COVID-19: Total Number of Cases in Delhi Rises to 20

·37-min read

The Delhi Government Health Department on Friday, 20 March, announced the total number of positive cases of COVID-19 in the national capital have risen to 20, reported PTI.

No passenger trains will begin their journey between 12 am and 10 pm on Sunday, 22 March, in view of the Janata Curfew imposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Mail/express trains will also stop operations at 4 am on Sunday, reported PTI, quoting sources.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday, 20 March, announced 12 more positive cases of COVID-19 in the state – five in Ernakulam, six in Kasaragod and one in Palakkad. The latest cases raise the total number in the state to 40.

As the novel coronavirus sweeps the world, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday, said all malls in the national capital will be closed in view of COVID-19 threat, exception for grocery, pharmacy and vegetable stores in them.

  • PM Modi imposed a “Janata Curfew” on Sunday, 22 March, from 7 am to 9 pm to curb the spread of COVID-19

  • Global ratings agency Fitch slashed India’s growth forecast to 5.1 percent from 5.6 percent

  • The global death toll has crossed 9,000, with over 200,000 infections

  • The number of COVID-19 cases in the United States spiked to 13,680, killing 200 people so far

Train Services Cancelled in Himachal Pradesh

No passenger train between Himachal Pradesh's capital Shimla and Kalka of Haryana's Panchkula district will run from Saturday till further orders, reported PTI, quoting Ambala Senior DCM.

He said the decision was taken after an advisory in this regard by Solan Deputy Commissioner K C Chaman on behalf of the Himachal Pradesh government.

Janata Curfew: GoAir Suspends All Flights for Sunday

GoAir on Friday announced that it is voluntarily suspending all flights on 22 March when 'janata curfew' will be in force, reported PTI.

"GoAir will voluntarily suspend all flights on Sunday, 22 March, in support of the Janata Curfew proposed by the Honorable Prime Minister," the airline said.

"GoAir will protect all the PNRs dated 22 March in view of the Janata curfew for a period of one year under the Protect Your PNR scheme. Passengers can contact GoAir at any time over the next one year to redeem their ticket on any GoAir flight on any date with no charges being levied," it added.

Meghalaya Announces 24-Hour Shutdown on 21 March

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Friday announced a 24-hour shutdown beginning 12 am on 21 March. The day will be observed as a “coronavirus awareness day,” reported PTI.

All Employees of IT, BT Firms Must Work From Home: Karnataka Dy CM

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan on Friday said all employees of IT and BT companies, except for those discharging essential services, must work from home, reported PTI.

Share Autos, Cabs Banned in Thane in View of Coronavirus Outbreak

A ban has been imposed on share autorickshaws, taxis and aggregator cabs in Thane district to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, reported PTI, quoting District Collector Rajesh Narvekar.

“People hailing public transport vehicles individually will be allowed to do so,” he added.

Defence Minister Discusses COVID-19, Military Cooperation With US Counterpart

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held a telephonic conversation with his US counterpart, Mark T Esper, on Friday to review the progress in bilateral defence cooperation and also exchanged views on the situation arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic, reported PTI.

Two Indonesian Nationals Test Positive in Telangana

Two Indonesian nationals have tested positive for COVID-19 in Telangana on Friday, reported ANI, quoting Dr Shankar, Superintendent, Government Fever Hospital.

The latest cases raise the total number in the state to 19.

Delhi Govt to Pay Salaries to Wage Staff, Teachers Unemployed Due to COVID-19

The Delhi government will pay salaries for contractual staff, daily wage staff and guest teachers employed at places which have been closed in view of coronavirus, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Friday.

"Delhi government will pay salaries to all contractual, daily wage workers, guest teachers at places that have been shut due to coronavirus," he tweeted.

Lucknow Admin Told to Identify Parties Attended by Singer Kanika Kapoor

The Uttar Pradesh government on Friday asked the Lucknow administration to identify the parties attended by Bollywood singer Kanika Kapoor who tested positive for COVID-19, reported PTI.

"A probe has been ordered to ascertain all parties attended by Bollywood singer Kanika Kapoor. District Magistrate Lucknow has been asked to probe and submit a report within 24 hours," said Additional Chief Secretary Awanish Awasthi.

"Directives have also been issued to identify those who attend the party," an official release issued read.

Air India Says 'Insurmountable' Dip in Revenues, Issues Various Cost-Cutting Measures

Air India informed its employees on Friday that it is taking various cost-cutting measures, including decreasing allowances for all employees, except cabin crew, by 10 percent for three months as there is an "insurmountable dip" in the revenues due to the coronavirus outbreak, reported PTI.

