Kerala health minister KK Shailaja said that seven new COVID-19 positive cases have been reported in the state on Friday. Three were reported from Kasargod, two each Kannur and Malappuram. While the two people from Malappuram had returned from Nizamuddin, others have been infected through contact, she said.
Total positive cases in Kerala stands at 364, of which 238 are active cases.
Coronavirus in India Latest Updates
MHA issues 5th appendum of lockdown
Ministry of Home Affairs issues 5th Addendum to the lockdown guidelines for aquaculture and fishing industry.
Ministry of Home Affairs issues 5th Addendum to the lockdown guidelines for aquaculture and fishing industry. pic.twitter.com/6ujobhJ6Xi
The number of 'containment zones' in Delhi rose to 30 with addition of six new areas including Nabi Karim, E pocket GTB enclave, street no 18 to 22 of Zakir Nagar and nearby area of Abu Bakar Masjid, Zakir Nagar.
Number of 'containment zones in Delhi raised to 30 with addition of 6 new areas including Nabi Karim, E pocket GTB enclave, street no 18 to 22 of Zakir Nagar & nearby area of Abu Bakar Masjid, Zakir Nagar pic.twitter.com/c9oPEfNpJJ
Rajasthan govt extends lockdown till 30 April, says report
News18 reported that the Rajasthan government on Friday announced the extension of the lockdown over coronavirus in the state till 30 April.
Coronavirus in India Latest Updates
Congress evolves 'Corona Action Strategy' involving its workers in combating COVID-19
The Congress on Friday formulated a "Corona Action Strategy" across states to utilise its cadre and organisations to combat COVID-19 on a "war footing", with party chief Sonia Gandhi stressing on ramping up testing to deal with the pandemic.
She also flagged concerns over "massive shortfall" in number of testing centres in the country and demanded a special financial package for MSME sector and labourers working there, besides urging partymen to help farmers.
Gandhi held discussions over videoconferencing for over three hours with all Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) presidents to chart out a comprehensive strategy to combat and contain the virus.
Coronavirus in Punjab Latest Updates
Punjab govt makes it mandatory to wear masks in public
The Punjab government on Friday made it mandatory for people to wear masks in public places, to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The cabinet extended the lockdown till 1 May on Friday.
Coronavirus in Odisha Latest Updates
Four more test positive for COVID-19 in Odisha, cases rise to 48
Four more people, including a woman and two girls, have tested positive for COVID-19 in Odisha, taking the total number of coronavirus patients to 48 in the state, health department officials said on Friday.
The woman and the two girls from the Jharpada area of the state capital are relatives of a man, who died of coronavirus.
The 72-year-old man, the first COVID-19 victim in the state, died on Monday. However, his COVID-19 report confirming that he tested positive for the virus arrived on Tuesday.
Coronavirus in Assam Latest Updates
Assam Police to enforce additional restrictions on vehicles
Guawahati DGP said, "There will be additional restrictions on vehicles of essential services that have been allowed to ply. Odd-even rule will be applied, registration number of vehicles ending with even numbers were allowed to ply today and odd number ending will be allowed tomorrow."
Coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh Latest Updates
Ensure smooth doorstep delivery of essentials in COVID-19 hotspots: Adityanath
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday stressed on ensuring smooth doorstep delivery of essential items for people in coronavirus hotspot areas of 15 districts of the state which has been sealed.
Only medical, sanitisation and doorstep delivery personnel will be allowed in the hotspot areas, he said and directed officials to ensure that this instruction is adhered to strictly in the sealed areas as those under lockdown.
Coronavirus in Andhra Pradesh Latest Updates
16 new COVID-19 cases reported in Andhra Pradesh
The Andhra Pradesh government said that 16 new COVID-19 positive cases have been reported in the state on Friday. Positive cases in the state rise to 381 (including 10 discharged people and 6 deaths).
Coronavirus Outbreak LATEST Updates: Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain said, "Centre has promised us to provide personal protective equipment (PPEs). We have been told that 13,500 PPEs will be given tonight and 13,500 will be provided by tomorrow. Immediately we need at least 2 lakh PPEs."
The tally of COVID-19 cases in Mumbai rose to 993 after 218 new positive cases and 10 deaths were reported in the city on Friday. The toll is at 64, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said.
Three ASHA workers in Hubballi, on Friday alleged that few people snatched their documents as they were conducting a health survey of citizens over COVID-19, in Gavaligalli area. Deputy CMO S Dandappanavar said," The police is cooperating, the issue will be resolved".
The Tamil Nadu government said that 77 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the state on Friday. The total number of COVID-19 cases in the state is 911.
Tamil Nadu chief secretary K Shanmugam on Friday said that "experts are of the view that ending lockdown before the spread of coronavirus coming to an end will make all our earlier efforts fruitless; but the chief minister to take the final call tomorrow."
