India has registered around 298 cases of COVID-19 so far, as per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW). Amid anxiety buying and hoarding of daily essentials as news of markets, shutdown spread over the COVID-19 outbreak, the Government has capped the maximum retail price (MRP) of hand sanitizer at Rs 100 per 200ml bottle and surgical mask's price at Rs 8 and Rs 10 for 2-ply & 3-ply quality respectively until June 30, 2020. It is also working to increase the production of masks and sanitisers and has asked states to allow deodorant manufacturers to produce sanitisers.
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05.10: Government to ramp up production of masks and sanitisers; states asked to allow deodorant manufacturers to produce sanitisers, says official -PTI
05.02: Around 1,700 Indians have been quarantined in India from abroad
05.00: Asymptomatic cases will be tested under 5 days now, this includes symptoms of pnuemonia, says Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, MoHFW
04.50: Mock drill on March 22 for emergency response for handling coronavirus cases in govt hospitals, says MoHFW.
04.45: It also said that there's a lot of misinformation about masks and not everybody needed to wear them, social distancing more important.
04.40: MoHFW also said that it conducted training on critical care management at 1,000 places through video conference.
04.30: 262 people, mostly students, to fly from Rome to India today, says Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) on the media briefing on current novel coronavirus situation in India.
04.25: Centre caps MRP of 200ml hand sanitizer at Rs 100
Government has capped the maximum retail price (MRP) of hand sanitizer at Rs 100 per 200ml bottle and surgical mask's price at Rs 8 and Rs 10 for 2-ply & 3-ply quality respectively until June 30, 2020.
04.15 PM: Railways relaxes refund rules for travel
Indian Railways issued advisory relaxing refund rules for passengers who had booked tickets to travel between March 21 and April 15 to avoid crowding on trains and encourage social distancing in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak in the country, reports PTI.
04.00 PM: Goa government shuts borders for mass passenger and tourist vehicles traffic
Due to coronavirus pandemic, Goa government has closed its state borders for mass passenger and tourist vehicles traffic. This is an attempt by the administration to crackdown on inter-state movement as a safety measure, according to IANS.
03.55 PM: Former Rajastan CM Vasundhara Raje Scindia tests negative for COVID-19
Former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia has tested negative for the deadly coronavirus. This is the first report that has come out whereas the second report is expected tomorrow. Vasundhara Raje had attended the party ia party in Lucknow with the famous Bollywood singer, Kanika Kapoor. Kapoor had returned from London and later tested positive for coronavirus.
03.50 PM: Prime Minister Modi thanked Maldives for their contribution to the SAARC COVID-19 Emergency Fund
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to thank the Government of Maldives for making a contribution of $200,000 to the SAARC COVID-19 Emergency Fund. The PM, further stated, "It strengthens our resolve in this collective fight against the pandemic."
Deeply appreciate contribution of USD 200,000 by Government of Maldives to the COVID-19 Emergency Fund. It strengthens our resolve in this collective fight against the pandemic. @ibusolih- Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 21, 2020
03.45 PM: "We are fully prepared to fight coronavirus", says Mansukh Mandaviya
Minister of State for Shipping and Chemical and Fertilisers, Mansukh Mandaviya said that the nation is fully prepared to fight coronavirus. The central MInister and Rajya Sabha MP also elaborated on the manufacturing of masks and availability of sanitisers and medicines. He said that the government is making 1.5 crore masks everyday and more than 2 crore medicines. MAndaviya also stated that the government is fulfilling the requirement of sanitisers.
03.42 PM: Maha government asks establishments to not terminate employee services or deduct wages
Maharashtra government has asked both private and public sector establishments to not terminate employee services or deduct wages. -PTI
03.38 PM: General Motors to utilise its resources to combat COVID-19
In an attempt to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, General Motors announced that it will help in producing the much -needed ventilators that are pivotal in the treatment of coronavirus patients.
In a bid to help battle the novel #coronaviruspandemic, #GeneralMotors has announced it will use its resources to help produce much-needed ventilators for treating #COVID19 patients.#COVID2019#Covid_19pic.twitter.com/0CYADaQKTw- IANS Tweets (@ians_india) March 21, 2020
03.35 PM: Total number of coronavirus positive cases in Rajasthan reach 23
6 new coronavirus positive cases have been reported from Rajasthan. 5 people out of these belong to Bhilwara whereas one person belongs to Jaipur, according to IANS.
