Coronavirus outbreak: India reported its first death due to coronavirus on Thursday night. A 76-year-old man from Karnataka's Kalburgi, who died two days ago, was confirmed as a coronavirus patient in later tests.
Coronavirus cases in India have risen to 73, with states like Kerala, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh recording maximum number of cases. A new case has emerged in Andhra Pradesh. The government has also stepped up its efforts on war footing to contain the deadly virus, which has claimed over 4,000 lives worldwide. India has so far evacuated 900 Indian citizens, along with 48 foreign nationals. The government has operationised 51 laboratories across the country to mobilise the efforts to stop the virus from spreading. As countries scramble for rescue amid the coronavirus crisis, markets across the world have recorded their worst ever falls. Sensex alone has plunged 2,800 points, while Nifty down to 9,508.
Check all the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak on BusinessToday.In live
10.30 PM:India's first COVID-19 death confirmed in Karnataka
A 76-year-old man who died two days ago in Karnataka while being treated for suspected coronavirus has become India's first COVID-19 fatality with his samples taken earlier confirming the infection, the state government said on Wednesday.
State Health Minister B Sriramulu in a tweet said the necessary contact tracing, isolation and other measures as per protocol were being taken.
"The 76-year-old man from Kalbauragi who passed away & was a suspected COVID19 patient has been confirmed for COVID19. The necessary contact tracing, isolation and other measures as per protocol are being carried out," he said.
7.18 PM: "One more person has been tested positive for coronavirus in Pune today, taking the total to 9 positive cases in the city. The person has a travel history of the United States," Pune Collector Naval Kishore Ram told ANI.
Naval Kishore Ram, Pune Collector: 1 more person tested positive for #Coronavirus in Pune today, taking the total to 9 positive cases in the city. The person has a travel history of the United States. (File pic) pic.twitter.com/NPE3RWFwbK— ANI (@ANI) March 12, 2020
5.30 PM: Russian-European Mars mission has been postponed until 2022 due to coronavirus outbreak, reported AFP.
5.27 PM: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says that schools and colleges where exams are not being held will remain closed. He earlier announced that all cinema halls in the national capital will remain closed till March 31. Vacant flats owned by Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board to be used for quarantine, says Kejriwal. He further says disinfecting all public places, including government, private offices and shopping malls, has been made compulsory. (PTI)
5.22 PM: UN Human Rights Council will suspend its session over coronavirus scare, reports suggest.
5.19 PM: McLaren F1 team has pulled out of the Australian Grand Prix after a team member was tested positive for coronaVirus, reports news agency AFP.
5.17 PM: Number of people coming to India dropped by 40 per cent in last 20 days due to coronavirus outbreak and the number is expected to go down even further, says Ministry of External Afffairs.
5.14 PM: Cinema halls in Delhi to remain shut till March 31 due to coronavirus threat, announces Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
5.13 PM: Remaining two matches of India-South Africa ODI series are likely to be played in empty stadiums due to COVID-19 threat, a BCCI source has told PTI.
4.52 PM: Received requests for masks from Bhutan, Italy, Iran: MEA
Ministry of External Affairs has said that India has received requests for masks from other countries. "We have received requests (for protective gear) from Bhutan, Maldives, Iran, and Italy. In China, it has already been dispatched," said MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.
4.50 PM: Iran reports 75 new coronavirus deaths, taking death toll to 429
4.42 PM: Iran asks for loan from IMF for first time since 1962
Iran said on Thursday that it has sought financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund, which has not lent it money since 1962, to help it combat the novel coronavirus.
"Our central bank requested access" to the IMF's Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI), Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Twitter, urging the fund's board to respond to the request "responsibly".
4.34 PM: 'Avoid non-essential travel,' says PM Modi
Say No to Panic, Say Yes to Precautions.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 12, 2020
No Minister of the Central Government will travel abroad in the upcoming days. I urge our countrymen to also avoid non-essential travel.
We can break the chain of spread and ensure safety of all by avoiding large gatherings.
