Coronavirus live updates on 20th March: Offices, non-essential shops to remain closed in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur till March 31

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New Delhi: 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. Also, PM Modi announced yesterday of “Janta Curfew” on March 22, which will start at 7 am to 9 pm.

Follow live updates:
19:01 IST: COVID-19: Public transport restricted in Jammu
In addition to an order dated March 15, District Magistrate of Jammu said that all modes of mass public transport shall cease to ply in the district till further orders in the view of fatal COVID-19 spread in the country.
“In continuation of order dated 15 March, all modes of mass public transport shall cease to ply in district till further orders except for state road transport corporation buses on listed routes for Govt employees and travellers in emergency,” the order read.

18:56 IST: China pledges to help India in fighting Covid-19
Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong on Friday said that China will cooperate with India in fighting the Covid-19.
China held a video conference with Eurasian and South Asian countries on ways and means to combat the deadly coronavirus. A delegation of Indian officials from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of External Affairs joined in. “China held Video Conference on Covid-19 with Eurasian and South Asia Region. Indian officials and scientists from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of External Affairs discussed efforts in combating epidemic with Chinese counterparts,” Sun said.

18:54 IST: UP govt to sanitise Lucknow, Noida and Kanpur; appeals people to postpone religious, cultural gatherings
The Uttar Pradesh government on Friday decided to sanitise Lucknow, Noida and Kanpur as a precautionary measure to fight against coronavirus, officials said.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has appealed to people to postpone all religious, spiritual, social, cultural, and auspicious programmes till April 2 in the state. According to the Union Health Ministry, the number of people infected with the virus in Uttar Pradesh stands at 22, including one foreign national as of Friday.

18:40 IST: All offices, institutions to remain closed in Lucknow till March 23
In the view of surging cases of COVID-19 in the country, the Lucknow administration on Friday directed all offices and institutions to remain closed till March 23 in Khurram Nagar where four cases of deadly virus including singer Kanika Kapoor have been reported.
However, hospitals, pharmacists, medical stores, path labs and other services under the Essential Commodities Act have been exempted from the order. “All offices, institutions (except hospitals, pharmacists, medical stores, path labs, services under Essential Commodities Act) in the areas of Khurram Nagar to remain closed till March 23,” Lucknow District Magistrate Abhishek Prakash said in a written order.
The order read that the violation of the same will attract legal proceedings under Section 188 of IPC.

18:23 IST: Armed forces is ready with quarantine facilities in 4 more cities to tackle coronavirus cases
Armed forces have made massive arrangements in India’s four more cities where facilities of Army can be transformed into quarantine camps to tackle novel coronavirus cases.
They are ready with all quarantine facilities for almost 900-1,000 people in four cities- Jaisalmer, Visakhapatnam, Jodhpur and Gorakhpur. According to the Indian Army, the capacity of these facilities can be increased in short notice.
Brigadier Anupam Sharma, Nodal officer of defence ministry regarding COVID-19 said that the Indian Army is in sync with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of External Affairs in tackling the coronavirus outbreak through the country.
“Currently, there are four facilities of Army functioning as quarantine camps in Jaisalmer, Manesar, Hindon and Mumbai. There are four facilities at Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Visakhapatnam, and Gorakhpur which can be activated on short notice if requirement emerge,” he said.

18:05 IST: COVID-19: Uttarakhand bans entry of foreign, domestic tourists
The Uttarakhand government on Friday banned the entry of both domestic as well as foreign tourists to the state till further orders as a precautionary measure in view of coronavirus outbreak.
An order issued by Secretary Medical Health and Family Welfare Nitesh Jha stated, “In the context of COVID-19 outbreak, the state of Uttarakhand is taking all precautions and issuing advisories to the public at large to avoid any non-essential travel.” “Therefore, a need is being felt to restrict entry of both foreign and domestic tourists to prevent the spread of virus in the state. In exercise of the powers conferred by Uttarakhand Epidemic Diseases, COVID-19 regulations 2020, under the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897, the entry of both foreign and domestic is hereby banned in Uttarkhand until further orders,” it said.

 

17:08 IST: Positive cases of COVID-19 spike to 206 in India
A total of 206 people have been tested positive for novel coronavirus in India so far, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Friday.

“A total of 206 positive cases have been reported in the country so far. More than 6,700 contacts of them are being monitored. Four deaths took place. They were all over 64 years of age and had co-morbidity due to which they were vulnerable,” said Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary of Health Ministry, in a press briefing. He emphasised on the importance of social distancing as a measure to slow down the transmission of the deadly virus.

“Contact tracing is our immediate identified protocol. It begins as soon as we get to know of a case. All actions under our containment begin too,” he said. Agarwal urged everyone in the society to use the toll-free number 1075 to seek information and steer clear of all kinds of misinformation.

16:59 IST: Offices, non-essential shops to remain closed in Mumbai, Pune till and Nagpur March 31

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday announced that all offices and shops apart from essential services will remain closed till March 31 in major cities of the state including Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur.