03.28 PM: Gurugram societies decide to lockdown premises totally
Amid complete pandemonium due to coronavirus, many societies and upscale condomimiums have decided to lockdown their premises completely.
03.25 PM: TV Host Andy Cohen test positive for coronavirus
TV host Andy Cohen took to Instagram to announce that he has tested positive for coronavirus. In his Instagram post,Cohen also thanked all the medical professionals who are 'working tirelessly for all of us'. He also urged people to stay indoors and take good care of themselves.
View this post on Instagram
After a few days of self-quarantine, and not feeling great, I have tested positive for Coronavirus. As much as I felt like I could push through whatever I was feeling to do #WWHL from home, we're putting a pin in that for now so I can focus on getting better. I want to thank all the medical professionals who are working tirelessly for all of us, and urge everybody to stay home and take care of themselves.
03.22 PM: National Conference Chief Farooq Abdullah releases Rs 1 crore to combat COVID-19 threat in J&K
National Conference Chief and Srinagar MP, Farooq Abdullah has released Rs 1 crore from his MPLAD or Members of Parliament Local Area Development Fund to counter the novel coronavirus threat in Jammu and Kashmir, according to IANS.
03.20 PM: "Global community should lift the sanctions on Iran": Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan
Pakistan Prime Minister said that the global community should lift sanctions on Iran as the neighbouring country is struggling to handle the coronavirus crisis. Current number of coronavirus cases in Pakistan stand at 510.
The global fraternity should "lift the sanctions on #Iran", #Pakistan Prime Minister #ImranKhan said, as the neighbouring country struggled to cope with the #coronavirusepidemic.#CoronaVirusUpdate#Covid_19
Photo: IANS pic.twitter.com/64Ok7PAqut- IANS Tweets (@ians_india) March 21, 2020
03.15 PM: Gujarat reports 6 more coronavirus positive cases
Total number of coronavirus cases has reached 14 in Gujarat as 6 more people test positive for novel coronavirus on Saturday.
03.10 PM: Tamil Nadu postpones class 10 exams
Following the lead of Maharashtra and Bengal, Tamil Nadu government has postponed class 10 exams to a suitable date reportedly after April 14.
03.05 PM: Vrindavan Temple to be closed till March 31
Vrindavan Temple management has decided to close its premises till March 31 as a safety measure amid coronavirus outbreak, according to India Today.
03.00 PM: UP Roadways to observe Janta Curfew
Uttar Pradesh roadways have decided to suspend interstate bus and metro services from 6 am to 10 pm on March 22 in adherence with the Janta Curfew call given by PM Modi on Thursday.
02.55 PM: US Federal Internal Revenue Service extends IT filing deadline
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that the US Federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is extending the deadline to file income tax returns till July 15 in an attempt to minimise the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is extending the federal income tax filing deadline to July 15 as part of the efforts to minimise the economic impact of the #coronaviruspandemic, Treasury Secretary #StevenMnuchin announced.#Covid_19#COVID2019
Photo: IANS pic.twitter.com/I02LxMEULa- IANS Tweets (@ians_india) March 21, 2020
02.52 PM: 2 passengers escaped quarantine, found travelling in Rajdhani Express
2 passengers who were supposed to be in mandatory quarantine were found travelling between Bengaluru and Delhi on Rajdhani Express. Both these passengers were immediately deboarded and the authorities disinfected the entire coach. -ANI
02.50 PM: 8 passengers who travelled on Andhra Pradesh Sampark Kranti Express test positive for COVID-19
Ministry of Railways said that 8 passengers who travelled from Delhi to Ramagundam on Andhra Pradesh Sampark Kranti Express on March 13 have tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday. -ANI
02.45 PM: Odisha CM writes to PM Modi regarding postponement of NPR
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik sought the delay of NPR survey citing the coronavirus outbreak in a letter addeessed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to India Today.
02.42 PM: Pakistan International Airlines cancels all International flights till March 28
Amid coronavirus pandemic, Pakistan International Airlines has cancelled all international flights due till March 28. This move will come into effect from 8 pm on March 22. However, this does not mean that the Pakistani Airspace hash been shut, Spokesperson of PIA (Pakistan International Airlines) Abdullah Khan was quoted as saying by ANI.
