NEW DELHI: Nearly 90 more coronavirus positive cases were reported in India taking the total number of cases to 606 on Wednesday while the number of deaths was 10, according to health ministry data. The number of active COVID-19 cases stood at 553 while 43 people have been cured, discharged or migrated.
Here is a look at the latest updates oncoronavirus in India and around the world —
More than 3 billion told to stay home worldwide
More than three billion people have been asked to stay home in almost 70 countries and territories as governments battle the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe, according to an AFP tally.
Most of the countries concerned, including India, Argentina, Britain, France and Italy as well as many US states, have imposed mandatory lockdown measures. Others have introduced curfews, quarantines and other social distancing recommendations.
MHA issues fresh guidelines on lockdown exemption
The home ministry has issued fresh guidelines covering additional people and services who will be exempted from the 21-day lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In the new guidelines, the ministry said Reserve Bank of India and RBI-regulated financial markets, pay and accounts officers and field officers of the CAG, petroleum products and supply chain and forest staff are exempted from the purview of the lockdown.
Those people handling cargo operations in airports and railway stations, coal mining activities, officers and staff of resident commissioners based in Delhi and customs clearance at ports, airports and land borders are also exempted.
Saudi king to chair G20 video summit on coronavirus on March 26
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will chair an emergency virtual summit of G20 leaders, including PM Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump, on Thursday to advance the coordinated response to the novel coronavirus pandemic that has claimed nearly 19,000 lives and upended life and businesses across the globe.
Saudi Arabia, which currently holds the G20 presidency, last week called for the “virtual summit” following criticism that the powerful group of major economies had been slow to address the global crisis.
Leaders from G20 nations will be joined by representatives from the coronavirus-affected countries like Italy, Spain, Jordan, Singapore, and Switzerland.
Govt sets up emergency control room to monitor production, supply of medical textiles
The textiles ministry has set up an emergency control room to monitor the production and supply of medical textiles including N-95 masks, body coveralls and meltblown fabric.
The move comes amid the coronavirus outbreak which has led to a sharp spike in the demand for these products.
The emergency control office will work under the supervision of P K Kataria, special secretary. Three field level officers have also been appointed to take stock of the situation from the ground level.
Pakistan suspends domestic flights
Pakistan has suspended all domestic flight operations until April 2 to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus after the country reported over 1,000 cases and seven deaths from the COVID-19 infection, authorities said on Wednesday.
The nationwide tally of COVID-19 patients touched 1,037.
Number of COVID-19 cases soars to 606
According to the latest Union health ministry data released in the evening, the total number of COVID-19 cases so far in the country has crossed 600, which includes 10 deaths. The total number of active cases is 553. The ministry said 43 have been cured/discharged/migrated cases.
Union health minister Harsh Vardhan also chaired a GoM meeting to assess the situation in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
Set up control room, helpline number to ensure availability of essential goods: Centre to states
The Centre has asked state governments to set up a round the clock control room with a helpline number at its headquarters and in each of its districts to ensure seamless availability of essential commodities during the 21-day lockdown enforced to combat the coronavirus outbreak.
The Union home ministry’s letter to chief secretaries of all states came in the wake of reports that those involved in distribution and delivery of essential commodities and services were facing difficulties due to the restriction of movement of people and police vigilance.
Mahabharata war lasted 18 days, this war against coronavirus will take 21 days: PM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said he was very pained by the misbehaviour of some people against doctors, airlines crew and staff of essential services who are at the forefront of combating coronavirus.
He also asserted that the deadly virus does not differentiate between the rich and the poor. He asked people to be at home and practice social distancing.
Addressing people of his parliamentary constituency of Varanasi via video, he said the Mahabharata war was won in 18 days but this war against coronavirus will take 21 days.
Shops selling essentials, medicines will remain open throughout 21-day lockdown: Govt
Union minister Prakash Javadekar has said there was no need for people to panic as shops selling essentials and medicines will remain open throughout the 21-day lockdown imposed to combat the coronavirus outbreak.
He also said there were sufficient legal provisions available to deal with black marketeers and hoarders.
He was referring to the lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Iran coronavirus death toll tops 2,000
Iran announced 143 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, raising the official death toll to 2,077 in one of the world’s worst-hit countries.
Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said “our colleagues have registered 2,206 new cases of COVID-19 infection” in the past 24 hours, bringing total infections to 27,017.
Class 1-9 students will be promoted in Tamil Nadu: CM
All students from first to ninth standard in Tamil Nadu will be promoted considering the closure of schools to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, chief minister K Palaniswami said on Wednesday.
Considering the welfare of students, who could not sit for their annual examinations due to closure of schools, Palaniswami said he ordered the School Education Department to announce promotion of all students from first to ninth standard.
For plus-two students who could not sit for write exam on March 24, exams will be separately held and a date notified later, he said.
Armed forces to work beyond mandate to support nation in battling COVID-19: Gen Bipin Rawat
Coordinating efforts of the military in controlling COVID-19 spread, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat has said that at this juncture, the uniformed force needs to extend all type of assistance ranging from creating quarantine infrastructure to providing specialist care to help the nation combat Coronavirus.
“Uniformed forces are expected to support the government and provide every type of assistance from developing infrastructure for isolation and quarantine to preparing speciality medical care centres for those who need immediate care,” the CDS said.
People scramble for supplies on first day of lockdown in India
The country’s crowded grocery stores and chemists on Wednesday in a struggle for essential items after PM Modi ordered a total lockdown for three weeks to fight a coronavirus pandemic, one of the toughest such measures worldwide. As states shut their borders, long queues of trucks carrying milk, fruits and vegetables snaked down highways.
