India’s health ministry said on Friday that as of 9 am the country had 223 cases of which 196 were active coronavirus cases. India reported its fourth coronavirus death on Thursday in Punjab.
While most of the states and UT’s have imposed restrictions, inching towards partial shutdown and India has banned landing of all international commercial passenger flights from March 22 for a week.
Offices will be closed till March 31 in Maharashtra’s Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur and Pimpri Chinchwad. Delhi has closed all its malls, exempting grocery shops and pharmacies.
Here are the day’s updates:
8.31 pm: 12 new cases in Kerala
Twelve fresh cases of coronavirus were reported in Kerala on Friday, taking the total number of COVID-19 cases to 37, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.
While five cases were confirmed in Ernakulam, six were reported in Kasaragod and one case in Palakkad district, Vijayan told reporters after a COVID-19 review meeting.
“Totally, 44,390 people are under observation, of which 44,165 are in home quarantine and 225 in isolation wards in hosiptals,” he said.
Vijayan said all government offices in Kasaragod district would be closed for a week from tomorrow, while all places of worship and clubs will be shut.
7.34 pm: All bars in Karnataka shut till 31 March, restaurants to only offer takeaway services
The Karnataka government announced that all bars will be closed from tomorrow till 31 March. Restaurants and cafes will only be allowed to offer takeaway services.
7.20 pm: Bengaluru metro to be closed on Sunday
6.32 pm: Restaurants, hotels in Lucknow to be shut till 31 March
The District Magistrate (DM ) of Uttar Pradesh has ordered to close all restaurants, hotels, sweet shops, food stalls, cafe, and other eateries in Lucknow till March 31, The Indian Express reported.
“All bars, cafes/lounges, hair salons and beauty parlours should be closed with immediate effect till March 31 or till further orders,” District Magistrate Abhishek Prakash also told PTI.
6.24 pm: Jakarta declares emergency for two weeks
The governor of Jakarta on Friday declared a state of emergency for the next two weeks in the Indonesian capital.
Governor Anies Baswedan also said that public entertainment such as bars, spas and cinemas would be shut from Monday and public transportation limited. He urged companies to let staff work from home.
As of Friday, Indonesia had 369 confirmed cases and 32 deaths, according to a health ministry official. — Reuters
6.18 pm: Uttar Pradesh Health Minister self-isolates
Uttar Pradesh health minister Jai Pratap Singh has gone into self-quarantine. He attended a party where Kanika Kapoor was also present.
6.04 pm: Derek O’Brien goes into self-quarantine
Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien said he is going into self-quarantine because he sat next to MP Dushyant Singh at a Parliament meeting on March 18.
Dushyant Singh is also under self-quarantine because he attended a party where singer Kanika Kapoor was also a guest.
5.32 pm: Delhi government closes Dilli Haat markets
Manish Sisodia tweeted on Friday that the Delhi government has decided to close the three Dilli Haat markets — at INA, Pitampura and Janakpuri.
5.15 pm: Total cases in India rise to 223: Health ministry
The total cases of coronavirus in India rose to 223 on Friday. According to the health ministry, 196 of these are active cases, 22 are cured, one person has migrated and four have died.
4.44 pm: Death toll in Spain crosses 1,000
The death toll in Spain from coronavirus soared to 1,002 on Friday from 767 on the previous day, the country’s health emergencies chief Fernando Simon said. — Reuters
4.30: ‘Janta curfew’ will help break chain of transmission
The Health Ministry on Friday said people must follow Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for a ‘janta curfew’ on Sunday. “One day’s cooperation will help break the chain of transmission,” the ministry said.
3.58 pm: Passengers from Dubai quarantined in Pune
As many as 114 passengers who arrived in India from Dubai by a SpiceJet flight on Friday were put in mandatory quarantine though no passenger on the aircraft showed any major symptoms of coronavirus, a senior official said.
Another passenger, who had mild cough, was taken to the civic-run Naidu Hospital, the official said.
All passengers coming on SpiceJet’s Dubai-Pune flight are kept under observation irrespective of their health condition.
3.52 pm: Indian can produce 1.5 crore masks a day, govt tell Parliament
India has a capacity to manufacture 1.5 crore masks a day and the production has already started to ensure there is no crisis-like situation, the government said in Rajya Sabha on Friday.
