Coronavirus Outbreak Updates: Maharashtra closes malls till 31 March, postpones exams up to Class 9 as number of reported cases rises to 26

Coronavirus Outbreak Updates:The government on Saturday put the number of coronavirus positive cases in the country at 84 and issued directives to states specifying list of items and norms of assistance for containment of COVID-19 under their disaster funds

FP Staff March 15, 2020 08:07:18 IST
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Coronavirus Outbreak Updates: Maharashtra closes malls till 31 March, postpones exams up to Class 9 as number of reported cases rises to 26


15:40 (ist)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

Kangana Ranaut's Thalaivi, Sherni, Durgavati, Mumbai Saga continue production amid pandemic 

Even as authorities take measures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the makers of the Jayalalithaa biopic, Durgavati, Sherni, and Mumbai Saga are braving the odds to continue filming their projects.

Kangana Ranaut is heading to Chennai for the third schedule of Jayalalithaa biopic Thalaivi, which is supposed to start from next week. Shailash R Singh, who is financing the directorial, says it is going to be a 45-day schedule, and will be filmed in Chennai and Hyderabad.

He said to Mumbai Mirror, "The government or industry associations might come out with some new instructions tomorrow, and we will have to adhere to them. So, we can’t predict anything."

15:14 (ist)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

Angrezi Medium makes Rs 4.03 cr on opening day despite theatre closures in few states

Despite coronavirus pandemic, Irrfan Khan and Radhika Madan-starrer Angrezi Medium, which hit theatres on Friday, has performed well on its opening day at the box office, picking up Rs 4.03 crore at the ticketing counters.

In a recent interview with Mumbai Mirror, producer Dinesh Vijan said the box office figures are likely to take a major hit, especially since the film cannot be screened in Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Mumbai, Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh.

"80 percent of our expected business was from home. And after Delhi, Jammu and Kerala, there were orders to shut down theatres in Bihar, Karnataka, and UP though the UP CM has left the decision to the theatre management, and the big hit was when Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Pune, and Nagpur were also declared out of bounds," Mirror reports Vijan as saying.

11:35 (ist)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

Indian film and television industries incur mammoth losses, say experts

With theatres in parts of the country under lockdown, shootings stalled and promotional events and interviews on hold due to the spread of coronavirus, the television and film industries are facing huge losses, say experts.

It is hard to quantify exactly how much money is at stake but theatres in Delhi alone may incur a loss of Rs 2 lakh to 10 lakh in the coming 10 days without earning a single penny, said film distributor Joginder Mahajan, who is also the general secretary of the Motion Pictures Association in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

09:42 (ist)

Coronavirus in Italy Latest Updates

Italy reports highest daily jump in fatalities by 250 in last 24 hrs, toll now at 1,266

The toll in Italy due to the novel coronavirus continued to be on the rise, reaching 1,266 after recording the highest daily jump on Friday. According to the latest figures provided by the Italian Civil Protection Department, 250 more people died of disease in the last 24 hours. 

The total number of cases rose to 17,660 from 15,113 the day before, an increase of some 17%.

The Italian government hopes that stricter containment measures – including an almost total lockdown of shops, bars, and other commercial activities – will help curtail the fast-spreading virus, which has now its epicenter in Europe, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). 

09:13 (ist)

Coronavirus Outbreak Latest Updates

Badminton World Federation suspends all tournaments including India Open till 12 April

The India Open badminton tournament was on Friday suspended at least till 12 April after the Badminton World Federation (BWF) decided to halt all events from 16 March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The BWF said in a statement that the escalation of the COVID-19 outbreak globally has forced it to cancel or postpone all tournaments from 16 March to 12 April.

The situation, it said, has been aggravated by heightened travel and quarantine restrictions in place and the subsequent extreme logistical complications this causes to the movement of badminton athletes.

"Tournaments affected include the YONEX Swiss Open 2020, YONEX-SUNRISE India Open 2020, Orleans Masters 2020, CELCOM Axiata Malaysia Open 2020, and Singapore Open 2020, as well as a number of international Grade 3 tournaments," the BWF said.

