Coronavirus: Centre makes testing, treatment free under Ayushman scheme as India’s toll rises to 75
The health ministry said more than 1,000 cases were linked to last month’s Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi.
The Union health ministry on Saturday said India reported 601 new cases in the last 24 hours – the largest spike in a day. The total number of positive cases in the country rose to 3,072, including 2,784 active cases. Seventy-five people have died so far. As many as 213 people have been cured.
The Centre announced that testing and treatment of Covid-19 patients will be free for beneficiaries of Ayushman Bharat scheme. It released an advisory asking people to wear homemade masks when they step out. It also banned the export of diagnostic kits with immediate effect.
The US registered 1,480 deaths – the worst single-day toll in the world since the pandemic began – in 24 hours on Friday. The toll in the US in now 7,406. China, meanwhile, observed Saturday as a mourning day for coronavirus victims.
The number of Covid-19 positive cases worldwide rose to 1, 139, 207, including 60,874 deaths, according to a tracker by Johns Hopkins University.
Read our top ten updates on the coronavirus pandemic here.
The national helpline number for the coronavirus is 011-23978046, and a toll-free number 1075.
Here are the helpline numbers for states and the Union Territories.
8.55 pm: Here are the top updates of the day:
- The total number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 3,072 on Saturday and toll reached 75, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. India saw its largest single day spike – 601 cases – in the last 24 hours.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday asked officials to ensure sufficient availability of personal protective equipment, masks, gloves and ventilators. He chaired a meeting of the 11 empowered groups set up by the Centre to assist the government in combating the coronavirus pandemic.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said India is working closely with the US to win the fight against the pandemic. “Had an extensive telephone conversation with President @realDonaldTrump,” he tweeted. “We had a good discussion, and agreed to deploy the full strength of the India-US partnership to fight COVID-19.”
- Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday warned people against circulating “inflammatory content” about the coronavirus pandemic and said that the “virus” of fake news and communal hatred is threatening social harmony. Thackeray added that his government has located people from the state who attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi. He said, unlike Delhi, Maharashtra had assessed the risk of infection and denied permission for the Tablighi Jamaat event.
- The Ministry of Power on Saturday said that concerns about power fluctuation and outage because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal to people to switch off the lights in their homes for nine minutes in solidarity with India’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic were “misplaced”. The ministry also clarified that people have been asked to only turn off lights and they need not switch off home appliances like refrigerators, air conditioners and computers.
- The government on Saturday imposed restrictions on the export of diagnostic kits with immediate effect as the number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 2,902. Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has killed 68 people in the country so far. Putting the kits under the restricted category would mean that an exporter will now require a licence from the government for outbound shipments.
- The Centre has issued an advisory encouraging citizens to cover their faces with homemade masks while stepping out to protect themselves amid the escalating coronavirus crisis in the country. The health ministry on Saturday said that the number of coronavirus cases rose to 2,902, with 68 deaths. Of these, 2,650 Covid-19 cases are still active.
- China on Saturday mourned the death of thousands of its people due to the coronavirus pandemic in the past few months. President Xi Jinping led the commemoration ceremony held in the morning. The country came to a standstill, all movement of people and traffic was suspended, as people observed three minutes of silence to mourn the dead.
- United States President Donald Trump defied new medical guidance to wear a face mask to avoid contracting Covid-19, even as he advised all the citizens to wear it to protect themselves from the coronavirus. The guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the government’s public health advisory agency, came as United States registered 1,480 deaths – the worst single-day toll in the world since the pandemic began – in 24 hours.
8.28 pm: Two more people have been found infected with Covid-19 in Mumbai’s Dharavi, according to multiple reports. All of them have been quarantined and people who could have come in contact with them are being traced.
8.09 pm: In Kerala, the number of confirmed cases rises to 306 after 11 more people test positive. “Out of the total cases, 254 are active and 50 others have been discharged from the hospital,” says the state Health Department.
8.06 pm: Two senior officials of the Madhya Pradesh Health Department have tested positive, reports ANI.
7.33 pm: India reports 601 new cases – the highest single-day spike – in the last 24 hours, says the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The total number of positive cases rises to 3,072, including 2,784 active cases. Seventy-five people have died so far. As many as 213 people have been cured.
