Covid-19: As count nears 5,000, more CMs talk of longer lockdown, Centre says wait for official word
Earlier in the day, India rescinded its suspension of the export of malaria drug hydroxychloroquine hours after US President Donald Trump warned of retaliation.
Speculation continued on Tuesday about whether the nationwide lockdown, due to end on April 14, will need to be extended as the coronavirus pandemic spreads in India. More chief ministers – those in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana – made remarks suggesting so, as did senior officials in some other states, even while the Centre urged the media not to speculate unless there is an official word.
The number of Covid-19 cases in India rose to 4,789 on Tuesday evening, and the toll increased to 124, according to health ministry figures. Out of all patients, 352 have now been discharged. Although the ministry has confirmed 868 cases in Maharashtra, the state on Tuesday became the first to report more than 1,000 cases so far.
Globally, the number of positive cases worldwide crossed 13.81 lakh, including over 78,200 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.
10.30 pm: Here are the top updates from Tuesday:
- The number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 4,789 on Tuesday evening, with 124 deaths, the Union Health Ministry said. The country reported 508 new cases in the last 24 hours. As many as 352 patients have now recovered.
- Maharashtra, the worst-hit Indian state, confirmed 150 new positive cases, taking the total number of patients so far to 1,018. The state is the first to cross the 1,000 mark. The state capital Mumbai alone reported 116 of the new cases.
- India said it will export paracetamol and hydroxychloroquine in appropriate quantities to “nations who have been particularly badly affected” by the coronavirus pandemic. This came hours after United States President Donald Trump had warned of retaliation if India turned down his requests to supply hydroxychloroquine.
- Kerala plans to suggest the Centre to lift the nationwide lockdown in three phases, based on the recommendations of an expert committee set up by the state, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said. Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot also said the lockdown cannot be lifted immediately and that the rollback of restrictions must take place in a phased manner. Madhya Pradesh and Haryana chief ministers also hinted that the lockdown in the states may be extended. The Centre urged the media not to speculate on this.
- The novel coronavirus has infected more than 13.81 lakh people and killed over 78,200 worldwide, according to a tracker by Johns Hopkins University. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was on Monday taken to the intensive care unit for worsening coronavirus symptoms, is in a stable condition and in “good spirits”, a spokesperson said.
- The Indian Council of Medical Research said 1,14,015 samples had been tested for Covid-19 until 9 pm, including 12,584 today. Of the samples tested today, 285 tested positive for coronavirus.
- The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy said that the unemployment rate during the last week of March – with the lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic beginning March 25 – rose to a whopping 23.8%.
10.20 pm: US President Donald Trump accuses the World Health Organization of being “China-centric” even though it is “funded largely” by the US.
“We will be giving that [funding] a good look,” he tweets. “Fortunately I rejected their advice on keeping our borders open to China early on. Why did they give us such a faulty recommendation?”
10.19 pm: Andhra Pradesh reports 10 new cases, taking the number to 314. Rajasthan’s total rises to 343 after 15 new cases.
10.18 pm: Bhopal reports 21 new cases today, taking the total in the city to 83, according to ANI.
10.16 pm: The Indian Council of Medical Research says 1,14,015 samples have been tested for Covid-19 until 9 pm, including 12,584 today.
Of the samples tested today, 285 tested positive for coronavirus.
10.14 pm: Delhi reports 25 more positive cases today, taking the total number to 550.
10.12 pm: Telangana reports 40 new positive cases today, taking the number so far to 348.
10.05 pm: The United Kingdom has 786 new coronavirus-related deaths, a single-day record for the country, AFP reports.
10 pm: New York state reports a record 731 new deaths in 24 hours, according to AFP.
9.08 pm: The number of cases in Maharashtra rises to 1,018 after 150 new people found to be infected, ANI reports.
9.06 pm: Police say a 40-year-old Tablighi Jamaat member, who tested positive for coronavirus in Himachal Pradesh on Sunday, traveled in two buses starting from Punjab’s Pathankot to reach Palyur village in Chamba district, PTI reports.
