Coronavirus live updates on 19th March: Death toll in India rises to 4; no community spread so far


New Delhi: The coronavirus which had first emerged in China’s Wuhan city in December last year and has now spread to across many countries in the world. After China, the major affected countries are Iran and Italy. This month, even India witnessed a few cases, which soon rose rapidly. The Indian government is trying all possible measures to low down the spread of the virus in the country.

Punjab confirms first death from corona, toll reaches 4
Punjab on Thursday reported its first death from the novel coronavirus, taking the tally of those killed from the deadly virus to 4. “The total number of positive cases of COVID19 in India stands at 167, including 25 foreigners. Four deaths (1 each) in Delhi, Karnataka, Punjab and Maharashtra,” said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in a statement. According to official data provided by the Ministry of Health, as many as 15 people infected with the virus have been discharged after receiving treatment.

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18:50 IST: Stamp on hands of people who are advised to be in home quarantine, says Punjab minister
Punjab Local Bodies Minister Brahm Mohindra on Thursday said that the government will now put ‘home quarantine’ stamp on the palm of the people who have been advised home quarantine. “We will now put ‘Home quarantine’ stamping on the reverse side of the palm of the people who have been advised home quarantine,” Mohindra told reporters here. Punjab on Thursday reported its first death from the novel coronavirus, taking the tally of those killed from the deadly virus to 4.

18:33 IST: Not more than 20 people will be allowed to gather at one place: Delhi CM
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said that not more than 20 people will be allowed to gather at any place for social, cultural, religious, academics, seminars, conferences purposes in the state.

“Not more than 20 people will be allowed to gather at any place for social, cultural, religious, academics, seminars, conferences purposes in the state,” said Kejriwal at a press conference. On March 16, he had said that gathering with more than 50 persons excluding weddings will not be allowed in the capital.
The Chief Minister also said, “We have decided to close restaurants in Delhi till March 31.”

“While eating at restaurants will be prohibited but take away of foods or delivery of food will continue,” he said.

18:27 IST: Eight cases of COVID-19 reported from Ladakh
Eight cases of COVID-19, including one Army Jawan, have been reported from Ladakh as on Thursday. “COVID-19 has reached Ladakh through pilgrims who returned from Iran. The administration has taken several steps. All Iran returnees, and their relatives, contacts and other suspected cases number 284. Of these 208 persons are in home quarantine and are being monitored daily by health workers,” the administration of Ladakh said in a release. “Of this, 150 have completed the mandatory 14 days. 58 persons are quarantined in hospitals and 18 persons (including positive cases) are in hospitals in isolation. No other person with COVID-19 symptoms has reported to the hospitals or been found on random verifications in the identified sensitive areas. These checks shall continue,” it added.

18:17 IST: Chhattisgarh restricts entry of passenger buses from other states
The state government on Thursday restricted the entry of passenger buses coming from other states into Chhattisgarh with immediate effect.
“Operation of all passenger vehicles with All India Tourist Permit has also been stopped till further orders,” the government said. Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel earlier today said that Section 144 of CrPC has been imposed in Raipur and all other municipal corporation areas in the state to prohibit large gatherings in order to contain the spread of coronavirus.

18:15 IST: Seven Indonesians tested positive for Coronavirus in Telangana, count climbs to 13
Seven more people were tested positive for Covid-19 in Telangana on Thursday, taking the total number of cases in the state to 13.
All seven people are Indonesian nationals, who had previously travelled from New Delhi to Ramagundem in Telangana. All seven individuals are currently undergoing treatment at the state-run Gandhi Hospital.

Meanwhile, a high-level meeting has been conducted by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao at the Pragathi Bhavan, regarding the measures to be taken against the rising cases of the lethal infection.

17:44 IST: State govts to issue directions for kids, senior citizens to stay at home: Centre on COVID-19
The Government of India on Thursday said that all state governments shall issue appropriate directions so that all children below 10 years and citizens above 65 (other than for medical assistance) except for public representatives /government servants/medical professionals are advised to remain at home in the view of coronavirus outbreak. The government said all children below 10 should be advised to stay at home and not to venture out. The Centre also said that state governments are being requested to enforce work for home for private-sector employees except those working in emergency/essential services.