The Union health ministry on Friday said that the highest jump in COVID-19 cases had been reported in the last 24 hours, with 896 people testing positive. Additionally, 37 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours taking the toll to 206.
India's total number of coronavirus positive cases rises to 6,761 (including 6,039 active cases, 516 cured/discharged/migrated and 206 deaths).
In last 48 hours, about 1487 COVID19 cases reported across the country, the statement added.
The Punjab cabinet on Friday took a decision to extend the lockdown over coronavirus till 1 May, reports said. The government said that the decision was taken unanimously by the cabinet and "strict enforcement" of the lockdown will be done.
The Union home ministry said that there were no instances of community transmission in the country yet. "No need to panic but remain aware and alert," Lav Aggarwal said in the daily briefing on Friday.
However, according to an ICMR study, 104 of the 5,911 patients with severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) tested positive for COVID-19. Of them, 40 cases (38.5 percent) did not report any history of contact with a known case or international travel. The study was conducted from 15 February to 2 April.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Friday said that the Centre has evacuated 20,473 foreign nationals out of India as of Thursday. This is an ongoing process. We are receiving excellent cooperation. This is all government effort, said Dammu Ravi, AS and COVID-19 coordinator of the MEA.
All nurses of Shushrusha Hospital in Dadar, in south Mumbai, have been quarantined in the hospital itself after two nurses of the hospital tested positive for COVID-19.
BMC has asked the hospital not to admit any new patient and discharge all admitted patients in 48 hours.
"Shushrusha Hospital has also been asked to get all quarantined nurses tested, BMC will take a call on shifting these nurses to some other hospital once their test results come," said the municipal corporation body.
TrueNat, a diagnostic machine used to test drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) have been approved by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for conducting COVID-19 tests.
"ICMR has recommended use of Truenat beta CoV test on Truelab workstation validated by ICMR as a screening test. Also, use of US-FDA approved closed real time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) systems like GeneXpert and Roche Cobas - 6800/800 have been approved under emergency use," The Hindu quoted ICMR as saying.
After Bihar health officials confirmed 17 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking total number of COVID-19 cases in the state to 60, the administration sealed off Siwan, Begusarai and Nawada districts to curb the fast-spreading virus in the state.
Bihar health department stated that Siwan district alone has 31 positive cases, the highest number of cases in the state's district.
Fourteen more persons, including two women doctors, tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Bhopal on Friday, taking the number of COVID-19 patients in the state capital to 112 and overall tally in Madhya Pradesh to 440, a health official said.
"Test reports of these persons came on Friday morning and they were found to be infected with the viral disease," he said, adding, "efforts were on to quarantine them and start their treatment."
Once the lockdown due to the novel coronavirus concludes in India and commercial passenger flights are permitted again, IndiGo will deep clean its aircraft more frequently, stop in-flight meal service for a brief period and will fill the maximum 50 percent seats in airport buses, airline's CEO Ronojoy Dutta said on Friday.
"In situations like these, companies do not manage to growth or profitability but to liquidity. That means our singular focus is on cash flow. We are examining all our fixed costs and looking for ways to minimize them," he said.
Dutta said IndiGo's plan post lockdown will be going forward to first start the services and gradually ramp up the capacity.
"We will deep clean our aircraft more frequently, we will be discontinue meal service for a brief period and we will run our coaches at a maximum load of 50% capacity. We will be coming out with the new set of operating procedures very soon," Dutta said in an email to employees on Friday.
Four people have been confirmed positive for COVID-19 in Udhampur district, taking the total number of cases in Jammu and Kashmir to 188, officials said on Friday.
An FIR has been registered against Kapil Wadhawan of DHFL group and 22 others, including his family members and servants, at Mahabaleshwar police station for violating coronavirus lockdown orders, Satara Police told ANI.
As many three new cases of the novel coronavirus was reported from Dadar, in south Mumbai on Friday. Two nurses of Shushrusha Hospital and a man from Kelkar road tested positive for COVID-19, ANI reported.
The total number of cases in Dadar is now at six.
Five new cases of the novel coronavirus reported from Dharavi in Mumbai, take the total number of confirmed cases in the congested area to 22 on Friday. Some of the new cases include Tablighi Jamaat attendees and the wife of a medical worker from Wockhardt Hospital, News18 reported.
Amid the mounting pressure, the Maharashtra government has announced door-to-door testing to ensure the7.5 lakh people living in Dharavi be tested for COVID-19 in the next ten days.
The health ministry on Friday reported 30 new deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the toll due to the novel coronavirus to 199, whereas, the number of cases climbed to 6,412 in the country.
The 6,412 positive cases include 5,709 active cases, the 504 who have been either cured/discharged or migrated and the 199 casualties, the health ministry reported.
