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Coronavirus in India Live Updates: As far as possible, work from home, says PM Modi

Coronavirus outbreak news updates: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that social distancing is important and useful to prevent the spread of the virus

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | March 19, 2020 | Updated 23:32 IST
Coronavirus in India Live Updates: As far as possible, work from home, says PM Modi
Coronavirus Outbreak: Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar said on Thursday that all the pubs and bars in Bangalore will lose their licence if they still defy government's order to shut operations

Coronavirus outbreak:  India's death toll rose to 4 on Thursday after a 72-year-old man died of novel coronavirus infection in Punjab. The man had recently returned from Germany via Italy. He died at a hospital in Punjab's Nawanshahr district after complaining of severe chest pain. His samples also tested positive for COVID-19.

The Central government has asked 50 per cent of its staff to work from home, while other 50 per cent will attend office. The government has also urged the government employees to resort to staggered working hours. Earlier, the famous Mumbai Dabbawallas have suspended tiffin delivery services till March 31 in the wake of novel coronavirus scare. The tiffin carriers which are considered to be the lifeline of Mumbai will stop the services from Friday till March 31. Meanwhile, two more women with travel history abroad have been tested positive in the city taking the total cases in Maharashtra to 49. While a 22-year old tested positive for novel coronavirus in Mumbai, another woman, 49, also has been confirmed COVID-19 positive in Ulhasnagar. Both had recently travelled toforeign countries. Globally,the number has climbed up to 2,19,032 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 8,953 deaths. China, Italy, Iran are leading the chart with over 7,300 deaths collectively. Italy alone reported 475 deaths on Wednesday.

ALSO READ:Aviation sector to report over Rs 8,200 crore losses in just three months

Check all the latest updates on coronavirus outbreak on BusinessToday.In live blog

11.12 pm: Government bans export of ventilators, surgical/disposable masks with immediate effect.

9:30 pm: MEA assigns 48 officers region-wise across world to tackle COVID19 queries

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has established a functional helpline for coordination on COVID-19, which has been functioning 24x7 at South Block. The telephone numbers of the Control Room are 1800118797 (toll free), +91-11-23012113, +91-11-23014104 and +91-11-23017905, Fax number - +91-11-23018158 and email : covid19@mea.gov.in.

9:20 pm: Malls, shopping complexes ordered to close in Bhopal

In wake of the coronavirus scare, all malls, shopping complexes are ordered to close in Bhopal. However, grocery/kirana stores inside shopping malls will be open to maintain supply of essential commodities.

9:10 pm: "PM's eloquent and passionate plea for 'Janata Curfew' this Sunday and the humble and firm request to exercise "resole and restraint" to fight this global pandemic will certainly go a long way in preparing the people to manage this crisis," said  V K Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services.

"The PM has set the stage for more action to follow. The Covid- 19 Task Force under the FM's leadership can be expected to come out with concrete proposals very soon," he said.

9:00 pm: BJP President JP Nadda appealed to 18 crore BJP workers and supporters to ensure that suggestions given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi should be implemented in letter and spirit. I assure the PM that BJP will play a positive role in fight against coronavirus, he reportedly said.

8:50 pm: Uttarakhand reports two more coronavirus cases

Two trainees at the Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy have tested positive for coronavirus. Both the trainees were part of a team that went to Spain and had recently returned, said Uttarakhand Additional Health Secretary, Yugal Kishore Pant.

8:40 pm: Total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in India rises to 173, including 25 foreigners.

Maharashtra has the highest number of cases at 44.

8:35 pm: Thermal screening at Pune Railway Station, Highway

Deepak Mhaisekar, Divisional Commissioner of Pune, said that thermal screening will start from today at Pune Railway Stations, Expressway and Mumbai-Pune Highway. Apart from food and essentials nothing will be allowed for delivery at home, he said.

8:30 pm: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan chaired eights high-level meeting of group of ministers on COVID 19. The ministers had detailed deliberation on prevention and management of coronavirus in the country.

Also Read: PM Modi speech Live updates: Janta curfew this Sunday; don't step out, says PM

Coronavirus challenge not normal, says PM Modi

PM Modi said the coronavirus challenge is not normal. It has spread alarmingly. But, he adds, the government is "completely prepared to tackle it."

