Novel coronavirus cases in India rose to 283 on Saturday after 35 fresh cases were reported in various parts of the country, the Health Ministry said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for a "janata (public) curfew" on Sunday; the curfew will be in force from 7 am to 9 pm.
The state governments have temporarily closed schools, colleges, shopping malls, cinemas, gyms and swimming pools to practice social distancing. This morning a 24-hour curfew was announced in Meghalaya's Shillong. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath asked everyone to follow Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "Janata Curfew" on March 22.
The coronavirus outbreak, which has killed over 8,000 people around the world and infected over 2.5 lakh others, is believed to have originated in China's Wuhan in December last year.
Here are the Highlights on Coronavirus cases in India:
Krupal Tumane, Shiv Sena MP from Maharashtra's Ramtek, has self-quarantined himself as he sat beside BJP MP Dushyant Singh in Parliamentary Committee meeting.
On Friday, former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje went in self-isolation along with her son Dushyant after singer Kanika Kapoor, whom they had met in Lucknow, was found to be positive for COVID-19.
Two BJP Members of Parliament from Uttar Pradesh went into self-quarantine after party MP Dushyant Singh said he was self-isolating themselves as they had attended a party last week with singer Kanika Kapoor who has tested positive for COVID-19.
BJP MPs Ravindra Shyamnarayan alias Ravi Kishan from Gorakhpur parliamentary constituency and Kamlesh Paswan from Bansgaon constituency who came in contact with Mr Singh, MP from Rajasthan, during a breakfast hosted by President Ram Nath Kovind on March 13 said they have gone into self-isolation.
The Rajasthan government has ordered lockdown of the state till March 31 as COVID-19 cases rise across the country. In a statement, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said all public transport has been stopped and malls and shops will remain shut. Essential services will remain operational, he said.
Assam government confirms that a four-year-old child has tested Coronavirus positive.
The government has has send the child, its family members for one more confirmation test at a hospital in Dibrugarh.
For the second consecutive day, Kerala reported 12 more fresh cases of coronavirus taking the tally in the State to 49, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Saturday, even as he ruled out the possibility of community spread.
The world's largest diamond cutting and polishing hub, Surat in Gujarat, will shut down for a week from Tuesday due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council and Surat Diamond Association said in a joint statement on Saturday.
PM Narendra Modi on Saturday appealed people to avoid unnecessary travels and follow the instructions of the of local authorities to avoid spreading of the coronavirus.
PM Modi, in a series of tweets ahead of the Janata Curfew on Sunday, said crowding of public places like railway station and bus stands will increase the risk of spreading virus.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday sought the intervention of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to ensure the safe return of the Indian students stranded in Malaysia, the worst coronavirus-hit the country in South Asia.
In his letter addressed to Mr Jaishanker, CM P Vijayan requested the External Affairs Minister to pay ''immediate attention'' to the plight of about 250 Indian students who are unable to return home from Kuala Lumpur due to the cancellation of international flights to India.
"Dear Dr. Jaishankar ji, I would like to draw your immediate attention to the plight of the Indian students who are stranded in Kuala Lumpur. They are stranded at the airport because of the cancellation of flights to India. It has been reported that about 250 students in Kuala Lumpur are unable to return home," the letter read.
A total of 111 labs for testing coronavirus across the country will be functional from today, said Lav Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry, on Saturday.
"Dr Balram Bhargava, Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research, has said that 111 labs for COVID19 diagnosis will be functional by today evening," said Mr Aggarwal in Delhi.
A day before the nationwide ''Janata curfew'', the Odisha government announced on Saturday a "near total" shutdown in five districts and eight other prominent towns for a week to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
It will come into effect from Sunday morning, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said in a video message.
The districts that will observe near-total lockdown are Khurda, Ganjam, Cuttack, Kendrapara and Angul, while the towns include Puri, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Balasore, Rourkela, Bhadrak, Jajpur Road and Jajpur, Mr Patnaik said.
A woman who had earlier tested positive for coronavirus in Maharashtra's Aurangabad district has now tested negative for the infection following treatment, an official said.
The woman, with travel history to Russia and Kazakhstan, had tested positive for the virus on March 13, district health officer Dr Sundar Kulkarni told PTI.
An Air India special flight for Rome, to bring back Indian nationals including students stranded in the European country amid the coronavirus outbreak, has been delayed by one and half hours.
The special flight was scheduled to depart at 14:20 hours.