9.00 pm: Maharashtra Home Ministry says the police are looking for around 50 to 60 people who have gone incommunicado after attending the Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi, ANI reports.
8.56 pm: New York records 731 Covid-19 deaths, the largest single-day increase in toll.
8.49 pm: Uttarkhand Health Department says no Covid-19 cases have been reported in the state on Tuesday. Uttarakhand has 31 coronavirus cases in all.
8.45 pm: The Indian Council of Medical Research issues guidelines for sample collection sites for Covid-19 testing.
8.04 pm: Iran’s Parliament convened on Tuesday for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak forced its closure, AFP reports.
7.25 pm: Mumbai has reported 100 new Covid-19 cases and five deaths today, taking the number of cases in the city to 590 and toll to 40, reports ANI, citing the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.
7.23 pm: Haryana reports 33 more positive cases, taking the number in the state to 129, ANI reports. However, the Centre has confirmed 90 cases so far.
Punjab confirms eight new cases today, taking the total to 99. The Centre has confirmed 91 cases so far.
7.16 pm: Ten out of 14 patients in Ladakh and nine out of 10 patients in Chhattisgarh have recovered, Health Ministry data show.
7.09 pm: The Centre has confirmed 508 new Covid-19 cases and 13 deaths in the last 24 hours.
Since the 9 am update today, 368 new cases and 10 deaths have been confirmed.
7.07 pm: The Union Health Ministry updates the Covid-19 patients data. India now has 4,789 confirmed cases, including 124 deaths and 352 recoveries.
6.56 pm: The Punjab government gives 24 hours to all those who attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi to report to the nearest police station, PTI reports.
6.55 pm: Delhi Police says that whoever visited the Markaz in Nizamuddin after March 1 should inform police stations, failing which legal action will be taken against them, ANI reports.
6.34 pm: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in a stable condition in the intensive care unit and has not required ventilator support for breathing, 10 Downing Street says.
“The Prime Minister has been stable overnight and remains in good spirits,” a spokesperson says. “He is receiving standard oxygen treatment and is breathing without any other assistance.”
6.32 pm: Nine more persons test positive for Covid-19 in Kerala, says Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
6.31 pm: Jammu and Kashmir has 125 cases now, after 15 new cases were reported.
6.30 pm: Tamil Nadu Health Secretary Beela Rajesh says 69 more people tested positive, taking the number in the state to 690.
6 pm: Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation extends the suspension of bookings for its three private trains till April 30, PTI reports.
5.59 pm: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar says that if the lockdown is lifted after April 14, it will be done in phases. “As the disease is increasing day by day, we can’t say anything now on ending or continuing lockdown,” he tells ANI.
5.57 pm: Mamata Banerjee says flower markets in West Bengal will open from Wednesday so that wholesale suppliers can supply directly to the markets, ANI reports.
5.56 pm: The number of cases in Punjab rises to 91, ANI reports.
5.54 pm: All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, issues an order asking health workers involved with Covid-19 patients to get hydroxychloroquine tablets from their respective departments if they wish to.
The Centre has allowed the use of the anti-malaria drug as a potential preventive measure for asymptomatic health workers involved in the care of Covid-19 patients.
5.40 pm: The number of cases in Uttar Pradesh is 314, including 168 linked to Tablighi Jamaat, says Chief Minister Adityanath.
5.30 pm: West Bengal toll rises to five, and the number of cases rises to 69, says Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
5.23 pm: The Karnataka government reports 12 new cases, taking the total to 175. Of these, four have died and 25 have been discharged.
5.17 pm: The number of positive cases in Pakistan has risen to 4,004, including 54 deaths.
5.02 pm: Nepal extends the ban on international flights till April 30, ANI reports.
4.58 pm: The school education department in Jammu division says students of Classes 1 to 9 and Class 11 will be promoted to the next class, ANI reports.