02.40 PM: Total number of coronavirus positive cases cross 500 in Pakistan
The number of coronavirus positive cases in Pakistan reached 510. According to Pakistani authorities, the death toll due to COVID-19 stood at 3.
Photo: IANS pic.twitter.com/kHGsRtV7Ib- IANS Tweets (@ians_india) March 21, 2020
02:38 PM: Kerala's Kasargod district under lockdown
Kerala's Kasargod district is in a state of lockdown due to coronavirus pandemic. Cases have been registered against 10 shopkeepers for keeping their shops open despite warning.-PTI
02.35 PM: Jammu Kashmir administration to take strict action against people hiding travel histories
Jammu and Kashmir administration has said that strict action will be taken against all those passengers who do not come clean with regards to their travel history at the Srinagar Airport.
02.32 PM: Potato prices increase in West Bengal due to panic buying
Due to panic buying triggered by coronavirus scares, potato prices have soared by at least 20% in West Bengal.-PTI
02.30 PM: Maha government postpones class 10 Board exams
Maharashtra Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad said that the Maharashtra government has decided to defer the class 10 Board exams due to coronavirus, according to India Today.
02.25 PM: Number of coronavirus positive cases reach 6 in Haryana
Coronavirus cases in Haryana have reached 6 as of now with two more people, from Faridabad and Panipat respectively testing positive for the virus.
Photo: IANS pic.twitter.com/OtRKxRWfuG- IANS Tweets (@ians_india) March 21, 2020
02.20 PM: 27 year-old Polish woman died due to novel coronavirus
According to IANS, the woman did not report any underlying symptoms of the novel coronavirus. She died days after giving birth.
Photo: IANS pic.twitter.com/oYQD1SCwQS- IANS Tweets (@ians_india) March 21, 2020
02.10 PM: Karnataka State Road Trannsport Corporation has withdrawn 25% concession provided to senior citizens
In order to minimise their travel amid coronavirus pandemic, the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation has withdrawn the 25% concession given to senior citizens on bus tickets. -ANI
02.05 PM: Mumbai Metro One to suspend operations on March 22
To encourage people to stay at home and make 'Janta Curfew' a success, Mumbai Metro One will suspend its operations on March 22, Sunday. -ANI
02.00 PM: West Bengal government postpones Board exams
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee has decided to postpone board exams for class 12 slated on March 23 and March 25 to April 15. 51 people have been quarantined in West Bengal so far. The state has reported 3 confirmed COVID-19 case so far.
01.50 PM: 3 new coronavirus positive cases confirmed in Karnataka
Total number of coronavirus positive cases has reached 18 in Karnataka after confirmation of 3 new coronavirus positive cases. For case management of COVID-19, 48 government hospitals and 35 private hospitals have been identified. -ANI
01.41 PM: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal says all pressers of the Delhi government to take place digitally
In a latest tweet, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal said due to the coronavirus pandemic, all press conferences will be conducted digitally now. He also said in his tweet that journalists were at the forefront of the fight against coronavirus.
All Delhi Govt. press conferences will be conducted digitally now. It's very important that all journalists, who are on the forefront of our battle against Corona, also protect themselves as they are in a high exposure environment.- Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) March 21, 2020
01.38 PM: Refund can be taken on submission of tickets up to 45 days from date of journey for trains canceled from March 21 to April 15-PTI
01.30 PM: Samples of 28 people who came in contact with UP Health Minister Jai Pratap Singh have tested negative for COVID-19, says KGMU Hospital
12.53 PM: Couple in Maharashtra's Jalgaon district booked for allegedly failing to inform authorities about recent trip to Thailand.
12.50 PM: One more person tests positive for coronavirus in Gujarat; total rises to eight.
12.49 PM: The government has launched a WhatsApp number to ensure people receive accurate information when it comes to coronavirus outbreak in India. "Sharing correct information, avoiding incorrect panic," Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.
Sharing correct information, avoiding incorrect panic.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 21, 2020
Here is an effort by WhatsApp and @mygovindia to ensure you receive accurate and verified information on Coronavirus.
Please click on this link https://t.co/REabfIp5QT or send Hi on +919013151515. #IndiaFightsCoronapic.twitter.com/0maqUE3PvG
12.39 PM: Unfortunate that coronavirus got out of control: Trump
US President Donald Trump has said he greatly respects China and shares a "very good" relationship with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, but termed it "unfortunate" that the coronavirus began in the Communist nation and got out of control. Speaking at a press briefing on Friday, Trump said he considered Xi as a friend and and asserted that the Chinese President respects the US.
