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Coronavirus Updates: Paytm employee tests positive for Covid-19; cases in India spikes to 29

Coronavirus update: A Paytm employee in Gurugram, who returned from Italy, has been tested positive for novel coronavirus, the company said in a statement on Wednesday

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | March 5, 2020 | Updated 03:03 IST
Coronavirus Updates: Paytm employee tests positive for Covid-19; cases in India spikes to 29
Of total 29 confirmed cases detected in Delhi so far, 16 are Italians while 13 are Indian nationals

Coronavirus update: The Prime Minister's Office held another review meeting to gauge preparedness to fight the spread of coronavirus. Earlier, Indian rupee and equity markets bore the brunt of rising coronavirus cases in India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP leaders including Union Home Minister Amit Shah and party chief JP Nadda and other leaders like AAP chief and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal have said they'll not celebrate Holi due to the coronavirus spread in the country. Kejriwal said neither he nor his party's leaders would celebrate Holi in view of recent violence and the virus outbreak. Modi and his party leaders cancelled all 'Holi Milan' events in wake of the outbreak across India. Number of confirmed coronavirus cases spiked to 28 on Wednesday. Of these 16 are Italians while 12 are Indian nationals. More than 3,100 people have died, most of them in China, and over 90,000 have been infected worldwide by the virus.

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

9:30 PM: Gurugram Paytm employee tests positive for coronavirus

A Paytm employee in Gurugram, who returned from Italy, has been tested positive for novel coronavirus, the company said in a statement on Wednesday. The company has advised all its employees to work from home for the next couple of days while the Gurgaon unit gets sanitised.

8:47 PM: Reports for 6 suspected patients awaited, says Maharashtra Public Health Dept

8:38 PM: Paytm employee in tests positive for coronavirus

Paytm revealed in a statement on Wednesday that one of its employees based out of Gurugram has been tested positive for coronavirus and is receiving appropriate treatment. His team members have been asked to get health check-ups done. reports suggest that Paytm's Gurugram office will be closed for two days and employees have been asked to work from home as the premises will be sanitised.

8:10 PM: Directorate of Health Services, Uttar Pradesh, revealed that total number of passengers from China visited and found residing in the state is 2,203 and those from 12 specified countries under observation, as on today, are 633.

8:07 PM: In light of coronavirus outbreak, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) allows examinees to carry sanitisers, face maks inside exam halls during ongoing 10th and 12th Board examinations.

7:39 PM: Coronavirus news: WHO warns against shortage of medical equipment

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has cauioned against a global shortage and price gouging for protective equipment to fight the coronavirus outbreak. The Uniited Nations agency asked companies and governments to increase production by 40 per cent as the death toll due to the deadly virus mounted.

About 3.4% of confirmed cases of COVID-19 have died, far above seasonal flu's fatality rate of under 1%, but the virus can be contained, the WHO chief said on Tuesday.

"To summarise, COVID-19 spreads less efficiently than flu, transmission does not appear to be driven by people who are not sick, it causes more severe illness than flu, there are not yet any vaccines or therapeutics, and it can be contained," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in Geneva.

(With Reuters input)

7:31 PM: RBI may have an ace up its sleeve in fight against coronavirus: report

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is considering using unconventional policy tools to spur lending, according to government sources, amid fears that the coronavirus outbreak will derail any revival of economic growth. RBI is planning to infuse fresh cash liquidity into the system through a second round of long-term repo operations (LTRO), anonymous sources told Reuters.

One of the officials said the Reserve Bank of India might inject as much as 1 trillion rupees ($13.62 billion) in a new round of LTROs that begin as early as April.

The RBI said on Tuesday it was monitoring global and domestic developments closely and stood ready to act to maintain market confidence and preserve financial stability.

(Reuters)

7:26 PM: All suspected coronavirus cases, including 21 Italians and 3 Indians, brought to ITBP's quarantine facility in Chhawla, Delhi yesterday, left this on Wednesday. Positive cases will be sent to designated hospitals for treatment, whereas others will be kept under preventive isolation at a different location.

7:14 PM: No new coronavirus cases in Telangana, says State Health Minister

Telangana Health Minister E Rajender said there were no fresh coronavirus cases in the state apart from the one that has been confirmed. Samples of two people have been sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) at Pune for confirmation as their test results were on the "borderline" when tested in Hyderabad.