However, the commander of the aircraft detected glitches in power transfer in aircraft on last minute of take-off, sources in the aviation ministry said told news agency Press Trust Of India.
"Air India Boeing, B-777 was scheduled to depart for Rome to bring back Indians today on 14:20 hours and now the special flight was rescheduled for 16:00 hours. Air India engineering team is underway to replace the equipment at Delhi airport," the sources added.
Two Passengers Returning From Dubai and Having Mark Of Quarantine Detrained From 12935 (Bandra Terminus -Surat) Intercity Express at Virar on 21st March, 2020,vas under -
1) Ms Hiral Patel, resident of Bhavnagar , having UTS Ticket Travelling between Borivali-Vadodara.
2)Mr Mohammad Shami Resident of Pratapgarh (UP), travelling between Borivali to Surat.
Two more passengers who came from Dubai and whose hands were stamped with the quarantine mark were offloaded from a train in Mumbai. They were found travelling in the Bandra Terminus-Surat Intercity Express.
The West Bengal government has ordered all restaurants, bars, pubs, nightclubs, amusement parks, museums and zoos to remain shut till March 31 as a precautionary measure in wake of the coronavirus pandemic, a senior official said.
The directive also applies to massage parlours and hookah bars, the official said, adding that strict action would be taken in case of any violation.
"In order to further check non-essential social gatherings which lead to spread of the virus from infected persons to healthy persons we have ordered the shutdown," the official said.
A total of 215 evacuees who were brought to New Delhi's ITBP Chhawla Quarantine Facility from Italy on March 15, have tested negative for the novel coronavirus, an official said on Saturday.
The group comprises 151 males and 64 females and most of them are students studying in Italy.
The evacuees did not show any COVID-19 symptoms for seven days.
The expected quarantine period is of 14 days.
"The second and final sampling will be done on the 14th day of the quarantine period and if that also results as negative, then all these 215 persons will be released from the Centre," said the official of the facilty.
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) chief MK Stalin today distributed soaps, hand sanitizers and face masks kits to the media personnel and staff at the State Assembly in Chennai.
Mr Stalin had on Tuesday urged anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protesters in Chennai to withdraw their protest in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
At least three cases have been reported so far in the state of Tamil Nadu.
The Coimbatore district collector on March 20 had announced that the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border in Coimbatore will be closed until further orders in the wake of the coronavirus scare. (ANI)
The Indian embassy in France has issued an advisory for its nationals who wish to travel back home before India's week-long ban, imposed to contain the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus, on international commercial flights comes into force on March 22.
The Indian embassies in several other countries also issued advisories and started emergency helplines for the distressed Indians, assuring them all possible help.
The embassies among others included from Canada, Greece, Finland and Estonia, Israel, Japan, Vietnam, Bulgaria and North Macedonia, Russia, Cuba, Brazil and Switzerland.
The Indian embassies in several countries, including Russia, Brazil, Cuba, Bulgaria and North Macedonia, Finland and Estonia, Japan, Vietnam and Mongolia started emergency helplines for distressed Indians.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, India on Thursday announced it will not allow any international commercial passenger aircraft to land from March 22 to March 29.
The novel coronavirus cases in India rose to 258 today after 35 fresh infections were reported from various parts of the country.
According to the Johns Hopkins coronavirus tracker, the death count from the virus globally has risen to 11,397 with more than 275,427 cases reported in over 160 countries and territories.
With six new coronavirus positive cases being reported in Gujarat today, the number of infected persons in the state has gone up to 13,
Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said.
These patients are being treated in hospitals at Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Rajkot, Mr Patel said.
"Thirteen positive cases of coronavirus have been reported in Gujarat so far. Of them, twelve have history of travel abroad," he said.
A man from Gandhinagar, who had recently visited a foreign country, tested positive for coronavirus, and is beingtreated at an isolation ward in a hospital in Ahmedabad, he said.
A 52-year-old man with travel history to Sri Lanka had tested positive in Vadodara earlier in the day.
Six fresh cases of the coronavirus have surfaced in Rajasthan, taking the total in the state to 23 so far, officials said today.
Reports of 42 suspected cases are awaited, they said.
Among the six, five are staff members of a private hospital, where a doctor tested positive for COVID-19, Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Rohit Kumar Singh said.
He said that another positive case is from Jaipur, thus taking the total number of positive cases to 23 in the state. Out of the 23, three patients, including an Italian tourist couple, have recovered.