UP Health Minister Undergoes COVID-19 Test; 3 MLA's Who Met Him Go Into Self-Isolation

Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Jai Pratap Singh on Friday took a test for coronavirus as it emerged that he was at a party thrown by celebrity singer Kanika Kapoor who is now suffering from COVID-19, while three BJP MLAs who met him on Thursday went into self-isolation, reported PTI, quoting sources.

First Four Positive Cases Reported in Madhya Pradesh

First four positive cases of COVID-19 in Madhya Pradesh have been confirmed in Jabalpur, reported PTI.

TN Shuts Land Border With Neighbouring States

The Tamil Nadu government on Friday said its borders with neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala will be shut till 31 March from 21 March for road traffic except for transportation of essential commodities, reported PTI.

Only vehicles carrying essential commodities -milk, petrol, diesel, vegetables, medicines and LPG cylinders- will be allowed.

Ambulances, individuals travelling in light motor vehicles like cars for unavoidable reasons like death, and cargo trucks shall have to and fro access.

Nagaland Bars Entry of Visitors to Government Buildings

The Nagaland government has barred entry of visitors to the state secretariat and other administrative buildings in wake of the coronavirus pandemic, reported PTI, quoting officials.

The state Home Department issued an office memorandum on Thursday, barring the entry of the visitors to the secretariat.

Lucknow Taj Hotel Shut Till Further Orders

The Taj hotel in Lucknow, where Bollywood playback singer Kanika Kapoor had attended a high-profile party, has been shut till further orders, reported PTI, quoting sources.

Though no reason has been cited for the closure, sources said it has been done after Kapoor tested positive for COVID-19.

Suburban Trains in Tier 1 Cities Will Operate on Bare Minimum Level: Indian Railways

Railway services in suburban Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Secunderabad shall be reduced to bare minimum level only to cater to essential travel requirement 22 March, reported ANI, quoting Indian Railways.

On-board catering services in mail or express trains will be closed until further advice. Food plazas, refreshment rooms, Jan aahars, and cell kitchens will also be closed.

Items like branded aerated drinks, chips, tea and coffee may be allowed to be sold in trains if there is demand of onboard services.

CBSE Opens Helpline For Students to Create Awareness on COVID-19

Central Board of Secondary Education has decided to start a helpline for students to create awareness on the novel coronavirus outbreak. The facility is available on 1800 11 8004 from 8 am to 8 pm, initially up to 31 March, reported ANI.

Plea in HC for Urgent Measures to Prevent Spread of Coronavirus in Indian Prisons

A PIL has been moved in the Delhi High Court seeking urgent measures to prevent spread of coronavirus COVID-19 in prisons across the country, including Tihar Jail here.

The petition, by a lawyer, has claimed that while the Centre and state governments are taking necessary steps to contain the spread of the virus, jails across India have been neglected from the purview of such precautions.

Apart from this plea, another similar petition has been moved in the high court by two other lawyers seeking directions to the Centre and Delhi government to take steps to prevent spread of coronavirus in prisons in the country.

First Two Cases Positive Cases Reported in Himachal Pradesh

First two positive cases of COVID-19 in Himachal Pradesh have been confirmed in Kangra district, reported ANI, quoting Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur.

Tata Motors JLR Suspends Production in UK Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Tata Motors owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) on Friday announced a temporary production suspension at its UK plants in light of the social distancing underway to combat the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to 144 deaths in Britain, reported AFP.

Bengaluru, Jaipur Close Metro Services in View of Janata Curfew

In wake of the 'Janata Curfew' imposed by Prime Minister Modi on 22 March, Bengaluru and Jaipur city authorities have decided to close Metro services, reported ANI.

US Suspends All Routine Visa Services Due to Coronavirus Outbreak

The United States said Friday it was suspending all routine visa services around the world due to the global coronavirus pandemic, reported AFP.

The State Department said in a travel advisory US embassies and consulates would still consider emergency visas if they have adequate staff.

Section 144 Imposed in Rajasthan's Bhilwara After Doctor Tests Positive for COVID-19

Section 144 of the CrPC was imposed in Rajasthan's Bhilwara district on Friday after a doctor was tested positive for COVID-19, reported PTI.

The latest cases raise the total number in the state to 10.

Pakistan Reports Third COVID-19 Death as Positive Cases Climb to 464

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday asked people to self-quarantine for at least another 45 days as the country reported its third coronavirus death and the total number of confirmed cases rose to 464, reported AFP.