4.33 PM: 'Government is fully vigilant,' says PM Modi
The Government is fully vigilant about the situation due to COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus .— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 12, 2020
Across ministries & states, multiple steps have been proactively taken to ensure safety of all.
These steps are wide-ranging, from suspension of Visas to augmenting healthcare capacities.
4.30 PM: India needs to get into vaccine production in big way: Kiran Mazumdar Shaw
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw has said that India should step up its research on communicable diseases and get into vaccine production. "Now we realise that it cannot be contained so easily," she said on the World Health Organisation's assessment that COVID-19 can be characterised as a pandemic. Now that they are responding, they realise that it has spread quite a lot," Mazumdar-Shaw told PTI in an interview.
4.14 PM: New case in Andhra Pradesh
A new case has been detected in Andhra Pradesh, according to India Today.
4.05 PM: Need to test Indians stuck in Italy before they are brought back: EAM
"Bhagwant Mann ji raised issue of 30 students of Punjab who are stuck at Italy airport. I would like to tell you that there aren't only 30 students, there are many more from different parts of the country. I need to find a way of helping them and bringing them back. We're at it. Please understand that we can only bring them back if they are tested. They have to be tested. To test them, we've started sampling today as we can't bring back untested people in very severe epidemic situation as I have responsibility of this country to worry about," stated External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar at the Lok Sabha.
4.01 PM: SC refuses urgent hearing on plea to postpone IPL-2020
The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to accord urgent hearing on a petition seeking postponement of the Indian Premier League-2020 amid the coronavirus scare. A vacation bench of justices U U Lalit and Aniruddha Bose told the petitioner that he could mention the matter for urgent listing before the regular bench on March 16, when the apex court will re-open after the Holi break.
"This is not a matter which cannot await till re-opening of the court. You can mention it before the regular court on March 16," the bench told advocate Mohan Babu Agarwal, who has filed the petition.
Agarwal told the bench that the Indian Premier League (IPL)-2020 is scheduled to start from March 29 and would continue for almost two months, but no safety measures have been declared to prevent the spread of coronavirus during the matches, which are likely to witness over 40,000 spectators in each match.
3.53 PM: We have managed to isolate the coronavirus, says Indian Council of Medical Research, adding that there are 11 such isolates. Vaccines will take a minimum of 1.5 to 2 years, the Council says.
Indian Council of Medical Research: We have managed to isolate the coronavirus, we have 11 such isolates. Vaccines will take a minimum of 1.5 to 2 years. pic.twitter.com/eQKNzhZ5m4— ANI (@ANI) March 12, 2020
3.44 PM: No missing coronavirus cases, says govt
Lav Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Union Health Ministry: No evidence to suggest the health ministry is missing coronavirus cases. There could be such speculation but that's not true. Our networking of surveillance is strong. We don't know any case that could have been missed. ICMR will son start a surveillance in order to look at such evidence.
3.41 PM: Focussing on preventive approach: Govt
Lav Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Union Health Ministry: "India has been focussing on preventive approach. We are preparing ourselves, because its already in 110 countries, how we can manage the cases."
3.36 PM: Masks are not always necessary, says govt
Lav Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Union Health Ministry, says masks are not always necessary if one maintains effective social distance. "Right now, luckily for India we do not have any community transmission. We have only a few cases that have come from outside and they have primarily affected their close family members," he says.
3.28 PM: Visa-free travel for OCI cardholderskept in abeyance
Visa-free travel facility granted to Overseas Citizen Of India (OCI) cardholders has been kept in abeyance till April 15, 2020. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on March 13, 2020, at the port of departure.
3.26 PM: Total testing facilities across the country
Luv Aggarwal, Health Ministry, says as many as 52 testing facilities are located across the country. "There are a total of 56 sample collection centres," he says, adding that India has evacuated 900 Indian citizens, along with 48 foreign nationals so far. The government has over 1 lakh testing kits available right now.
