News Brief

Coronavirus Latest: Seven Kerala Districts Declared Covid-19 Hotspots; Raids In Delhi-NCR To Nab Jamaat Attendees

Coronavirus update
April 03, 2020 at 10:07 AM

Seven Kerala Districts Declared Covid-19 Hotspots; Raids In Delhi-NCR To Nab Jamaat Attendees

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday (2 April) said seven of the state's 14 districts have been declared "hotspots" as they account for 226 of the total 256 coronavirus cases in the state.

"These are Kasargode, Kannur, Malappuram, Thrissur, Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam and Kozhikode," said Vijayan.

Earlier, there were only two such districts - Kasargode and Pathanamthitta, which has now been excluded.

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There are 165,934 people under observation, which include 643 at various hospitals in the state.

Meanwhile, the Delhi Police Crime Branch conducted raids at several places in the national capital and surrounding areas till late Thursday in search of those who attended the Tablighi Jamaat event in Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi last month as they are suspected to be infected with the dreaded coronavirus (COVID-19).

The police were also questioning several people whom they have taken into custody. According to sources, Maulana Saad Khandhlawi, the controversial head of Markaz Tablighi Jamaat, who is absconding since an FIR was registered against him, has been served a notice of inquiry.

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(With inputs from IANS)

April 02, 2020 at 9:19 AM

Gujarat Covid-19 Cases Rise To 87; Death Toll In Telangana Increases To Nine

With 13 new positive Covid-19 cases being recorded on Wednesday (1 April), the total confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Gujarat has increased to 87.

Jayanti Ravi, the principal secretary, Health and family welfare Department, Gujarat said, "Apart from the eight positive cases registered on Wednesday morning, during the day, we have had five more positive cases in the state. Two are from Surat, two in Porbandar and 1 in Panchmahals."

With this, the total positive cases in the state have climbed to 87 with 6 deaths. The highest positive cases are in Ahmedabad -31, followed by Surat -12, Gandhinagar -11, Rajkot -10, Vadodara -9, Bhavnagar -6, Porbandar -3 Gir-Somnath -2, Kutch, Mahesana and Panchmahals one each.

Meanwhile, three more persons have died of COVID-19 and 30 new positive cases have been reported in Telangana taking the overall tally in the state to 127.

With the death of three persons, the toll rose to nine. All of them had attended Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi last month.

According to a statement released from the chief minister's office late Wednesday night, two persons died at government-run Gandhi Hospital while one succumbed at Yashoda, a private hospital. All the 30 who were tested positive had attended Nizamuddin Markaz meet of Tablighi Jamaat.

(With inputs from IANS)

April 02, 2020 at 9:17 AM

Total Covid-19 Cases In India Rise To 1,834 With 41 Deaths

The total number of coronavirus positive cases in India reached 1,834 on Wednesday, including foreign nationals, with 1,649 active cases, the Union Health Ministry said.

The Health Ministry, in its the evening update that 41 deaths have been reported in India so far, with highest nine from Maharashtra, followed by Gujarat, where six deaths were reported.

"A total of 143 patients have been cured and discharged," it said.

Karnataka recorded nine new Covid-19 positive cases, raising the total to 110, an official said on Wednesday.

"Till date, 110 Covid positive cases have been confirmed in the state which includes three deaths and nine discharges," said a health official.

Among the 98 Covid patients isolated in designated hospitals across the state, 95 are stable, including a pregnant woman while three are critical.

This story has been published using syndicated feeds

April 02, 2020 at 12:10 AM

Total Covid-19 Cases In India Rise To 1,637 With 38 Deaths; Maharashtra Reports Maximum Cases At 302

The total number of people confirmed positive for the coronavirus in India has increased to 1,637, as per the latest data updated at 9.00 am today (1 April) by the Health Ministry.

According to the Health Ministry data, the confirmed cases of Covid-19 include 1,588 Indians and 49 foreign nationals.

Further, the total number of discharged/cured patients has risen to 132, while one patient has reportedly migrated to Singapore as per the latest data.

The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 in India has risen to 38.

Maharastra has reported the maximum 302 covid-19 cases, followed by Kerala which recorded 241 cases.

April 01, 2020 at 9:41 AM

Confirmed Cases In Karnataka Cross 100 Mark

Covid-19 positive cases crossed the 100-mark in Karnataka after 13 more tested positive in the last 24 hours, raising the state's tally 101, an official said on Tuesday (31 March).

"Till date, 101 Covid-19 positive cases have been confirmed. This includes three deaths and eight discharges," an official said.

Among the 90 people currently admitted to different hospitals across the state, the condition of 88 persons is stated to be stable while two are critical -- case number 43 and 101.

The 43rd case was a 63-year-old man from Bengaluru who returned on 19 March after travelling to Brazil and Argentina while a 62-year-old woman from the city emerged as positive case number 101.

(With inputs from IANS)

April 01, 2020 at 9:41 AM

UP Govt Tracks Down, Quarantines Majority Of Tablighi Meet Attendees

The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has identified and quarantined nearly 95 per cent persons who had attended the Tablighi Jamaat meet in Delhi in March.

