Over 200 Covid-19 patients have now died in India, out of 6,761 positive cases until Friday evening. The number of patients who have recovered crossed the 500 mark in the morning, even as the country confirmed its worst daily spike – 896 –in the number of new cases by the evening. Meanwhile, Punjab extended curfew restrictions until May 1.
India once again allayed concerns about the domestic availability of anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine amid the Covid-19 pandemic, and said it had over three times the number of tablets than it needs.
By Friday morning, the global number of Covid-19 cases worldwide crossed 16 lakh, and over 95,000 patients have died.
The national helpline number for the coronavirus is 011-23978046, and a toll-free number 1075.
10 pm: Here are the top updates from the day:
- The number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 6,761 by Friday evening with 206 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The number of Covid-19 patients who have recovered in India crossed the 500 mark.
- The government said that India has more than three times the projected requirement of hydroxychloroquine – the anti-malarial drug believed to be effective against the novel coronavirus – and that domestic necessity and demand remains a priority.
- After Odisha, Punjab has extended the statewide lockdown to slow down the spread of coronavirus till May 1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a second meeting with chief ministers of states and Union Territories on Saturday to take a final call on extending the countrywide lockdown to contain the coronavirus outbreak, reports said.
- Delhi and Mumbai reported their biggest single-day spikes in the number of Covid-19 cases so far on Friday, together adding 401 infections in a day to the national tally. While the Delhi government confirmed 183 new cases, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation reported 218 as of 4 pm. The national capital now has 903 confirmed cases of Covid-19, and Mumbai has 993.
- Over 16 lakh cases of the novel coronavirus and 97,200 deaths have been recorded globally, according to an estimate by Johns Hopkins University.
9.45 pm: ICMR says 15,663 samples were tested till 9 pm today. So far, 1,61,330 tests have been conducted.
9.30 pm: More regions added to Delhi’s containment zones list. Delhi reported 183 new cases today.
8.30 pm: Andhra Pradesh has 16 new cases, taking the number to 381.
8.14 pm: The number of coronavirus cases in Maharashtra reaches 1,574 after 210 new cases, PTI reports.
8.12 pm: A 65-year-old ayurveda doctor dies of Covid-19 in Indore, PTI reports.
8.11 pm: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel says the government has identified and quarantined all 107 persons who had attended the Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi, PTI reports.
8.10 pm: Gujarat reports 70 new positive cases, taking the number to 378, ANI reports.
8.09 pm: The Rajasthan government bans spitting in public places after chewing products such as pan and tobacco, ANI reports.
8.08 pm: Tripura confirms its second positive case.
8.07 pm: Tamil Nadu reports 77 new cases, taking the total to 911, says Chief Secretary CS Shanmugam.
8.05 pm: Gurugram district administration makes it compulsory to wear masks outside home.
7 pm: Mumbai reports 212 new cases, taking the number of infections in the city to 993, says civic body.
6.30 pm: Karnataka reports 10 new positive cases, taking the number in the state to 207, including six deaths, ANI reports.
6.20 pm: Punjab has 21 new cases, taking the total to 151, ANI reports.
5.53 pm: Punjab Chief Minister’s Office confirms that the restrictions in the state will continue till May 1 to check community spread of Covid-19 and to prevent overcrowding at mandis during wheat procurement.
5.26 pm: Since the 8 am update, the ministry has confirmed 349 cases and seven deaths.
Since the 5 pm update the previous day, the ministry has confirmed 896 new cases and 37 deaths.
5.24 pm: The Health Ministry confirms 6,761 positive cases as of 5 pm, including 206 deaths.
5.20 pm: Maharashtra Home Department orders an inquiry against bureaucrat Amitabh Gupta’s role in issuing a special pass to business tycoons Kapil Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan to travel amid the lockdown restrictions. He has been sent on compulsory leave immediately, pending inquiry.
5.15 pm: The Punjab Cabinet extends curfew restrictions till May 1, says special chief secretary KBS Sidhu.
5.06 pm: The total number of cases in Jammu and Kashmir reaches 207, ANI reports.
4.54 pm: Here’s how figures on tests being conducted in India looks like until Thursday:
4.38 pm: On the list of countries approved for hydroxychloroquine export, Ravi says it was done on first-come-first-serve basis, keeping the neighbourhood in priority, as well as the global scenario on worst-hit countries.
4.25 pm: Agarwal reiterates there has been no community transmission yet.
