As the country is under a lockdown for nearly two weeks now, Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is taking stock of the situation in the country.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought suggestions from his Council of Ministers on how to make a calibrated exit from the 21-day lockdown that was imposed from March 25 owing to the outbreak of COVID-19.
Data from the State authorities puts the number of positive cases at over 4,958 and the death toll at 153.
Worldwide, the number of positive COVID-19 cases is over 12,14,466 with 67,767 deaths, according to the tally kept by the World Health Organisation.
Numbers to note:
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Here are the latest updates:
7:10 pm | Jammu and Kashmir
Officials announced that one more person died from COVID-19 in Jammu and Kashmir, taking the Union Territories’ death toll to three.
6:25 pm | Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir spokesman Rohit Kansal announced that 16 more have tested positive for the coronavirus in the Union Territories. With this, the total jumps to 125. Of the new cases, six are in the Jammu division while nine in Kashmir
6:10 pm | Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu Health Secretary Beela Rajesh announced that the State has recorded one more death due to coronavirus, rising the toll to seven. She also announced that 69 new cases have been detected, pushing the total cases in the State to 690.
In another development, a Korean inmate of a special camp in Tiruchi has approached the Madras High Court alleging that physical distancing is not being maintained at the camp and that some of the 80 inmates have been suffering from cold and fever.
-Serena Josephine M., Mohamed Imranullah S.
6:05 pm | Bihar
With sample reports of two women from Siwan found positive, the number of COVID-19 cases in Bihar rises to 34.
6:00 pm | India
IRCTC has suspended bookings of Kashi Mahakal Express (Varanasi-Indore), Lucknow-New Delhi Tejas Express and the Ahmedabad-Mumbai Tejas Express, till April 30. Bookings were earlier suspended till April 14, the end of the 21-day lockdown.
5:55 pm | India
Sitaram Yechury writes to President on compensation to employers
To halt the ongoing pay cuts and lay-offs in the private sector, the government must compensate employers and help them tide over the economic recession that has been exacerbated by the lockdown, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury wrote in a letter to President of India Ramnath Kovind.
Mr. Yechury wrote to Mr. Kovind after his earlier letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman did not draw any response.
“The economic consequences of this lockdown have further exacerbated the recession that had set in before the outbreak of the pandemic,” Mr. Yechury said. He said that the government has ordered that salaries should be maintained but in practice this is not happening since employers are saying that since their business has come to a standstill they cannot pay salaries.
5:40 pm | Romania
Ten newborns contract virus at Romanian hospital
A Romanian maternity unit was being investigated on Tuesday after 10 newborns tested positive for the novel coronavirus, with the suspicion they contracted the virus from healthcare staff.
“The mothers tested negative, but the babies tested positive so we have to consider their contacts with medical staff,” Health Minister Nelu Tataru said in an interview with the Antena 3 TV station late on Monday.
The babies have no symptoms and all but one of them, together with their mothers, have gone into self-isolation at home. Mr. Tataru pointed to the “failures in the activities of both maternity officials and the local public health directorate (DSP)” and promised severe measures if necessary.
The local DSP chief has already been dismissed.
5.15 pm | Karnataka
First patient from Mysuru, lone patient from Kodagu recovers
The first COVID-19 positive case reported from Mysuru was on Tuesday discharged from the hospital upon his recovery.
With the patient’s discharge from COVID-19 Hospital here, Mysuru is now left with 34 active cases. This is the first recovery and discharge of COVID-19 patient from Mysuru.
In Kodagu, the lone COVID-19 patient is expected to be discharged on Tuesday evening. All necessary formalities are being completed for the discharge.
5.00 pm | India
Three more deaths in Pune
Three more Covid-19 deaths were reported from Pune district on Tuesday taking the total number of deaths in the district to eight even as the number of positive cases in the district shot to 146, with four new cases reported today.
All three cases were of senior citizens who suffered from comorbidities, said Puen District Collector Naval Kishore Ram.
With this Pune urban and rural areas have collectively reported 126 cases while Pimpri-Chinchwad has reported 20 positive cases. All the eight deaths so far are from Pune city.
4.45 pm | India
Amit Shah urges for stern action against hoarding, black marketing: official
Home Minister Amit Shah has directed officials to take appropriate steps, coordinate with State governments to prevent hoarding and black marketing, an official said.