4.52 pm: Iran reports 133 new deaths from Covid-19 on Tuesday, bringing the toll to 3,872, AFP reports. The number of new cases in the last 24 hours was 2,089.
4.48 pm: Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court sought a response from the Centre on a plea seeking immediate evacuation of all Indian students stranded in the United Kingdom, PTI reports. The petition said the government should be directed to ensure that flights ferrying UK nationals from India to the UK be used to evacuate Indian students who are stranded there and wish to return.
4.45 pm: Three more Covid-19 patients die in Pune on Tuesday, taking the toll in the district to eight, PTI reports.
4.23 pm: Agarwal evades a question about what led India to lift the export ban on hydroxychloroquine, asks the media not to speculate. He says all decisions are taken after matching the quantities needed by India against the production.
4.20 pm: On hydroxychloroquine, Agarwal says the pharma ministry is monitoring the production of the drug, and assures that the country has sufficient quantities for our needs.
4.17 pm: Lav Agarwal asks the media not to speculate on the relaxation of the lockdown until an official decision is announced.
4.14 pm: Indian Council of Medical Research official Dr R Gangakhedkar says 1,07,006 tests have been done so far, including 11,795 tests in the last one day.
4.13 pm: Joint Home Secretary Punya Salila Srivastava says many community leaders have come forward to caution their communities about following lockdown norms during the festivals in coming few days.
4.10 pm: The Indian Railways has prepared 40,000 isolation beds in 2,500 coaches so far, Agarwal says.
4.04 pm: Joint Health Secretary Lav Agarwal says dedicated Covid-19 health facilities have been classified into three types: “Covid care centres” for mild, very mild, and suspected cases; “dedicated Covid health centres” for cases with clinically moderate seriousness; and “dedicated Covid hospitals” with comprehensive care for severe and critical cases. Each type will have infrastructure suitable for the purpose, he says.
4.03 pm: The Centre begins its daily press conference about the coronavirus situation in India.
3.58 pm: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot says a court of inquiry by a retired or sitting judge of the Supreme Court should be conducted over the Nizamuddin gathering held in Delhi last month, reports ANI. “It is an issue of grave concern,” he adds. “We have to find the person responsible for it and punish him/her.”
3.53 pm: “Lives of people are more important, economy can be built again but if people die, how will we bring them back,” asks Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. “That is why, if the need arises we will extend the lockdown, a decision will be taken based on the situation.”
3.46 pm: Three coronavirus patients have died in Pune, says District Magistrate Naval Kishore Ram. The toll in Pune rises to eight now, reports ANI.
3.44 pm: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan says the coronavirus lockdown in the state might be extended if needed, reports PTI. “We will take a decision after seeing the circumstances,” he adds. “Lives of people are more important. We can tolerate lockdown. We can resurrect the economy later on but can’t be able to bring back lives of people.”
3.40 pm: BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis tells Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to look into the problems faced by people in ration distribution. “Sixteen state governments are giving food grains without need for ration card,” he says in a letter. “Maharashtra government should do the same.”
3.33 pm: Centre tells Supreme Court that a consensus has been worked out between the Karnataka and Kerala governments regarding the border blockade, reports The Hindu. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta says that an agreement has been reached on the parameters and protocol for allowing medical patients into Karnataka.
Karnataka had imposed the border blockade “in order to combat the spread of the pandemic”.
3.31 pm: The Supreme Court issues notice to Assam government on a plea seeking release of all those who have completed more than 2 years in detention centres of the state to avoid overcrowding amid the coronavirus pandemic, reports ANI.
3.29 pm: A coronavirus patient from Nepal, who attended the Nizamuddin gathering in Delhi, has been caught by the police in Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat district, reports PTI. The man reportedly escaped after breaking a window pane of the community health centre.
3.25 pm: Rajasthan Health Department says that three more people have tested positive for the coronavirus in the state, taking the total number of cases to 328, reports ANI. The three new patients are members of the same family.
