Coronavirus LIVE: New helpline number launched as cases rise to 114

Topics Coronavirus | healthcare | Sensex

People wear protective masks in view of coronavirus pandemic at Gateway of India in Mumbai | PTI photo
The number of coronavirus cases in India has risen to 114 with one new case each reported in Ladakh, Odisha, Jammu and Kashmir, and Kerala, the officials said on Monday. Globally, the number of cases has hit 170,417, with over 7,000 reported deaths across 157 countries. 

As India sees a surge in novel coronavirus cases, the Union Health Ministry on Monday activated a toll-free 24x7 national helpline number, 1075, to address queries related to the infection.The government also prohibited entry of passengers from EU countries, Turkey and the UK from March 18 till March 31.

Meanwhile, RBI governor Shaktikanta Das on Monday said monetary policy committee will decide if a rate cut is needed to help the economy facing the coronavirus outbreak.

Coronavirus in India: State-wise total number of confirmed cases

 
Maharashtra: 38
Kerala: 22
Haryana: 14 (all foreigners)
Uttar Pradesh: 12 (including one foreigners)
Delhi: 7
Karnataka: 7
Rajasthan: 4 (including two foreigners)
Ladakh: 3
Telangana: 3
Jammu and Kashmir: 2
Andhra Pradesh: 1
Punjab: 1
Tamil Nadu: 1


3:08 AM IST Wall Street suffered its biggest drop since 1987 on Monday, with the S&P 500 closing at its lowest level since December 2018, as investors fear the coronavirus pandemic is proving a tougher opponent than central banks, lawmakers or the White House are currently capable of battling. The S&P 500 tumbled 12%, its biggest drop since "Black Monday" three decades ago, despite the Federal Reserve's surprise move late Sunday to cut interest rates to near zero, its second emergency interest rate cut in less than two weeks and ahead of its scheduled policy meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday. READ MORE HERE A trader reacts as he works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City. Reuters

3:00 AM IST With public sector banks scurrying to meet the April 1 deadline for merger, the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has caused widespread disruptions in their preparations. The banks slated for merger were supposed to hold employee training sessions starting this week. According to the banks, they have either put the sessions on hold or are opting for e-learning instead of classroom sessions. Moreover, programmes involving gatherings, like customer interface programmes, have also been put on hold.Read More Here

2:59 AM IST There is growing demand from members cutting across party lines that the ongoing Parliament session be prorogued earlier than the scheduled April 3. AIADMK MP S R Balasubramaniam, for instance, said in the Rajya Sabha that the ongoing Budget session of Parliament could be curtailed. However, Finance Bill needs to be passed, even as appropriation bill was cleared on Monday. Read More Here

2:58 AM IST Readymade garment exports dropped by around 4.51 per cent to $1.437 billion in February 2019 compared to last year. Exporters said the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak will impact exports for the next few months. This is because nearly 80 per cent of retail shops in western countries have shut due to the virus. According to official data, while from December 2018 exports have been growing till May 2019 on a month-on-month basis, they have been falling since December 2019. Read More Here

2:57 AM IST With coronavirus cases swelling in the country, a Group of Ministers (GoM) on Monday proposed various measures, including the closure of all educational institutions, gymnasiums, museums, cultural and social centres, swimming pools, and theatres across the country. The government also banned the entry of passengers from countries in the European Union, Turkey, and the UK from March 18 till March 31. The latest steps in the fight cased the coronavirus pandemic came as the number of positive cases in India reached at least 114 (there were reports of several active cases at the time of going to press). Fresh cases were witnessed in Odisha, Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, Kerala, and Telangana. From Delhi to Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra, state governments moved another step towards imposing a lockdown. Read More Here Railway workers disinfect the coaches of Delhi –Jammu Rajdhani Express. PTI

2:55 AM IST Such is the scare of the new coronavirus that protective gear such as masks and sanitisers are briskly going out of stock from retail outlets. The Centre is contemplating launching a consumer awareness campaign, telling people not to panic while buying these items. Manufacturers, especially micro, small and medium enterprises are seeing a short-term opportunity in this and are lining up to make these products. Sample this: The Gujarat Food and Drug Control Administration has approved 100 product licences for hand sanitisers in the last one week alone. Speaking to Business Standard, HG Koshia, commissioner of Gujarat FDCA, said the government has approved product licences on a fast-track basis to ensure that there was no shortage of these items in the market. “We gave 100 licences to around 40 manufacturers to make hand sanitisers in the last one week alone,” he said. Read More Here People wear protective masks in view of coronavirus pandemic at Gateway of India in Mumbai | PTI photo

2:54 AM IST The coronavirus pandemic will bankrupt most airlines worldwide by the end of May unless governments and the industry take coordinated steps to avoid such a situation, an aviation consultant warned. Many airlines have probably been driven into technical bankruptcy or substantially breached debt covenants already, Sydney-based consultancy CAPA Centre for Aviation warned in a statement Monday. Carriers are depleting cash reserves quickly because their planes are grounded and those that aren’t are flying more than half empty, it said. Read More Here

2:12 AM IST Oil prices fell below $30 a barrel on Monday as the worldwide coronavirus outbreak worsened over the weekend, exacerbating fears that government lockdowns to contain the spread of the disease would spark a global recession. Top global oil producers Saudi Arabia and Russia, having failed to agree on a plan to curb supply as the fall in global economic activity destroys oil demand, and have turned on each other to start a price war. Saudi Aramco reiterated on Monday its plans to boost output to record levels to take a bigger share of the global market. Brent crude settled down $3.80, or 11.2%, to $30.05 a barrel.  READ MORE HERE

2:03 AM IST Amazon.com Inc said on Monday it would hire 100,000 warehouse and delivery workers in the United States to tackle a surge in online orders, as consumers shop heavily fearing the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. Amazon said https://blog.aboutamazon.com/operations/amazon-opening-100000-new-roles it would invest over $350 million to raise the pays for these employees in the US and Canada by $2 an hour, 2 pounds in the UK and about 2 euros in the European Union. It currently pays $15 an hour for workers in its US fulfillment centers.

