A doctor in a protective suit sits outside an isolation ward for COVID-19 patients at a hospital in Hyderabad. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A)
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Latest Updates: The number of positive coronavirus cases rose to 114 Monday Centre requested all airlines not to board India-bound passengers from the European Union, the European Free Trade Association, Turkey and the United Kingdom. The fresh cases were reported from Ladakh, Odisha, and Jammu and Kashmir, and Kerala, the Ministry of Health said. Odisha reported its first case of coronavirus after a 33-year-old man, with travel history to Italy, tested positive.
While the Delhi government announced a ban on all gatherings of over 50 people, Odisha ordered all malls in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar to remain closed till March 31 after the detection of first positive case in the state. In a presser, the Health Ministry reiterated the measures which need to be taken by the people to avoid the spread of coronavirus.
Meanwhile, 53 more evacuees from Iran landed in Jaisalmer in Rajasthan today early morning, a day after around over 450 Indians were airlifted from Iran and Italy. All of them have been taken to a quarantine facility in Army Wellness Centre.
Peoples using sanitiser before entering in a mall in Lucknow Monday. (Express photo by Vishal Srivastav)
So far, 32 cases have been reported in Maharashtra, 23 in Kerala, 12 in Uttar Pradesh, 7 in Delhi, 6 in Karnataka, 4 in Ladakh, 3 in Telangana and Jammu and Kashmir, 2 in Rajasthan, and one each in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Odisha and Punjab. The total number of confirmed cases includes 17 foreigners — 16 Italian tourists and a Canadian.
Here's everything you need to know about coronavirus on March 16:
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday announced that any gathering – religious, family, social, political or cultural – of over 50 people will not be allowed in the national capital in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus, which has claimed one life in the national capital so far.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal address media on Corona Virus in New Delhi on Monday. (Express photo by Praveen Kkanna)
The ban on gatherings, the Aam Aadmi Party chief indicated, will also cover the Shaheen Bagh protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act, National Register of Citizens and National Population Register.
“We have also decided to shut gyms, night clubs, spas till March 31. And gatherings of over 50 people, be it religious, social, political, family, or cultural, will also be not allowed. Marriage functions will be out of its purview as of now but we appeal to people to postpone weddings if possible,” Kejriwal told reporters.
When asked if the ban will have the Shaheen Bagh protests under its ambit, Kejriwal said: “It will be applicable for everyone, be it protest or any other gathering.”
Odisha on Monday reported its first case of coronavirus after a 33-year-old man, with travel history to Italy, tested positive. Odisha government’s designated spokesperson Subroto Bagchi said the “patient is a 33-year-old man who had returned from Italy, where he was a research scholar”.
The patient arrived in New Delhi on March 6 following which he took a train and reached Bhubaneswar on March 12. On March 13, he consulted a private physician and was admitted to a hospital on the following day.
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope visits Kasturba Hospital in Mumbai on Sunday. (Express photo/Ganesh Shirsekar)
Bagchi also said that that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is monitoring the situation. Meanwhile, as per section 35 of the Odisha Urban Police Act, the commissioner of police (Bhubaneswar-Cuttack) has ordered all malls in the twin cities to remain closed till March 31, effective Monday.
Meanwhile, one more person from Yavatmal in Maharashtra has tested positive on Monday after examination of her fresh sample. Collector M D Singh told The Indian Express, "We had quarantined nine persons, who had returned from Dubai on March 1 after a seven - day tour in the isolation ward of Government Medical College here last week. Two of them had tested positive and seven had tested negative for virus in the test conducted last week. But a lady had subsequently developed symptoms. So we had sent her throat swabs samples to Nagpur for examination. On Monday we received the report where she had tested positive."
Another active case of coronavirus was reported from Bengaluru after a 32-year-old man tested positive for coronavirus. The patient returned from the US via London on March 8. He was on home quarantine, but now he is admitted to the isolation facility. However, the Health Ministry is yet to confirm this.