08:28 (ist)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

US embassy cancels all immigrant and non-immigrant visa appointments

The US embassy and consulates in India are cancelling both immigrant and non-immigrant visa appointments from 16 March in view of the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

"US Mission India posts, in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic, are cancelling immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments from March 16, 2020, onward. Your visa appointment stands as cancelled. Once Mission India resumes regular consular operations, appointments will be made available and you will be able to reschedule," read the statement. 


Mar 14, 2020 - 22:17 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

Act against coronavirus rumour mongers, BMC chief tells cops

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation chief Praveen Pardeshi wrote to citypolice commissioner Param Bir Singh demanding strict action against those spreading rumours about the novel coronavirus outbreak.
In the letter, Pardeshi said BMC had made preparations to tackle the situation but rumours were being spread on social media platforms like WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook etc,which may lead to panic.The BMC chief demanded action against such people under Section 54 of the Disaster Management Act 2005.
Section 54 lays down that "whoever makes or circulates a false alarm or warning as to disaster or its severity or magnitude, leading to panic, shall on conviction, be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to one year or with fine".

Mar 14, 2020 - 22:00 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

Section 144 in Jammu and Kashmir's Kishtwar, Ramban

Prohibitory orders have been imposed in Kishtwar and Ramban districts of Jammu and Kashmir in view of the prevailing health emergency due to the coronavirus outbreak,  PTI quoted an official spokesperson as saying. The orders under section 144, Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) will remain in force for a month in Kishtwar and for 15 days in Ramban, he added.

The spokesperson said Kishtwar District Development Commissioner Rajinder Singh Tara has imposed a ban on the assembly of more than five persons at any public place in the entire district, including Kishtwar town and its adjoining areas, with an immediate effect for a period of one month. "This order has been issued as a precautionary measure and is in consonance with the advisory issued by the government to the public, whereby they have been advised not to venture out in large numbers and to avoid any type of mass gatherings, crowds, congregations and functions," the spokesperson said, quoting Tara.
Ramban District Magistrate Nazim Zai Khan also imposed restrictions under section 144, CrPC in the district with an immediate effect for a period of 15 days to ensure effective implementation of the prescribed precaution to prevent danger to human life, health or safety and keeping in view the prevailing health situation due to coronavirus.

Mar 14, 2020 - 21:57 (IST)

Coronavirus in US Latest Updates

New York records first death, toll in US rises to 48

An 82-year-old woman became New York’s first coronavirus fatality, Reuters reported authorities as saying. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the woman, who had previously suffered from emphysema, was hospitalized in Manhattan on 3 March. He told reporters that the state’s tally of cases had risen to 524. Nationwide, more than 2,000 people have been infected and 48 have died.


Mar 14, 2020 - 21:54 (IST)

Coronavirus in Pakistan Latest Updates

Pakistan reports two new coronavirus cases

Pakistan reported two new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of positive cases to 30, reports PTI. Officials said that the first case was reported from the capital, Islamabad. Health and Population Welfare Department, Sindh, reported that the 20-year-old patient from Karachi had no travel history but his father returned from the UK recently. 
The second case was reported in the capital, Islamabad, according to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) spokesperson Waseem Khawaja. “The woman, who arrived in Islamabad from the United States, was brought to PIMS two days ago. She is in critical condition and has been put on a ventilator,” Khawaja told PTI.



Mar 14, 2020 - 21:45 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

Swimming pools closed in Noida, public events banned till 15 April

Swimming pools in Noida and Greater Noida will remain closed, while public problems, including religious and political congregations, will not be allowed till 15 April as a precautionary measure to combat the coronavirus outbreak, officials said on Saturday.