2:02 AM IST U.S. stocks suffered their biggest one-day drop since 1987 on Monday as the Federal Reserve's surprise move to cut interest rates to near zero fueled anxiety over a potential deep recession because of the coronavirus pandemic. According to initial closing data, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2,997.1 points, or 12.93%, to 20,188.52, the S&P 500 lost 324.89 points, or 11.98%, to 2,386.13 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 970.28 points, or 12.32%, to 6,904.59.

2:01 AM IST Auckland International Airport said on Tuesday it would scrap its interim dividend on top of cost-cut measures that include a hiring freeze and a halt to discretionary spending due to the coronavirus outbreak. "We realise some of our shareholders may be disappointed, but we ask for their understanding amid these extremely challenging circumstances," Chief Executive Officer Adrian Littlewood said in a statement. Littlewood will also take a 20% cut to his salary, while directors will see their fees reduced by 20% for the rest of the financial year, Auckland International Airport said.

2:00 AM IST Brazil on Monday approved a raft of measures to combat the economic and financial damage from the coronavirus, boosting liquidity in the financial system, maintaining the flow of credit in the economy and expanding banks' lending capacity. The National Monetary Council CMN, Brazil's highest economic policy body comprising the economy minister and central bank president, approved the measures after an emergency meeting. The new steps will allow banks to offer those firms and households in good financial shape increased loans and better terms over the next six months. This could apply to up to 3.2 trillion reais ($640 billion) of loans, the central bank said.

LIVE UPDATES

Wall Street deepens historic slump amid virus spread; Dow, S&P fall 12%

Wall Street suffered its biggest drop since 1987 on Monday, with the S&P 500 closing at its lowest level since December 2018, as investors fear the coronavirus pandemic is proving a tougher opponent than central banks, lawmakers or the White House are currently capable of battling. The S&P 500 tumbled 12%, its biggest drop since "Black Monday" three decades ago, despite the Federal Reserve's surprise move late Sunday to cut interest rates to near zero, its second emergency interest rate cut in less than two weeks and ahead of its scheduled policy meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday. READ MORE HERE

A trader reacts as he works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City. Reuters

Coronavirus outbreak disrupts PSB merger as banks put programmes on hold

With public sector banks scurrying to meet the April 1 deadline for merger, the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has caused widespread disruptions in their preparations. The banks slated for merger were supposed to hold employee training sessions starting this week. According to the banks, they have either put the sessions on hold or are opting for e-learning instead of classroom sessions. Moreover, programmes involving gatherings, like customer interface programmes, have also been put on hold.Read More Here

MPs across party lines demand end to Parliament session over Covid-19

There is growing demand from members cutting across party lines that the ongoing Parliament session be prorogued earlier than the scheduled April 3. AIADMK MP S R Balasubramaniam, for instance, said in the Rajya Sabha that the ongoing Budget session of Parliament could be curtailed. However, Finance Bill needs to be passed, even as appropriation bill was cleared on Monday. Read More Here

Coronavirus outbreak to take heavy toll on readymade garment exports

Readymade garment exports dropped by around 4.51 per cent to $1.437 billion in February 2019 compared to last year. Exporters said the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak will impact exports for the next few months. This is because nearly 80 per cent of retail shops in western countries have shut due to the virus. According to official data, while from December 2018 exports have been growing till May 2019 on a month-on-month basis, they have been falling since December 2019. Read More Here

Closer to lockdown: Gatherings of over 50 banned in Delhi amid virus spread

With coronavirus cases swelling in the country, a Group of Ministers (GoM) on Monday proposed various measures, including the closure of all educational institutions, gymnasiums, museums, cultural and social centres, swimming pools, and theatres across the country. The government also banned the entry of passengers from countries in the European Union, Turkey, and the UK from March 18 till March 31. The latest steps in the fight cased the coronavirus pandemic came as the number of positive cases in India reached at least 114 (there were reports of several active cases at the time of going to press). Fresh cases were witnessed in Odisha, Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, Kerala, and Telangana. From Delhi to Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra, state governments moved another step towards imposing a lockdown. Read More Here

Railway workers disinfect the coaches of Delhi –Jammu Rajdhani Express. PTI

Govt mulls campaign to halt panic buying amid coronavirus outbreak

Such is the scare of the new coronavirus that protective gear such as masks and sanitisers are briskly going out of stock from retail outlets. The Centre is contemplating launching a consumer awareness campaign, telling people not to panic while buying these items. Manufacturers, especially micro, small and medium enterprises are seeing a short-term opportunity in this and are lining up to make these products. Sample this: The Gujarat Food and Drug Control Administration has approved 100 product licences for hand sanitisers in the last one week alone. Speaking to Business Standard, HG Koshia, commissioner of Gujarat FDCA, said the government has approved product licences on a fast-track basis to ensure that there was no shortage of these items in the market. “We gave 100 licences to around 40 manufacturers to make hand sanitisers in the last one week alone,” he said. Read More Here