“In Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Nagpur – which have international airports, all shops (other than essentials) and offices to remain closed till March 31, 2020,” Thackeray said today in his address to the state. “The state government has ordered the complete shutdown in Mumbai Metropolitan Region, except essential services and public transport. This is not a holiday, avoid crowding. Banks to remain open in the state,” he said.

Health Minister Rajesh Tope informed that 52 cases have tested positive so far in the state including three new cases. “One person has been tested positive for COVID19 in Pimpri-Chinchwad today taking the total number of positive cases from Pune to 20. The person has travel history to the Philippines. One from Mumbai, one from Pune and one from Pimpri Chinchwad,” he said.

According to the union health ministry, a total of 206 positive cases have been reported in the country so far.

16:16 IST: Government refutes rumours about ‘complete lockdown’ in country

The government on Friday refuted rumours about a “complete lockdown” of the country amid COVID-19 fears.

According to the Press Information Bureau (PIB), an audio clip of a fake phone conversation between two individuals discussing the “complete lockdown” of the country is being shared widely on WhatsApp. “An audio clip of a #FAKE phone conversation between two individuals discussing “complete lockdown” of the country is being shared widely on #WhatsApp. The audio clip is FAKE and work of miscreants. Please do not forward it. #IndiaFightsCorona #CoronavirusPandemic,” PIB tweeted.

The total number of Covid-19 cases in India has risen to 206, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research.

15:47 IST: Bollywood singer Kanika Kapoor tests positive for coronavirus
Bollywood singer Kanika Kapoor on Friday announced that she has tested positive for the coronavirus. The actor took to Instagram on Friday to share her health condition. “For the past 4 days I have had signs of flu, I got myself tested and it came positive for Covid-19. My family and I are in complete quarantine now and following medical advice on how to move forward,” said Kapoor in the post. The ‘Baby Doll’ singer also revealed that contact mapping of people who have been in touch with her is also underway.

14:58 IST: School exams cancelled in Maharashtra
In the wake of coronavirus pandemic, Maharashtra Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad on Friday announced that all exams of class 1 to 8 have been cancelled and all students will be promoted to next classes without the examinations. “Exams for class 9th and 11th will be conducted after April 15, 2020. Teachers, except of class 10th, can work from home. Two papers of class 10th are left and these papers will take place as per the schedule. These decisions are for SSC Board,” said Gaikwad. Meanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that in Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Nagpur – which have international airports, all shops (other than essentials) and offices will remain closed till March 31, 2020.

14:32 IST: Coronavirus could have been stopped at Wuhan: Trump amid concerns that countries part of OBOR are worst hit
Coronavirus could have been stopped at Wuhan, at its place of origin, said US President Donald Trump amid concerns that countries which are part of China’s flagship initiative ‘One Belt One Road’, are worst affected by the virus.

Trump has ramped up his targeting of the Chinese government for the spread of the virus in most parts of the world and has claimed over 10,500. This is a significant change from Trump’s earlier stance where he has supported Chinese President Xi Jinping’s handling of the outbreak. “Thank you all for being here and we continue our relentless effort to defeat the Chinese virus,” Trump said at his combative appearance before reporters at the White House, Washington Post reported.

14:15 IST: COVID-19: Mother Dairy to ensure no disruption of milk supply in Delhi-NCR
Milk brand Mother Dairy on Friday stated that it has taken adequate measures to ensure that there would be no disruption in the supply of milk or other products across Delhi and NCR in the wake of coronavirus outbreak.

“We welcome Prime Minister’s appeal to exercise restraint from panic buying of essential food items such as milk and that there will be no disruption in the supply of the same. At Mother Dairy, we will work relentlessly and leave no stone unturned to ensure that the people of Delhi don’t face any shortage of milk. We are fully geared up to ensure that every citizen of NCR is provided with milk in the most hygienic condition,” a release stated. The spokesperson of the Mother Dairy Fruit and Vegetable Pvt. Ltd. assured that proper precaution is being taken and is maintaining strict hygiene protocols.

12:42 IST: Man who returned from Saudi Arabia tests positive for COVID-19 in Visakhapatnam
A man who returned recently from Saudi Arabia has tested positive for COVID-19 in Visakhapatnam, said Andhra Pradesh Health Minister, Alla Kali Krishna Srinivas.
With this, the total number of positive cases in the state has climbed to three. Earlier, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy had held a high-level meeting on the prevention of the spread of coronavirus and appealed to the people not to panic and take precautionary measures.

12:29 IST: No community spread of coronavirus in India, says Harsh Vardhan

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said here on Friday that there was no community spread of coronavirus in the country and a defined protocol exists about who needs to go for a test.
Answering supplementaries during the question hour in Lok Sabha, the minister said the scientists in the country were doing their own research about coronavirus and were also in touch with their counterparts in other countries. “There is a very defined protocol about who needs to be tested,” the minister said. He said those with symptoms and travel history need to go for tests and the ministry was also doing a detailed contact tracing.