The restriction is applicable on private and public use of swimming pools in schools, colleges, hotels and residential societies, the district administration said in an order. "In the wake of precautionary measures being taken to check and control coronavirus (COVID-19), the usage of all swimming pools in Gautam Buddh Nagar which are primarily located in schools, hotels and societies, among other places, is completely banned till 15 April," District Magistrate Brajesh Narain Singh said in the order.
In another order, the district magistrate said permissions for public programmes till 15 April is being cancelled with immediate effect in a bid to prevent the coronavirus spread. Permission needs to be taken from the administration for any such programme if absolutely unavoidable, it stated, adding that failure to comply with the order would prompt legal action against the offender. "These public programmes, however, do not include wedding functions and closure of cinema halls. These include programmes like religious, political congregations, musical or cultural events organized by schools or colleges, etc where a large number of people gather," Singh told PTI.

Mar 14, 2020 - 21:34 (IST)

Coronavirus in US Latest Updates

White House orders temperature checks on those in close conatct with Trump, Pence


The White House announced Saturday that it is now conducting temperature checks on anyone who is in close contact with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, reports AP. The move is being taken out of an abundance of caution in response to the coronavirus outbreak, said Judd Deere, a White House spokesman.

Trump has had multiple direct and indirect contacts with people who have tested positive for the pandemic virus. On Friday, he declared a state of emergency as schools and workplaces across the country shuttered, flights were canceled and Americans braced for war against the health threat.

Trump spent time last weekend at his private club in Florida with at least three people who have now tested positive.The Brazilian Embassy in Washington announced late Friday that the country's chargé d'affaires, Nestor Forster, tested positive after sitting at Trump's dinner table. So, too, have a top aide to Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro and an individual who attended a fundraiser Sunday with Trump, according to two Republican officials who spoke to news agency AP on condition of anonymity in order to discuss private health matters.

Mar 14, 2020 - 21:33 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

Maharashtra closes all malls; exams till Class 9 postponed

The Maharashtra govt on Saturday announced the closure of all malls till 31 March in the state in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Making the announcement, health minister Rajesh Tope said that the order does not apply to grocery shops which sell commodities.

According to PTI, the state government also announced that all exams up to Class 9, if underway, will be postponed. However, the board exams for Class 10 and 12 will continue.

Mar 14, 2020 - 21:16 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

Coronavirus positive cases climb to 84; govt issues directive to states on use of SDRF funds

The government on Saturday put the number of coronavirus positive cases in the country at 84 and issued directives to states specifying the list of items and norms of assistance for containment of COVID-19 under their disaster funds.

According to the health ministry, Kerala has reported 19 positive cases, Maharashtra 14, Uttar Pradesh 11, Delhi seven, Karnataka six,  Ladakh three, Jammu and Kashmir two, and Rajasthan, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Punjab one case each.

The home ministry said funds earmarked under the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) can be utilised for procurement of essential equipment and measures taken to quarantine people.
It issued a two-page directive to all states specifying "list of items and norms of assistance for containment of COVID-19 virus in India, eligible from SDRF".


Mar 14, 2020 - 20:44 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

IIT-Roorkee student with COVID-19 symptoms hospitalised, samples sent for testing

An IIT-Roorkee student with suspected symptoms of coronavirus has been admitted to the isolation ward of a hospital in Haridwar, PTI quoted officials as saying. The 26-year-old M.Tech student had recently returned from Japan. He was kept under observation of a team of doctors at IIT hostel for 10 days and brought to the isolation ward of a government hospital after he complained of cough, a district hospital official said. His swab samples have been sent to Delhi for testing, the official said.

Mar 14, 2020 - 20:35 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

Jaipur man, recently returned from Spain, tests positive

A 24-year-old man, who returned from Spain, tested positive for the coronavirus in Jaipur, ANI quotes the Rajasthan Health Department as saying. According to the Indian Express, he flew from Madrid to Delhi and then to Jaipur by Air India Flight 491. The government has begun contact tracing, IE quoted a senior health official as saying.

Coronavirus Outbreak Updates: The Maharashtra govt on Saturday announced the closure of all malls till 31 March in the state in a bid to contain the spread of the virus.

Samples of four patients, one from Mumbai and three from adjoining areas, test positive for coronavirus, reports PTI.

A 71-year-old man who had returned from Saudi Arabia and was suspected to have coronavirus infection died during treatment in Maharashtra's Buldhana district on Saturday afternoon, PTI quoted a hospital official as saying. He was also suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure.