My countrymen have never disappointed me whenever I have asked something from you. In the face of the acute crisis arising out of Corona virus, I want to ask for the next few weeks of yours, says PM Modi.

He said that citizens curfew is going to be challenging, but this is the time to test the preparedness of India against coronavirus.

8:02 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation said that Indian govt is fully monitoring the pandemic. "I urge everyone, in the coming weeks, only step out of your houses if it is absolutely necessary. As far as it is possible, work from home," he said.

8:00 pm: Union Minister Dr Harshvardhan chaired a high level meeting of the Group of Ministers (GoM) to discuss measures to contain the spread of Novel Coronavirus, which has claimed four lives across the country so far.

7.23 pm: Over 90 Indian transit passengers stranded in Singapore due to coronavirus travel restrictions in India are on their way home, informed Indian High Commission in Singapore.

7.17 pm: Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam has decided to close the Balaji temple for devotees in view of the coronavirus outbreak. Arrangements are being made to complete prayers of the devotees who are already at the temple. However, all ritual services will be performed by temple priests as usual.

7.12 pm: Sports bodies advised against holding any sports events, including competitions or selection trials, till April 15 by Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

7.07 pm: Scheduled international commercial banned from landing in India for one week starting March 22.

7.06 pm: Coronavirus: Mobile numbers of quarantined people to be provided to Mumbai Police

MCGM has taken a decision to share mobile numbers of people in quarantine with Mumbai police so that their movement can be tracked on daily basis. Any non-compliance by the concerned person will be dealt very strictly by the police department.

7.03 pm: Coronavirus update: Find test centres, treatment facilities on MapmyIndia

MapmyIndia and the Move app will now enable you to view, locate & reach nearby coronavirus testing labs, isolation and treatment facilities - both government and non-government. Users can see and add photos and reviews of amenities and hygiene in these places, helping other users with critical and updated information on the condition of each facility.

6.59 pm: Government of Himachal Pradesh has banned entry of both domestic and foreign tourists in the state till further notice.

6.56 pm: Coronavirus update: Grocery stores in Udhampur to begin home delivery

DM Udhampur Dr Piyush Singla ordered closure of all shops/business units except essential supplies units like fruits,vegetables,chemists, grocery and dairy. Grocery retailers have been directed to immediately start home delivery of orders. The mechanism of home delivery was finalised after long discussions with various stakeholders. No gathering outside and inside the grocery shops shall be allowed.

6.45 pm: Coronavirus news: China reports no new domestic cases for first time since outbreak began

China on Thursday reported no new domestic transmissions of coronavirus for the first time since the deadly virus surfaced three months ago, achieving a milestone in its battle against the pandemic that has brought the country to a grinding halt and caused an unprecedented global health crisis.

While no domestic cases were reported, Wuhan, where the outbreak began, still has 6,636 people in hospitals including 1,809 in severe condition and 465 in critical condition, local health commission said.

China now faces a greater threat of infections of imported cases, which jumped by 34 on Wednesday with large number of Chinese and foreigners arriving back to join their duties.

6.30 pm: Haryana to Shut down agricultural, vegetable markets till March 31

6.15 pm: Rough skies ahead for Indian aviation

As per global aviation consultancy CAPA, Indian private domestic carriers are expected to post consolidated losses of up to $600 million (Rs 4,500 crore) in just one quarter. This doesn't include Air India's expected losses which controls 11.6 per cent domestic market share, and 51.88 per cent in the international segment (among domestic carriers) along with its subsidiary Air India Express.

According to some estimates, Air India earns over Rs 1,230 crore a month from international operations. Since the coronavirus outbreak, the national carrier has nearly suspended all of its international flights which would lead to a loss of an estimated Rs 3,700 crore over three months.

These losses will be on the back of curtailed flight schedules, slide in new bookings, large-scale cancellations, and rescheduling of flights in the wake of coronavirus.

6.07 pm: Coronavirus in Delhi: All restaurants to be shut down; take away, home delivery to continue, says Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Thursday that all restaurants in Delhi will be shut down but take away, home delivery will continue as usual. Kejriwal also urged all residents of the national capital to say indoors. He added that all educational institutions, will remain shut till the situation normalises. "10 confirmed cases have so far been reported in Delhi. Of which, two have been cured. We have 768 beds for quarantine purposes, of which 57 are occupied. We have 550 isolation beds," the Delhi CM said.

