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Coronavirus Outbreak Highlights: Narendra Modi to speak on measures to curb COVID-19 tomorrow at 9 pm; Srinagar reports first case, says report

Coronavirus Outbreak HIGHLIGHTS: The first case of coronavirus was reported in the Kashmir area of the Jammu and Kashmir union territory on Wednesday, India Today reported.

FP Staff March 19, 2020 07:24:06 IST
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Coronavirus Outbreak Highlights: Narendra Modi to speak on measures to curb COVID-19 tomorrow at 9 pm; Srinagar reports first case, says report

Highlights

23:29 (ist)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

COVID-19 patient commits suicide in Delhi, says report

A patient with the novel coronavirus committed suicide at the Safdarjung hospital in Delhi on Wednesday, India Today reported.

"The 35-year-old deceased jumped off the 7th floor of the Safdarjung Hospital, according to a PCR call received by the Delhi Police. He was admitted to Safdarjung Hospital at 9 pm on Wednesday only as a suspected coronavirus patient. The deceased has come to India from Sydney in Australia and had complained of a headache," the report said.

22:47 (ist)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

First COVID-19 case reported in Srinagar, says report

The first case of coronavirus was reported in the Kashmir area of the Jammu and Kashmir union territory on Wednesday, India Today reported.

"A resident of Khanyar area in Srinagar tested positive for COVID-19, Jammu and Kashmir administration confirmed. According to authorities, the patient had a history of international travel and arrived in India on 16 March. The patient has currently been put under isolation and surveillance, contact tracing has started in a 300-metre area," the report said.

22:36 (ist)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

Narendra Modi to address the nation over COVID-19 tomorrow

The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation on Thursday night at 9 pm, he will speak about issues related to the novel coronavirus and the measures taken by the government to combat the spread of the infection.

20:57 (ist)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

Lack of mid-day meals due to school shutdown should not deprive kids of food, says SC

 
The Supreme Court said on Wednesday that non-availability of mid-day meals to children, as schools in many parts of the country have been shut due to the coronavirus pandemic, should not deprive them of nutritious food.
 
While dealing with one crisis, the situation may not lead to creation of another crisis as on account of the shutdown of schools and Anganwadis, children as well as lactating and nursing mothers would be deprived of the nutritional food, the top court said while seeking response of the states and Union Territories.
 
Taking suo motu (on its own) note of the situation, it said all the states and UTs should come out with a uniform policy so as to ensure that while preventing spread of COVID-19, the schemes for providing nutritional food to the children and nursing and lactating mothers are not adversely affected.  
 
A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant said that non-supply of nutritional food to the children as well as lactating and nursing mothers may lead to large-scale malnourishment.
 
"Particularly, the children and the lactating and nursing mothers in rural as well as tribal area are prone to such mal-nourishment. Such mal-nutrition may affect their immunity system and as such, such children and lactating and nursing mothers would be more prone to catch the infection. While dealing with one crisis, the situation may not lead to creation of another crisis," the bench said.
 
PTI
20:45 (ist)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

17 people tested positive in UP

The Times of India has quoted the Directorate of Health Services, Uttar Pradesh as saying, "A total of 17 people have tested positive for coronavirus; 8 from Agra, 2 from Ghaziabad, 4 from Noida and 3 from Lucknow.

20:19 (ist)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

Passengers report chaos at Delhi airport amid COVID-19

Passengers have been reporting chaos at the Delhi airport amid the quarantine imposed for Indian nationals arriving from abroad for the coronavirus outbreak. 

17:33 (ist)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

Kolkata COVID-19 patient refused to get admitted, interacted with many others, claims report

Despite being cautioned by medical officials multiple times, man from West Bengal's Kolkata ignored crucial health directives and now has been tested positive for coronavirus. He is also incidentally West Bengal's first confirmed case. The infected person, a student in the UK, refused to get tested for the COVID-19 infection despite being asked by several authorities as he had just returned from the UK.