"We have also been conducting raids in various districts where some of the foreign nationals have been hiding after the lockdown. We are examining their travel documents and those who have violated rules, are being booked under relevant sections," said a senior police official on Tuesday.

In Mathura, the local administration has quarantined 51 persons, including 30 who took part in the Tablighi Jamaat.

Health officials said that the 30 quarantined people hail from Shamli and Yamuna Nagar and had moved to the mosques in Mathura and Farah on 19 March.

Mathura District Magistrate Sarvagya Ram Misra, said their samples have been taken and sent to Aligarh's Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College for tests. All of them have been put up in quarantine centre for 14 days, he said.

Besides, 21 others, including 14 from Agra and 7 from Shamli, have also been home quarantined for 14 days even though they had not attended Delhi''s congregation but were in contact with the others.

Meanwhile, the Agra administration also quarantined 89 people, including 24 who had attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi's Nizamuddin. Others were from outside the state and were staying in mosques.

All of them were shifted to an institutional quarantine facility developed at a resort in Sikandra by Tuesday night.

(With inputs from IANS)

March 31, 2020 at 9:31 PM

Confirmed cases in India rise to 1397

The confirmed cases in India have risen to 1,397 as per latest Health Ministry data. Out of these cases 1,238 are active so far and the country has reported 35 Covid-19 related fatalities. 123 patients have recovered so far.

As per the state wise breakup, the highest number of cases have been reported from Kerala at 234, followed by 216 in Maharashtra.

These figures are excpected to rise in the future as the Maharashtra Health Ministry has now pegged its total infection tally at 302. Tamil Nadu reported 50 additional cases among those who had attended the Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi Nizamuddin which has increased the state's tally to 124 as opposed to 74 attributed by the Health Ministry.

March 31, 2020 at 12:46 PM

24 Tablighi Meet Attendees Test Positive For Covid-19; Bihar Seals Interstate Borders

Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain said on Tuesday (31 March) that 24 people have been found corona positive in the Nizamuddin markaz that has turned into ground zero of the new cases spiralling out of control following an ijtima in mid-March.

Giving details of the case reported in Nizamuddin, Jain said that the government is not certain of the number but it is estimated that 1,500-1,700 people had assembled at the Markaz building.

The Delhi Health Minister said that 1,033 people have been evacuated so far of which 334 have been sent to hospital and 700 have been sent to the quarantine centre. Jain said that 24 cases have been found to be positive for coronavirus.

Meanwhile, Bihar has sealed all its inter-state borders amid the 21-day nationwide lockdown due to coronavirus crisis.

Even movement from one district to another has been stopped, except in emergencies.

The state''s border with Nepal too has been sealed, apart from that with Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Jharkhand.

"Many people had thronged the state''s borders. They have now been shifted to their native places and will have to remain in quarantine in schools and other places. Now on, no one can enter the state," state DGP Gupteshwar Pandey said.

Around 13,000 persons who had returned to the state from elsewhere have been sent to their native places after screening. The data on those who are expected to arrive is being prepared.

(With inputs from IANS)

March 31, 2020 at 12:46 PM

Kerala Reports Second Death; Kanika Kapoor Tests Positive For Fifth Consecutive Time

Kerala registered its second COVID-19 death on Tuesday (31 March)morning when 68-year-old former Kerala Police official Abdul Azeez passed away at the Medical College hospital here, said health officials.

He was a resident of Pothencode about 20 km from the capital city.

What has baffled the authorities is they have not been able to identify from where he got the infection, as he neither had a foreign travel history or had any contact with any positive patient.

Local councilor Balamurali said that Azeez sought medical treatment from a state run medical centre near his home on 18 March.

"On 21st he again sought treatment at the same place. On 23rd he approached a private medical college hospital from where he was shifted to the state run medical college hospital. He on 14th had taken part in a chitty contest where 100 people also took part. His wife also attended a meeting of women and his daughter is a conductor in the state transport department. Literally,the village is in a state of shock," said Balamurali.

Health officials point out that the first test turned negative and it was only later it became positive. He was on ventilator for the past five days and breathed his last early Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, Bollywood singer Kanika Kapoor's fifth sample test for COVID-19 has also come out to be positive.

Sample tests are being carried out on corona patients every 48 hours.

Kanika is presently admitted to the Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS).

Director of the institute, Prof. R K Dhiman said that the singer's condition was stable and there was no cause for worry.

Kapoor has tested positive for coronavirus for the fifth consecutive time.

(With inputs from IANS)

March 30, 2020 at 10:58 PM

Total Covid-19 cases in India rise to 1,251; Death Toll at 32

The total coronavirus cases in India have risen to 1,251 as per latest Health Ministry data updated at 9.30 PM on Monday (30 March). Out of these total cases 1117 are currently active and 101 have been cured. The death toll stands at 532.

The most number of cases have been reported from Kerala at 202. It is closely followed by Maharashtra which has reported 198 cases.