5.55 pm: Coronavirus outbreak: Trade with China will not stop, says Pakistan minister

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Thursday that trade with China will not stop in the view of COVID-19 pandemic. He said it during an interview to the China's Global Times during his recent visit to Beijing, as reported by state-run Radio Pakistan. "The two great nations [China and Pakistan] have maintained transport and trade links despite outbreak of virus," he said.

5.45 pm: Coronavirus: Govt asks persons above 65, children below 10 to stay at home

The government on Thursday issued an advisory and said that persons above 65 years of age have been asked to stay at home, except for government servants and medical professionals. Children below 10 years of age are also asked to stay indoors. Railways and aviation sector will suspend all concessional travel, except students, patients and handicapable people. All states are also being advised to enforce work from home (WFH) for private sector employees.

5.38 pm: Coronavirus latest news: Govt bans international flights to land in India from March 22 for a week

The government on Thursday said that no scheduled international commercial airline will be allowed to land in India from March 22 for one week. Meanwhile, persons above 65 years of age have been asked to stay at home, except for government servants and medical professionals. Children below 10 years of age are also asked to stay indoors. Railways and aviation sector will suspend all concessional travel, except students, patients and handicapable people. All states are also being advised to enforce work from home (WFH) for private sector employees.

5.26 pm: Coronavirus news: Global death toll crosses 9,000

The global death toll from novel coronavirus as topped 9,000 as the countries and governments battle to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

5.16 pm: Coronavirus outbreak news: Fourth COVID-19 death reported in Punjab, India's death toll rises to 4

India's death toll rose to 4 on Thursday after a 72-year-old man died of novel coronavirus infection in Punjab. The man had recently returned from Germany via Italy. He died at a hospital in Punjab's Nawanshahr district after complaining of severe chest pain. His samples also tested positive for COVID-19.

5.00 pm: Coronavirus in Delhi: Organiser of anti-CAA protest in Jahangirpuri tests COVID-19 positive

An organiser of an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protest in Delhi's Jahangirpuri has tested positive for novel coronavirus. His sister had recently returned from Saudi Arabia had also been confirmed for COVID-19 infection. The organiser met his sister On March 13 after she arrived in Delhi and then headed to the protest site. He is at Lok Nayak Hospital in Delhi. His sister is undergoing treatment at Safdarjung Hospital.

4.44 pm: Coronavirus in India news: Pubs in Bengaluru to lose licence if they defy govt order to shut operations

Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar said on Thursday that all the pubs and bars in Bengaluru will lose their licence if they still defy government's order to shut operations in the wake of novel coronavirus pandemic. Talking to India Today, Dr. Sudhakar said, "Pubs cannot be open. If they are open, then the Home Ministry, DGP and Commissioner are responsible. We are going to take a serious action on it."

4.32 pm: Coronavirus in Mumbai: Mass gatherings at St. Michael's Church suspended till April

The authorities in Mumbai have temporarily suspended mass gatherings at St. Michael's Church till April 1 as a preventive measure in the wake of novel coronavirus scare.

4.22 pm: Coronavirus Maharashtra news: 3 Dombivali residents in Mumbai tested COVID-19 positive

The authorities in central suburbs of Mumbai at Kalyan-Dombivali carried out a massive examination drive of nearly 17,000 residents in the area and found out that three residents were tested positive for novel coronavirus.

4.10 pm: Coronavirus in Uttarakhand: All Nainital hotels to remain shut till March 31

All hotels in Nainital, Uttarakhand will remain shut from March 21 to March 31 in the wake of novel coronavirus scare in India.

4.00 pm: Coronavirus in India news: SpiceJet temporarily suspends international operations till April 30

SpiceJet has shut its international operations temporarily from March 21 till April 30 in the wake of novel coronavirus scare worldwide. The airline said in a statement that the operations will resume as soon as the ongoing situation normalises. "We are forced to temporarily suspend majority of our international operations from March 21 till April 30. We will resume the suspended flights as soon as the situation normalises," SpiceJet said in its statement.

3.56 pm: Coronavirus in J&K: Devotees/pilgrims' entry in religious places barred till March 31

Kathua district magistrate in Jammu & Kashmir has barred the entry of worshipers/devotees/pilgrims in the religious places till March 31. "Religious leaders may, however, continue to follow the norms of prayers," the order reads.

