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Coronavirus in India Live updates: Confirmed COVID-19 cases rise to 137, Maharashtra worst hit

Coronavirus outbreak news: As per figures by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the highest number of cases are from Maharashtra, Kerala and Karnataka

twitter-logo BusinessToday.In        Last Updated: March 18, 2020  | 10:44 IST
Coronavirus in India Live updates: Confirmed COVID-19 cases rise to 137, Maharashtra worst hit
Coronavirus in India: Death toll in the country has reached three

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has stated that total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in India is now 137. As per Ministry figures, the highest number of cases are from Maharashtra, Kerala and Karnataka. As coronavirus pandemic spreads, Uttar Pradesh authorities have shut schools and colleges till April 2 amid increasing cases of novel coronavirus in India. The state Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had said on March 13 that all the schools and colleges in UP will remain shut till March 22. On the other hand, Maharashtra government has suspended the use of breath-analyser for testing drunk driving cases for the time being. A senior Home Ministry official said the move is aimed at minimising the chances of viral transmission by restricting person-to-person contacts. The test would be resumed once the situation gets normal.

Also read: Coronavirus in India Live Updates: Confirmed cases surge to 138; S&P lowers India's growth forecast to 5.2%

Meanwhile, a 64-year-old COVID-19 patient has died in a hospital in Mumbai. With this total death toll to three in India. Kerala on Tuesday reported a fresh COVID-19 cases which has alarmed the state authorities. With this, the total number of confirmed novel coronavirus cases in India has reached 125, according to Ministry of Health. The total number of coronavirus cases in India jumped to 137 on Tuesday following several fresh cases reported from various states, including Odisha and Maharashtra. The Union Health Ministry also said that fresh COVID-19 cases were reported from Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh and Kerala. The government also imposed fresh travel bans, whereby it banned the entry of passengers from the EU countries and the UK from March 18. The COVID-19 virus infection has affected around 1.5 lakh people globally. The death toll has spiked sharply in Italy which is the worst-affected country by the novel coronavirus after China. Iran too is affected a lot as the death toll in the country crossed 700, with nearly 14,000 confirmed cases.

Also Read: Mumbai local trains to suspend operations? Uddhav Thackeray has big decision to make

Also Read: Coronavirus update: Here's a list of 52 test centres for COVID-19

Also Read: COVID-19 cases rise to 107; India faces shortage of ventilators, ICU beds

To follow coronavirus updates LIVE, follow BusinessToday.In:

9.42 pm: All malls, restaurants across Sindh province to be shut down for at least 15 days. Public transports going in and out of Karachi are also to be closed. The province is going into a virtual lockdown.

8.24 pm: To prevent the spread of coronavirus, we appeal to the general public not to assemble for protest, dharna, rally, entertainment or any other purpose, whether in close space or outside, till March 31, 2020: Delhi Police

8.21 pm: Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla holds a meeting with officers of concerned agencies to take stock of the preparedness to monitor and control the spread of coronavirus in Parliament House Complex.

8.17 pm: Considering the growing coronavirus threat, Haryana government has advised all MNCs, IT firms, industries, BPOs, corporate offices situated in Gurugram to allow their employees to work from their homes till March 31.

7.37 pm: Iran issued a dire warning on Tuesday regarding the coronavirus outbreak, suggesting that "millions" could die in the country if the people keep travelling and ignoring health guidelines.

The warning came only hours after hard-line Shiite faithful forced their way into the courtyards of two major shrines that had just been closed over fears of the deadly virus. Meanwhile, Iran's supreme leader issued a religious ruling prohibiting "unnecessary" travel in the country.

7.33 pm: At least 24 of the 850 Indians in Iran have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a list of names accessed by India Today from pilgrims who are stuck in Qom.

7.29 pm: In view of sudden rise in COVID-19 cases, Delhi's Lok Nayak Hospital has curtailed the outpatient department registration timing from 8:30 am to 10:00 am with immediate effect till further orders.

7.18 pm: Parliamentary Standing Committee for Urban Development discussed plans to increase private labs for private hospitals to diagnose coronavirus samples. As of now, there are total 65 labs across the country that can test 2,000 samples in a day.

