22/03/2020 11:16 AM IST | Updated 23/03/2020 11:26 AM IST

Coronavirus In India: 15 Things You Need To Know Today

As India observes a 14-hour curfew on Sunday, here are the day's biggest updates.

Danish Ismail / Reuters
A municipal worker wearing a protective suit disinfects the shrine of Sufi Saint Khawaja Naqashband as a preventive measure against the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Srinagar March 19, 2020.

Three deaths were reported in India on Sunday as the country observed a 14-hour curfew called by PM Narendra Modi from 7 am to 9 pm in view of the coronavirus outbreak.

India has 341 cases of Covid-19, according to the Union health ministry’s update as of 4.30 pm.

Multiple states across the country have announced extended shutdowns.

More than 305,000 people have been infected by the novel coronavirus across the world and more than 13,000 have died, with deaths in Italy surpassing the toll in China, where the outbreak began.

Here are the day’s updates:

— Section 144 will be imposed in Delhi from 9 pm tonight to March 31, the Delhi Police Commissioner said. All gatherings—social, cultural, political, religious, academic, sports events, seminars— are banned. Weekly markets, except vegetable and fruit seller and essential commodities, are also banned.

— Govt locked down 75 districts with coronavirus cases across the country. It has also suspended inter-state bus services till March 31.


Gujarat’s health department reported that a 69-year-old coronavirus patient died in hospital in Surat. He had co-morbid conditions. “One female, 65 years, died in Vadodara hospital but her test report for COVID-19 is awaited. She also had comorbid conditions,” the department said.

Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray announced that Section 144 will be in place across urban areas in the state from Monday. Intercity bus services will remain suspended till March 31. BEST buses will ply in Mumbai for people involved in essential services.

Local train services on both Central and Western Railway are cancelled till March 31, including the local train services in Mumbai.

Essential services including banks and share market will remain open.

The state’s public health department said that a 63-year-old COVID19 patient succumbed to the illness in Mumbai on Saturday night. “The patient who tested positive for Coronavirus had a chronic history of diabetes, high blood pressure and ischemic heart disease,” the department said.  

— The day’s second death was reported in Bihar where a a 38-year-old man passed away. The man died due to kidney failure. He has been tested positive for Covid-19, AIIMS Patna said. “He was from Munger. He died yesterday at AIIMS in Patna. He had returned from Kolkata two days back,” Dr. Prabhat Kumar Singh said. The man had a history of travelling to Qatar.

— The Punjab government announced its decision to enforce lockdown in the entire state till March 31. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh tweeted that all essential and government services would continue during the lockdown.

Punjab at present has 14 coronavirus patients in the state. Eleven more persons had tested positive for coronavirus in Punjab on Saturday, taking the total number of confirmed cases of deadly infection to 14 in the state.

—  15 Uttar Pradesh districts, including Lucknow, Varanasi and Kanpur, will be under lockdown from Monday till Wednesday in first phase, CM Yogi Adityanath said.

— One person, a secondary contact of Chandigarh’s first positive case, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, Chandigarh’s Department of Public Relations said. This makes the total number of positive cases in the city six.

— A student who recently returned from London was reported as Madhya Pradesh’s first coronavirus patient.

Assam’s Himanta Biswa Sarma said that a four-year-old child who was suspected of having Covid-19,  tested negative n Jorhat Medical College and Regional Medical Research Center, Dibrugarh. This means no positive cases have been reported in Assam so far.

— The government of Kerala said it has authorised all District Magistrates in the state to invoke provisions of section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), as and when required to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Nagaland government said that all business establishments in the state, except pharmacies, petrol pumps, grocery shops and other essential commodities, will remain closed from midnight of March 22 till further orders.

Vehicles carrying inter-state transit passengers will be allowed till the midnight of March 23.

— The Indian Railways announced suspension of all its passenger services from March 22 midnight to March 31 midnight and said only goods trains will run during the said period.

“However, a bare minimum suburban services and the Kolkata Metro Rail service will continue till March 22 midnight. Thereafter, these services will also be stopped till March 31 midnight,” a spokesperson of the Indian Railways said. 

— A special Air India flight bringing back 263 Indian students from Italy landed at Delhi airport this morning. Officials said they have been sent to the ITBP quarantine facility in Delhi.

— Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi have developed a method to detect COVID-19 which can significantly reduce the test cost making it affordable for large sections. The National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune is in the process of validating this test on clinical samples.

The “probe-free detection assay” developed by the researchers at the prestigious institute’s Kusuma School of Biological Sciences has been optimised and tested for sensitivity at the research laboratories of the Institute, PTI reported.