3.45 pm: Coronavirus outbreak news: Punjab govt to close public transport from March 20

The Punjab government has announced that it will close all public transport systems from midnight of Friday (March 20) to control the spread of COVID-19.

3.30 pm: Coronavirus latest news: PM Modi to hold meeting with all state CMS on Friday

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope has said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a meeting with the chief ministers of all states on Friday at 4 pm, via video conferencing.

3.15 PM: All sports organisations and their affiliate units are advised against holding any sports events including competitions or selection trials till April 15, 2020.

3.14 PM: Coronavirus scare in Chandigarh

Apart from Gynaecology, Pediatrics, Trauma&Medicine Dept, all other depts in hospitals to remain closed till 31st March. Sports complexes will also remain closed till 31st March: Manoj Parida, Adviser to Administrator Department of Public Relations, Chandigarh. 

3.00 PM: Panchayat Bhavan and Park View Hotel will be now available for quarantine facilities, says Manoj Parida, Adviser to the Administrator Department of Public Relations, Chandigarh.

2.50 PM: The Manali Hoteliers Association says it has been decided that after three days, all activities should be stopped till March 31 in view of coronavirus. All members are advised not to entertain bookings till March 31, says the body.

2.40 PM:Govt asks 50 per cent staff towork from home

DOPT issues further instructions to all head of department (HOD) to ensure that 50 per cent of group B and Group C in their offices. Employees are required to attend office everyday and the remaining 50 cent staff should be instructed to work from home. All HODs are advised to bring a weekly roster of duty for group B and Group C staff and ask them to attend office on alternate weeks.

2.30 PM: The number of buyers in Patna has been increasing gradually for the last two to three days. People are afraid over caronavirus outbreak. Stockist say the supply chain is normal and there is no shortage of goods. The Patna administration has also ordered the closure of all malls  and shopping centres.

2.26 pm: Coronavirus in Gujarat: Authorities shut Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad till March 29

Authorities in Ahmedabad, Gujarat have shut Gandhi Ashram for visitors till March 29 in the wake of novel coronavirus pandemic.

2.23 pm: Coronavirus in India: IndiGo cuts salaries of employees

Budget carrier IndiGo has asked its employees to take 10-20% salary cuts and has also grounded around 16 planes out of its total fleet of 260. The airline took the decision as it grapples with the impact of COVID-19 on domestic and international flight operations.

Read more here:Coronavirus impact: IndiGo grounds 16 planes; staff to take 10-20% salary cuts

2.15 pm: Coronavirus latest news: 110 new COVID-19 cases reported in Malaysia; total reaches 900

Malaysia on Thursday reported 110 new COVID-19 cases. With this the total number of novel coronavirus cases has climbed to 900. The health ministry said that most of the new cases were linked to a religious gathering at a mosque, which was attended by 16,000 people.

2.06 pm: Coronavirus outbreak news: Russia reports first COVID-19 death

Russia on Thursday said that a 79-year-old woman with underlying health issues and tested positive for COVID-19 has passed away from Pneumonia. This is the country's first confirmed death from novel coronavirus. Russia so far has reported 147 cases of COVID-19.

1.58 pm: Coronavirus in Maharashtra: Total COVID-19 positive cases rise to 49

The total number of novel coronavirus positive cases have climbed to 49 in Maharashtra, Rajesh Top, State Minister of Public Health and Family Welfare said.

1.48 pm: Coronavirus latest news: 'Game of Thrones' star Indira Varma tests positive for COVID-19

'Game of Thrones' star Indira Verma took to Instagram on Wednesday and said that she has tested positive for COVID-19. Varma who played the role of Ellaria Sand in hugely successful HBO series said in her Instagram post, "it's not nice. Stay safe and healthy and be kind to you're fellow people." Her diagnosis came two days after her 'Game of Thrones' co-star Kristofer Hivju said that he tested positive for novel coronavirus infection.