The third death was reported from Sindh Province where the number of confirmed cases rose to 238, according to provincial spokesman Murtaza Wahab

Woman, Advised Quarantine After Returning From Spain, Goes out to Walk Her Dog

A woman, who recently returned from Spain to her hometown Siliguri, disregarded doctor's advice of home quarantine and went out to walk her dog on Friday, triggering panic in the area, reported PTI, quoting the local councillor.

BSNL Offers Free Broadband for a Month to Support Work From Home

State-run telecom firm BSNL on Friday announced free broadband service for its landline and new customers for a month to support 'work from home' allowed by most organisations amid the coronavirus outbreak, reported PTI.

“New customers opting for copper cable based connection will not have to pay even installation charges but will need to buy modem for the service,” BSNL officials said.

35% Officers, 50% Jawans to Work From Home: Gen Naravane

Army Chief General MM Naravane on Friday announced that 35 percent officers and 50 percent jawans will work from home adhering to home quarantine for a week starting 23 March. The second group of officers and jawans will proceed on home quarantine from 30 March, reported ANI.

Exams for Classes 9 to 12 Postponed in Goa Due to Virus Scare

All examinations for Classes 9 to 12, including the board examinations, have been postponed indefinitely in Goa in view of the coronavirus outbreak, reported PTI, quoting, the state education department announcement.

Four More Test Positive for COVID-19 in Chandigarh

Four more people tested positive for COVID-19 in Chandigarh on Friday, taking the total number of cases in the state to five, reported PTI.

Among the four cases were the mother, brother and the cook of a 23-year-old woman who had earlier tested positive for coronavirus in Chandigarh, an official statement said.

Besides, a 26-year-old woman who recently returned from the UK has also tested positive for the disease.

Five More Tests Positive for COVID-19 in Kochi

Five United Kingdom nationals, who were in isolation ward at a hospital in Kochi, have tested positive for COVID-19, reported ANI, quoting Kerala Minister V S Sunil Kumar.

All Markets in Delhi to Remain Closed: CAIT

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on Friday announced that all markets in Delhi will remain closed for three days (21-23 March) in wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak, reported ANI, quoting Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary-General of CAIT.

Three Months Ration for People Under BPL: Ajit Pawar

Ajit Pawar, Maharashtra Deputy CM on Friday, announced that the state government will be providing three months ration to people who are under BPL (Below Poverty Line) category, reported ANI.

Indonesia's Capital Declares 2 Week Emergency Over Coronavirus Outbreak

Indonesia’s capital Jakarta on Friday declared a 2-week emergency over the novel coronavirus outbreak, reported ANI, sourcing local media reports.

Public transport will be limited and public entertainment will also halt from Monday

Indonesia has reported 311 positive cases of COVID-19, 25 deaths and 15 recoveries.

14 Firms Get License to Evaluate COVID-19 Tests Kits

Fourteen private companies, including Swiss firm Roche Diagnostics India, have been given test license by drug regulator DCGI for evaluation of the quality of COVID-19 testing kits, reported PTI, quoting a CDSCO official.

Apart from Roche Diagnostics India, rest of the 13 are Indian firms include CoSara Diagnostics from Ahmedabad and CPC Diagnostics from Chennai.

All these companies will evaluate the quality of testing kits and submit their data to the Drug Controller General of India.

Europe's Death Toll for COVID-19 Reaches 5,000

The death toll of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, reached 5,000 in Europe on Friday, reported AFP.

Goa ZP Polls Postponed Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

The Goa Zilla Parishad polls scheduled for 24 March has been postponed due to the novel coronavirus outbreak and a new date for it would be announced later, State Election Commissioner RK Srivastava said on Friday after a meeting with Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, reported PTI.

Anupam Kher Returns From the US, Opts for Self-Isolation

Veteran actor Anupam Kher, who returned from the US on Friday, said, as a precautionary measure, he will be self-isolating himself amid the coronavirus scare.

The actor said he tested negative for coronavirus upon his arrival in the country.

Railways Cancels 90 More Trains; Total Number of Cancelled Trains Climbs to 245

Railways on Friday cancelled 90 trains, which will not operate between 20 March and 31 March, in view of low occupancy and the novel coronavirus pandemic, sources said Friday, reported PTI.

With this, the total number of cancelled trains has climbed to 245.

Earlier on Thursday, the railways cancelled 84 trains and said 155 trains stood cancelled due to COVID-19.