People wear protective masks in view of coronavirus pandemic at Gateway of India in Mumbai | PTI photo

Coronavirus outbreak could make airlines bankrupt by May-end: CAPA

The coronavirus pandemic will bankrupt most airlines worldwide by the end of May unless governments and the industry take coordinated steps to avoid such a situation, an aviation consultant warned. Many airlines have probably been driven into technical bankruptcy or substantially breached debt covenants already, Sydney-based consultancy CAPA Centre for Aviation warned in a statement Monday. Carriers are depleting cash reserves quickly because their planes are grounded and those that aren’t are flying more than half empty, it said. Read More Here

Oil slumps below $30 as coronavirus spreads, OPEC rancor remains elevated

Oil prices fell below $30 a barrel on Monday as the worldwide coronavirus outbreak worsened over the weekend, exacerbating fears that government lockdowns to contain the spread of the disease would spark a global recession. Top global oil producers Saudi Arabia and Russia, having failed to agree on a plan to curb supply as the fall in global economic activity destroys oil demand, and have turned on each other to start a price war. Saudi Aramco reiterated on Monday its plans to boost output to record levels to take a bigger share of the global market. Brent crude settled down $3.80, or 11.2%, to $30.05 a barrel.  READ MORE HERE

Amazon to hire 100,000 workers as online orders surge on virus worries

Amazon.com Inc said on Monday it would hire 100,000 warehouse and delivery workers in the United States to tackle a surge in online orders, as consumers shop heavily fearing the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. Amazon said https://blog.aboutamazon.com/operations/amazon-opening-100000-new-roles it would invest over $350 million to raise the pays for these employees in the US and Canada by $2 an hour, 2 pounds in the UK and about 2 euros in the European Union. It currently pays $15 an hour for workers in its US fulfillment centers.

Wall Street plummets as Fed rate cut amps up investors' virus fears

U.S. stocks suffered their biggest one-day drop since 1987 on Monday as the Federal Reserve's surprise move to cut interest rates to near zero fueled anxiety over a potential deep recession because of the coronavirus pandemic. According to initial closing data, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2,997.1 points, or 12.93%, to 20,188.52, the S&P 500 lost 324.89 points, or 11.98%, to 2,386.13 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 970.28 points, or 12.32%, to 6,904.59.

Auckland Airport scraps dividend, CEO to take pay cut as virus upends travel

Auckland International Airport said on Tuesday it would scrap its interim dividend on top of cost-cut measures that include a hiring freeze and a halt to discretionary spending due to the coronavirus outbreak. "We realise some of our shareholders may be disappointed, but we ask for their understanding amid these extremely challenging circumstances," Chief Executive Officer Adrian Littlewood said in a statement. Littlewood will also take a 20% cut to his salary, while directors will see their fees reduced by 20% for the rest of the financial year, Auckland International Airport said.

Brazil takes emergency steps to boost liquidity, lending hit by Coronavirus

Brazil on Monday approved a raft of measures to combat the economic and financial damage from the coronavirus, boosting liquidity in the financial system, maintaining the flow of credit in the economy and expanding banks' lending capacity. The National Monetary Council CMN, Brazil's highest economic policy body comprising the economy minister and central bank president, approved the measures after an emergency meeting. The new steps will allow banks to offer those firms and households in good financial shape increased loans and better terms over the next six months. This could apply to up to 3.2 trillion reais ($640 billion) of loans, the central bank said.

'Test, test, test': WHO chief's coronavirus message to world

The World Health Organization called on all countries on Monday to ramp up their testing programmes as the best way to slow the advance of the coronavirus pandemic, and also urged companies to boost production of vital equipment to overcome acute shortages. "We have a simple message to all countries - test, test, test," WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference in Geneva. "All countries should be able to test all suspected cases, they cannot fight this pandemic blindfolded."

COVID-19: Another tests positive in J&K; total cases 3 Jammu

Another person has tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday, taking the number of such patients to three, officials said. "One more case confirmed positive. Travel history to Saudi Arabia. Had reported high viral load earlier. Total 3 positive cases now," official spokesperson Rohit Kansal tweeted. Earlier, Kansal said the patient had been kept in isolation. Officials in the health department said this was the third positive case of the novel coronavirus detected in the Union territory. Earlier in the day, the administration said 176 people had completed their quarantine period and only two persons tested positive for the infection.

Coronavirus cases in Pakistan surges to 183 By Sajjad Hussain

Pakistan's coronavirus cases surged to 183 on Monday after dozens of new infection were reported in Sindh province. Official said that Sindh had 150 positive cases, followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with 15, Balochistan 10, Gilgit-Baltistan 5, Islamabad 2 and Punjab 1. Sindh government spokesperson Murtaza Wahab said that 119 patients were among the passengers who arrived in Sukkur from Taftan. The “exponential increase is largely due to the recent inflow of people brought in from Taftan after a purported quarantine," said Wahab said.

Poland's environment minister tests positive for coronavirus

Poland's environment minister Michal Wos has tested positive for coronavirus, he said in a tweet on Monday. "I feel good ... and I express solidarity with all those who are sick," he wrote. Poland has 156 confirmed coronavirus cases and 3 deaths so far.