17:36 IST: BMC orders closure of shops in parts of Mumbai for crowd control
The Brihanmumbai Municipal corporation (BMC) on Thursday ordered the closure of shops on different roads of the city on alternate days till further orders in view of COVID-19 pandemic.

In exercise of the power conferred under section 2,3 and 4 of the Epidemic Disease Act 1897, the Assistant Municipal Commissioner of BMC has ordered the closure of shops on alternate days of the week in Prabhadevi, Worli and Lower Parel in order to avoid crowding and implement social distancing. All shops and establishments with the exception of medical stores, grocery shops, fuel stations and banks will be covered in this order.

17:32 IST: Did not issue any release regarding movement restriction, says govt
The government on Thursday refuted reports regarding any restriction on the movement of people in the aftermath of coronavirus outbreak. “Claim: A Press Release regarding movement restriction is widely getting circulated on #WhatsApp claiming to be of Government of India. #PIBFactCheck: No such Press Release has been issued by @PMOIndia,” PIB tweeted. Several state governments have issued directions to shut down malls, gyms and other places of public gathering in order to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Many airlines including Air India and Vistara have cancelled their flights on international routes.

17:29 IST: Delhi Schools to remain closed for teaching, non-teaching staff till Mar 31
All schools will remain closed for teaching and non-teaching staff and heads of schools from March 19 to 31 in view of ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Delhi Government said on Thursday. The evaluation work of annual examination is to be carried by concerned teachers from their homes, said the government. The move comes soon after all examinations were postponed in schools and they were closed for students till March 31. The total number of coronavirus cases in the country reached 169. No fatality has been reported in the last 24 hours in the country. Three people have so far died of the infection in the country.

17:20 IST: IndiGo cancels Chandigarh-Dubai flights till March 30
India’s largest carrier IndiGo on Thursday announced a suspension of its flights between Chandigarh to Dubai till March 30 in view of coronavirus outbreak.

“Our flight IndiGo 6E 55 (Chandigarh to Dubai) stands cancelled till March 30 and flight IndiGo 6E 56 (Chandigarh to Dubai) stands cancelled till March 29 due to coronavirus outbreak,” the IndiGo tweeted. The airline has grounded about 16 planes out of its total fleet of 260 aircraft and is asking the employees to take 10 to 20 per cent salary cuts as it grapples with the impact of coronavirus on domestic and international flights.

No community spread of coronavirus in India so far: ICMR
Over 820 samples taken for a random sampling study for community transmission of coronavirus have tested negative, signifying the community spread of the disease has not taken place in the country so far, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director-General Balram Bhargava on Thursday.

“We did a random sampling study of community transmission of about 820 samples from 50 sites. They have come negative. We will scale it up. According to this study community spread has not happened,” Bhargava told ANI. According to a release by the ICMR, a total of 826 samples of the people suffering from severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) /influenza-like illnesses have been tested at the sites. “None of the samples was found positive,” it said.

16:53 IST: All educational institutes to be closed till March 31: Andhra Education Minister
In the wake of coronavirus scare, Education Minister Adimulapu Suresh on Thursday announced that all educational institutions will be closed till March 31.

“All educational institutes in the state will be closed till March 31 to prevent and contain the spread of coronavirus,” Suresh said. He also said, “The order has also been issued to close all colleges and universities, including private universities, deemed universities and central institutes.” All hostels will also be shut down and the students have been asked to go to their hometowns, he added.

16:49 IST: Several departments in hospitals in Chandigarh to remain closed till Mar 31
All departments, except gynecology, pediatrics, trauma, and medicine, in hospitals here will remain closed till March 31 in the view of coronavirus outbreak.
Sports complexes will also remain closed till March 31, according to Manoj Parida, Adviser to Administrator Department of Public Relations, Chandigarh. Parida said that Panchayat Bhavan and Park View Hotel will now be available for quarantine facilities.
So far, a total of 169 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the country. Three persons have died from the disease.