4.15 pm: Again assuring the country of adequate domestic availability of hydroxychloroquine, Health Ministry official Lav Agarwal says the country is expected to need 1 crore tablets this week, but has 3.28 crore tablets of the drug, and this is more than three times the projected requirement for India.
If by the end of this month, the country needs an estimated 1.6 crore tablets, it already has 3.28 crore, and in addition, the government has arranged for supplies for two to three crore additional tablets, he says.
4.13 pm: Home Ministry official Punya Salila Srivastava says 14.3 lakh stranded migrant workers and other needy people have been given shelter in 37,978 relief camps across India – of which around 34,000 have been set up by states and the rest by NGOs.
4.11 pm: Ravi says the government decided to release some surplus hydroxychloroquine for exports after ensuring sufficient buffer quantity for domestic use.
4.09 pm: On the evacuation of stranded Indians, Ravi says the Centre cannot yet give a definite answer due to the lockdowns in place. He assures that Indian ambassadors are in regular touch with Indians abroad and they are being guided through constant interaction and support. The situation will be reviewed at a later stage, he says.
4.07 pm: The Centre is holding its press briefing on the situation.
Ministry of External Affairs official Dammu Ravi says 20,473 foreigners have been evacuated from India as of Thursday, and it is an ongoing process.
4 pm: Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh says Additional Chief Secretary Manoj Saunik will investigate Principal Secretary Amitabh Gupta’s role in issuing a special pass to business tycoons Kapil Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan to travel amid the lockdown restrictions, reports PTI.
3.59 pm: Belgium’s toll from the coronavirus pandemic has crossed the 3,000 mark, reports AFP. The country recorded 496 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking the total to 3,019.
3.56 pm: Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope says the state government needs a schedule about the quantity of protective gear they will receive from the Centre. “We can think of arranging the remaining quantity if shortage still persists,” he adds.
Maharashtra, with 1,364 people testing positive for the novel coronavirus, has the highest number of cases in the country.
3.53 pm: The Madhya Pradesh Police has arrested 64 foreign members of Tablighi Jamaat along with 10 Indians and 13 others who arranged their accommodation in Bhopal, reports ANI. All of them have been moved to a quarantine facility.
3.47 pm: The Indian High Commission in Singapore says about 250 Indians in the country have tested positive for the coronavirus, reports PTI. Indian High Commissioner Jawed Ashraf says that most of the Indians are in stable condition. Of the infected Indians, nearly 50% are from dormitories for foreign workers, which have emerged as the disease spreading points in the country.
3.45 pm: Across India, the nationwide lockdown has brought to the fore the great disparity in the legal profession as the vast majority of lawyers, especially in the lower courts, function on a case-to-case basis for their income.
3.43 pm: The Tripura government has invoked the Essential Services Management Act to manage the coronavirus outbreak better, reports ANI. Tripura is the second State after Madhya Pradesh to have enforced the Act of 1986, which gives the police the right to arrest without a warrant anybody violating the provisions.
3.37 pm: Indonesia reports 219 new coronavirus cases and 26 new deaths, according to Reuters.
3.33 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe discussed the global health and economic challenges emerging out of the coronavirus pandemic, says a press release. “Both leaders expressed appreciation for the support and facilitation provided during the present crisis to each other’s citizens present in their respective territories, and agreed to continue such coordination,” says Modi’s office.
3.30 pm: Ireland will potentially ease stay-at-home restrictions and allow some shops to reopen in the coming weeks as part of a step-by-step scaling back of the country’s coronavirus lockdown, reports Reuters.
3.26 pm: Spain records its lowest daily toll from the coronavirus pandemic in 17 days, AFP reports. The total fatalities have risen to 15,843 after 605 people died.
3.22 pm: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan urges states to ensure that lockdown is followed 100% by the people, reports ANI. “If we lag behind in this, it will be difficult for us to win this fight against the coronavirus,” he says.
3.16 pm: Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa urges people to feed stray animals around their homes, who are struggling to find food amid the 21-day coronavirus lockdown. “Due to scorching heat of Sun and lockdown, cats, dogs and birds are suffering without water and food,” he tweets. “In cities this situation much serious. So I appeal to people that dogs and birds get food and water.”
“Please be kind and take some time off to feed stray animals and birds around your homes.” the chief minister adds. “Try providing them with water and leftovers so they’re not parched and left hungry.”
3.13 pm: Tamil Nadu expert panel on coronavirus recommends extension of lockdown by two weeks, reports The Hindu. “Despite all the efforts taken by the government, cases [of Covid-19] have been increasing so far,” a panel spokesperson told journalists at the Secretariat in Chennai. “All the doctors [on the 19-member panel] feel that it would be good if the lockdown is extended for 14 more days.”