3.22 pm: Another chart of the coronavirus testing done in India so far.
3.18 pm: A chart of new coronavirus cases in India.
3.16 pm: A chart showing the cumulative figure of the coronavirus cases in India.
3.13 pm: The Uttar Pradesh Police has arrested 42 people for allegedly attacking personnel who were trying to enforce coronavirus lockdown in Izatnagar area, reports PTI. An first information report has also been filed against 150 people in connection with the case.
3.08 pm: The All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi will provide N95 masks to all its healthcare workers involved in direct patient care and has asked them to reuse the masks at least four times after disinfecting them, reports PTI.
3.06 pm: “Bhilwara model of containment of coronavirus to be replicated in other parts of Rajasthan,” says Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.
3.03 pm: Ashok Gehlot adds that any decision on extending or withdrawing lockdown in Rajasthan will be taken after recommendations of the task force.
3 pm: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot says the state will start rapid testing within a week and that the government has ordered 10 lakh testing kits from China, reports PTI.
2.55 pm: Odisha reports it first coronavirus death. The victim was a 72-yr-old man and had been admitted to AIIMS Bhubaneswar on April 4 after he complained of respiratory distress, according to ANI.
2.52 pm: Ashok Gehlot says the state has managed to keep coronavirus cases under control, but they are still rising, reports ANI.
2.49 pm: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot says that the state cannot withdraw the lockdown immediately, that it has to be done in a phased manner, reports PTI.
2.42 pm: Himachal Pradesh Cabinet decides to cut the salaries of ministers, MLAs, chairperson and vice chairperson in different boards and corporations by 30% for a period of one year. The MLA fund for two years will also not be released and will be deposited in the state government’s coronavirus fund.
2.36 pm: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu says that the final week of the lockdown is “critical” for evolving an exit strategy as data regarding the spread of coronavirus will have a bearing on the decision to be taken by the government.
2.30 pm: Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declares state of emergency in Tokyo, Osaka, five other prefectures to combat the coronavirus, reports Reuters.
2.27 pm: Five people have been arrested under the National Security Act for attacking the police in Bhopal, reports ANI.
2.22 pm: Many former global leaders and other VIPs urge the world’s 20 major industrialised nations to approve $8 billion in emergency funding to speed the search for a vaccine, cure and treatment for the coronavirus, reports AP.
2.15 pm: Arvind Kejriwal says contact tracing of those who attended the Nizamuddin gathering is underway, adding that the government will seal affected areas.
Also read: Delhi to conduct rapid testing for 1 lakh people in infection hotspots, says Kejriwal
2.13 pm: Thirty-six people are booked by police in Chitrakoot for not informing authorities that they participated in the Nizamuddin markaz, reports PTI.
2.09 pm: The Mumbai Police file a case against 150 people who attended the Tablighi Jamat markaz in Delhi for a “negligent act”, reports News18.
1.47 pm: A British minister says Prime Minister Boris Johnson is not on the ventilator, but he received “oxygen support”, AFP reports.
1.30 pm: Gandhi suggests the Centre suspend its “Central Vista” beautification project, which will cost around Rs 20,000 crore. Another suggestion is that foreign visits by Modi, all ministers including state chief ministers, and bureaucrats be suspended to conserve funds. Her last suggestion is that all money from the PM-CARES fund is transferred to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund to ensure efficiency and transparency.
1.29 pm: Congress chief Sonia Gandhi writes to the prime minister, suggesting ways in which to handle the virus outbreak.
1.18 pm: The other Ts are tracing, treatment, and tracking or monitoring.
1.15 pm: He says they have come up with a “5Ts” plan. The first T is “testing”, while the second is “teamwork”. Doctors are the most important part of this team and need to be protected, the chief minister says.
1.10 pm: “We have ordered rapid testing for 1 lakh people,” Kejriwal says. He says the state is also following up on tracing, and will seek police help to make sure people don’t violate self-quarantine orders.