Lav Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Union Health Ministry: We already have around 1 lakh testing kits available, additional testing kits have already been ordered and they are also in procurement. #CoronaViruspic.twitter.com/5KVt1Ce7zW— ANI (@ANI) March 12, 2020
3.09 PM: Global markets take a big bit
Global stocks plunged into a bear market and oil slumped on Thursday after US President Donald Trump banned travel from Europe to stem the coronavirus.
- European shares plummeted to their lowest in almost four years.
- US S&P 500 futures ESc1 plummeted as much as 4.9% in Asia.
- Japan's Nikkei .N225 crumbled 4.4% to a trough last seen almost three years ago.
- Australian shares plunged 7.4% to the lowest level in more than three years.
3.00 PM: Govt says 15 labs conducting coronavirus tests
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan: "National Institute of Virology in Pune is our central reference lab. After this, we started with 15 labs because this is not a routine test, it can't be tested in every laboratory. Even now, despite this being such a big task, activities are being coordinated at 51 laboratories across the country and collection centres at 56 locations."
2.56 PM: Sensex tanks 3,200 points; Nifty at 9,508 as coronavirus pandemic infects global indices. All Sensex components were trading in the red on Thursday. Axis Bank, ONGC and Tata Steel dropped 10% each, followed by with Tata Steel was the top loser, tanking up to 9%, followed by SBI, Titan, M&M that fell 8% and L&T, Reliance Industries down 7%.
2.51 PM: Total case in UP: 11
UP State Health Minister Jai Pratap Singh says 11 people who tested postive have been kept in isolation. "About 800 doctors have been trained. Through video conference we are tracking all developments. 11 people have tested positive in Uttar Pradesh. Latest, has been found in Gomti Nagar. They have been kept in isolation," says Singh.
State Health Minister Jai Pratap Singh: About 800 doctors have been trained. Through video conference we are tracking all developments.11 people have tested positive in Uttar Pradesh. Latest, has been found in Gomti Nagar. They have been kept in isolation. #Coronaviruspic.twitter.com/2yHKanHESP— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) March 12, 2020
2.46 PM: Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray takes stock of the preperation in wake of coronavirus outbreak in India.
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray today held a meeting with all-district collectors through video conferencing. State Health Minister Rajesh Tope, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta were also present. #Coronaviruspic.twitter.com/EloiByoVNM— ANI (@ANI) March 12, 2020
2.44 PM: Hotel industry feels the pinch of coronavirus
The Indian hotel industry has been hit hard due to fears over the coronavirus outbreak in India. Ajay Kumar Aggarwal, President of Hotel Association, Paharganj said: "This is a 100% occupancy season, but there is not more than 20% occupancy now due to coronavirus."
Ajay Kumar Aggarwal, President of Hotel Association, Paharganj: This is a 100% occupancy season, but there is not more than 20% occupancy now due to #Coronavirus. We had hopes that we would earn well this season. We are only dependent on Indian tourists now. #Delhipic.twitter.com/lWUmKV8ycL— ANI (@ANI) March 12, 2020
2.32 PM: The IPL Governing Council meeting is expected to take place on March 14 where the fate of the IPL would be decided. The
2.30 PM: American talk show host Ellen DeGeneres' show to be shot without audience in wake coronavirus fears.
I have some news. For now, I’ll be shooting my show with no studio audience. To everyone who was looking forward to coming, I'm so sorry. But I’m doing this for the health of my fans, my staff & my crew. (It has nothing to do with a warrant for my arrest in the state of Florida.)— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) March 12, 2020
2.00 PM: The government is taking action that is coordinated, coherent and comprehensive on COVID-19, British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak.