Indo-Tibetan Border Police said that after completing the requisite quarantine period  and being tested negative twice in 16 days of stay, 110 evacuees from Wuhan, China have left the quarantine facility at New Delhi's Chhawla in different batches. Only two of the evacuees left at the facility.

More than 4,000 people who had come in contact with 84 coronavirus cases are under surveillance, says the Health Ministry​.

The home ministry has said that Rs 4 lakh will be paid as ex-gratia to the families of the people who lose their lives due to the novel coronavirus. The help will also be extended to those involved in relief operations or associated in response activities.

Mexico could consider measures at its northern border to slow the spread of the coronavirus into its relatively unaffected territory, health officials said on Friday, with an eye to containing a US outbreak that has infected more than 1,800 people.

Mexico so far has confirmed 16 cases of the coronavirus, with no deaths. In the United States, 41 people have died.

Mexican Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell said contagion from the United States was a threat.

"If it were technically necessary to consider mechanisms of restriction or stronger surveillance we would have to take into account not that Mexico would bring the virus to the United States, rather that the United States could bring it here," he told a news conference."

After initial refusal, the Nigambodh Ghat allowed the funeral of the 68-year-old woman who succumbed to coronavirus in Delhi on Friday. The funeral will take place inside CNG supplied crematory.

The woman, who passed away in Delhi's Ram Manohar Lohia hospital, was the the second death recorded in India due to COVID-19. The first one was reported in Karnataka on Thursday.

The authorities at the Nigambodh cremation ground had earlier denied to cremate the woman in order to prevent the spreading of the virus. The number of confirmed cases in the country rose to 83 on Saturday

The West Bengal government has sealed the state's border with Bhutan in the wake of novel coronavirus outbreak, a senior official said on Saturday.

The Infosys in Bengaluru has evacuated one of its satellite office buildings following reports of its employee coming in the proximity with a suspected coronavirus patient.

The development comes after the Karnataka government advised IT and other professionals working in air-conditioned places to work from home for time being, for about a week, to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.

An internal communication from the office here read, "We have received information about a situation of a team member from the IIPM building, who may have been in proximity to an individual with suspected COVID-19."

There are 83 people in total who are infected with the novel coronavirus, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Saturday. On Friday, several states across India went into battle mode to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The toll in Italy due to the novel coronavirus continued to be on the rise, reaching 1,266 after recording the highest daily jump on Friday. According to the latest figures provided by the Italian Civil Protection Department, 250 more people died of disease in the last 24 hours.

The total number of cases rose to 17,660 from 15,113 the day before, an increase of some 17%.

Ramping up the precautionary measures in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic, the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government in Rajasthan has ordered closure of schools, colleges, coaching centers, gyms and cinema halls till 30 March.

"Programs such as Music in the Park and Drama Manchana to be held during this period will also be postponed," said Gehlot.

This is the first death due to COVID-19 in the National Capital, which reported six cases of the flu-like disease that has claimed more than 5,000 lives worldwide and infected more than one lakh people in 116 countries.

India recorded the second death due to the novel coronavirus pandemic on Friday night after a 68-year-old woman passed away in Delhi's Ram Manohar Lohia hospital.

A second coronavirus patient is reported to have died in India on Friday. The latest victim of the deadly COVID-19 disease is a 69-year-old resident from Delhi, CNN-News18 reported. The victim was undergoing treatment in Delhi's RML hospital, the news channel said.

US president Donald Trump is likely to declare the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in America as a 'national emergency', The New York Times reported on Friday. To do so, he would be invoking the Stafford Act to facilitate more federal aid for states and municipalities.

"Trump is under increasing pressure to act as governors and mayors nationwide step up actions to mitigate the spread, closing schools and canceling public events. The president said he will hold a news conference at 3 pm in Washington," the report said.

The government on Friday declared that masks, including N95, and hand sanitisers as 'essential commodities' in the wake of the coronavirus scare leading to shortages and black marketing of these items.

