Coronavirus Outbreak Highlights: G20 leaders to support strengthening WHO's mandate, pledge $5 trillion for global economy

Auto Refresh Feeds

LIVE NEWS and UPDATES

Coronavirus Outbreak Highlights: G20 leaders to support strengthening WHO's mandate, pledge $5 trillion for global economy
  • 00:14 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    Maharashtra Police intercept trucks carrying 300 migrants

    PTI quoted Maharashtra Police as saying that two container trucks carrying over 300 migrant workers heading home to Rajasthan from Telangana intercepted in Maharashtra.

  • 23:44 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    COVID-19 toll rises to 16 in India

    While the number of positive coronavirus cases in India rose to 694, the toll rose to 16 on Thursday, the health ministry said. 44 people have recovered from the infection. The states of Kerala and Maharashtra are the worst affected by the COVID-19, with 125 and 124 cases, respectively. 

  • 23:28 (IST)

    Coronavirus Outbreak Latest Updates

    Half-million infected worldwide as economic toll rises

    The human and economic toll of the lockdowns against the coronavirus mounted Thursday as India struggled to feed the multitudes, Italy shut down most of its industry, and a record-shattering 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits in a single week.

    As the number of infections around the globe reached a half-million and world leaders held a video summit to grapple with how long to keep the economy at a standstill to help flatten the rising curve, the damage to people’s livelihoods and their well-being started to come into focus.

    In India, where the country’s 1.3 billion people were under orders to stay home, legions of poor were suddenly thrown out of work, and many families were left struggling for something to eat.

    Around the globe, the death toll stood at nearly 8,200 in Italy, more than 4,100 in Spain and over 1,000 in the US, approximately 400 of them in New York State, the worst hotspot in the nation. The United Nations estimated that as many as 25 million jobs could be lost in the economic upheaval, more than during the global financial meltdown of 2008.

    (AP)

  • 23:21 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    Ambulance services demand Rs 2,000 to take injured woman to hospital

    A man carried his injured wife on a bicycle for 12 kilometres from Bharat Nagar to Kanganwal in Punjab to reach a hospital. The woman got injured during an accident which occurred on 20 March while she was working in a factory.

    "Nobody was ready to drive us to the hospital due to the lockdown. Ambulance drivers were asking for Rs 2,000 which I could not pay, so I had to carry her on my bicycle," the husband, Devdutt Ram, said.

    He added, "When the accident took place, factory workers admitted her to a govt hospital in Bharat Nagar. Doctors there were taking x-rays of her chest instead of treating her leg. They said that her lungs have filled up with water. So I came to Kanganwal."

  • 23:12 (IST)

    Coronavirus in China Latest Updates

    Doctors in China to study coronavirus impact on male sex hormone

    Doctors in the coronavirus-hit Chinese city of Wuhan plan to embark on a long-term study of COVID-19 impact on the male reproductive system to verify initial research, indicating that the pathogen could affect sex hormone levels in men, PTI reported.

  • 22:56 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    One COVID-19 case reported in Andaman and Nicobar Islands

    A man, in his mid-30s, tested positive for the COVID-19 in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands on Thursday, the first case in the Union Territory, officials said. The man, a resident of Mayabunder, had returned from Kolkata on 24 March, Chief Secretary Chetan Sanghi said.

  • 22:44 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    Telangana govt reports 4 new cases, details travel history of patient 42

    The Telangana government on Thursday reported four new cases, which brought the total cases of coronavirus in the state to 44, of which one has recovered.

    On 14 March, the patient travelled by train to Delhi from Hyderabad and travelled back by train on 17 March. On 18 March, the patient arrived at the Secunderabad station, where he developed cold and fever, after which he went home in an auto with this son, the notification said. The same day, he consulted a doctor at Quthbullapur and was prescribed medicines.

    On 25 March, he self-reported for collection of samples for the coronavirus test at the Gandhi hospital, and was tested positive for coronavirus on 26 March.

  • 22:30 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    Social workers distribute food to people in Kurla  

    Social workers on Thursday distributed food to people near the Kurla Terminus in Mumbai. 

  • 22:25 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    G20 leaders support strengthening of WHO's mandate

    "G20 leaders agreed to take all necessary measures to contain COVID-19 pandemic and protect people. They also supported the strengthening of WHO’s mandate in the fight against pandemics, including delivery of medical supplies, diagnostic tools, treatments, medicines and vaccines," the MEA said on Thursday.

