More than 700 people have tested positive for the coronavirus infection across the country.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Friday that he has tested positive for coronavirus.
Boris Johnson developed "mild sympotoms and tested positive for coronavirus". However, on the micro-blogging app, he said that he will "continue to lead the government's response via video-conference".
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted a get-well-soon to his British counterpart.
"Dear PM @BorisJohnson You're a fighter and you will overcome this challenge as well. Prayers for your good health and best wishes in ensuring a healthy UK," PM Modi tweeted.
On Friday, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced a cut of 75 basis points in the repo rate to 4.4 per cent, after an unscheduled meeting of its Monetary Policy Committee. The announcement came as India entered the third day of a 21-day countrywide lockdown to curb the rapid spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that RBI has taken a giant steps in safeguarding the economy from the impact of coronavirus.
More than 700 people have tested positive for the coronavirus infection across the country.
The WHO has praised India's efforts to contain the coronavirus. Mike Ryan, the WHO's top emergencies expert, told a Geneva news conference that with the lockdown in place, India had a window of opportunity to expand testing, surveillance and quarantine facilities and said its success in eliminating polio was an example of how it could work.
Coronavirus has infected over 5 lakh globally and killed over 20,000.
Here are the updates on Coronavirus:
Conrad Sangma directs people to practice social distancing in Shillong
US Announces $2.9 Million Aid For India To Fight COVID-19
The newly announced assistance is part of a larger American global response package across multiple departments and agencies, including the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The funding is for 64 of the most at-risk countries facing the threat of the global pandemic."
Mamata Banerjee distributes essential commodities to people amid lockdown
Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday distributed essential commodities to people at Kalighat night shelter amid nationwide lockdown.
She was spotted wearing a mask and following social distancing to avoid getting infected with the novel coronavirus.
Earlier, Ms Banerjee had written to Chief Ministers of 18 states requesting them to provide basic amenities such as shelter, food and medical support to the workers of West Bengal stranded in their states due to the lockdown.
Many Chief Ministers requested to look after people from their states, will take care of them: Uddhav Thackeray
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday said that that the state government will take care of people who are fleeing to their native places amid nationwide lockdown and requested them to stay at their place.
"We have seen people who were hiding in milk tankers while trying to go to their native states getting caught. Many CMs have requested me to take care of people from their states. We request people to stay at their place, we will take care of them," Mr Thackeray said.
The development comes after several migrant labourers were reportedly forced to walk all the way to their native places following the announcement of a 21-day nationwide lockdown.
78 COVID-19 cases confirmed among UN staff globally
78 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed among the United Nations (UN) staff worldwide as of now, a UN official said.
Alessandra Vellucci, Director of the United Nations Information Service in Geneva, gave the figure during a virtual press briefing here on Friday, Xinhua news agency reported.
Due to the unprecedented challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic to the work of the United Nations, the bi-weekly UN briefings in Geneva have been conducted virtually using the video-conference systems.
During the past weeks, the UN headquarters in Geneva, the International Labor Organization as well as the World Trade Organization have all reported confirmed COVID-19 cases among their staff members.
All Odisha Assembly staff quarantined after employee contacted COVID-19+ patient
The entire staff of the state Assembly have been quarantined and the Assembly building is being sanitized after an employee at Odisha Legislative Assembly was found to have contacted a COVID-19 positive person.
"After an employee at Odisha Legislative Assembly was found to have contacted a COVID-19 positive person, the entire staff of the Assembly have been quarantined & Assembly building is being sanitized," SN Patra, Odisha Assembly Speaker said.
"The Assembly session that is scheduled to start from 30th March will be shifted to Loka Seva Bhawan. I request all political parties to attend the session with 1/3rd of their MLAs," he said.
A total of 724 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in India, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Friday.
1,383 arrested, 923 vehicles seized for lockdown violation in Kerala
1,383 people were arrested and 923 vehicles were seized across the state for violating lockdown on Friday.
7091 cases have been registered so far in Kerala for violation of lockdown, which was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this week to contain the spread of novel coronavirus.
Kerala reported 39 new positive cases of COVID-19 on Friday, taking the tally to 176 in the state.
Covid-19 positive man from Tamil Nadu recovers
Tamil Nadu Health Minister Dr C Vijayabaskar on Friday said that a 21-year-old man with travel history to Dublin and Ireland has been completely recovered from COVID-19 and discharged from hospital.
However, the man has been quarantined for the next 14 days.
"Update: The 21 Y M who traveled from Dublin, Ireland has completely recovered from #COVID2019 & discharged from #RGGH after 2 subsequent mandatory tests proved -ve. He will continue to b home quarantined for d next 14 days. Appreciate d team who took care of this young man," Vijayabaskar tweeted.
6 out of 9 COVID-19 positive cases in Bihar have no travel history
Six out of the nine total COVID-19 confirmed cases in Bihar have no travel history, state Health Department said on Friday.
Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey on Thursday requested Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan to open more testing labs for coronavirus. Pandey, who held a meeting with Dr Harsh Vardhan via video conferencing, told ANI: "I informed him about the quarantine and isolation facilities across the State."
"I also told him about Nalanda Medical College and Hospital that has been made a dedicated COVID-19 hospital with 800 beds. I have requested him to open testing labs at PMCH and GMCH with the help of ICMR," he said.
The minister said that he also stressed the need for logistic support and ventilator beds in the state. "Dr Vardhan has assured me that he will look into my request on priority," he added.
