9.03 pm: Here are the top updates of Sunday:

  • The Union health ministry said the country so far has 8,447 coronavirus cases. In the last 24 hours, 909 Covid-19 cases, with 34 deaths have been reported.      
  • India is yet to receive any of the five lakh coronavirus rapid testing kits it has ordered from Chinese companies. As many as 2.5 lakh of the total number of kits were to be delivered by April 5, and then April 8 or April 9, but now may arrive only early next week.    
  • The Delhi government will launch a massive sanitisation drive on Monday in the infection hotspots in the Capital. While the containment areas have been declared as red zones, the high-risk zones have been identified as orange zones.    
  • The World Bank said on Sunday that South Asia is likely to experience its worst economic performance in 40 years during the 2020-’21 financial year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.    
  • The toll in the United States from the novel coronavirus pandemic climbed to over 20,000 on Saturday, making it the country with the most number of deaths, and the new epicentre of the contagion.      
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who tested positive for the coronavirus, was discharged from the hospital. The toll from the coronavirus in the United Kingdom reached 10,612 with a total of 79,885 cases of the virus, according to a tracker by Johns Hopkins University.      
  • Migrant labourers allegedly set three shelter homes in New Delhi’s Kashmere Gate on fire on Saturday, a day after they had a fight with the staff over food.
  • Punjab Special Chief Secretary KBS Sidhu said that seven people, who had donned the robes of “Nihangs” and allegedly attacked police personnel in Patiala after defying the coronavirus-related lockdown, have been arrested.      

8.44 pm: Maharashtra’s tally rises to 1,982 with 221 new cases and 22 deaths today.

8.43 pm: Delhi reports 85 new cases and five deaths today.

8.26 pm: Uttar Pradesh has 480 cases so far across 41 districts.

8.22 pm: Total number of active cases in West Bengal stands at 95, reports ANI citing state officials. Seven people have died in the state so far.

8.16 pm: Gujarat’s toll rises to 24 after a 60-year-old woman dies, reports PTI.

8.08 pm: Mumbai reports 217 new cases and 16 deaths today, says BMC.

7.55 pm: Bihar has 64 cases and 1 death, reports ANI. Of these, 37 are active cases and 26 have recovered.

7.53 pm: Deaths in the UK top 10,000 as health officials report 657 more people have died in England, reports AP

7.39 pm: Andhra Pradesh reports 15 new cases and 1 death from 9 pm on Saturday till 6 pm on Sunday, according to ANI.

7.38 pm: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy asks state officials to distribute three masks each to the 5.3 crore people in the state, reports ANI.

7.37 pm: The number of “Containment zones” in Delhi rises to 43 with the inclusion of E-block Abu Fazal Enclave, E-block East of Kailash block and Bengali Colony Mahavir Enclave, among others, reports PTI.

7.26 pm: The Assam government will go with any decision to be taken by the Centre on extension of the 21-day lockdown, reports PTI. “The state government will not take any decision of its own,” says the Chief Minister’s Office. “The Assam government will proceed as per the rules and regulations by the Centre.”

6.52 pm: Punjab has 170 now. Of this, 135 are active cases and 23 people have recovered.

6.51 pm: Uttarakhand has no new positive case for the fourth day in a row. The total number of cases in the state is 35, ANI reports citing the state health department.

6.45 pm: The total number of cases in Haryana is 181. Of these, 149 are active cases, 30 have been discharged and two have died.

6.42 pm: Andhra Pradesh government prohibits the consumption of smokeless or chewable tobacco products and spitting in public places, to avoid transmission, reports ANI.

6.12 pm: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who tested positive for the coronavirus, has been discharged from St Thomas hospital, where he spent three nights in the ICU, The Guardian reports.

6.11 pm: In Tamil Nadu, 106 new cases were reported today, taking the total tally in the state to 1075, state health secretary Beela Rajesh says. Out of these, 90 persons were traced to a ‘single source conduct’ and another 11 persons have died, she adds.

6.05 pm: Karnataka has reported 232 Covid-19 cases as of 5:00 pm, ANI reports, citing the figures shared by the state’s health department. Out of these, six have died and another 54 have been discharged.

6.00 pm: Twenty-eight fresh coronavirus cases were reported in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday, taking the count in the state to 480, PTI reports.

5.58 pm: Jammu and Kashmir reports 21 new cases of Covid-19, government official Rohit Kansal says. “ Out of these, 17 are from Kashmir and four are from Jammu.” The total number of cases reported in the Union Territory as of now is 245.

5.54 pm: Wherever we are finding Covid-19 cases in Delhi, we are declaring those areas as containment zones and conducting ‘Operation Shield’ there,” Kejriwal adds, according to ANI. “A total 33 to 35 containment zones have been already identified till now.”

5.52 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announces massive sanitation drives in infection hotspots in the national Capital, ANI reports. “These high-risk zones will be declared as orange zones,” he says. “Containment zones have already been identified as red zones.”

5.33 pm: 36 people have recovered in a single day in Kerala, while just 2 new cases reported in the state today, says Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja.