16:25 IST: Indian Mission sets up wellness facility in Qom to take care of COVID-infected Indian pilgrims
The India Mission, in collaboration with health authorities here, has set up a wellness facility in Qom to take care of coronavirus-infected pilgrims.
“The Embassy in cooperation with health authorities in #Qom set up a wellness facility to take care of and undertake 24/7 supervision of infected Indian pilgrims,” the Embassy of India in Iran tweeted on Thursday. “The hygienic facility, surrounded by greenery, has ample space for the pilgrims to walk around. Two full-time and eight part-time Indian student volunteers are helping out dedicated Iranian medical personnel in the effort,” it added.

16:23 IST: Hotels, restaurants in Nainital to remain shut between March 21-31
All hotels and restaurants in the town will remain shut between March 21 and 31 in a bid to counter the spread of coronavirus pandemic.

“To ensure the safety of people in Nainital in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nainital Hotels & Restaurants Association has decided to shut down all hotels from March 21 to 31. The future course of action will be decided as the situation unfolds,” Praveen Sharma, Executive member of Northern India Hotels and Restaurant Association told ANI. India on Thursday reported 13 fresh cases of coronavirus, raising the number of infected people to 169 in the country. Three people have died due to COVID-19 in the country so far.

16:27 IST: Over 1.5 lakh passengers screened for coronavirus in TN, 2 tested positive
As many as 1,94,236 passengers were screened here and so far only two persons were tested positive in Tamil Nadu for deadly coronavirus, said Tamil Nadu Health Minister Vijayabasker on Thursday. “COVID-19 Tamil Nadu Status: Screened Passengers- 194236, Under Followup – 3481, Beds in Isolation Wards – 1120, Current Admissions – 39, Samples tested – 320 (Negative-232, Positive – 2 (1 discharged), Under process- 86),” Vijayabasker tweeted. In the backdrop of coronavirus pandemic, several churches located in the city remain closed on Thursday.

16:20 IST: SpiceJet to suspend most international flights due to COVID-19
In view of coronavirus outbreak, air carrier SpiceJet on Thursday announced to suspend the majority of its international operations from March 21 till April 30. The suspended flights will be resumed as soon as the situation normalises. “We are forced to temporarily suspend the majority of our international operations from March 21 till April 30. We will resume the suspended flights as soon as the situation normalises,” said the SpiceJet in a statement.

16:13 IST: COVID-19: Noida to have 2 new isolation wards
Authorities have decided to set up two new isolation wards in Noida as coronavirus cases in Gautam Buddha Nagar touched four on Thursday. “In view of the COVID-19 cases reported from Gautam Buddha Nagar, two new isolation wards will be set up at Asian Institute of Medical Science in Sector 40 and Mitra Hospital in Sector 35 in Noida,” said District Magistrate Gautam Buddha Nagar on Thursday. In order to contain the virus, the Noida Authority has announced a ban on all public hearings and community events till April 10 to prevent the spread of the lethal infection.

16:06 IST: CII proposes action points for strengthening the healthcare, pharma sectors amid COVID-19 crisis
The Confederation of India Industry (CII) said on Thursday that hospitals in larger cities and district hospitals in smaller cities and towns should be designated as COVID hospital for testing and isolation of patients. The private sector can support the government in medical facilities, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, it said.
CII further suggested the adoption of widescale E-ICU/teleconsultation to tackle the spread of COVID-19, especially in its phase three and four.

15:35 IST: Coronavirus scare: East Coast Railway cancels 10 trains
The East Coast Railway (EoCR) on Wednesday cancelled five pairs of trains (a total of 10 trains) and appealed to passengers to avoid non-essential travel due to the pandemic coronavirus.

“Due to Poor Patronisation, five pairs ( 10 trains) of trains running from various places over East Coast Railway have been cancelled,” EoCR said in a statement. A disinfection drive was also carried out at the Bhubaneswar Coaching Depot in Odisha as a precautionary measure against the spread of the virus.

13:34 IST: Two more COVID-19 cases in Lucknow, count climbs to five

Two more persons have tested positive for COVID-19 from Lucknow on Thursday, taking the tally of confirmed cases in the city to five.

According to Sudhir Singh, COVID-19 isolation ward in-charge, King George’s Medical University, all coronavirus patients are in stable conditions. Earlier today, India reported 13 fresh cases of coronavirus, taking the tally to 169 in the country. According to official data provided by the Ministry of Health, as many as 15 people infected with the virus have been discharged after receiving treatment.