  • 22:19 (IST)

    Coronavirus Outbreak Latest Updates

    G20 leaders commit to minimise economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic

    The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that G20 leaders committed to using all available policy tools to minimise economic and social cost of the COVID-19 pandemic and to restore global growth, market stability and strengthening resilience. G20 countries also committed to injecting over $5 trillion into the global economy.

  • 22:10 (IST)

    Coronavirus Outbreak Latest Updates

    At G20, Modi says 90% of COVID-19 cases are in member nations

    In his remarks at the G20 virtual summit, Narendra Modi noted the alarming social and economic cost of the coronavirus pandemic. He added that 90 percent of the COVID-19 cases and 88 percent of deaths were in G20 countries, even as they share 80 percent of world GDP and 60 percent of world population, the Ministry of External Affairs said.

  • 22:00 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    Maharashtra govt to release 11,000 prisoners on parole

    Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh said on Thursday, "Nearly 11,000 convicts and undertrials who are imprisoned for offences with prescribed punishment up to 7 years or less should be released on emergency parole or furlough to reduce overcrowding in prisons & to contain COVID-19 outbreak."

  • 21:46 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    MHA allows inter-state transportation of animal fodder

    The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Thursday issued a notification allowing inter-state travel of animal fodder, The Indian Express reported. "It is hereby clarified that exceptions under clause 6 covers the transportation/inter-state movement of animal feed and fodder, being the essential items," the notification read. 

  • 21:40 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    NCP MLAs donate month's salary 

    NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Thursday said that MPs and MLAs of his party will donate one month's salary for the government's relief measures amid the coronavirus pandemic, News18 reported.

  • 21:23 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    Delhi govt withdraws permission for online delivery services to function

    The Delhi government on Thursday withdrew the permission it had granted to online delivery services like Zomato to function during the 21-day complete lockdown.

  • 21:08 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    G20 members pledge $5 trillion for global economy

    The G20 nations on Thursday pledged $5 trillion for the global economy as the world struggles to combat the global coronavirus pandemic.

  • 20:57 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    Rahul Gandhi says FM's measures are 'first step in right direction'

    Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said, "The government announcement today of a financial assistance package, is the first step in the right direction."

  • 20:40 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    India sees highest jump of COVID-19 cases in a day

    The health ministry on Thursday said that 88 new cases of the novel coronavirus were reported in the country in a day, which is the highest jump of infections in a single day. The total number of cases rises to 694, the statement said.

  • 20:32 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    Jammu and Kashmir Police mark lockdown violators with indelible ink 

    The Jammu and Kashmir police is putting stamps reading 'corona lockdown violator' on the hands of people in Ranbir Singh Pura city who are violating the complete lockdown over coronavirus. Shabir Khan, SDPO, RS Pura said, "We are using a permanent ink that takes around 15 days to erase".

  • 20:24 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    Chhattisgarh govt takes over to use private hospitals as COVID-19 treatment centres

    The Chhattisgarh government has reportedly taken over all the private medical colleges, nursing homes, and hospitals, including RIMS in Ranchi, to use as centres to treat coronavirus patients.

  • 19:57 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    CRPF donates Rs 33 crore to PM relief fund

    The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on Thursday made a donation of Rs 33 crore to the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic. "We are dutifully committed to stand firmly with our Nation in this challenging time of COVID-19 spread. It’s a unanimous decision and a sincere effort by our personnel. The effort was to make the immediate contribution with the noble intent to keep it unrevealed. The CRPF remains steadfast towards its motto of service and loyalty," the statement said.

  • 19:46 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    Maharashtra essential shops have no restriction of timing

    Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh said that there was no restriction on the timings of essential service shops. "I assure that the food delivery boys will face no difficulty in carrying out their duties," he said.

  • 19:43 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    Delhi Police distributes food in Majnu ka Tila, Najafgarh

    The Delhi Police on Thursday distributed food to people in the Najafgarh and Majnu ka Tila areas of the National Capital, ANI reported.

  • 19:40 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    DGCA says international flight services to be suspended till 14 April

    The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said on Thursday, "It has been decided that scheduled international commercial passenger services shall remain closed till 18.30 hrs (GMT) of 14 April, 2020. This will not apply to approved international all-cargo operations and flights."