Mr. Shah asked authorities to take quick and stern action against individuals involved in hoarding and black marketing, he added.
4.30 pm | Uttar Pradesh
Cases in U.P. now stand at 314 across 37 districts.
4.15 pm | India
ICMR study shows one patient not following lockdown can infect 406 in 30 days: Health Ministry
Quarantine facilities are to be upgraded to treat Covid-19 patients, hotels are also to be used for treatment facilities, apart from earmarked hospitals, the Health Ministry has said.
Dedicated fully-equipped hospitals are to be used to take in severe cases, the Ministry spokesperson said. 375 railway coaches are to be converted into isolation facilities. Over 1,200 railway coaches have been prepared to meet exigencies.
Availability of essential goods is by and large satisfactory, States and other authorities have been asked to prevent hoarding activities. Ministry of Consumer Affairs is also involved in this exercise, a Home Ministry spokesperson said.
Under the Ministry of Civil Aviation, by April 5, 152 flights have transported 200 tonne weight of goods, the spokesperson added. The Indian Railway has prepared 40,000 isolation beds in 2500 coaches, in one day 375 coaches are being converted into isolation beds in 133 locations across the country, the spokesperson added.
An ICMR study suggests that one COVID-19 patient can infect 406 people in 30 days if he/she doesn’t follow lockdown, social distancing, the Health Ministry said.
4.00 pm | Tamil Nadu
Madurai City police announces rewards for tip-off on hoarding of essential goods
The Madurai City Police have announced rewards for people who tip off the police about hoarding of essential goods in the city.
In a statement, the Commissioner of Police, S. Davidson Devasirvatham, said that those who give accurate information about hoarding of essential goods would be suitably rewarded.
3.30 pm | Uttar Pradesh
Three more Tabligh members test positive in Shamli
Three more Tablighi Jamaat members have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Shamli, taking the total number of COVID-19 patients in the district to 11, officials said on Tuesday. All three whose test results returned positive on Monday evening are from Tripura, they said, adding they had gone to Shamli on March 17 after attending the Jamaat’s Delhi’s Nizamuddin Markaz.
District Magistrate Jasjit Kaur said the three have been admitted to the COVID-19 hospital at Jhinjhana, which now houses all 11 Jamaat members who have tested positive in Shamli.
3.20 pm | Goa
15 test negative for coronavirus in Goa; State tally at 7
The test reports of 15 potential cases in Goa have come out negative, State Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said on Tuesday.
So far, 7 coronavirus cases have been reported from the coastal State and all the patients are undergoing treatment at a special hospital in South Goa district.
Mr. Rane said 15 new samples were tested at the virology lab of the Goa Medical College and Hospital on Monday night and all the reports came out negative.
3.15 pm | Uttar Pradesh
42 arrested in U.P. for attacking police team for enforcing lockdown
An FIR was registered against 150 people for allegedly attacking a police team trying to enforce lockdown in Izatnagar area here, police said on Tuesday.
Forty-two people were arrested in this connection, out of whom three women were released on bail.
“An FIR was registered against 150 persons on Monday night under relevant sections of IPC for attacking policemen and trying to set ablaze police outpost,” Superintendent of Police, City, Ravindra Kumar said.
Among the accused, 42 were arrested, while three were released on bail, he said.
3.00 pm | India
Centre mulling extension of lockdown
Sources in the government tell The Hindu that the Centre is considering the option to extend the lockdown.
“A lot of state governments as well as experts are requesting Central Government to extend the lockdown. Central Government is thinking in this direction,” said the sources.
The 21-day lockdown was originally planned to end on April 14. – Nistula Hebbar
2.55 pm | Odisha
Odisha records first COVID-19 death
Odisha has recorded its first COVID-19 death: a 72-year-old man, who was admitted to AIIMS Bhubaneswar with complaint of respiratory distress. He passed away on Monday. He had tested positive for COVID-19. Contact tracing and containment is going on, according to the State Health & Family Welfare Department.
2.50 pm | Rajasthan
The lockdown cannot be withdrawn immediately; it has to be done in a phased manner, said Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.
Any decision on extending or withdrawing lockdown in Rajasthan would be undertaken only after recommendations of task force, he said.