Don't Visit Our Offices to Collect Driving Licence, Vehicle Documents: Delhi Traffic Police

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, the Delhi Police on Friday asked the public to not visit the offices of traffic authorities to collect their driving licence or vehicle documents seized by personnel while issuing challans, reported PTI.

In an advisory, the Delhi Traffic police said people may visit traffic circles or offices only in case they have urgent and unavoidable reasons to get their documents back.

"They may continue to drive keeping a copy of the challan with them to be presented or shown to the enforcement officer on demand," said Taj Hassan, Special Commissioner of Police (Traffic).

Traffic inspectors will handover their documents with due precautions, the advisory said.

“These precautions will remain in force till 31 March and will be reviewed on 1 April”, the advisory stated.

Uttarakhand Bans Entry of All Tourists

The Uttarakhand government on Friday banned the entry of domestic and foreign tourists into the state till further orders to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, reported PTI.

An order issued by Health Secretary Nitesh Jha said several advisories have been issued in the past asking people to avoid unnecessary travel

“Keeping this into account, the need to put a ban on the entry of domestic and foreign tourists was felt so that the contagion of coronavirus could be stopped,” the order said.

Spain Virus Death Toll Soars Past 1,000

The COVID-19 death toll in Spain rose to 1,002 on Friday after another 235 people died in the past 24 hours, reported AFP, quoting the health ministry.

“The number of cases also soared to 19,980 after another 2,833 infections were confirmed over the same period,” said Fenando Simon, the ministry's emergencies coordinator

Armed Forces Have 4 Quarantine Facilities on Standby

The Armed Forces have kept quarantine facilities on standby in four cities – Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Vizag and Gorakhpur – to accommodate around 1,000 people if required, said Brigadier Anupam Sharma, the nodal officer for coordinating efforts of the Defence Ministry on COVID-19 cases, reported PTI.

He also said that apart from the around 1,000 beds, additional facilities can be prepared quickly.

Derek O'Brien Goes Into Self-Quarantine

TMC MP Derek O'Brien self-quarantined himself after BJP MP Dushyant Singh, who sat beside him in Parliament, revealed that he attended a party by singer Kanika Kapoor, who has tested positive for COVID-19, reported PTI, quoting sources.

IndiGo Grounds 30 Planes Amid Restriction to Fight Coronavirus Outbreak

IndiGo has been forced to ground 30 planes in its fleet of 258 aircraft following the government's decision to bar international flights for a week as part of measures to deal with the coronavirus outbreak, reported PTI, quoting a source.

“After the temporary suspension of all international operations  for a week from 22 March announced by the government, IndiGo has grounded as many as 30 aircraft in its fleet. Most of these planes were deployed on overseas routes," the airline source told PTI.

INA, Pitam Pura and Janakpuri Delhi Haats Closed Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Deputy Chief Minsiter Manish Sisodia on Friday announced that all three Delhi Haats, which are run by the Delhi government, in INA, Pitam Pura and Janakpuri have been closed in view of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Hop-On-Hop-Off bus service provided by the tourism department have also been closed.

Gujarat COVID-19 Cases Rise to 7

The Health and Family Welfare Department of Gujarat on Friday reported two more positive cases of COVID-19, raising the total number of cases in the state to seven (Ahmedabad-3, Vadodara-2, Surat-1, Rajkot-1), reported ANI.

One More Tests Positive for COVID-19 in Hyderabad

One more positive case of COVID-19 was reported in Hyderabad, raising the total number of positive cases to 17 in the state, reported ANI, quoting Telangana health ministry.

The patient has a travel history to London.

Ayodhya Seers Cancel Upcoming Ram Kot Parikrama

A group of seers on Friday cancelled the upcoming Ram Kot Parikrama here in the wake of coronavirus outbreak, reported PTI.

Ram Kot Parikrama, a religious ceremony, is held every year on the first day of Ram Navami which was scheduled on 24 March.

Ema, Main Markets to be Closed in Imphal City: Manipur Govt

In view of the novel coronavirus outbreak, the Manipur government on Friday announced that Ema markets and temporary markets in Imphal city will remain closed from 21 March till 25 March, reported ANI.

Main Ema markets in Imphal East, Imphal West, Thoubal, Bishnupur, Kakching and Jiribam will also remain closed during this period.

Iran Death Toll Rises to 1,433

Iran on Friday reported 149 new deaths due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, raising the total death toll to 1,433, reported AFP.