7.15 pm: So far we have sent 113 samples for testing for coronavirus out of which 105 have tested negative, informed Director of National Health Mission, Jammu and Kashmir. Reports of 5 samples are awaited, whereas 3 positive cases have been reported till now.

7.12 pm: Coronavirus update: 11th case of COVID-19 in Karnataka

6.58 pm:Tw inmates at ITBP's quarantine camp in Chhawla, Delhi have tested positive for coronavirus. They were among a batch of 216 people who came from Milan, Italy on March 15. Both individuals have been shited to Safdarjung Hospital.

6.52 pm: Local trains, BEST buses to run as per usual schedule, announced Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray after a cabinet meeting today. Goverment offices will remain open, he further said.

6.43 pm: Indian company ready to rollout COVID-19 test kit

Chennai-based Trivitron Healthcare is developing diagnostic test kits and testing facilities which can be used quickly in case the viral load increases. This would perhaps be the first indigenous kit to be launched to run diagnosis for coronavirus.

Currently India is importing diagnostic testing kits from Germany and Switzerland. These kits are used for testing in 52 Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) laboratories across the country.

6.38 pm: GoAir suspends international flights till April 15

6.26 pm: Coronavirus impact: Punjab under lockdown

A Group of Ministers (GoM) in Punjab issued directions to close down all shopping complexes, malls, museums and local weekly kisan mandis in view of the coronavirus pandemic. The ministerial panel also issued an advisory for all religious institutions and Dera heads to postpone religious congregations till March 31 t0o ontain the contagion.

The GoM has also directed the School Education Department and administrative bodies of other private educational institutes to postpone the examinations. The panel has also issued directions to Deputy Commissioners (DCs) to ensure that the gathering at any function at marriage venues does not exceed 50 persons.

(ANI)

6.25 pm: Gram Panchayat elections that were scheduled at 6 places in Pune have been postponed in view of coronavirus outbreak, said District Magistrate Naval Kishore Ram.

6.21 pm: Two new confirmed cases of coronavirus infection have emerged in Maharashtra. One is a 49-year-old man from Mumbai, whereas another is from Pimpri-Chinchwad. Both have travel history to the United States.

6.20 pm: Telangana confirms another COVID-19 case, taking the tally to 5. The new confirmed patient is an Indonesian, not an Indian national and has a travel history from Delhi to Telangana, State Health Minister Eatala Rajendra said.

6.09 pm: "There are 4 stages. 3rd stage is community transmission which we hope we shouldn't have. It would depend on how strongly we close our int'l borders, in terms of which govt has taken very proactive steps.But can't say that community transmission won't happen," said Dr Balram Bhargava, director-general of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) during a media briefing in Delhi.

6.06 pm: In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Scheduled Test for Airmen Recruitment (01/2020) planned to be held in 86 cities from March 19 -23 has been postponed tentatively to the last week of April this year, Air Force spokesperson Group Captain Anupam Banerjee told ANI.

5.41 pm: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has stated that total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in India is 137. As per Ministry figures, the highest number of cases are from Maharashtra, Kerala and Karnataka.

5.34 pm: A Russian delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev has cancelled their India visit due to the coronavirus pandemic, diplomatic sources told ANI. The meeting was expected to be held in March.

4.56 pm: "ICMR is also engaging with high-quality private laboratories, that include NABL accredited laboratories, to understand the modalities to increase access to the tests while ensuring appropriate safeguards," says Dr Bhargava.

4.55 pm: "We have also engaged non-ICMR, Ministry of Health, govt laboratories include CSIR, DRDO, DBT, govt medical colleges, we have 49 of those labs which will start testing by the end of this week," Dr Bhargava further says.

4.51 pm: "Currently the laboratory expansion of ICMR is engaged, we are expanding our number of laboratories and as we speak, today we have 72 functional laboratories in ICMR system," says Dr Bhargava.

4.48 pm: "We already know that we are in stage 2. We are in not in stage 3, clearly," says Dr Balram Bhargava, director-general of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) during a media briefing in Delhi.