There is no dearth of gloves or medicines and adequate quantity of sanitisers to meet the demand is available, Chemical and Fertiliser and Shipping Minister Mansukh Lal Mandaviya told the Upper House during the Question Hour.
This comes amid widespread reports that shops across large parts of the country had run out of masks and hand sanitisers.
3.49 pm: Railway official in Bengaluru suspended
An official of South Western Railway has been suspended for “hiding” her son, who returned from Germany and later tested positive for coronavirus, at a railway guest house in Bengaluru, railway spokesperson E Vijaya told PTI.
The Assistant Personnel Officer (Traffic) has been suspended, Vijaya said.
3.45 pm: NIV Pune confirms 33 patients today
Hindustan Times’ Anonna Dutt reports:
3.39 pm: Delhi metro services will be closed on Sunday
3.12 pm: U.K. has called on 65,000 retired medics to return to work
The U.K. government has called on more than 65,000 retired doctors and nurses to return to work. Other retired emergency service workers could also be called on to return to their former jobs, with London mayor Sadiq Khan announcing that recently retired police officers were being called upon to carry out back-office roles. Recently retired firefighters under 70 could also be asked to help, HuffPost UK reports.
3.01 pm: Maharashtra’s SSC board cancels exams for Class 1-8
Maharashtra education minister Varsha Gaikwad said that all exams for classes 1 to 8 are cancelled and all students will be promoted to next classes without exam.
These decisions are for the schools under the SSC board.
Exams for class 9 and 11 will be conducted after April 15. All teachers, except the ones for class 10, can work from home. The two remaining exams for Class 10 will be held as as per schedule, she said.
2.49 pm: New helpline numbers in Karnataka
The government has set up two new helpline numbers: 080-46848600 and 080-66692000
This is apart from the existing helpline number 104.
2.36 pm: Will decide on functioning of Mumbai locals after 48 hours, says minister
“A decision will be taken after monitoring crowd next 48 hours. People should stay at home. Except for essential services,” Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope said. He warned that the state government would be forced to shut down local trains if crowd is not controlled, Indian Express reported.
2.31 pm: Singer Kanika Kapoor tests positive for coronavirus
“I was scanned at the airport as per normal procedure 10 days ago when I came back home, the symptoms have developed only 4 days ago,” Kapoor wrote on Instagram.
“Contact mapping of people I’ve been in touch with is underway,” the singer said.
BJP MP Dushyant Singh and former Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje said they have gone into self-quarantine after attending a party where Kanika Kapoor was also a guest.
2.25: All offices Mumbai, Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad and Nagpur to be closed till March 31
Maharashtra has decided to close all offices except those providing essential services and commodities in Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur and Pimpri Chinchwad until March 31, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray announced
2.09 pm: All malls in Delhi to be shut, says CM Arvind Kejriwal
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said that all malls in Delhi will be closed. Only grocery, pharmacy and vegetable shops in the malls will remain open.
1.35 pm: China exonerates Dr Li Wenliang reprimanded for warning about coronavirus outbreak
China has exonerated a doctor who was officially reprimanded for warning about the coronavirus outbreak and later died of the disease, a startling admission of error by the ruling Communist Party that generally bodes no challenges to its authority, AP reported.
The party’s top disciplinary body said the police force in Wuhan had revoked its admonishment of Dr Li Wenliang that had included a threat of arrest.
It also said a “solemn apology” had been issued to Li’s family and that two police officers, identified only by their surnames, had been issued “disciplinary punishments” for the original handling of the matter.
1.32 pm: Congress’ Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury essentials not available in markets
During Question Hour in Lok Sabha, Congress’ Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said while his party is with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in efforts to combat coronavirus, after his address to the nation, “the markets are on fire”.
Chowdhury said that prices of commodities, including food items had gone up and essential items were fast disappearing from market shelves.
“Masks are not available ... hoarders are stocking up things,” he said amid protests by Treasury benches.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi responded saying the government had taken effective steps to deal with the outbreak.
1.25pm: Fitch cuts India’s growth forecast
Fitch Ratings has cut India’s growth forecast to 5.1% for FY 2020-21, saying supply chain disruptions in the wake of coronavirus outbreak are likely to hit investment and exports.
It also said that with global GDP falling, the world is in “recession territory”.
Fitch had in December 2019 projected India to grow at 5.6% in 2020-21 and 6.5% in the following year.