In bid to slow coronavirus, Canada shuts borders to foreign nationals

Canada closed its borders to all foreign nationals except U.S. citizens and permanent residents on Monday, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urging people to stay at home to help stem the spread of the new coronavirus. "We will be denying entry into Canada to people who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents," Trudeau told reporters at a news conference outside his home, where he is under quarantine. "All Canadians should stay home." The death toll in Canada jumped to four on Monday, from one on Sunday. All three new deaths were reported by the Pacific province of British Columbia. Health officials say they have found about 350 cases of COVID-19 across all 10 provinces.

More COVID-19 cases, deaths reported in the rest of world than in China: WHO

There have now been more COVID-19 cases and deaths in the rest of the world than in China, the World Health Organization said Monday.

"More cases and deaths have now been reported in the rest of the world than in China," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva, without providing the latest numbers.

Coronavirus: Sikkim bans entry of tourists, shuts down schools, gyms till Apr 15

Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang on Monday banned the entry of foreign and domestic tourists into the state and shut down public places such as educational institutes till April 15 in view of novel coronavirus outbreak.

He also appealed to the people of Sikkim to avoid travelling outside the state unless it is an emergency.
 
There will be a complete ban on visits of even domestic tourists in Sikkim, the chief minister said, adding a notification in this regard will be issued on Tuesday.

Fake sanitiser unit busted, raw material worth Rs 12 L seized: police

Amid a spurt in demand for sanitiser following the coronavirus outbreak, the Ghaziabad police has busted a fake germicide-producing unit and arrested four of its workers, police said on Monday.
 
A Kavi Nagar police team accompanied with Drug Department officials also seized various chemicals worth Rs 12 lakh to produce the spurious sanitiser, said Ghaziabad's Senior Superintendent of Police Kalanidhi Naithani.

Coronavirus: Advisory issued for MGNREGA workers in Rajasthan

Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot on Monday said an advisory had been issued for rural job scheme workers in the state to raise awareness among them about the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Around 13-lakh workers are employed in the state under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).

US, French firms start drug trial in severe COVID-19 cases

French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi and American drugmaker Regeneron said Monday they have started clinical trials for a new drug in patients hospitalised with severe COVID-19 infections.
 
In a statement they said phase 2 and 3 trials were under way for Kevzara, an immunosuppressor.
Regeneron will trial in the United States, while Sanofi plans trials initially in Italy, particularly hard hit by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

'Test every suspected case' of COVID-19: WHO

The World Health Organization called Monday for countries to test every suspected case of COVID-19, as the rest of the world registered more cases and deaths in the pandemic than China.

"You cannot fight a fire blindfolded," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva, saying the WHO recommended that countries "Test, test, test. Test every suspected case."

Wipro asks employees to work from home

IT company Wipro on Monday said it has advised employees to work from home, if feasible depending upon their job responsibilities, amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Wipro said safety, health and wellbeing of our employees are of paramount importance and over the past several weeks, it has taken a series of preventive measures to protect our employees from the coronavirus outbreak.

Nearly 70,000 Afghans return home after fleeing virus hit Iran

Nearly 70,000 Afghans have returned from virus-hit Iran in the past 20 days, an official said Monday, overwhelming health workers at border crossings and raising fears of a major outbreak in the impoverished country.

They were allowed back in after Kabul reopened land crossings for Afghans wanting to return home -- despite having earlier suspended air and ground links over fears of the virus spreading from Iran, one of the world's worst-hit countries.

Work on Notre-Dame in Paris halted by coronavirus

French authorities halted restoration work on the fire-ravaged Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris on Monday as the country braces for additional measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Workers at the historic landmark in the centre of the French capital had been dismantling the molten metal scaffolding around the church's spire, which collapsed in the catastrophic blaze last April.

Bengal civic polls deferred over coronavirus

The elections to the West Bengal civic bodies, including the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), have been postponed for the time being amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, an official said on Monday.
 
The decision was taken at an all-party meeting called to decide the dates for the polls, State Election Commissioner Sourav Das said.

No plan to lockdown any Maha city: CM on coronavirus outbreak

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday said the state government has no plans to enforce a lockdown of any city in view of the coronavirus situation, but asked people to avoid thronging temples, mosques, churches and other public spaces.

Maharashtra had 39 novel coronavirus (Covid-19) patients as on Monday evening.

Don't be scared, don't stay at home if you have symptoms: First COVID-19 patient of Delhi

A businessman who was the first person to test positive for the novel coronavirus in Delhi and quarantined 14 days, said on Monday that people having symptoms of the deadly disease should not be scared and visit doctors immediately.
 
The 45-year-old man (name withheld), in an interaction with PTI over phone from his home in Mayur Vihar area of east Delhi, said, he had become "more religious" after his treatment, following which he was discharged last Saturday.

Italy reports 349 new virus deaths, taking total to over 2,000

Italy on Monday reported 349 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, taking its total since last month to 2,158, the most after China.
 
The number of official COVID-19 fatalities has more than doubled since Thursday, when Italy's toll topped 1,000 for the first time. Italy now has 27,980 infections, compared to 15,113 four days ago.