  • 19:29 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    Delhi homeless couple go hungry amid COVID-19 lockdown

    A homeless couple living near Jantar Mantar in Delhi, Sapna and Sanjay, said that they were worried about sustenance amid the complete lockdown over the coronavirus. Sanjay was quoted by ANI as saying, "We have exhausted our rations and don't know what will happen now. My wife is 8 months pregnant, my heart aches that she has to go hungry."

  • 19:14 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    Mahindra group teams produce ventilators for COVID-19 patients

    Mahindra Group chairperson Anand Mahindra on Thursday congratulated two teams of the company for producing various renditions of a ventilator for coronavirus patients.

  • 19:11 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    Police 'punish' those violating lockdown in Rajasthan, Karnataka

    Police personnel in several states like Rajasthan and Karnataka "punished" people for violating the lockdown over the coronavirus. Uttar Pradesh Police apologised for a similar incident in the state's Badaun area after a video of it went viral.

  • 18:55 (IST)

    Coronavirus in US Latest Updates

    US citizens in India might soon be able to return

    The US Embassy in India issued an alert for its citizens stranded in India and said, "We urge US citizens to secure and keep your travel documents ready, as flights may be announced on short notice."

    More information can be found here: https://in.usembassy.gov/covid-19-health-alert/

  • 18:43 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    UP Police orders action against Badaun police for making migrants crawl

    After a video of police personnel in Uttar Pradesh's Badaun making migrant workers crawl on the roads went viral on Thursday, the Uttar Pradesh Police issued an apology for the incident and said that disciplinary action had been initiated.

    "Being the police chief of the district, I feel sorry and apologise for this. Investigation is being conducted against the responsible person," said Ashok Kumar Tripathi, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Badaun.

  • 18:26 (IST)

    Coronavirus in US Latest Updates

    Unemployment claims surge to 3.28 million in US

    Nearly 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week — more than quadruple the previous record set in 1982 — amid a widespread economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus. The surge in weekly applications was a stunning reflection of the damage the viral outbreak is doing to the economy. Filings for unemployment aid generally reflect the pace of layoffs.

    The pace of layoffs is sure to accelerate as the U.S. economy sinks into a recession. Revenue has collapsed at restaurants, hotels, movie theaters, gyms, and airlines. Auto sales are plummeting, and car makers have close factories. Most such employers face loan payments and other fixed costs, so they’re cutting jobs to save money.

    As job losses mount, some economists say the nation’s unemployment rate could approach 13 percent by May.

    (AP)

  • 18:21 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    COVID-19 cases rise to 13 in Jammu and Kashmir

    The Jammu and Kashmir government on Thursday said that a total of 13 people have been tested positive for the novel coronavirus till Thursday in the union territory. 5482 people in contact with possibly infected/positive cases have till now been put under surveillance, the statement added.

  • 18:14 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    Mamata Banerjee reviews social distancing practice in Kolkata

    West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday directed officials and vendors to practice social distancing, in a market in Kolkata.

  • 18:11 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    Grievance redressal cell set up for food processing industry: Centre

    The Ministry of Food Processing Industries on Thursday wrote to state governments to ensure seamless production and distribution of essential food products during the 21-day lockdown over coronavirus. The statement also said that a grievance redressal cell has been set up.

  • 18:07 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest updates

    DRDO says over 20,000 N-99 masks produced

    Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chairman, Dr G Satheesh Reddy was quoted by ANI as saying, "We have also developed N-99 and three-layered masks, we have produced more than 20,000 masks and supplied to various agencies, including Delhi Police."

    He added, "Sanitizers developed by us have been distributed to many people. In the last 15-20 days, we have supplied more than 20,000 sanitizer bottles to various agencies."

  • 17:49 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    Social distancing will avoid community transmission, says Centre

    "Community transmission phase of COVID-19 will start if the community and we (the government) don't work collectively and follow guidelines. But it would never happen in India if we follow social distancing and treatment properly," said Lav Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Union Health Ministry.

    He also said that COVID-19 "does not spread through mosquitoes".

  • 17:44 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    Mumbai Police issues pass for essential services

    The Mumbai Police on Thursday tweeted, "Essential pass, for essential services. Requesting all shops providing essential services & commodities, to reach out to their local police station for these passes, to ensure hassle-free commute and sale."

  • 17:22 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    People observe social distancing in Assam

  • 17:14 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    State govts reach out to migrants stranded in other states

    State governments like Jharkhand and Rajasthan have reached out to native migrants in other states as the 21-day complete lockdown over the coronavirus was imposed on Tuesday.