A reporter with ThePrint tweeted that he was first advised to get admitted to the Beleghata ID hospital in Kolkata on 15 March, but he ignored the advisory and interacted with several people, including family members. "On 16 he was taken to MR Bangur hospital, met deputy super and others. Again turned down requests to get admitted. He returned home again. His mother went to Nabanna, attended many important meetings, met many people. He too met people, who are now being tracked," the tweet further added.

15:05 (ist)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

Shutting down of markets merely a rumour

Amid various rumours of closure of markets in Delhi and other States of the Country, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), apex body of business community of the Country clarified that so far no Trade Association has taken any decision to close the markets in the wake of corona virus. The Government is taking various steps in combating COVID-19 at the front and therefore any decision of such closure can be taken in consultation with Government, other Agencies and with trade leaders of each State including Delhi. However, if Government takes any such decision, the traders will comply with the same-added CAIT.

CAIT National President BC Bhartia & Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said that trade leaders will consider all pros & cons of any shutdown of the markets as the shops of the traders are first point contact for 130 crore people for meeting their requirements. There are about 7 crore traders in the Country providing employment to nearly 45 crore people and as such any decision of closure of shops will be taken after due consideration.  In Delhi, there are about 15 lakh small and big traders who are vetting to the requirements of 1.25 crore people of Delhi.

Both Bhartia and Khandelwal said that closure of physical markets is not the only solution unless sales of e commerce platforms are also banned as the possibility of infection in goods delivered by e commerce companies can not be ruled out. Even the delivery boys of the e commerce companies visit several places in the day to deliver the goods mostly to unknown people and no one knows when they get infected by any person suffering with virus. Therefore, closure of e commerce sales is all the more much required.

Input by Praveen Khandelwal, CAIT

12:03 (ist)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

Older adults in India are least fearful of contracting coronavirus, says survey

As India grapples to curb the outbreak of coronavirus cases in the country, a survey by YouGov has revealed that despite being most likely to be at the receiving end of the pandemic, more than half of senior citizens in India are confident they won’t acquire the virus.

YouGov's latest survey, which includes data collected online by YouGov Omnibus from around 1054 respondents in India between 10 to 15 March 2020, using YouGov’s panel of over eight million people worldwide. The data is representative of the adult online population in the country.

According to YouGov’s ongoing coronavirus tracker which captures public sentiment and behavior around COVID-19, 44 percent of GenX respondents, (people who were born between 1965 and 1980), who were surveyed said they are "not at all or not very scared" about contracting the pandemic virus.

The survey noted that fear was notably lower among Baby Boomers (individuals born between 1946 and 1964), with more than half, about 52 percent, saying that they aren’t fearful about getting infected.

10:45 (ist)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

Indian passport holders travelling from UK, Turkey, EU cannot enter India

India has prohibited the entry of Indian passport holders in European Union, Turkey, and United Kingdom to India from today. The latest travel advisory read, "With effect from the 18 March, travel of passengers from member countries of the European Union, the European Free Trade Association, Turkey and the United Kingdom to India is prohibited with effect."

LIVE NEWS and UPDATES

Mar 19, 2020 - 00:01 (IST)

Coronavirus in US Latest Updates

Indian Embassy in US releases updated advisory:

Embassy of India in United States of America (USA) releases updated advisory for Indian students in USA in view of COVID-19 pandemic.

Mar 18, 2020 - 23:57 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

Seven more cases confirmed in Telangana

Seven more coronavirus cases were confirmed in Telangana on Wednesday night, ANI reported. All the patients are Indonesian nationals and have been kept in isolation wards, a notification from the government said.

Mar 18, 2020 - 23:52 (IST)

Coronavirus in US Latest Updates

Trump says youth are feeling 'invincible' but should heed advise

US president Donald Trump on Wednesday said that the country's youth needed to heed the advice of experts to exercise caution, but also called for them to stay calm.