Nearly 1 lakh new corona cases in 24 hours globally, US leads
The new coronavirus cases surged by nearly one lakh in a single day to reach almost six lakh COVID-19 positive patients globally on Thursday, with the US on the top of the list with nearly one lakh cases alone.
Italy jumped to second place with over 86,000 cases, followed by China and Spain, according to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre data.
Italy recorded a sudden spike in coronavirus deaths, with 969 new victims which is the worst daily record for any country.
Globally, over 26,000 people have died as the novel coronavirus reaches 176 countries.
The US now has more COVID-19 cases than any other country after more than 16,000 COVID-19 infections were reported in a single day, mostly in the New York City.
Four men in Madhya Pradesh, one in Chandigarh test positive for COVID-19
Five people including four in Madhya Pradesh and one in Chandigarh were tested positive for COVID-19.
Among four in Madhya Pradesh include three from Indore and one from Ujjain.
Men from Indore are of ages- 60 years, 42 years and 23 years and the man from Ujjain is 23-year-old, Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College, Indore said.
Meanwhile, the Chandigarh Administration said that a 22-year-old male residing in Sector-30, Chandigarh with a history of travel to Dubai has been diagnosed as the eighth COVID-19 positive cases in the Union Territory, as per report received from Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER).
PM expresses satisfaction on Kerala's steps to tackle COVID-19: Pinarayi Vijayan
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday took stock of the situation in Kerala and expressed his satisfaction on the steps taken by the state government in tackling the coronavirus outbreak.
Addressing a press conference, the Kerala Chief Minister said that the state government has also asked for support from the Union Minister for Food and Public Distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan in distributing food grains and provision kits to all households in the state.
"We welcome the Rs 1.7 lakh crore comprehensive COVID 19 relief package announced by the central government while making few suggestions and requests in its implementation. We request the Centre to include the healthcare workers from the private sector also in the insurance scheme. They are playing an important role in battling this virus and we cannot belittle their valuable contribution," he said.
Centre Approves Additional Rs 5,700 Crore To 8 States As Calamity Fund
The Centre on Friday approved an additional amount of Rs 5,751.27 crore as aid to eight states hit by floods, landslides, cyclone and drought last year, the home ministry said.
The eight states which will get the financial assistance are: Kerala, Maharashtra, Bihar, Nagaland, Odisha, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Karnataka.
A high-level committee headed by Union Home Minister Amit Shah approved Rs 5,751.27 crore as additional central assistance to the eight states for floods, landslides, cyclone (''Bulbul''), drought during 2019; and Karnataka for drought (rabi) of 2018-19, the statement said.
COVID-19 patient recovers in Himachal Pradesh: Official
A man has recovered after testing positive for COVID-19 in Himachal Pradesh, an official said on Friday.
The 32-year-old man from Kangra district has recovered from the disease, said Additional Chief Secretary (Health) RD Dhiman in a statement.
His latest report was negative for COVID-19, he added.
Three people had tested positive for the virus in Himachal Pradesh and all were residents of Kangra district, officials had said.
COVID-19: Five of family test positive in West Bengal
West Bengal on Friday reported five fresh cases of COVID-19 including that of an infant, the highest number of confirmed cases on a single day in the state, pushing the total number of positive cases to 15.
Of the five fresh cases which were reported from Nadia district in South Bengal, four did not have any recent travel history.
The five, who belong to one family, are a nine-month-old baby, a six-year-old girl, an 11-year-old boy and two women aged 27 and 45, a health official said.
The 27-year-old woman had visited Delhi, where she came in contact with a person from the UK who recently tested positive, the official said.
"We tracked the entire family and tested eight of them. Five were found positive," the official said, adding that they are undergoing treatment at a hospital in Nadia district.
"We are now trying to track down those with whom these five patients came in contact," the official said.
Of the 15 afflicted with the disease in the state, one has died and an elderly patient is in critical condition.
Those spreading fake news about COVID-19 will be penalised: Mamata Banerjee
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday warned people against posting or sharing fake information on the COVID-19 pandemic, saying strong action will be taken against those found guilty.
Addressing a press meet at state secretariat Nabanna, Ms Banerjee said a fake post claiming that a doctor treating coronavirus suspects had fallen ill was doing the rounds on social media and investigating agencies are trying to track the source of this "misinformation".
"This is totally false. Please don''t play with fire. Our detective department, CID are working round the clock to track those behind such posts. We will take strong action after tracking them down," Ms Banerjee said.
The chief minister also contended that the ones posting fake news on social media are fuelling fear and panic "at this hour of crisis".
"Please refrain from spreading rumours. Those found guilty will be penalised," she said.
Ashok Gehlot calls up PM Modi, apprises him of steps taken to fight COVID-19
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday called Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inform him about the steps taken by the state government to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
He also urged the Centre to support the state government in this hour of crisis.
Gehlot said in a statement that Modi assured him that the Centre will provide full support to the state government to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
The chief minister also told the prime minister that the state government is working on a mission mode to tackle COVID-19.
In this work, cooperation of all the people including all representatives, religious leaders, social institutions, medical community is being taken, Mr Gehlot said.
Coronavirus: Over 2,500 people placed under home quarantine till date in Assam
More than 2,500 people have been placed under home quarantine in two districts of Assam till Friday, officials said.
Altogether 1,300 people who returned from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Bangladesh and other middle eastern countries to Assam's Barpeta district, while 1,235 others have been placed under home quarantine in Hailakandi district in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
Police in Hailakandi is on the lookout for some persons who reportedly fled to the district from neighbouring Mizoram, where one person has tested positive for COVID-19.
