The total number of coronavirus cases in India rose by 203 to 3,577, said the Ministry of Health in its evening figures. The toll rose to 83. On Sunday morning, the ministry had reported 3,374 positive cases.
Millions of Indians across the country switched off lights at their homes and lit candles and lamps at 9pm on Sunday, responding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal to demonstrate collective will to fight the coronavirus.
The Union Health Ministry on Sunday said the number of coronavirus cases in India is doubling faster because of the Tablighi Jamaat event held in Delhi’s Nizamuddin last month. Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said the doubling time would have been 7.4 days and not 4.1 days that the country is currently witnessing.
United States President Donald Trump said he has requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi that India supply hydroxychloroquine tablets to fight Covid-19 infections in American patients. Hydroxychloroquine is used to treat malaria, and its effectiveness on Covid-19 patients is widely being speculated upon.
The number of Covid-19 positive cases worldwide crossed 12 lakh, including 64,806 deaths, according to a tracker by Johns Hopkins University.
The national helpline number for the coronavirus is 011-23978046, and a toll-free number 1075.
10.30 pm: Here are some photos of Indians lighting lamps and switching off lights to mark the fight against the coronavirus.
10.18 pm: Haryana says students from Classes 1 to 8 will be promoted to the next grade without taking their examinations, reports PTI. All examinations and classes across the country have been postponed due to the lockdown.
9.41 pm: Union Minister of Power RK Singh says the lights out event went smoothly and that the power grid is functioning normally after it, PTI reports.
There had been speculation that the event would be hard on the power grid, leading to electrical failures and outages across the country.
9.25 pm: Visuals of Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Home Minister Amit Shah lighting up lamps.
9.15 pm: Millions across India switch off the lights of their houses in a show of solidarity to demonstrate collective will to fight the coronavirus.
9.09 pm: More visuals of people lighting candles, lanterns and diyas (earthen lamps) across the country.
9.03 pm: Chandrababu Naidu joins too.
9 pm: People have started turning off lights and lighting lamps.
8.55 pm: As the nation prepares to switch off lights, thermal generating units such as coal and gas will be powered down to 60% of their capacity, The Hindu reports. Hydroelectricity plants will be powered up to take the shortfall from thermal plants.
8.31 pm: The toll in Maharashtra increases to 45. Today, 13 people in the state have died after contracting the coronavirus, reports ANI. Eight people have died in Mumbai, three in Pune, and one each in Kalyan, Dombivali and Aurangabad.
8.20 pm: Economist Raghuram Rajan in a blog post published on the weekend noted that even if the coronavirus that causes the disease is not defeated, “it will be hard to lock down the country entirely for much longer periods”.
7.22 pm: The number of cases has risen by 505 in the last 24 hours.
7.12 pm: The total number of cases in the country is up to 3,577, and 83 people have died of the coronavirus, says the Ministry of Health.
7.09 pm: Delhi has 58 more cases of the coronavirus today, reports The Times of India. The total in the Capital is now up to 503 cases.
6.37 pm: Maharashtra confirms 103 new cases of coronavirus today, Hindustan Times quotes the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation as saying. This is the highest increase of cases in the state in a day. So far, 30 people in the state have died of complications arising out of the coronavirus.
6.27 pm: In Tamil Nadu, there are 86 new cases of the virus in the past day. Of these, 85 people attended the Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi, ANI quotes the state health secretary as saying.
6.18 pm: Five people in Karnataka who returned from the Tablighi Jamaat event test positive for the coronavirus, reports The Hindu. This takes the number of cases in the state to 151.
5.33 pm: Eight Malaysian nationals have been intercepted by immigration authorities and deboarded from a flight to Kuala Lumpur after officials identified them as Tablighi Jamaat members who attended the religious congregation in Nizamuddin last month, reports Hindustan Times.
5.30 pm: Bhopal district magistrate in Madhya Pradesh says all shops, except dairies and medical stores, in the city will remain closed from 12 am till further orders, reports ANI. Food distribution by the municipality and home delivery permitted by the concerned officer will be allowed.
4.46 pm: Jammu and Kashmir government spokesperson Rohit Kansal says that 14 new positive cases of Covid-19 have been detected in the Kashmir division. The total number of positive cases in the state is now 106.
4.40 pm: A South African Muslim cleric, who recently returned from India after attending the religious congregation in Delhi’s Nizamuddin, has died due to the coronavirus, reports PTI, citing his family members.
4.28 pm: More than 75 lakh people are being given food in shelters.
4.25 pm: Around 13.6 lakh workers are being given food and shelter by employers, says the home ministry.
4.20 pm: There is no evidence of the virus being airborne, says the Indian Council of Medical Research. “If that were true, all members of a Covid-positive would fall sick. That’s not what we see,” says an ICMR official.
4.18 pm: The number of days in which confirmed coronavirus cases is doubling is every 4.1 days, he says. However, he adds, if the Tablighi Jamaat gathering had not taken place, the “doubling rate” would be 7.4 days.
4.15 pm: The Ministry of Health, during its media briefing, says the toll has increased to 79 people. There are 3,374 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country, says Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal.
3.56 pm: Besides cleaner air quality after the lockdown began, the extremely polluted river Ganga has also cleared up. This Hindustan Times video shows how much cleaner the river water is now that industrial waste is not being pumped into it.
3.30 pm: Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope says the state has 690 coronavirus cases so far, reports ANI. This includes 29 cases from Mumbai, 17 from Pune, four from Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, three from Ahmednagar and two from Aurangabad.
He adds that 56 people have been cured of the infection and discharged.
3.26 pm: Spain reports third daily drop in coronavirus deaths at 674, according to AFP.