12.25 PM: Kanika Kapoor leaves behind trail of possible infection
BJP MP Dushyant Singh had attended a party with Kanika Kapoor, who was tested positive for coronavirus on Friday. Singh then met with multiple MPs and even President Ram Nath Kovind two days after coming in contact with Kanika Kapoor, thus leaving behind a trail of possible COVID-19 infection. According to reports, Dushyant Singh has self-isolated himself and so has his mother Vasundhara Raje, who is the former Chief Minister of Rajasthan. Raje was also present at the party in Lucknow.
12.10PM: Number shoots up to 271
The number of coronavirus-infected people have risen 271 in India now, the Indian Council of Medical Research has said. "A total of 15,701 samples from 14,811 individuals have been tested for SARS-CoV2 as on 21st March 2020. A total of 271 individuals have been confirmed positive among suspected cases and contacts of known positive cases," an ICMR statement said today.
12.04 PM: Woman with no foreign tour history tests positive
A woman in her early 40s has tested positive for coronavirus in Maharashtra's Pune city, a senior official confirmed on Saturday. The woman, who is currently on ventilator support at Bharti Hospital, tested positive for the infection after her throat swabs were sent to National Institute of Virology to check for possibility of swine flu (H1N1), he said. The woman does not have travel history to a foreign country, but had travelled to Vashi in Navi Mumbai to attend a wedding on March 3, he said.
12.00 PM: A total of 271 individuals have been confirmed positive among suspected cases and contacts of known positive cases, says Indian Council of Medical Research.
11.55 AM: Six new cases of coronavirus have been detected in Rajasthan, say officials.
11.50AM: Four people arrested in Maharashtra's Jalna city for allegedly hoarding hand sanitisers worth over Rs 6 lakh. PTI
11.45 AM: One more person tests positive for new coronavirus in Noida, total 5 such cases so far: Noida authorities
11.40 AM: As many as 11 fresh cases reported in Maharashtra; total number jumps to 63 in state.
11.38 AM: Fresh case of coronavirus infection reported in Karnataka; total number rises to 16 in state.
11.35 AM: One more person tests positive for coronavirus in Gujarat; total rises to eight.
11.30 AM: Yogi Adityanath announces relief measures to combat coronavirus
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has announced monetary help worth Rs 1,000 to over 20.37 lakh labourers who are registered with the state labour department in wake of COVID-19 crisis. The CM said there will be no Metro services tomorrow as part of the Janata Curfew call given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The CM said about 15 lakh auto and rickshaw workers will also get Rs 1,000 via Direct Benefit Transfer scheme. Yogi said the state government will make sure those who don't have ration card get them as soon as possible so they can get the benefit of free 20 kg wheat and 15 kg rice. He said the MNREGA workers will also be paid their March dues soon. Besides, the state will release advance pension for March and April months in this month only, which will benefit over 83 lakh pensioners.
11.27 AM: China reports zero local cases
Mainland China reported zero locally transmitted cases of the coronavirus for a third day running, while the daily log of infections involving travellers arriving from other countries continued to rise. Mainland China had 41 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections on Friday, the country's National Health Commission said, all imported from abroad. That brought the total number of imported cases to 269. - PTI
11.15 AM: HUL cuts Lifebuouy soap, sanitiser prices
Hindustan Unilever (HUL) has announced that it will be reducing the prices of Lifebuouy sanitisers, Lifebuouy Liquid Handwash and Domex floor cleaners by 15 per cent. The country's biggest FMCG company has said it's scaling up production to meet the supply-demand arising out of coronavirus outbreak. Sanjiv Mehta, Chairman and Managing Director, HUL said, "In a crisis like this, companies have a big role to play. We are working closely with the governments and our partners to ensure that we overcome this global health crisis together."
11.10 AM: Coronavirus positive cases in Maharashtra
The total number of coronavirus positive patients in Maharashtra has risen to 63 with 11 more positive cases reported in the last 24 hours, officials said. Of the 11 new cases, 10 are in Mumbai and one in Pune, they said on Saturday. Officials said seven patients were admitted to Kasturba hospital, one each at Saifee hospital, Nanavati hospital and HN Reliance hospitals in Mumbai. A coronavirus positive patient has been admitted to Naidu hospital in Pune, officials said.