In a press conference, the Ministry of Health said reiterated the measures which need to be taken by the people to avoid the spread of coronavirus. "Important measures including the closing of schools, swimming pools, malls, allowing employees to work from home, less use of public transport, one meter distance between people should be maintained till March 31," said Lav Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health.
"Travellers from the EU countries, Turkey, and the United Kingdom are prohibited to enter India from March 18. This will be reviewed again," Aggarwal said. Compulsory quarantine of 14 days has been put in place for passengers coming from UAE, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait, he added.
On the new coronavirus cases detected on Monday, Aggarwal said, "Contact tracing activity of these positive cases has led to the identification of more than 5,200 contacts, who are kept under surveillance."
Ministry of External Affairs Additional Secretary Dammu Ravi said, "The Prime Minister undertook extraordinary initiative with SAARC leaders and they responded positively. The 24x7 MEA coronavirus control room has now become operational."
Three new cases in Kerala
In Kerala, three new positive cases of coronavirus were detected today. The new patients are two in Malappuram district and one in Kasaragod district. There are 12,740 people under observation in state -- 12470 are in homes and 270 in hospitals.
Over the last couple of days, Kerala has changed its strategy with respect to hospitalisation of suspected patients in order to ease pressure on the public health machinery and focus on those with critical issues.
Complete clampdown in Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswamy Monday announced the closure of cinema halls, malls, amusement parks, swimming pools, gymnasiums, zoos, and museums till March 31. All tourist resorts in the state to be closed till March 31. They have been instructed not to accept any advance bookings until March 31.
The government also announced to shut down all schools, colleges, universities and other educational Institutions till March 31. Public examination for 10th and 12th standard students to be continued as per schedule.
No stone left unturned to ensure public health: PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday took to Twitter to interact with the people on their experience tackling the coronavirus. In reply to one such tweet, PM Modi said, "At all levels, various authorities are working in sync to ensure COVID-19 does not spread. No stone is being left unturned to ensure people are healthy."
Highlighting people's participation, PM Modi said that responsible citizens can add great strength to the fight against COVID-19. "I am sure our citizens will not do any thing that puts the lives of others in danger," he said.
Explained: Coronavirus testing in India, elsewhere
The PM also praised the medical fraternity for their effort in fighting the pandemic. "Our doctors, nurses, healthcare workers are putting great efforts. They are out there, helping people. We will always cherish their contribution," he said in a reply to a tweet.
Supreme Court notice to states on overcrowding in prisons
The Supreme Court on Monday took suo moto cognisance of overcrowding in prisons across the states and sought a response from authorities on the measures taken to prevent the outbreak by March 20.
Thermal screening test at Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh due to Corona-virus on Friday, March 13, 2020. (Express photo)
Meanwhile, long queues were seen at the entry gate of the top court with health officials thermal-screening the lawyers, litigants and journalists. Following the advisory issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare cautioning against mass gatherings on March 5, the Supreme Court had on March 13 decided to restrict itself to hearing only urgent matters after its reopening on Monday following the Holi break.
Telangana govt to quarantine people with travel history to virus-hit countries
The Telangana government has asked the passengers arriving in Hyderabad, either Indian or foreigners, from countries like China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, France, Germany, Spain in direct flights or via hubs like Dubai, Abu Dhabi etc, having a travel history to these countries after February 15 will be quarantined for 14 days in view of the rising cases of the novel coronavirus. The statement released by the government also gives a procedure that will be followed in the quarantine of the people.
Meanwhile, one person with travel history to Scotland has been tested positive for coronavirus in Telangana. His samples are sent to NIV Pune for confirmation, said state Health Minister Eatala Rajender. The person is currently in Gandhi hospital along with two others who tested positive previously.
In Telangana, 868 persons are quarantined at home. 395 others are in hospital isolation.
Three people from Telangana were arrested on Monday by the Bhongir Town Police of Rachakonda Police Commissionerate for spreading fake news of death of a person due to coronavirus. They have been charged under section 54 of NDMA 2005. Another similar case is registered in Chaitanyapuri police station of Rachakonda commissionerate.
