Coronavirus has been declared as pandemic by WHO. (Representational)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a "Janata curfew" on Sunday, saying all citizens must stay home from 7 am to 9 pm to try and check the spread of the deadly virus. The Prime Minister also cautioned citizens against hoarding and panic-buying, assuring that the supply of essentials like milk, medicines and food would be maintained.
"Under this Janata (public) curfew, no person should leave their home or gather in their society. Only those related to essential services need to go out," said the Prime Minister, adding that all citizens must abide by this.
"On that day, at 5 pm, we will stand at our balconies, windows or doors for 5 minute, we will show our gratitude to those maintaining essential services by ringing bells, sounding sirens, clapping or clanging utensils," he said.
The Prime Minister suggested the one-day exercise would help inculcate a new discipline for social distancing for the next few weeks.
He urged people to stay home and leave only if necessary in the next few weeks.
On Thursday, India reported its fourth coronavirus death from Punjab. A 70-year-old man who returned from Germany via Italy a fortnight ago and died in hospital after severe chest pain, has been found to be positive for novel coronavirus, senior officials said on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the government on Thursday announced that no international flights will be allowed to land in India from March 22 for a week amid escalating measures to fight coronavirus.
The government has also advised citizens above 65 to stay at home unless they are public representatives or doctors or government employees. It has also said children below 10 should stay at home.
The total number of coronavirus cases rose to 173 in India on Thursday.
The novel coronavirus has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation with over 8,000 people deaths globally and more than two lakh have been infected.
Here are the Latest Updates on Coronavirus developments in India:
Entry of tourists and devotees to Puri's Jagannath Temple in Odisha restricted from tomorrow till 1st April 2020, in view of coronavirus, news agency ANI reported.
Puducherry Chief Minister Welcomes PM's Appeal For 'Janata Curfew'
Puducherry Chief Minister and senior Congress leader V Narayanasamy on Thursday welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal for observing `Janata Curfew` to show their resolve to take on the challenge posed by novel coronavirus and said all should respond to the call.
Speaking to reporters during a visit to parts of Puducherry town and neighbourhood for reviewing preventive measures to tackle coronavirus, he said the Prime Minister has made the appeal out of concern for the health of the people of the country.
"Modi' s appeal to the people to observe voluntarily 'Janata Curfew' on March 22 for 14 hours from 7 a.m. that day to counter threat of the infection is welcome. He has asked the people out of his concern for their health. We should all respond to the call," Mr Narayanasamy said, news agency PTI reported.
Italy has officially passed China in most deaths in a country due to coronavirus, news agency AFP reported.
Total number of coronavirus cases in national capital rises to 14: Delhi health department.
Four More Test Positive For Coronavirus In UP, Cases Rise To 19
Four more persons have tested positive for the coronavirus affliction, taking the total number of people confirmed corona cases in Uttar Pradesh to 19, a senior official said on Thursday.
The freshly confirmed corona-positive cases included two in Lucknow and one each in Noida and Lakhimpur, said Dr Vikasendu Agrawal, the state surveillance officer of the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP).
"As on March 19, total number of samples in UP found positive is 19 (Agra - 8, Ghaziabad - 2, NOIDA-4, Lucknow - 4, Lakhimpur-Kheri-1)," said Dr Agrawal, in a statement, news agency PTI reported.
Two More Test Positive For Coronavirus In Uttarakhand
Two more Indian Forest Service probationers who had recently returned from a study tour in Spain have tested positive for coronavirus, taking the total number of confirmed cases in the state to three, an official said on Thursday.
All three patients were part of a 28-member group which had returned from the study tour in Spain recently.
Confirming it, Director in-charge (Health) SK Gupta told PTI that the two probationers who tested positive on Thursday have been quarantined at the Forest Research Institute (FRI) hostel.
Their test reports arrived from a lab in Haldwani, he said, adding that they are being shifted to an isolation ward at the Doon Hospital.
All three patients in the state are Indian Forest Service probationers from the FRI, he said, news agency PTI reported.