COVID-19: One more tests positive in Delhi
With a new coronavirus case surfacing on Friday, the total number of people tested positive for the dreaded virus in Delhi has reached 40.
The new patient has a history of traveling abroad, the Delhi Health Department said.
"A total of 40 people have been tested positive. Of these, 30 people have travelled abroad while 10 have came in contact of these people," the Health Department said.
In Delhi, 12,973 passengers are under home quarantine while 6,250 passengers have completed their 14-day quarantine period.
11 hospitals, 3,400 beds earmarked for COVID-19 treatment in Jammu and Kashmir
J&K government has earmarked 11 hospitals as COVID-19 hospitals and also reserved 3,400 beds for treatment and quarantine of affected people in the union territory.
"8 hospitals in Kashmir and 3 in Jammu to be exclusive COVID hospitals. 2,400 treatment beds and 1,000 additional quarantine beds were earmarked too. Adequate capacity to handle any possible rush.CS chairs meeting to finalise arrangements", government spokesman, Rohit Kansal said.
These decisions were taken at a high level meeting chaired by UT Chief Secretary, B.V.R. Subrahmaniyan in Jammu.
329 FIRs registered against lockdown violators in Jammu and Kashmir so far: Police
The Jammu and Kashmir Police has so far registered 329 FIRs against people who violated lockdown orders enforced to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, a senior police officer said.
Thousands of police personnel along with other security forces are on the ground to make sure that the orders are being adhered to by the people, Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh said. He said 329 FIRs were registered against violators and 600 vehicles and shops were seized and closed for non-compliance of the orders.
The DGP said some persons who were arrested by the police were later released after a detailed briefing about the threat posed by the virus.
The police on Friday registered 30 FIRs across the Union Territory, he said. In the Kashmir zone, 26 FIRs were registered and in the Jammu zone four FIRs, the DGP said.
Cyber criminals sending emails about COVID-19 to dupe people: Delhi Police
Delhi Police on Friday said cyber criminals are circulating emails and social media links on COVID-19 and asked people to be cautious.
According to police, cyber criminals have set up fake social media accounts offering home delivery of medicines and other products.
The are also sending fake emails in the name of health authorities and asking people to visit a specific webpage on which email address and its password are required for logging in. The cyber criminals are then using this information to steal money, police said.
The police asked people to avoid opening the suspicious e-mails and clicking on unverified coronavirus related links on social media. It also advised people to use strong passwords and multi-level authentication for their social media and bank accounts.
In some cases of fraud, criminals are also calling people on phone and requesting for monetary help to treat people infected with coronavirus, a senior official said.
Police should be informed regarding such cases immediately, he said.
Madhya Pradesh BJP MLA in home isolation after COVID-19-like symptoms
Sitaram Adivasi, BJP MLA from Vijaypur in Madhya Pradesh, isolated himself at home on Friday after having coronavirus-like symptoms, a health official said.
"The MLA complained of cough, cold, fever and breathing problem. He was travelling for quite a long time. His samples were collected and will be sent on Saturday morning to Gwalior for testing," said Dr R B Goyal, Sheopur district civil surgeon.
Mr Adivasi was asked to stay in the district hospital's isolation ward, but he insisted on returning home and assured that he would isolate himself and would not leave house or meet anyone, the doctor said.
The MLA was in Gurgaon, Sehore and Bhopal in the last few days with other party MLAs as the political crisis leading to the fall of the Congress government unfolded.
Coronavirus: Centre orders home delivery of drugs to CGHS beneficiaries aged above 60
Amid the coronavirus outbreak, the Union Health ministry has said drugs should be delivered to the homes of CGHS beneficiaries aged 60 and above and also those having co-morbid conditions like diabetes or undergoing immuno-suppressant treatments so that they dont have to visit the wellness centres.
In its order, the ministry said medicines may be issued for three months at a time (in case of chronic diseases) through an authorised representative.
Elderly beneficiaries aged 60 or above, beneficiaries undergoing immuno-suppressant treatment like organ transplant, chemotherapy etc, uncontrolled diabetes/decompensated cardiac status or any other illness compelling stay at home would be able to avail the facility, it said.
The Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) and other Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) staff shall be sensitised to ensure strict compliance with these directions, the order said.
In a separate order, the ministry asked the additional directors, CGHS to ensure optimum utilisation of manpower at their disposal in view of their shortage at the wellness centre because of the deployment of CGHS medical officers at airports and other locations for surveillance.
India to soon participate in WHO ''solidarity trial'' for developing potential COVID-19 drugs
India is soon likely to participate in the WHO's "solidarity trial" for developing potential drugs for COVID-19, officials said on Friday.
At a press briefing on coronavirus at 4 pm, Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said 75 new cases of coronavirus and four deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours.
"We are soon likely to participate in the WHO solidarity trial for developing potential drugs for COVID-19. Earlier we did not do it because our numbers were small and our contribution would have looked minuscule," Raman R Gangakhedkar, Head of Epidemiology and Communicable diseases at ICMR, said.
Mr Agarwal said that a PSU has been ordered to provide 10,000 ventilators while Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) has been requested to purchase 30,000 additional ventilators in one-two months amidst a shortage of the machines in the country.
3 trainee IFS officers test negative for COVID-19 in Uttarakhand
Three COVID-19 patients, who are Indian Forest Service (IFS) trainee officers have tested negative, Uttarakhand Chief Minister's Office said on Friday.
One of them has been discharged from the hospital after testing negative twice.