5.16 pm: Himachal Pradesh has a total of 32 cases so far, ANI reports citing the health department. Of these, 18 are active cases, nine have recovered, four migrated and one died.

5.06 pm: 30 nurses have been put under quarantine at Ruby Hall Hospital in Pune after a 45-year-old nurse tested positive, says Sanjay Pathare, the director of medical services.

4.30 pm: “More than 40 vaccines are under development but none have reached the next stage,” the ICMR official adds.

4.27 pm: In the last five days, the average number of samples that have been tested is 15,747 per day and the average number of samples which tested positive is 584, Dr Manoj Murhekar of the Indian Council of Medical Research says, according to PTI.

4.17 pm: “Now we have 8,346 positive cases and out of these, 20% cases would need ICU support,” Agarwal says. “This means 1,671 patients need oxygen support and intensive care treatment. This figure is important to show that the government is planning things in being over prepared,” he adds.

4.10 pm: The health ministry says India has recorded 8,356 cases of Covid-19, with 273 deaths, so far. Out of these, 909 cases and 34 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, joint secretary Lav Agarwal says.

4.08 pm: The Indian Council of Medical Research says it has tested a total of 1,86,900 samples till now, out of which, 7,953 have tested positive. Centre has set up 219 testing facilities across the country including 151 government labs and 68 privately run laboratories, it adds.

4.03 pm: At the daily press briefing, the home ministry says the government is monitoring the situation and trying to provide door-to-door services at infection hotspots and containment areas.

3.52 pm: At least 22 health workers at the RG Kar Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata, were put in quarantine, after two patients admitted there tested positive for Covid-19, PTI reports.

3.51 pm: Tripura government announces it will conduct tests for all 769 persons, who are in quarantine, within a week, ANI reports. As of now, 337 samples have been tested, out of which, two have tested positive.

3.50 pm: Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan says Centre has enough stock in its inventories to supply food grains to 81 crore beneficiaries through the Public Distribution System for nine months, PTI reports.

3.44 pm: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan backs extending the countrywide lockdown beyond April 14, ANI reports. “ It is true that the economy is affected, but the lives of people are more important,” he says.

3.26 pm: The number of coronavirus cases in Gujarat rises to 493, with 25 new infections. The state has so far reported 23 deaths, says Principal Secretary (health) Jayanti Ravi.

3.16 pm: 14 people test positive in Nagpur today, says Municipal Commissioner Tukaram Mundhe.

3.15 pm: Spain reports 619 deaths, according to AFP.

3.05 pm: Rajasthan reports 96 new cases, including 35 from Jaipur and 11 from Tonk, reports ANI. With this, the state’s tally rises to 796.

2.47 pm: Karnataka reports 11 new cases. The tally in the state is now 226, says the health department.

2.46 pm: The covid-19 tally in Andhra Pradesh rises to 417 after 12 more people test positive, reports PTI.

2.44 pm: Delhi AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria says more data is needed to ascertain if the therapy using the combination of HCQ and Azithromycin is effective. “The data is being collected,” he adds.

2.34 pm: Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal chairs an all-party meeting in Guwahati.

2.31 pm: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he owes his life to the NHS staff treating him for coronavirus, reports BBC. He thanks medics at St Thomas’ Hospital in London. Johnson is now out of the ICU, but still in hospital.

2.29 pm: The World Bank says South Asia is likely to experience its worst economic performance in 40 years during the 2020-’21 financial year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In a report titled South Asia Economic Focus, Spring 2020, the bank adds that poor people in South Asia are more likely to become infected with the coronavirus, as social distancing is difficult for them.

Also read

Coronavirus: World Bank says South Asia’s economic performance likely to be worst in 40 years

2.25 pm: People in Ahmedabad will be fined Rs 5,000 or sentenced to three-year imprisonment if they do not wear face masks, reports PTI. “Wearing masks has been made mandatory for everybody while stepping out of their homes, starting 6 am on Monday,” says Ahmedabad Municipal Commissioner Vijay Nehra.

2.24 pm: 45-year-old woman dies of coronavirus in Tamil Nadu, reports PTI. The toll in the state is now 11, says the health department.

1.54 pm: The total number of coronavirus cases in the world stands at 1,778,562, and 1,08,902 people have been killed so far, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.

1.51 pm: The Chinese mainland has reported 99 new Covid-19 cases – the highest number in one day in recent weeks, reports Reuters. The country has also recorded 63 new asymptomatic cases. The total number of cases in China are 83,096.

12.15 pm: Maharashtra’s state health department confirms 134 new Covid-19 cases – 113 in Mumbai, one each in Raigad, Amravati, Bhiwandi, Pimpri-Chinchwad, four in Pune, seven in Mira Bhayandar, two each in Navi Mumbai, Thane and Vasai Virar, reports ANI.

Also read:

How Narendra Modi has benefited from the coronavirus crisis and nine other weekend reads

11.35 am: A spokesperson of the Indian Hotels Company Limited has issued a statement after reports of a few of the staff testing positive in the Taj Hotel have emerged.