3.23 pm: Malaysia confirms 179 new coronavirus cases, raising the total number in the country to 3,662, reports Reuters. This includes four deaths.
3.18 pm: Indore Chief Medical and Health Officer Praveen Jadia says toll from the coronavirus has risen to eight in Madhya Pradesh after a 50-year-old man died, reports ANI.
3.15 pm: The number of positive Covid-19 cases in Andhra Pradesh has crossed the 200-mark, after 34 fresh cases were detected in the state, reports The Hindu. The total cases in the state is now 226.
3.13 pm: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur says out of the 13 coronavirus cases in the state, six of the patients had attended the religious gathering in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area last month, reports ANI. “We appeal to everyone, who attended Tablighi Jamaat, to disclose their identity by 5 pm today otherwise government will be forced to take action,” he adds.
3.10 pm: Haryana’s health department says 76 confirmed coronavirus cases have been reported in the state so far, reports ANI.
3.08 pm: A 21-year-old in Mumbai’s Dharavi has tested positive for the coronavirus, reports News18. This takes the total number of cases in Asia’s largest slum to six now.
2.45 pm: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath tells his MPs that the lockdown will be lifted on April 15, as scheduled, PTI reports. He, however, seeks ideas on how to end the lockdown while ensuring that people do not crowd spaces again.
“We have to ensure that crowding doesn’t take place,” PTI quotes him as saying. “Your help and cooperation is needed in this regard. The reason is that after the lockdown is lifted and if crowding takes place, then all of our efforts will go in vain. So, I want that we evolve a mechanism, and for this, I would invite your suggestions.”
1.25 pm: Central Reserve Police Force Director General AP Maheshwari says he has gone in quarantine after a doctor in the force tested positive for Covid-19. K Vijay Kumar, his predecessor and senior security advisor in the Union Home Ministry, and about two dozen officials have also quarantined themselves, PTI reports.
12.39 pm: Six pockets in Kanpur district have been declared red zones after six Tablighi Jamaat members tested positive for Covid-19, PTI reports.
12.26 pm: A man suspected to have Covid-19 allegedly attempted suicide by jumping from the third floor of a hospital in Delhi, police say.
12.22 pm: Four people linked to Tablighi Jamaat have been found positive for Covid-19 in Mewat, Haryana, taking the number of cases in the district to seven, ANI reports.
12.15 pm: The Maharashtra government says the number of cases in the state has reached 661 after 26 new positive cases were reported, according to PTI.
11.40 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi uses the hashtag #9pm9minute to remind Indians to light candles, lamps or mobile flashlights on their balconies for nine minutes at 9 pm on Sunday to mark their fight against the coronavirus.
11.30 am: A man who returned from Dubai last month and 11 of his family members have tested positive for the coronavirus in Madhya Pradesh’s Morena district, days after he organised a feast for 1,500 people in honour of his dead mother, NDTV reports. The local authorities have sealed the entire colony to prevent it from becoming another coronavirus hotspot.
10.38 am: Two more nursing staff at Delhi State Cancer Institute have tested positive for Covid-19, ANI reported. Earlier, four staff, including a doctor, were found positive.
10.35 am: Out of the 3,374 positive cases nationwide, Maharashtra has 495 cases, Tamil Nadu has 485, and Delhi has 445. The worst toll is in Maharashtra, with 24 deaths.
10.08 am: An 82-year-old Covid-19 patient has died in hospital in Jaipur, PTI reports.
10.05 am: An 80-year-old Muslim cleric who recently returned to South Africa after attending the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi has died after contracting the coronavirus, PTI reports.
9.34 am: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare updates its data, confirms 3,374 cases so far. Here’s how the latest data looks:
- Active cases: 3,030
- Deaths: 77
- Recovered: 266
- New cases confirmed in the last 15 hours: 302 (and two new deaths)
- New cases confirmed in the last 24 hours: 472 (and nine new deaths)
8.17 am: Local bodies in Maharashtra have failed to conclusively detect the source of infection for 46 out of the 423 Covid-19 patients in the state so far, Hindustan Times reports. For 233 patients, the source is still being traced.
8.06 am: On Saturday, the Health Ministry said at least 1,023 cases so far have been linked to the Tablighi Jamaat across 17 states – Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Karnataka, Andaman and Nicobar, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Arunachal Pradesh and Jharkhand.
7.49 am: A hospital in Bharatpur, Rajasthan, allegedly turned away a pregnant woman citing her Muslim identity, and asked her to go to a hospital in Jaipur, The Indian Express and ANI report, quoting the woman’s husband. The woman delivered a baby in an ambulance on the way to the state capital, but the newborn died.
7.48 am: ANI news agency tweets pictures of railway coaches being prepared as isolation coaches.
7.46 am: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath has asked all district magistrates to personally monitor coronavirus control rooms, PTI reports, quoting Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Kumar Awasthi.
7.42 am: Trump warns Americans of the toughest next two weeks. “Next two weeks are going to be very, very deadly,” he says. “Unfortunately, but we are going to make it so that we lose as few lives as possible and I think we are going to be successful.”
7.32 am: US President Donald Trump says he has requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to release the amount of anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine ordered by the US. “I called Prime Minister Modi of India this morning,” he says. “They make large amounts of Hydroxychloroquine. India is giving it a serious consideration.”
On March 25, India had banned the export of the drug except for certain shipments on humanitarian grounds on a case-by-case basis.
7.31 am: The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the United States has crossed 3 lakh, according to Johns Hopkins University.
7.30 am: Here are the top updates from Saturday:
- The total number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 3,072 on Saturday and the toll reached 75, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said. India saw its largest single-day spike – 601 cases – in the last 24 hours.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi 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 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 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 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 imposed restrictions on the export of diagnostic kits with immediate effect. 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.