7.24 pm: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh says those who fail to inform the authorities about their travel history will face strict action, including confiscation of their passports, reports PTI.
7.22 pm: A 32-year-old man in Goa tests positive.
7.20 pm: Mumbai alone reports 52 new cases today while four patients have died, says BMC.
7.18 pm: Tamil Nadu reports its second death – a 51-year-old man in Villpuram, reports PTI.
7.12 pm: PM Modi says he spoke with US President Donald Trump today. “We had a good discussion, and agreed to deploy the full strength of the India-US partnership to fight Covid-19,” says Modi.
7.07 pm: Britain reports 708 deaths – the fourth successive daily high, reports BBC. The number of confirmed cases rises to nearly 42,000.
7.04 pm: Delhi Police register more than 160 cases and detain 3,747 people for violating government orders during the lockdown, reports PTI.
6.53 pm: Centre announces that testing and treatment will be free of cost for Ayushman Bharat beneficiaries at private laboratories and empanelled hospitals, reports PTI.
6.46 pm: A total of 257 attendees of the religious congregation in Delhi have been traced in Himachal Pradesh so far and quarantined, says Director General of Police Sitaram Mardi.
6.43 am: A 60-year-old patient dies at a hospital in Rajasthan’s Bikaner district. “She had no [recent] travel history,” says Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Rohit Kumar Singh. “She was living with disabilities and staying on ventilator.” The state today reports 21 fresh cases, taking the tally to 200.
6.32 pm: Sir Ganga Ram Hospital Chairman Dr DS Rana says 108 hospital staff have been quarantined after they were exposed to two Covid-19 patients. None have shown any symptom till now.
6.30 pm: State-run Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital Hospital in Delhi will function as a dedicated Covid-19 facility, says Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, according to PTI. He adds that the government has identified 1,500 beds in LNJP and 500 in GB Pant hospital for coronavirus patients.
6.28 pm: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray warns people against circulating “inflammatory content” about the coronavirus pandemic and says that the “virus” of fake news and communal hatred is threatening social harmony. “Like Coronavirus, there is another virus that is emerging which is threatening social harmony, the virus of fake news and communal hatred,” Thackeray tweets. “If someone circulates fake news or inflammatory content, my law will catch up with them. They will not be spared.”
Covid-19: Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray warns against spreading fake news, communal hatred
6.18 pm: Bangladesh extends the nationwide transport shutdown till April 11 as the country records its biggest single-day increase of cases with nine new patients, reports Dhaka Tribune. The country has now 70 cases.
6.15 pm: Tamil Nadu Health Secretary Beela Rajesh says 73 of the 74 confirmed cases today had attended last month Delhi event. She adds that the state has 485 positive cases.
6.12 pm: Gujarat Police trace seven more people who had attended the Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi last month, reports PTI. The total number of attendees who have been identified so far is 110, says Director General of Police Shivanand Jha.
6.08 pm: The number of confirmed cases in Jammu and Kashmir rises to 92 with 17 more patients testing positive today, says the health department.
5.50 pm: Kejriwal says of the six patients who have died in Delhi, five were above the age of 60, reports PTI.
5.45 pm: There are a total of 22 cases in Uttarakhand after six more people test positive, says the state Health Department.
5.41 pm: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal says only 40 positive cases out of 445 in the national Capital happened because of contact between people.
5.38 pm: 16 new cases have been reported in Karnataka today, says state Health Department. The total number of cases in the state is 144.
5.30 pm: A 37-year-old man from Gaya district test positive, reports PTI. The total number of infections in Bihar is now 31.
5.23 pm: The Ministry of Power says concerns about power fluctuation and outage because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal to people to switch off the lights in their homes for nine minutes in solidarity with India’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic are “misplaced”. The ministry also clarifies that people have been asked to only turn off lights and they need not switch off home appliances like refrigerators, air conditioners and computers.
Covid-19: Centre says fears over power fluctuation due to PM’s call to turn of lights ‘misplaced’
5.18 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will speak with floor leaders of political parties that have more than 5 MPs in Parliament through video conferencing on April 8 at 11 am, says Union minister Prahlad Joshi.