Rajasthan will start rapid testing in state within a week; ordered 10 lakh testing kits from China. The Bhilwara model of containment of coronavirus is to be replicated in other parts of Rajasthan, he added.
2.45 pm | India
BSF extends leave for all its personnel till April 21
The BSF has extended leave for all its personnel till April 21. These personnel were already on leave and were to join work in the coming few days.
Similar instructions were also issued for the training centers of the BSF where training programmes were already running and were due to terminate in coming days.
“No movement before 21st April. Stay wherever you are,” the BSF said in a statement.
2.40 pm | Karnataka, Kerala
Karnataka-Kerala border blockade: consensus reached, Centre tells SC
The Supreme Court on Tuesday disposed of a bunch of petitions concerning the Kerala-Karnataka border sealing case after the Union government informed that a consensus had been worked out to allow patients requiring urgent medical treatment to cross the Talapadi border and access the hospitals in Mangaluru.
2.30 pm | World
Japan declares emergency
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a state of emergency to fight coronavirus infections in major population centres and unveiled a stimulus package he described as among the world’s biggest to soften the economic blow.
Mr. Abe announced the state of emergency targeting the capital Tokyo and six other prefectures – accounting for about 44% of Japan’s population – for a period of about one month.
“We have decided to declare a state of emergency because we’ve judged that a fast spread of the coronavirus nationwide would have an enormous impact on lives and the economy,” he told parliament earlier.
His cabinet will also finalise the stimulus package worth 108 trillion yen ($990 billion) – equal to 20% of Japan’s economic output – to cushion the impact of the epidemic on the world’s third-largest economy.
2.20 pm | UK
Indian-origin cardiac surgeon dies in UK from COVID-19
An Indian-origin cardiac surgeon who had tested positive for the novel coronavirus has died at a hospital in Cardiff in the UK, where a number of medics have lost their lives on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
2.10 pm | Madhya Pradesh
Rs 50 lakh insurance cover for police, govt. staff in Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced Rs 50 lakh insurance cover for police personnel and other State government employees engaged in the fight against coronavirus.
In a message on the official government Twitter handle, Mr. Chouhan said the Centre had announced Rs 50 lakh insurance cover to health workers, while the State government will provide the same to the police and officials of revenue, urban administration and other departments.
2.00 pm | India
AIIMS to provide N95 masks to all healthcare workers
Taking measures to safeguard its workers against coronavirus, the AIIMS administration has decided to provide N95 masks to all its healthcare workers involved in direct patient care and has asked them to reuse the masks at least four times after disinfecting them.
The masks, it said, will suffice for 20 days after being disinfected.
1.30 pm | Karnataka
Twelve new cases reported; 25 discharged so far
Twelve new cases – including four who participated in the Tablighi Jamaat congregation and three other contacts of earlier COVID-19 positive patients who had attended the Tablighi Jamaat event – have tested positive on Tuesday.
1.20 pm | India
Sonia Gandhi writes to PM, suggests five ways to cut govt. expenditure
Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi offering five suggestions to cut government expenditure including scrapping Rs 20,000 crore project for the Central Vista project, ban government advertisement to media and put on hold all official foreign trips in the wake of Covid-19.
1.15 pm | Delhi
Five-step plan prepared to control outbreak in Delhi, says Arvind Kejriwal
Learning from the experiences of others countries, we have prepared a five step plan to control a coronavirus outbreak in the city; it is a plan based on ‘five Ts’, said Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
“Doctors and nurses are the most important part of this team; we have to take care of them as well as their families. They are the strongest link of this team,” he said
1.10 pm | J&K
Former J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti shifted to residence
Former Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti was on Tuesday shifted from a Srinagar sub-jail to her official residence, now declared a sub-jail to put her under house detention.
1.00 pm | India
Whatsapp imposes limit on frequently forwarded message to prevent spread of misinformation
To slow the spread of misinformation via its platform, Whatsapp has announced a new stricter limit on forwarding messages. Now, frequently forwarded messages — those which have been previously forwarded five times or more, can only be forwarded to one chat at a time.
12.55 pm | U.S.
Many COVID-19 cases in the Indian American community, several deaths reported
Scores of Indian Americans have tested positive with the novel coronavirus and several of them have died, according to multiple news reports from community organisations and diaspora leaders from across the US, currently the global epicentre of the deadly disease.