Speaking to reporters, Rajender said: "Report of two people will come by tomorrow. It is only one patient (so far)...one case of coronavirus (in Telangana). There are no fresh cases."

A 24-year-old techie from the city, who works in Bengaluru, tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday and he is undergoing treatment in an isolation ward at the state-run Gandhi hospital here.

(PTI)

7:00 PM: Coronavirus treatment: Chinese doctors offer insight to Indian counterparts

As the dreaded coronavirus appeared to spread in India, top Chinese doctors treating patients in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, on Wednesday advised their Indian counterparts to prepare plans, train medical staff and educate the public about wearing masks and washing of hands to contain the disease.

Four top medical specialists, who were selected to treat coronavirus cases in Hubei province and its capital Wuhan in the last two months, interacted with the foreign and domestic media for the first time through an online press conference from the virus-hit Wuhan city on Wednesday.

The training should include how to protect themselves putting on the protective clothing and take it off and prepare the much-needed equipment ready for both invasive and non-invasive treatment.

A total of 28 COVID-19 cases were detected in India so far. Among them, one person was from Delhi, six of his relatives in Agra, 16 Italians and their Indian driver, one in Telangana and the three earlier cases in Kerala.

(PTI)

6:51 PM: coronavirus impact: Sitharaman allays fears over economic disruptions

The government is working intensively to ensure meaningful intervention, if needed, to deal with the impact of unfolding coronavirus crisis on the country, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Wednesday.

Asked about the assessment of impact of coronavvirus on the economy, Sitharaman said she has held meetings with industry representatives along with secretaries and the inputs have shared with different ministries.

6:47 PM: Saudi Arabia bans umrah pilgrimage over coronavirus fears

Saudi Arabia has banned citizens and residents from performing the Muslim pilgrimage of umrah in Mecca due to fears over the new coronavirus. It gave no time frame for how long the suspension will stand. Last week, Saudi Arabia had closed off the holiest sites in Islam to foreign pilgrims amid the coronavirus outbreak.

6:46 PM:Coronavirus news: FIBA 3X3 basketball Olympic qualifier in Bengaluru called off

The FIBA 3x3 basketball Olympic qualifying tournament, scheduled to be held here from March 18 to 22, was on Wednesday postponed in view of the coronvirus outbreak. This is the first sporting event to be put off in India owing to the virus outbreak that has so far claimed over 3,000 lives and infected more than 94000 people across the world after being first detected in Wuhan, China.

"The FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualification Tournament, which was scheduled to be held in Bengaluru, India, from March 18 to 22, 2020, has been postponed," F d ration Internationale de Basketball (FIBA) said in a statement.

"FIBA is now working in close collaboration with the International Olympic Committee, on the best solution possible in the circumstances, considering that this tournament needs to take place before the FIBA 3x3 Universality Olympic Qualifier Tournament scheduled to be played in Budapest, Hungary, from April 24 to 26, 2020," it further said.

Twenty teams each in men's and women's events were to participate in the event jointly organised by FIBA and Basketball Federation of India in a year which will witness the Olympic debut of 3x3 basketball.

(PTI)

6:44 PM: Coronavirus update: EU official in Brussels tests positive

A first European Union official working in the bloc's Brussels administration has tested positive for coronavirus infection.

"We have confirmation of the case," EU Commission spokeswoman Dana Spinant told news agency AFP.

A spokeswoman for the European Defence Agency confirmed that a male public servant of the agency had returned from Italy on February 23 and subsequently tested positive.

Brussels is the de facto capital of the European Union and home to many of its institutions, including the European Commission, European Council and European Parliament.

6:36 PM: HRD Ministry directs Chief Secretaries of states, CBSE to spread awareness among students on basic measures to protect themselves against coronavirus.

6:34 PM: Coronavirus news: Rajasthan govt on alert after 16 Italian tourists test positive

Labs were analysing blood samples and hotel staff disinfecting rooms along the Rajasthan tourist trail followed by a group of Italian travellers, 16 of whom have now tested positive for coronavirus. Rajasthan Health Minister Raghu Sharma told the assembly on Wednesday that at least 215 people came in contact with the Italian tourists who visited several places in the state from February 21 to 28.

