Coronavirus live updates on 21st March: PM Modi tells pharma firms to boost production


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.

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PM Modi tells pharma firms to boost production
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday held a video conference with representatives of pharma companies and told them that this was the time to boost production.
The companies assured Prime Minister Modi that India has enough supplies of all essential pharma commodities and there is no reason to worry. Chemists and pharma companies also gave an assurance to the Prime Minister that they will work on this crisis with the government to ensure that supply chains remain working 24/7 and the nation comes first for them.

This meeting assumes significance as the total number of positive cases of coronavirus in the country has climbed to 283.

19:17 IST: Telangana coronavirus cases rise to 21
Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], Mar 21 (ANI): Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao on Saturday said that the number of COVID-19 positive cases in the state stands at 21.

“Since March 1, over 20,000 passengers have come to Hyderabad from outside. We have asked all the concerned officials to identify the passengers who came from outside and inspect them. Till now, we have identified over 11,000 people and inspections are being conducted. Over 700 persons have been found symptomatic,” the Chief Minister said. “We have set up 5274 surveillance teams to monitor the people who came from foreign countries. Till now 21 people have tested COVID-19 positive in our state. We have also set up 52 check posts at internal borders of the state for conducting checking. We are appealing to all the people who have come from foreign countries should listen to the government and should undergo tests,” he added. Rao further expressed support to the Janata Curfew initiative launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

18:55 IST: To avoid crowding of stations, Indian Railways relaxes ticket refund policy
In the wake of Covid-19, Indian Railways has decided to relax its refund policy for tickets booked from its counters. According to the press release issued by South Western Railways, passengers cancelling their ticket scheduled between March 21 to April 15 can file for a refund up to 30 days from the date of journey. Earlier this period was only for three days. If a ticket scheduled between March 21 to April 15 is cancelled by Indian Railways, passengers can claim for a refund across counters up to 45 days from the date of journey.

18:45 IST: Over 2,000 vehicles sanitised at Delhi’s East Vinod Nagar depot
In view of the spread of COVID-19, over 2,000 vehicles including cabs have been sanitised in the national capital’s East Vinod Nagar depot.
The sanitisation process, which is free of cost, had been set up creating awareness and safety of the general public about coronavirus. Mukesh, an autorickshaw driver, was upbeat about the initiative of the Delhi government.

18:14 IST: 3 more COVID-19 positive cases surface in Mohali
Three more positive cases of COVID-19 surfaced in Mohali today; in all, there are now 4 confirmed cases at Mohali.
All the affected patients are contacts of previously confirmed cases or with travel history to the UK. All of them are under hospital quarantine and their contacts are under isolation and observation. A 74-year-old woman, sister of the previous 69-year-old woman who tested positive had returned from the UK, is in isolation at Fortis Hospital.
The second case is of a 28-year-old woman, a contact of a positive case of Chandigarh and employee of four-wheeler Agency. She is admitted in Civil Hospital Phase 6, Mohali.
The third case is of a 42-year-old woman who is a resident of sector 69 who is admitted to GH-16 Chandigarh. She had also returned from the UK on March 12.

17:36 IST: 111 labs for testing coronavirus will be functional across India from today: Health Ministry
A total of 111 labs for testing coronavirus across the country will be functional from today, said Lav Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry, on Saturday.

“Dr Balram Bhargava, Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research, has said that 111 labs for COVID19 diagnosis will be functional by today evening,” said Aggarwal at a press conference here. On the private labs offering COVID19 testing, he said, “a detailed order will be released on the matter by today evening.”

He also said, “Today 262 people from Rome of which mostly are students will come. They will be kept in quarantine centres as per the protocol.”

1,600 Indians and people from other countries have till date been kept in quarantine centres in India, he added. “We should not just do testing for fashion or confidence-building measure,” the Joint Secretary said while adding that “it is very important to understand that testing should be done as per the protocol defined for testing.”

Aggarwal also said that the states have been asked to use the National Health Mission funds for their health sector preparedness. “As of today, we are contact-tracing around 7,000 cases. Once we get factual information on community transmission cases we will let people know,” he added. The total number of positive cases of coronavirus has climbed to 271, said the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Saturday.

17:20 IST: Janta curfew: 50 pc buses to be off Delhi roads tomorrow
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday announced that 50 per cent buses in the national capital will not function tomorrow due to ‘Janta Curfew’.
“Since the Delhi Metro services will not be available tomorrow, we have decided to ply but only 50 per cent of total DTC buses during the ‘Janta Curfew’. There may be many emergency cases, where it becomes necessary to step out. Hence, we have taken this decision,” he said in a video message. Metro services will also remain shut on March 22 in view of ‘Janta curfew’, proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) said on Friday.

17:10 IST: ‘Never forget – precautions not panic’: PM appeals countrymen on COVID-19
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday urged the countrymen not to panic in wake of coronavirus spread and take precautions to prevent any risk to their lives from the lethal infection. “Never forget – precautions not panic! It is not only important to be home but also remain in the town/ city where you are. Unnecessary travel will not help you or others. In these times, every small effort on our part will leave a big impact,” said Prime Minister Modi in a tweet. He further requested people in home quarantine to follow the advise of doctors and authorities in order to protect their friends and family.

17:05 IST: Positive COVID-19 cases mounts to 271
The total number of positive cases of coronavirus has climbed to 271, said the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Saturday.
As per an update by the Ministry of Health, “The total number of cases including foreign nationals is 271 and out of which 22 people have recovered.” Four people have died including one each in Delhi, Karnataka, Punjab and Maharashtra.

According to a recent breakup, of the number of positive cases of coronavirus, by the Ministry, till now Delhi has 25, Karnatka has 15, Andhra Pradesh has 3, Chhattisgarh has 1, Gujarat has 7, Haryana has 3 and Himachal Pradesh has 2 positive cases of coronavirus.