Bihar was rattled by a spurt of COVID-19 cases on Thursday after 19 people tested positive for the infection, taking the total number to 58, even as Chief Minister Nitish Kumar urged citizens not to "hide" their travel history.
Siwan district emerged as a hotspot, accounting for 17 of the fresh cases, all but one of them members of the same family in Raghunathpur block, which has been sealed by the local administration and from where close to 100 samples were collected and rushed to the state capital for testing.
Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday announced the death of a 65-year-old COVID-19 patient in Silchar Medical College and Hospital. Sarma further informed the victim hailed from Hailakandi district.
So far 29 persons from Assam have tested positive for COVID-19 as of 8 pm on Thursday, and this was the first case where the condition of a patient had been stated as critical.
With India registering an increase of 591 coronavirus cases and 20 deaths in the last 24 hours, the focus in the fight against the deadly virus was largely towards how to implement lockdown measures strictly across the country.
From making masks mandatory to restricting movement of people in areas identified as COVID-19 hotspots, authorities across several states on Thursday also beefed up surveillance and enforcement measures to contain the deadly virus outbreak even as shortage of protecting gear remained a concern.
While Odisha became the first state to extend the lockdown further till 30 April and also announced closure of schools till 17 June, Maharashtra, which saw its tally of confirmed infections crossing 1,300 with at least 97 deaths, announced plans to install forces in hotspots to enforce compliance to lockdown.
A municipal worker fumigates an area during lockdown in Jammu. AP
Several other states including Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh said they will take a final decision in the coming days on whether to extend or not the 21-day nationwide lockdown, which entered its 16th day on Thursday.
Toll rises to 169
The health ministry on Thursday reported 20 new deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the toll due to the novel coronavirus to 169, whereas, the number of cases climbed to 5,865 in the country.
Fresh cases were reported from Gujarat, Bihar, Odisha, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan and West Bengal, among other places.
The number of active COVID-19 cases is 5,218, as many as 477 people have been cured and discharged and one has migrated, the ministry said.
However, a PTI tally of numbers reported by various states and union territories at 10 pm showed as many as 6,640 people having contracted the virus and at least 227 losing their lives so far. Nearly 600 have so far been cured and discharged.
Of the new deaths reported on Thursday, eight were from Maharashtra, three each from Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, two from Jammu and Kashmir and one each from Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Maharashtra tally crosses 1,300 cases
Based on state figures, Maharashtra saw the total number of people having tested positive reach 1,364 — the highest in the country on Thursday.
Tamil Nadu had the second most number of cases at 834, followed by 720 in Delhi as on Thursday evening. Telangana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh have reported over 400 cases each, followed by Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh among other states.
There is a lag in the Union Health Ministry figures, as compared to the number of deaths announced by different states, which officials attribute to the procedural delay in assigning the cases to individual states.
The health ministry's data put the highest number of confirmed cases in the country in Maharashtra at 1,135, followed by Tamil Nadu at 738 and Delhi with 669 cases.
The number of cases has risen to 442 in Telangana, while Uttar Pradesh has 410 cases and Rajasthan 383. Andhra Pradesh has reported 348 cases, while Kerala has 345 COVID-19 patients.
The number of coronavirus cases has risen to 259 in Madhya Pradesh, 181 in Karnataka, 179 in Gujarat and 169 in Haryana.
Jammu and Kashmir has 158 cases, West Bengal 103 and Punjab has 101 COVID-19 patients.
Odisha has reported 42 coronavirus cases, 39 people have been infected with the virus in Bihar, while Uttarakhand has 35 COVID-19 patients and Assam 28.
Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh have 18 cases each, while Ladakh has 14 and Jharkhand 13.
Eleven cases have been reported from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, while Chhattisgarh has registered 10 cases.
Goa has reported seven COVID-19 cases, Puducherry five, Manipur two while Tripura, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh have reported a case each.
"State-wise distribution is subject to further verification and reconciliation," the ministry said on its website.
Ministry urges rational use of PPEs
The Union Health Ministry stressed on the rational use of personal protective equipments (PPEs) by healthcare workers treating coronavirus patients amid concerns over their dwindling numbers in the country.
Health ministry joint secretary Lav Agarwal said there is no need to panic as India has sufficient stocks of PPEs and the government is making all efforts to augment their supply further.
At his daily briefing on the COVID-19 situation, he said orders for 1.7 crore PPEs have already been placed with domestic manufacturers and supply has already begun. He also said PPEs should be used rationally on the basis of risk profile. Orders for 49,000 ventilators have been placed too, Agarwal said.
Meanwhile, ICMR has given permission to the Kerala state government to conduct trials on convalescent plasma therapy — a process in which blood plasma from a patient who has recovered from COVID-19 is infused into a critically ill patient so that the specific antibodies present in the blood of the recovered person can help fight the infection.