5.17 pm: Total cases in Rajasthan climbs to 200, says state health department after two more people test positive in Bharatpur.
5.14 pm: Rahul Gandhi criticises the government over its response to the pandemic, saying the country is “not testing enough”.
5.01 pm: Eight more people test positive in UP’s Gautam Buddha Nagar district. The total number of cases rises to 55, reports PTI.
4.51 pm: She adds that even if a person tests negative in rapid test, he/she needs to complete the 14 days mandatory quarantine period. There are 295 cases in Kerala out of which 251 are active, confirms the health minister.
4.50 pm: Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja says the state will start rapid tests from tomorrow.
4.47 pm: Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope says they have traced 9 lakh people till now by deploying 2495 teams, according to ANI. “These teams are working in 290 containment zones that we have marked in Mumbai and likewise in other districts,” he adds. “I urge people to cooperate with health workers.”
4.40 pm: The Himachal Pradesh government bans the sale and use of chewing gum and similar products till June 30, reports ANI.
4.23 pm: Home Ministry Joint Secretary Punya Salila Srivastava says around 22,000 Tablighi Jamaat workers and their contacts have been quarantined.
4.21 pm: Health Ministry says more than 1,000 Covid-19 cases are linked to the Tablighi Jamaat.
4.17 pm: Health Ministry briefs media on Covid-19. Joint Secretary Lav Aggarwal gives age-wise percentage of coronavirus cases.
4.08 pm: 24 people have tested positive, says Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. Of the 812 people who attended the Delhi event, results of 152 people are still awaited.
3.37 pm: 31 out of 137 Tablighi Jamaat attendees have tested positive in Agra, says District Magistrate Prabhu N Singh. As of now, there are 37 active cases in the district.
3.34 pm: The Nepal government confirms three new coronavirus cases, including two patients who recently returned from India. The total number of infections is now nine.
3.24 pm: Spain reported 809 deaths in the past 24 hours, according to BBC. The toll in the country is now 11,744.
3.20 pm: There are 14 positive cases in Bhopal till now, says Chief Medical Health Officer Sudhir Dehariya. “We’ve traced close contacts of these cases and we are collecting their samples,” he adds
3.09 pm: South Korea reports 94 new cases, according to BBC. The total number of cases in the country is now 10,156. Health minister Park Neung-hoo says the measures will not be relaxed unless the country cut the number of daily new infections to 50 or below.
3.02 pm: The Kolkata Port Trust says a person working in its Haldia dock complex has tested positive after returning from the Tablighi Jamaat gathering in Delhi, reports PTI. This takes the total count of cases in West Bengal to 58.
“A person who is an employee of one of our contractors has tested positive for coronavirus in Haldia on April 2,” the port’s statement reads. “He had returned from Nizamuddin on March 24. He might have visited the docks. After the Nizamuddin episode came to light, the man was tested by the Haldia Municipality. Due to the case, contract labourers have not come to the docks.”
2.59 pm: Municipal Corporation Greater Mumbai will start 10 screening clinics in all containment zones and densely-populated areas where outbreak has been observed, reports ANI.
2.51 pm: Two more people test positive in Punjab, says Mohali district magistrate. Containment zones have been made in Sector 68, Mohali and Mauli Baidwan village, reports ANI.
2.46 pm: PM Modi chairs a joint meeting of the 11 “empowered groups” to review availability of hospitals, proper isolation and quarantine facilities in the country.
2.40 pm: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray says lifting the lockdown in the state after April 14 will be dependent upon the compliance, reports PTI. He adds that no permission will be granted to any religious or sporting events in the state till further notice. He also warns of strict action against those spreading ‘communally divisive” messages on social media.
2.23 pm: There are a total 6 positive cases in Himachal Pradesh, says Director General of Police SR Mandi. “Total of 257 persons related to Tablighi Jamat in the state have been identified and quarantined,” he adds.
2.14 pm: A 51-year-old patient dies in Tamil Nadu, reports ANI. The patient had attended the Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi. There are 411 cases in the state, out of which 364 are Tablighi Jamaat attendees, says the state Health Department.
