25/03/2020 8:34 AM IST | Updated 25/03/2020 5:27 PM IST

India's 21-Day Lockdown: 10 Things You Need To Know Today

Journalist tests positive in Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram reports first patient and more updates.

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A milkman pushes a bicycle during a nationwide lockdown in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, in Nagaon District of Assam.

India has reported 562 cases of the novel coronavirus, of which 512 are active cases, according to the health ministry’s last update at 9.15 am on Wednesday.

103 districts in the country have reported patients with Covid-19.

Nine people have died of the virus, the ministry said, adding that the second death reported in Delhi was of a person who had tested negative. The ministry’s death toll does not include the death reported in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday morning.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Tuesday night announced that India would go into a nationwide lockdown for 21 days, starting at midnight, in a bid to combat the spread of Covid-19.

The PM’s address asked each citizen to stay home but did not make mention of financial assistance for daily wage workers, the poor, the homeless and the unemployed.

Here are today’s updates:

1. Mizoram reports first case of coronavirus, the second in Northeast

A pastor with travel history to the Netherlands tests positive for COVID-19 in Mizoram, PTI reported.

This is the second case in the Northeast. The first one was a student who tested positive in Manipur.

2. Journalist who attended Kamal Nath’s press conference tests positive

A journalist in Madhya Pradesh who attended a press conference addressed by former Chief Minister Kamal Nath before he resigned from the post tested positive for Covid-19, Indian Express reported. The press conference was attended by several ministers, MLAs, and journalists.

According to the state’s health department, there are 15 coronavirus patients in Madhya Pradesh as of now. 

3. These essential services will remain open, the govt says

Shops dealing with food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk booth, meat and fish, animal fodder will remain open.

Banks, insurance offices and ATMs will remain functional.

Print and election media will work. Telecom, internet, broadcasting and cable services will remain functional.

Petrol pumps, LPG, petrol and gas retail and storage outlets will remain open.

E-commerce for essentials like food, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment.

4. These people will need to follow strictly quarantine instructions

According to the home ministry guidelines, every person who arrived in the country after February 15 and those directed by healthcare workers to stay under quarantine at home or a medical facility must do as decided by local authorities. If they do no follow these instructions, they will liable for legal action under Section 188 of the IPC.

(See more guidelines from the home ministry here.)

5. Maharashtra’s cases rise to 116, highest in India

Officials in Maharashtra said nine more people, including five members of a family in Sangli’s Islampur, had tested positive for Covid-19. 

This is takes the number of cases in the state to 116, the highest in the country so far.

6. Tamil Nadu has reported its first coronavirus death

This is the first coronavirus death in the state. State health minister Vijayabaskar said, “Despite our best efforts, the COVID-19 +ve Pt at MDU, Rajaji Hospital, passed away few minutes back. He had medical history of prolonged illness with steroid dependent COPD, uncontrolled diabetes with hypertension.”

7. NPR, first phase of Census has been deferred

The exercise to update the National Population Register (NPR) and the first phase of the Census-2021 have been deferred indefinitely due to the 21-day lockdown announced by Modi, a senior home ministry official told PTI.

The two exercises were supposed to be carried out from April 1 to September 30.

8. India bans exports of hydroxychloroquine

The government has said it is banning the export of hydroxychloroquine and formulations made from the medication, as experts test the efficacy of the drug in helping treat patients infected with COVID-19.

Hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug, is among the medications that are being tested, as a potential treatment for patients with the disease. 

The health ministry had earlier issued an advisory on its use during treatment.

9. Flipkart has suspended its services temporarily

Meanwhile, Alibaba-backed online grocer BigBasket said its services had been impacted.

“We are working with the local authorities for the passes and permits that allow movement of personnel and vehicles involved,” BigBasket said in a statement.

10. Telangana CM threatens to issue shoot-at sight orders