, also a doctor at the facility, on Thursday tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The AIIMS medical superintendent only confirmed to that the doctor had been infected. But Dr DK Sharma said the doctor was not involved in any patient care services.
  • 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.