Number of coronavirus patients in Madhya Pradesh rises to 33
The number of coronavirus cases in Madhya Pradesh increased to 33 on Friday, with seven
persons, including a railway guard, testing positive, a health official said.
A 50-year-old man, a railway guard, tested positive at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhopal.
"He had been referred to the AIIMS by Railway hospital," said a health department official. The man had traveled to Jhansi rencenly, he added.
In Jabalpur, two persons who worked at the shop of a businessman who had returned from Dubai tested positive.
The businessman and his family members were the first coronavirus cases in the state.
Odisha ensures food, shelter for 5,547 migrant workers
The Odisha government has ensured food and shelter for around 5,547 migrant workers from other states who are stranded in Odisha in the wake of the nationwide lockdown to combat the Covid-19 outbreak, an official said on Friday.
The state government's spokesperson on Covid-19, Subroto Bagchi, said that food and shelter have been ensured for the migrant workers stranded in Odisha in 36 camps.
These workers are from Bihar, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Kerala, Telengana, Punjab, Delhi, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.
Defence ministry grants emergency financial powers to Army commanders to set up medical facilities
The government on Friday granted emergency financial powers to Army corps and divisional commanders to procure equipment to set up medical and quarantine facilities for coronavirus affected people.
The general officer commanding in chief (GOC-in-C) has been given full financial powers while corps and division commanders have been allowed to spend Rs 50 lakhs and Rs 20 lakhs, respectively, according to a Defence ministry order.
The ministry in the order said it is according "emergency powers...to Army commanders, corps/area commanders and division commanders for expediting the procurement/repairs to meet the requirement of establishing and running quarantine facilities/isolation facilities and augmenting these facilities with items, materials, equipment, stores, rations, hygiene chemicals, assets and provision of other services as part of measures for efficient handling of COVID-19 of break out of Defence Budget."
COVID-19: Centre forms air cargo management group for smoother movement of essential items
The Union civil aviation ministry announced on Friday that an air cargo management group has been created to move essential commodities across the country, which is under a lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
"Private airlines or freighters have been co-opted to link the request of states or union territories for smooth movement of essential items," the ministry said on Twitter tonight.
It said that "additionally, ATR aircraft of Alliance Air have been kept on standby at Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bengaluru & Hyderabad".
Planes are being chartered at concessional rates for boxes that need a large aircraft, especially to move items of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to states, the ministry said.
"Helicopters are ready in the north-east for intra-region movements. Support is being given to private agencies interested in aiding efforts," it said.
The country is under a 21-day lockdown from March 25 to curb the spread of the coronavirus and all domestic and international commercial passenger flights have been suspended for this period.
Delhi Gurdwara body sets up food shelters to help needy amid lockdown
The Delhi Gurdwara Sikh Management Committee (DGSMC) has set up two temporary food shelters in the national capital to help the needy people amid lockdown due to coronavirus outbreak in the country.
The food shelters have been set up in Guru Tegh Bahadur Institute of Technology at Rajouri Garden and in a school at Loni Road.
"The committee has been distributing the food for needy people for days. But as the demand is increasing, we have set up two food shelters in the city -- one at Rajouri Garden and at Loni Road," DGSMC president Manjinder Singh Sirsa told ANI.
He said that the committee is providing the shelters of doctors and nurses.
Safdarjung Hospital designates special block for COVID-19 cases
The Safdarjang Hospital here has designated a block for the treatment of Coronavirus patients.
Speaking to IANS, a hospital official said: "We have designated an earmarked building for the treatment of novel Coronavirus patients. The building has been named the SSB or Super Speciality Block."
The block is likely to be operational soon as the orders have been issued to vacate that area of the hospital. "However, no clear official signal about starting the operation has been given, but yes, orders have been released for vacation of complex for conversion as stated," the official told IANS, adding the capacity of the block is high.
"The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had stated earlier that directions for earmarked hospitals were disseminated to the states governments and at least 17 states already started working on this line.
COVID-19 lockdown: Delhi Police steps in to feed, provide medical assistance to slum dwellers
From serving meals at police stations to providing medical assistance, the Delhi Police along with NGOs on Friday reached out to those in distress in the national capital''s slums due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
Nationwide restrictions were imposed on the movement of people for 21 days from Wednesday to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has claimed 17 lives and infected 724 people in the country.
Police personnel distributed food and milk packets and ration to people, including senior citizens, at a labour colony in East Kidwai Nagar of Kotla Mubarak Pur.
The Special Branch of the Delhi Police has distributed around 6,000 food packets to the needy in various parts of the national capital in collaboration with volunteers and staff of its district units, according to police.
Coronavirus News: Gautam Buddh Nagar forms 1/3rd of UP's COVID-19 cases
Three more people - two women in Noida and one man in Greater Noida - have tested positive for coronavirus on Friday, taking the total cases in Uttar Pradesh's Gautam Buddh Nagar to 17, officials said.
Four patients have already been treated and discharged, bringing the active number of cases in the district to 13, the officials said.
UP has so far recorded 50 COVID-19 cases, according to government officials in Lucknow, who have put the total number of cases in Gautam Buddh Nagar at 18 cases, even as the Health Department officials here said the tally was 17, reported PTI.
Coronavirus Virus: Shops selling essential items to remain open from 7 am to 1 pm in Uttarakhand
All shops selling essential commodities will remain open from 7 am to 1 pm in Uttarakhand on Saturday, Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, reported PTI.