There will be no shortage of essential services: Kejriwal
There is no need to panic. After PM Modi’s speech yesterday people started lining up at shops for essential services. I again appeal to people to not do panic buying, I assure everyone that there will be no shortage of essential services. We will issues passes for those providing essential services, E-passes will be provided to those who need to open their shops and factories for these services: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal
Cloud of uncertainity over annual Haj ritual
Clouds of uncertainty hovering over Haj 2020. Saudis tell other countries not to make new commitments like booking hotels and airlines as it is not certain if Haj will be conducted this year. India has a quota of 2 lakh Haj pilgrims. Saudi Arabia is also fighting Coronavirus and has suspended Umrah or the smaller pilgrimage.
Negotiators reach agreement on massive US coronavirus response bill worth $2 trillion: Trump aide
US senators and Trump administration officials have reached an agreement on a massive economic stimulus bill to alleviate the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “We have a deal,” a government official told reporters after days of negotiations on a stimulus package expected to be worth $2 trillion.
ICMR: Isolation may cut peak coronavirus numbers by 89%
Strictly implemented social distancing measures such as home quarantine can reduce the overall expected number of cases by 62% and peak number of cases by 89%, thus “flattening” the curve and providing more opportunities for interventions, a mathematical modelling done by the Indian Council of Medical Research shows.
277 passengers arrive from Middle East to India via Air India flights
As many as 277 passengers, including 273 pilgrims and four non-pilgrims, arrived early morning at Jodhpur Airport. They were airlifted from Middle East. Among them 149 women and 128 men also five children and one infant arrived at army wellness facility station. They travelled by two Air India aircraft.
Ensure unhindered movement of essential goods/services: Centre to states
Home ministry asked the states to set up helplines for those engaged in essential services and to ensure unhindered movement of essential goods/services.
“While it is imperative to successfully implement the notified lockdown/restrictions. It is also necessary to ensure the unhindered operation of manufacturing, processing, transportation, distribution, storage, trade/ecommerce and logistics related to all service/establishments and commodities requires for the delivery of essential services,” a government statement read.
Take action against landlords forcing doctors/paramedics to vacate: Govt of Delhi
The government of Delhi has ordered the state administration to ensure strict action is taken against landlords who are forcing doctors/paramedical staff/ healthcare personnel to vacate their rented accomodation due to the unfounded fear of spread of coronavirus.
‘Act like you have Covid-19’: PM Ardern says as New Zealand heads into lockdown
PM Jacinda Ardern told New Zealanders on Wednesday to behave as if they had the coronavirus and cut all physical contact outside their household when the country heads into a one-month lockdown at midnight. Ardern declared a national state of emergency as the number of cases surged by a record 50 cases to take the national tally to 205.
Flipkart says it is temporarily suspending services
Flipkart has suspended services as India began a 21-day lockdown to fight the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier, Amazon’s India unit on Tuesday said it will halt orders for non-essential products in the country to prioritise customers’ critical needs.
Italy records 743 virus deaths, surging to break two-day trend
Italy reported a sharp rise in its coronavirus death toll on Tuesday, with 743 more victims, breaking a two-day trend that had fuelled hopes the epidemic may be on the wane. The daily toll was the second highest recorded in Italy since the crisis began, but the civil protection agency said that while the number of new cases was up on Monday’s figure, the infection rate was slowing.
Suspension of railway services to be extended till April 14
The Indian Railways has said that its suspension of all passenger services will continue till April 14. However, freight movement will continue to carry essential commodities across the country. The railways on Sunday had announced suspension of all its passenger services from March 22 midnight to March 31
Govt bans export of sanitisers, all types of ventilators
The government on Tuesday banned export of all sanitisers and ventilators with immediate effect in wake of the coronavirus outbreak. It also banned exports of all types of ventilators, including any artificial respiratory apparatus or oxygen therapy apparatus or any other breathing appliance or device.
22 private lab chains registered with ICMR for coronavirus tests
At least 22 private laboratory chains having around 15,500 collection centres spread all over the country have been registered with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) till Tuesday for conducting COVID-19 tests. Besides, 118 government laboratories have been included in the ICMR network of COVID-19 testing. The network has a capacity to test 12,000 samples daily.
Centre asks states to identify, earmark hospitals to deal with COVID-19 cases
The Centre has asked state governments to immediately identify and earmark hospitals to deal with the coronavirus outbreak. The Union government also said it is absolutely essential that surveillance and contact tracing of all positive cases is taken up and no suspected or high risk person is left out.
India has tremendous capacity in eradicating coronavirus pandemic: WHO
India, which led the world in eradicating two silent killers – smallpox and polio – has a tremendous capacity in eradicating the deadly coronoavirus pandemic that has now claimed nearly 15,000 lives and infected over three lakh others globally, according to a top WHO official.
“India led the world in eradicating two silent killers and eliminating them from the country,” he said during a press conference in Geneva on Monday on the COVIVD-19 pandemic.
Coronavirus outbreak: Complete coverage
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69 drugs identified to test against coronavirus
As many as 69 drugs and experimental compounds may be effective in treating the coronavirus. Some of the medications are already used to treat other diseases, and repurposing them to treat Covid-19 may be faster than trying to invent a new antiviral from scratch.
Ban imposed on flying of domestic commercial flights
Domestic commercial flights will stop flying from 11.59 pm on Tuesday till the same time on March 31. The Centre took this decision amid an increasing number of states announcing lockdowns and curfews that make commuting between cities and airports difficult for everyone — passengers, airline crew and all other stakeholders required to make air travel possible.
Scheduled international flights had been suspended on Sunday (March 22) for a week. When flights resume depends largely on how the pandemic unfolds.
In Video:Covid-19 crisis: All essential services will be provided, assures PM Modi
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