3.10 pm: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh says 27 coronavirus cases in the state have no travel history, reports ANI. “Yes, it can be said that most of them are cases of community transmission,” he adds.
3.06 pm: A chart of new coronavirus cases in India.
3.05 pm: A chart showing the cumulative figure of the coronavirus cases in India.
3.03 pm: Coronavirus cases in Rajasthan have crossed the 500-mark, reports The Indian Express. With 183 cases, Jaipur now has more cases than next six districts combined.
3 pm: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav says the politicisation of the coronavirus pandemic is “unfortunate” and that the government should focus on preparing a roadmap for the unemployed. “This diverts attention from core issues and real and justified questions on quarantine, screening, testing of virus, treatment, supply of milk-medicine, vegetable-foodgrain take backseat,” he tweets. “Government should remember hunger cannot be isolated.”
2.52 pm: The World Health Organisation tells NDTV that there was an error in its earlier “situation report” on the coronavirus spread in countries. The organisation had said India is at the stage of community transmission. WHO now says India has a cluster of cases and not community transmission.
2.49 pm: Doctor Chandrakant Pandav of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi says all medical institutes in the world have stated that there is no evidence that dogs and cats are transmitting or are being affected by the coronavirus. “Through social media,many people are disseminating wrong information,” he says.
This came after five cats in Kerala died days after they were found in a hospital ward dedicated for coronavirus patients in Kasargod district on Thursday.
2.44 pm: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has directed Shushrusha Hospital in Dadar to quarantine all its nurses and stop new admissions after two of its nurses tested positive for coronavirus, reports ANI. The civic body has also asked the hospital to discharge all admitted patients in 48 hours.
2.41 pm: Over 30 people in North West Delhi have been booked for stepping out of their houses without wearing masks to protect themselves against coronavirus, reports PTI, citing police.
2.38 pm: Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury urges Prime Minister Narendra Modi to arrange transportation for ferrying migrant workers to their home or to a nearest point from where their respective states would assure them safe return to their houses.
2.32 pm: The Indian Council of Medical Research says so far 16 antibody-based rapid tests have been validated at National Institute of Virology in Pune. Among these, the following eight were found to be satisfactory.
2.28 pm: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat says many states in the country are affected due to the coronavirus pandemic, adding that the lockdown should not be lifted but extended to contain the spread of the virus, reports ANI.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has faced criticism for ordering the lockdown with barely four hours’ notice, is due to make a decision this week about whether to extend it or not.
2.22 pm: Amarinder Singh says Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh has projected that coronavirus may peak by September mid and can infect 58% of country’s population, reports PTI.
2.20 pm: “Punjab expecting bumper crop of 185 lakh tonnes of wheat, making adequate arrangements for harvest,” says Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
2.16 pm: “Prediction by experts about spread of virus horrendous, frightening,” says Punjab chief minister.
2.15 pm: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh says they will allow district-wise relief from lockdown only for farmers to harvest rabi crop, reports PTI.
2.13 pm: The Indian Council of Medical Research validates TrueNat – a tuberculosis testing machine for coronavirus screening tests, reports ANI.
2.10 pm: Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor GC Murmu says restrictions will continue in the 34 red zones that have been identified in the region even after April 14, reports ANI. “There will be selective restrictions, movement and social distancing in these zones,” he adds. “Planning for this is underway.”
2 pm: The Indian Council for Medical Research says it is in the final stages of framing a protocol for conducting clinical trials for convalescent plasma therapy, or a form of immunotherapy, to treat Covid-19 patients, PTI reports.
1.40 pm: The chief of the drug pricing authority tells PTI that India has enough stock of hydroxychloroquine. “There is enough stock of hydroxychloroquine in the country and we are tracking its demand, availability and production on a daily basis,” National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority Chairman Shubhra Singh says. She advises that the drug is taken only on medical advice though.
1.27 pm: Russia reports its largest rise in cases in 24 hours, as 1,786 more people test positive for the coronavirus, The Guardian reports.
1.18 pm: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra writes to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath urging him to step up testing considering it is such a large state, PTI reports. Vadra asks that more isolation and quarantine centres be set up too.
“We are with you in this fight against the pandemic,” she writes to him. “Coronavirus does not see any religion or caste and affects everyone. In this battle, there is need to take steps by keeping our political ideologies away and help bring people together and create a fear-free atmosphere.”