Coronavirus News: Punjab empowers village sarpanchs to use panchayat funds in fight against COVID-19
The Punjab government on Friday expanded the relief operations amid the curfew imposed to check the spread of COVID-19 by authorising sarpanchs to use panchayat funds to provide emergency relief to the poor. The sarpanchs have been authorised to spend Rs 5,000 per day, subject to a maximum of Rs 50,000, out of their panchayat funds. They have also been given powers to issue passes/letters for medical emergencies in their respective villages from 7 pm to 6 am every day, to allow people to visit hospitals for treatment, reported PTI.
Coronavirus News: UP reprts 7 more cases, total at 50
Seven more people have tested positive for coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh on Friday, taking the total number of cases in the state to 50, a health official said. Of the seven fresh cases, Noida reported four, Ghaziabad two and Agra one, Director Information Shishir told PTI.
Coronavirus News: 3 new cases in Gujarat take state total to 47
With three new cases reported on Friday, the number of coronavirus patients in Gujarat reached 47, a senior health department official said. All the three cases were reported from Rajkot. One of them is a 37-year-old man who had returned from China in January, while other two, a 39-year-old man and 33-year-old women, had no history of foreign travel history, said Jayanti Ravi, Principal Secretary, Health, reported PTI.
Coronavirus News: Ambulance, milk vans caught near Mumbai ferrying people amid lockdown
Police in Navi Mumbai have intercepted several essential services vehicles as they ferried people to their hometowns amid a ban on travel under lockdown norms. These vehicles were intercepted on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, an official said. "A Kalamboli police team caught 10 vehicles on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway carrying almost 90 people, including women and children. In one case, a tempo with a ''milk service'' board was found to be carrying 20-25 people to Pune. An ambulance and a fruit transport vehicle were also caught ferrying people," he said, reported PTI.
Coronavirus Updates: Sikkim announces incentives of Rs 3,000 for staff fighting COVID-19
Sikkim has announced a one-time incentive of Rs 3,000 for those working with law enforcement, health and family welfare, transport and urban development departments and are engaged in containing the COVID-19 outbreak in the state, reported PTI.
Coronavirus in India: Punjab Governor VP Singh Badnore announces relaxation of restrictions on Twitter
Punjab Governor VP Singh Badnore announced on Twitter that people in Chandigarh will be able to go to shops on foot from 10 am to 6pm in their respective sectors.
329 FIRs have been filed against violators of lockdown & 600 shops/vehicles have been seized for non-compliance of orders, till today. About 1,200 people who were hiding international travel history have also been traced: Dilbag Singh, Jammu & Kashmir DGP
Assam To Turn 3 State-Run Hospitals Into Centres For Treating COVID-19 Patients
Even though no coronavirus case has been reported in Assam so far, the state government has decided to turn three state-run hospitals into centres for treating COVID-19 patients to deal with the situation as and
when it arises, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Friday.
All patients admitted to the general wards of the medical college and hospitals in Guwahati, Dibrugarh and Silchar will be shifted to private medical establishments, he told reporters, news agency PTI reported.
To Avoid Spread Of Virus, Indore Cops Asked To Stay Away From Families
Around 3,000 police personnel who are engaged in keeping people off the streets in Indore city of Madhya Pradesh have been advised to stay away from their families as a precaution against possible spread of coronavirus.
While other parts of the country are in lockdown, curfew was imposed as additional measure in Indore two days ago when the number of coronavirus patients began to rise alarmingly. At present the city has 15 COVID-19 patients.
A press release issued by Inspector General Vivek Sharma on Friday said that while police personnel are doing their duty to ensure compliance with curfew, "the possibility of their becoming infected with virus is high", news agency PTI reported.
Lockdown: Navy Aircraft Flies 60,000 Masks From Delhi To Goa
An Indian Navy aircraft on Friday ferried a consignment of 60,000 masks to Goa from Delhi as the ongoing lockdown to contain coronavirus pandemic made it difficult for trucks to make the journey, an official said.
The masks had been ordered by the Goa chapter of the Indian Medical Association.
As of Friday, the coastal state has three confirmed COVID-19 patients.
"A shipment of 60,000 face masks ordered by Indian Medical Association to offset the shortfall in Goa was stuck at Delhi as trucks could not proceed further," said a Central government spokesperson, news agency PTI reported.
Seven fresh COVID-19 cases have been reported in Rajasthan, taking the total number of positive cases to 50: State Health Department
5 new positive cases reported in West Bengal, total state count rises to 15: West Bengal Government Health Department
Eight states to get calamity relief are: Kerala, Maharashtra, Bihar, Nagaland, Odisha, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Karnataka: Ministry of Home Affairs
Kendriya Vidyalayas to offer school buildings for setting up isolation facilities for suspected coronavirus patients, news agency PTI reported quoting offcials.
COVID-19: All Mosques In Srinagar Closed Amid 21-Day Lockdown
Four more test positive for COVID-19 in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, total cases in UT rise to 6, news agency PTI reported quoting official
Number of deaths due to coronavirus tops 25,000 globally, most in Europe, news agency AFP reported.
Two prominent temple trusts in Maharashtra on Friday donated Rs 51 crore and Rs 2 crore to the government for providing various kinds of reliefs in the ongoing 'war against virus' in the state, officials said, news agency IANS reported.
Three more corona patients were reported from Rajasthan on Friday taking the total tally to 46 in the state, said state health officials, news agency IANS reported.
DRDO Chief's Wife Distributes Food Among Daily Wagers In Delhi
Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) chief's wife Padmavathi on Friday distributed food among daily wagers and other needy people in the national capital during the nationwide lockdown.