He said, “I hope they just listen to what we’ve been saying over the last period of time. We don’t want them gathering, and I see that they do gather including on beaches, and including in restaurants, young people. They don’t realize that — they’re feeling invincible, I don’t know if you felt invincible when you were young. But they don’t realize that they could be carrying lots of bad things home to their grandmother and grandfather and even their parents,” he said.

He continued, “So we want them to heed the advice… and I do believe it’s getting through.”

Mar 18, 2020 - 23:44 (IST)

Coronavirus in Pakistan Latest Updates

Pakistan records first COVID-19 death

Pakistan recorded the first death due to the novel coronavirus on Wednesday as confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose to 289, reports said.

Mar 18, 2020 - 23:39 (IST)

Coronavirus in UK Latest Updates

UK schools to shut from Friday

UK prime minister Boris Johnson said that schools across the country will shut from Friday, in his weekly press conference. "The closures will affect students of all ages, except for the children of key workers -- including NHS staff, police and delivery drivers – and vulnerable children," CNN reported.

“We therefore need schools to make provisions for the children of these key workers … and they also need to look after the most vulnerable children. For many parents, these steps will be frustrating. That’s why we are now working on further measures… to keep our economy going.” Johnson was quoted as saying.

Mar 18, 2020 - 23:33 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

Passengers from 36 countries banned temporarily

'"No airline will bring any passenger from Australia, Belgium, Bulgeria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom effective 12 GMT March 12 at Port of departure," a home ministry spokesperson was quoted as saying by The Times of India.

Mar 18, 2020 - 23:29 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

COVID-19 patient commits suicide in Delhi, says report

A patient with the novel coronavirus committed suicide at the Safdarjung hospital in Delhi on Wednesday, India Today reported.

"The 35-year-old deceased jumped off the 7th floor of the Safdarjung Hospital, according to a PCR call received by the Delhi Police. He was admitted to Safdarjung Hospital at 9 pm on Wednesday only as a suspected coronavirus patient. The deceased has come to India from Sydney in Australia and had complained of a headache," the report said.

Mar 18, 2020 - 23:21 (IST)

Coronavirus in US Latest Updates

Trump invokes emergency authority; Big 3 automakers closing

President Donald Trump on Wednesday moved to invoke a federal law that allows the government to marshal the private sector to deal with the coronavirus epidemic, as the economic damage mounted with word that Detroit’s Big Three automakers agreed to shut down all their factories to protect workers.

On a day of head-spinning developments, stocks tumbled again on Wall Street, falling so fast they triggered another automatic trading halt. More borders slammed shut across Europe and North America, with the U.S. and Canada agreeing to close their shared boundary to all but essential travel. And the Trump administration pressed Congress to swiftly pass a potentially $1 trillion rescue package to prop up the economy and speed relief checks to Americans in a matter of weeks.

Calling himself a “wartime president,” Trump said he would sign the Defense Production Act “in case we need it” as the government bolsters resources for an expected surge in cases of the virus.

(AP)

Mar 18, 2020 - 23:15 (IST)

Coronavirus in UK Latest Updates

COVID-19 toll rises to 104 in UK 

The United Kingdom on Wednesday reported a rise in the national toll due to coronavirus. The toll has risen to 104, with 99 deaths in England, three deaths in Scotland, and two deaths in Wales. On Wednesday, 104 patients succumbed to the disease, which is the biggest daily jump in the country so far.

Mar 18, 2020 - 23:08 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

Rajasthan govt imposes Section 144 across state

Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Wednesday said that Section 144 had been imposed across the state in a bid to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. "In order to save the lives of the people from the coronavirus infection, Section 144 has been directed to be implemented in the first phase across the state by 31 March. The District Magistrate, Sub Divisional Officers have been authorized to issue necessary guidelines in this regard," Gehlot said.

"The entire effort of the state government is that the citizens of the state survive the infection of this epidemic. People should be advised not to congregate through loudspeakers at other religious and public places including temples, mosques," he added.