Vadra adds that some people are hiding their symptoms due to fear mongering and social stigma against the disease, so providing correct information about the coronavirus is also vital.
1.05 pm: The Telangana Cabinet will convene at 3 pm tomorrow to discuss an extension of the lockdown, The Hindu reports.
1.04 pm: A petition is filed in the Supreme Court asking that the government carry out house-to-house Covid-19 testing for identification and treatment and to contain the spread of the virus, ANI reports.
1.02 pm: The Reserve Bank of India admits that its projections of the Gross Domestic Product growth rate for 2019-’20 were off the mark, even before the coronavirus outbreak besieged the economy. The central bank made the admission in its April 2020 Monetary Policy Report.
“Actual outcomes in terms of the NSO’s [National Statistical Office’s] second advance estimates undershot these projections by 20 and 190 basis points in Q2 and Q3 respectively,” the central bank says in its April report.
12.57 pm: The Board of Control for Cricket in India is looking at a small window in July to host the 2020 season of the Indian Premier League, according to a report in CNBC-TV18. The 13th edition of the IPL is currently suspended until April 15 and the chances of the competition resuming after that date are next to none with India struggling to contain the Covid-19 outbreak.
Pat Cummins, the most expensive foreign player in the Indian Premier League, says he would be willing to play in the T20 event without fans present as it would help bring a sense of normality in a world ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic.
12.55 pm: The Madras High Court on Thursday dismissed a plea against the exemption granted to print media to continue operations during the countrywide lockdown, and rejected the contention that newspapers are potential carriers of the coronavirus. The court held that steps to restrain the print media from publishing goes against the fundamental rights of the citizens.
12.30 pm: Modi will interact with all chief ministers on a video conference tomorrow to discuss whether the 21-day lockdown should be extended, PTI reports. Odisha has already extended its lockdown till April 30.
On Thursday, the prime minister interacted with leaders of all political parties, after which a Biju Janata Dal leader said Modi would extend the lockdown.
12.24 pm: Coronavirus tests done by the Indian Council for Medical Research as part of its efforts to map the spread of the disease in India have found a significant proportion of people contracted the infection despite having no recent international travel history or contact with confirmed cases. The findings were published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research on Thursday.
12.05 pm: All 10 people in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands who contracted the virus test negative for it now, ANI quotes the chief secretary as saying.
12.03 pm: The number of cases in Maharashtra rises to 1,380, as 16 more people test positive, reports ANI.
11.48 am: Maharashtra Home Department Principal Secretary Amitabh Gupta, who issued a special pass allowing Yes bank and DHFL fraud accused Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan to travel from Khandala to Mahabaleshwar, is sent on leave.
11.41 am: Three cancer patients at the Delhi State Cancer Institute test positive for the coronavirus, reports PTI. This comes after a doctor and nine paramedics contracted the infection. The number of cases at the hospital now is 21, an official tells PTI.
11.17 am: Private airline IndiGo says after the lockdown is lifted, once flights resume, they will not serve meals, and will fill only 50% of seats on airport buses, PTI reports.
11.12 am: People queue to pick up fresh food at a Los Angeles Regional Food Bank giveaway of 2,000 boxes of groceries, as the spread of the coronavirus disease continues, in Los Angeles on April 9.
11.12 am: United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres tells the United Nations Security Council that the coronavirus pandemic is the “fight of a generation”. Calling for the Security Council to work together, Guterres says, “This is the fight of a generation – and the raison d’être [most important purpose] of the United Nations itself.”
11.06 am: A woman from Telangana drives almost 1,400 km to pick up her son from Andhra Pradesh, reports PTI. The 48-year-old school principal says it was “a difficult journey” but that “the determination to bring my son back overtook all my fears.
10.55 am: The Asian Development Bank says it will provide a $2-billion package to India to manage the Covid-19 outbreak, PTI reports.
10.51 am: Five cats caught from a coronavirus ward in a general hospital in Thiruvananthapuram have died, PTI reports. The animals’ organs have been sent to the State Institute of Animal Disease Centre for a detailed examination.
Doctors who conducted the animals’ post mortem said they could not find any traces of the Covid-19 virus in their organs and that the cats could have died due to stress, but animal husbandry department officials are playing it safe.
10.45 am: Madhya Pradesh Police file a case under the epidemic act against 40 people for praying inside a mosque in Chaurai and breaking social distancing rules, ANI reports. Section 144, preventing the gathering of four or more people, is also in place there.