1.45 PM: Three held for administering fake coronavirus vaccines
Three women were arrested for allegedly administrating fake coronavirus vaccines to villagers in Maharashtra's Jalna district, police said on Thursday. The police on Wednesday arrested Beed residents Radha Ramnath Saamse, Seema Krishna Andhale and Sangeeta Rajendra Avhad, who allegedly posed as doctors and healthcare workers, an official said. -- PTI
1.30 PM: No entry at Delhi airport's duty-free shopping area
Indian customs has barred passengers arriving from 15 nations, including China, the US, Italy and South Korea, from entering duty-free shopping area at the Delhi airport in wake of the coronavirus pandemic. With the government already cancelling visas with effect from March 13, this would mean that even Indian nationals returning home from these 15 countries will not be allowed to enter the Delhi duty-free shopping area. The Commissioner of Customs at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi, in a notice, said the ban has been put in place "in view of the threat from COVID-19 virus".
1.17 PM: US Department of State: Travellers are urged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Programme (STEP) to receive alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. "The department uses these alerts to convey information about terrorist threats, security incidents, planned demonstrations, natural disasters, etc. In an emergency, please contact the nearest US Embassy or consulate or call the following numbers: 1(888) 407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1 (202) 501-4444 from other countries or jurisdictions," says the US government.
1.11 PM: S Jaishankar says he visited Srinagar recently and took the initiative to meet the parents of some of the students who are in Iran. "Their anxiety at this time is completely understandable. I shared with them in details, the ground situation and sought their understanding," he says.
1.04 PM: China's National Health Commission has said the country has passed the coronavirus epidemic peak. The country has reported over 3,000 deaths so far.
12.56 PM: Govt issues helpline for Delhiites
The Government of India has issued dedicated helpline number across the country, including Delhi.
- State DGHS (HQ)- 011-22307145, 22300012, 22300036
- North- 011-27708768
- South- 011-29531277
- North -West: 011-25951182
- South-west- 011-25066674
- South-East Delhi: 011-26476410
- North-East Delhi: 011-22115289
- New Delhi: 011-23385743
- central Delhi: 011-23270151
- Shahdara: 011-22111077
12.47 PM: Will take necessary action: S Jaishankar
As the House would have noticed, where specific interventions are required - as in the case of Wuhan in China, the Diamond Princess crew in Japan or now the pilgrims in Iran, we will take necessary action.
12.44 PM: Where communities are understandably anxious, we should reassure them, says External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar
EAM S Jaishankar, in Lok Sabha on #Coronavirus: Where communities are understandably anxious, we should reassure them&encourage the observants of globally recognised precautions & procedures. An excessive sense of alarm would only be to the detriment of those who are really in it pic.twitter.com/4OuciluYMD— ANI (@ANI) March 12, 2020
12.40 PM: Around 6,000 Indians in Iran
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in the Lok Sabha says as per available information, there are about 6,000 Indian nationals in various provinces of Iran, including 1,100 pilgrims mainly from Ladakh, J&K and Maharashtra, nearly 300 students primarily from J&K. He says about a 1,000 fishermen from Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Gujarat and other states are on longer-term stay visas in Iran for pursuing their livelihood.
12.30 PM: The Delhi High Court has asked the Centre to contact Indian students stranded in Iran. The court has asked the government to present a comprehensive plan to rescue the young students stuck in the Islamic country.
12.23 PM: State-wise list of confirmed cases in India
- Kerala 17
- Maharashtra 11
- UP 10
- Delhi 6
- Karnataka 4
- UT Laddakh 3
- Rajasthan 1
- Telangana 1
- Tamil Nadu 1
- Jammu And Kashmir 1
- Punjab 1
- Indians tested positive 56
- Foreigners tested positive 17
12.21 PM: Fresh cases take total number to 73
- Total number of passengers screened at airport: 10,57,506
- Total number of confirmed COVI19 cases: 73
12.13 PM: New York City St Patrick's Day Parade postponed
The New York City St Patrick's Day Parade has been postponed for the first time in its 258-year history because of coronavirus concerns, Gov Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday. The postponement of the March 17 parade adds to the roster of events and holidays upended around the world by the spreading infection. Chicago, Boston, and even the Irish capital of Dublin, have cancelled St Patrick's Day parades. -- AP
12.02 PM: Para Biathlon World Championships cancelled
The Swedish government has announced all events involving the participation of more than 500 persons will be cancelled in the country as a measure to control the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
🚨 Para Biathlon World Championships cancelled 🚨— Para Snow Sports (@ParaSnowSports) March 11, 2020
The Swedish Government announced that all events involving the participation of more than 500 persons will be cancelled in the country as a measure to control the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
11.45 PM: Stock market shock
Benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty crashed nearly 7% on Thursday. The 30-share BSE Sensex has fallen 2,707 points lower to 32,990.01, its day's low as against the perevious closing value of 35,697.40. Similarly, NSE Nifty, the 50-share index has declined 799 points to the intrday low of 9,648, compared oto the last closing of 10,448.Today's low are also the fresh 52-week lows hit by the equity indices.