12:30 IST: Coronavirus: 84 flights cancelled at Chennai airport
The outbreak of the coronavirus has left its impact on the travel industry. On Thursday, 84 flights were cancelled at Chennai airport due to lack of passengers. Out of 84 flights, 50 were international flights and 34 were domestic. It is expected that the cancellation of flights may increase in the coming days as the cases of the deadly virus across the globe are increasing rapidly.

12:00 IST: Two more Coronavirus cases in Maharashtra, count climbs to 47
Two more persons have tested positive for COVID-19 in Maharashtra on Thursday, taking the tally of total confirmed cases in the state to 47. While the first case is of a 22-year-old from Mumbai who had a travel history to the United Kingdom, the second case is of a 49-year-old woman from Ulhasnagar with a travel history to Dubai. Till now, the state has reported one death from the disease.

11:46 IST: Coronavirus cases spike in Sindh, Balochistan, KPK as Pak ignores provinces
Pakistan’s northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa reported two deaths from the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, while the provinces of Sindh and Balochistan have registered 208 and 23 cases of the infection respectively, prompting fears of an exponential surge in cases in the country bordering Iran.

11:32 IST: Rs 60 crore fund set up by Uttarakhand to combat coronavirus
A special fund of Rs 60 crore has been set up by the Uttarakhand government to combat the coronavirus pandemic. While Rs 50 crores for the fund have come from the state government, Rs 10 crore contribution has been provided by the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. According to Additional Secretary, Health, Yugal Kishor Pant, “Three new ICUs will be constructed in a week in Dehradun using this fund for treatment of COVID-19 cases. Currently, there are 250 ICU beds in the state, which will be increased.”

COVID-19: Ganga Aarti at Haridwar to be live-streamed for devotees
In the backdrop of coronavirus pandemic, the Ganga-Aarti at the ‘Har Ki Pauri’ Ghat in Haridwar will be live-streamed for the devotees.

11:10 IST: One more COVID-19 case in Karnataka, count climbs to 15
One more person has tested positive for coronavirus in Kodagu on Thursday, taking the tally of confirmed cases in the state to 15. The man has a travel history to Saudi Arabia. “One person has tested positive for #COVID19 in Kodagu today; he has travel history to Saudi Arabia. He is being treated in an isolation hospital. Total number of positive cases reaches 15 in the state,” said B Sriramulu, Karnataka Health Minister.

Indian Railways cancels 168 trains
In the backdrop of low passenger foot-fall due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Indian Railways on Thursday announced cancellation of 168 trains across various zones in the country.

10:36 IST: Second coronavirus case in Andhra Pradesh confirmed
Andhra Pradesh reported the second case of coronavirus, the state government confirmed on Thursday. The patient had a travel history to London and had returned to India on March 15. After showing symptoms of the coronavirus such as cold, cough and fever, the man was admitted to a hospital in Ongole where he was kept in isolation. After conducting an examination, his samples were sent to Virology Lab at Tirupati, where it tested positive.

10:25 IST: With 13 fresh cases, India coronavirus tally reached 169
India on Thursday reported 13 fresh cases of coronavirus, taking the tally of infected people to 169 in the country. According to official data provided by the Ministry of Health, as many as 15 people infected with the virus have been discharged after receiving treatment. No fatality has been reported in the last 24 hours in the country.

10:20 IST: Indian-origin researcher Arinjay Banerjee among scientists who isolated COVID-19 virus strain
Indian-origin postdoctoral researcher Arinjay Banerjee was part of a team of Canadian scientists that managed to isolate the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the agent responsible for the outbreak of COVID-19 that has infected more than 200,000 globally.

10:11 IST: To tackle protective gear shortage, AIIMS doctors use self-made hand sanitisers, plastic masks
Amid the rising cases of coronavirus in the national capital, medical experts at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here are using hand sanitizers and plastic face shields, which they have made themselves, as makeshift Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) while they look after COVID-19 patients. The doctors of the microbiology department have made hand sanitisers and face shields (masks) in their laboratory as they are witnessing the shortage of personal protective gears in the hospital.


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