View this post on Instagram

So sad our and so many other shows around the world have gone dark affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. We hope to be back soon and urge you all (and the govt) to support us when we do. Phoenix/ Seagull rising from the ashes. I'm in bed with it and it's not nice. Stay safe and healthy and be kind to your fellow people.❤️💜❤️

A post shared by Indira (@indypindy9) on

1.43 pm: Coronavirus in India: UGC directs universities to postpone exams

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has instructed all universities and affiliated colleges on Thursday to defer exams till March 31st in the wake of novel coronavirus scare. It also directed the universities to suspend the evaluation work during the period. "All universities and affiliated colleges should postpone exams till March 31 and suspend evaluation work. Further schedule should be decided following a review of the situation," the commission said in an order.

1.28 pm: Coronavirus in UP: Two more COVID-19 positive cases confirmed

Two people have bees tested positive for novel coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh (UP). With this the total number of cases have increased to 19 in the state.

1.18 pm: Coronavirus in Maharashtra: Mumbai Dabbawallas suspend tiffin delivery service till March 31

The famous Mumbai Dabbawallas have suspended tiffin delivery services till March 31 in the wake of novel coronavirus scare. The tiffin carriers which are considered to be the lifeline of Mumbai will stop the services from Friday till March 31. Meanwhile, two more women with travel history abroad have been tested positive in the city taking the total cases in Maharashtra to 47.

1.07 pm: Coronavirus latest news: 6 passengers deboarded from Saurashtra Express at Borivali station

6 passengers who had recently returned from Singapore and have 'home quarantine stamp' on thei hands, were deboarded from Saurashtra Express at Borivali Railway station on Thursday, said Public Relations Officer (PRO), Western Railway.

12.58 pm: Coronavirus in Maharashtra: Don't step out of your homes, Uddhav Thackeray tells the state people

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has advised the people in the state not to step out of their homes in the view of novel coronavirus situation.

12.45 pm: Coronavirus latest news: RBI initiates work from home

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday directed its central office employees to work from home. The apex bank has taken the step in line with the administrative order by Mumbai government. It said that all urgent meetings to ensure financial stability will be done via video conferencing.

12.30 pm: Coronavirus in Delhi: Police Commissioner issues advisory to residents in the national capital

Delhi Police commissioner S N Shrivastava on Thursday issues an advisory to the residents in the national capital. Here is the written advisory.

12.16 pm: Coronavirus in India news: Two new COVID-19 cases reported in Karnataka and Chhattisgarh

Two new COVID-19 cases have been reported in India on Thursday with on each in Karnataka and Chhattisgarh, PTI reported. The new case in Karnataka has taken the total toll in the state to 15. Meanwhile, the Chhattisgarh case is the state's first novel coronavirus case. A 24-year-old woman who tested positive for the deadly virus had returned to Raipur from London on Sunday.

12.10 pm: Coronavirus in India news: One employee in HCL Noida tested COVID-19 positive

HCL Technologies said in a statement on Thursday that an employee from its Noida office has been tested positive for novel coronavirus. "One employee from our Noida office has tested positive for #Coronavirus while he was in self-isolation after his return from international travel. Our office is following all government and heath advisory protocols," the company said in a statement.

Read More here: HCL employee tests positive; firm asks staff to work from home

12.05 pm: Coronavirus outbreak: Australia bars non-residents from entering country

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday that all non-citizens and non-residents would be barred from entering the country from 9 pm Friday. Over 600 COVID-19 infections and six deaths have been recorded in Australia so far.

11.57 am: Coronavirus outreak news: 2 immigration officers at Kolkata Airport quarantined

Two immigration officers at Kolkata Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport have been asked to go a 12-day home quarantine. Both of them were at the immigration counter during the clearance process of the 18-year-old youth who has tested positive for novel coronavirus.

11.53 am: Coronavirus news: First cases reported in Chandigarh; patient had returned from London

The first case of COVID-19 has been reported in Chandigarh. The patient is a young woman who had recently returned from London.

Read more here:Coronavirus in Chandigarh: First case reported; patient returned from London

11.42 am: Coronavirus in India news: Indigo likely to take tough decisions in next few days

Indigo said on Thursday that the economic environment in aviation sector has become worse in the wake of spread of novel coronavirus and the airline will take drastic decisions which are likely over the next week.

Read more here:Coronavirus fallout: IndiGo senior official says drastic decisions likely over the next week

11.30 am: Coronavirus latest news: 2 doctors booked for coronavirus cure claim in Maharashtra

Cases have been filed against two doctors in Vasai and Nala Sopara of Maharashtra for putting up hoardings outside their clinics, with claims to have a cure for COVID-19.