1.08 pm: Kejriwal says the Capital has come up with a five-step plan on handling the Covid-19 outbreak.
1.05 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal addresses the media.
1 pm: According to News18, Adityanath says the lockdown is necessary.
Multiple states are hinting at extending the 21-day lockdown, which ends the night of April 14.
12.47 pm: The Google Doodle today honours all medical workers including nurses and doctors, who are at the forefront of the coronavirus pandemic.
“As COVID-19 continues to impact communities around the world, people are coming together to help one another now more than ever. We’re launching a Doodle series to recognize and honor many of those on the front lines,” Google says. “Today, we’d like to say: To all doctors, nurses, and medical workers, thank you.”
12.42 pm: WhatsApp is limiting the number of times a frequently forwarded message can be forwarded to one time. This is to curb misinformation during the pandemic, it says in a blog post.
“We’ve seen a significant increase in the amount of forwarding which users have told us can feel overwhelming and can contribute to the spread of misinformation. We believe it’s important to slow the spread of these messages down to keep WhatsApp a place for personal conversation.”
12.40 pm: The Congress says the Centre needs to draft a longterm economic strategy to deal with the after effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
12.35 pm: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath says the state has started a Covid-19 care fund to improve testing facilities, reports News18. He says the state has 10 labs for testing now and that they are working towards getting more personal protective equipment kits and ventilators. He adds that officials are trying to tackle the crisis as best they can, given that cases have gone up recently due to the Tablighi Jamat markaz held in Delhi in March.
12.24 pm: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern rejects the resignation of her health minister after he defied lockdown rules. She says under normal circumstances she would have sacked him, but it might affect the country’s plans to manage the coronavirus, reports Reuters.
12.23 pm: During the lockdown, TB and HIV-positive patients in India are not able to access medicines. They run the risk of developing drug resistance, which reduces their chances of recovery.
Read more: India’s focus on coronavirus leaves TB and HIV patients adrift
12.22 pm: AFP puts together a graphic debunking some coronavirus claims.
12.10 pm: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan says those harassing police officials will be booked under the National Security Act.
12.08 pm: An Assam MLA has been held for saying hospitals are worse than detention centres, PTI reports. Aminul Islam, an All India United Democratic Front MLA from Dhing constituency, was questioned on Tuesday morning, after which he was booked by the police.
11.59 am: Walk-in test kiosks are set up in Ernakulam, Kerala, the state health minister tweets.
11.44 am: After Trump threatens to retaliate if India denies the US a drug he claims will help coronavirus victims, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi responds. “Friendship isn’t about retaliation,” he says. “India must help all nations in their hour of need but lifesaving medicines should be made available to Indians in ample quantities first.”
11.43 am: Unidentified people have attacked the family members of Zareen Taj, an activist with psephologist Yogendra Yadav’s Swaraj Abhiyan, while they were distributing relief material amid the Covid-19 lockdown in Dasarahalli in Bengaluru last week. Taj claims that the attackers were members the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
Read more: Covid-19: Volunteers distributing relief material attacked allegedly by RSS supporters in Bengaluru
11.37 am: The Mumbai Police tweets a creative message, which might resonate a bit more with Harry Potter fans, urging people to stay at home. “‘Colloportus’ your doors, folks!” it says. “A lot more than just 5 points will be awarded to all those who stay home during #lockdown and don’t create panic.”
11.36 am: The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy says the unemployment rate during the last week of March – with the lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic beginning March 25 – rose to a whopping 23.8%. The overall unemployment rate in March was 8.7%, the highest in 43 months, or since September 2016.
Read more: Coronavirus: Unemployment climbed to 23.8% in last week of March following lockdown, says CMIE
11.28 am: Like the rest of the world, India is battling the coronavirus pandemic. However, here the public conversation over the past week has focussed inordinately on only one facet of the disease: its link with the Tablighi Jamat, a Muslim religious group.
