9 pm: Here are the top updates from Saturday:

  1. The number of Covid-19 patients in India rose to 14,792 on Saturday evening after 957 new cases were reported, according to the health ministry. The toll increased by 36 to 488, while the number of patients who have recovered crossed 2,000.
  2. The Centre said that as of Saturday morning, 4,291 cases of Covid-19 were related to a “single source” – an event held in Nizamuddin in Delhi last month. In Tamil Nadu, one of the worst-hit states by the pandemic, 84% of all cases were linked to this source. The government also said that in 47 districts in 23 states, no cases have been reported in the last 14 days.
  3. Union Home Minister Amit Shah reviewed the situation with top officials in New Delhi and took stock of the supply of essential commodities. He also reviewed the working of a 24x7 control room set up to monitor the pandemic and coordinate with states and Union Territories.
  4. The Delhi government increased the number of containment zones in the city from 68 to 76. In Maharashtra, the worst-hit state, the number of coronavirus patients reached 3,648 after 328 new patients were found.
  5. The Centre changed FDI norms to prevent “opportunistic takeovers” of Indian firms by foreign entities. Firms which operate in countries bordering India will now have to take government permission before investing in India.
  6. The Jammu and Kashmir High Court directed all courts in the Union Territory to treat the cases of domestic abuse as urgent. In Delhi, the High Court sought responses of the Centre and the Delhi government on a petition seeking measures to safeguard victims of domestic violence and child abuse amidst the Covid-19 lockdown.
  7. At least 26 Indian Navy officials at the Western Naval Command in Mumbai have tested positive for Covid-19. This is the first confirmation of coronavirus cases in the naval force that came a day after the Indian Army said there were eight cases among its troops.
  8. Globally, the number of Covid-19 patients reached 22.73 lakh, including 1.56 lakh deaths, according to a tracker by Johns Hopkins University. The number of cases in the United States rose to 7.06 lakh. The number of deaths in Africa crossed 1,000.

8.08 pm: Gujarat’s toll rises to 53 after five more deaths, ANI reports.

8.06 pm: Kerala DGP Loknath Behera says odd-even scheme will be implemented in the state from April 20.

7.43 pm: Two more Covid-19 patients in Assam have recovered, taking the number of those who have been discharged to 11, says state Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

7.42 pm: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh announces Rs 50 lakh ex gratia compensation to the family of a senior police official in Ludhiana who died due to Covid-19.

7.27 pm: The number of containment zones in Delhi is now 76.

7.25 pm: Union Home Minister Amit Shah chairs a review meeting to take stock of the situation.

7 pm: The toll in the UK rises by 888 to 15,464.

6.19 pm: A 35-year-old man in Jharkhand is the state’s 33rd patient, PTI reports.

6.16 pm: In Delhi’s Jahangirpuri locality, 26 members of a family have tested positive for Covid-19, says Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

6.15 pm: One more case reported in Odisha, taking the total in the state to 61, the health department says.

6.14 pm: Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma says 82% of the 34 patients in Assam did not have symptoms.

6.12 pm: Uttar Pradesh reports 20 new coronavirus cases, taking the total to 869.

6.10 pm: Delhi has 71 containment zones so far, says Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. The number of Covid-19 cases in Delhi in the last three days has reduced, he says.

5.46 pm: The Centre has confirmed 957 new Covid-19 cases and 36 deaths in the last 24 hours.

5.45 pm: The total number of confirmed cases in India rises to 14,792, while the toll increases to 488. The number of patients who have recovered is now 2,014.

5.40 pm: The latest report from the Karnataka government says 25 new patients have been confirmed in the last 24 hours, taking the tally to 384. This includes 14 deaths.

5.38 pm: The number of active cases in West Bengal is 178 and the toll is 12, ANI reports.

5.38 pm: The Maharashtra government exempts the print media from the lockdown from April 20, but door-to-door delivery of newspapers and magazines will remain prohibited, ANI reports.

5.36 pm: Spain’s toll reaches 20,000, while the total number of cases rises to 1.9 lakh, AP reports.

5.35 pm: The Maharashtra government will pay Rs 2,000 each to over 12 lakh registered construction workers in the state who have lost their livelihoods, PTI reports.