Informing about the measures taken by the state Health Department, he said teams have been alerted to thoroughly screen passengers at airports and rapid response teams have been formed in the medical colleges and associated hospitals.

(PTI)

6:30 PM: Saudi suspends umrah pilgrimage to Mecca over coronavirus fears.

6:07 PM: PMO reviews corona virus response and preparedness

Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister PK Mishra today chaired an inter-ministerial meeting to review preparedness and response on the corona virus issue.  Today's meeting was the latest in a series of stock-taking meetings at the PMO.

Two important decisions taken today by the government and mentioned at the meeting include introduction of universal screening at all international airports and sea-ports through use of thermal imagery equipment, and mandatory filling of declaration forms of places visited by tourists and travellers returning from abroad.

The meeting identified specific areas of responsibility for various public authorities at the Centre, state and local levels. Emphasis was on greater participation of the private sector and the community at large, through a Jan Bhagidari approach. Decisions taken during the meeting include expanding testing facilities and developing a GIS database for mapping disease hotspots and available medical facilities.

5:50 PM: No Holi gala at Rashtrapati Bhavan this year

In a statement on Wednesday, President Ram Nath Kovind said that traditional Holi gathering at Rashtrapati Bhavan will not happen this year in view of the ongoing coronavirus menace.

5:49 PM: Coronavirus news: Iran refuses US helping hand amid sanctions

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday dismissed a US offer to help the Islamic republic fight its coronavirus outbreak, charging that "vicious" American sanctions are depriving the country of medicine.

Iran has scrambled to halt the rapid spread of the virus that has claimed 92 lives out of 2,922 confirmed infections in the past two weeks.

It has shut schools and universities, suspended major cultural and sporting events, and cut back on work hours.

"Those who have deprived the people of even medicine and food through sanctions, who have done the most vicious things... they appear with a mask of sympathy and say that we want to help the nation of Iran," Rouhani said, in a clear reference to the United States.

US President Donald Trump had said Saturday he was ready to aid Iran with the virus outbreak if the Islamic republic asked for assistance.

(PTI)

5:45 PM: Coronavirus update: 3 schools closed in Delhi-NCR

Three schools in the national capital and adjoining areas have announced holiday for students and staff as a precautionary measure to prevent spread of coronavirus, while two schools advanced their spring break and others sent out advisories to parents.

On Tuesday, a day after the Union Health Ministry reported two fresh cases of coronavirus in the country with one of them in Delhi, two Noida schools sent messages to parents announcing their closure. One of the two schools, where the infected Delhi man's son is a student in a primary class, said it will remain shut from March 4 to March 6. A health department team fumigated and sanitised the school campus on Tuesday.

A school in Delhi has announced it will be closed from Thursday while its two branches in Gurgaon have advanced their spring break and will now close from Saturday. Amity International Schools (AIS) in Delhi-NCR have have fumigated their classrooms and sent advisories to parents detailing the dos and don'ts.

(PTI)

5:38 PM: Rupee tanks amid coronavirus crisis

Extending decline for the third straight session, rupee on Wednesday turned volatile and slipped further after the government confirmed fresh cases of coronavirus in India. The local currency was trading at 73.22 against the US dollar, down 11 paise against its previous close of 73.29.

On Wednesday, government confirmed 15 new coronavirus cases in India, taking the total number of patients to 28. Equity markets also bore the brunt of rapidly spreading coronavirus infection.

5:28 PM: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee alleged that "some people and channels" are trying to create panic over coronavirus in country to divert attention from the communal riots Delhi.

5:19 PM: Coronavirus update: Two samples from Telangana sent to Pune

Samples of two persons have been sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) at Pune for confirmation of coronavirus as the government stepped up precautionary measures.

The two persons are among the 47 whose samples were tested at the state-run Gandhi hospital here on Tuesday. Out of them, 45 samples tested negative, said State Health Minister E Rajender.

The two persons are - a foreigner who came from Italy and another who moved closely with the man who tested positive for the virus, Rajender said.

The state reported its first COVID-19 case on Monday when a 24-year-old software personnel, who recently returned from Dubai, had tested positive for the virus.

(PTI)

5:15 PM: Symptoms of COVID-19 infections and precautions to take:

(Credit: IANS)

5:09 PM: Delhi Metro staff sensitised about coronavirus

Delhi Metro staff has been sensitised and guidelines have been circulated regarding Do's and Dont's to prevent the spread of coronavirus, DMRC told ANI. Instructions are being issued to increase the frequency of cleaning within the metro premises, the aouthority further added.