These items will remain under essential commodities segment till June-end, a move aimed at ensuring availability at reasonable prices and cracking down on hoarders/black marketeers. The government has notified an order under the Essential Commodities Act to declare masks (2 ply and 3 ply surgical masks, N95 masks) and hand santisers as essential commodities up to 30 June, 2020. An offence under the Essential Commodities Act can attract imprisonment up to 7 years.

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that three more people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in the state on Friday. He said that of the three new cases, one is an Italian, another is an Indian who returned from the UK, and the third is a patient with travel history to Italy and Germany.

Reports on Friday reported a clarification from Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope, who said that malls and theaters will remain open in Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Navi Mumbai, and Pimpri-Chinchwad districts.

Earlier Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray was quoted as saying that all malls, theatres, gyms, and swimming pools will be shut in the five districts in light of the spread of coronavirus in the state.

The Maharashtra government has shut all malls, gyms, cinema halls, and swimming pools in Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Navi Mumbai, and Pimpri-Chinchwad from midnight on Friday in light of the increasing cases of coronavirus in the state. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, speaking in the state's Assembly, also said that the government has declared the spread of COVID-19 in the five districts as an 'epidemic'.

The Union health ministry on Friday evening said that the cases of the novel coronavirus have risen to 81 in India, with fresh cases being reported in Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, and Maharashtra.

Reports said that one more confirmed case of the novel coronavirus emerged in Maharashtra's Pune on Friday, after two cases were reported in Nagpur. The total cases of COVID-19 in Maharashtra are 17.

The IPL 2020, which was earlier scheduled to be held on 29 March, has now been postponed to 15 April, News18 reported.

Addressing the media on steps taken by the Uttar Pradesh government to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday announced that all schools and colleges where examinations are not going on will be shut till 22 March.

Adityanath also said that seven people in Agra, two in Ghaziabad and one each in Noida and Lucknow have tested positive for COVID-19.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday proposed that the leadership of SAARC nations could chalk out a joint strategy to fight coronavirus and set an example for the world. He said the SAARC leadership can discuss via video conferencing ways to keep their citizens healthy.

"Our planet is battling the COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus. At various levels, governments and people are trying their best to combat it," Modi tweeted.

South Asia, which is home to a significant number of the global population, should leave no stone unturned to ensure that the people are healthy, he said.

"I would like to propose that the leadership of SAARC nations chalk out a strong strategy to fight coronavirus. We could discuss, via video conferencing, ways to keep our citizens healthy," he said.

Social distancing is the biggest solution to curtail the spread of pandemic, said Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia in Delhi while speaking on the precautionary measures taken against the spread of the coronavirus.

"DMs and SDMs have been asked to strictly follow the guidelines meted by the health ministry," said Sisodia.

Launching a tirade against the Centre over its lack of swift response to curtail coronavirus outbreak, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said the Narendra Modi-led government was in a "stupor" and the economy would be destroyed if a strong action is not taken.

The Indian economy will be destroyed if strong action is not taken. The government is in a stupor," the former Congress chief tweeted.

The Indian rupee fell by another 16 paise to 74.44 against the US dollar as financial markets around the globe continued to feel jitters of coronavirus pandemic.

A day earlier, the Indian currency had tumbled by 60 paise to close at a new 17-month low of 74.28 amid coronavirus pandemic fanning global economic recession fears.

Meanwhile, the global crude oil benchmark Brent Futures fell 0.87 percent to trade at $32.93 per barrel.

Mainland China reported eight new confirmed cases of coronavirus and seven additional deaths on Thursday, the country’s National Health Commission said on Friday. Most of the fatalities occurred in Hubei province.

That brings the total accumulated number of confirmed cases in mainland China so far to 80,813. The toll from the outbreak in mainland China had reached 3,176 as of the end of Thursday, up by seven from the previous day.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, has contracted the novel coronavirus. Sophie, came back from a speaking event in the United Kingdom with flu-like symptoms, her husband announced Thursday.

"She is feeling fine, and her symptoms are mild," according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s office.

Justin will isolate himself and run his government from home for 14 days as a result.