One More Test Positive For Coronavirus In Karnataka, Total Cases Rise To 15
A 35-year-old man from Kodagu, who had returned from Dubai, tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday, taking the total number of cases to 15 in Karnataka, the state health department said.
Two out of 15 patients, who were undergoing treatment and have recovered will be discharged on Friday, Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar said.
According to the bulletin issued by the health department, till date 15 COVID-19 positive cases have been reported in Karnataka including one death.
It said 14 COVID-19 positive patients are in isolation at designated hospitals and are stable.
The patient who tested positive on Thursday is from Kodagu and had returned from Dubai on March 15 to Kempegowda international Airport here and travelled to Kodagu by bus the same day, news agency PTI reported.
CISF Personnel Asked To Undertake "Minimum Touch" Approach At Airports
The CISF, that frisks lakhs of passengers at airports everyday, has asked its personnel to adopt a ''minimum touch'' approach in view of the COVID-19 outbreak, officials said on Thursday.
The CISF personnel have also been asked to maintain a distance of 2.5 cm from passengers during frisking, they said.
CISF chief Rajesh Ranjan and head of airport security of the force M A Ganapathy visited the Indira Gandhi International Airport on Thursday to take stock of facilities provided to passengers.
The DG also reviewed the arrangements made for CISF personnel who frisk and interact with thousands of travellers everyday, a senior official said.
The force has also directed its intelligence wing personnel, who are present in mufti at the airport, to keep a check on "potentially infected and sick passengers" so that health and security officials can quickly segregate them from others, news agency PTI reported.
A 21 year-old student who returned from Ireland became Tamil Nadu's third coronavirus positive case while authorities said the second patient had not travelled to Nepal as suspected but ruled out community spread of the infection in the state.
The government said more than 1.9 lakh passengers have been screened as part of its fight against coronavirus in the state which is already under virutal lockdown with educational institutions, theatres, malls and resorts closed till March 31 as part of preventive measures.
The state reported its second positive case in two days with the student who arrived from Dublin on Tuesday being the latest to be affected by the virus.
"21 Yr (old) student from Dublin, Ireland tested positive for #Covid19. On his arrival on 17.3 (2020) @Chennai, he was screened & home quarantined.Yday he reported to RGGH with symptoms. Samples sent for testing yday,confirmed positive today," Health Minister C Vijayabaskar said in a tweet, news agency PTI reported.
Two trainees at the Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy have tested positive for coronavirus. Both the trainees were part of a team that went to Spain and had recently returned: Uttarakhand Additional Health Secretary, Yugal Kishore Pant, news agency ANI reported.
Government has decided to constitute COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force under Finance Minister. The task force will remain in regular touch with all stakeholders, take their feedback and make decisions accordingly: PM Modi
For last 2 months, millions are working day and night in hospitals and airports, those serving others by not taking care of themselves. On March 22, at 5'o clock,we should stand on our doorways, balconies, in our windows and keep clapping hands and ringing the bells for 5 minutes to salute and encourage them: PM Modi
I appeal to all not to go into panic buying to store essential commodities. Steps being taken to ensure that there is no scarcity of essential commodities: PM Modi
I request the countrymen to avoid visiting hospitals for routine check ups. If you have appointment for any non-essential surgery, please postpone for one month. We should keep in mind that pressure should not come on hospitals: PM Modi
Postpone elective surgeries by a month, avoid routine check-ups to ease pressure on health services: PM Modi
If possible, please call at least 10 people every day and tell them about the 'Janta Curfew' as well as the measures to prevent coronavirus: PM Modi
I request people above the age of 60 to not venture out of their homes for the next few weeks: PM Modi
On 22nd March, from 7 am to 9pm, all countrymen have to follow 'Janta Curfew': PM Modi
Resolution and restraint is very important in combat against this global epidemic. As citizens, people need to strengthen their resolve to follow the advisories issues by state and central governments to fight coronavirus: PM Modi
Government of India is keeping a close watch on the track record of the spread of corovnavirus: PM Modi
For a developing country like ours with a large population the growing challenge of coronavirus is not a normal situation: PM Modi
For the last few days, it looks like if we are safe from #coronavirus. This belief is not right. Hence, it is very important for every Indian to remain aware and alert: PM Modi, news agency ANI reported.