5:00 PM: Health Minister chairs high-level meet as number of cases reaches 28

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan chaired a high-level meeting on the coronavirus outbreak, with Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain and civic body officials in attendance. Vardhan announced that all international passengers will henceforth be screened at airports for the disease.

Giving a breakup of those who tested positive for the virus, the Union health minister said that total 28 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in India. One is a 45-year-old man from Delhi's Mayur Vihar and six are his relatives from Agra whom he recently visited. They are all being treated at the Safdarjung hospital.

A 24-year-old man from Hyderabad has also tested positive for coronavirus and has been isolated. Besides, 16 members of a tourist group from Italy and their Indian driver have been found infected with the virus.

While an Italian man and his wife are being treated at Jaipur's SMS Hospital, 14 members of the group and their Indian driver have been quarantined at the ITBP camp in Chhawla.

Three coronavirus patients reported in Kerala earlier have already been discharged. Health Ministry also said that two cases with high viral load have been detected in Telangana.

(PTI)

5:00 PM: Iran reports 15 new Coronavirus deaths, taking the death toll t0 92, reported AFP.

4:45 PM: Wearing masks is not the only solution, says Union Minister Prakash Javadekar

On shortage of masks, Prakash Javadekar said that wearing masks is not the only solution and is not necessary for everyone. Other things are -- keeping your hands clean, taking precautions in public places, and doing namaskar, he added.

4:40 PM: The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has confirmed that 17 Indians have been infected with coronavirus abroad.

4:35 PM: Coronavirus deaths in Iran rises to 92

Iran reports 15 new Coronavirus deaths, casualties from the virus reaches 92. Iran is the worst-affected country from the coronavirus outside Asia, in terms of the number of deaths from the deadly virus.

4.25PM: 3 students who returned from Wuhan (China) and tested positive for #Coronavirus are stable and at home. Their isolation period is also over: Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja

4.15PM: Iraq announces first coronavirus death

Iraq said a 70-year-old Muslim cleric died on Wednesday from the novel coronavirus, the first death from the outbreak in a country where 31 people have been infected.

4.05PM: 215 people came in touch with COVID-19 affected Italian group: Rajasthan minister

Rajasthan Health Minister Raghu Sharma informed the House on Wednesday that at least 215 people came in contact with the COVID-19 affected group of Italian tourists that had visited various places in the state. A total of 51 suspected patients have been tested negative whereas reports of 41 others are still pending, he said.

4.00PM: Delhi hospitals are prepared to tackle any situation arising out of the novel coronavirus outbreak: CM Kejriwal

3.55PM: China's car sales fall 80 per cent February on coronavirus epidemic

The China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) said in a statement that China's overall passenger car sales dropped 80 per cnet on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

3.50PM: Seventeen Indians have been infected with coronavirus abroad: MEA

3.45PM: Govt intends to set up coronavirus testing facility for Indians in Iran: Harsh Vardhan

India intends to set up a laboratory in Iran so that Indians there can be tested for a possible exposure to novel coronavirus before being brought back, Health Minister said. An estimated 1,200 Indians, mostly students and pilgrims, are in Iran currently.

3.39PM: Over 6 lakh people screened at 21 airports for coronavirus: Prakash Javadekar

3.36 PM: Two buildings in the Hyderabad IT park, where an employee working in Raheja Mindspace was detected positive for coronavirus, have been partially closed over the coronavirus fears, The Times of India reported.

3.31 PM: Ministry of Health and Family Affairs on new coronavirus cases

"Third case in Jaipur, wife of the already confirmed Italian patient, has been confirmed for COVID-19. Total 14 Italians and one Indian, who were part of the team of the Jaipur COVID-19 confirmed case, are also initially confirmed positive for COVID-19. Six (6) family members at Agra, who are family members of the COVID19 confirmed case from Delhi, are confirmed for COVID-19. In addition, two cases with high viral load have been detected in Telangana." 