12.52 pm: Actor Prithviraj posts update from film shoot in Jordan
12.49 pm: Piyush Goyal tweets photo of “novel measures” by Railways
12.43 pm: Two Kerala NRIs test positive for coronavirus
A Malayali nurse in England’s Newcastle and a Kannur native in Oman’s Salalah have tested positive for coronavirus, Malayali Manorama reported.
12.25 pm: Kolkata man, with UK travel history, is Bengal’s second coronavirus patient
A Kolkata resident with a recent travel history to the United Kingdom has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, making it the second confirmed case in West Bengal, a state government official said on Friday.
The man, a resident of Ballygunge area, had returned from the UK on March 13 and was admitted to the Beliaghata ID Hospital on March 19 with symptoms of COVID-19.
12.02 pm: Italian tourist, who officials say recovered from coronavirus, dies in Jaipur
A 69-year-old Italian tourist who had “recovered” from novel coronavirus died at a private hospital in Jaipur, SMS Medical College principal Sudhir Bhandari told PTI on Friday.
The tourist had a massive cardiac arrest late on Thursday night. The man was a heart and lungs patient, and recovered from COVID-19 at the SMS Hospital, according to Bhandari.
The man preferred shifting to a private hospital, so he was allowed to be shifted to the Fortis hospital on Thursday morning, Bhandari said.
“He was fine in the SMS Hospital and he was fit from our side,” he said
11.50 am: 206 individuals have tested positive so far, says ICMR
“A total of 206 individuals have been confirmed positive among suspected cases and contacts of known positive cases,” the Indian Council of Medical Research said in its latest update.
A total of 14,376 samples from 13,486 individuals have been tested, it added.
11.26 am: Ram Navami celebration in Ayodhya cancelled
Quint’s Aishwarya S Iyer tweeted that the massive Ram Navami celebrations planned in Ayodhya have been cancelled.
The Uttar Pradesh government had allowed for the mela in Ayodhya despite the state’s own advisories against large gatherings. On Thursday, CM Yogi Adityanath asked people to hold religious ceremonies at home.
Ayodhya’s Chief Medical Officer Ghanshyam Singh had raised concerns about the event, which lakhs were expected to attend, and advised the district administration to cancel the mela.
11.10 am: Two Kerala MLAs quarantined after meeting person with coronavirus
MLAs of Kasargod and Manjeshwar constituencies— NA Nellikkunnu and MC Kamaruddin—are north Kerala are in home quarantine after coming in contact with a coronavirus positive person. According to Mathrubhumi, they met the person at marriage ceremonies and public functions.
The patient has been quarantined at Kasaragod general hospital.
10.57 am: ‘Indian govt must act’: Shashi Tharoor lists out plans proposed by other countries
10.37 am: Odisha reports 2nd coronavirus case
Odisha has reported the second confirmed case of novel coronavirus after a man who returned from a COVID-19-affected country tested positive, the state health department said.
“Today 14 samples were tested at RMRC (Regional Medical Research Centre) Bhubaneswar out of which one is positive for #COVID2019,” the Health and Family Welfare Department tweeted on Thursday night.
10.33 am: Shiv Sena editorial questions why Parliament is still in session
An editorial in the Shiv Sena mouthpiece ’Saamana on Friday said that on the one hand PM Modi appeals to the public to practice social distancing, while on the other he allows Parliament to function for political reasons.
In his address to the country on Thursday night, Modi had asked the entire country to observe ‘Janta curfew’ on Sunday. He also asked people to stay indoors and work from home as much as possible.
According to PTI, the editorial said that thousands of MPs, officials and members of the staff come together in Parliament.
“Shutting down or slowing down the government work on one hand, but being adamant in keeping the Parliament session on the other is certainly not aimed at keeping up the great democratic traditions,” it said.
10.30 am: Suspected coronavirus patient flees hospital in Punjab
A 26-year-old woman suspected to be suffering from coronavirus was booked for fleeing from the hospital in Punjab, police said on Friday.
The woman, a resident of Mohali, had returned from the US and was taken to a government hospital in Chandigarh for a check up.
She had been booked under relevant sections including 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 188 (disobedience to order) of the IPC.
10.27 am: Masks, adulterated sanitisers worth Rs 7 lakh seized in Maharashtra
Masks and adulterated hand sanitisers worth Rs 7 lakh were seized from a shop in Maharashtra’s Jalna city, police told PTI on Friday.