Global death toll from coronavirus tops 7,000

Global death toll from coronavirus tops 7,000

Newalert

COVID-19 pandemic 'defining global health crisis of our time': WHO

Grofers, BigBasket see orders soaring as virus lockdown shuts malls

Online grocery platforms Grofers and BigBasket are witnessing up to two-fold growth in purchases as authorities in multiple cities close malls and shopping places to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

The e-tailers said they are shoring up supplies amid the sudden increase in demand due to panic buying across a number of cities in the last couple of days.
These companies are witnessing very high demand for products in the personal hygiene category as well as immunity boosting items such as honey and ayurvedic products.

Global airlines slash almost all flights as virus spreads wings

Major world airlines on Monday axed almost all flights on a temporary basis as the worsening coronavirus crisis sparks travel bans, ravages demand and sends shares into freefall, triggering pleas to help carriers survive.

Fresh case of COVID-19 in T'gana, total number infected is 4

A fresh case of coronavirus was reported on Monday, taking the number of such cases in Telangana to four even as the state government stepped up its preparedness to prevent the spread of the virus.
 
One person tested positive and the number of positive cases is four, according to a media bulletin on COVID-19.

Trio held for fake news on death due to coronavirus

Three people were on Monday arrested for allegedly spreading fake news in the social media about the death of a person due tocoronavirus (COVID- 19), police said.

"The trio in the age group of 20-25 created fake message that one person died of coronavirus and circulated the false news in a whatsapp group," Assistant Commissioner of Police (Bhongir Division) N Bhujanga Rao told PTI.

Arunachal Pradesh shuts down edu institues, cinema halls, weekly markets till April 5

The Arunachal Pradesh government on Monday announced the closure of all educational institutes, cinema halls and weekly markets in the state with immediate effect till April 5, as part of its measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

China to withdraw thousands of medical staff from Wuhan as virus outbreak 'almost seen its end'

China on Monday announced plans for an orderly withdrawal of thousands of medical staff deployed in the worst-hit Wuhan city as a top medical expert said the coronavirus outbreak has "almost seen its end" in the country but a final judgement would be made after a month.

South Africa suspends all forms of cricket for two months due to COVID-19 pandemic

With the COVID-19 pandemic creating a global upheaval, Cricket South Africa on Monday suspended all forms of cricket in the country for the next two months.
After South Africa president Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday declared a state of disaster, CSA also decided to suspend all cricket activities in the country to contain the spread of the virus.

DGCA directs domestic, international carriers to follow travel restrictions 'scrupulously'

Aviation regulator DGCA has directed all domestic and international carriers to "scrupulously" follow the fresh travel restrictions announced by the government on Monday, which cover countries from the European Union and the UK, and Turkey.

With cases of coronavirus swelling in the country, the government on Monday prohibited entry of passengers from EU countries, Turkey and the UK from March 18 till March 31.

Sonowal chairs meeting on coronavirus

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Monday reviewed the Coronavirus outbreak preparations in the state with senior officials.
 
An official release said, an emergency review meeting on preparation undertaken so far for prevention and control of Coronavirus in the state was chaired by the Chief Minister.

Can eating garlic negate coronavirus effect? 12 most common misconceptions busted

Maha orders closure of tiger parks, sanctuaries

Maharashtra Government on Monday ordered closure of tiger parks, national parks and sanctuaries in the state in view of coronavirus threat.

With 2 new cases, Maharashtra's Covid-19 count now 39

The number of Covid-19 patients in Maharashtra rose to 39 on Monday after two people, including a Filipino, tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Yavatmal and Navi Mumbai, said state health department officials. At 39, Maharashtra has the highest number of coronavirus cases among states in the country.

Armenia declares state of emergency over coronavirus

Armenia on Monday declared a nationwide state of emergency over the coronavirus, announcing additional social distancing measures and travel restrictions.

Egypt suspends flights from Thursday over coronavirus

Egypt said on Monday all flights would be suspended until the end of the month to stem the spread of the coronavirus, in a move expected to hit the key tourism industry.
 
"Flights will be suspended from Thursday until March 31," Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly told a televised news conference.

Indian-origin Jew beaten in coronavirus-linked hate crime in Israel

An Indian-origin Jew was badly beaten by two persons who called him a “Chinese” and yelled 'Corona! Corona" in Israel's Tiberias city, in an apparent racist assault linked to the virus outbreak.
 
Am-Shalem Singson, 28, from the Bnei Menashe community, hailing from the north-eastern states of Manipur and Mizoram, was admitted to the Poriya hospital with severe chest injuries, Channel 13 reported.

White House moves to protect Trump, staff against virus

The White House put in place new measures Monday to protect President Donald Trump and his staff during the coronavirus outbreak, including taking the temperature of anyone who enters the complex, including visitors and members of the press corps.
 
The steps expanded on screenings the White House began on Saturday for anyone who gets close to Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, who is leading the administration's response to the virus.
 
Officials greeted staff, reporters and camera workers by swiping their foreheads with a temporal thermometer.

Coronavirus: All educational institutions, malls, theatres to be shut till March 31 in TN

Stepping up preventive measures against coronavirus, the Tamil Nadu government on Monday ordered closure of all educational institutions and places thronged by public in large numbers such as liquor bars theatres, malls and resorts till March 31.

100-bed isolation ward set up in Uttarakhand's Kichha Rudrapur

The health department in Uttarakhand's Udham Singh Nagar district on Monday set up a 100-bed isolation ward to deal with the coronavirus threat.
 