4.47 pm: Govt offices advised to install thermal scanner at gates, avoid travel

An advisory has been issued to all offices of central government in view of the coronavirus outbreak. The instructions in the advisory are as follows:

1. Install thermal scanners at the entry of govemment buildings, as feasible. Mandatory placing of hand sanitisers at the entry of government buildings.

2. Those found having flu like symptoms may be advised to take proper treatment and quarantine, etc.

3. Discourage, to the maximum extent, entry of visitors in the office comptex.

4. Routine issue of visitors/temporary passes should be suspended with immediate effect. Only those visitors whom have proper permission of the officer who they want to meet, should be allowed after being property screened. Meetings, as far as feasible, should be done through video conferencing. To minimize or reschedule meetings involving large number of people unless necessary.

5. Avoid non-essential official travel.

6. Undertake essential correspondence on official e-mail and avoid sending documents to other offices, to the extent possible.

7. Facilitate delivery and receipt of dak at the entry point itself of the office building, as far as practical.

4.35 pm: Coronavirus news: Indian Railways sends two catering staff for testing

Two catering staff from Bhubaneswar-New Delhi Rajdhani Express have been sent to a hospital in Odisha where they will be tested for COVID-19 infection.

The train has arrived at the New Delhi railway station 2 days ago. One of the passengers with travel history to Italy, had travelled aboard the train.

Waiter informed railway officials that he had met with the passenger and that he had been feeling unwell.

Contact tracing revealed that he came in contact with 129 people, 76 of whom were cco-passengers. Meanwhile, TTE and other staff of the train have been sent into self-quarantine.

4.26 pm: Coronavirus update: Central Railway cancels 22 trains

Central Railway has cancelled 22 low-occupancy trains till March 31, 2020 (see list below). The railway zone has also increased platform ticket fare from Rs 10 to Rs 50 till further notice on its Mumbai, Pune, Bhusaval, Nagpur and Solapur divisions in order to curb crowds on platforms.

4.14 pm: Coronavirus update: Private labs to be roped in for COVID-19 tests

Union Health Ministry has decided to allow accredited private laboratories to conduct tests for diagnosing COVID-19, officials said. As of now, only government labs are allowed to conduct these tests. These arrangements will almost double Centre's capacity to test for the deadly virus. According to Health Ministry officials, around 60 accredited private laboratories are likely to be given permission to conduct the tests soon.

4.09 pm: IN PICTURES: Sanitisation of metro trains and stations of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation in view of COVID-19 outbreak

4.03 pm: IN PICTUIRES: Portals of Shirdi Sai Baba Temple closed till further notice in view of coronaVirus pandemic.

4.02 pm: IN PICTUIRES: Station authority personnel sanitise trains at the Dehradun Railway Station in Uttarakhand as a precautionary measure against coronavirus.

4:00 pm: Cricket Association of Bengal office to remain closed from March 17 to March 21 as a precautionary measure against coronavirus. Managers and functional heads can take a decision to get employees to report to office as per work exigencies and priorities, the association said.

3.49 pm: COVID-19 update: Himachal shuts state-run temples; suggets online darshan as alternative

The Himachal Pradesh government on Tuesday advised people to shun darshan of deities at temples in a bid to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus pandemic which has infected over 100 people in the country. There will be no darshans in all the government-controlled temples in Himachal Pradesh in view of the possibility of people getting infected with the coronavirus in gatherings, the state government said in a statement.

Under this, three Shaktipeeths -- mother Jwalamukhi, mother Bajreshwari Kangra and mother Chamunda -- of Kangra have been closed from Tuesday. The decision was taken after the state government issued a notification. Deputy Commissioner of Kangra Rakesh Prajapati said that the devotees, who arrived late on Monday or early Tuesday morning, were allowed darshan. Later, all the three temples were closed to the general public.

The devotees could watch live darshan of all temples through YouTube channel and webcasting.

The doors of Chintpurni Shaktipeeth, the most-visited temple in Kangra and Una districts, has been closed in Una.