Till l now science has not been able to find a proper remedy for coronavirus and no vaccine has been developed yet. In such a situation, it is natural to worry: PM Modi, news agency ANI reported.
This (coronavirus) crisis has engulfed the entire human race. For the past two months, we have been watching with concern the news about coronavirus spreading across the world: PM Modi, news agency ANI reported.
The world is passing through a huge crisis, more countries affected than World War 1 and 2: Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan chairs eights high-level meeting of group of ministers on COVID-19. The ministers had detailed deliberation on prevention and management of COVID-19 in the country, news agency ANI reported.
PM Narendra Modi to address the nation shortly on coronavirus situation
Two positive cases of coronavirus found in Gujarat, first infections reported from state, news agency PTI reported quoting Health Department
One person tests positive for coronavirus in Kerala's Kasargod district. He has travel history to Dubai. Number of cases rise to 28 in the state.
Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam in Andhra Pradesh has decided to close the Balaji temple for devotees. Arrangements are being made to complete prayers of the devotees who are already at the temple. However, all ritual services will be performed by temple priests as usual, news agency ANI reported.
Rajasthan BJP Chief Meets S Jaishankar, Seeks Return Of Indian Students Stuck Abroad
Rajasthan BJP president Satish Poonia and Deputy Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Rajendra Rathore on Thursday met External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in Delhi and sought immediate return of Indian students stranded in several countries, including the Philippines, due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Mr Jaishankar assured that the government is monitoring the situation. Necessary guidelines have been given to the Indian embassies in this regard, the Rajasthan BJP leaders said in a statement.
The External Affairs Minister also said wherever possible, every effort will be made to bring the students to the country and, where it is not possible, they will be taken care of, according to the statement, news agency PTI reported.
UP Chief Minister Appeals To People To Resort To Social Distancing
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday appealed to people to adopt social distancing as preventive and precautionary measure against the spread of coronavirus.
"I appeal to all to adopt social distancing and avoid going to crowded places to check spread of corona," the CM said.
The government has already taken number of measures due to which the situation is under control in the state, he said.
The CM also requested religious gurus to ensure that devotees did not gather in large numbers and thanked those who have already made appeals in this regard.
In view of Navratri, the CM also advised people to perform religious rituals at home.
The famous Vindhyachal temple in Mirzapur, meanwhile, has been closed down by local priests., news agency PTI reported.
Indian man with coronavirus in Iran dies, says foreign ministry: News agency PTI
Ahead Of Expected London Shutdown, Shoppers Queue In The Rain
British shoppers were queuing around the block early on Thursday morning to buy basic goods such as bottled water and tinned goods ahead of an expected toughening of measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
Reuters reporters saw more than 100 people queuing in the rain before the 7 opening of a large Sainsbury's store in Clapham Common, south of the river Thames, while a few miles away in Vauxhall queues snaked around another Sainsbury's store.
BMC Orders Closure Of Shops In Parts Of Mumbai For Crowd Control
The Brihanmumbai Municipal corporation (BMC) on Thursday ordered the closure of shops on different roads of the city on alternate days till further orders in view of COVID-19 pandemic.
In exercise of the power conferred under section 2,3 and 4 of the Epidemic Disease Act 1897, the Assistant Municipal Commissioner of BMC has ordered the closure of shops on alternate days of the week in Prabhadevi, Worli and Lower Parel in order to avoid crowding and implement social distancing.
All shops and establishments with the exception of medical stores, grocery shops, fuel stations and banks will be covered in this order, news agency ANI reported.
Several Departments In Hospitals In Chandigarh To Remain Closed Till March 31
All departments, except gynecology, pediatrics, trauma, and medicine, in hospitals here will remain closed till March 31 in the view of coronavirus outbreak.
Sports complexes will also remain closed till March 31, according to Manoj Parida, Adviser to Administrator Department of Public Relations, Chandigarh.