3.18 PM: Sensex tanks over coronavirus fears

Equity market resumed selling streak and dipped 1.93% on Wednesday, with Sensex dropping below 38,000 level and Nifty closing in to 11,000 mark. Barring pharma, all the other indices were trading in red, with major declines recorded media, metal and banking stocks. BSE 30-share S&P Sensex traded 650 points lower at 38,015 and Nifty50 traded 195 points lower at 11,107.

3.13 PM: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said that saliva is the main carrier of coronavirus. The Union Minister warned people against taking part in huge gatherings and advised them to avoid crowded places. The minister was addressing a press conference on COVID-19. In this presser, the minister also stated that the number of coronavirus cases in India as of now is 28.

Read More: Coronavirus: Avoid crowded places, says Health Minister Harsh Vardhan

3.02 PM: BJP President Jagat Prakash Nadda has written to all BJP state presidents, asking them to not hold Holi programmes in wake of coronavirus.

2.37 PM: Kejriwal says he's not celebrating Holi because of coronavirus and the recent violence that took place in Delhi in which many people lost their lives. "People are in pain that is why neither I nor any minister or MLA will celebrate Holi," he adds.

2.34 PM: Amazon confirms that an employee who works in the internet giant's home city of Seattle in the United States has been quarantined after testing positive for the novel coronavirus.

2.26 PM: Tech giant Intel says one of its employees in Bengaluru "potentially been exposed" to coronavirus and is currently under quarantine.

2.24 PM: The Gujarat Health Department says none of the 1,582 people kept under observation after returning from coronavirus-hit countries has so far been found to be infected by the potentially deadly virus.

2.20 PM: Here's the updated advisories on COVID19.

2.14 PM: Task force on coronavirus formed under my leadership, all concerned stakeholders will be part of it, says Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

2.08 PM: Jai Prakash Shivhare, Health Commissioner, Health and Welfare Department, Gujarat: "As many as 1,582 people who came from foreign countries recently have been screened till now. 25 samples collected. Isolation wards have been set up in medical colleges."

2.04 PM: Some people 'shouting corona, corona a bit too much': Mamata

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee says some people are "shouting corona, corona a bit too much...yes it is a dreaded disease...but don't create panic...some channels are hyping it to suppress the Delhi incident...do report when it occurs...we don't want it to spread but do remember all those who died in Delhi did not die of Corona!!"

1.51 PM: 29 suspected patients admitted in Delhi hospitals: Health ministry

Health ministry says at least 25 people suspected of coronavirus have been admitted at Safdarjung Hospital, while four have been kept in isolation at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in Delhi.

1.45 PM: Ravi Shankar Prasad: "PM Modi has decided not to participate in any Holi Milan Programme this time as experts have advised to reduce mass gatherings to avoid spread of Coronavirus. In view of this, we are cancelling Holi Milan prog that we were organising at Miller School Patna on 7th March."

1.41 PM: Indians who have been affected due to coronavirus: 12

  • Man who came in contact with Italian tourists; he was their driver
  • One person from Telangana and 1 person from Delhi
  • 6 family members of the Delhi patient
  • 3 others from Kerala; they have finally recovered

1.38 PM: Coronavirus outbreak in India: here's a breakup

  • Total cases: 28
  • Indian nationals: 12
  • Italians: 16

1.23 PM: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on reports of an increase in the price of N95 masks: If people are taking advantage and misusing this time, then they should be labeled as "black sheep" and a mechanism to punish them should be implemented.

1.12 PM: Amit Shah not to attend Holi events

Home Minister Amit Shah: "Holi is a very important festival for we Indians but in the wake of Coronavirus, i have decided not to participate in any Holi Milan celebration this year. I also appeal everyone to avoid public gatherings and take a good care of yourself & your family."

1.07 PM: New measures put in place

A meeting of a group of Union Ministers on coronavirus to be held today at Nirman Bhawan. From now on, all flights and passengers will be part of universal screening, not just the 12 countries which we were listed earlier.

12.54 PM: Harsh Vardhan says all six patients in Agra have been tested positive for coronavirus. "On conducting contact tracing of the person tested positive in Delhi, we came to know that he infected 6 members of his family who are in Agra. All 6 members tested positive for coronavirus," the Union Health Minister says.

12.52PM: Till yesterday, the government has screened around 15,000 people at sea ports; over 10 lakh people at the Nepal borders and 5 lakh across airports: Harsh Vardhan

12.50PM: Union Health Minister says "saliva is the primary carrier of infection followed by hand contact"; says people should avoid taking part in large gatherings.