    Rajasthan deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot replied to NC leader Omar Abdullah regarding some Kashmiri students stranded in Rajasthan's Kota district. Pilot said, "Kota district officials and local police are in touch with these students now. Will be provided transport and/or accommodation, meals. And also to all other such stranded students from all over the country."

    Meanwhile, Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren took note of people stuck in Chennai.

  • 16:58 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    Follow precautions to reduce COVID-19 cases: ICMR

    R Ganga Ketkar of the Indian Council of Medical Research on Thursday said that the steps taken by the government "are so effective that if we follow them strictly, the coronavirus cases will hardly increase in the country".

  • 16:54 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    Migrant workers will get shelter, food: Health ministry

    Health ministry joint secretary Lav Aggarwal addressed concerns of the condition of daily wage workers and migrant workers stranded in cities after the 21-day lockdown was enforced and said that they will be given shelter and food from the government. "We have to stay where we are instead of moving around," he added, reiterating the need for self-isolation.

    "Seventeen states are starting to build hospitals dedicated for COVID-19. States have been asked to make dedicated COVID-19 hospitals," he added.

  • 16:45 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    Migrants made to crawl by UP Police, says report

    CNN-News18 reported that a few migrants were made to crawl by the Uttar Pradesh Police in the Badaun district.

  • 16:42 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    Maharashtra daily wage worker walks 135 kms without food 

    Amid travel restrictions due to the lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus, a 26-year-old daily wager walked over 135 km without food from Nagpur in Maharashtra to reach his home in Chandrapur, PTI reported.

    As panic built up over the lockdown and poor people started returning to their homes, Narendra Shelke, who worked as a labourer in Pune, also decided to go back to his native Jambh village in Saoli tehsil of Chandrapur district.

    He managed to catch the last train from Pune to Nagpur, but as the government later enforced restrictions on all sorts of travel, he got stranded in Nagpur.

    Unable to find any assistance and left with no other option, Shelke started a foot march on the Nagpur-Nagbhid road on Tuesday to reach his village in Chandrapur. He walked for two days without food and survived only on water.

  • 16:30 (IST)

    Coronavirus in Iran Latest Updates

    Iran announces 157 new COVID-19 casualties

    Iran on Thursday announced 157 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, AFP reported on Thursday. The total figure of deaths in the country is now 2,234. The report also said that Iran has imposed a ban on intercity travel to try to curb the spread.

  • 16:27 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    Rate of COVID-19 infection seems to be stabilising in India: Centre

    Joint Secretary of the health ministry, Lav Aggarwal, said that while cases of coronavirus are increasing in India, the rate at which they are increasing "appears to be relatively stabilising". "However, this is only the initial trend," he said in the daily briefing on Thursday.

  • 16:21 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    Production, supply of essentials goods won't get affected during lockdown: Centre

    The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said that the government is taking steps to ensure that production, supply or distribution of essential goods and services do not get affected during the 21-day complete lockdown over coronavirus. "States are working to provide food and shelter to migrant workers," said Punya Salila Srivastava, Joint Secretary, MHA.

  • 16:11 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    Centre says 42 new COVID-19 cases, 4 deaths reported in last 24 hours

    Health ministry joint secretary Lav Aggarwal on Thursday said, "Forty-two fresh coronavirus cases and four deaths related to COVID-19 have been reported in the last 24 hours. Total number of cases stands at 649."

  • 16:01 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    Odisha to set up 'largest' COVID-19 hospital, says report

    Odisha is to set up the "largest" COVID-19 hospital in the country, ANI reported on Thursday, however, there was no official statement from the state government about the same. "Will be a 1,000 bed hospital and will be functional in a fortnight. Odisha will be the first state in the country to set up such a large scale hospital exclusively to treat COVID-19 patients," the report said.

    ANI further added that a tripartite agreement was signed between the Odisha government, corporates, and medical colleges to set up a 1,000-bed exclusive COVID-19 treatment hospital.

  • 15:42 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    Apple Supplier Foxconn and Wistron temporarily shut production facility in India 

    As Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day lockdown in India due to coronavirus pandemic, several companies had to suspend or limit their services, whereas some had to close their production facilities, and Apple is one of them. iPhone suppliers Wistron and Foxconn have suspended their production in India.

    As reported by Bloomberg, Foxconn also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry has halted its operations for now. It will resume its India facility based on further government announcements.

    Read more here...