Read more here: Sampling bias drove sensationalist reporting around Tablighi coronavirus cases
11.25 am: Japan will declare a state of emergency because of the coronavirus today, reports CNN. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said “basic economic activity” will continue in the country’s seven affected prefectures. He has urged people to avoid unnecessary travel and to practice “social distancing”.
11.15 am: The Kerala High Court will attempt to hear cases via videoconferencing today.
The High Courts and the Supreme Court have responded to the public health crisis by suspending judicial and administrative work, while making exceptions for urgent matters. To meet the need for social distancing, courts are allowing appearances via videoconferencing and e-filing of documents.
Read more: The coronavirus pandemic is an unfortunate opportunity for India’s judicial system to modernise
11.14 am: In its statement earlier today, the Ministry of External Affairs also accused sections of the media of attempting to create “unnecessary controversy” over the export of essential drugs. The ministry said that the availability of these medicines for all possible exigencies has been confirmed, and the restrictions on their exports have been subsequently lifted.
Read more: Covid-19: Centre partially lifts ban on export of hydroxychloroquine, paracetamol
11.09 am: There are 19 new cases of the coronavirus in Gujarat, reports ANI. The state now has 165 cases, the Gujarat Health Department says.
11.05 am: Assam reports one more case of the virus, taking its number to 27, says ANI.
11 am: Karnataka says it needs a few more days to decide whether it is extending the lockdown, PTI reports. “We need to see for another few days before taking final call,” Medical Education Minister Sudhakar K tells PTI.
He stresses that the lockdown should be removed in a phased manner. “Where there are red alerts and zones, those zones, in my opinion, should continue to be in a lockdown situation at least for two weeks...till this month-end, I will request them (the Centre) to do this,” Sudhakar suggests.
10.40 am: The Delhi government will start random testing in coronavirus hotspots, reports Times Now. The state reportedly aims to conduct 2 lakh tests in two weeks.
10.24 am: The Ministry of External Affairs says India will licence paracetamol and hydroxychloroquine in “appropriate quantities” to neighbouring countries dependant on it. The ministry says countries “particularly badly affected” by the coronavirus pandemic will also be supplied with the drugs. “We would therefore discourage any speculation in this regard or any attempts to politicise the matter,” the MEA says.
This comes after US President Donald Trump threatened retaliation if India did not supply it the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine. Trump has firmly maintained that the drug does wonders in battling the coronavirus, although there is no medical evidence to back him up.
“Like any responsible government, our first obligation is to ensure that there are adequate stocks of medicines for the requirement of our own people,” Anurag Srivastava, spokesperson for the ministry, says.
10.20 am: China reports no deaths due to the coronavirus on Tuesday for the first time since it began publishing daily figures in January. However, this comes even as China has been accused of underreporting figures.
China’s National Health Commission says it has 32 confirmed cases today, down from 39 on Monday.
10.14 am: Mumbai’s Wockhardt Hospital releases a statement after it was declared a containment zone on Monday, ANI reports. The hospital says the source of the infection was a patient admitted for a “cardiac emergency”, who later tested positive for coronavirus. “Our colleague nurses and the doctors identified as COVID19 positive are presently being treated,” ANI quotes the statement as saying. The hospital adds that it is working closely with authorities.
10.01 am: Dharavi has two more coronavirus cases, ANI reports. Dr Baliga Nagar area of Dharavi is sealed. This is the seventh case in the congested area of Mumbai.
9.56 am: The UK’s coronavirus testing chief says none of the antibody kits from China can be rolled out on a large scale, The Independent reports. Professor John Newton says the tests did not pass the evaluation stage, and are “not good enough to be worth rolling out in very large scale”.
9.44 am: A plea is filed in the Supreme Court against vilification of Muslims by sections of the media following the rise in cases due to the Tablighi Jamaat markaz in Delhi. The petition asks for a ban on such communal coverage, which “demeans” the Muslim community, News18 reports. “Such reporting has triggered communal antagonism and has also perpetrated hatred... undermining and affecting communal harmony,” the plea says.