11.01 AM: Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope: Positive cases of Coronavirus in Maharashtra rise to 63
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope: Positive cases of Coronavirus in Maharashtra rise to 63 pic.twitter.com/lDCEjNyjy8— ANI (@ANI) March 21, 2020
11.00 AM: Another COVID-19 case reported from Noida
Noida authorities said one more person tested positive for novel coronavirus. The patient is a resident of Supertech Capetown in Noida.
10.55 AM: Maha government issues a circular to restrict the use of ACs in government offices
Maharashtra government has issued a circular to restrict or limit the use of air conditioners in government offices to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. -ANI
10.45 AM: PIL filed in Delhi High Court to provide hand sanitisers and face masks to prisoners in Tihar Jail
An advocate has filed a PIL in Delhi High Court seeking immediate direction to Delhi Government to provide face masks and hand sanitisers to all prisoners in Tihar Jail. The advocate also urged that disinfectants be sprayed and Tihar Jail premises and other Delhi jails be quarantined. The matter will be heard on March 24. -ANI
10.30 AM: UP CM Yogi Adityanath appeals to people to not panic over novel coronavirus
Yogi Adityanath was quoted by news agency ANI as saying, "We've sufficient stock of essential commodities and medicines in the state. So please don't rush to shops to buy things and hoard commodities."
#WATCH I appeal people to not panic over #coronavirus. We've sufficient stock of essential commodities and medicines in the state. So please don't rush to shops to buy things and hoard commodities: Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath pic.twitter.com/UxgRHeZnat- ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) March 21, 2020
10.20 AM: Air India to fly 787- Dreamliner to Rome to evacuate Indians
Air India will fly a 787-Dreamliner to Rome today to evacuate students, other travellers oor any Indians stranded in the coronavirus-hit country. The flight will return to Delhi tomorrow morning.
Air India to mount a 787-Dreamliner to Rome today to evacuate students, other travellers or any Indians stranded there. The flight will return to Delhi tomorrow morning. pic.twitter.com/nfB2BCvt7d- ANI (@ANI) March 21, 2020
10.11 AM: Positive cases surge to 19 in Pune
Naval K Ram, Dist Magistrate, Pune, Maharashtra, says two more people have been tested positive for COVID19 in Pune, taking the total tally of positive cases in Pune to 23.
Naval K Ram, Dist Magistrate,Pune, Maharashtra: 2 more people have been tested positive for #COVID19 in Pune, taking the total tally of positive cases in Pune to 23. One positive case has travel history to Ireland and the other does not have any recent travel history. (file pic) pic.twitter.com/2SYegg2aqu— ANI (@ANI) March 21, 2020
10.10 AM: Himachal sends back tourists
Over 35 tourists, including Nepal and Israel nationals, sent back from Mandi as part of the state government's efforts to check tourist inflow.
Himachal Pradesh: Over 35 tourists including Nepal&Israel nationals sent back from Mandi today as part of govt's efforts to check tourist inflow into the state. Sundernagar SDM Rahul Chauhan says, "They were going to Manali". Eight tourists were sent back from Shimla yesterday. pic.twitter.com/4mkWwbZl9L— ANI (@ANI) March 21, 2020
10.00 AM: New ICMR guidelines
The Indian Council of Medical Research has all asymptomatic people who have undertaken international travel and all contacts of "laboratory confirmed positive cases" to stay in home quarantine for 14 days.
APPEAL: Please follow ICMR ((Indian Council of Medical Research) guidelines on quarantines - All asymptomatic people who have undertaken international travel and all contacts of laboratory confirmed positive cases should stay in home quarantine for 14 days. #Coronaviruspic.twitter.com/NAUCrrk2s5— ANI (@ANI) March 20, 2020
9.50 AM: Latest COVID-19 cases across India (official figures): 258
- Total number of Active COVID 2019 cases across India: 231
- Total number of Discharged/Cured COVID 2019 cases across India: 22
- Total number of Migrated COVID-19 Patient: 1
- Total number of Deaths due to COVID 2019 across India: 4
9.44 AM: Railways announces shut down of trains on Sunday
The Indian Railways has announced the cancellation of over 3,700 passenger locomotives and long-distance mail, express trains, which were scheduled to start their journeys on Sunday. The cancellation of the trains coincides with the 'Janata Curfew', which was announced by PM Narendra Modi during his address to the nation on Thursday.