"With the help of DRDO, we are providing food to the daily wage labourers and other needy people. We will do this for the next 15 days. We will continue to feed people so that no one will remain hungry during the nationwide lockdown," Mr Padmavathi told ANI.
The South Delhi district administration is making arrangements for providing food to daily wage earners with the help of certain agencies in the backdrop of lockdown imposed in wake of COVID-19 outbreak, Brijmohan Mishra, DM, South Delhi said on Friday, news agency ANI reported.
PM Modi Interact With Radio Jockeys, Appreciates Their Role In Spreading Awareness About Coronavirus
19 People Test Negative For Coronavirus In Himachal Pradesh
As many as nineteen people have tested negative for coronavirus in the state on Friday.
Himachal Pradesh health Department said, "Today, 19 samples were tested and all are found negative. Till now, total 152 possibly infected COVID-19 cases were investigated in which 149 samples are found negative and three samples found positive."
In the backdrop of coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdown, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Wednesday held a meeting with district officials and took stock of the situation, news agency ANI reported.
Himachal Pradesh Government Cuts Curfew Relaxation From 6 To 3 Hours Daily
The curfew relaxation in Himachal Pradesh has been cut from six hours to three hours daily, the State Public Relations Department quoted Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Friday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24, announced a 21-day lockdown in the entire country to deal with the spread of coronavirus, saying that "social distancing" is the only option to deal with the disease, which spreads rapidly.
Three positive cases of COVID-19 have been traced in Himachal Pradesh. One death has been caused due to the disease here, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Friday, news agency ANI reported.
COVID-19: BJP Workers To Distribute Food Packets To Needy, Says JP Nadda
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president JP Nadda on Friday said that one crore BJP workers will distribute five food packets each to those in need every day.
Speaking to ANI he said, "On PM Modi's appeal, one crore BJP workers will distribute five food packets each, every day among the needy people. Initiating this drive today, I handed over 10 food packets to police personnel, to be distributed among the needy people."
"I request all the BJP workers and other people who are capable should help needy people with food so that they can stay indoors and stay safe," Mr Nadda said, news agency ANI reported.
Kerala Police, New ''Chat Friend'' Of People In Lockdown Period
Kerala Police social media team is using innovative methods to get people engaged in the home during the lockdown period. From conversing with people to giving them suggestions of must watch movies and sharing links of e-books Kerala police have become new ''chat friend'' of people in the state.
"The traditional method of policing of interacting with people is not possible due to social distancing, so Kerala police is using the digital platform to reach out to people," Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Head Quarters Manoj Abraham, who is heading the social media wing told ANI.
Supreme Court Notice To Centre On Plea Seeking Evacuation Of Pilgrims Stranded In Iran
The Supreme Court on Friday issued a notice to the Central government asking for its response on a petition seeking to immediately evacuate and provide all possible medical help to the Indian pilgrims stranded in Iran's Qom.
A bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Dr DY Chandrachud and also comprising Justice Suryakant issued the notice after hearing the matter and arguments through videoconferencing.
The petition was filed by one Mustafa MH, through senior advocate Sanjay Hegde.
This comes as all international passenger flight operations are closed till April 14 in the wake of the three-week nationwide lockdown imposed to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the country, news agency ANI reported.
Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has postponed the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) exam, news agency ANI reported.
COVID-19: South Eastern Railway Converting Some Coaches Into Isolation Wards
The South Eastern Railway (SER) is converting a few coaches into isolation wards and readying blocks in its hospitals for treatment and quarantine facilities in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, an official said in Kolkata on Friday.
Some of the passenger coaches, which are lying idle at yards since stoppage of train services from Sunday, are being turned into isolation wards with required amenities for patients, doctors and care givers, SER spokesman Sanjay Ghosh said.
"The coaches will be provided as and when required at places asked for by the concerned state government," he said, news agency PTI reported.
Fresh case of COVID-19 has been reported in Chandigarh. Symptoms of Coronavirus was found in the patient 15 days after their arrival from Dubai. Contact tracing underway: Manoj Parida, Advisor, Chandigarh Administration
5 new Coronavirus positive cases in Mumbai and 1 in Vashi; the total number of positive cases in Maharashtra rises to 153: Health Department, Maharashtra
Combating COVID-19: Health Ministry Orders PSU To Provide Ventilators
Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Friday said that it has given an order to a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) to provide 10,000 ventilators in view of the rising number of coronavirus cases in the country.
"We have given an order to a PSU to provide 10,000 ventilators. Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) has also been requested to purchase 30,000 additional ventilators in 1-2 months," said Lav Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Union Health Ministry.
Mr Aggarwal said that companies are asking their employees to work from home.
"A total of 1.4 lakh companies have asked their employees to work from home on our appeal," he said, news agency ANI reported.
Tripura Village Erects ''Lockdown Barricade'' To Make People Wash Hands Before Entering
At the entrance of their tiny village in Tripura, people have put up a barricade and pasted a notice on it declaring that no one will be allowed to enter without washing his or her hands with soap and water.
They also kept water in a big bucket, a mug and a bar of soap in front of the barricade which would be lifted only after the person seeking to enter the village thoroughly cleans his or her hands. The rule applies to outsiders as well as villagers.
"We have named it Lockdown Barricade," said Samir Kalai, an elderly villager of Bairagi Para, showing the bamboo barricade to reporters, news agency PTI reported.