The Karnataka health department commissioner said that a 76-year-old man from Kalaburagi who passed away and was a suspected patient of coronavirus has been confirmed positive for for the flu-like disease. "Contact tracing, isolation and other measures are being taken. The Telangana government has also been informed as he went to a hospital there," he said.

The Centre on Thursday said that to fight the spread of Coronavirus, the Command Hospital (NC), Udhampur, Jammu and Kashmir under the aegis of HQ Northern Command has set up 4 isolation wards with a 100-bed capacity and a team of specialist doctors to manage the suspected coronavirus patients.

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that two more people have been tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Kerala. Vijayan said that the two cases were reported from the Thrissur and Kannur districts. The total number of Coronavirus positive cases rose to 16 in the state.

According to reports, the infected people have travel history with Dubai and Qatar.

According to India Today, the Kerala government said that people with flu-like symptoms shouldn't visit old age homes.

The Centre on Thursday decided to expedite clearances to bulk drug projects by considering them "out of turn", as cases of the novel coronavirus rose in India. In a notification, the Environment Ministry said the expeditious environmental clearances given to units involving active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and bulk drug intermediates will ensure overall preparedness and availability of drugs to reduce the impact of the outbreak, PTI reported.

The Union Territory of Ladakh on Thursday reported a third case of the novel coronavirus, soon after Delhi and Karnataka also recorded fresh cases of the flu-like disease. According to the last notification by the Union health ministry, the total cases of coronavirus in India are 73.

A 26-year-old man who returned from Greece has tested positive for coronavirus, making it the fifth case in Karnataka, the health department was quoted as saying by PTI. The patient has been admitted and isolated at a hospital and his condition is stable, a department media bulletin said.

The report quoted sources as saying that the patient is from Mumbai. He travelled from Greece to Mumbai on 6 March, and came by flight to Bengaluru on 8 March. He had been to office on 9 March, during which he is said to have spoken to four of his close friends and gone back home after a few hours.

The sixth case of coronavirus was reported in Delhi on Thursday, reports said. The last confirmed count of total cases in India was 73, according to the Union health ministry.

The Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi on Thursday declared the coronavirus outbreak as an 'epidemic' in the National Capital, and said that all theatres, schools, and colleges will be shut till 31 March.

According to CNN-News18, the government has also invoked the provisions of the epidemic Act. Speaking to reporters, Kejriwal said that all public places, including malls, public and private offices will have to be mandatorily disinfected everyday.

"After reviewing the measures, we have put in place some more. We have sufficient beds for quarantine facility, under-construction hospitals are also being prepared for quarantine. Over 500 beds are ready for sick people.

Today we have declared this as an epidemic in delhi, public places, malls, shops, public and private offices have to be disinfected everyday," he said.

The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday advised against conducting the IPL tournament scheduled to begin on 29 March in light of the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in India. The number of cases in India on Thursday stood at 73 as various ministries took steps to curb the further spread of the disease.

In its weekly briefing on Thursday, the MEA said, "It is for the organizers to decide whether to go ahead with it or not. Our advice would be to not do it at this time but if they want to go ahead, it is their decision."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, amid the cases of coronavirus in India rising to 73 on Thursday, said that no Union minister will travel abroad in the coming days as part of the Centre's efforts to curb the spread of the pandemic in the country.

"The government is fully vigilant about the situation due to COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus. Across ministries and states, multiple steps have been proactively taken to ensure safety of all. These steps are wide-ranging, from suspension of Visas to augmenting healthcare capacities," he said in a series of tweets.

The BSE Sensex plunged over 2,919 points on Thursday in its biggest one-day fall in absolute terms as the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc on global markets. After nose diving over 3,204.30 points during the day, the 30-share index settled 2,919.26 points or 8.18 per cent lower at 32,778.14.

All travellers, including Indian nationals, arriving from or having visited China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain and Germany after 15 February will be quarantined for a maximum period of 14 days.

"This will come into effect from 12.00 GMT on 13 March at the port of departure," said Ministry of Health and Welfare.