11.15 am: Coronavirus news: No cancellation fee for cancelled trains, says Railways

The Indian Railways said on Thursday that no cancellation fee will be charged for 155 trains cancelled. Moreover, passengers will also get 100% refund, PTI reported.

11.00 am: Coronavirus latest news: ICSE board postpones class 10, 12 exams till March 31

The ICSE board on Thursday deferred class 10 and 12th exams in the wake of COVID-19 threat, officials said. The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) Chief Executive Gerry Arathoon said that the examinations have been deferred till March 31.He had earlier said on Wednesday that the examinations will be held as per the schedule after the CBSE made the announcement that it has postponed exams till March 31.

10.54 am: Coronavirus latest news: Two new isolation wards to be set up in Noida

Two new isolation wards will be set in Noida in the wake of increase in novel coronavirus cases being reported from Gautam Buddha Nagar.

10.48 am: Coronavirus outbreak: Second COVID-19 positive cases in Andhra Pradesh

The second COVID-19 positive case was reported in Andhra Pradesh on Thursday, taking the total to two. A person who returned to the state from England on March 15 has been confirmed positive for novel coronavirus.

10.44 am: Coronavirus in J&K: Authorities impose restrictions in Srinagar

Srinagar authorities on Thursday imposed restrictions in parts of the city including Khanyar area where the first COVID-19 positive case in Kashmir came to light. The authorities sealed the area within 300 metre radius from the house of 67-year-old novel coronavirus patient in Khanyar, officials said.

10.31am: Coronavirus outbreak: Railways cancel 168 trains

Indian Railways has cancelled 168 trains due to low occupancy. Check list here.

10.24 am: Coronavirus in Maharashtra: Two more test positive for COVID-19, toll reaches 47

Two more people have been confirmed positive for COVID-19 infection on Thursday in Maharashtra. Both are women, while a 22-year old tested positive for novel coronavirus in Mumbai, another woman, 49, also has been confirmed COVID-19 positive in Ulhasnagar. Both had recently travelled to foreign countries.

10.17 am: Coronavirus in India news: Iskcon Temple shut in Noida

The Iskcon temple in Sector 33 of Noida has been shut for devotees till March 31 in the view of novel coronavirus pandemic.

10.16 am: Coronavirus in Chennai: 50 international, 34 domestic flights cancelled

Over 50 international and 34 domestic flights have been cancelled at Chennai Airport on Thursday, ANI reported.

10.15 am: Coronavirus: Asian shares continue to fall after latest Wall Street tumble

Asian shares failed to maintain their opening gains on Thursday and dropped further after the latest selloff on Wall Street.

10.06 am: Coronavirus updates: Why is govt refusing to take a logical step of a lockdown: P Chidambaram

Senior Congress leader and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram questioned the government on Thursday on why it is not locking down all its towns and cities. Taking to Twitter Chidambaram said, "Even after we have witnessed what is happening in Italy, Iran and Spain, why is the government refusing to take the logical step of a lockdown?" "After WHO Director General's statement yesterday, there should be no hesitation in ordering an immediate lockdown of all our towns and cities for 2-4 weeks," he added.

9.50 am: Coronavirus in Maharashtra: Inferior quality sanitisers worth Rs 25 lakh seized in Mumbai

The Food and Drugs Administration officials on Wednesday carried out a raid at a hand sanitiser manufacturing unit in Nahur and confiscated inferior quality sanitisers worth Rs 25 lakh, officials said. The unit was manufacturing sanitisers illegally. The sanitisers were also being exported without any license and permits.

9.40 am: Coronavirus update: People in Nagpur exercise on streets after gyms shut

People in Nagpur assembled on the streets to exercise after all the gyms in Maharashtra are closed due to novel coronavirus. Hardeep Bhatia, a local says, "We are building our immunity system by exercising."

9.28 am: Coronavirus news: Authorities impose restrictions in Jammu

The Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) administration has imposed restrictions on the assembly of pilgrims, people at religious places under the National Disaster Management Act, 2005.