While the threat of coronavirus looms large, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister's Camp office, which runs at the Guru Gorakhnath temple premises in Gorakhpur, is directing petitioners to put their applications in a dropbox.
"The camp is ongoing but we are stopping people at the main gate and asking them to give their complaints and suggestions in the dropbox provided at the gate. This is being done to take measures against coronavirus outbreak and ensure that it does not spread," Moti Lal Singh, an official at the camp office told ANI on Friday.
The visitors to the temple said that their applications were being taken at the gate itself. (ANI)
As the coronavirus cases in India is on the surge, many beaches across Chennai have been closed to limit the spread of coronavirus. Marina, Palavakkam, Thiruvanmiyur beaches closed from 3 pm today onwards till further instructions.
The Goa government today imposed section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC)across the state to prohibit large gatherings in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Speaking to reporters here, state Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said section 144 was imposed in the morning.
The state government has also issued an order banning inter-state transport, except for the supply of essential commodities, from Saturday night onwards, he said.
Private vehicles may be allowed to enter the state only after the passengers are thoroughly screened, he added. Goa shares borders with Maharashtra and Karnataka, where several people have tested positive for coronavirus infection.
Private events, including weddings, are also banned till further orders, the minister said.
The central government has asked industry chambers to issue advisories to their respective corporate members asking them to pay employees salary on time and prevent the spread of novel coronavirus from adding to the economic woes of workers.
In an office memorandum sent to all the three major industry chambers and CEOs and MDs of DMIC and Invest India, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has asked that advisories also need to be issued with regard to timely payment to MSME vendors and ensuring regular payment of wages to contract workers, while continuing to support their livelihood.
There is a concern that health emergency triggered by COVID-19 spread does not cause larger disruptions in the economic activity that sets the Indian economy into a long drawn depression.
Uber Technologies has suspended the option to book regular taxi services through its app in Saudi Arabia until further notice, a company statement said on Friday.
Saudi Arabia is in virtual lockdown and has suspended regular, accredited taxi services as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. It has reported 344 cases of the virus.
"As per the measures announced by the Ministry of Interior, we are suspending Uber Taxi in the Kingdom until further notice", an Uber spokesman told Reuters.
Uber's ride-hailing services, which are carried out by individual drivers using their personal vehicles, have not been affected. Food delivery services are also unaffected.
A public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in Delhi High Court today seeking immediate direction to Delhi government to provide face-masks, hand sanitizers to prisoners in all the jails in Delhi.
Delhi High Court has listed the public suit for hearing on March 24.
The PIL, filed by advocate Vikas Padora, also sought directions to spray disinfectants in the prison and quarantine all the jails in Delhi. It also seeks a direction for setting up isolation wards in the jail premises where the infected inmate or inmate having symptoms can be lodged safely.
"It is most respectfully submitted that recently central government declared face masks and hand sanitizers as essential commodities for next few months, but yet instead of providing face masks and sanitizers to the inmates, the inmates are made to manufacture their own face masks and sanitizers," the petition said.
It sought urgent measures to contain the spread of coronavirus and also demanded to allow entry of new prisoners in jail only after screening and conducting COVID-19 tests.
Taiwan reported 18 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, all imported from people coming from countries including the United States, Britain, South Africa and Indonesia or those having contact with them, bring the total number of infected to 153.
While Taiwan's initial efforts to control the spread of the virus have won praise at home and abroad, it is now facing an upsurge in cases from people bringing the virus with them to the island, as are some other countries in Asia.
Taiwan has reported two deaths, while 28 have been released from hospital. The rest are in stable condition, the government said in a statement.
Taiwan has tightened entry controls, banning all foreigners apart from those with residence permits from coming in, and mandating 14 days of home quarantine for all people arriving on the island.
Taiwan's Foreign Ministry said foreigners who entered before March 21 on a visitor visa, a landing visa, or through the visa-waiver scheme and who have not overstayed their original stay period will be given an automatic 30-day extension.
Alphabet Inc's Google said on Saturday it has launched a United States-focused website with information about coronavirus guidance and testing, as the country works on slowing the spread of the highly contagious virus.
The site, which consists of resources and links focused on the potentially deadly respiratory illness COVID-19, will be available in more languages and countries in coming days, Google said in a blog post.
Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai said in a blog post last Sunday that the search giant was partnering with the US government to create a website by March 16.