5.34 pm: Iran reports 73 new deaths from the coronavirus, raising the official toll to 5,031, AFP reports.

4.37 pm: Air India opens its bookings for select domestic flights for travel from May 4, and for international flights for travel from June 1.

4.21 pm: Dr R Gangakhedkar of Indian Council of Medical Research says around 10% of the health workers who took hydroxychloroquine in India experienced abdominal pain and 6% experienced nausea as side-effects.

4.17 pm: The Centre explains the use of the rapid antibody test during its press conference:

4.11 pm: About 29.8% – 4,291 out of 14,378 – of all cases in India were linked to a single source, the Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi, Agarwal says. Such cases were found across 23 states and Union Territories, primarily in:

  • Tamil Nadu (84% of all cases were linked to the single source),
  • Delhi (63%),
  • Telangana (79%),
  • Uttar Pradesh (59%),
  • Andhra Pradesh (61%).

4.09 pm: India has had 3.3% mortality rate so far, Agarwal says. Here is the age-wise distribution of patients who have died:

  • zero to 45 years of age: 14.4% of all deaths
  • 45 to 60 years: 10.3%
  • 60 to 75 years: 33.1%
  • 75+ years: 42.2%

He says 83% of the patients who died had comorbid conditions.

4.05 pm: Joint Health Secretary Lav Agarwal says 47 districts across 23 states have not reported any positive cases in the last 14 days despite having cases earlier.

4.02 pm: Twenty complaint centres have been set up across the country for labourers by the labour and employment ministry, the Centre says in its press conference.


3.59 pm: Senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily says the government’s economic relief is like “peanuts” for the kind of economic devastation the country faces, PTI reports. He says the package should have been worth at least 9% of the GDP.

3.33 pm: The All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi has announced tele-consultancy for non-coronavirus patients who are undergoing treatment at the hospital, PTI reports. The patients can register online and seek medical advice on phone from April 20, the hospital says.

3.14 pm: Maharashtra government will provide an assistance of Rs 2,000 each to 12 lakh registered construction workers through direct benefit transfer, ANI quotes state Labour Minister Dilip Walse Patil as saying.

3 pm: Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala says the Centre and the Haryana government are appeasing e-commerce companies at the cost of seven crore shopkeepers in the country. He makes the allegation after the government has allowed e-commerce services after April 20 in non-hotspot areas.

2 pm: The total number of Covid-19 cases in Haryana is 227, including 137 active cases and two deaths, ANI reports.

1.51 pm: Buses with students from Rajasthan return to Uttar Pradesh, reports NDTV. All evacuees will be screened.

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1.39 pm: Singapore reports 942 new cases in biggest daily jump, reports Reuters. With this, the total count reaches 5,992.

1.38 pm: The Delhi government asks officials to move all non-coronavirus patients from dedicated hospitals to other facilities by Sunday, reports PTI.

1.37 pm: A 17-year-old boy test positive in Maharashtra’s Amravati city, reports PTI. The patient is the son of an autorickshaw driver who had tested negative for coronavirus after his death, says collector Shailesh Naval. Noorani Square, where the boy lives, has been sealed and sanitised. Authorities are now tracking down people who had come in contact with the patient. With this, the total number of cases in the district is now six.

1 pm: Walmart Inc, Walmart Foundation and Flipkart have said they will support India’s coronavirus response by donating personal protective equipment for healthcare professionals and providing financial aid to farmers and small businesses, reports PTI.

“The companies will focus on providing PPE, such as N95 masks and medical gowns, for distribution by non-government organisations to public healthcare workers,” a statement says. “Walmart and Flipkart have already secured 30,00,00 N95 masks and one million medical gowns, and they will continue to leverage their global supply chains to source these critical necessities for medical workers.”

12.27 pm: Jain says rapid testing kits will be used in containment zones in Delhi from Sunday.

12.26 pm: There are 1,767 Covid-19 positive cases in Delhi, out of which 67 were reported yesterday, says Health Minister Satyendar Jain. There have been 42 deaths in the national capital, 911 patients are admitted at hospitals, of which 27 are in ICUs and 6 are on ventilators.