In a joint operation, officials of the food supply office, Food and Drug Administration and the local crime branch raided Kalpana Emporium in New Jalna on Thursday night, crime branch chief Rajendra Singh Gour said.
As many as 730 bottles of fake hand sanitisers and 18,900 masks valued at Rs 7 lakh were recovered, he said.
10.17 am: Kerala High Court orders stay on foreclosure proceedings
The Kerala HC has ordered a stay on all foreclosure proceedings in the state till April 6, News18 Malayalam reported.
10.02 am: Punjab records third patient
A 69-year-old woman, who recently returned from the United Kingdom, has tested positive for coronavirus, taking the total number of cases in Punjab to three, Mohali Deputy Commissioner Girish Dayalan told PTI on Friday.
Her samples were tested at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), the official said, adding that she would now be admitted to a hospital.
One of the two earlier COVID-19 patients in Punjab had died on Thursday.
9.41 am: Italy’s death toll surpasses China
Italy surpassed China as the country with the most deaths from coronavirus as it announced another 427 fatalities on Thursday, taking its total to 3,405.
China has officially reported 3,245 deaths from the virus.
9. 32 am: China reports no new domestic cases
China for its part reported on Friday a second day with no new domestic cases since the virus appeared in the central city of Wuhan in December.
However, coronavirus infections from abroad hit a new daily record. Mainland China had 39 new confirmed cases on Thursday, the country’s National Health Commission said.
9.17 am: Man thrashed for sneezing in public in Maharashtra
A man riding a motorbike was thrashed in Kolhapur city of Maharashtra on Thursday because he sneezed in public, PTI reported. A CCTV video of the incident, which took place in Gujari area of Kolhapur, went viral on social media, though the local police said no complaint had been registered.
The video showed that a bike-rider stopping and asking another rider on the road why he sneezed without covering his face with a handkerchief as it could cause the spread of the coronavirus. It led to a heated exchange, and the man who had allegedly sneezed was beaten up.
9.03 am: 195 patients in India now
The health ministry’s latest update says India now has 195 patients as of 9 am on March 20, 2020.
8.47 am: Delhi now has 14 patients
The total number of coronavirus cases in the national capital rose to 14 on Thursday, according to the Delhi Health Department.
The four new cases include two people from West Bengal, who had returned from Italy, and were quarantined at the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) Chhawala facility. Both these patients have been admitted at the Safdarjung Hospital.
8.31am: Kerala CM announces Rs 20,000 crore financial package
One more person tested positive for coronavirus in Kerala on Thursday, taking the total number of cases to 25, as the Left government announced a Rs 20,000 crore financial package to tide over the present crisis.
The multi-crore special package includes:
— Rs 500 crore health package, Rs 2,000 crore loans and free ration.
— Loans worth Rs 2,000 crore for needy families to be made available through all-women network ‘Kudumbashree’ during April-May.
— Rural employment guarantee programmes worth Rs 1,000 crore each to be implemented in April-May
— Social security pension of Rs 1,320 crore, to be given in April, will be distributed this month. 50 lakh people are benefited through the pension scheme, CM says.
— Those belonging to the below poverty line and Anthyodaya, who are not receiving social security pension, will be given Rs 1,000 each, for which Rs 100 crore will be earmarked.
— Cutting across APL and BPL families, 10 kg free ration will be given and Rs 100 crore will be set apart for the purpose
— A string of 1,000 low-cost hotels, providing food at Rs 20, will be opened across the state next month
— The ‘fitness’ charges of autorickshaws and taxis and one month tax of stage and contract carriages will be waived
— Consumers will be given a month to clear their electricity and water bills and film theatres will get entertainment tax waiver
8.18 am: California issues statewide ‘stay at home order’
California’s governor has issued an unprecedented statewide “stay at home order” directing the state’s 40 million residents to hunker down in their homes for the foreseeable future.
Governor Gavin Newsom’s directive, effective immediately, marks the largest and most sweeping government clampdown yet in the worsening public health crisis brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak, which he predicted could infect more than half the state within eight weeks.
Already more than 1,000 Californians have been confirmed as infected and 18 have died, the third largest death toll in the United States behind only Washington state and New York.
8.01 am: Govt bans exports of all ventilators, surgical/disposable masks
The government has banned export of all ventilators, surgical/disposable masks and textile raw material used for making masks and coveralls with immediate effect in wake of the coronavirus outbreak.