Global Coronavirus Death Toll Reaches 10,000

The number of people who have died as a result of the coronavirus pandemic now exceeds 10,000, according to an AFP tally based on official data at 1030 GMT Friday.

In total, 10,080 deaths have been reported, most of them in Europe (4,932) and Asia (3,431). Italy is the worst affected country with 3,405 fatalities, followed by China with 3,248, the initial epicentre of the outbreak, and Iran with 1,433.

Shaheen Bagh Protest to Continue on 'Janata Curfew'

The women protesters in Shaheen Bagh will continue with their protest on Sunday, the day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged people to remain inside their houses under a self-imposed curfew, reported PTI.

The protesters on Friday told PTI that not more than 50 women had been staging protest at any given time.

"On Sunday, we will sit under small tents (at the protest side). Only two women will sit under each tent and maintain a distance of more than a metre between them," a protester who did not wish to be named said.

Centre Extends Visas of Foreigners in India Till 15 April

The Centre has decided to extend till 15 April the regular visa and e-visa of those foreigners who are currently in India and unable to leave the country due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, reported PTI.

Regular visa, e-visa or stay stipulation of all foreign nationals which have expired or would be expiring during the period from 13 March (midnight) to 15 April (midnight) would be extended till midnight of 14 April on 'Gratis' basis after making online application by the foreigner.

"Exit of such foreign nationals, if so requested by them during this period, will be granted without levy of overstay penalty," the ministry said.

UPSC Defers Personality Tests of 2019 Civil Services (Main) Exam

In view of the novel coronavirus outbreak in the country, Union Public Service Commission on Friday deferred the Personality Tests (Interviews) of the candidates of Civil Services (Main) Exam 2019 scheduled from 23 March to 3 April until further orders, reported ANI.

New dates will be informed to the candidates in due course.

Italian Man in Jaipur Not Being Counted Among India's COVID-19 Death Toll: Health Min

The Union Health Ministry on Friday, clarified that the 69-year-old Italian man in Jaipur, who had recovered from COVID-19 and died of cardiac arrest, is not being counted among those dead in India due to COVID-19.

The Italian tourist was the first positive case of of COVID-19 in Jaipur.

Vasundhara Raje, BJP MP Dushyant Singh Self-Isolate After Attending Singer Kanika Kapoor's Party

Former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje on Friday posted on Twitter that she and her son, BJP MP Dushyant Singh, have gone into self-quarantine after attending singer Kanika Kapoor's party.

Mob Booked for Crowding Near Thane Factory Gate

A group of 25 people gathered in front of a company on GB Road in Thane were booked for violating prohibitory orders imposed in view of the novel coronavirus outbreak, reported PTI, quoting police on Friday.

"They were smoking, standing around and chatting in the early hours of Friday despite prohibitory orders issued by the collector against such crowding, as well as smoking in public, in view of the coronavirus outbreak," said Senior Inspector Kishore Khairnar of Kasarwadavali.

Final Exams for Classes 1 to 8 Cancelled in Maharashtra

The Maharashtra Government on Friday cancelled the final examinations of Classes 1 to 8, while those of Classes 9 and 11 will be held after 15 April, in light of the coronavirus outbreak in the state, reported PTI.

School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad said the decision will be applicable to students of the state's Secondary School Certificate (SSC) board only.

Students from classes 1 to 8 will be promoted to higher classes based on their aggregate marks during the year, the minister added.

Malls, Restaurants in Lucknow, Noida and Kanpur to Be Closed Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Malls, restaurants in Lucknow, Noida and Kanpur will be closed in view of the coronavirus outbreak in the state. Section 144 of the CrPc may be imposed in the three cities, reported Times of India.

Church Masses Across Mumbai Suspended till 4 April

Public masses across 123 Catholic churches in Mumbai have been suspended till 4 April in view of the coronavirus outbreak, the Bombay High Court was informed on Friday, reported PTI.

The Archbishop of Bombay on Friday filed an affidavit to this effect.

A lawyer had written to the high court, claiming that despite warnings and requests by the authorities that public gatherings should be avoided for containing the epidemic, people were attending masses in the city's churches

Singer Kanika Kapoor Tests Positive for COVID-19

Singer Kanika Kapoor on Friday confirmed that she tested positive for COVID-19. In a post on Instagram, Kapoor explained that she was symptomatic and decided to get tested for the disease.

“I was scanned at the airport as per normal procedure 10 days ago when I came back home, the symptoms have developed only 4 days ago,” she said in her post

Kapoor urged everyone to practice self-isolation and get tested if they develop symptoms.