12.24 pm: PM Narendra Modi lauds Income Tax relief to small businesses. “The world is fighting Covid-19 together,” he tweets.

12.22 pm: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath has asked the state officials to resolve the problems of labourers amid lockdown, reports Hindustan Times.

12.09 pm: In Madhya Pradesh, the total number of patients rises to 1,355, reports ANI citing the state health department. The toll in the state is 69.

12.08 pm: 12 more cases in Karnataka since from 5 pm on Friday till Saturday noon. The state’s total count now stands at 371, including 13 deaths. “Of the 12 new cases, 11 have contact history and one has a history of Severe Acute Respiratory Infections (SARI),” says the state government, according to ANI.

12.07 pm: The total number of coronavirus cases in Mumbai’s Dharavi slum neighbourhood reached 101 on Friday after 15 new patients were found, reports PTI. There have been at least 10 deaths reported from the area so far.

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Covid-19 cases in Dharavi surges beyond 100-mark after 15 new infections found

12.04 pm: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announces a Rs 100-crore package to generate wage-based employment for around 4.5 lakh urban poor families, reports PTI. The scheme will be effective from this April to September.

12.01 pm: Kerala Health Minister KK Shylaja says the 85-year-old man who died after initially testing positive for coronavirus, and later negative, did not die due to Covid-19. He had age-related issues and heart diseases, she adds. His body will be handed over to relatives and not Covid-19 protocol, but general guidelines will be followed in his funeral, says Shylaja.

11.58 am: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma says the state’s tally has reached 10 after two more people tested positive. “Both cases are from the house of the first patient, one is family and other a helper in the house,” he tweets.

11.41 am: In Maharashtra’s Aurangabad district, a 65-year-old patient dies at the Government Medical College and Hospital today morning, reports PTI. This is the third coronavirus-related death in the district.

11.38 am: Meeting of Group of Ministers over Covid-19 is underway at Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s residence.

11.34 am: The World Health Organization on Friday said that several nations may follow China in increasing their tolls once the crisis brought on by coronavirus is under control. China’s Wuhan city, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, on Friday abruptly raised its toll from the pandemic by 50%, from 2,579 to 3,869. The country admitted that many cases were “mistakenly reported” or missed entirely.

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Covid-19: After China abruptly raises Wuhan toll, WHO says ‘all countries will face this’

11.30 am: A 42-year-old police constable and his wife have test positive in Pune, confirms Joint Commissioner of Police (Pune City) Ravindra Shisve.

10.55 am: There are 176 new cases in Gujarat, taking the state’s total count to 1,272.

10.54 am: The toll in Gujarat rises to 48 after 7 more patients died since 6 pm on Friday, says the state health department, according to ANI.

10.50 am: 31 new cases in the last 24 hours in Andhra Pradesh, says Nodal Officer Arja Srikanth. The total number of positive cases in the state now stands at 603, including 42 discharged and 15 deaths.

10.47 am: China’s imported cases increases to 1,566 with 27 fresh infections, say health officials.

10.20 am: Of the 1,062 samples tested on Friday in Lucknow, 98 are positive, reports ANI.

10.14 am: Four new cases in Nagpur today, says the municipal corporation.

9.52 am: The higher education department in Punjab has issued a show-cause notice to Lovely Professional University in Jalandhar for not shutting down completely and thus endangering the lives of about 3200 people, reports ANI.

9.49 am: The Gujarat government will carry out plasma transfusion treatment on critical patients to boost their immunity, Principal Secretary (Health) Jayanti Ravi tells PTI. “From Gujarat, Ahmedabad civil hospital and SVP Hospital have sought ICMR’s permission to start this treatment for coronavirus patients,” she adds. “Both the hospitals are ready to start it. They have already sent their proposals for approval.”

9.45 am: IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva warns the world economy is now bound to suffer a “severe recession” in 2020.

9.38 am: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres salutes countries, including India, helping others in the global fight against the pandemic, reports PTI.

9.35 am: Rajasthan reports 41 more cases and two deaths. With this, the total number of positive cases in the state rises to 1,270 while toll reaches 19.