Parida said that Panchayat Bhavan and Park View Hotel will now be available for quarantine facilities, news agency ANI reported.
Hotels, Restaurants In Nainital To Remain Shut Between March 21-31
All hotels and restaurants in the town will remain shut between March 21 and 31 in a bid to counter the spread of coronavirus pandemic.
"To ensure the safety of people in Nainital in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nainital Hotels & Restaurants Association has decided to shut down all hotels from March 21 to 31. The future course of action will be decided as the situation unfolds," Praveen Sharma, Executive member of Northern India Hotels and Restaurant Association told ANI.
India on Thursday reported 13 fresh cases of coronavirus, raising the number of infected people to 169 in the country. Three people have died due to COVID-19 in the country so far, news agency ANI reported.
Over 1.5 Lakh Passengers Screened For Coronavirus In Tamil Nadu, 2 Tested Positive
As many as 1,94,236 passengers were screened here and so far only two persons were tested positive in Tamil Nadu for deadly coronavirus, said Tamil Nadu Health Minister Vijayabasker on Thursday.
"COVID-19 Tamil Nadu Status: Screened Passengers- 194236, Under Followup - 3481, Beds in Isolation Wards - 1120, Current Admissions - 39, Samples tested - 320 (Negative-232, Positive - 2 (1 discharged), Under process- 86)," Mr Vijayabasker tweeted, news agency ANI reported.
Samajwadi Party Cancels All Programmes Including Cycle Yatra This Month: Akhilesh Yadav
In the backdrop of coronavirus pandemic, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday said that all the party programmes including Cycle Yatra has been cancelled and will now be held from April 22, 2020.
The Cycle Yatra was scheduled to take place on March 23.
"We have cancelled all party programmes for now including Cycle Yatra on March 23. The party programmes will now be held starting April 22," said Akhilesh Yadav.
The SP chief also appealed to the party workers to remain home to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
"I appeal to party workers to remain home and connected through phones with others," Mr Yadav added, news agency ANI reported.
Spain's health ministry said on Thursday the death toll from the coronavirus epidemic soared by 209 to 767 fatalities from the previous day as the total number of coronavirus cases climbed by a quarter to 17,147 on Thursday. On Wednesday, there were 13,716 cases in Spain, news agency Reuters reported.
UK Pulls Some Troops From Iraq Training Mission Over Coronavirus: Defence Minister
Britain is withdrawing some of its troops from a global training mission in Iraq because of the coronavirus outbreak, defence minister Ben Wallace said on Thursday.
Troops were being brought back because of a decline in the tempo of training in recent months, and the coalition programme had been "paused" for 60 days "as a precaution" because of the outbreak, he added, news agency AFP reported.
Entry of both domestic and foreign tourists in the state is banned till further orders: Government of Himachal Pradesh, news agency ANI reported.
Train Services Between Banihal And Baramulla In Jammu And Kashmir Suspended Till March 31
Authorities suspended the train service in Kashmir till March 31 as a precautionary measure on Thursday in the wake of the detection of the first coronavirus case in the valley.
"In view of the apprehensions of the spread of coronavirus in the valley, as a precautionary measure, the rail services between Banihal and Baramulla have been suspended with an immediate effect," a railway official said.
He said the suspension will remain in force till March 31, news agency PTI reported.
6 Passengers With "Home Quarantine" Stamp Deboarded From Train
Six Singapore-returned passengers with ''home quarantined'' stamp on their hands were de-boarded from the Gujarat-bound Saurashtra Express at Borivali station in suburban Mumbai on Thursday morning, an official said.
They were made to de-board after some of their co- passengers spotted the stamp on their hands and informed about it to the railway staff, the official said, news agency PTI reported.
Rajasthan University Postpones Exams Till March 31
A day after prohibitory orders under Section 144 were imposed in Rajasthan in the wake of three of a family from Jhunjhunu testing positive for coronavirus, the Rajasthan University on Thursday postponed postgraduate and undergraduate exams till March 31, according to an order issued by chancellor R.K Kothari.
The exams were due on Thursday at 11 a.m. Around 5 lakh students were supposed to appear in these exams, news agency IANS reported.