2.10 pm: Sixteen people test positive in Haryana, reports ANI. All of them had attended the event in Delhi.
2.09 pm: A 42-year-old man dies in Indore, reports PTI. The toll in the state is now 10.
2.07 pm: Three more people test positive in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday, says Principal Secretary (Planning and Information) Rohil Kansal. “All contacts of a positive patient from Udhampur with travel history abroad,” he adds. With this, the total number of coronavirus patients in Jammu and Kashmir increases to 78 – 57 in Kashmir division and 21 in Jammu division.
2.05 pm: Singapore reports its sixth death from the novel coronavirus. The number of confirmed cases rises to 1,114, according to the health ministry.
12.55 pm: Centre issues advisory asking people to wear homemade masks when they step out of their homes. The use of masks will help in protecting the community at large from Covid-19, the advisory says.
12.40 pm: It is imperative that India immediately ramps up its rate of testing, says Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. “Extremely valuable information about the severity of the disease, disease clusters and focal points is gained from testing,” she says in a series of tweets. “In order for this lockdown to yield results, it has to be backed up by large scale testing and other measures to support the medical infrastructure systems in our country. The government must act now.”
12.35 pm: The Indian Railways has begun preparing to resume all its services from April 15 after the 21-day suspension of trains due to the lockdown, PTI reports.
12.30 pm: US President Donald Trump is confident that the pandemic will not delay the American elections in November. He also opposes the idea of mail-in voting, PTI reports.
12.25 pm: New York State reports 562 Covid-19 deaths in a single day – its highest ever.
12.20 pm: The Centre has curbed the export of diagnostic kits with immediate effect, PTI reports.
Covid-19: Centre restricts export of testing kits as cases rise to 2,902
12.10 pm: The Maharashtra Health Department says the total number of positive cases in the state has risen to 537, after 47 fresh infections were reported. These include 28 in Mumbai, 15 in Thane, one in Amravati, two in Pune and one in Pimpri Chinchwad, ANI reports. The Centre has, so far, confirmed only 423 cases in the state.
11.45 am: Andhra has recorded 16 new Covid-19 cases in the past 12 hours till 10.30 am, ANI reports. This would take the number of cases in the state to 180.
11.40 am: Ten people test positive in Gujarat, taking the state count to 105, PTI reports. The Centre has so far confirmed only 95 cases.
11.37 am: Of the 386 patients in Delhi, 259 people are linked to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation. “In the last two days, 600 people related to Markaz Nizamuddin in Delhi have been quarantined,” Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain says, according to ANI. “We are trying to trace all contacts.”
He adds: “We have only 7,000-8,000 PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) kits left in our stock, which will last 2-3 days. We’ve demanded 50,000 PPE kits on urgent basis.”
11.30 am: Streaming platform Netflix announces that it will contribute Rs 7.5 crore to Producers Guild of India Relief Fund to help daily-wage workers in the entertainment industry.
“We’re grateful to be working with the Producers Guild of India to support the hardest hit workers in TV and film production – from electricians to carpenters, hair and makeup artists to spot boys,” Netflix said in a statement. “Crews in India have always been vital to Netflix’s success and now we want to do our part and help those who most need support in these unprecedented times.”
11.23 am: Six people who attended the Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi have tested positive for the coronavirus in Maharajganj district of UP, ANI reports. Thirty-five of their contacts have also been quarantined.
11.20 am: 108 members of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital have been quarantined as they came in contact with two patients who were found positive for the virus. Of these, 85 rae in home quarantine while the rest are in the hospital.
11.13 am: The toll in Gujarat rises to 10 after a patient dies in Ahmedabad, ANI reports.
11.10 am: The employees of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences will donate a day’s salary to the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund, ANI reports.
11.05 am: The first woman who tested positive for Covid-19 in Bhopal and her father have both recovered and been discharged, ANI reports.
11 am: Three Tablighi Jamaat members, including two people from Bangladesh, have tested positive for Covid-19 in Uttar Pradesh’s Shamli, PTI reports. The third person is from Assam. They have all been shifted to an isolation centre in Jhinjhana in Shamli.