  • 15:37 (IST)

    Coronavirus Outbreak Latest Updates

    Apple's 5G iPhone 12 launch likely to be delayed

    With coronavirus disrupting day-to-day life across the world, Apple might postpone the launch of its iPhone 12 series. According to Japanese news portal Nikkei Asian Review, lowered demand and possible lukewarm consumer response might deter the leading tech firm from going ahead with the September 2020 launch of its first 5G iPhones.

    The report added that Apple has held “internal discussions” on the probability of delaying the launch by months. Supply chain sources told the website that “practical hurdles” would also be a decisive factor in postponing the launch schedule.

  • 15:35 (IST)

    Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

    Govt support required to restore supply chains or India can run out of stocks in 7-10 days: Britannia MD Varun Berry

     

    Government support and intervention is required to restore supply chains immediately or the country could run out of stocks of packaged foods in the next 7-10 days, biscuits and dairy giant Britannia Industries managing director Varun Berry said on Thursday, as supply chain disruptions continue to be crippled amidst the Covid-19 outbreak.

    "If even one link in supply chain is broken, India could run out of stocks of packaged foods in the next 7-10 days. The Centre has issued permissions but we need support at district level," Berry said.

Coronavirus Outbreak Updates: G20 leaders committed to using all available policy tools to minimize economic and social cost of the COVID-19 pandemic and to restore global growth, market stability & strengthening resilience. G20 countries also committed to injecting over $5 trillion into the global economy.

The health ministry on Thursday said that 88 new cases of the novel coronavirus were reported in the country in a day, which is the highest jump of infections in a single day. The total number of cases rises to 694, the statement said.

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on Thursday made a donation of Rs 33 crore to the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic. "We are dutifully committed to stand firmly with our Nation in this challenging time of COVID-19 spread. It’s a unanimous decision and a sincere effort by our personnel. The effort was to make the immediate contribution with the noble intent to keep it unrevealed. The CRPF remains steadfast towards its motto of service and loyalty," the statement said.

After a video of police personnel in Uttar Pradesh's Badaun making migrant workers crawl on the roads went viral on Thursday, the Uttar Pradesh Police issued an apology for the incident and said that disciplinary action had been initiated.

"Being the police chief of the district, I feel sorry and apologise for this. Investigation is being conducted against the responsible person," said Ashok Kumar Tripathi, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Badaun.

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chairman, Dr G Satheesh Reddy was quoted by ANI as saying, "We have also developed N-99 and three-layered masks, we have produced more than 20,000 masks and supplied to various agencies, including Delhi Police."

State governments like Jharkhand and Rajasthan have reached out to native migrants in other states as the 21-day complete lockdown over the coronavirus was imposed on Tuesday.

Rajasthan deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot replied to NC leader Omar Abdullah regarding some Kashmiri students stranded in Rajasthan's Kota district. Pilot said, "Kota district officials and local police are in touch with these students now. Will be provided transport and/or accommodation, meals. And also to all other such stranded students from all over the country."

Meanwhile, Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren took note of people stuck in Chennai.

Joint Secretary of the health ministry, Lav Aggarwal, said that while cases of coronavirus are increasing in India, the rate at which they are increasing "appears to be relatively stabilising". "However, this is only the initial trend," he said in the daily briefing on Thursday.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued a gazette notification easing the rules to allow the retail sale of drugs to the doorstep of patients during the 21-day nationwide lockdown.

These medicines fall under the schedule H category which means such drugs cannot be purchased without the prescription of a qualified doctor. The new rules allows submission of prescription in electronic forms if it gets delayed in case of acute crisis.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has announced a grant of 100 crores for the coronavirus relief fund which will include shelter and food for labours, rickshaw pullers, roadside vendor and other poor people. He said that shelter camps will also be made along with the health facility.

Kumar had already announced that his state government will bear the treatment costs of coronavirus patients. In a bid to ease the hardships that the poor may face on account of the lockdown necessitated by the coronavirus outbreak, Kumar had also on Wednesday announced that all ration card holding families in the state will get an assistance of Rs one thousand each.

Under Ujjwala scheme women will be given free cylinders for the next three months. 8.3 crore families below poverty line will get free LPG cylinders for three months.

Under the Prime Minister Gareeb Kalyan Yojana (food scheme), 80 crore people will be benfitted, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. "Every one under this scheme will get 5 kg of wheat/rice for free in addition to what they are already getting. We will also give one kg of one choice of pulse to each household under this scheme for the next three months. They can take it in two installments also," said Sitharaman.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the Prime Minister Gareeb Kalyan Yojana will include cash transfers to the poor and migrants.The finance minister has announced medical insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh per health worker for three months.