(PTI)

3.42 pm: The National Museum in Delhi will remain closed for public from March 17-31, or until further order, in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

3.40 pm: IN PICTURES: Buses of Bihar State Tourismk Corporation being sanitised

3.39 pm: It is decided that all restaurants and bars will be voluntarily closed for next three days till March 20 to avoid spread of coronavirus, said Pune Restaurant and Hoteliers Association.

3.27 pm: IN PICTURES: Staff and visitors at Union Ministry of Home Affairs being given hand sanitisers to clean their hands before entering the Ministry offices, as a precautionary measure against coronavirus.

3.27 pm: In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court has issued a circular restricting functioning in both of its Jammu and Srinagar wings to urgent matters only, till March 31.

3.26 pm: IN PICTURES: Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation's premium buses in Bengaluru being sanitised after their arrival to the bus depot and before their departure for the next journey, as a precautionary measure against coronavirus.

3.25 pm: Coronavirus update: First COVID-19 death in Pakistan; cases surge to 193

Pakistan reported its first casualty due to the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, health ministry officials said as the number of positive cases of the COVID-19 infections rose to 193 in the country.

The first fatality was reported from Lahore. Meanwhile, Sindh has 155 positive cases, followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with 15, Balochistan 10, Gilgit-Baltistan 5, Islamabad 2 and Punjab 6, officials said.

"One COVID-19 patient who was brought from Hafizabad, some 150 kms from Lahore, died here on Tuesday," Punjab Health Minister Yasmin Rashid told a press conference here on Tuesday.

She said five new cases of the coronavirus have emerged in Punjab and as many in Sindh raising the total number of the COVID-19 infections to 193, including 155 in Sindh province.

(PTI)

3.22 pm: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will take a call on the suspension of Mumbai local train services during a state cabinet meeting today, said State Health Minister Rajesh Tope.

3.16 pm: Coronavirus update: Air India cancels UK, Europe flights after DGCA order

3.10 pm: Coronavirus impact: Maharashtra suspends breath-analyser test

Battling rising number of novel coronavirus cases, the Maharashtra government has suspended the use of breath-analyser for testing drunk driving cases for the time being. A senior Home Ministry official said the move is aimed at minimising the chances of viral transmission by restricting person-to-person contacts.

"We have decided to suspend the use of breath-analyser apparatus for the time being," he said.

It is in fact a very useful equipment to maintain the neutrality and objectivity of police officials who use this apparatus during checking, the official added. However, regular checking of vehicles by police personnel will continue.

A circular in this regard was issued by Vinay Kargaonkar, Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Maharashtra Highway Police, on Monday.

"Outbreak of coronavirus has been reported in the state. To contain the spread of the virus, the police personnel need to take precautionary measures accordingly. Hence, Traffic Police personnel in all police units should not conduct breath-analyser tests for alcohol consumption by motorists," stated the circular.

The test would be resumed once the situation gets normal, he added.

Kargaonkar told PTI in Nagpur that the decision was taken to prevent further spread of coronavirus infection. He said police personnel are vulnerable to the infection because they have to place the breath-analyser apparatus into the mouth of motorists to check whether they are driving drunk.

(PTI)

3.06 pm: CIC has ordered that Personal appearance of parties or their representatives dispensed with till March 31 in wake of coronavirus pandemic, PTI reports.

3.01 pm: Kalaburagi City Corporation has ordered that street vendors, film theaters, bakeries and restaurants in the district to remain closed for next one week as a precautionary measure against coronavirus.

2.58 pm: Coronavirus impact: Uttar Pradesh shuts educational institutions, cinemas till April 2

To contain the spread of coronavirus, the Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday announced closure of all educational institutions in the state till April 2.

Briefing reporters here after a meeting of the UP Cabinet, minister Shrikant Sharma said, "Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed that all schools, colleges and educational institutes will remain closed till April 2."

Competitive and other examinations have been postponed till April 2. All tourists places in the state have been shut, the minister said. All cinemas and multiplexes will also remain closed till April 2, Sharma said. He said the district magistrates have been instructed to spread awareness through posters and banners on the viral disease.