10.31 am: A report by the US National Academies of Sciences says higher temperatures are unlikely to deter the coronavirus or reduce its spread significantly.
Temperatures are rising in India and other countries with summer around the corner. Initially, there had been a lot of speculation that the virus would not thrive in warmer temperatures. The report said that while “experimental studies show a relationship between higher temperatures and humidity levels, and reduced survival of Sars-CoV-2 in the laboratory, there are many other factors besides environmental temperature, humidity, and survival of the virus outside the host, that influence and determine transmission,” Hindustan Times reports.
“We cannot rely on summer to rescue us from coronavirus disease as temperature is just one of the many factors that affect transmission,” Dr Anurag Agrawal, director of the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology in New Delhi, says. “Very hot climate may reduce cases by a small number in high population density areas as heat will destroy the virus faster.”
10.15 am: India has set up 1,200 containment zones in states with more than 100 coronavirus cases, reports Hindustan Times.
10.12 am: Rajasthan also reports 26 new coronavirus cases, taking the total number of infections in the state to 489.
10.10 am: A 65-year-old woman died of Covid-19 at a hospital in Jaipur, reports PTI. The toll in Rajasthan has risen to eight. “The woman from Ramganj in Jaipur was admitted to SMS Hospital on Wednesday with complaint of respiratory distress pneumonia and co-morbidity hypertension,” says an official. “She had tested positive for Covid-19 and was on a ventilator.”
10.05 am: The Satara Police in Maharashtra has filed an first information reports against business tycoons Kapil Wadhawan and 22 others, including his family members and servants, for violating the coronavirus lockdown in Mahabaleshwar, reports ANI.
10.03 am: Yemen reports its first coronavirus case, according to AFP.
10 am: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has said that there is a possibility of the state progressing into community transmission of the coronavirus, reports The Hindu. “The government has been taking efforts to contain it within Stage-II,” he adds.
9.56 am: A 35-year-old man, who attended the Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area last month, has tested positive for the coronavirus in Jharkhand’s Bokaro district, reports PTI. The total number of cases in the state has risen to 14.
9.52 am: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has allowed tea gardens in the state to restart production but urged the planters to observe social distancing while plucking leaves due to the coronavirus outbreak.
9.50 am: Ever since news broke that the convention held by the Tablighi Jamaat, a Muslim religious group, was a Covid-19 hotspot, rumours about the spread of the coronavirus have taken on a communal hue.
Read more here: Why the slow drip of anti-Muslim poison in India is now a flood
9.48 am: Bhopal district administration in Madhya Pradesh reports 15 new coronavirus cases, according to ANI. This takes the total number of Covid-19 cases in Bhopal to 112.
9.41 am: Maharashtra government has sent IPS officer on compulsory leave for allowing DHFL promoters Kapil Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan to travel despite the lockdown restrictions.
“As per discussion with chief minister, Mr Amitabh Gupta, Principal Secretary (special), has been sent on compulsory leave with immediate effect, till the pending of enquiry, which will be initiated against him,” tweets Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.
9.36 am: Three people test positive for the coronavirus in Mumbai’s Dadar area, reports ANI. This includes two nurses of Shushrusha Hospital and a man from Kelkar Road. The total number of cases in Dadar is six now.
9.33 am: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation says five more people, two who attended the Nizamuddin gathering in Delhi, test positive for the coronavirus in Mumbai’s Dharavi area, reports PTI.
The emergence of the virus in Dharavi has raised concerns as more than a million people live in the densely packed slum. Authorities are racing to track and contain the infection from spreading through the slum.
9.29 am: Four contacts of a woman who died of coronavirus in Jammu have tested positive, reports ANI. Udhampur district commissioner says Tikri area has been declared a red zone and strict containment plan is being implemented.
9.25 am: The Indian Council of Medical Research has said that random coronavirus tests on patients with severe respiratory diseases is showing that people with no travel or contact history are being infected. The research organisation tested 5,911 patients with severe acute respiratory infections from February 15 to April 2. Of these, a total of 104 (1.8%) tested positive for coronavirus across 52 districts in 20 states and Union Territories.
9.19 am: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has left the intensive care as he continues to recover from the coronavirus, reports AFP. “The prime minister has been moved this evening from intensive care back to the ward, where he will receive close monitoring during the early phase of his recovery,” a statement from the Downing Street office says.
9.15 am: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanks Prime Minister Narendra Modi for sending anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine, seen as a possible cure for coronavirus, to the country to tackle Covid-19 outbreak. “Thank you, my dear friend Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, for sending chloroquine to Israel,” he tweets. “All the citizens of Israel thank you.”