12.47PM: No need for panic, precautions and right information is more important. Total 15 labs have been prepared in the first phase and 19 additional ones will soon be ready. India can conduct up to 25,000 tests: Health minister Harsh Vardhan

12.45PM: "An Italian group came to India on February 21, one member of group identified with virus, other members of the group in Jaipur have been isolated," says Harsh Vardhan.

12.40PM: 14 out of 21 Italian nationals have found positive for coronavirus. They have been sent to at Indo-Tibetan Border Police's quarantine facility in Chhawla: Harsh Vardhan

12.35PM: India has total 28 cases, including 17 Italians: Health minister

12.30PM: Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan, on Wednesday, convened meeting with Delhi's ministers and health officials over coronavirus outbreak. Harsh Vardhan has asked them to develop good quality isolation wards, in order to stay prepared if more cases of coronavirus are suspected in the national capital.

12.25PM: Will not celebrate Holi: JP Nadda

National President of Bharatiya Janata Party, JP Nadda, stated that he would not celebrate Holi this year over coronavirus outbreak.

12.20PM: Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Modi at 12.30 pm today to review preparedness for dealing with coronavirus situation in the country, PIB tweeted.

12.10 PM: China to Roche Holding AG arthritis drug to treat some coronavirus patients

China will use a Roche Holding AG arthritis drug to treat some coronavirus patients in severe conditions, health authorities said on Wednesday, as the country seeks to build up treatment regiments to help the infected recover. Tocilizumab, sold by the Swiss pharma giant under the trade name Actemra, can be prescribed to coronavirus patients who show serious lung damage and show elevated level of a protein called Interleukin 6, which could indicate inflammation or immunological diseases, the National Health Commission said in the latest version of its treatment guidelines published online, reports Reuters.

11.54 AM: Union Minister of Health Harsh Vardhan chairs a high-level meeting of Delhi government officials. He will soon brief the media over the coronavirus outbreak.

11.48 AM: Italian tourists to be shifted to Safdarjung Hospital

The Italian tourists who have been tested positive for COVID-19 virus will likely be shifted to Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi. The government is yet to take a call weather they'll be sent back to Italy or treated here. All 21 tourists are under watch. The group members -- mostly in late 50s and early 60s -- have been together for past two weeks, and hence their chances of testing positive for the deadly virus are high.

11.40 AM: Govt to soon brief media

Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Prakash Javadekar to brief the media on Cabinet decisions at 3 PM today i.e. 4.3.2020 at PIB Conference Hall, Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi.

11.37 AM: PM Modi not to take part in 'Holi Milan' event

"Experts across the world have advised to reduce mass gatherings to avoid the spread of COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus. Hence, this year I have decided not to participate in any Holi Milan programme," tweets the PM.

11.29 AM: Prices of masks surge manifold

Prices of masks have surged manifold in Delhi and other metropolitan areas. A major reason for this is a huge supply hit from China. The demand for masks and hand senitisers have risen across India amid fears over the coronavirus outbreak.

11.21 AM: Coronavirus claims 9 lives in the US

Three more deaths from the coronavirus were reported by Washington state on Tuesday as the nation's largest and only fatal outbreak of the respiratory disease reached beyond the Seattle area. The total number of people diagnosed with the coronavirus in the greater Seattle area rose to 27 on Tuesday, including nine deaths, the state Department of Health said. -- Reuters

11.19 AM: Mahindra and Mahindra Chairman Anand Mahindra on coronavrus: "The crisis will pass, but I think it's making the world press a permanent 'Reset' button. 1) It'll accelerate working from home 2) lead to more digital 'virtual' conferences 3) More video calls, less meetings.4) Less air travel, leading to a greener footprint."

11.13 AM: No need to panic: Karanataka CM BS Yediyurappa

"There are no coronavirus cases in Karnataka. There's a difference in what appears in the media and what is happening on ground. There is no need to panic. PM Modi too is looking into it. Our health minister spoke to the media and no one needs to panic. We are ready to tackle the situation," says the Karnataka CM.