"An appeal has been made to religious leaders to avoid crowding in temples, mosques, gurudwaras and churches and exercise caution," Sharma said.

The chief minister has appealed to the people to avoid venturing into crowded places and not to panic, he said.

(PTI)

2.55 pm: Vistors coming to District Collector's office in Madurai, Tamil Nadu are being allowed to enter only after cleaning their hands with hand sanitiser. State government yesterday ordered closure of all colleges, schools, malls, theatres in the state as precautionary measure against coronavirus contagion.

2.53 pm: Delhi High Court today allowed an urgent hearing on a petition seeking evacuation of Indian students at the earliest to India and to ensure safety of Indian students studying in Iran, in the wake of #Coronavirus outbreak.

2.50 pm: Coronavirus update: First COVID-19 case reported in Haryana, woman tests positive i n Gurugram

A 29-year-old woman from Haryana's Gurgaon district has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, a health official said on Tuesday. The woman is an employee of a Gurgaon-based company and had recently travelled to Malaysia and Indonesia, the official said.

"This is the first positive case of the coronavirus in Haryana," state Director General of Health Suraj Bhan Kamboj said.

She has been admitted to a hospital and her condition is stable, he said.

Samples taken from her after she returned from abroad were sent to the Pune-based National Institute of Virology, which confirmed her to be positive of Covid-19 (coronavirus disease), Kamboj said.

(PTI)

2.46 pm: Tokyo 2020 cancels some local events along the Olympic torch relay route to avoid forming crowds, some events to go ahead but will be closed to the public, reported Reuters.

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2.39 pm: Uttarakhand declares COVID-19 an epidemic

"Uttarakhand government has declared coronavirus as an epidemic. Medical stores advised not to sell medicines to person suffering from cold and cough without medical prescription. Masks&hand sanitizers should be sold at MRP only," said Pankaj Pandey, Medical Secretary, Health and Medical Education Department.

2.28 pm: Coronavirus news: Health Ministry expands compulsory quarantine for passengers coming from UAE, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait

The Union Health Ministry has expanded compulsory quarantine for a minimum period of 14 days for passengers coming from/transiting through UAE, Qatar, Oman & Kuwait. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on 18th March at the port of first departure. This will be in force till 31st March.

2.18 pm: Coronavirus update: Tiger reserves, sanctuaries, parks and zoos in Uttarakhand to remain shut till March 31

Tiger reserves, sanctuaries, national parks and zoos in the state of Uttarakhand will remain shut till March 31 amid increasing cases of novel coronavirus in India, reports ANI.

2.10 pm: Coronavirus India: BJP MP Hema Malini demands Parliament session should be curtailed

BJP MP Hema Malini Tuesday said that the ongoing Parliament session should be curtailed due to coronavirus fear. "We all are continuing with our work but a large number of people gather here (at Parliament)...I think it is worth giving a thought to this matter."

1.56 pm: Coronavirus news: Undetected cases fuelling stoking fast spread of COVID-19 pandemic, says study

Undocumented COVID-19 cases were mainly responsible for the spread of deadly virus in Chinda, according to a study. The research, published in the journal Science, discovered that 86% of all COVID-19 infections were undetected before the January 23 travel ban in Wuhan. Columbia University scientists observed that per person, these undetected infections were half as deadly as the documented ones.

1.47 pm: Coronavirus in Delhi: Authorities close Rajghat till March 31

The authorities in Delhi have shut Rajghat till March 31 amid rising cases of novel coronavirus in Delhi. The total number of confirmed cases has reached 8 in the national capital.

1.44 pm: Coronavirus in Delhi: Authorities shut Red Fort temporarily

Authorities in Delhi have temporarily closed the Red Fort amid rising cases of novel coronavirus in Delhi. The total number of confirmed cases has reached 8 in the national capital.

1.37 pm: Coronavirus in UP: Authorities shut schools, colleges in the state till April 2

The authorities in the state of Uttar Pradesh have shut schools and colleges till April 2 amid increasing cases of novel coronavirus in India.