West Bengal Government has announced to provide Rs 5 lakh insurance each to 10 lakh government medical staff across the state till 15th April, news agency ANI reported.
Coronavirus: Punjab To Suspend Public Transport From Friday Midnight
The Punjab government on Thursday announced suspension of public transport services from Friday midnight, besides restricting public gatherings to less than 20, in the state, inching closer to a shutdown amid the global outbreak of coronavirus.
It has also decided to shut marriage palaces, hotels, restaurants, banquets and dining places, except home delivery services and takeaways in the entire state.
"Public transport buses, tempos and auto rickshaws will be suspended from the midnight of Friday," Local Bodies minister Brahm Mohindra said, news agency PTI reported.
We have decided to close restaurants in Delhi till March 31. Eating at restaurants will be prohibited but take away of foods or delivery of food will continue: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, news agency ANI reported.
We have decided to close restaurants in Delhi till March 31. Eating at restaurants will be prohibited but take away of foods or delivery of food will continue: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal,
Kashmir Heads Towards Virtual Shutdown, All Public Transport Banned In Srinagar
A day after a woman tested positive for coronavirus, Kashmir valley was headed towards a virtual lock down on Thursday as restrictions were imposed on movement of people in several parts and all public transport banned in Srinagar city.
The area within 300 metres radius of the house of the 67-year-old COVID-19 patient in Khanyar locality has been sealed off and officials of the Health Department are going house to house to check if any of her neighbours have symptoms of the disease, officials said.
Security forces have been deployed in strength in the old city to ensure that the restriction order on movement of people is implemented in letter and spirit, they said, news agency PTI reported.
On 21st March, Air India will be mounting a 787-Dreamliner to Rome to evacuate our students, other travellers or any Indians stranded there. We are in close touch with our mission there: Rubina Ali, Ministry of Civil Aviation, news agency ANI reported.
Panic Grips Srinagar As People Mob Shops, Petrol Pumps And Medical Outlets
Panic gripped Srinagar city on Thursday with residents indulging in heavy panic buying of essentials of life after a woman tested positive for COVID-19 infection.
People thronged markets for edible oils, pulses, tea, spices, medicines, handwashes and sanitizers.
Shopkeepers were battling with the rush of buyers as their shelves started getting emptied very quickly.
"I think I will have to bring down the shutter by this evening. I have already sold most stocks of edible oils, pulses, tea, handwashes and spices", said Muhammad Ramzan, a shopkeeper in Lal Bazaar area of Srinagar city.
Authorities have erected barricades disallowing vehicular movement into Srinagar city. Even outskirt districts like Ganderbal and Budgam have started disallowing the entry of those who do not belong to these districts, news agency IANS reported.
Coronavirus: No international flights will be allowed to land in India from March 22 for a week.
Coronavirus death toll hits 767 in Spain, 30 percent jump in 24 hours, news agency AFP reported.
India reports fourth novel coronavirus death, patient was from Punjab: Union Health Ministry
Number of positive cases of coronavirus in Jammu and Kashmir rises to four in in the Union Territory. 2337 people have been put under home quarantine and 34 people in hospital quarantine, news agency ANI reported.
Coronavirus Cases In Germany Soar Past 10,000
Germany has recorded 10,999 cases of the novel coronavirus, official data showed Thursday, with the number of new reported infections rising by 2,801 in a single day, news agency AFP reported.
The Ministry is strengthening the Covid Control room. Right now 25-30 people are working in the control room. They work in shifts. We are getting about 400 e-mails and 1000 calls in a day, said Dammu Ravi, AS & Coordinator (COVID-19), news agency ANI reported.
Indian Railways Suspend Concessional Tickets From March 20
The Indian Railways decided on Thursday to suspend all concessional tickets except for patients, students and those in the differently-abled category from the midnight of March 20 till further notice to discourage unnecessary travel in view of the coronavirus outbreak.
The national transporter said the move was to prevent the vulnerable category of senior citizens from undertaking unnecessary travels.