16:45 IST: Pune petrol pumps to operate from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
Amid Covid-19 scare, all petrol pumps in Pune will remain open from 08:00 am to 04:00 pm from March 21 to March 31.

While speaking to ANI, the Vice President of Pune Petrol Dealers’ Association, Sagar Rukari said, “Petrol pumps in Pune will be open from 08:00 am to 04:00 pm. We have requested people to not crowd petrol pumps if they do not necessarily require petrol or diesel.” Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday had 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.

12 passengers tested positive for COVID-19 , says Indian Railways
Twelve people, who have travelled by two different trains recently, have been tested positive for coronavirus, said the Railway Ministry on Saturday.

While eight of the 12 passengers had travelled from Delhi to Ramagundam on AP Sampark Kranti Express on March 13, four had travelled on Godan Express from Mumbai to Jabalpur on 16th March. The ministry has asked people not to travel on passenger and long-distance trains unless absolutely necessary.

“Railways has found that 4 passengers travelling on Godan Express (Train 11055) from Mumbai to Jabalpur on 16th March in B1 Coach have been tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday.They came to India from Dubai last week. All concerned have been alerted to take necessary action,” tweeted the Railways ministry.

“8 passengers who had travelled on AP Sampark Kranti Express from Delhi to Ramagundam on 13th March have tested positive of COVID-19 yesterday. Passengers are advised to avoid non-essential travel for the safety of fellow citizens,” it added.

Moreover, the ministry said two passengers who were marked mandatory quarantine were deboarded after they were found to be travelling Rajdhani train between Bengaluru and Delhi today.


15:57 IST: PIA suspends international flights amid coronavirus crisis
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) on Saturday suspended all international flights till March 28 as coronavirus cases in the country reached 501. A spokesperson for the PIA confirmed that the national carrier has decided to suspend all international flights on directives from the government, Dawn reported. According to the spokesperson, the decision will become effective at 8 pm on March 21 and international flights will resume on March 28.

15:50 IST: Singapore reports first two coronavirus deaths
Singapore on Saturday reported its first two fatalities due to coronavirus in the country. A 75-year-old Singaporean woman with a history of chronic heart disease and hypertension passed away at 7:52 am, The Straits Times reported. Known as Case 90, she was linked to the cluster at The Life Church and Missions Singapore.
The second patient is a 64-year-old Indonesian national who was admitted in a critical condition to intensive care at National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) on March 13.

15:05 IST: COVID-19: Gujarat police takes action against person who tried to escape from isolation ward

Gujarat Home Min Pradipsinh Jadeja addressed that there are 13 covid-19 positive cases- 3 cases in Vadodara,3 in Surat,5 in Ahmedabad,1 in Gandhinagar &1 in Rajkot between stages 2&3. 1 person tried to run away from the isolation ward against whom police has taken action.

15:00 IST: COVID-19: Mumbai Metro One to be nonoperational on Sunday 
Mumbai Metro One operations to remain suspended on Sunday to support Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for janata curfew.

14:46 IST: COVID-19: Cases against 10 traders in Kerala 
Kerala’s Kasaragod district on lockdown, cases against 10 traders for opening shops despite warning.

13:46 IST: COVID-19: Six coronavirus positive cases reported in Gujarat on Saturday, number of patients rises to 13: Minister

13:05 IST: COVID-19 : Domestic flights will keep operating: Sanjeev Jindal, Regional Executive Director, Airport Authority of India
12 airports in Northeast region fall under essential services category, so will be functional tomorrow during Janta Curfew. No plans to close them until now. Domestic flights will keep operating: Sanjeev Jindal, Regional Executive Director, Airport Authority of India

13:05 IST: COVID-19 : Couple with home quarantine stamp found aboard Rajdhani Express
Delhi couple with home quarantine seal found aboard Bangalore-Delhi Rajdhani, deboarded at Kazipet in Telangana: Railways

12:46 IST: COVID-19 : Three more people tested positive for Coronavirus in Leh  Three more people have been tested positive for Covid-19 in Leh (two persons) and Kargil (one person), taking the total number of cases to 13 in the Union Territory. 

12:45 IST: COVID-19 Goa Health Minister restricts tourists in Goa 

Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane addresses that they have launched the country’s first self-assessment interactive app on Covid-19. He shared the state is taking all precautions and discouraging gathering of even 5 people. Rane expressed that they don’t want tourists coming to Goa till the situation settles.

12:42 IST: COVID-19:  Six coronavirus positive cases reported in Gujarat on Saturday, number of patients rises to 13: Minister

12:42 IST: COVID-19: Markets shut in Kashmir
Strict restrictions on movement and assembly of people in Kashmir, markets shut.

12:40 IST: COVID-19: Spain and Italy reach highest death tolls on a single day
Spain death number crosses 1000, Italy death number passes 4000

12:30 IST: COVID-19: Ola suspends “share” facility until further notice 

In our efforts to ensure the well-being of thecustomers & driver partners during these challenging times,Ola decided and announced to suspend Ola Share until further notice.

12:25 IST: COVID-19: IGI airport bars all international flights for one week from Mar 22

IGI airport bars all international flights for one week from Mar 22 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

11:36 IST: COVID-19: Fresh cases detected 
Fresh cases of covid-19 infection have been reported in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka. In Karnataka, the total number rises to 16 in state. In Gujarat one more person tests positive ; total rises to eight. 11 fresh cases reported in Maharashtra; total number jumps to 63 in state. Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope addressed that the number of positive cases has increased by 11 within a day. This includes 8 persons with travel history and 3 people got infected after being in contact with them.



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