9.16 am: Coronavirus in Kashmir: Valley records its first COVID-19 case

The Kashmir valley recorded its first novel coronavirus positive case in Srinagar, mayor of Srinagar Municipal Corporation Junaid Azim Mattu said. "I have been informed a short while ago that #Srinagar has had its first positive case for #Covid2019. It's a congested area in the city interiors. We have to be transparent to convey the gravity of the challenge and also seek serious measures and responsible behaviour," he said in a series of tweets.

9.00AM: Qatar Airways lays off staff

Qatar Airways unexpectedly laid off about 200 Filipino staff in Qatar this week as the coronavirus outbreak forces the Middle East airline to slash flights, Philippine Labour Secretary Silvestre Bello told Reuters on Wednesday."Our labour attache is under strict instructions to determine what is the real cause of the decision of management to retrench them on the basis of redundancy," he told Reuters.

8.58 AM: Two members of US Congress Mario Diaz-Balart and Ben McAdams have tested positive for COVID-19.

8.56AM: Allahabad High Court directs the Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary, all District Magistrates of the state and financial institutions not to proceed with any recovery or demolition till 6th April in wake of coronavirus crisis.

8.54AM: A complete breakdown was announced in 2 KM radius of a religious place in Karimnagar after an Indonesian who visited the town tested positive for coronavirus. Every house in the densely populated locality will be screened and quarantined today.

8.51AM: Safdarjung Hospital has decided to cancel all elective surgeries in view of the Coronavirus outbreak in the country.

8.49 AM: IIT-Delhi asks students to vacate the hostels

All remaining students (except international students & students with special needs) are requested to vacate the hostels at the earliest. Hostels will function with skeleton staff and packed food will be provided for remaining students, says the institute. 

8.40AM: The highly contagious novel coronavirus that has exploded into a global pandemic can remain viable and infectious in droplets in the air for hours and on surfaces up to days, according to a new study that should offer guidance to help people avoid contracting the respiratory illness called COVID-19.

8.35 AM: The coronavirus outbreak hammered Brazil on Wednesday, crushing local markets, infecting more members of the country's political elite and prompting loud protests against President Jair Bolsonaro's handling of the mounting crisis.

8.30 AM: The coronavirus outbreak hammered Brazil on Wednesday, crushing local markets, infecting more members of the country's political elite and prompting loud protests against President Jair Bolsonaro's handling of the mounting crisis. - Reuters

8.20AM: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation today at 8 pm, during which he will talk about issues relating to COVID19 and the efforts to combat it.

8.10AM: Precautionary measures required to be taken by all educational institutions and examination boards

  • All ongoing examinations may be rescheduled after 31st March 2020,this would include CBSE NIOS as also University examinations. 
  • All evaluation work may be rescheduled after 31st March, this would include evaluation work of CBSE, NIOS as also University exams.
  • Since JEE mains may require travel by examinees to different towns and the dates may clash with rescheduled CBSE and other board exams therefore, JEE mains should be  rescheduled and new date of JEE mains will be announced on 31st March after reassessment of situation
  • All educational institutions and examination boards have been requested to maintain regular communication with the students and teachers through electronic means and keep them fully informed so that there is no anxiety amongst the students, teacher and parents.
  • All Institutions have also been requested to notify helpline numbers/emails which student can access for their queries.
  • Union HRD Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' has appealed to all the students, teachers and parents not to panic as MHRD is committed to ensure safety and security of students as also the maintenance of academic calendar and all possible steps will be taken in this regard.

8.00AM: Ministry of HRD has issued directions to UGC, AICTE, NTA, NIOS, CBSE , NCTE and all autonomous organisations under the Ministry for the postponement of all the examinations till 31st March, 2020 as a precautionary measure in the wake of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). These steps have been taken to ensure safety and security of students who are appearing in various examinations, as also that of their teachers and parents.

7.50 AM: All AMU examinations including the exams of schools maintained by Aligarh Muslim University are postponed till 2nd April.

7.47 AM: Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan visited Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport (T-3) on the intervening night of 18th & 19th March, to take stock of preparedness in view of COVID19.

7.45 AM: A 23-year-old woman has tested positive for COVID-19. She has travel history to the United Kingdom. - ANI

7.30AM: Haridwar District Magistrate C Ravishankar has issued order prohibiting the entry of visitors to Ganga Aarti site at Har-ki-Pauri till 31st March. However, the Aarti will continue to be held and will be live-streamed for devotees.

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