"Concessional booking of all tickets except for patients, students and the Divyangjan category for the unreserved and reserved segments is being suspended form hrs of 20th March till further advisory," an order from the railways said.
Of the 53 categories of concessions, only 15 could be availed now, it added, news agency PTI reported.
All farmers//vegetable markets in Haryana shall remain closed till March 31 to avoid large gatherings in view of coronavirus, says Haryana State Agricultural Marketing Board in its order, news agency ANI reported.
Coronavirus Outbreak: Odisha Churches Suspend Sunday Mass Till March 31
Churches in Odisha have decided to suspend Sunday mass till March 31 as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of novel
The Odia Baptist Church in Cuttack, one of the largest in the state, and the Church of Christ in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday decided to put all activities on hold in view of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Odia Baptist Church (CNI) in Berhampur and Baptist churches in Khurda and Jatni also took similar decisions.
Major churches in the state generally witness an average turnout of around 500 people during Sunday mass, sources said, news agency PTI reported.
European Union's Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier says he has coronavirus, news agency AFP reported.
Coronavirus: 30 Outstation Trains Cancelled Till April 1
The Central Railway has cancelled 30 more outstation trains till April 1, citing low occupancy due to the coronavirus outbreak, an official said on Thursday.
These trains are cancelled mainly due to low occupancy, as people have been advised to avoid non-essential travel during the pandemic, a Central Railway spokesperson said.
The decision was taken based on the Railway Board's directive, he added, news agency PTI reported.
An FIR has been registered against 16 shop owners for defying Collector's order to keep shops closed as the Epidemic Act 1867 and Disaster Management Act 2005 has been invoked in Pune, Maharashtra, news agency ANI reported.
Coronavirus: 84 Flights Cancelled At Chennai Airport
The outbreak of the coronavirus has left its impact on the travel industry. On Thursday, 84 flights were cancelled at Chennai airport due to lack of passengers.
Out of 84 flights, 50 were international flights and 34 were domestic.
It is expected that the cancellation of flights may increase in the coming days as the cases of the deadly virus across the globe are increasing rapidly.
Goa To Screen Domestic Travelers At Airport
Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane on Thursday announced that domestic travellers arriving at the state's Dabolim airport will also be screened for coronavirus infection.
Mr Rane along with state health director Jose De Sa, dean of Goa Medical College and Hospital Shivanand Bandodkar and airport director Gagan Malik inspected the airport's screening facility in the early hours of Thursday.
Mr Rane said the coastal state is gearing up to screen all domestic travellers who arrive at the airport.
People Should Not Step Out Of Homes: Uddhav Thackeray
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday urged the people of the state not to step out of their homes in order to help contain the spread of coronavirus.
"People should not step out of their homes," Mr Thackeray said in his brief televised address.
The Chief Minister also said that he has spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the coronavirus situation and he has assured all possible help to the state.
Dabbawalas Suspend Tiffin Service Till March 31
Mumbai's famed tiffin suppliers, the dabbawalas, on Thursday said they are suspending their services till March 31 in view of the coronavirus situation.
Subhash Talekar, spokesperson of Mumbai Dabbawala Association on said the service will remain suspended from Friday as a precautionary measure.
Mr Talekar said Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has appealed not to crowd on local trains to contain coronavirus and hence responding to his appeal their association decided to suspend the tiffin delivery service.
No threat of community transmission: ICMR
There's no threat of community transmission of coronavirus infection, a top medical officer has said, citing negative results in random testing of over 800 samples. "Yes, they have tested negative. There is no evidence of community transmission as per these results. Further scale-up is in progress. The control room meeting is underway and there is likely to be an update in sample size soon," Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) chief Dr Balram Bhargav said.
ICSE Class 10,12 Exams Postponed Till March 31
The ICSE on Thursday postponed class 10 and 12 examinations due to the novel coronavirus threat, officials said.
The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) Chief Executive Gerry Arathoon said the exams have been postponed till March 31.
On Wednesday, he had said the exams will be conducted as per the schedule after the CBSE announced it has postponed exams till March 31.