11.37 AM: State govt could announce holiday: Maharashtra CM
The state government says the schools are functional at the moment, but if there's a need, the state will issue holiday. "Masks are not necessary at the moment, if you have cold or cough avoid contact, maintain hygiene and wash/sanitise your hands," the government said.
Board exams are on so the schools are functional at the moment, but, if there’s a need the State will issue Holiday.— Office of Uddhav Thackeray (@OfficeofUT) March 11, 2020
Masks are not necessary at the moment, if you have cold or cough avoid contact, maintain hygiene & wash/sanitize your hands. pic.twitter.com/7mOX2lO3BZ
11.23 AM: Total 10 confirmed cases in Maharashtra
Two more cases of novel coronavirus confirmed in Mumbai. Apart from this, the number has touched 8 in Pune (though it's not an official number), taking the total number of cases across India to 68.
CM Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray addressed a press conference today to update on COVID-19(Corona Virus):— Office of Uddhav Thackeray (@OfficeofUT) March 11, 2020
2 patients in Mumbai & 8 in Pune have been detected positive for COVID-19(Corona Virus). They've been kept in the hospital under observation. pic.twitter.com/qHQhkhhxt0
11.15 AM: WHO declares coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. But what's is a pandemic?
Pandemic is declared by the WHO when a disease or an infection spreads on a global scale. Pandemics are associated with the geographical spread and not any characteristics in the disease or the infection itself. WHO for weeks had been saying that may declare COVID-19 a pandemic but that does not mean the term carries any legal significance. The WHO does not have an exact criterion for declaring a pandemic but the term should not be confused with an outbreak and an epidemic.
11.10 AM: Cabinet Secretary issues guidelines to step up response system
The Cabinet Secretary issues detailed guidelines for a concerted and whole government approach to prevent further imposition of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and to build up a comprehensive and robust response system.
Cabinet Secretary issues detailed guidelines for a concerted and whole of Government approach in order to prevent further imposition of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases & to build up a comprehensive & robust response system.— Amitabh Kant (@amitabhk87) March 12, 2020
Specific tasks assigned to different Ministries.1/2 pic.twitter.com/U5AIrCeMu3
11.06 AM: Confirmed cases of coronavirus in Asia
- China: 67,000+
- South Korea: 7,500+
- Singapore: 160+
- Taiwan: 47
- Hong Kong: 120
- Philippines: 33
- Malaysia: 129
- Indonesia: 27
- Thailand: 53
- Sri lanka: 1
- Nepal: 1
- Cambodia: 2
- Vietnam: 31
- Macau: 10
- Japan: 581
- India: 60
11.03 AM: The SC has refused to accord urgent hearing on plea seeking deferment of IPL-2020 amid coronavirus scare.
10.59AM: A woman doctor from Canada has tested COVID-19 positive in Uttar Pradesh's Lucknow on Thursday. The patient has been admitted in an isolation ward in King George's Medical University, IANS reported.
10.55AM: Rupee weakened to a 17-month low of 74.34 per US dollar as global markets slumped after the WHO declared coronavirus as a global pandemic. It has however, somewhat recovered from the lows to trade around 74.14 per greenback.