9.26 am: 50 more people tested positive in Indore on Friday night, PTI reports citing health officials. With this, the number of cases in Madhya Pradesh is now 1,360. So far, 69 persons have died due to the infection in the state.

9.17 am: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi says the coronavirus pandemic is a huge challenge but is also an an opportunity.

9.15 am: The United Kingdom has set up a taskforce to find a coronavirus vaccine, reports The Guardian. The country on Friday reported 847 fresh death. The total toll in the country is 14,576.

9.05 am: Domestic production of testing kits in India has been delayed primarily because of regulatory complexity.

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8.54 am: Kalaburagi Deputy Commissioner Sharat B has ordered that student hostels at Gulbarga University and Central University of Karnataka be temporarily converted into quarantine centres, reports ANI.

8.50 am: Here’s the break-up of the cases reported in India so far

8.46 am: India’s tally has gone upto 14,378 as of Saturday morning, says the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Of these, 11,906 people are being treated while 480 have died. As many as 1,991 people have recovered so far.

8.43 am: US President Donald Trump supports protestors who have been demonstrating against stay-at-home orders. “LIBERATE MINNESOTA!” Trump tweeted on Friday. “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” In another tweet, he says: “LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!”

8.40 am: The Navy adds that action has been taken as per the established protocol. The in-living block has been put under quarantine and INS Angre is under lockdown. “No cases of infection onboard ships & submarines,” it adds.

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Coronavirus: At least 21 Indian Navy officials in Mumbai test positive, quarantined

8.39 am: The Indian Navy says 21 serving personnel tested positive within naval premises at Mumbai, reports ANI. “This number includes 20 sailors of INS Angre, a shore establishment at Mumbai,” it adds. “Most of these are asymptomatic & have been traced to a single sailor who was tested positive on April 7.”

7.50 am: People gather at Delhi’s Ghazipur fruit and vegetable market.

7.45 am: A case has been registered on Friday against a bride, groom and their relatives for flouting lockdown rules in Chikhli town in Gujarat, reports ANI.

7.40 am: Around 20 navy officials have tested positive for the coronavirus at a naval base in Mumbai, reports ANI. The first officer tested positive on April 7 at the INS Angre base. “All other persons who came in contact with these affected personnel have also been tested,” reports ANI, citing unidentified Navy officials.

7.35 am: The United States has said it will help Pakistan fight coronavirus with financial aid of over $8 million. “Together we can stop the spread of this deadly disease to protect our loved ones and regain our prosperity and freedom,” says US envoy Paul Jones in a video message.

7.30 am: India Post will deliver essential items, such as medicines and medical equipment. It will also provide pension and social security benefits through the Aadhar-enabled payment system. “We are making cash available to the needy in villages and remote areas through our Aadhaar-enabled payment where we deliver cash to pensioners and other social security beneficiaries at their doorstep,” Ajay Kumar Roy, the deputy director-general of mail operations, tells ANI.

Here are the top updates from Friday:

  • India’s coronavirus cases went up to 13,835 with 452 deaths on Friday evening, according to the health ministry. Out of the total number of cases, 11,616 patients are being treated, 1,747 have recovered, and one person has left the country. Gujarat became the sixth state to cross the 1,000-mark in coronavirus cases with 1,021 patients.
  • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that the rate of doubling of coronavirus cases in the country has reduced from three days before the lockdown to 6.2 days. The health ministry said there had been a 40% decline in the growth factor of Covid-19 cases.
  • The Reserve Bank of India cut its reverse repo rate by 25 basis points from 4% to 3.75%, in a bid to push banks to deploy excess funds within the system toward lending and help revive growth amid the pandemic. Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised RBI for the measures, and said they will enhance liquidity and improve credit supply, thus helping small businesses.
  • The Centre made new additions to the list of activities that will be allowed from April 20 amid the nationwide lockdown in parts of the country that are least affected by the pandemic.  
  • China’s Wuhan city, said to be the epicentre of the outbreak, abruptly raised its toll from the pandemic by 50%, from 2,579 to 3,869. The country admitted that many cases were “mistakenly reported” or missed entirely. Meanwhile, the Chinese economy shrank by 6.8% in the first quarter of 2020-’21 as the pandemic ravaged parts of the country in January and February.