However, the launch was delayed as local and national guidance changed significantly from Sunday to Monday and the company had said it would roll out the website later in the week.
Strict restrictions on movement and assembly of people continued for the third consecutive day on Saturday in Kashmir to contain the spread of the new coronavirus that has infected one person in the valley, officials said.
They said adequate security forces have been deployed and barricades have been put up at several places in Srinagar. Only government and essential services employees with valid identity cards, media persons, and people with health emergency were allowed to move on streets, they added.
Police asked people to stay indoors and maintain social distancing through public address systems.
Most markets across the valley were shut, public transport was off roads and train services were suspended. Educational institutes and public places such as gymnasiums, parks, clubs and restaurants have been shut down.
The Bar Council of India (BCI) today extended support to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for "Janata Curfew" on March 22 and appealed people to support the cause.
The Prime Minister on Thursday urged citizens to follow the concept of "Janta Curfew" on March 22 from 7 am to 9 pm in order to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. He also said that no one apart from those involved with essential services is supposed to venture out of the home.
"We need to follow the path shown by our Prime Minister Modi ji during the addressal to the nation on March 19, 2020. He has appealed for social isolation and distancing. He has advised all of us not to step out of our homes unless it is unavoidable," said BCI Chairman, Manan Kumar Mishra.
"We have to prevent the spread of the infectious disease at all costs. By now, we all know we have to wash our hands with soap and sanitize our hands for a minimum 20 seconds before touching our face. Further, we have to wear masks for safety. The key is to break the chain/flow of the virus which has its own life span of a certain number of hours on various surfaces." (ANI)
Novel coronavirus cases in India rose to 258 today after 35 fresh cases were reported in various parts of the country, the Health Ministry said.
However, according to Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) 271 individuals have been confirmed positive among suspected cases and contacts of known positive cases.
A total of 15,701 samples from 14,811 individuals have been tested for SARS-CoV2 as on March 21 10 am, it said.
Among the Health Ministry's 258 figure are 39 foreign nationals, including 17 from Italy, three from the Philippines, two from the UK, one each belonging to Canada, Indonesia and Singapore.
The total figure includes four deaths reported from Delhi, Karnataka, Punjab and Maharashtra.
Japan has recorded 1,016 cases of domestically transmitted cases of coronavirus as of Saturday, according to public broadcaster NHK, hitting a new milestone as the nation grapples with pressure to avoid a health crisis ahead of Tokyo Olympics.
The tally rises to 1,728 if 712 cases of infections from a cruise ship moored near Tokyo last month are included, according to NHK.
Although the number of cases is still on the rise, Japan has started scaling back some measures to fight the spread of the virus.
On Friday, Japan said it would not extend its request to close schools, setting the stage for classes to resume at the start of the academic year in April. (Reuters)
Colombia will enter a nationwide quarantine from Tuesday night, President Ivan Duque said late on Friday, the most drastic measure implemented so far by the South American country as it seeks to prevent the spread of the fast-moving coronavirus.
The quarantine in the country, which has 158 confirmed cases of the virus, will last for 19 days. It has not reported any deaths.
Duque said the action, which will include strict restrictions on citizens' movements outside the home, was necessary to fight the disease.
"In the coming weeks we have the opportunity to collectively take away the virus' speed," Duque said.
Colombia's government has already said it will block incoming international flights from Monday and ordered people aged 70 and over to stay inside until the end of May. It has also closed land and water borders along with schools and bars. (Reuters)
Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered California's 40 million residents to stay at home. That's a big problem for the state's estimated 108,000 homeless who live on the streets.
Officials are bracing for the coronavirus to have an outsized impact on the homeless who often live without access to proper sanitation and sometimes suffer underlying illnesses.
More than 60,000 homeless people could become ill with the coronavirus in California over the next two months, badly straining the healthcare system, Newsom said on Wednesday. (Reuters)
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath told at a press conference that there have been 23 positive coronavirus cases in the state. Out of these total cases, nine people have been recovered. He also said that there are sufficient isolation ward in the state.
Yogi Adityanath asked everyone to follow Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "Janata Curfew" on March 22. He said, "All metro rail, state and city bus services in the state to remain closed tomorrow."
Over 800 people have been kept under home quarantine in Maharashtra's Aurangabad district, amid the coronavirus outbreak, a senior official said today.
A major chunk of these are students of a local college, where one of the lecturers tested positive for Covid-19 last week, she said.