10.50AM: No foreign player available for IPL till April 15 due to visa restrictions imposed by government in wake of COVID-19 outbreak: BCCI source
10.40AM: Coronavirus in Andhra Pradesh: 300 patients kept under observation
According to the director of Health and Family Welfare, Andhra Pradesh, no person has been tested positive for coronavirus, till now. Regular screening of passengers is going at the Visakapatnam airport. As many as 8,339 passengers were screened at Visakhapatnam airport, out of which 57 found symptomatic.
Director of Health and Family Welfare, Andhra Pradesh: Total number of 300 patients are under observation as of today; No persons have tested positive for Coronavirus pic.twitter.com/Tu70gFFORV— ANI (@ANI) March 12, 2020
10.34 AM: The official confirmed cases of COVID-19 in India (as of March 11): 68
- Ladakh: 2
- Jammu: 1
- Delhi: 19
- UP: 8
- Punjab: 1
- Haryana: 1
- Rajasthan: 3
- Maharashtra: 10
- Telangana: 1
- Karnataka: 4
- Tamil Nadu: 1
- Kerala: 17 (three patients have recovered)
10.20 AM: Flipkart asks all its employees to work from home for three days
E-tailer Flipkart has asked all its employees in Bengaluru, which its largest campus in India, to work from home, starting Wednesday, The Times of India reported. Flipkart's Bengaluru campus employs up to 10,000 employees.
10.13 AM: View of a bus stand in Rwanda, which has not registered a single case of coronavirus.
10.10 AM: 63 people dead in past 24 hours: Iran
Iran urged people to stay at home, avoid unnecessary journeys and spread no rumors about the coronavirus on Wednesday after the death toll from the virus rose to 354 in the Islamic Republic. "We have identified 958 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection in the last 24 hours, increasing the total number of cases to 9,000 across Iran," Kianush Jahanpur, a health ministry spokesman, said. "Also 63 people have lost their lives in the past 24 hours." -- Reuters
10.04 AM: Italy sees 196 deaths in 24 hours
The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in Italy has jumped in the last 24 hours by 196 to 827, a rise of 31%, the Civil Protection Agency said on Wednesday, the largest rise in absolute numbers since the contagion came to light on Feb. 21. The total number of cases in Italy, the European country hardest hit by the virus, rose to 12,462 from a previous 10,149, an increase of 22.8%. -- Reuters
9.58 AM: China's Wuhan tries to come back to normalcy
Some vital industries in Wuhan, the Chinese city at the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic, were told they can resume work on Wednesday, a day after President Xi Jinping visited there for the first time since the outbreak began. The city of 11 million has been in lockdown since late January but Xi's visit signaled the tide was turning in the government's favor as it fights to contain a virus that as of Tuesday had infected 80,778 people in China and killed 3,158. Overall, the 15 new confirmed cases in mainland China on Wednesday was a drop from 24 cases a day earlier. -- Reuters
9.41 AM: IPL governing council meeting will be held on March 14 over coronavirus situation. There are reports that IPL body could cancel or postpone the event in wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
9.38 AM: BJP MP Subramanian Swamy has given Zero Hour notice in Rajya Sabha over the "impact of high aviation fuel prices and coronavirus on the domestic air services."
9.36 AM: Coronavirus impact on stock market
Benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty crashed in early trade today as US markets tanked on coronavirus fears. Top Sensex losers were Tata Steel (9.32%), ONGC (7.68%) and SBI (7.36%). Mid cap and small cap indices were trading 670 points and 674 points lower in early trade. Sensex lost 1,744 points to 33,935 with all components in the red, Nifty lost 519 points to 9,938.
9.11 AM: It's a call for action: UN chief
Secretary-General of UN Antonio Guterres the declaration of a COVID-19 pandemic is a call to action. "It's also a call for responsibility & solidarity - as nations united and as people united. As we fight the virus, we cannot let fear go viral. Let's overcome this common threat together," says the UN chief.