HC Seeks Response of Centre, DGCA on Ban on Passenger Travel From EU, UK

The Delhi High Court Friday sought response of the Centre and DGCA on a plea challenging the Centre's circular prohibiting travel of passengers from European Union, UK, Turkey and European free trade association member nations from 18 March onwards to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

NASA Suspends Work on Moon Rocket Due to Coronavirus

NASA said it has suspended work on building and testing the rocket and capsule for its Artemis manned mission to the Moon due to the rising number of coronavirus cases in the community, reported AFP.

The space agency is shutting down its Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, where the Space Launch System rocket is being built, and the nearby Stennis Space Center, administrator Jim Bridenstine said late Thursday.

"The change at Stennis was made due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the community around the center, the number of self-isolation cases within our workforce there, and one confirmed case among our Stennis team," he said.

114 Travelers From Dubai Quarantined in Pune

As many as 114 passengers who arrived in Pune from Dubai by a SpiceJet flight on Friday were put in mandatory quarantine though no passenger on the aircraft showed any major symptoms of coronavirus,reported PTI, quoting a senior official.

Another passenger, who had mild cough, was taken to the civic-run Naidu Hospital, the official said.

TN Parties Welcome PM's 'Janata Curfew' Call

Political parties, including opposition DMK, in Tamil Nadu on Friday wecomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for a "janata curfew" on Sunday as part of the country's fight against coronavirus, reported PTI.

DMK chief M K Stalin described it as a "clear announcement" while Makkal Needhi Maiam founder Kamal Haasan said he stood in "full solidarity" with the Prime Minister.

Delhi Metro to Be Closed on Sunday

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation on Friday announced that in view of “janta curfew” on 22 March, metro services will be closed. The move is aimed at encouraging public to stay indoors and maintain social distancing.

Rajasthan CM Directs Officials to Set up Isolation Wards in District Hospitals

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot instructed officials on Friday to make arrangements for setting up isolation wards in hospitals in the districts and maintain supply of medicines for the patients, reported PTI.

"Our topmost priority is to save the lives of people of the state. It is the responsibility of all of us to ensure this across state. In this time of crisis, everyone has to work much more seriously," Gehlot said.

Netflix and Youtube Reduce Resolution as Virus Hits Web

Netflix and YouTube will reduce the default image quality of streaming video in Europe to ease pressure on the internet, the firms said Friday, as demand soars with millions confined to their homes over coronavirus fears, reported AFP.

EU commissioner for the digital economy Thierry Breton urged internet giants to switch from high definition to the former standard definition to reduce file sizes while stranded householders seek entertainment as well as news about the epidemic.

Late Thursday, entertainment platform Netflix agreed, and on Friday Google's video-sharing service YouTube said it would follow suit, although videos viewed on the site from a European connection on Friday by AFP were still defaulting to high definition mode.

Actor Kamal Hasan Tweets in Solidarity of the Janata Curfew

Actor Kamal Hassan on Friday tweeted in solidarity of the janata curfew called upon by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday.

“In this extraordinary situation, we have to take extraordinary measures. It’s a disaster that has befallen on us and by staying united and indoors, we can stay safe,” he said.

Two More Test Positive in Ladakh, Total Cases Stand at 10

Two more persons have tested positive for coronavirus in Ladakh, taking the number of such patients in the Union Territory to 10, reported PTI, quoting senior government officials on Friday.

Commissioner Secretary (Health) Rigzin Samphel said both the latest cases were from Choshot village of Leh, which was already notified as a containment area by the district administration.

"After the reports of the two patients came positive, they were immediately shifted to an isolation ward in a hospital here by health officials," said Samphel.

He said the test reports of 55 more patients, including 11 taken on Friday, were sent to a laboratory in Delhi.

Class 1 to 8 Students to be Promoted Without Exams: Maharashtra Education Minister

Maharashtra Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad on Friday, 20 March, said all exams from class 1 to 8 have been cancelled and all students will be promoted without an exam.

Meanwhile, exams for class 9 and 11 will be conducted after 15 April.

"“Teachers, except the ones for class 10, can work from home. Two papers of class 10 are left. It’ll take place as per schedule. These decisions are for SSC Board.”" - Varsha Gaikwad, Education Minister, Maharashtra 

All Malls in Delhi to be Shut, Expect Those With Grocery, Pharmacy & Vegetable Stores

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday, 20 March, said malls in the national capital will be closed in view of COVID-19 threat, exception for grocery, pharmacy and vegetable stores in them.