12:17 IST: Three more COVID-19 cases in Gujarat
Three more persons have tested positive for COVID-19 in Gujarat on Friday, while two are from Ahmedabad the third one is from Vadodara, said Jayanti Ravi, Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Gujarat Government. “The person in Vadodara had a history of travel to Spain, while the other two people in Ahmedabad had travelled to Finland and New York,” Ravi said. According to official data, the total number of COVID-19 cases in India has climbed to 195. As many as 19 people have been cured of the infection which has claimed over 10,000 lives globally.

12:11 IST: Pakistan reports third coronavirus death
Pakistan on Friday reported its third death from coronavirus as a 77-year-old coronavirus patient died in Sindh, confirmed Sindh health minister Dr. Azra Fazal Pechuho.
The patient also had co-morbid conditions including diabetes and hypertension. He was a cancer survivor, Dawn reported. The number of coronavirus cases in the country has reached 451. The first two fatalities from the infection were reported in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Prime Minister Imran Khan has decided to form a joint parliamentary committee of treasury and opposition members to seek opposition’s support in the fight against novel coronavirus.

India reports 26 new COVID-19 cases, tally reaches 195
With 26 more people testing positive for coronavirus, the total number of Covid-19 cases in India has now climbed up to 195, union health ministry said on Friday morning.

The total number of active COVID-19 cases across India is 171 with the fourth death due to the infection being recorded in the country from Punjab yesterday. As many as 19 people have been cured of the lethal infection which has claimed over 10,000 lives globally.

Maharashtra remains the worst-hit state from coronavirus with 47 people confirmed positive for COVID-19 including three foreign nationals. As many as 28 cases have been reported in Kerala, where the first case of coronavirus was reported. As many as 17 cases of coronavirus have been reported from Delhi including one foreign national.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh which borders the national capital has 19 coronavirus cases. According to official data, nine people have been discharged from the hospital.
As many as six states including West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Chandigarh, and Odisha reported one case each. As per official data, no new case was reported in Haryana and Karnataka where respective tallies stand at 17 and 15.

Newly carved union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh reported four and 10 cases of the virus respectively. Andhra Pradesh reported one new case yesterday, taking the number of infected people in the state to two. The health ministry has issued an advisory on measures to enforce social distancing and suggesting shut down of all educational institutions gymnasiums, museums, cultural and social centres, swimming pools and theatres till March 31. The government has also tightened the lockdown on the spread of coronavirus cases with travel restrictions prohibiting entry of all passengers from the European Union, European Free Trade Association, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Malaysia, Philippines and Afghanistan.

11:12 IST: With coronavirus tally at 53, Sri Lanka declares curfew till March 23
Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Friday declared island-wide curfew in the country till March 23 morning as a part of preventive measure to contain the coronavirus spread.
The island nation has reported 53 cases so far. “Island-wide curfew declared from 6 pm today (20) till 6 am Monday (23),” Rajapaksa tweeted.

10:21 IST: COVID-19 : Kerala govt announces Rs 20,000 crore financial package
In the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kerala government has announced a package of Rs 20,000 crore to tide over the present crisis. “In the next two months, families who come under the Kudumbasree schemes will get a loan of Rs. 2000 crore,” said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan during a press conference here on Thursday. “Rs 2000 crore will be distributed under the rural employment guarantee scheme during April and May. Social security pensions will be paid in March,” said Vijayan.

“Two months of pension will be deposited together and an amount of Rs 1320 crore will be allotted for this purpose. Rs. 1000 will be given to the families with financial difficulties who do not avail of the social security pension,” he added.

09:36 IST: Two trainee IFS officers tested positive for COVID-19
Two more trainee Indian Forest Service (IFS) officers have been tested positive for COVID-19 in Dehradun on Thursday evening, informed officials of Uttarakhand health department.
On March 15, a trainee IFS officer, who returned from Spain, was found positive for the deadly virus. Following which, DG Health Dr Amita Uprati had given orders to lock down the Indira Gandhi National Forest Research Institute till March 31. In the letter sent to the District Magistrate, Uprati has ordered for a closure of the research center under the Epidemic Diseases Act of 1897.

08:31 IST: COVID-19 : Section 144 to be imposed in urban areas, says Chhattisgarh CM
In order to help prevent the spread of coronavirus infection, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said on Thursday that Section 144 will be enforced in all the urban areas.
He alos said that essential supplies including medicines and ration would be ensured in sufficient. Baghel directed officials to ensure proper measures for prevention of coronavirus, in the meeting of State Disaster Relief Authority held at his residence. The Chief Minister gave detailed instructions to all the District Collectors and Superintendent of Police via video conferencing, read a official statement. Further, the Chief Minister ordered the postponement all the exams including the Chhattisgarh Board exams.

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