11.08 AM: After Twitter, HCL, TCS tell employees to avoid non-essential travels

After Twitter, TCS, HCL Tech has asked its employees to avoid non-essential travel and are implementing all the required guidelines on the deadly coronavirus outbreak. Twitter on Monday asked over 5,000 of its employees to work from home. The San Francisco-based social media giant has said it was operating out of "caution" and utmost dedication to keep its employees healthy. "Beginning today, we are strongly encouraging all employees globally to work from home if they're able. Our goal is to lower the probability of the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus for us - and the world around us," Twitter said.

10.55 AM: The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA)has temporarily shut all its schools as a precaution owing to threat of coronavirus, officials said on Wednesday.

10.52AM: 459 passengers of Italian cruise ship screened in Kochi

A total of 459 passengers of the Italian luxury cruise ship, "Costa Victoria," which was docked in Kochi, were screened on Wednesday.

10.50AM: Coronavirus infection cases reach 1,000 in Japan

The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in Japan reached the 1,000 mark on Wednesday. Of those, 706 are from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, while 12 have died, the health ministry said.

10.45AM: South Korea reports 516 new coronavirus cases

South Korea reported 516 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday. The new cases bring South Korea's total to 5,328, with at least 32 deaths, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said. Most cases were in and around Daegu, the country's fourth largest city, where the flu-like virus has spread rapidly through members of a fringe Christian group, Reuters reported.

10.38AM: Around 2,000 face masks stolen from French hospital

Around 2,000 surgical masks have been stolen from a hospital in the southern French city of Marseille in the midst of a coronavirus outbreak, according to AFP.

10.32 AM:Don't say 'hello', say 'Namaskar'

Goa BJP leader Siddharth Kunkolienkar says people should take adequate precautions, adopt Indian style of greeting with 'Namaskar'.

10.24 AM: World Bank unveils $12 billion aid package

The World Bank unveils a $12 billion aid package for combating the coronavirus outbreak. "The goal is to provide fast, effective action that responds to country needs," World Bank President David Malpass said. He said it was critical to "recognise the extra burden on poor countries" least equipped in the struggle to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. -- AFP

10.14 AM: 5 schools shut over coronavirus fears

Five schools in Noida have been shut due to the growing fears over coronavirus outbreak. Two private schools -- Shriram Millennium School, Noida, and Shiv Nadar School, Noida -- and two branches one of the schools in South Delhi and Gurugram announced closure on Wednesday amid the outbreak reports, The Times of India reported.

10.07 AM: Two suspected cases in Maharashtra

Two more suspected cases under observation in Maharashtra - one in Mumbai and another in Pune. The authorities will soon release their health results.

10.05 AM: Around 25% drop likely in bookings due to coronavirus: Yatra

"Southeast Asia and Italy being one of the most preferred destinations for Indians, we can anticipate a drop of about 20-25 percent in terms of future bookings, though it is too early to predict any drastic impact. They are wary of making fresh bookings to the affected locations and airfares to these destinations have dropped by 20-30 percent," Sabina Chopra, Co-Founder, Yatra.com said in a statement.

10.00 AM: Fresh suspected case from Bengaluru

A fresh case of suspected coronavirus has been reported from Bengaluru. A  passenger, who came from Saudi Arabia and reached Bengaluru airport, has shown some symptoms of fever. He has been quarantined and is under examination.

9.51 AM: An army officer has been admitted to isolation ward of military hospital at Mhow in Madhya Pradesh for suspected exposure to coronavirus after returning from Iran. -PTI

9.49 AM: Six people from Noida, who were quarantined after they attended a birthday party hosted by a Delhi resident who was tested positive, have tested negative, district magistrate BN Singh says.

9.43 AM: A total of 15 Italian tourists have been confirmed positive at AIIMs; total Covid-19 cases have risen to 18 in India now.

9.36 AM: One confirmed case in Jaipur: One case has been confirmed as positive for COVID-19 from Jaipur. "The patient is in isolation and is stable," the Ministry of Health and Family Affairs says.