Mumbai, Pune Shut Non-Essential Services Till 31 March

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday, 20 March, ordered complete shutdown in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, except essential services and public transport, ANI reported.

"“This is not a holiday, avoid crowding. Banks will remain open in the state.”" - Uddhav Thackeray, Chief Minister, Maharashtra 

'Local Trains, Buses Will Operate in Mumbai': Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Mahahrashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday, 20 March, said local trains and buses will continue to operate in Mumbai.

"“Shutting down public transport in Mumbai will be last resort.”" - Uddhav Thackeray, Chief Minister, Mahahrashtra 

Foreign Secretary Participates in Conference Call Initiated by US

Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Friday, 20 March, participated in a telephonic conference call initiated by US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun, for discussions among some countries in the Indo-Pacific region on issues related to countering COVID-19, ANI reported.

Shringla briefed the participants on the proactive steps taken by India both nationally and in the region. He conveyed India’s desire to regularly share its perspectives with partners in the region and to work together with others to counter this challenge.

Delhi HC Extends Restriction on Its Functioning Till 3 April

Delhi High Court has decided to extend till 3 April, the restriction on its functioning due to coronavirus, PTI reported.

HC to Hear Plea Challenging Centre's Ban on Travel from EU, UK

The High Court has agreed to hear plea challenging Centre's ban on passenger travel from EU, UK and other countries from 18 March in view of coronavirus, PTI reported.

Connaught Place in Delhi to Remain Closed From 7 am to 9 pm on 22 March

Connaught Place in Delhi will remain closed from 7 am to 9 pm on 22 March in view of COVID-19, ANI reported quoting President of New Delhi Traders Association Atul Bhargava.

Odisha CM Seeks Postponement if Census Work

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has sought postponement of Census work in the country due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, PTI reported.

18 Companies Get License from DGCI to Conduct COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests

18 companies, including International and Indian companies, have got the test licence from Drug Controller General of India (DGCI) to conduct COVID-19 diagnostic tests in the country, ANI reported.

China to Hold Video Conference With Over 10 Countries Today

China will hold a video conference with more than ten countries in the Eurasian and South Asia on prevention and control of COVID-19 on Friday, 20 March.

China will support and assist its friendly neighbors in the spirit of solidarity amid adversity, Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong tweeted.

Tamil Nadu-Kerala Border in Coimbatore to Be Closed From Today

The Tamil Nadu-Kerala border in Coimbatore will be closed from Friday, 20 March evening in the wake of COVID-19, ANI reported quoing Coimbatore District Collector Rasamani.

Madras HC Directs Greater Chennai Corporation to Provide Food & Shelter to the Poor

The Madras High Court has directed Greater Chennai Corporation to provide food and shelter in community halls to the poor living on the roads. The order was passed in a case filed by advocate AP Suryaprakasam.

SC Stays Kerala HC Order Directing to Defer Recovery Proceedings Till 6 April

The Supreme Court on Friday, 19 March, stayed Kerala High Court order that directed banks, financial institutions, income tax department, and GST authorities to defer recovery proceedings or coercive measures till 6 April in the state, due to coronavirus, ANI reported.

Three More Test Positive for COVID-19 in Gujarat

Three more persons tested positive for coronavirus in Gujarat, taking the total number of cases in the state to five, PTI reported quoting officials.

Govt Launches ‘MyGov Corona Helpdesk’ on WhatsApp

In order to make the citizens aware about the coronavirus pandemic, the government of India has set up ‘MyGov Corona Helpdesk’ on WhatsApp.

206 Persons Test Positive for Coronavirus: ICMR

The Indian Council of Medical Research on Friday, 20 March, confirmed that a total of 206 individuals have been tested positive for COVID-19, among suspected cases and contacts of known positive cases.

A total of 14,376 samples from 13,486 individuals have been tested for COVID-19 as on 20 March, 10am.

COVID-19: Railway Official Suspended for Hiding Son Who Tested Positive in Bengaluru

A Railway official has been suspended for hiding his son, who returned from Germany and later tested positive for COVID-19, in Bengaluru, PTI reported quoting a railway spokesperson.

69-Year-Old Italian Tourist Dies of Cardiac Arrest After Recovering in Jaipur

A 69-year-old Italian tourist, who had recovered from COVID-19, died of cardiac arrest at a private hospital in Jaipur on Friday, 20 March, PTI reported quoting SMS Hospital official.