"Although only one positive case of coronavirus was recorded in Aurangabad, the number of people quarantined has exceeded 800," Aurangabad Municipal Corporation Health Officer Dr Neeta Padalkar.
As many as 849 people have been put on 14-day mandatory quarantine till March 19 and of these, 58 are Indians with travel history abroad and 17 are foreign nationals, she added. (PTI)
The (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) AIIMS on Friday announced that only emergency life-saving surgeries be taken up in various operation theatres from March 21 in view of the novel coronavirus outbreak.
"The services of AIIMS, New Delhi needs to be curtailed in response to the heightened need for diversion of infrastructure, manpower and material resources for prevention and control of COVID-19 outbreak," according to a circular issues by the AIIMS.
As per the circular, the AIIMS director held a meeting to discuss measures for the impending COVID-19 pandemic, following which the decision was taken.
Amid rising cases of coronavirus in Delhi, the AIIMS administration is also urging OPD (Outpatient Department ) patients to postpone their appointments at the hospital if it is not urgent.
"It was decided that an advisory would be sent to OPD patients on their registered phone numbers through SMS to the following effect."
"In view of the increasing threat of corona infection, you are requested to postpone your appointments at AIIMS if it is not urgent in nature.
This is for your safety and good health," the order said.
The messages are being sent to all appointments booked for the next one month. (PTI)
In order to help contain the spread of coronavirus, Noida Police on Friday ordered the closure of all malls, spa-centres in the region, informed Rannvijay Singh, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP).
The police has also imposed section 144 in the region, the official informed. Only chemist shops, general stores, vegetable and fruits shops are allowed to function.
All the major markets of the area would remain closed till April 2.
The total number of COVID-19 cases in India has now crosses up to 200, including 32 foreigners, the Union Health Ministry said on Friday. (ANI)
Woman with recent travel history to Scotland tests positive for coronavirus in West Bengal; third confirmed case in state, officials said.
Sankat Mochan Hanuman temple will remain closed for devotees from Saturday till March 25 in view of the coronavirus pandemic.
"The temple is closed for the devotees till March 25, however, the "bhog-arti" and prayers would continue as usual. Further decisions would be taken after consultation with district administration," Vishwambhar Nath Mishra, Mahant, Sankat Mochan temple.
Meanwhile, Kashi Vishwanath Temple will also remain closed for devotees from March 21 till March 24. However, routine prayers by priests would continue.
"Kashi Vishwanath Temple to remain closed for devotees from tomorrow till March 24, in the wake of Coronavirus outbreak. However, routine prayers by priests would continue," said Kaushal Raj Sharma, Varanasi District Magistrate.
A Delhi bound flight from Amsterdam which took off on March 20 without an approved flight plan was forced to return to Amsterdam after civilian aviation authorities in India made it clear that it would not be permitted to land.
On March 18, Indian authorities had banned flights from the EU and instructed all airlines not to board passengers. This airline operated this flight in breach of these guidelines.
It is believed that there were approximately 90 Indian citizens on this flight, many of whom sent anxious messages from inside the flight as it was rerouted back to Amsterdam.
Environment Ministry has put all meetings of its expert appraisal committees (EAC), responsible for issuing green clearances, on hold till March 31 amid a spurt in new coronavirus cases across the country, a top environment ministry official said.
"We have put all (meetings of) EACs on hold due to the situation. No meeting will take place till March 31. One meeting means 50-60 people coming together. So we will not have that," the official said.
The new coronavirus has claimed five lives in India with the number of infected cases above 200 as on Friday.
A staffer in the office of US Vice President Mike Pence, the pointman for Washington's response to the coronavirus outbreak, has tested positive for the illness, a spokeswoman said Friday.
"Neither President Trump nor Vice President Pence had close contact with the individual. Further contact tracing is being conducted," Pence's press secretary Katie Miller said.
Pence has appeared at Trump's side at the daily White House press conferences to announce developments in the US fight against the outbreak. (AFP)
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma announced a 24-hour statewide shutdown today from midnight and said it will be observed as "coronavirus awareness day".
Speaking to reporters after chairing a cabinet meeting on Friday, he said all public transport, commercial establishments and markets will remain shut to create awareness about the pandemic among the people of the state.
It is not to be taken as a "lockdown", he urged.
Mr Sangma urged people not to panic in view of the shutdown and asserted there is no shortage of essential commodities in the state.
"There is no need to buy additional food items or buy a large quantity of produce as the supply is very much there," he said.