Coronavirus suspects will be kept and monitored in the isolation ward at Surajmal Medical College of Ayurveda and Hospital in Kichha, said Udham Singh Nagar District Magistrate Niraj Khairwal. 

Bihar govt to foot bill of corona patients, pay Rs 4L ex- gratia for those who die

The Bihar government will provide quality medical care for free to those found infected with the coronavirus and extend an ex-gratia payment of Rs 4 lakh to the next of kin of those who die from COVID 19, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said on Monday.
 
Kumar asserted that his government was committed to preventing the dreaded coronavirus pandemic from spreading its tentacles in the state.

India Inc fears coronavirus to pull down GDP by at leat 50 bps

Corporate India is expecting a 0.5 per cent hit on economic growth in FY2020-21 if the coronavirus pandemic lasts longer, pushing up fiscal deficit and creating more bad loans for the bank, says an industry survey.

Care Ratings has conducted a survey on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy among over 150 CEOs, CFOs, investors, analysts and other stakeholders from manufacturing, financial services, infra, realty and services between March 5 and 12. According to the survey, the economic impact will be significant and long term if the virus continues for longer.

COVID-19: Section 144 imposed in J&K's Ganderbal

The administration has imposed Section 144 in Jammu and Kashmir's Ganderbal district on Monday to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
 
District Magistrate Shafqat Iqbal imposed the ban on the assembly of four or more people in any public place and it will remain in place till March-end, according to an order.

US surgeon general: US cases are where Italy was 2 weeks ago

The US surgeon general said on Monday that the number of coronavirus cases in the United States has reached the level that Italy recorded two weeks ago, a sign that infections are expected to rise in America as the government steps up testing and financial markets continue to fall.

Coronavirus scare: Exporters hit by global trade slowdown, seek relief

With the slowdown in global trade in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC) of India on Monday sought relief measures from the government.
 
The exporters have found themselves in a "state of turmoil" as shipments to the top destinations have been paralysed with major economies of the world slipping into a "near-halt" due to the spread of the virus, the council said in a statement. The EEPC India has sought urgent relief measures from the government.

Govt prohibits entry of passengers from EU, Turkey, UK from Mar 18

With the cases of the coronavirus swelling in the country, the government on Monday prohibited entry of passengers from EU countries, Turkey and the UK from March 18 till March 31.
 
The Union health ministry also said four new coronavirus cases -- one each from Odisha, Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh and Kerala, have been reported, taking the total number of cases to 114 on Monday. These cases include 10 discharged, three cured and two deaths.

Malaysia bans mass gatherings, shuts most businesses

Malaysia's leader has announced a drastic two-week lockdown in the country following a sharp spike in the number of virus cases.
 
Prime Minister Muhyiddini Yassin says religious institutions, schools, businesses and government offices will be shut until March 31.

Virus toll in Iran climbs as lockdowns deepen across Mideast

Iran reported another 129 fatalities from the new coronavirus on Monday, the largest one-day rise in deaths since it began battling the Middle East's worst outbreak, which has claimed more than 850 lives and infected a number of senior officials in the country.
 
Businesses in Iran's capital remained open, however, even as other countries in the region moved toward full lockdowns, with Lebanon largely shutting down and Iraqis racing to prepare for a curfew set to begin later this week.

Poland bans domestic flights, warns of virus spread

Poland on Monday suspended all domestic flights as part of sweeping measures to try and halt the spread of the new coronavirus. The measure comes after the EU country banned entry for foreigners and suspended international flights from Saturday.

Monuments, museums to be shut till Mar 31

All ASI-protected monuments, central museums across India to be shut till Mar 31 in view of coronavirus: Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel

NDMC to malls, restaurants, hotels: Keep sanitisation facility at entry points, avoid gathering

Amid coronavirus cases reported in the national capital, the civic body in north Delhi on Monday issued an order to owners of hotels, guest houses, malls, restaurants and other recreational establishments to ensure that proper sanitisation facility is available at entry points of their premises.
 
The order from the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) also said that these establishments should ensure no crowding or gathering at one particular site.

MCA office to remain closed till Mar 21

Following the outbreak of novel coronavirus in Maharashtra, the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) has decided to keep its offices closed till March 21.
 
"The office of the Association will remain closed from Tuesday, March 17 to Saturday, March 21 as a precautionary measure against the ongoing coronavirus outbreak," MCA Chief Executive Officer CS Naik said in a media release.

COVID-19: Jammu school sealed for flouting closure order

A private higher secondary school in Samba district was sealed on Monday for allegedly flouting the government's order of closure of all educational institutions in Jammu and Kashmir over the novel coronavirus pandemic, an official said.

SC takes suo motu note of overcrowding in prisons, seeks info from all states and UTs

The Supreme Court on Monday took suo motu cognisance of overcrowding of prisons across the country and said it is difficult for jail inmates to maintain social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus, which has been declared as pandemic by the World Health Organization.
 
The top court noted that if prompt measures are not taken, the situation might worsen in India, which has so far reported 114 positive cases.

Coronavirus has not impacted children much: Top Chinese medical expert

The coronavirus has not caused much harm to children including infants, according to a top Chinese medical specialist treating patients in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak that has turned pandemic.

Share tech-driven solutions to tackle coronavirus: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday took to Twitter, asking people to share technology-driven solutions for coronavirus.
 