Odisha extends lockdown, Maharashtra plans complete shut down
Amid rising numbers across states, authorities announced strict measures to enforce the lockdown and further restrictions including complete sealing of areas identified as hotspots of the virus spread.
After extending the lockdown for two more weeks, Odisha government also promulgated an ordinance with provision of imprisonment up to two years for those who violate the epidemic regulations.
Volunteers put barricades on a road in Dharavi in Mumbai. AP
The Maharashtra government said that is mulling complete shutdown in certain areas, including of markets, and is also mulling deploying forces in congested areas.
"We are planning to deploy the State Reserve Police Force in congested areas for effective enforcement of coronavirus lockdown," ANI quoted Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope as saying.
Tope also announced a plan to enlist Fire Brigade to sanitise public toilets to minimise chances of coronavirus contraction.
Rajasthan made it mandatory for people to wear masks in urban areas and mandis, while the same was made compulsory for everyone stepping out in Madhya Pradesh as also for people in various cities of Maharashtra besides Mumbai.
Delhi and Uttar Pradesh had announced similar measures on Wednesday.
Also, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh expanded the list of containment zones that would be sealed off completely, after similar steps taken by Delhi and Uttar Pradesh a day before.
In Karnataka, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said all his cabinet colleagues are of unanimous opinion to extend the lockdown for about 15 days after 14 April, and a final decision in this regard will be taken after consulting the Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to interact with all chief ministers on Saturday to discuss the way forward in the COVID-19 fight, including the lockdown.
In Jharkhand, Chief Minister Hemant Soren said lifting the lockdown is a "big challenge" and must be given a considered thought. In an interview to PTI, he said the spread of the coronavirus has been kept in check in his state, but things could change if a large number of people return to the state from other parts of the country.
Tamil Nadu chief minister E Palaniswami said a decision on extending the lockdown will be taken after getting expert advice and taking into account the increase in the number of coronavirus positive cases.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said he would take a decision only after consulting the state cabinet on 12 April.
In Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal warned of strict action against those misbehaving with healthcare personnel in the city in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
The warning came a day after two women resident doctors of Safdarjung Hospital were assaulted following rumours that they are "spreading COVID-19" in the Gautam Nagar area.
The pandemic has also seen a sharp rise in hate crimes.
A Maharashtra cyber police official said they have noted an increase in fake news, hate and communal content over coronavirus on social media in the last few days. The state cyber police have registered 132 cases till Wednesday in connection with fake news, rumours and hate speeches on social media since the lockdown.
US leads in total cases; Japan, UK see spike in deaths
Worldwide, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has climbed to more than 1.5 million, with nearly 90,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The US on Thursday continued to lead in terms of total number of confirmed infections with over 4,30,000 cases, three times the number of the next three countries combined, and around 15,000 deaths.
According to AP, New York state reported 799 more deaths, its third straight day of record-high fatalities. More than 7,000 people have died in the state.
Around the world, authorities warned against travel during the Easter and Ramadan religious holidays.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel emphasised that “even short trips inside Germany, to the seaside or the mountains or relatives, can’t happen over Easter.”
The Dutch prime minister said border crossings with Germany and Belgium could be closed over the weekend if there is too much traffic.
New Zealand police warned people not to drive to vacation homes over Easter and risk arrest, while Lithuania moved to lock down major cities. Portugal halted commercial flights and set up checkpoints on major roads.
Greece also tightened restrictions ahead of next week’s Orthodox Easter, increasing roadblocks, doubling fines for lockdown violations and banning travel between islands.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei suggested mass gatherings may be barred through the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which runs from late April through most of May.
Iran has reported over 4,100 deaths, although experts suspect the outbreak is worse that that.
Indonesia’s president banned civil servants, police officers, military personnel and employees of state-owned companies from returning to their hometowns to celebrate the end of Ramadan. Typically tens of millions Indonesians crisscross the archipelago of 17,000 islands at that time of year.
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johonson spent a third night in intensive care with COVID-19. His spokesman said he was continuing to improve. Britain recorded 881 new deaths, for a total of close to 8,000.
Japan reported more than 500 new cases for the first time, a worrisome rise since it has the world’s oldest population and COVID-19 can be especially serious in the elderly.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has declared a state of emergency, but not a lockdown, in Tokyo and six other prefectures. Companies in the world’s third-largest economy have been slow to embrace working from home, and many commuters jammed Tokyo’s streets as usual.
New infections, hospitalisations and deaths have been leveling off in hard-hit Italy and Spain, which together have around 33,000 deaths, but the daily tolls are still shocking. Spain reported 683 more deaths, bringing its total to more than 15,200.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez acknowledged authorities were caught off guard by the crisis and failed to provide hospitals with critical supplies, including virus tests and protective clothing for medical workers.
“Europe reacted late. All of the West reacted late, and Spain is no exception,” Sánchez said.