The Centre on Thursday announced the 'Prime Minister Gareeb Kalyan Scheme' for Rs 1.7 lakh crore. "This scheme includes food security and cash transfers," said Nirmala Sitharaman.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is expected to address the media in New Delhi at 1 pm. The finance minister is likely to announce a relief package amid 21-day nationwide shutdown over coronavirus pandemic.

Spicejet has said that it will conduct a special flight to Jodhpur on Sunday to bring Indians returned from Iran yesterday to Delhi. "Will conduct special flight from Delhi to Jodhpur on Sunday to take Indians who have returned from Iran to government quarantine facility," SpiceJet said in a statement.

"The special flight will be operated as per Government of India's request and the airline will deploy its Boeing 737 aircraft for the assignment," the low-cost carrier said in its press release

According to the Union Health Ministry, the number of cases of coronavirus infection has reached 649 across the nation. The number of patients who have recovered and discharged from hospitals are 42. So far, India has reported 13 deaths.

Kashmir recorded its first death due to the novel coronavirus after a 65-year-old man from Soporev who tested positive to COVID-19 passed away at Chest Disease hospital Srinagar on Thursday morning.

According to Kashmir News Observer, the person died due to cardiac arrest and he had a long medical history of hypertension, diabetes, and obesity.

The Indian indices opened on positive note on Thursday with Nifty above 8,400 level. The Sensex is up 243.93 points or 0.85 percent at 28779.71, while the Nifty up 53.85 points or 0.65 percent at 8371.70.

IndusInd Bank, Tech Mahindra, Axis Bank, Sun Pharma and HDFC are among major gainers on Nifty, while losers are Yes Bank, Grasim, JSW Steel, Adani Ports and Maruti Suzuki.

A three-year-old is among two COVID-19 positive cases reported in Telangana on Wednesday, health officials said. The boy recently returned with his parents from Saudi Arabia. He has been admitted to a hospital where his condition is stated to be stable.

A 43-year-old woman from Hyderabad with no history of international travel has also tested positive. She is the primary contact of a positive case reported earlier.

Amid the worldwide increase in COVID-19 cases, World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday said that a nationwide shurdown, which is being implemented by India and many other countries to curb the fast-spreading virus, will not be enough to eradicate the pandemic.

"To slow the spread of Covid-19, many countries introduced "lockdown" measures. But on their own, these measures will not extinguish epidemics. We call on all countries to use this time to attack the novel coronavirus. You have created a second window of opportunity," Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a press conference.

A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown to contain the coronavirus pandemic, nearly 90 more coronavirus positive cases were reported in India, taking the total number of cases to 606 on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the number of cases was 519.

The death toll due to the virus increased to 10 with another fatality being reported from Maharashtra, according to official data.

Madhya Pradesh reported its first coronavirus death, a woman who succumbed to viral infection, an official was quoted by PTI as saying.

However, in what may be seen as some reassuring news, joint secretary in the health ministry Lav Agarwal told CNN-News18 that no community transmission of the novel coronavirus has been reported in India yet.

 Coronavirus Outbreak Highlights: G20 leaders to support strengthening WHOs mandate, pledge  trillion for global economy

Civil defense volunteers on a scooter ask people to go inside their houses during a lockdown to control coronavirus spread in New Delhi. AP

State-wise figures

In its updated figures at 6.45 pm on Wednesday, the ministry stated that Maharashtra has reported three deaths and one death each was reported from Bihar, Karnataka, Gujarat, Punjab, Delhi, West Bengal, and Himachal Pradesh.

The ministry said Maharashtra has reported the highest number of COVID-19 cases so far at 128, including three foreign nationals, followed by Kerala which has recorded 109 cases, including eight foreign nationals.

Karnataka has reported 41 cases of coronavirus patients, while cases in Gujarat rose to 38, including one foreigner.

Cases in Uttar Pradesh rose to 37, including a foreigner. The number of cases in Rajasthan increased to 36, including two foreigners, while the positive cases in Telangana stood at 35, including 10 foreigners.

Cases in Delhi rose to 31, including one foreigner.

Punjab reported 29 cases while In Haryana, there are 28 cases, including 14 foreigners.