1.26 pm: Coronavirus in Maharashtra: Mumbai man death! State Health minister says can confirm demise due to COVID-19

Rajesh Tope, Minister of Public Health and Family Welfare, Maharashtra said on Tuesday that the reason for death of Mumbai can't be ascertained due to novel coronavirus. "It is not possible to say now that the man who died at Kasturba Hospital today, died due to #Coronavirus. We are waiting for the report," he said.

1.16 pm: Coronavirus outbreak: Pakistan reports first death; patient returned from Iran

Pakistan has reported its first death due to novel coronavirus. The patient had returned from Iran and had been quarantined for 14 days at the Iran-Taftan border.

1.10 pm: Coronavirus update: Delhi govt offers quarantine facilities at three hotels in Aerocity area

The Delhi government has directed three luxury hotels in Aerocity area, near Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport to convert 182 rooms into paid quaratine facilities for people flying in from abroad who need to be isolated.

Read full story here: Coronavirus update: Quarantine facilities available at Rs 3,100 per day in Delhi's Aerocity

1.05 pm: Coronavirus impact: Qutub Minar shut till March 31; total cases reach 8 in the capital

The authorities have closed Qutub Minar in Delhi till March 31 amid rising COVID-19 cases. The total confirmed cases have reached 8 in the national capital.

12. 55 pm: Union Minister V Muraleedharan tests negative for COVID-19

Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan has tested negative for the novel coronavirus infection. He had gone on a home quarantine as a precautionary measure against the spread of COVID-19. He minister had on March 14 attended a meeting in a medical institute in Trivandrum. A doctor of the same medical college had tested positive for novel coronavirus on March 15 after returning from Spain.

12.46 pm: Coronavirus impact: COVID-19 likely to be detrimental for output and prices

The around 30% fall in global crude oil prices can bring the petrol prices down by Rs 12 per litre and diesel prices by Rs 10 per litre in India, according to State Bank of India's research report titled Ecowrap. The national bank also said in its report that if the Centre and states, if not wanting to slash fuel prices, they must not, in any event, raise the excise duty. "Rather the additional revenue accruing to the Centre can be spent on providing relief to people at the lower strata who will lose income because of shutdown of commercial activity in states as novel coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads," said the report.

12.33 pm: Coronavirus update: Uttarakhand Congress leader goes on home quarantine

Uttarakhand Congress Vice-President Suryakant Dhasmana has gone on home quarantine for 14 days. The leader has taken the step after he met a suspected COVID-19 patient in the isolation ward of Doon Hospital on Monday.

12.26 pm: Coronavirus in Gurgaon: First confirmed case reported in Haryana

A 29-year-old woman from Gurgaon, Haryana has tested positive for COVID-19, a health official said on Tuesday. The woman is an employee of a Gurgaon-based company and had recently visited Malaysia and Indonesia, the official added.

12.10 pm: Coronavirus in India: Total confirmed cases rise to 126 across the country: Health Ministry

The Union Ministry of Family and Health Welfare on Tuesday said that the total number of confirmed novel coronavirus cases have risen to 126 in India. The ministry came out with a state-wise list of positive cases across the country. Maharashtra topped the list with 36 positive cases followed by Kerala at 22. Meanwhile, Delhi has 7 positive coronavirus cases presently.

12.00 pm: Coronavirus in India: Maharashtra Health Minister holds urgent meeting

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope is holding an urgent meeting on novel coronavirus. He is meeting leaders from the corporate and health sector; One Covid-19 patient has passed away in Mumbai today. 

11.54 am: Coronavirus in India: Union Minister V Muraleedharan self-quarantines after attending a meeting

Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan has gone on a home quarantine as a precautionary measure against the spread of COVID-19. He minister had on March 14 attended a meeting in a medical institute in Trivandrum. A doctor of the same medical college had tested positive for novel coronavirus on March 15 after returning from Spain.

11.48 am: Coronavirus in India: Air India pilots seek urgent financial aid from govt

Air India pilots on Monday sought urgent financial support from the government for the beleaguered carrier amid novel coronavirus pandemic. The global travel bans due to COVID-19 pandemic have lead to many airlines across the world staring at huge losses.