"Harnessing innovation for a healthier planet. A lot of people have been sharing technology-driven solutions for COVID-19. I would urge them to share them on @mygovindia," he said.

Exporters seek financial package to offset impact of COVID-19

Tirupur Exporters' Association (TEA) Monday urged Finance Minister Nirmala Seetharaman to announce financial measures to rejuvenate the economy and business confidence of the exporting units in order to offset the impact of coronavirus.

Thermal screening of passengers in trains, railway stations begins in Kerala

In the backdrop of the coronavirus spread, authorities have commenced thermal screening of passengers in trains passing through the state and at major railway stations, including this capital city and Ernakulam, official sources said on Monday.

Three more people test positive in Kerala

Three more people test positive for coronavirus in Kerala on Monday, taking the total number of cases to 24, says Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan

Coronavirus forces BCCI to empty out HQ, staff to work from home

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced India's biggest sports body BCCI to virtually shut down its headquarter in Mumbai from Tuesday with its employees being advised to work from home.
 
It has been learnt that the employees have been asked to "work from home" with all the cricketing operations already being suspended till further notice.
 
"The BCCI employees were today notified that the headquarters at the Wankhede Stadium will be as good as closed in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic. All the staffers have been advised to work from home," a top source from the Board told PTI on the condition of anonymity.

Emergency powers in virus fight must not be used to quash dissent: UN experts

Countries going into crisis mode over the spread of the deadly new coronavirus must not use the emergency measures to suppress human rights, a group of independent UN experts insisted Monday.
 
The rights experts, who are appointed by the United Nations but who do not speak on behalf of the world body, said they recognised "the severity of the current health crisis and acknowledge that the use of emergency powers is allowed by international law in response to significant threats." But they went on to "urgently remind states that any emergency responses to the coronavirus must be proportionate, necessary and non-discriminatory."

Brazil stocks plunge, trading halted in virus havoc

The Sao Paulo stock exchange plummeted 12.5 percent shortly after opening Monday, triggering a suspension of trading for the fifth time in a week as the coronavirus pandemic continued to roil global markets.
 
The automatic circuit breakers that halt trading in case of sudden plunges in Latin America's biggest stock market have been getting a regular workout as the pandemic batters the Brazilian economy, which is closely tied to China's and highly sensitive to global market swings

Austrian Airlines says to suspend all flights from Thursday over coronavirus

Austria Airlines, a subsidiary of the Lufthansa group, said Monday that it will suspend all of its regular flights from Thursday owing to a sharp drop in demand stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.
 
Austria Airlines said that the suspension of flights would last until March 28 but that it would continue to operate flights to repatriate Austrians trapped abroad.

Coronavirus: Guj orders closure of national parks, sanctuaries

Gujarat Government on Monday ordered closure of national parks, sanctuaries and conservation reserves in the state in view of coronavirus threat.
 
A circular issued by the Chief Wildlife Warden Shyamal Tikadar said the state's national parks, sanctuaries, and conservation reserves will remain closed from Tuesday till March 29

State govt should be prepared to handle any contingency due to coronavirus: Assam Guv

Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi on Monday asked the state machinery to be fully prepared to handle any situation arising out of the deadly novel coronavirus.
 
Mukhi held a meeting with senior officials of the disaster management and health and family welfare departments at Raj Bhavan here.

Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas advance summer break, schools to remain closed from March 21 to May 25

Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs) have advanced summer break to March 21 in view of the coronavirus outbreak, officials said on Monday.
 
"The exams are getting over, classes were already suspended. The summer break has been advanced in view of the coronavirus. The vacation will now be from March 21 to May 25," a senior NVS official said.

Haryana CS give special direction to district officials

Haryana Chief Secretary Keshni Anand Arora on Monday gave special instructions to divisional commissioners, deputy commissioners, chief health officers and other senior officials of the state through video conferencing from here to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
 
She directed them to ensure the availability of medicines, masks and sanitiser to the public at reasonable prices.

Coronavirus: 8 in home quarantine in Maha's Bhandara

Eight people were placed in home quarantine in Bhandara in Maharashtra on Monday for suspected exposure to novel coronavirus, officials said.
 
They are between the age of 25 and 68 and had recently travelled to United Arab Emirates and United States among other nations, an official said.

US returnee tests positive for virus, cases touch 8 in K'taka

A 32-year-old man, who returned from the US via London earlier this month, has tested positive for coronavirus making it the eighth case in Karnataka, the health department said on Monday.

Johnson & Johnson says no evidence HIV drug works against coronavirus

Johnson & Johnson said on Monday it had no evidence its HIV drug, Prezista, had any effect on patients suffering from the disease caused by coronavirus.
 
The company said it was aware that HIV treatments are being considered as options for coronavirus treatments, and that this use was based on unpublished clinical data in the treatment of patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome - a virus similar to the coronavirus.

S&P 500 tumbles as trading on Wall Street resumes

The S&P 500 index plunged over 9% on Monday as trading resumed after an initial automatic 15-minute cutout, driven by mounting fears of the damage the coronavirus is doing to the global economy.

At 9:45 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 2,748.64 points, or 11.85%, at 20,436.98, the S&P 500 was down 264.65 points, or 9.76%, at 2,446.37 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 922.27 points, or 11.71%, at 6,952.60.