Coronavirus Outbreak HIGHLIGHTS: The first case of coronavirus was reported in the Kashmir area of the Jammu and Kashmir union territory on Wednesday, India Today reported.

"A resident of Khanyar area in Srinagar tested positive for COVID-19, Jammu and Kashmir administration confirmed. According to authorities, the patient had a history of international travel and arrived in India on 16 March. The patient has currently been put under isolation and surveillance, contact tracing has started in a 300-metre area," the report said.

The CBSE board has postponed all exams in India and abroad from 19 to 31 March in light of the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country. Adhering to the government's advisory to observe 'social distancing', the board said that a new exam schedule will be announced by 31 March after reassessing the situation, The Indian Express reported.

The Times of India has quoted the Directorate of Health Services, Uttar Pradesh as saying, "A total of 17 people have tested positive for coronavirus; 8 from Agra, 2 from Ghaziabad, 4 from Noida and 3 from Lucknow.

The Maharashtra government on Wednesday decided to allow novel coronavirus testing at eight labs apart from from the National Institute of Virology in Pune, reports said. News18 reported that the testing in three new labs will begin from Thursday.

Desperate travelers choked European border crossings Wednesday after countries implemented strict controls to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus, which has now infected more than 200,000 people worldwide and killed more than 8,000.

Still, even as the number of cases continues to grow each day, food markets were still packed with shoppers on Wednesday and highways were crowded with traffic as families traveled between cities ahead of the Persian New Year, Nowruz, on Friday.

Iran's deputy health minister, Alireza Raisi, urged the public to avoid travel and crowded places. In a statement on state TV, Raisi told Iranians the coming period represented two "golden weeks" to try curb the virus from spreading further.

Union Minister Kiren Rijiju on Wednesday said a strict advisory is being issued to all states to take action after some incidents of racial remarks against people belonging to the North East in some parts of the country were reported in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

Rijiju, who hails from Arunachal Pradesh, also said the issue was taken up with the North East division in the Ministry of Home Affairs.

"Some incidents of racial remarks against North-East people have emerged in some parts of India in the wake of #Coronavirus due to cultural ignorance, prejudice minset & lack of understanding. Matter discussed with NE Division, MHA. Strict advisory is being issued to the States," Rijiju tweeted.

The number of positive cases of coronavirus in India on Wednesday rose to 151, which included 25 foreign nationals and 126 Indians, according to the health ministry's website.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who has been targetting the government over the the slowing economy and the coronavirus outbreak in the last few weeks, on Wednesday said that the Centre needs to take "quick and aggressive action" in tackling with the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

India is currently dealing with 130 active cases, while three people have succumbed to the infection.

The Karnataka Cabinet on Wednesday set aside Rs 200 crore to tackle the spread of the novel coronavirus in the state, The Times of India quoted Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa as saying. The state currently is dealing with 11 active cases of the flu-like disease that has claimed over 7,000 lives worldwide.

"The restrictions that have been imposed in the state for a week from 14 March have been extended till 31 March, he announced in the Legislative Assembly after a special cabinet meeting to discuss the impact of Covid-19," the report said.

The report also said that the state is going to be in lockdown till 31 March.

PTI reported that four passengers who have travel history with Germany and with prescribed home quarantine on Wednesday deboarded from an express train at Palghar station. The co-passengers raised an alarm, the report said.

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has asked all paramilitary forces to get into 'battle mode' and 'plan ahead' to combat the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected almost 200,000 and killed nearly 8,000 people worldwide. The guidelines come in the wake of an Indian Army trooper from Ladakh testing positive. Also, the Jammu and Kashmir administration on Wednesday suspended the Vaishno Devi Yatra in view of coronavirus outbreak.