10.43 am: UN General Assembly meetings that were scheduled for April and May have been postponed due to the “rapidly evolving” coronavirus pandemic, PTI reports.
10.39 am: Here is the break-up of the cases in some states according to the Centre:
- Maharashtra: 423
- Tamil Nadu: 411
- Delhi: 386
- Kerala: 295
- Rajasthan: 179
- Uttar Pradesh: 174
- Andhra Pradesh: 161
- Telangana: 158
- Karnataka: 128
- Madhya Pradesh: 104
10.33 am: The Greater Mumbai municipal corporation issues standard operating procedures to admit and treat Covid-19 patients in Mumbai. It says that symptomatic positive patients and referred patients will be admitted to Kasturba Hospital, St George Hospital, Seven Hills Hospital, Nanavati Hospital or Saifee Hospital.
Patients who are asymptomatic and below 60 years of age will be sent to one of seven isolation centres.
10.30 am: Five new cases of Covid-19 reported in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur. The total number of cases in the state has gone up to 194, state officials say, ANI reports.
10.28 am: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik appeals to the people who attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi last month to voluntarily call the “104” helpline and take Covid-19 test. “Don’t be afraid of anything, you’ve the complete support of government,” he says, according to ANI.
10.25 am: A 36-year-old person died in Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh, ANI reports.
10.20 am: The police in Kochi’s Panambilly Nagar arrest 41 people for being out on a morning walk amid the lockdown.
10.15 am: Total confirmed cases in India rises to 2,902 on Saturday morning, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. As many as 183 people have recovered and 68 have died. One person has migrated.
10 am: As many as 112 French nationals who were stranded in Kerala were airlifted by a special Air India flight to Paris on Saturday morning, ANI reports.
9.20 am: A 60-year-old woman dies of Covid-19 in Rajasthan’s Bikaner. The total cases in the state have risen to 191 after 12 people tested positive, ANI reports.
9.15 am: The Karnataka police on Friday booked twelve people and 50 unidentified persons for allegedly attacking police personnel with stones, after they forbade a group of people from offering Friday prayers at a mosque in Huballi amid the countrywide lockdown to contain coronavirus. At least four police constables were injured in the attack.
Read more here:
Covid-19 lockdown: Five arrested for allegedly pelting stones at police personnel in Hubbali
9.10 am: But a member of the White House Task Force on Coronavirus cautions against reaching any conclusions yet. “We still need to do the definitive studies to determine whether any intervention, not just this one, is truly safe and effective,” Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said, according to PTI. “But when you don’t have that information, it’s understandable why people might want to take something anyway even with the slightest hint of being effective.”
9.05 am: Malaria-drug Hydroxychloroquine seems to have good results in the treatment of coronavirus patients, US President Donald Trump says. “We continue to study the effectiveness of Hydroxychloroquine and other therapies in the treatment and prevention of the virus and will keep the American people fully informed in our findings,” Trump says.
“We have a tremendous supply of it, we ordered in the case that it works and it’s going to have some pretty big impacts. We’ll see what happens,” Trump adds.
9 am: Twenty-five Covid-19 cases confirmed in Agra, taking the number of cases to 45, ANI reports.
8.50 am: Rajasthan reports 12 new coronavirus cases, PTI reports. An official says eight of them are linked to the Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi.
8.45 am: A coronavirus patient died in Bagalkot on Friday, taking Karnataka’s toll to four, ANI reports.
8.37 am: Maharashtra Energy Minister Nitin Raut criticises Modi’s call 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.
“If all lights are switched off at once it might lead to failure of grid,” Raut says, according to ANI. “All our emergency services will fail and it might take a week’s time to restore power. I would appeal to the public to light candles and lamps without switching off lights.”
8.30 am: Here are some visuals of people at vegetable markets on Saturday morning.
8.20 am: Global exams such as TOEFL and GRE will be taken at home in most parts of the world, according to the Educational Testing Service, PTI reports. The Test of English as a Foreign Language and Graduate Record Examinations are exams needed for admissions to top universities.
“At-home solutions will now be worldwide for test-takers who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Both TOEFL and GRE will be taken at home till the situation is conducive for tests to be conducted at centres,” Srikant Gopal, Executive Director of the TOEFL Program, tells PTI.