Addressing the media on preparedness for COVID-19 pandemic, Luv Aggarwal, an official from the Health Ministry said, "Out of the 73 positive cases reported in India so far, 56 are Indians and 17 are foreigners."

One more person with travel history to Iran tested positive for COVID-19 in Ladakh on Thursday, taking the total number of cases in the Union Territory to three, a senior government official was quoted by PTI as saying.

His family members have been moved to the isolation centre at Heart Foundation Hospital here, they said.

The man was part of a group that had gone to Iran on a pilgrimage.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the ongoing budget session of the Maharashtra Legislature has been curtailed by a week and it will conclude on Saturday.

The session, which began on 24 February , was earlier scheduled till 20 March.

Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan spoke about all the measures and efforts taken by the government to prevent the spread of coronavirus in Lok Sabha on Thursday.

He urged local leaders to discourage large gatherings in public spaces and asked them to cooperated with the centre to ensure all preventive measures are taken. He told the Upper House that screening is currently being done in 30 airports across India and 15 labs have been set up to test for the virus.

Speaking on the coronavirus outbreak in the Lok Sabha, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday spoke about the precautionary measures taken up by the government to fight the spread of COVID-19 in India.

"229 out of 529 samples of Indians stranded in Iran have tested negative for coronavirus," Jaishankar said.

A 45-year-old person tested positive for coronavirus in Nagpur taking the total number of confirmed cases in Maharashtra to 11, officials said on Wednesday.

"A 45-year-old person tested positive for coronavirus. The patient is currently undergoing treatment in a special ward of IGMC Nagpur and has a travel history to the US," Nagpur District Magistrate and Collector Ravindra H Thakare told reporters in Mumbai.

The total number of positive cases of coronavirus in Maharashtra rose to 11, including two from Mumbai, eight from Pune and one from Nagpur.

After opening 34,472.50 points, Sensex dropped to 33,876.13. Meanwhile, Nifty tanked 470.35 pts to 9,988.05. Tata Steel, ONGC, State Bank of India (SBI) shares dipped over 8 percent while Reliance Industries fell over 7 percent.

Global shares too crumbled after US President Donald Trump said America will suspend all travel from Europe as he unveiled measures to contain the coronavirus epidemic that has resulted in a heavy human and economic toll worldwide.

Italy has shut all stores except for pharmacies and food shops in a bid to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus that has killed 827 in the country in just over two weeks.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced the latest wave of restrictions in a dramatic appeal to the nation that came with the country of 60 million battling its biggest crisis in generations.

Under pressure to respond to the novel coronavirus, President Donald Trump on Wednesday suspended all travel from Europe to the United States for 30 days starting on Friday in order to fight outbreak.

Trump said the travel restrictions did not apply to the United Kingdom. He did not provide a list of countries but said simply the restrictions applied to all of Europe.

The advisory issued by the Centre on Wednesday evening, issuing travel restrictions on visas for travellers, also said, "All incoming travellers, including Indian nationals, arriving from or having visited China, Italy, Iran, Korea, France, Spain and Germany after 15 February, 2020 shall be quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on 13 March 2020."

The Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday said that the global body had assessed that the outbreak of the novel coronavirus is a can be characterised as a pandemic.

"WHO’s mandate is public health. But we’re working with many partners across all sectors to mitigate the social and economic consequences of this #COVID19 pandemic," the statement was quoted as saying by ANI.

The Mizoram government formally sealed the state's borders with neighbouring countries and states, barring a few entry and exit points, to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus.

Two persons from Mumbai on Wednesday tested positive for coronavirus, taking the number of confirmed cases in Maharashtra to 10, chief minister Uddhav​ Thackeray said. Eight persons have tested positive in Pune, he said.

CDC Director Robert Redfield said that the coronavirus deaths in the US are now up to 31. With new deaths reported and the number of confirmed coronavirus cases exceeding 1,000, American lawmakers and health officials have set up containment zones and quarantine areas and sought to limit contact with those who might be infected.