March 29, 2020 at 9:19 PM

Number Of Cases Crosses 1,100 In India; 106 New Cases In 24 Hours

As many as 106 new cases got added to India’s tally of novel coronavirus positive cases in past 24 hours, Union Health Ministry said on Sunday (29 March).

As per the website India COVID-19 Tracker, the total number of cases stood at 1127 including 27 casualties and 90 recovered patients.

March 29, 2020 at 9:03 PM

Stop Movement Of People Across Cities, Seal Borders: Centre To States

The Centre on Sunday directed the states to strictly follow the nationwide lockdown norms and stop the movement of people across the cities, advising them to arrange shelter, food and other facilities for migrant labourers at their workplace.

The direction came amid mass exodus of migrant labourers from cities to their villages in different states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced nationwide lockdown to break the chain of COVID-19 transmission.

March 29, 2020 at 1:54 PM

‘It Required Such Harsh Decisions To Keep The People Of India Safe’: PM Modi Apologises For Lockdown

Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi on Sunday (29 March) during his monthly radio programme 'Mann Ki Baat' appealed to people not to violate nationwide lockdown imposed to fight against COVID-19 pandemic and follow the norms.

He also sought apology to the people who faced problems due to his sudden announcement of the nationwide lockdown and clarified that it was the "only option" to control the disease which has captured almost across the globe with over 30,000 deaths and more than 6.5 lakh infected persons.

He said, "I apologise for taking these harsh steps which have caused difficulties in your lives, especially the poor people. I know some of you would be angry with me also. But these tough measures were needed to win this battle."

March 29, 2020 at 9:15 PM

Number Of Cases Crosses 1,000 In India; Death Toll At 27

With an addition of 16 new cases on Sunday (29 March), the total number of cases in India reached 1,045, as per the website India COVID-19 Tracker.

The tracker also says as many as 27 people have passed away in the country due to the novel coronavirus so far.

March 29, 2020 at 1:40 PM

Maharashtra COVID-19 tally reaches 193, 6 dead

The number of COVID-19 positive cases rose to 193 in Maharashtra, besides six dead so far, on Sunday (29 March).

Against the backdrop of the rising number of positive cases in Mumbai and the state in the past three days, a worried Maharashtra government has written to the Army, requesting it to remain on standby for rendering ''any medical emergency'' assistance if required.

Besides Mumbai with the highest 77 cases, the other badly affected districts include Pune 37, Sangli 25, Nagpur 12, Kalyan-Dombivali seven, Navi Mumbai six, Thane five, Yavatmal and Vasai-Virar four each, Ahmednagar three, Satara and Raigad two each.

March 29, 2020 at 1:37 PM

275 More Evacuated From Iran, Taken To Army Wellness Facility At Jodhpur

A batch of 275 people evacuated from the coronavirus-hit Iran on Sunday (29 March), were taken to the Army Wellness Facility set up at the Jodhpur Military Station in Rajasthan, a defence official said.

"As per the procedure, preliminary screening of the evacuees was conducted at the Airport upon arrival by the Medical teams from Civil Administration and Army. Thereafter, they were moved to the Army Wellness Facility at Jodhpur" said an Army official.

March 28, 2020 at 7:52 PM

Cases In India Rise To 918, PM Modi Launches Dedicated Fund To Combat Covid-19

The total coronavirus cases in India have risen to 918 as per latest Health Ministry data. Out of these 918, active cases are at 819 and 79 patients have been cured so far. The country has reported 19 Covid-19 related casualties so far.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched a dedicated fund abbreivated as PM-CARES for the nation's battle against coronavirus and urged everyone to make donations. Soon, numerous social media users came forward and made contributions. Actor Akshay Kumar to followed suit and pledged Rs 25 crore.

N Chandrasekaran led Tata Sons has announced a Rs 1,000 crore donation for India’s war against coronavirus, over and above the Rs 500 crore pledge made by Ratan Tata led Tata Trusts earlier in the day.

March 28, 2020 at 7:52 PM

Kerala Reports First Covid-19 Death; IIT Kanpur Team Develops Low Cost Ventilator Prototype

The first COVID-19 death has been reported from Kerala in Kochi, said a State Minister on Saturday (28 March).

State Agriculture Minister V S Sunilkumar told the media that the 69-year-old man arrived from UAE on March 22 and was in isolation.

"He is from Kochi and was suffering from heart ailment and blood pressure. Since he was already placed under high-risk category, this need not be a cause to worry. The body has now been handed over to his relatives and the funeral will take place later today. There is no need for any worries at all," said Sunilkumar.

"All those who came in contact with him have been identified and have been quarantined," added the State Minister.

The wife of the deceased and the driver who brought him from the airport have also been tested positive.

Meanwhile, a team of researchers at IIT Kanpur is said to have developed a low cost invasive ventilator that can be mass produced using indigenous components, reports Times of India.