11.42 am: Coronavirus in India: Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan to meet President Kovind today

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan will meet President Ram Nath Kovind today at 6 pm to hold discussion on the preparedness to combat the spread of novel coronavirus.

11.37 am: Coronavirus in India: Cabinet secretary calls meeting on COVID-19

The Cabinet Secretary has convened a meeting on novel coronavirus. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) officials are also present in the meeting. Initial talks are on for involving private centres for coronavirus testing from the ICMR side.

11.34 am: Coronavirus in Maharashtra: Saibaba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi to shut temple for devotees

Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi has decided to shut the temple for devotes from 3 pm today (Tuesday) till further orders.

11.28 am: Coronavirus in India: No visitors allowed in govt offices, says Chetan Sanghi, Chief Secretary, Andaman and Nicobar Islands

"No visitor needs to come to Govt offices. Officers will take phone calls during visitor hours. DD Port Blair & Cable TV being advised to telecast interesting programs & movies to encourage people to stay home," tweeted Chetan Sanghi, Chief Secretary, Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

11.18 am: Coronavirus outbreak: UN staff member in New York tests positive for COVID-19

A United Nations staffer in New York has been tested positive for novel coronavirus, a top official has said highlighting that the case will not have a "critical impact" on the work of the organisation owing to "strong risk mitigation measures" conducted at the global body. Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, told reporters at the daily press briefing on Monday that the staffer who tested positive for novel coronavirus, "is well and has not had any contact with any other UN personnel since before the onset of symptoms."

11.00 am: Coronavirus in India: 64-year-old patient dies in Mumbai hospital

A 64-year-old COVID-19 patient has died in a hospital in Mumbai. With this total death toll to three in India.

10.53 am: Coronavirus outbreak: India has good research capacity, says WHO representative

"We have very good research capacity in India and especially at ICMR & Dept of health research. They have been able to identify the virus, now India will continue to be part of the research community," says Henk Bekedam, WHO Representative to India after meeting with ICMR. "The commitment from Indian govt, the Prime Minister's Office has been enormous, very impressive. It is one of the reasons why India is still doing quite well. I am very impressed that everyone has been mobilized," he adds.

10.46am: Coronavirus in India: Govt bans travel of passengers from Afghanistan, Philippines and Malaysia

The government on Tuesday prohibited passengers travelling from Afghanistan, Philippines, Malaysia to India till 31st March, with immediate effect, reports ANI.

10.42 am: Coronavirus in India: Two tested positive for COVID-19 infection in Noida: Gautam Budh Nagar CMO

Two persons tested positive for COVID-19 infection in Noida on Tuesday. One in Sector 78 and another in Sector 100 with travel history to France. Both are admitted in designated isolation hospital, Gautam Budh Nagar CMO Anurag Bhargav told ANI.

10.37 am: Coronavirus outbreak: Thailand reports 30 new COVID-19 cases, total tally reaches 177

Thailand on Tuesday reported 30 new cases of the novel coronavirus, taking the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 177.

10.30 am: Coronavirus in India: Two more people test positive in Noida, family quarantined

Two more people on Tuesday were tested positive for COVID-19 infection in Noida. The authorities have quarantined the whole family.

10.18 am: Coronavirus in India: Mumbai directs offices to keep half of workers at home

The financial hub of Mumbai has directed its offices providing non-essential services to reduce operate at 50% staffing levels to combat the spread of novel coronavirus. Mumbai also allowed hospitals and airport authorities to stamp the wrists of people who have been instructed to self-isolate with indelible ink reading "Home Quarantined".

10.06 am: Coronavirus outbreak: US begins first human trial for COVID-19 vaccine

The United States (US) has began its first human trial for the novel coronavirus. The first patient has received the trial vaccine for COVID-19. The trial started at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) In Seattle.

9.56 am: Coronavirus in India: Kerala reports new COVID-19 case; total tally reaches 125-mark

Kerala on Tuesday reported a fresh COVID-19 cases which has alarmed the state authorities. With this, the total number of confirmed novel coronavirus cases in India has reached 125, according to Ministry of Health.