Coronavirus: Railways Cancels 84 More Trains; 155 Cancelled Till March 31
Railways on Thursday cancelled 84 trains, which will not operate between March 20 and March 31, in view of low occupancy and the novel coronavirus pandemic, officials said.
With this, the total number of cancelled trains has climbed to 155.
Railway officials said the trains were identified last night and the decision will be effective from March 20 until March 31.
"All passengers having tickets in these 155 trains are being informed about it individually. No cancellation fee will be taken for these trains. Passengers will get 100-per cent refund," an official said.
Update from Karnataka
"Home quarantine" stamping with indelible ink for international passengers has started at Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru.
The stamp indicates last day of quarantine.
US Suspends Routine Visa Services Due To Coronavirus Outbreak
The United States is suspending routine visa services in most countries because of the coronavirus pandemic, the State Department announced late Wednesday.
It said embassies and consulates in "most countries worldwide... will cancel all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments as of March 18, 2020."
It did not specify which countries would be exempted from the suspension, which was in response to "worldwide challenges" related to the deadly pandemic.
Breakup: 141 Indian nationals, 25 foreign nationals; 3 dead
Total number of confirmed Coronavirus cases in India have increased to 169, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has said. This includes 3 patients who have died.
The total number of infected patients comprise 141 Indian nationals and 25 foreign nationals. (Note: Thi is as on 19.03.2020 at 09:00 AM)
169 Confirmed Coronavirus Cases In India
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases have risen to 169 in India, Health Ministry has said. This is an increase of 18 cases in one day.
Maharashtra Warns Black Marketeers, Hoarders Of Essential Items
Maharashtra Food and Civil Supplies minister Chhagan Bhujbal on Wednesday said strict action would be taken against black marketeers and hoarders of essential commodities.
Mr Bhujbal said in view of the coronavirus outbreak, there is possibility of shortage of essential commodities or their sale at high prices.
It is necessary that essential commodities are available to citizens easily and at affordable prices.
The minister said black marketeers and hoarders of essential commodities will be punished.
He said mask ( 2 and 3 ply surgical mask, N 95 mask) and hand sanitizer have been included in the essential commodities list as per central government notification of March 13, 2020.
Pakistan Records Two Deaths From Coronavirus As Confirmed Cases Rise To 301
Pakistan on Wednesday reported its first two casualties due to the deadly coronavirus that has infected 301 people across the country.
"Sad to report one patient who passed away in Mardan," Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Minister Taimur Khan Jhagra tweeted late Wednesday night.
Within two hours after the tweet, Jhagra again announced that a second coronavirus death was also reported from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
The minister tweeted that the patient, a 36-year old person from Hangu district, died in a hospital in Peshawar.
Western Railways See Decline Of 8 Lakh Commuters In One Day
The number of commuters on suburban trains of the Western Railway (WR) reduced by more than 8 lakh on the day Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray appealed to people to avoid non-essential travel in view of the coronavirus outbreak in the state.
According to WR, on Tuesday 32.60 lakh passengers travelled on their suburban trains as against 40.75 lakh on Monday (down 8.15 lakhs).
"The number of commuters reduced by around 25 per cent," said Ravinder Bhakar, chief spokesperson of WR.
On Tuesday, Mr Thackeray had appealed to people to avoid train and bus journey if not necessary, while clarifying the government does not want to stop suburban services to contain the coronavirus spread.
Two US Congressmen test positive for coronavirus
Two US lawmakers on Wednesday were confirmed positive of the coronavirus as the number of deaths due to the deadly virus crossed 150 in America, while about 10,000 people have been infected.
Republican Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart from Florida became the first American lawmaker to have tested positive for the coronavirus, a deadly disease for which the health community is struggling to find a vaccine and a treatment.
Democratic Congressman Ben McAdams said he developed mild cold-like symptoms last Saturday and he has now tested positive for the deadly virus.
"My symptoms got worse and I developed a fever, a dry cough and laboured breathing and I remained self-quarantined. On Tuesday, my doctor instructed me to get tested for COVID-19 and following his referral, I went to the local testing clinic for the test. Today I learned that I tested positive," McAdams said.