9.35 AM: Govt issues advisory to private news channels, FM radio channels

The advisory seeks assistance and contribution of private TV channels and FM radio channels to reach out to people across the country. All such channels and their associations are requested to give adequate publicity to the Revised Travel Advisory issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

9.30 AM: Travel advisory on COVID-19: The government has revised its travel advisory.

9.25 AM: Do's and Don'ts for protection from coronavirus

9.26 AM: India restricts export of 26 pharmaceutical ingredients

India, the world's main supplier of generic drugs, has restricted the export of 26 pharmaceutical ingredients and the medicines made from them, including Paracetamol, a common pain reliever also sold as acetaminophen, as the coronavirus outbreak plays havoc with supply chains. Indian drugmakers rely on China, the source of the virus outbreak, for almost 70% of the APIs for their medicines. Industry experts say they are likely to face shortages if the epidemic drags on. -- Reuters

9.21 AM: Measures to take to protect yourself from coronavirus

9.18 AM: Noida administration issues helpline

Following the shutting down of two schools in Noida over fears of coronavirus transmission, the Noida District Magistrate (DM) BN Singh along with Chief Medical Officer Dr Anurag Bhargava requested people not to panic and believe any rumours concerning the coronavirus outbreak in Delhi-NCR. Issuing helpline numbers for citizen related queries (8076623612 / 6396776904) Singh said the UP government was taking all necessary precautions to deal with the coronavirus scare in Noida.

9.08 AM: Noida DM says six samples tested for coronavirus have been tested negative but the persons concerned have been asked to stay at home for next 14 days. The administration has not given any order for the closure of schools, say the authorities.

8.59 AM: Agra administration issues warning

After six positive cases of COVID 19 were detected in Agra, the district administration has appealed people to avoid to go to crowded places. A day after a Delhi man was found positive for the deadly coronavirus, six of his family members whom he met in Agra have been quarantined. Those infected had reportedly come in contact with the patient. These six people have also been kept in isolation at Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi. The Health Ministry has said these six cases with "high-viral load" were detected during sample testing in Agra. Hotels and authorities at tourist places in Agra have been told to inform the Chief Medical Officer's office as soon as visitors from Italy, Iran or China arrive, so that they can be screened for coronavirus infection.

8.58 AM: Gujarat opens 'isolation wards' in all 33 districts

The Gujarat government has decided to open "isolation wards" in each of the 33 districts for treatment of any suspected novel coronavirus case, while 87 people, who recently returned from the virus-hit Iran, have been kept under observation, say officials. Total 87 people, who had recently returned from Iran, have been kept under home quarantine, said Commissioner of Health, Jai Prakash Shivahare, said.

8.52 AM: China reports 119 new cases

Mainland China had 119 new confirmed cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, the country's National Health Commission said on Wednesday, down slightly from 125 on the previous day. The total number of cases on the mainland has now reached 80,270. The number of deaths rose by 38 to bring the total mainland China death toll to 2,981 by March 3. Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, reported 37 new deaths and 115 new cases on Tuesday. -- Reuters

8.45 AM: WHO issues warning: The World Health Organisation has warned of a global shortage and price gouging for protective equipment to fight the fast-spreading coronavirus and asked companies and governments to increase production by 40 per cent as the death toll from the respiratory illness mounted.

8.39 AM: Himachal Pradesh CM Jairam Thakur: "A suspected case of coronavirus has come to our knowledge, it's not right to jump to conclusions. Tests will be done, factual position will be clear only after his reports come in. We have come to know that the person is from Bilaspur."

8.35 AM: Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan will hold a meeting with senior officials from the Delhi government for the management and preparedness of coronavirus.

8.31 AM: In wake of coronavirus outbreak, UP Health Minister Jai Pratap Singh has chaired a meeting with the top officials of the health department to review state's preparedness. A 23- member outbreak response committee has also been formed to deal with virus outbreak.

8.30 AM: UP govt medical bulletin on coronavirus: No confirmed case of coronavirus has been reported from UP to date, says the government. "One traveller from Noida who came in contact with a positive case of German origin has been admitted at the RML Hospital in Delhi. His condition is stable ad his test result is negative for Novel Corona."

8.28 AM: The Rajasthan government says 13 patients with symptoms of coronavirus have been admitted in Jaipur today.

8.23 AM: As per official sources, an Italian group comprising 21 people was taken to the ITBP quarantine facility in Chhawla, New Delhi, for preventive isolation on Tuesday afternoon. Their samples are being analysed.

8.15 AM: As of March 3, the Mumbai airport has screened approximately 64,621 passengers across 549 flights at the airport.

8.00 AM: Government advisory: All aircraft arriving from South Korea, Japan and Italy should be disinfected upon arrival. All inbound international flights prior to the movement of aircraft should undergo thermal scanning.

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