“Taj Mahal Palace and Tower does not have any guests at the current time and only very minimal staff in areas like housekeeping, security, maintenance and staff dining are present to ensure the upkeep and maintenance of the hotel,” the statement reads, according to ANI. “Approximately, 500 of our employees in our Mumbai hotels have been tested to date. Those who tested positive mostly were asymptomatic. However, staff testing positive and symptomatic were hospitalized and those in contact with them were immediately quarantined.”

11.25 am: Residents of Madhura Estate area in Hubli district of Karnataka seen flouting social distancing norms in front of a vegetable shop. The Union health ministry has confirmed 214 Covid-19 cases in the state, and six patients have died.

11.10 am: People in Tripura flock to a vegetable market in Agartala amid lockdown, reports ANI.

10.30 am: As concert halls fall silent, prominent musicians raise funds to help fellow artists.

Read more here

10.28 am: Hunger is on the rise in Haryana’s industrial belt as contract workers await full salaries and are uncertain about their future.

Read more here:

‘We are trapped’: Hunger is on the rise in Haryana’s industrial belt

10.21 am: Mumbai Police barricade Dharavi area and deploy personnel, reports ANI. Dharavi has recorded a total of 28 Covid-19 cases and four deaths so far.

10.13 am: Odisha’s Health Department says the number of Covid-19 cases has climbed to 54, including 12 cured and one death. The department adds that 3,862 samples have been tested so far, reports ANI.

10.07 am: A large consignment of antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine has reached the United States from India on Saturday.

“Supporting our partners in the fight against Covid-19,” India’s Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu has tweeted. “Consignment of hydroxychloroquine from India arrived at Newark airport today.”

9.49 am: Rajasthan’s Health Department says 51 new Covid-19 cases have been reported in the state today – 15 in Banswara, eight in Bikaner, one in Churu, 15 in Jaipur, one in Jaisalmer, eight in Jodhpur, one in Sikar, and two in Haunmangarh. Total positive cases in the state rises to 751, reports ANI.

9.48 am: Police surveillance tightened in Bathindi area of Jammu which has been identified as a “red zone”, reports ANI.

9.44 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has wished people on Easter. “Best wishes to everyone on the special occasion of Easter,” he has tweeted. “We remember the noble thoughts of Lord Christ, especially his unwavering commitment to empowering the poor and needy. May this Easter give us added strength to successfully overcome COVID-19 and create a healthier planet.”

8.42 am: The Union Ministry of Health’s latest update shows there are a total of 8,356 cases in India, and 273 people have died. Out of the total number of cases, 7,367 people are being treated, 715 people have recovered, and one person has returned to their country.

8.28 am: In a first, Pope Francis will livestream Easter Sunday mass to allow the world’s estimated 1.3 billion Catholics celebrate the holiday under a lockdown in most countries, reports AFP.

8.15 am: United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has urged governments to put women and girls at the centre of their efforts to recover from Covid-19. He says that the achievements made in gender equality and women’s rights over the decades are in danger because of the pandemic.

8.12 am: Two Air India flights, operating under the Krishi Udan programme, will take seasonal fruits and vegetables to London and Frankfurt, NDTV reports. “Air India has scheduled operations to London on April 13 and Frankfurt on April 15 under Krishi Udan programme,” a senior government functionary tells the news channel.

8.05 am: The Union Home Ministry has directed states and Union Territories to ensure adequate police protection to doctors and medical staff going to hospitals or quarantine centres to treat patients, The Indian Express reports. There have been reports of attacks on medical staff in the last few days.

8 am: The number of deaths in the United States has climbed to 20,389, surpassing that of Italy, which is reporting 19,468 deaths, according to a report by Johns Hopkins University. The United States is now the new epicentre of the contagion.

7.49 am: A drive-through sample collection centre has been set up in Gurugram in Haryana to test people for the coronavirus, ANI reports. “One can apply for the test by filling details online,” Gurugram Municipal Corporation Commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh says. “The patient can drive on own or can be accompanied by another person.” However, the person has to get a recommendation from a registered medical practitioner in order to be tested.

7.55 am: United States President Donald Trump has said that deciding when to reopen the country’s economy that has been crippled by the “invisible enemy” will be the “biggest decision” he will ever have to make. Trump has made the remarks at his daily Coronavirus Task Force press conference.

7.45 am: Here are the top updates from Saturday:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a video conference with all chief ministers. Most chief ministers were reportedly in favour of extending the lockdown.
  • Maharashtra became the third state after Odisha and Punjab to extend the lockdown to slow down the spread of coronavirus till April 30.
  • The number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 7,529 with 242 deaths, according to the Union health ministry. The country recorded 768 coronavirus cases and 36 deaths in the last 24 hours. Meanwhile, 652 patients have recovered from the infection so far.
  • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare claimed, citing a statistical analysis, that India could have had 8.2 lakh cases by April 15 in the absence of any measures at all, and 1.2 lakh if only containment measures were in place but no lockdown.