UP: Family Practices Social Distancing While Performing Last Rites Of Loved One
As the country is under the grip of the coronavirus lockdown, a family in Uttar Pradesh''s Pilibhit district practised social distancing even while performing the last rites of their loved one.
Aziz, 70, of Kashiram colony had died on Thursday.
The family members carried the body in a handcart and not on shoulders to the burial ground as is the ritual, strictly maintaining the laid down guidelines of social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
"We decided to keep the funeral procession as small as possible and only seven people accompanied the body to the burial ground," Guddu, a family member of the deceased, said on Friday.
He said strict adherence was maintained to the social distancing guidelines.
The authorities have prohibited large gatherings in the wake of the lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus, news agency PTI reported.
Maharashtra: Nagpur Civic Body, HLL Lifecare Create COVID-19 App
The Nagpur Municipal Corporation and Central government PSU HLL Lifecare have collaborated to create a ''COVID-19'' app that will allow civic doctors to reach out to people having cough, fever and difficulty in breathing, all signs of the novel coronavirus infection, NMC commissioner Tukaram Mundhe said on Friday.
It can be downloaded by clicking a link being shared on WhatsApp groups initially and will be available on Google Play in 72 hours, he said.
"This mobile application will alert NMC doctors if a person keys in symptoms like ones caused by novel coronavirus. They will be contacted and futher medical action will follow," he added, news agency PTI reported.
Coronavirus: Dean Among 100 Quarantined As Wife Tests Positive
Over 100 people, including the dean, doctors and health staff of a medical college and hospital in Ahmedabad, have been quarantined after the dean's wife tested positive for coronavirus, officials said on Friday.
The woman, 55, had tested positive on Thursday, they said.
The medical college and hospital is run by the Gujarat Medical and Education Research Society (GMERS) of the state government.
"The college dean's wife, who tested positive for coronavirus yesterday, works as a pathologist at some other hospital and may have got infected during her work," Deputy Commissioner of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), Om Prakash, said, news agency PTI reported.
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock says tests positive for COVID-19, news agency AFP reported.
1,500 People In J&K Shifted To Quarantine Centres: Police
At least 1,500 people have been shifted to quarantine centres in J&K to ensure social distancing in the union territory, police said on Friday.
Among those shifted into quarantine are 1,200 people who have a foreign travel history and 300 police recruits.
A batch of 300 police recruits has been sent to a quarantine centre in Kathua district, UT police chief Dilbag Singh said, news agency IANS reported.
39 new COVID-19 positive cases reported in Kerala. 34 from Kasargod, 2 from Kannur and one each from Thrissur, Kozhikode, and Kollam. This takes the total positive cases in the state to 176, including 12 discharged patients: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan
10 new COVID-19 cases reported in Telanagana on Friday, total number of cases in state now 59: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao
6 More Test Positive For COVID-19 In UP, Count Rises To 49
Six more persons have tested positive for coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh, taking the number cases to 49, a top official said on Friday.
"Six fresh cases were found positive for coronavirus in the state on Friday," Principal Secretary Health Amit Mohan told reporters in Lucknow.
"While four cases were found positive in Noida, two cases were found positive in Ghaziabad," Director Information Shishir told PTI.
So far, Agra has reported nine cases, three from Ghaziabad, 18 from Noida, eight cases from Lucknow, two each in Ghaziabad and Pilibhit and one each in Baghpat, Lakhimpur-Kheri, Moradabad, Varanasi, Kanpur, Jaunpur and Shaml.
The state has so far recorded 49 cases, of which 14 have been cured and discharged from hospitals, news agency PTI reported.
Assam Police Personnel Feed Poor, Deliver Medicines Amid Lockdown
The 21-day nationwide lockdown has brought out both sides of the Assam Police, with its personnel, on one hand, enforcing the restrictions on the movement of people by caning violators and making them do
push-ups and on the other, they were also seen feeding the poor and helping the needy.
The lockdown imposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to contain the spread of novel coronavirus entered the third day on Friday.
Individual and collective deeds of kindness by police personnel were witnessed across the state in the past two days, news agency PTI reported.
UP Government Asks Police, DMs To Arrange Food, Shelter For Migrants Amid Lockdown
The Uttar Pradesh government on Friday issued a notification asking police officials and District Magistrates (DMs) to arrange food and shelter for migrant workers who are facing difficulties due to the 21-day lockdown announced to contain the spread of COVID-19.
In the letter, the Yogi Adityanath-led government has asked authorities not to let anyone enter or exit the state before the conclusion of the lockdown.
The DMs have also been asked to submit a daily report on the number of migrants and shelter homes prepared by them, news agency ANI reported.
COVID-19: UAE-Based Indian Doctor To Support Government Efforts By Offering 500-Bed Multispecialty Hospital
An Indian-born entrepreneur, Dr Shamsheer Vayalil, has come forward to offer his support towards setting up a hospital exclusively for the treatment of coronavirus patients, as India unabatedly wages a war against the deadly COVID-19 outbreak.
Dr. Vayalil's VPS Healthcare has offered a 500-bed hospital in Delhi-NCR, Medeor Hospital, for the exclusive treatment of COVID-19 patients. The healthcare group owns three multispecialty hospitals in Delhi under the brand name of Medeor Hospital.
The hospital also has formed a dedicated task force comprising of specialist doctors, nurses and other medical staff to combat the outbreak and care for the affected patients, news agency ANI reported.