 

A fresh coronavirus case has been reported in Telangana on Wednesday, taking the total number of cases in Telangana to six. Meanwhile, Ministry of External Affairs in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha said that 276 Indians are infected with coronavirus abroad including 255 in Iran, 12 in UAE, 5 in Italy, and 1 each in Hong Kong, Kuwait, Rwanda, and Sri Lanka.

Karnataka health minister B Sriramulu said that two people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Bengaluru, taking the total cases in the state to 13.

A person, with a travel history to Indonesia, tested positive for coronavirus. This is the fourth positive case of coronavirus from Gautam Buddh Nagar.

Goa Health Min Vishwajit Rane said that a reported call made to health authorities by impersonating testing lab which notified of a positive COVID-19 case in the state was a hoax.

A Norwegian man on Wednesday tested positive for novel coronavirus infection in Goa, Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said. The man had travelled to Delhi, Agra, Assam and Meghalaya after leaving Norway on 6 February, he said.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday declared a 'human biosecurity emergency' and said the country’s citizens should abandon all overseas travel because of the coronavirus epidemic that he warned could last at least six months. This essentially rules out all Australian players, coaches, etc from the IPL which had been postponed to mid-April.

The formal declaration gives the government the power to close off cities or regions, impose curfews and order people to quarantine, if deemed necessary to contain the spread of the virus.

The upgrade in official advice to an unprecedented “Level 4: Do not travel” to any country in the world, was accompanied by a ban on any non-essential indoor gatherings of more than 100 people, reports Reuters.

India has prohibited the entry of Indian passport holders in European Union, Turkey, and United Kingdom to India from today.

A woman from Pune, who had a travel history to France and Netherlands, tested positive for COVID-19. This takes the number of cases in Pune to 18 and in Maharashtra to 42.

An Indian Army jawan from Ladakh, whose father had travelled to Iran for pilgrimage, has become the first positive case of COVID-19 in the 1.3 million-strong force.

Modi mentioned India’s recent initiative to organise a video conference among SAARC countries and Mohammed bin Salman and he agreed that a similar exercise at the level of G20 leaders, under the aegis of Saudi Arabia as the Chair of G20, would be useful. The government of Jammu and Kashmir barred the entry of foreign tourists as a precautionary measure.

As the number of novel coronavirus cases in the country rose to 137 on Tuesday, several states took major preventive measures, including restrictions on assembly in public places, closure of schools, and even stopping entry to the Taj Mahal.

The country reported its third coronavirus fatality with the death of a 64-year-old man in Mumbai. The patient was admitted to the city's Kasturba Hospital and was suffering from multiple health issues apart from being infected by the novel coronavirus, said Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation chief Praveen Pardeshi.

The new cases reported on Tuesday include 24 foreign nationals and the three persons who died in Delhi, Karnataka and Maharashtra.

The Delhi Police said that to prevent the spread of coronavirus, they appeal to the general public to "not assemble at any place for protest, dharna, rally, entertainment or any other purpose, whether in close space or outside" till 31 March.

Coronavirus Outbreak Highlights Narendra Modi to speak on measures to curb COVID19 tomorrow at 9 pm Srinagar reports first case says report

Representational image. PTI

Maharashtra reports most cases

Maharashtra has reported 39 cases, including three foreigners, while Kerala has recorded 26 cases, which includes two foreign nationals.

Karnataka has 11 coronavirus patients. Ladakh has reported six cases while Jammu and Kashmir three. Telangana has reported five cases, which includes two foreigners.

Rajasthan has also reported four cases, including that of two foreigners. Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Punjab have reported one case each.

Odisha reported its first case on Monday.

In Haryana, there are 15 cases, which include 14 foreigners, while Uttarakhand has reported one case.

According to the ministry's data, 14 people have been discharged so far, including the three patients from Kerala who were discharged last month.

The situation in Maharashtra prompted chief minister Uddhav Thackeray to urge people to strictly follow social distancing, saying that the state government may be forced to close public transport and government offices if this does not happen.