As per IIT Kanpur professors, due to local sourcing of components the ventilator will be made at a cost of Rs 70,000 while other variants of invasive ventilators are available at around Rs 4 lakh per unit in the market presently.

A prototype for the ventilator has been developed by “Nocca Robotics” - a startup incubated at the institute and run by four graduates Nikhil Kurele, Harshit Rathore, Tushar Agarwal and Abhishek Kulkarni.

March 28, 2020 at 5:02 PM

Covid-19 Cases Surge To 873; Hyderabad University Faculty Designs Potential Vaccine Candidates

There are at least 775 active Covid-19 cases in India at present, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Saturday (28 March), taking the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country to 873.

Besides 775 active cases, the country has reported 19 casualties so far while 78 persons have recovered.

The virus has so far spread to 27 states and UTs. A total of 103 districts have been affected by the highly contagious coronavirus.

Meanwhile, Dr Seema Mishra, faculty of the Department of Biochemistry, School of Life Sciences, University of Hyderabad (UoH) has designed potential vaccine candidates, called T cell epitopes, against all the structural and non-structural proteins of novel coronavirus-2 (2019-nCoV) for experimental testing, the varsity said in a statement.

“These vaccine candidates are small coronaviral peptides, molecules which are used by cells to trigger an immune response to destroy cells harboring these viral peptides,” the statement said.

Dr Mishra has designed these potential epitopes in a way that can be used to vaccinate the entire population using powerful immunoinformatics approaches with computational software.

March 28, 2020 at 1:00 PM

Confirmed Cases In India Rise To Over 850; Centre Sends 10,000 Covid1-9 Testing Kits To Bengal

The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in India has risen to 854, with as many as 120 cases, the highest in a single day so far, being reported from the states on Friday (27 March), reports Times of India.

The previous highest single-day count of cases was 99 on Monday (23 March).

As many as 39 fresh cases were reported from Kerala, with Kasargod district in the state reporting 34 new cases.

Meanwhile, the central government has sent 10,000 testing kits for detecting coronavirus infection to West Bengal, an official said.

The kits were dispatched from the National Institute of virology and reached the virology lab housed in the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED) in Kolkata on Friday.

A NICED official said arrangements were being made to send the kits to various coronavirus testing laboratories in the state.

March 27, 2020 at 1:30 PM

Second Covid-19 Case In Andamans

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands has reported the second case of Covid-19, the coronavirus disease, a senior official said on Friday.

“He had traveled with the first positive case. Both in hospital and protocols being followed (sic),” Chetan Sanghi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands’ chief secretary, tweeted.

The first positive case was that of man in his mid-30s who had returned from Kolkata on March 24 in an Air Vistara flight, Sanghi had said earlier.

March 27, 2020 at 1:30 PM

RBI Allows Three Month Moratorium On EMIs, 75 Bps Rate Cut And More

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das this morning cut interest rates by 75 basis points to 4.4%. He also announced several measures to inject ₹3.74 lakh crore liquidity into the country's financial system.

Measures he announced this morning include:

- A three-month moratorium on term loans, deferring interest on working capital and ensuring no impact on credit history of the borrower

- Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) of all banks to be set at 3%

“This kind of uncertain outlook has never been seen before...need of the hour is to do whatever is necessary to shield the economy from the pandemic”, the governor said.

March 27, 2020 at 1:30 PM

UP Govt Launches Community Kitchens To Feed Homeless, Stranded People

The Uttar Pradesh government has now launched the much-needed community kitchen to feed the poor and those stranded due to the lockdown.

The community kitchens began partially on Thursday (26 March) but became fully functional on Friday (27 March).

According to the additional chief secretary (Home) Avanish Awasthi, "On day one, we prepared over one lakh food packets and distributed them among the needy in the state. Around 15 NGOs and other groups are helping the government while religious groups and other outfits have also offered to join the movement. In the first phase, Lucknow, Agra, Noida and Ghaziabad will have community kitchen."

March 27, 2020 at 1:30 PM

Confirmed Covid-19 Cases In India Rise To 724, Death Toll Hits 17; Five Test Positive In UP

The total confirmed cases of Coronavirus in India have risen to 724 on Friday (27 March) while the death toll due to the pandemic has increased to 17, according to the Health Ministry data.

Among the confirmed cases, 677 are Indian while 47 are foreign nationals, as per the Health Ministry.

As many as 67 Covid-19 patients have been discharged after receiving treatment.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh has reported five new cases on Thursday (25 March), raising the tally in the state to 43.

The daughter and two other contacts of the Noida-based Coronavirus positive couple have also tested positive for the infection in Lucknow. The reports came in on Thursday night.

The Covid-19 infection was also confirmed in a Dubai-returned man from Baghpat district besides a person in Agra.

March 26, 2020 at 8:57 PM

India Reports Highest Ever Single Day Spike As Cases Rise By 88, Near 700 Mark

India today reported its highest ever single day spike in Covid-19 cases as 88 new patients were tested positive. The total tally now is 694 out of which 633 are active cases. The casualty figure stands at 16, fourty-four patients have recovered so far.