Madhya Pradesh recorded 14 cases, Ladakh has 13, while Tamil Nadu has reported 18 cases, including two foreigners.

West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh have nine cases each.

Chandigarh, as well as Jammu and Kashmir, have reported seven cases each so far.

Uttarakhand has four cases, including one foreigner. Bihar also has four cases.

There are three cases in Himachal Pradesh while there are two cases in Odisha. Puducherry, Mizoram, Manipur, and Chhattisgarh have reported a case each.

People in white coats like God, says Modi

Narendra Modi, noting reports of doctors facing discrimination for treating coronavirus patients in several parts of the country, said that he is very pained with the discriminatory behaviour against the staff of essential services. Warning against discrimination, he said that "people in white coats and doctors are like God right now, they are protecting us".

"I appeal to all the citizens, if you notice any incident where professionals, such as doctors and nurses, are ill-treated then you should take an initiative to make such people (those who are ill-treating healthcare professionals) understand that they are wrong. I have told Home Ministry and DGPs to take strict action against those who are not supporting or not co-operating with doctors, nurses and other professionals who are serving us in this critical time," Modi said in his address to the citizens of Varanasi on Wednesday.

In a similar vein, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said, "Some landlords are threatening to evict doctors/nurses from their houses. They're saying they'll (medical personnel) spread the coronavirus. It won't be tolerated. God forbid, if someone gets infected from your house then they, and no one else, will come to your rescue...."

States announce relief measures for underprivileged

Newly sworn-in Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday announced an aid of Rs 1,000 for labourers in the unorganised sector.

He also announced that beneficiaries of the social security pension scheme, widow pension, old-age pension and destitute pension schemes will get two months' pension in advance.

Labourers in the unorganised sector will be given financial assistance of Rs 1,000 each through the Sannirman Karmkar Mandal, said Chouhan who took over as chief minister two days ago.

Further, an advance of Rs 2,000 per family would be provided to members of the Shariya, Baiga, and Bhariya tribal communities, he said.

As schools are closed, some 65.91 lakh students do not get mid-day meals at school. Therefore, Rs 155 would be transferred into the bank account of each primary school student and Rs 232 in the account of each middle-school student, adding up to an aid of total of Rs 156.15 crore, he said.

The Kerala government is planning to come up with 'community kitchen' to cater food to the needy, said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

The state is also going to come up with 1,000 restaurants that will provide home delivery of food at a subsidised rate.

Speaking to media persons here on Wednesday, the Kerala chief minister said that the local self government institutions would ensure the supply of food items to those affected by the lockdown so that there is no starvation in the state.

"We expect people to cooperate and stay where they are as suggested by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They should not violate the conditions enforced during the quarantine," he said.

The state cabinet had decided to come out with the Kerala Epidemic Disease Ordinance 2020.

Earlier in the day, the chief minister tweeted, "Kerala has taken extensive measures to ensure that no one will starve during the lockdown. Will be implemented through Local Self Governments, ward-level committees, and volunteer."

Pakistan suspends domestic flights

Meanwhile, in neighbouring Pakistan, the government suspended all domestic flight operations until 2 April to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus after the country reported nearly 1,000 cases from the COVID-19 infection, authorities said on Wednesday.

The nationwide tally of the COVID-19 patients has soared to 990 with 410 cases in Sindh; 110 in Balochistan; 296 in Punjab; 78 in K-P; 80 in Gilgit-Baltistan; 15 in Islamabad; and one in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, The Express Tribune reported.

The National Disaster Management Authority has said that so far seven people have died due to the novel coronavirus and 18 recovered.

Meanwhile, Spain deputy prime minister Carmen Calvo reportedly tested positive for coronavirus. "She had tested negative in previous tests, the statement said, but doctors didn't think those provided conclusive data. Calvo is receiving medical treatment and progressing favorably, the statement said. She's in quarantine at a hospital," CNN reported.

Spain recorded the world’s second-highest tally of coronavirus deaths after 738 more reportedly died on Wednesday, the country's deadliest toll in one day, according to AP.

With 3,434 coronavirus patients dead, Spain surpassed China’s death toll of 3,285. Italy still has the most deaths of any nation in the world with 6,820. Infections in Spain also rose 20 percent from a day earlier to 47,610.

Meanwhile, in Britain, Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, has tested positive for the new coronavirus. The palace says he has mild symptoms.

With inputs from agencies

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

Updated Date: Mar 27, 2020 07:12:45 IST