While there is no official or unofficial count of Indian-Americans infected with the coronavirus, information available on various private social media groups indicate that a significant number of them are in New York and New Jersey.
12.45 pm | Delhi
73-year-old recovers in Delhi
A 73-year-old patient has been discharged from the LNJP hospital after his recovery.
An LNJP spokesperson said that the patient recovered in spite of having many co-morbidities. Two tests have come out negative, he added.
12.25 pm | Odisha
IB office in Bhubaneswar sealed, employees put under home quarantine
The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has sealed the office of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) here and put all its employees under home quarantine after it was found that one of the staff of the central agency had come in contact with a COVID-19 patient, an official said on Tuesday.
12.10 pm | Maharashtra
Two more test positive in Dharavi
Two more have tested positive in Dharavi’s Baliga Nagar. One of them is the 80 year-old father and another, the 49 year-old brother of Dharavi’s second patient. They were tested soon after the 30-year-old woman had tested positive. BMC is holding another health camp at Baliga Nagar today. The area has been completely sealed
This brings the total cases in Dharavi to 7 so far.
12.05 pm | Maharashtra
Maharashtra records 23 more cases as tally rises to 891
3 fresh Covid-19 cases were reported from Maharashtra on Tuesday, with the total tally jumping to 891 over a 12-hour span.
10 of these new cases are from Mumbai, four from Pune, three from Ahmednagar, two each from Nagpur and rural Buldhana, one each from Thane and Sangli.
With this Mumbai’s tally surges to 536 cases, while that in Pune district has now exceeded 150. Buldhana is fast emerging as a virus hotspot in the State’s rural hinterland, with a total seven cases while Ahmednagar’s tally has shot to 26.
In Ahmednagar, at least four foreign nationals including two who had attended the Delhi Tablighi Jamaat congregation have tested positive.
12.00 pm | Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh has reported its fourth death and one more positive case.
The deceased, a 45-year-old man, got admitted to Kurnool Government General Hospital on April 1 and was tested positive for Covid-19 later. Having type 2 diabetes, the man succumbed two days later on April 3, the bulletin by the Health Department issued on Tuesday morning stated. The deceased has no history of travel which is an indication of community transmission of the virus in the district which reported the highest number of cases in the State.
11.55 am | India
36 booked for failing to inform authorities about participation in Nizamuddin congregation
Cases have been lodged against 36 persons in Chitrakoot range for negligence after they failed to inform authorities about their participation in a congregation in Delhi’s Nizamuddin, police said.
The 36 people have been quarantined.
11.35 am | Madhya Pradesh
More health officials contract COVID-19 in Bhopal
As many as 12 persons — five health officials and seven from the police and their family members — tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, taking the tally to 74 patients in the city, said Sudhir Dehariya, Bhopal Chief Medical and Health Officer.
So far, 37 health officials have contracted the disease in Bhopal.
The total number of infected people in the State has gone up to 268. – Sidharth Yadav
11.20 am | Gujarat
Coronavirus cases in 17 districts in Gujarat
Nineteen more Coronavirus infection cases have been detected in Gujarat taking the total number to 165 in the State.
The infection has now spread to 17 out of 33 districts in the state, says Health department. – Mahesh Langa
11.15 am | New Delhi
GoM discussing lockdown
Group of Ministers led by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh are meeting to discuss lockdown implications and other issues.
The meeting started at 11 am at Mr. Singh’s residence. Home Minister Amit Shah and other Cabinet ministers are also attending. – Vijaita Singh
11.10 am | India
India has confirmed it has lifted blanket ban on export of hydroxychloroquine HCQ.
The Ministry of External Affairs has said India would “licence paracetamol and HCQ in appropriate quantities to all our neighbouring countries and some countries who have been particularly badly affected by the pandemic.” – Suhasini Haidar
11.00 am | Delhi
Delhi govt to do random testing in COVID-19 hotspots
Delhi government has decided to do randon testing for coronavirus in the Union Territory, mainly on the hotspots. A Delhi government spokesperson confirmed this.