8.15 am: Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane says the number of cases in the state has risen to seven, after a person from St Estevam with foreign travel history tests positive, ANI reports.
8.10 am: One of the two AIIMS doctors who had tested positive for Covid-19 gave birth to a boy on Friday, according to The Indian Express. “Both the mother and the baby are healthy. The baby was delivered a week early, through C-section,” a doctor says. “At present, the infant has been kept with the mother since he will require breastfeeding. So far, there is no evidence that the infection can be transmitted through breastfeeding. While the mother has tested positive for COVID-19, she is asymptomatic. We will be collecting samples of the infant too.”
The woman’s husband and his brother have also tested positive for Covid-19.
8 am: At least 11 Central Industrial Security Force personnel have tested positive for Covid-19 in Panvel, The Indian Express reports.
“Once the first jawan tested positive, the CISF sent all his colleagues who had come in contact with him [at the Mumbai airport] to home quarantine,” Panvel Municipal Commissioner Ganesh Deshmukh says. “Then, they had each of their jawans posted at the airport tested. Tests of 11 jawans returned positive.”
7.40 am: China observes April 4 as mourning day for coronavirus victims. During the commemoration, national flags fly at half-mast across the country and in all Chinese embassies and consulates abroad, and public recreational activities are suspended across the country. People and traffic stopped in the street to observe three minutes of silence to mourn the deceased.
7.35 am: Pakistan has 2,547 confirmed cases of the virus till Friday. Thirty-seven people have died.
7.30 am: Visuals of people in Odisha defying social distancing norms on Friday.
7.25 am: Trump’s announcement comes after the US registers 1,480 deaths – the worst single-day toll in the world since the pandemic began – in 24 hours. The toll in the US in now 7,406.
7.20 am: US President Donald Trump announces that all Americans are recommeded to wear masks when they go outside to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. He says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was urging people to wear face coverings such as scarves but to free medical-grade masks for health workers.
“It’s going to be really a voluntary thing,” he adds. “You don’t have to do it and I’m choosing not to do it, but some people may want to do it and that’s okay.”
7.15 am: 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.
7.10 am: The total cases in Odisha rises to 20 as 15 people test positive for Covid-19, PTI reports. Ten new cases were reported from Bhubaneswar, two from Bhadrak district, and one each in Cuttack, Puri and Jajpur.
Covid-19: Odisha suspects community transmission, declares harsher 48-hour lockdown in three cities
7.05 am: France on Friday reported 588 more coronavirus deaths – its biggest ever single-day toll. There are now 5,901 people dead in hospitals in the country. While there is no daily data on the people who have died of Covid-19 in old age homes in France, 1,416 people have died in such establishments, taking the total toll to 6,507, AFP reports.
7 am: The number of Covid-19 cases worldwide is now 10,98,848, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The toll is now 58,871. More than 2.26 lakh people have recovered worldwide. Italy has the most deaths – 14,681 – followed by Spain (11,198) and France (6,507). The US, however, has the most cases – 2,77,828, followed by Italy (1,19,827) and Spain (1,19,199).
Here are the top updates from Friday:
- The number of cases in India rose to 2,547, 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 person 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 Congress party hit out at Narendra Modi’s speech. A 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.
- The Andhra Pradesh government reported the state’s first death because of Covid-19 on Friday after a 55-year-old man from Kummaripalem died in a hospital in Vijayawada.
- The Odisha government has announced a complete 48-hour-long shutdown in Bhubaneswar, Bhadrak and Cuttack to curb community transmission of Covid-19 after one person in the state tested positive for the coronavirus.
- Singapore announced a one month-long lockdown, as it imposed stricter restrictions intended to be a “circuit breaker” to slow the spread of coronavirus.
- 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.
- The Asian Development Bank has reduced its economic growth forecast for India for the financial year of 2020-’21, saying it is likely to slow down to 4% amid the global economic meltdown triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. Its last projection was 6.5%. Meanwhile, American credit rating agency Fitch Ratings’ company slashed India’s growth forecast for the current fiscal from 5.1% to 2%. Moody’s changed the outlook for Indian banking system to negative from stable on Thursday.