UP: Over 3,700 FIRs Registered, Rs 1.92 Crore Collected In Fines For Lockdown Violation
Acting strictly against those violating lockdown orders, the Uttar Pradesh Police has registered 3710 FIRs against 11,317 people for violating prohibitory orders in place to check the spread of coronavirus, a senior official said on Friday.
In addition, Rs 1.92 crore has been collected in fines imposed on 93,214 vehicle drivers for not following lockdown rules, he said.
"To strictly implement the lockdown in districts, police registered 3710 FIRs against 11,317 violaters since Monday after the lockdown orders," Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Awanish Awasthi told reporters on Friday, news agency PTI reported.
We have to be alert, follow lockdown and social distancing norms diligently to combat coronavirus: Health ministry
Elderly, Differently-Abled, Widows To Get 3 Months' Pension In Advance
The Centre will give three months' pension in advance to nearly three-crore widows, senior citizens and differently-abled in the first week of April amid the lockdown over the novel coronavirus pandemic, officials said on Friday.
Under the National Social Assistance Program (NSAP), a monthly pension is being given to the poor senior citizens, widows and persons with disabilities, news agency PTI reported.
COVID-19: Delhi High Curt Asks Centre To Explain Steps Taken For Evacuation Of Indian Students From Bangladesh
The Delhi High Court on Friday asked the Centre to explain steps taken by it to evacuate around 580 Indian medical students who are stranded in Bangladesh due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A bench of justices Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh, in a hearing conducted through video conferencing, issued notices to the ministries of external affairs and home affairs, and sought their responses to a plea seeking safe return of Indians stuck in Bangladesh.
The court listed the matter for further hearing on March 30, news agency PTI reported.
COVID-19: Gujarat Launches App To Track Home Quarantined Persons
The Gujarat government on Friday launched a mobile application which can monitor the movement of those who have been asked to follow home quarantine for suspected exposure to coronavirus.
The Geographic Information System (GIS)-based app was launched in Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Vadodara and Rajkot, principal secretary (health) Jayanti Ravi said.
The Municipal Corporation of Surat is already using the application to keep track of 3,600 home-quarantined people in the city, she added, news agency PTI reported.
Prayers For Your Good Health, Tweets PM Modi After UK Prime Minister Tests Positive For Coronavirus
Coronavirus Spread Under Control But Preparing In Case Numbers Go Up: Arvind Kejriwal
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Friday that the spread of the new coronavirus is "quite under control" in the national capital so far but his government is readying itself so that even if the number of infected cases increases sharply, the administration is prepared to respond.
In a joint digital media address with Lt Governor Anil Baijal, he said Delhi has reported 39 coronavirus cases out of which 29 contracted the infection during foreign travel and infected others on their return.
"The situation is quite under control so far but we can''t sit idle. We have to make preparations to tackle the situation if the numbers go up," Mr Kejriwal said, assuring people that medical staff, medicines and testing kits were ready to tackle the situation even if the cases go up at a rate of 100 per day.
The chief minister also appealed to migrant workers to not leave Delhi in the wake of the 21-day lockdown across the country and said his government has sufficient food storage in the city, news agency PTI reported.
Coronavirus: Bangkok Returnee Tests Positive In Maharashtra's Gondia
A 24-year-old man who returned to Gondia in Maharashtra from Thailand some ten days ago has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, District Health Officer Dr Shyam Neemgade said on Friday.
His report came in late Thursday night, the official informed.
"The man from Ganesh Nagar locality here had gone to Bangkok with friends from Rajnandgaon in Chhattisgarh and had returned some 10 days ago," he said, news agency PTI reported.
Number of Coronavirus Cases In Maharashtra Climbs To 147
With 12 people in Sangli testing positive for coronavirus, the total number of patients in Maharashtra rose to 147 on Friday, an increase of 17 within a day, health officials said.
Earlier in the day, four persons tested positive for COVID-19 in Nagpur and another in Gondia, both in eastern Maharashtra.
In Sangli, the number of COVID-19 patients is now 24.
All the infected persons in Sangli district are related to or had come in contact with a single family. Some members of this family had returned from Saudi Arabia and later tested positive for the virus.
The newly detected coronavirus patients had already been put in hospital quarantine, said Sangli district civil surgeon CS Salunkhe, news agency PTI reported.
Coronavirus: Muslims In Lucknow, Bareilly Offer Friday Prayers From Home
Thousands of Muslims on Friday offered prayers at home adhering to the advice of religious leaders in view of the coronavirus outbreak.
The imam of the city's Jama Masjid Idgah, Khalid Rasheed Faranglimahli, and rector of Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulema Sayeed-ur Rehman Azmi along with others had made appeals to Muslims to offer ''Juma Namaz'' at home.
Imam-e-Juma Maulana Kalbe Jawad Naqvi had earlier suspended special Friday prayers in the mosques for two weeks.
"There are around 800 mosques in the state capital, of which 50 are such where hundreds of Muslims offer Friday prayers together," Mr Farangimahli said.
Coronavirus: Congress Leader Digvijaya Singh To Give Rs 25 Lakh For COVID-19 Fight
Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Digvijaya Singh on Friday announced that he would provide Rs 25 lakh from his local area development fund to Bhopal district authorities to provide relief to those affected by the lockdown in force to stop novel coronavirus outbreak, as well as COVID-19 patients.
In a letter to the Bhopal collector, Singh praised officials efforts to stall the virus spread.
"I am recommending to provide Rs 25 lakh from my local area development fund to the Bhopal district administration for providing relief to those affected with the coronavirus and also to provide urgent necessary facilities to the people affected with the lockdown," he said, news agency PTI reported.