"There will be no closure of government offices and public transport in Mumbai. But if people don't exercise restraint and don't avoid non-essential travel, we will be forced to take the harsh decision," Thackeray said.

He said the decision of shopkeepers in Pune to shut down their establishments on their own was worth emulating by others.

"It would be good if shopkeepers in other cities shut down their establishments on their own except in case of essential services like grocery supply," he said.

"We are working on how to ensure the working of government offices with a minimum attendance," he said.

"If not required, don't venture out of homes. We don't wish to take harsh steps. People understand the gravity of this prevailing situation. Those who have the stamp of self-quarantine should stay at home. The next 15 days are crucial. People need to exercise self-discipline," he said.

Travel restrictions

On Tuesday, the government extended travel restrictions by banning the entry of passengers from Afghanistan, Philippines and Malaysia to India with immediate effect, according to an additional travel advisory.

This is in continuation of the travel advisories issued on 11 March and 16 March.

No flight shall take off from these countries to India after 1500 hours Indian Standard Time (IST). The airline shall enforce this at the port of initial departure, according to the advisory.

This instruction is a temporary measure and shall be in force till 31 March and will be reviewed subsequently.

On Monday, the government banned the entry of passengers from the European Union countries, Turkey and the UK from 18 to 31 March.

Biosafety precautions

The Health Ministry said that guidelines for the management of dead bodies infected with the disease have been issued to define a set of protocols in handling such cases.

Joint Secretary Lav Aggarwal said the COVID-19 cases in India have risen to 137 and the number of deaths stood at three.

"Guidelines for dead body management towards precautions, infection prevention and control measures, handling of body and environmental disinfection have been issued," Aggarwal said.

"The main driver of transmission of COVID-19 is through droplets. There is unlikely to be an increased risk of COVID-19 infection from a dead body to health workers or family members who follow standard precautions while handling the body.

"Only the lungs of dead COVID patients, if handled during an autopsy, can be infectious," the guidelines stated while listing out standard precautions to be followed by health care workers while handling bodies of those who die of the disease.

More than 5,700 people who came in contact with those that tested positive are under rigorous surveillance, Aggarwal said.

He also said that guidelines have been issued for the private sector laboratories intending to initiate COVID-19 testing.

Laboratory tests for coronavirus at private labs should be offered when prescribed by a qualified physician as per the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) guidelines for testing.

"Private labs testing is to ensure realtime reporting to Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) and the ICMR headquarters for timely initiation of contact tracing and research activities," he said.

Global picture

China began the withdrawal of thousands of doctors and medical staff from Wuhan after the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak reported just one confirmed case.

With mixed feelings of containing the dreaded COVID-19 but sad over deaths of thousands of people, the first batch of medical assistance teams started leaving Hubei province early on Tuesday as the epidemic outbreak in the hard-hit province has been subdued, official media reported.

Over 3,600 medical staffers belonging to 41 medical teams from across China have assisted 14 temporary hospitals and seven designated hospitals in Wuhan, the provincial capital and the epicentre of the outbreak, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Wuhan reported just one confirmed case of the COVID-19 and 12 deaths on Monday, the provincial health commission said on Tuesday.

Iran issued its most dire warning yet on Tuesday about the outbreak of the new coronavirus ravaging the country, suggesting "millions" could die in the Islamic Republic if the public keeps travelling and ignoring health guidance.

A state television journalist who also is a medical doctor gave the warning only hours after the hardline Shiite in the country pushed their way into the courtyards of two major shrines that had just been closed over fears of the virus.

Meanwhile, France said that it would follow other European countries in confining residents mostly to their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, while the European Union considered closing its external borders to foreign travellers to impede infections.

French president Emmanuel Macron said that starting on Tuesday, people would be allowed to leave the place they live only for necessary activities such as shopping for food, going to work or taking a walk.

"From tomorrow at noon and for at least 15 days, our trips will be greatly reduced," Macron said in a televised address.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date:

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