Kerala reported 19 more positive cases of novel coronavirus today, taking the total number of active Covid-19 cases in the state to 131.

Top Indian microbiologists are hopeful that after the 21-day lockdown, when summer approaches, the rise in temperature would play an important role in preventing the drastic spread of COVID-19 virus in India.

March 26, 2020 at 8:57 PM

Karnataka Reports Second Covid-19 Death

A 70-year-old woman with travel history to Saudi Arabia succumbed to COVID-19 on Tuesday evening in the city, emerging as Karnataka's second COVID-19 death, an official said on Thursday.

March 26, 2020 at 4:27 PM

Odisha To Open India’s Largest Covid-19 Hospital In Two Weeks

Odisha is all set to open India’s largest hospital to treat Covid-19 patients within two weeks, ANI has reported.

The hospital will have a capacity of 1,000 beds and will be exclusively used to treat all those who have tested positive for coronavirus.

As per latest Health Ministry data, the state has reported two positive Covid-19 cases so far.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had yesterday (26 March) announced that all the health professionals in the state involved in combating the coronavirus pandemic will get advance salaries for four months in April.

March 26, 2020 at 4:27 PM

Government To Allow Doorstep Delivery Of Medicines/Drugs

Government of India allows doorstep delivery of medicines/drugs to people in view of the pandemic. Notification to be published soon in the Gazette of India, reports ANI

March 26, 2020 at 8:57 PM

Finance Ministry Announces Rs 1.7 Lakh Crore Package For Urban And Rural Poor

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while addressing a press conference on Thursday (26 March) announced that the Ministry is ready with a Rs 1.7 lakh crore package for the immediate help of migrant workers and urban-rural poor.

While assuring that no one will go hungry in the country, the Finance Minister said that the disbursement of the Rs 1.7 lakh crore package under the Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Yojana will begin immediately.

She added that under the Pradhan Mantri Anna Yojana 5 Kg of rice or wheat will be provided to 80 crore Indians for free in the next three months over and above the allocation they already receive via the PDS system. The beneficiaries will also receive 1 Kg of pulses during this period.

March 26, 2020 at 9:58 AM

Goa Reports First Cases Of Covid-19; Number Of Confirmed Patients In India Crosses 600 Mark

Three persons, with a history of international travel, have tested positive for COVID-19 in Goa, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said early on Thursday (26 March). This is the first instance of positive coronavirus cases in the state.

"I have been informed by the state Directorate of Health Services (DHS) that three individuals have been tested positive for #COVID-19 in Goa. We are providing the best healthcare facility to the diagnosed patients," Sawant tweeted.

In a statement issued by the DHS, the three persons aged between 25 and 55 who have tested positive for COVID-19 had traveled back from Spain, Australia, and the US, and had been quarantined since their return earlier this month.`

"Their condition is stable at present. We have also traced their contacts and we are quarantining them," Sawant said.

Meanwhile, the total confirmed cases of coronavirus in India have increased to 629 on Thursday (26 March), reports Deccan Herald.

As many as 43 covid-19 patients have recovered, as per the latest data by the Ministry of Health Affairs.

March 25, 2020 at 7:49 PM

Positive Cases In India Rise To 606, Total Recovered Patients Stand At 42

The total positive coronavirus cases in India have risen to 606, as per latest Health Ministry data. Out of these cases, 42 patients have recovered from Covid-19. Ten have perished due to the pandemic.

Indian Railways has decided to cancel all its passenger trains till 14 April in light of the 21 day lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Airlines like IndiGo and SpiceJet too have issued similar statements.

He also assured strict action against those found boycotting medical personnel involved in battling against Covid-19.

March 25, 2020 at 5:17 PM

Confirmed Cases Of Covid-19 Infection Surge To 591

The total number of positive novel coronavirus cases in India has reached 591, which includes 534 active cases, 46 cured and 11 deaths.

March 25, 2020 at 5:15 PM

UP Govt Begins Home Delivery Of Food Items

Uttar Pradesh's Yogi Adityanath government on Wednesday deployed over 12,000 mobile vans, e-rickshaws, and 'thelas' (handcarts) to ensure doorstep delivery of food items during the lockdown.

March 25, 2020 at 5:15 PM

Centre Postpones First Phase Of Census 2021, NPR Exercise

In the backdrop of the coronavirus outbreak, the Centre on Wednesday (25 March) announced to postpone the first phase of Census 2021 and the National Population Register (NPR) exercise.

The exercise slated to begin on April 1 this year has been "postponed until further orders", the office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner announced.

The department under the Ministry of Home Affairs said that the decision was taken to break the transmission of the deadly novel coronavirus which has claimed 10 lives so far in India. Over 562 confirmed cases have so far been reported.

The announcement comes a day after the Prime Minister announced a complete lockdown across the country for 21 days from Tuesday midnight.