9.37 AM: Three Kashmiri students flee quarantine
Three Kashmiri students from Aligarh Muslim University, who visited United Arab Emirates from March 5-9 missing from hospital, where they were put in quarantine. Another student informed that he had left for Anantnag. Authorities are trying to locate them.
9.18 AM: Rishi Sunak announces 'unprecedented' wage cover
UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, who had pledged to do "whatever it takes" to save people's jobs and livelihoods through the coronavirus pandemic, on Friday unveiled an "unprecedented" wage boost to his COVID-19 rescue package. Britain's Indian-origin finance minister announced that the UK government would pay 80 per cent of wages for employees not working, up to 2,500 pounds a month. - PTI
9.13 AM: 'Didn't get a seat despite having a confirmed ticket'
People in large numbers at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus wait to board their respective trains. A passenger says, "There are so many people on trains that I didn't get a seat despite having a confirmed ticket. My parents have asked me to return because of coronavirus". - ANI
Mumbai: People in large numbers at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus wait to board their respective trains. A passenger says, "There are so many people on trains that I didn't get a seat despite having a confirmed ticket. My parents have asked me to return because of #coronavirus". pic.twitter.com/YOF7UtWIzm— ANI (@ANI) March 21, 2020
9.06 AM: 12 more people test positive in Kerala
Kerala Chief Minister Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Friday that 12 people, including five Britishers, tested positive for coronavirus on a single day. This takes the total number of COVID-19 cases in Kerala to 37. Over 44,000 are under observation right now.
Fighting #COVID19 | Don't Stigmatize— Pinarayi Vijayan (@vijayanpinarayi) March 20, 2020
It's important that there is no stigma around COVID19. This is a contagious viral disease; almost anyone can get affected by it. Stigma can lead to under reporting, misinformation & lack of cooperation. It takes all of us to win this battle.
9.03 AM: White House staffer tests positive for coronavirus
A staffer in the team of US Vice President Mike Pence has tested positive for the coronavirus, making him the first White House personnel to have been infected by the deadly disease that has so far claimed the lives of 230 people in the country. "This evening we were notified that a member of the office of the Vice President tested positive for the coronavirus," Katie Miller, Press Secretary to Vice President, said in a statement.
8.59 AM: Iran coronavirus death toll jumps 149 to 1,433:
Iran's death toll from the new coronavirus outbreak rose by 149 to 1,433 on Friday, a health ministry official tweeted, adding that that total number of confirmed infections had increased by 1,237 to 19,644. Iran is one of the countries outside China most affected by the pandemic. - Reuters
8.45 AM: Italy coronavirus deaths surge by 627 in a day
The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in Italy has leapt by 627 to 4,032, officials said on Friday, an increase of 18.4% - by far the largest daily rise in absolute terms since the contagion emerged a month ago. On Thursday, Italy overtook China as the country to register most deaths from the highly contagious virus. Until Friday, Italy had never recorded more than 475 deaths in a single day, while China, where the contagion has slowed sharply, has never reported more than 150. - Reuters
8.30 AM: IndiGo announces flight cut on Sunday
IndiGo said on Friday that it will be operating 60 per cent of its domestic flights on Sunday when 'Janta curfew' would be in force. Moreover, as the airline has seen reduction in demand due to the pandemic, it will be operating 25 per cent less domestic flights for now.
8.15 AM: Govt stares at gear shortage
Public sector company HLL Lifecare Ltd, the government's sole procurement agency for personal protective equipment (PPE) kits for use by healthcare professionals, seems to be struggling to match the supply-demand gap in wake of the rising demand. HLL has the Health Ministry's sole mandate to source 7.25 lakh body-coveralls (also called hazmat-or hazardous materials-suits); 60 lakh N-95 masks and 1 crore 3 Or 2-ply face masks.
8.00 AM: US praises India on SAARC COVID-19 initiative
US Defence Secretary Mark Esper on Friday held a telephonic conversation with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and praised India's COVID-19 initiative for SAARC countries, the Pentagon said. The two leaders discussed the COVID-19 pandemic and underscored their commitment to close communication during this period in order to maintain momentum on initiatives that reinforce their comprehensive global partnership, the Pentagon said in a readout of the call.