Two patients admitted at a hospital in Mumbai have tested positive for the virus, taking the total number of cases in Maharashtra to seven. According to The Hindu, the two had travelled to Dubai with the same group as the Pune couple who has tested positive for the virus.

Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray held a review meeting with Pune divisional commissioner and district collector through video- conferencing to discuss the steps being taken to tackle the novel coronavirus.

A 53-year-old British woman hospitalised on the resort island of Bali has died from the coronavirus, Indonesia’s first recorded death from the disease, said officials.

The 45-year-old man who tested positive for coronavirus has recovered with results of his samples coming out negative and as of now there are no confirmed virus cases in Tamil Nadu, PTI quoted state Health Minister C Vijayabhaskar as saying.

The new coronavirus has killed 63 more people, raising the death toll to 354 in Iran, AP quoted a health ministry person as saying during a live televised briefing. The number of confirmed cases has risen to 9,000, said the AP report.

India prohibited entry of any international cruise ship, crew or passenger with a travel history to coronavirus-hit countries post 1 February, 2020 to its major ports till 31 March. The government said international cruise ships will be allowed only at ports having thermal screening facilities for passengers and crew members. If any passenger/crew member of cruise ships show symptoms of coronavirus, disembarking will not be permitted, it added.

The total number of coronavirus confirmed cases in India crossed 50 on Wednesday amid fresh confirmations of infections in Rajasthan. An 85-year-old man in Jaipur, who had returned from Dubai on 28 February, has tested positive for coronavirus, a state government official said on Wednesday, was the newest addition, taking the current toll to 60. Meanwhile, the health condition of an 85-year old woman being treated for COVID-19 at the isolation ward of the government medical college hospital in Kerala is serious, health officials said on Wednesday.

Eighteen more people have tested positive for coronavirus — eight in Kerala and two in Karnataka, five in Maharashtra and one in Jammu and Kashmir, as the number of such cases went up on Tuesday. Amid the COVID-19 scare, a combination of two anti-HIV drugs was used for the first time in India in the treatment of two patients. The health ministry said the total number of confirmed cases has risen to 50, adding the rest are being retested for confirmation. If the fresh cases declared by the state governments are taken into account, the figure goes up to 60.

India on Tuesday also barred entry of the nationals of three more countries — France, Germany and Spain — suspending the regular as well as e-Visas granted to them to date. "All regular (sticker) Visas/e-Visas granted to nationals of France, Germany and Spain and issued on or before 11 March and who have not yet entered India stand suspended with immediate effect," said a Bureau of Immigration notification issued late Tuesday night.

Regular visas, including e visas, granted to all foreign nationals who have travel history to these countries on or after 1 February and who have not yet entered India also stands suspended, it said.

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters that six new cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in the state, taking the total number of infections in the state to 17 on Tuesday. Keeping in mind the fresh rise in cases, Vijayan announced severe restrictions, including the closure of educational institutions and cinema houses till the month-end, in a bid to halt its further spread.

Vijayan said at least 1,116 people are under observation — 149 in isolation wards of various hospitals and 967 under home quarantine.

Late on Tuesday, Shailaja said two more confirmed cases were detected in Kerala with the parents of a three-year-old boy, who tested positive for COVID-19 in Kochi on Monday on the family's return from Italy, being the latest patients.

In Kerala, schools and colleges and cinemas will remain closed in the state till 31 March. Classes 1 to 7 of all schools — state, CBSE and ICSE boards — will remain shut and examinations which have begun for them will be put on hold. Examinations for Class 10, Class 12 and vocational higher secondary will, however, continue. Final examinations of Classes 8 and 9 also will proceed as usual.

Fourteen of the 21 Italian nationals and an Indian national, lodged in a quarantine camp at Indo-Tibetan Border Police's (ITBP) facility in Chhawla, had been infected with the coronavirus. The Italians were part of a group of 23 tourists who had visited Rajasthan last month. The driver accompanying them, — an Indian national — was also infected. On of the tourists of the group is currently quarantined in Jaipur after he tested positive. His wife was also infected and is under observation. 14 of them have now been sent to the Medanta hospital in Gurugram, Haryana.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date:

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