March 25, 2020 at 5:15 PM

277 Indians evacuated from Iran, quarantined in Jodhpur; Railways Explore Possibility Of Manufacturing Medical Items

A total of 277 stranded Indians have been evacuated from Coronavirus-affected Iran. They arrived at Jodhpur Airport on Wednesday morning.

After preliminary screening conducted at the airport upon arrival, the evacuees were shifted to the Indian Army quarantine facility established at Jodhpur Military Station.

"The Army in coordination with the Rajasthan State Medical authorities and Civil Administration, Jodhpur has made adequate medical and administrative arrangements to cater to a comfortable stay and provide prophylactic medical support," Indian Army stated.

The facility has a dedicated team of Army doctors, who will be constantly monitoring the health parameters of the evacuees for the duration of their stay.

Meanwhile, the Indian Railways is exploring the possibility of manufacturing select essential medical items such as hospital beds, medical trolleys and sanitisers at its various production units.

The Railway Board has asked the General Managers (GMs) of its different production facilities to assess the feasibility of manufacturing such items in large quantities at a short notice.

Apart from hospital beds, trolleys and sanitisers, the Board is also exploring the possibility of manufacturing ventilators, stretchers, hospital footsteps, washbasins with stands, PPEs like masks, and IV stands.

(With inputs from IANS)

March 25, 2020 at 12:27 PM

TN Reports First Death Due To Covid-19; Confirmed cases jump to 562 in India; Export Of HCQ Banned

The death toll in India due to Coronavirus has now surged to 11 as a Covid-19 patient from Tamil Nadu became the latest victim of the deadly virus. This was the first death in the state due to coronavirus, reports Deccan Herald.

The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country has risen to 562. As of today, as many as 41 patients have recovered, according to the latest data by the Health Ministry.

Meanwhile, a nationwide lockdown has been imposed in the country to curb the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic. The lockdown was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation at 8 pm on Tuesday (24 March).

The government on Wednesday (25 March) also banned the export of antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), with immediate effect to ensure sufficient availability of the medicine in the domestic market.

The move comes after the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director-General Balram Bhargava had on Monday (23 March) recommended the use of hydroxychloroquine for treating healthcare workers handling suspected or confirmed coronavirus cases and also the asymptomatic household contacts of the lab-confirmed cases.

March 24, 2020 at 7:54 PM

PM Modi To Address Nation Shortly

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will once again address the nation at 8 PM today. In a tweet, both in Hindi and English, the Prime Minister said he will address the country on some vital aspects relating to the menace of the Coronavirus.

PM Modi, over the past few days, has been extremely active on social media, exhorting people to cut down on travel, stay indoors and extend solidarity to those leading the battle against the deadly Coronavirus, which has claimed over 13,000 lives world over.

March 24, 2020 at 7:54 PM

Srinagar's First COVID-19 Patient Successfully Treated

A 67-year-old woman, the first coronavirus patient reported in the Kashmir valley, has been successfully treated, officials said on Tuesday.

The resident of Khanyar area of the city had returned from Saudi Arabia on March 16 after performing 'Umrah' (pilgrimage) and tested positive for coronavirus two days later.

"Srinagar's first COVID-19 Positive case successfully treated: Director SKIMS. Let's #BreakTheChain," Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Shahid Iqbal Chaudhary tweeted.

March 25, 2020 at 9:36 AM

UP Govt Declares Covid-19 A State Disaster

The Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday declared the coronavirus situation a state disaster, a senior official said in Lucknow.

"The state government has declared Corona situation as a state disaster relaxing procurement procedures for emergency medical equipment and corona-related medical consumables," the official said.

March 24, 2020 at 7:54 PM

Amit Shah Orders Strict Action Against Landlords If They Ask Doctors To Vacate Houses

Home Minister Amit Shah in a telephonic conversation with Delhi Police Commissioner instructed him to take strict action against those landlords who have allegedly been asking doctors and nurses treating coronavirus patients to vacate their houses, ANI has reported.

As per reports, this instruction is a result of various claims made by doctors on social media who have alleged that they are facing discrimination and threats from their housing societies as they have been treating Covid-19 patients.

The doctors claim that they are being stopped from entering their homes by neighbours who fear that they would spread the infection. In another claim made by a Telangana doctor, their house owners are asking them to vacate their residences as they would make them “dirty”.

March 24, 2020 at 7:54 PM

11,108 People Under Quarantine In Gujarat

11,108 people are under quarantine for 14 days, out of which 224 are in government facilities & 10,850 are home quarantined, while 34 are in private hospitals across Gujarat, report Asian News International.

Additionally, over 21 FIRs have been registered against various people showing reluctance in being quarantined.

March 24, 2020 at 4:06 PM

EC Defers Rajya Sabha Elections Scheduled To Be Held On 26 March

Amid the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic in the country, Election commission of India has decided to defer d the crucial Rajya Sabha scheduled to be held on 26 March, ANI has reported.

The decision comes as over 30 states and union territories have imposed lockdowns to curb the spread of Coronavirus pandemic. Over 490 people in India have been confirmed positive for coronavirus, which has resulted in death of as many as 9 people.