Delhi has reported 532 cases, including eight deaths till Monday. – Nikhil M. Babu
10.45 | GUJARAT
Gujarat government ropes in private firms to manufacture PPE, N95 masks
The Gujarat government has roped in state-based private companies to manufacture personal protective equipment and N95 masks required by health staff who are at the forefront of the battle against coronavirus.
A private company from the state has already manufactured low cost ventilators and will be supplying them soon to government-run hospitals, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said a few days back.
As part of the initiative, the Rajkot-based Jyoti CNC has started production of ventilators after getting necessary approvals.
“Two other companies -Arvind Mills in Ahmedabad and Sure Safety in Vadodara – will soon start production of personal protective equipment (PPE),” chief minister’s secretary Ashwani Kumar said.
10.30 | WEST BENGAL
WB governor appeals to CM, ministers, MLAs to take a pay cut to fight COVID-19
Following the Centre’s decision to cut 30% salary of all MPs for one year to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Tuesday appealed to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, state ministers and MLAs to take a similar approach for a year to aid the government’s efforts to tide over the crisis. -PTI
10.15 | RAJASTHAN
Rajasthan records 24 more cases of coronavirus
Twenty-four more cases of coronavirus in Rajasthan have been recorded, taking the total number of cases in the state to 325, an official said.
Of them, nine are from Jodhpur, seven in Jaisalmer’s Pokhran town, four in Banswara, three in Jaipur and one in Churu.
Total number of patients in Rajasthan is now 325, including 36 evacuees from Iran staying in Army’s facilities.
Twenty-five of the 36 recovered patients have been discharged from hospitals, said Medical & Health Department. -Mohammad Iqbal
10.00 | HIMACHAL PRADESH
Four more test positive in Himachal Pradesh
Four Tablighi Jamaat members who attended a religious congregation in Delhi’s Nizamuddin have tested positive for coronavirus in Himachal Pradesh, a senior health official said. With this, the total number of COVID-19 cases in the state rose to 19.
Additional Chief Secretary (Health) R D Dhiman said 83 samples were collected in the state on Monday and the report of 81 was out, of which four tested positive, two samples will be tested again and the rest of it has came out negative.
All the four who tested positive were from Tissa area of Chamba district and had attended the Jamaat event in the national capital, he said.
Eleven COVID-19 patients were being treated in the state and all of them had attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation. Two of the total cases have recovered, two died and four patients voluntarily shifted to a private hospital outside Himachal Pradesh, a health department official said.
09.45 | TAMIL NADU
One death, 50 new cases in T.N.
Tamil Nadu reported its sixth COVID-19 death, and added 50 new cases to its tally on Monday. With this, the State now has 621 cases. The victim was a 57-year-old woman, who was admitted to the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital at 8 p.m. on Sunday with severe acute respiratory infection.
09.30 | UTTAR PRADESH
Lockdown likely to be extended in Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh may extend the ongoing lockdown beyond April 14, a senior government official said on Monday citing the rising number of COVID-19 positive cases in the State including those linked to the Tablighi Jamaat.
Trump warns India of retaliation
President Donald Trump has warned India that the US may retaliate if it did not export anti-malarial drug Hydroxychloroquine despite his personal request, saying he would be surprised in case of a negative outcome as New Delhi has good relations with Washington.
Hydroxychloroquine, an old and inexpensive drug used to treat malaria, is seen as a viable therapeutic solution by President Trump to coronavirus that has so far killed more than 10,000 Americans and infected over 3.6 lakh within weeks.
Last week Mr. Trump said he has sought help from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allow the sale of Hydroxychloroquine tablets ordered by the US to treat the growing number of coronavirus patients in his country, hours after India banned the export of the anti-malarial drug.
Plea in HC for evacuating Indians stranded in U.S.
A plea was moved on Monday in the Delhi High Court for the safe and secure return of all Indian citizens employed in the United States of America (USA) and now stranded there without jobs in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
8.30 | TELANGANA
Telangana CM favours extension of national lockdown
Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Monday appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to extend the 21-day national lockdown to check COVID-19 beyond April 14, saying it was essential to save lives.
47% of patients below 40, says govt.
Giving a break up of the data so far at the daily press briefing, Joint Secretary in the Union Health Ministry Lav Agarwal said, 76% of the confirmed cases were male and 24% female; 47% were below 40 years of age, 34% between 40 to 60 years and 19% above 60 years.