COVID-19: Ram Navami Celebrations Cancelled in Ayodhya

Ram Navami celebrations in Ayodhya, scheduled between 25 March to 2 April, have been cancelled, as a precaution to contain COVID-19, the VHP office in Lucknow and Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas senior member Mahant Kalyan Das told The Quint.

Delhi Govt Directs Private Sector Employers to Allow Work From Home Till 31 March

Delhi government has issued advisory for private sector employers to allow employees to work from home till 31 March, PTI reported quoting an official.

Three More Test Positive for COVID-19 in Maharashtra

Three people have tested positive for coronavirus in Maharashtra, one each from Pimpri-Chinchwad, Pune and Mumbai, ANI reported quoting Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope.

The total number of cases in the state is now at 52.

Third Person Tests Positive in Andhra Pradesh

Third case of coronavirus was reported in Andhra Pradesh on Friday, 20 March, after a person tested positive in Visakhapatnam, PTI reported quoting officials.

COVID-19: Third Person Tests Positive in Punjab

A 69-year-old woman from Punjab’s Mohali, who recently returned from the UK, has tested positive for novel coronavirus, PTI reported. This is the third COVID-19 case in Punjab.

Bangalore Wholesale Cloth Merchants Association to Shut Shops Till 25 March

The Bangalore Wholesale Cloth Merchants Association has decided to to keep shops and establishments from 22 March to 25 March, due to coronavirus, ANI reported.

Four More Test Positive for Coronavirus in Lucknow

Four more persons have tested positive for coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh’s Lucknow, taking the total number of cases to nine in the state, ANI reported quoting King George's Medical University (KGMU) administration.

Second Person Tests Positive for COVID-19 in Odisha

Odisha on Friday, 20 March, reported second confirmed novel coronavirus case, ANI reported quoting the state health department.

COVID-19: Second Person Positive in West Bengal

Man with recent travel history to UK has tested positive for coronavirus in West Bengal, PTI reported quoting a government official on Friday, 20 March.

This is the second confirmed case in state.

Fitch Slashes India's Growth Forecast to 5.1%

Global ratings agency Fitch on Friday, 20 March, cut India’s growth forecast to 5.1% from 5.6% due to the coronavirus outbreak, PTI reported.

COVID-19 Cases in the US Over 13,000; 200 Fatalities: John Hopkins University

The number of COVID-19 cases in the United States spiked to 13,680, while 200 people have died so far, according to John Hopkins University on Friday.

A day earlier, the university reported about 9,345 confirmed cases, with 150 fatalities.

COVID-19: FM Nirmala Sitharaman to Take of Economy Today

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will meet the ministers for Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries, Civil Aviation, MSMEs, and Tourism, at North Block on Friday, 30 March, in order to assess the economic impact of COVID-19, ANI reported.

Total Number of Positive Cases Rises to 195 in India: Health Ministry

The total number of positive cases of COVID-19 in India rose to 195, including 32 foreigners and four deaths – one each in Delhi, Karnataka, Punjab and Maharashtra –Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Friday, 20 March.

'I'm Convinced Temporary Lockdown is Necessary': P Chidambaram

Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Friday, 20 March, reiterated his appeal for immediate temporary lockdown of towns and cities for two to four weeks to contain the novel coronavirus.

Offering his support to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcements on Thursday, Chidambaram said he is “absolutely certain that the PM will have no option but to come back with tougher social and economic measures.”

“ICMR says that the disease is still at Stage 2 in India. This is the moment to act. Let us not allow this moment to pass without decisive action and regret later,” he further said.

China Reports No New Domestic Coronavirus Cases for Second Day

No new domestic coronavirus cases were confirmed in China for the second consecutive day even as three more fatalities have been reported, taking the death toll in the country to 3,248, the Chinese health authority said on Friday, 20 March, PTI reported.

No new domestically transmitted cases of the novel coronavirus disease were reported on the Chinese mainland on Thursday, the National Health Commission (NHC) said.

China achieved a new milestone in its efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 in the last three months by reporting zero cases on Wednesday.

Puri's Jagannath Temple Shuts Doors Till 1 April

The entry of tourists and devotees to Jagannath Temple in Odisha’s Puri has been restricted from Friday, 20 March, till 1 April, in view of the coronavirus outbreak, ANI reported.

Donald Trump Cancels G7 Meeting, to Arrange a Video Conference Instead

US President Donald Trump has cancelled the G7 meeting at Camp David in June because of the coronavirus pandemic and plans to hold a video conference with G7 leaders then instead, a White House official told Reuters.

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