March 24, 2020 at 3:53 PM

Last Date For FY19 Income Tax Filing, Aadhaar-PAN Linking Extended To 30 June

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while addressing a press conference via video conference on Tuesday (24 March) said that the Ministry is very close to announcing an economic package and it will be announced sooner rather than later.

Last date for filing returns for Financial Year 2018-19 extended to 30 June 2020 and interest rate slashed from 12 to 9 per cent for delayed payment. In case of delayed deposit for TDS the interest has been slashed from 18 per cent to 9 per cent.

The last date to link Aadhaar and PAN linking has been extended to 30 June. The last date for Vivaad Se Vishwas scheme has also been extended to 20 June.

March 24, 2020 at 3:44 PM

Zero Charges For Cash Withdrawals From Other Banks; No Minimum Balance Requirement Till 30 June

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while announcing measures to combat the economic disruption brought in by the coronavirus pandemic, said that no minimum balance fee will be charged by the banks till 30 June.

This means that depositors would not be required to maintain any minimum balance in their bank accounts for the next three months until 30 June.

She added that depositors would be able to withdraw cash via their debit cards from any bank ATM without paying any additional charge.

March 24, 2020 at 12:11 PM

First Made In India Covid-19 Test Kit Gets Commercial Nod; Uttarakhand Takes Over Private Hospitals

Pune-based molecular diagnostics company Mylab Discovery Solutions has developed the first made in India test kit for COVID-19 in a record time of six weeks, Express Healthcare reported.

The testing kit is the first one to receive commercial approval from Indian FDA/ Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) and is named as Mylab PathoDetect COVID-19 Qualitative PCR kit. Mylab is the only Indian company to have achieved 100 per cent sensitivity and 100 per cent specificity in the ICMR evaluation.

Hasmukh Rawal, Managing Director, Mylab Discovery Solutions, said, “With emphasis on ‘Make in India’ and support from local and central government,  the COVID- 19 kit, has been made as per WHO/CDC guidelines. It was developed and evaluated in a record time”.

Meanwhile, the Uttarakhand government on Tuesday (24 March) decided to take over control of all the private hospitals in the state with a capacity of 100 or more beds in a bid to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

The state government has also decided to reserve 25 per cent of the beds in the privated hospitals for suspected covid-19 patients.

March 24, 2020 at 9:25 AM

Confirmed Covid-19 Cases Rise To 492; 30 States, UTs Under Lockdown

The total number of people infected by the coronavirus in India has surged to 492, with 446 active covid-19 cases in the country, according to the latest Health Ministry data.

As many as 36 covid-19 patients have been cured or discharged after treatment, the Health Ministry data showed on Tuesday (24 March).

The total confirmed cases include 451 Indian and 41 foreign nationals. As many as nine people have died in India due to the coronavirus, which originated from China.

Kerala and Maharashtra have reported the maximum number of positive cases in the country. As per the Health Ministry data, Kerala reported 95 cases while Maharashtra has 87 confirmed cases.

Meanwhile, as many as 30 states and union territories have imposed lockdowns in a bid to contain the spread of the covid-19 pandemic.

March 24, 2020 at 9:22 AM

Positive Cases In India Now At 468, Death Toll Rises To Nine

The total positive coronavirus cases in India have risen to 468 with the death toll climbing to nine, as per latest Health Ministry data.

The active cases in the country currently stand at 424. Thirty four patients have been discharged post recovery.

March 23, 2020 at 7:30 PM

Positive Cases Rise To 433, states impose curfew; India gets first dedicated covid-19 hospital

The total positive coronavirus cases in India have risen to 433 out of which 402 are active cases, as per latest Health Ministry data.

The numbers are expected to be higher as Kerala recently reported its cases rising to 91 as compared to 70, which is attributed to the state in the Health Ministry data. The casualty figure of seven is also expected to rise after West Bengal reported its first Covid-19 related death.

The 57-year-old man was on ventilator support at the ICCU of the AAMRI Hospital, Salt Lake, and was found positive for Covid-19. He died following a cardiac arrest this afternoon. Hospitalised with fever, cold and cough last week, his condition started deteriorating on Sunday night.

The National Task force for COVID-19, constituted by Indian Council of Medical Research, has recommended the use of hydroxy- chloroquine as prophylaxis (preventive drug) of SARS-COV-2 infection for high risk population.

Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) today announced it has set up India's first dedicated COVID-19 hospital with 100-bed capacity in a short span of just two weeks.

All domestic commercial flights have been ordered by the Civil Aviation Ministry to cease operating effective 11.59 PM tomorrow (24 March), only cargo planes will continue flying in the Indian skies

March 23, 2020 at 12:58 PM

Positive Cases In India Rise To 415, Death Toll At Seven; Total 17,493 Individuals Tested

The total positive coronavirus cases in India have risen to 415 and have resulted in seven casualties, the Health Ministry confirmed on Monday (23 March). The Ministry is yet to release the new updated state wise breakup.