9.11 am: The total number of coronavirus cases in Odisha has increased to 48 after four people tested positive, reports PTI. The details of the fresh cases were not immediately available.
Odisha on Thursday became the first state to extend the 21-day lockdown till April 30 to rein in the coronavirus pandemic.
9.07 am: Business tycoons Kapil Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan, who were caught violating the coronavirus lockdown in Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra, have been placed under institutional quarantine by the local police.
9 am: China reports a fall in new coronavirus cases, particularly imported and asymptomatic infections which authorities fear could see a second wave of Covid-19 as city and travel restrictions are lifted. The National Health Commission says 42 new cases were reported in the country, taking total infections to 81,907. The death toll rose by one to 3,336.
8.46 am: The Delhi Waqf Board designates one of its graveyards to bury those who die from Covid-19. Waqf Board’s Chief Executive Officer SM Ali tells the Delhi government secretary and the health department in a letter that the board has designated its Jadeed Qurustaan graveyard near Millennium Park for burying coronavirus patients.
8.34 am: Two members of a family in Siwan test positive. They have contact history with a positive patient who had returned from Oman, reports ANI. The total number of positive cases in Bihar is now 60.
8.26 am: 21 more people test positive in Vadodara, reports ANI. This take the total number of positive cases in Vadodara to 39.
8.20 am: The Union health ministry on Friday morning said the total confirmed cases in India are 6,412. Out of the total cases in the country, 199 patients have died, and 5,709 are being treated. There are 503 people who have recovered from the disease.
8.15 am: The Maharashtra Home Department orders complete lockdown of five prisons in Mumbai and Pune – Mumbai Central Prison, Thane Prison, Yerawada Prison, Byculla Prison and Kalyan Prison – till further orders, reports ANI.
8.08 am: Assam has early on Friday reported its first death from the coronavirus, The Hindu reports. The man, hailing from Hailakandi district, has died at Silchar Medical College and Hospital. He had previously travelled to Saudi Arabia, minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has said. Assam has 29 Covid-19 cases so far.
8.02 am: One more person has tested positive for coronavirus in Bokaro in Jharkhand, taking the total number of cases in the state to 14, says state Health Secretary Nitin Madan Kulkarni according to ANI.
8.01 am: Taking about terrorism, Guterres warns that “non-state groups could gain access to virulent strains that could pose similar devastation to societies around globe”, ANI reports.
7.58 am: Guterres says every country is “grappling with or poised to face devastating consequences”, including loss of tens of thousands of lives, overwhelmed hospitals and broken families. He tells the United Nations Security Council, which is meeting for the first time since the pandemic erupted, that this is the greatest crisis facing the United Nations since its founding in 1945.
7.56 am: United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres says the implications of the coronavirus pandemic will be far-reaching, ANI reports. “Terrorist groups may see window of opportunity to strike while the attention of most governments is turned towards the pandemic,” he says.
7.52 am: The Gurugram district administration has said that nine areas in the city have been declared containment zones, ANI reports.
7.49 am: The United States has in the last 24 hours reported 1,783 deaths from the coronavirus, AFP reports quoting Johns Hopkins University.
7.44 am: Here are the top updates from Thursday:
- The Centre sanctioned Rs 15,000 crore as part of a Covid-19 “Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package” as confirmed cases rose to 5,865 on Thursday evening.
- The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare asserted that there were enough personal protective equipment kits in the country, and that all those working with Covid-19 patients should use it based on risk profile. The ministry added that 20 domestic manufacturers have been developed for PPEs, orders for 1.7 crore PPEs were made, and the supplies had begun. The ministry has also requisitioned 49,000 ventilators.
- The Indian Council of Medical Research said nearly 1.3 lakh samples have been tested for coronavirus in the country. It added that the rate of those testing positive ranged between 3% and 5% in the last one-and-a-half months without displaying any significant spike.
- International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said global economic growth will “turn sharply negative in 2020”. She cited an IMF projection that more than 170 nations will “experience negative per capita income growth this year”.
- The Reserve Bank of India said the outlook for India’s economic recovery has been “drastically altered” by the coronavirus outbreak. “Covid-19 hangs over the future, like a spectre,” the central bank said in its Monetary Policy Report. “The actual outturn would depend upon the speed with which the outbreak is contained and economic activity returns to normalcy.”
- Odisha became the first state to extend the 21-day lockdown till April 30.