9.45 am: Coronavirus in India: IIT-Kanpur asks students to vacate campus hostels by March 19

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, after annulling its annual technical festival called "Techkriti" and suspending classes, has now asked the students to vacate the campus hostels by March 19 to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus. "Teh institute administration suspects dat teh spread of teh virus will increase over teh next week or two. To avoid such a scenario in which a large number of students will have to be vacated with shortage of transport facilities, we have sought a gradual reduction of students in teh hostels," said Prof Manindra Agarwal, Deputy Director, IIT-Kanpur. The directions have been given to the students of all undergraduate, MBA and first year M.Tech courses. Only PhD, second year M.Tech/MDes/MS and fifth year dual degree students are allowed to stay in the hostels after March 19.

9.26 am: Coronavirus outbreak: Cineplex to temporarily close theatres in Canada

Cineplex Inc said on Tuesday that it had temporarily closed its theatres and entertainment spots across Canada. The company said in a statement that it will shut its theatres and hubs from March 16, to April 2.

9.16 am: Coronavirus outbreak: Hong Kong to quarantine people entering the city from Thursday

Hong Kong will quarantine for 14 days all people entering the city starting Thursday as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19, The Asian financial hub's leader Carrie Lam said on Tuesday.

9.08 am: Coronavirus outbreak: Philippines becomes first country to suspend all financial markets

The Philippine Stock Exchange on Tuesday closed all its financial market for indefinite period to combat COVID-19 outbreak. The currency and bond trading were also suspended with authorities citing threat to the safety of traders.

9.00 am: Coronavirus in India: Govt imposes prohibitory orders in Nagpur to combat COVID-19 spread

Maharashtra government has imposed prohibitory orders in Nagpur in order to avoid public gatherings. "Police imposed prohibitory orders (Section-144 of CrPC) in teh city to avoid gathering of people in a place, in teh wake of coronavirus crisis. Teh order shall remain in force till March 31," said Ravindra Kadam, Joint Commissioner of Police, Nagpur.

8.45 am: Coronavirus in India: Pune's Shaniwar Wada Fort shut down temporarily for public

The Maharashtra government has temporarily shut down Pune's Shaniwar Wada Fort for public amid the rising novel coronavirus cases in the state. A total of 39 cases have been reported so far.

8.35 am: Coronavirus in India: Delhi govt pacts with hotels to couple as quarantine facilities

The Delhi government has lined up three hotels in the national capital to couple as "Home Quarantine" for the suspected COVID-19 cases. These hotels are for the people who are not satisfied with the facilities of hospitals or the isolation wards. They can pay to be shifted to a hotel for getting the treatment. The hotels that are coupled as the quarantine of isolation facilities are Ibis, Lemon Tree, and Red Fox Hotel where special arrangements are made as per government instructions.

8.26 am: Coronavirus in India: Health Ministry issued guidelines on use of masks

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Tuesday issued guidelines on use of masks by public to protect themselves against contracting the novel coronavirus infection. 

8.16 am: Coronavirus outbreak: Europe imposes lock down, Trump cautions of months-long fight ahead

Almost all European countries closed their borders to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic. France is the latest one to joint the fight against COVID-19 even as US President Donald Trump said that his country was preparing itself for a month-long battle to tackle the deadly virus.

8.10 am: Coronavirus outbreak: Tom Hanks released from hospital in Australia

Actor Tom Hanks who was being treated in a hospital in Australia has been released on Monday. Hanks had isolated himself after testing positive for COVID-19, said health officials. Meanwhile, his wife Rita Wilson is still undergoing treatment at the hospital.

8.00 am: Coronavirus in India: Travellers from EU, UK, Turkey banned in India till March 31

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has prohibited airlines from ferrying passengers from the European Union, the European Free Trade Association, the United Kingdom and Turkey to India.

The aviation authority has also mandated that passengers coming from or travelling through UAE, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait will have to remain under compulsory quarantine for 14 days.

Both orders will come into effect from March 18 and continue till March 31. "Both these instructions are temporary... and will be reviewed subsequently," a DGCA circular on Monday said.

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