A total of 18,393 samples taken from 17,493 individuals have been tested so far, as per ICMR.

These rising figures come at a time when the central government has asked states to strictly enforce the lockdown in 75 districts affected by Covid-19. As per a government order the states have also been asked to take legal action against those found violating the lockdown orders.

March 22, 2020 at 8:16 PM

Indians Unite In Applauding Tireless Efforts Of Unsung Heroes Protecting India From Covid-19

Indians today (22 March) followed the clarion call given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and cheered all those who are battling 24x7 to protect India from coronavirus.

While Prime Minister Modi had requested Indians to cheer the unsung heroes like doctors, medical staff, health authorities, aviation staff, emergency responders and the police for 5 minutes from 5 PM, the outpouring of gratitude started way before and continued way beyond the time period.

Those joining in included everyone across the the economic strata, be it the super rich, the general public or even the underprivileged.

Here are a few videos from the 5Baje5Minute initiative.

Prime Minister Modi’s and former deputy prime minister L K Advani mother too joined in.

Even the under-privileged members of the society expressed their gratitude.

March 22, 2020 at 4:43 PM

India Reports 7th Death As 69-Year-Old Man Passes Away In Gujarat

Total number of deaths due to COVID-19 in India rose to seven, after a 69-year-old man passed away in Gujarat’s Surat on Sunday (22 March). The man became the first person in the state to die after getting infected with the Novel Coronavirus.

The patient, as per an ANI tweet, showed co-morbid conditions.

March 22, 2020 at 4:48 PM

Gujarat Woman Showing COVID-19 Symptoms Passes Away In Vadodara

The 65-year-old woman passed away in a hospital in Vadodara after showing co-morbid conditions. However, the Health and Family Welfare Department of the state said, her test reports for coronavirus were still awaited.

March 22, 2020 at 3:02 PM

75 Districts May Soon Be Under Lock Down, Only Essential Services To Operate

At a high-level meeting held this morning (22 March) with the Chief Secretaries of all states, the Cabinet Secretary and the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, all the state governments were advised to allow "only essential services to operate" in 75 districts that have reported confirmed Covid-19 cases.

Some state governments have already issued orders to this effect.

March 22, 2020 at 4:43 PM

ndian Railways Cancels All Passenger Trains Till 31 March; Goods Trains To Continue

In view of the increasing number of coronavirus patients in the country, the national transporter on Sunday announced stopping all the trains, except the goods trains, till 31 March.

In view of ‘Janata Curfew’, the Indian Railways had already decided to cancel all long distance trains departing from originating stations between 4 a.m. and 10 pm on Sunday.

By Saturday, the railways had cancelled 245 pairs of trains across the country and also stopped providing blankets in the air-conditioned coaches.

March 22, 2020 at 12:30 PM

Bihar reports 1st death due to COVID-19; Country Toll Reaches 6

With a 38-year-old man passing away due to Novel Coronavirus, Bihar on Sunday (22 March) recorded its first casualty since the outbreak of the disease COVID-19 in the country. This took the total death toll in the country to six.

Saif Ali, who is the first non-senior citizen in India to die of COVID-19, was admitted to AIIMS in Patna. According to the AIIMS Director, he was originally taken to the hospital for kidney failure, but turned out to be COVID-19 positive and died due to the same.

March 22, 2020 at 11:42 AM

India reports its fifth casualty due to COVID-19

India on Sunday (22 March) witnessed its fifth death due to COVID-19 after a 63-year old man died in Maharashtra.

March 22, 2020 at 9:13 AM

Cases in India rise to 327, total recovered stand at 23

The total coronavirus positive cases in India have risen to 327 as per the website covidout.in. A total of 23 patients have recovered so far and no new fatality was reported yesterday (21 March).

March 22, 2020 at 9:16 AM

Union Gov Releases Safety And Procedural Guidelines, Test Charges Not To Exceed Rs 4500

The central government on Saturday (Mar 21) recommended that the maximum charge for each COVID-19 test by private laboratories should not exceed Rs 4,500.

All private laboratories which have NABL accreditation for real-time PCR SA for RNA virus will be allowed to conduct COVID-19 tests, according to the guidelines issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for COVID-19 testing in private laboratories, which were notified by the Union Health Ministry on Saturday night.

The National Task Force recommends that the maximum cost for testing should not exceed Rs 4,500. This may include Rs 1,500 as a screening test for suspect cases and an additional Rs 3,000 for confirmation test, the guidelines said.

"However, the ICMR encourages free or subsidised testing in this hour of national public health emergency," the guidelines stated.

March 21, 2020 at 8:46 PM

Cases In India Rise To 283, 12 Indian Railway Passengers Test Positive

Total positive coronavirus cases in India have risen to 283 as per latest Health Ministry data. Out of these cases 244 are Indians and rest are foreign nationals.

A 57-year-old Kolkata man with no foreign travel history has tested positive for coronavirus. He is being treated in an isolated ICU with ventilator support. This is the fourth positive case in the city.