Today's declaration of a #COVID19 pandemic is a call to action - for everyone, everywhere.— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) March 11, 2020
It's also a call for responsibility & solidarity - as nations united and as people united.
As we fight the virus, we cannot let fear go viral.
Let's overcome this common threat together. pic.twitter.com/upAda4Lvzy
9.00 AM: Actor Tom Hanks, wife Rita Wilson test positive for coronavirus
Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks and his wife, actress Rita Wilson, have both tested positive for coronavirus in Australia, the actor said on Twitter. The actor, 63, is working on a film in the country.
8.54 AM: US suspends all travel from Europe, UK for 30 days
US President Donald Trump has suspended all travel from Europe, excluding the UK, to the US for the next 30 days to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus that has claimed 37 lives and infected 1,300 in the country. In a televised address to the nation, Trump said the new rule will be coming into effect from Friday midnight. There will be exemptions for Americans returning to the US after undergoing multiple screenings, he said. The president said the European Union has "failed to take the same precautions" as his administration had implemented to contain the coronavirus outbreak. -- PTI
8.53 AM: Netanyahu speaks to PM Modi over COVID-19 outbreak
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel is dependent on "supply lines" from various countries and he has spoken to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi. "I also spoke to the prime minister of India, my friend Narendra Modi. We are dependent on supply lines from various countries. We are looking into it all the time," Netanyahu told a press conference on Wednesday.
8.48 AM: Lucknow reports first case of coronavirus
Lucknow has reported its first suspected case of coronavirus. A woman who has a travel history to Canada has been tested. Doctors at KGMU Hospital in the city said the woman has been kept at an isolation ward. Her husband was tested negative.
8.45 AM: Suspected patient admitted to Patiala hospital
A suspected coronavirus patient has been admitted to Rajindra Hospital in Patiala. The person belongs to Bahadurgarh and had gone to South Korea. Two suspected cases admitted earlier have been tested negative.
8.42 AM: Twitter moves to mandatory work from home globally
In wake the coronavirus outbreak, social media giant Twitter has asked its over 5,000 employees to mandatorily work from home from March 11. "Our top priority remains the health and safety of our Tweeps, and we also have a responsibility to support our communities, those who are vulnerable, and the healthcare providers who are on the front lines of this pandemic. To continue this push, we are moving beyond our earlier guidance of 'strongly encouraging work from home' provided on March 2 and have now informed all employees globally they must work from home."
Today we informed all Twitter employees globally they must work from home to support worldwide efforts to stop the spread of #COVID19. This moves beyond our earlier guidance of “strongly encouraging work from home.” https://t.co/xQ6Xa4BHg0— Twitter Comms (@TwitterComms) March 12, 2020
8.34 AM: India steps up efforts on border areas
International traffic through land borders will be restricted to designated check posts with robust screening facilities.
8.31 AM: Will Indians be quarantined on return from abroad?
Indian nationals have been strongly advised to avoid all non-essential travel abroad. "On their return, they can be subjected to quarantine for a minimum of 14 days," Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan.
Indian nationals are strongly advised to avoid all non-essential travel abroad. On their return, they can be subjected to quarantine for a minimum of 14 days.— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) March 11, 2020
8.20 AM: What about those who want to travel to India for compelling reason?
Any foreign national who intends to travel to India for compelling reason may contact the nearest Indian Mission, the release said, adding that all incoming travellers, including Indian nationals, arriving from or having visited China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain and Germany after February 15 will be quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days.
8.15 AM: Visa-free travel facility kept in abeyance
Visa-free travel facility granted to Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card holders is also kept in abeyance till April 15, according to a similar official statement.
8.00 AM: India steps up efforts to contain coronavirus
The Bureau of Immigration has said all existing visas issued to nationals of any country, except those issued to diplomats, officials, UN/International organisations, employment and project visas, stand suspended till April 15th, 2020. "This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on March 13th, 2020 at the port of departure of any foreigner for onward journey to India."