9.34 am: Donald Trump was “short-tempered” and “rude” at the daily briefing he attended, CNN says. The president did not entertain questions on his administration’s shortcomings in handling the pandemic. He tore into a report by a Health and Human Services department inspector general, which spoke of the dire situation in which frontline staff are in. It also mentioned “severe” and “widespread” shortages of medical supplies.
Trump continues to espouse that the drug hydroxychloroquine will save lives, without proof or scientific basis. On Sunday, Trump did not allow Dr Anthony Fauci, the US’ top infectious diseases expert, to answer a question on the drug.
9.28 am: The toll in the United States has crossed 10,000. On Monday, 1,265 more people died, taking the toll to 10,908. The country now has at least 367,507 cases of the virus.
9.18 am: The number of cases has increased by 354 in the last 24 hours.
9.13 am: The Ministry of Health updates its figures to say the number of cases of coronavirus in the country have risen to 4,421. The toll is now 114. Of the cases, 3,981 are active and 325 people have been discharged.
8.38 am: The United Nations Security Council will hold its first meeting on the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday, AFP reports.
8.35 am: Hong Kong has extended its airport closure to foreign arrivals indefinitely as the number of coronavirus infections has exceeded 900, The South China Morning Post reports. The city recorded 24 fresh Covid-19 infections on Monday, of which only six were local transmissions.
8.32 am: Members of the Tablighi Jamaat will be charged with culpable homicide unless they come forward for medical screening, the Assam government says according to NDTV. The government has issued a final call to those who attended the congregation last month at the Markaz in New Delhi last month, to report to the nearest state-run health centre by 6 am on Tuesday.
8.31 am: Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane says the Goa Medical College Hospital conducted 15 Covid-19 tests on Monday night, all of which turned out to be negative, ANI reports.
8.28 am: The United States has so far repatriated around 1,300 Americans from India, PTI reports quoting US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Alice G Wells. However, many of them are reluctant to go back, she adds.
8.23 am: The World Health Organization has warned that the world needs 60 lakh nurses to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
8.19 am: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been taken to the intensive care unit of the hospital he was admitted to in order to treat his coronavirus infection. Johnson has been taken into intensive care around 7 pm GMT (12.30 am Indian Standard Time on Tuesday) and is conscious.
Also Read: British PM Boris Johnson taken to ICU as Covid-19 symptoms worsen; leaders wish him a quick recovery
8.16 am: United States President Donald Trump has hinted at retaliation if India failed to provide his country the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to combat the novel coronavirus. The drug is one of the experimental and unproven means used to fight the virus.
Also Read: Covid-19: Donald Trump hints at retaliation if India turns down US request for anti-malaria drug
8.11 am: Here’s a look at the top updates from Monday:
- The total number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 4,281 on Monday evening and the toll reached 111, the health ministry said. This was India’s largest single day spike – 704 new cases and 28 new deaths – confirmed in the last 24 hours.
- At least three states – Uttar Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra – hinted that the 21-day lockdown may have to be extended beyond April 15. Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao said he will urge Prime Minister Narendra Modi to extend the nationwide lockdown.
- All MPs, including Cabinet ministers, will take a salary cut of 30% for a year to support the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. The president, vice president, and all governors will also give up part of their salaries.
- The Centre said over 25,500 people linked to the Tablighi Jamaat have been identified and quarantined by states. The Union health ministry said at least 1,445 patients had been traced to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation held in Delhi last month.
- The Indian Council of Medical Research will start conducting rapid antibody-based blood test by Wednesday in areas reporting coronavirus clusters and hotspots showing high incidence of confirmed cases.
- United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged governments to include the protection of women in their response to the deadly novel coronavirus pandemic, as reports of domestic violence surged globally in the wake of massive lockdowns to contain the spread of the disease.