New Delhi: Railway workers disinfect the coaches of Delhi Jammu Rajdhani Express train in wake of coronavirus pandemic at New Delhi Railway Station, Sunday, March 15, 2020. (PTI)
Bihar govt to bear full expenses of treatment of coronavirus patients
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday said that the Bihar government will be bearing the full expenses of treatment of the coronavirus patients in the state. He also announced that in case of any death, the government will provide an ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh to the next of the kin of the deceased.
Bombay HC asks MU’s stand on final BCom and BA exams
The Bombay High Court asked Mumbai University to respond to Maharashtra Government’s order that suspended classes at state universities including the University of Mumbai and all their affiliated colleges till March 31 in wake of coronavirus outbreak, but final degree examinations and practicals will be conducted as per schedule.
Chaos at medical stores to purchase masks and sanitiser in Lucknow. (Express photo by Vishal Srivastav)
Acting Chief Justice B P Dharmadhikari took cognisance of the letter written by advocate Siddharth Ingle stating that MU’s decision was imprudent and contradictory as nearly 60,000 students will appear every day for TY BCom semester VI exam starting from March 23.
The letter stated that state government and Mumbai University should take responsibility for the safety of the students who are appearing for this examination and their utmost safety and security is the real concern.
Assam to start scanning domestic passengers as well
The Assam government will now start scanning domestic passengers also to stop the spread of coronavirus in the state, said health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday. "If coronavirus enters Assam, it will not be very easy to tackle it in Assam because there are so many difficult to reach, remote areas in the state," he added.
Gujarat government’s announcement to shut down all malls and multiplexes took effect from Monday and will continue for two weeks to prevent COVID-19 outbreak. (Express photo Javed Raja)
Following Manipur and Assam, the rest of the Northeast India — Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura — Monday decided to close educational institutions to prevent a possible outbreak of novel coronavirus. Board exams, however, will be on as per schedule. Advisories have been issued by each state government to avoid mass gatherings and maintain social distancing as far as possible.
While educational institutes in Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Tripura will be closed till March 31, Nagaland’s suspension continues till April 12, Arunachal Pradesh till April 5, and Sikkim till April 15.
Tripura School Education Department has issued a memorandum asking school authorities to provide hand sanitisers or soaps, handwash to all students taking their board examinations this year. Both Madhyamik (matriculation) and Higher Secondary examinations conducted by the Tripura Board of Secondary Education (TBSE) are currently in progress and would continue till March 27 and March 31 respectively. NISHTHA training programme or integrated teachers training to improve learning outcomes at elementary level has also been postponed.
Temperature scanning in progress outside Bombay Stock Exchange amidst fear of spreading coronavirus.
(Express photo by Nirmal Harindran)
All ASI-protected monuments shut till March 31
Union Minister of Culture and Tourism Prahlad Singh Patel said all ASI-protected monuments, central museums across India will be shut till Mar 31 in view of coronavirus.
Following this, the Indian Museum in Kolkata issued a statement saying, "Due to the spread of NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19), which has been declared a pandemic and following the Advisory of the Health Ministry of GoI, Indian Museum will remain closed for the visitors...(till) March 31, 2020 or until further notice, in public interest."
Mumbai’s Siddhivinayak Temple has been closed for devotees. Several states, including Gujarat, Kerala, Uttarakhand and West Bengal, have announced closure of schools colleges and cinema halls.
Surveillance measures imposed at the Cochin International Airport in the wake of the Covid-19 spread in Kerala were wilfully violated late Sunday night as dozens of people crowded outside the airport terminal to welcome a reality show contestant. On the orders of the Ernakulam district administration, the Nedumbassery Police registered an FIR against Rajith Kumar, a contestant on the Malayalam version of the reality show Bigg Boss, three named persons and 75 unnamed persons under sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 188 (disobedience of an order by public servant) of the IPC. No arrests have been made yet.