UK supermarkets may cut services to stay open as coronavirus spreads

Britain's major supermarkets are working on plans to streamline their operations by cutting cafes, counters and other services to enable a depleted workforce to maintain basic provisions during the coronavirus outbreak, industry sources told Reuters.
 
The country's supermarket sector, including market leader Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons
, have struggled for over a week to keep shelves stocked as shoppers panic bought items like dried pasta, canned food, flour, toilet rolls and hand sanitiser.

Health Ministry launches new toll-free number, email ID for queries on COVID-19

As India sees a surge in novel coronavirus cases, the Union Health Ministry on Monday activated a toll-free 24x7 national helpline number, 1075, to address queries related to the infection.
 
The previous helpline number, 011-239 78046, will also remain operational, the ministry officials said.

Foreigners can't visit Delhi gurdwaras without completing 15-day stay in India: DSGMC

The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee on Monday banned the entry of foreigners who have not completed their 15-day stay in India in all gurdwaras in the city to check the transmission of novel coronavirus.

Turkey suspends collective mosque prayers over virus

Turkey on Monday suspended collective mosque prayers, including the important Friday prayer, until further notice to limit the spread of the new coronavirus.

Coronavirus: Bangladesh closes education institutions, enforces travel bans

Bangladesh on Monday closed all education institutions from March 18 to March 31, and imposed a ban on the entry of Europeans and travellers from several countries, including India, as part of measures to combat the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic.
 
"All educational institutions across the country will remain closed from March 18 to March 31," said Deputy Minister for Education Mohibul Hassan Chowdhoury.
 
Bangladesh on Monday enforced its ban on entry of people from Europe and other coronovirus-hit countries, including India.
our new cases, one each from Odisha, Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh and Kerala have been confirmed since the last update. There are now a total of 114 confirmed cases in India as of today, including 13 cured & two reported deaths: Lav Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Union Health Ministry
Fourth batch of 53 evacuates from Iran have arrived today & are being quarantined at the Army facility in Jaisalmer. All are reported to be asymptomatic as present and are in quarantine as per protoco: Lav Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Union Health Ministry

Health Ministry briefing media in Delhi on coronavirus situation

Important measures including closing of schools, swimming pools, malls, allow employees to work from home,less use of public transport, 1 meter distance between people should be maintained till 31st March: Lav Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Union Health Ministry

Players go back home as IPL franchises call off camps till further notice

The eight Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises have called off their respective pre-tournament camps till further notice, three days after the COVID-19 pandemic forced a suspension of the cash-rich event from March 29 to April 15.

Royal Challengers Bangalore on Monday deferred their training camp, which was scheduled to begin on March 21, due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the country.

Those in home quarantine in Maha to be stamped on left hand

People undergoing home quarantine for suspected exposure to the novel coronavirus will be stamped on the left hand, the Maharashtra government said on Monday.
 
In an official release, the state government said the decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and attended by district officials through video-conferencing. As on Monday, there were 37 Covid-19 patients in the state.

Corona outbreak: Malls, gyms, coaching centres closed in Chandigarh till March 31

The Chandigarh administration on Monday ordered shutting down of all malls, gyms, coaching centres, night clubs, pools and banned all social, cultural, political and religious gatherings till March 31 amid the coronavirus outbreak.  
 
Advisor to the Chandigarh administrator, Manoj Parida said all social, cultural, sports, political, religious, academic and family mass gatherings of 100 or more people are banned till March 31.

World needs coordinated fiscal response to pandemic: IMF chief

Global governments must work together to provide massive spending as in the 2008 financial crisis to help the economy withstand the damage from the coronavirus pandemic, IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said on Monday.
 
Emerging markets are facing a massive outflow of cash and will need support as well, she said in a blog post.
 
She again pledged that the IMF "stands ready to mobilize its $1 trillion lending capacity to help our membership," including USD 50 billion in rapidly deployed funds for emerging and developing economies.

New York manufacturing index down 34 points, lowest since 2009: Fed

Manufacturing activity in New York state fell to its lowest level since 2009 and the outlook for the months ahead also collapsed, according to the New York Federal Reserve Bank's monthly industry survey.
 
The Empire State manufacturing index plunged 34 points to -21.5, the biggest point drop and lowest level since the year after the global financial crisis erupted, according to the statement.

Virus brings France to a standstill, Macron mulls further measures

Many streets in French cities were desolate on Monday as schools, cafes and a range of businesses were shuttered on government orders, as President Emmanuel Macron weighed additional measures to contain a fast-escalating coronavirus outbreak.
 
While many people worked from home to avoid potential germ-spreading encounters or look after their children, others thronged supermarkets to stock up on essentials in case of a prolonged lockdown.
RBI governor says Covid-19 to impact domestic as well global growth
The new board of YES Bank will take charge on March 26: RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das
The RBI will make efforts to see policy announcements have optimum impact and desired outcome
I did say rate cut decision will be taken by RBI's monetary policy committee but I'm not ruling out anything: Governor Das
RBI will conduct another US Dollar sell/buy swap on March 23. Governor Das
RBI has been taking calibrated measures to stabilise financial markets: Governor Das
Will take a clearer view of the global impact of Covid 19 in next meeting of RBI monetary policy: Governor Das
Efforts are being mounted against Covid-19 on a war footing: RBI governor
Covid-19 pandemic is a human tragedy--financial markets are witnessing volatility: RBI governor
YES Bank has enough liquidity--RBI will support it if the need arrises: Governor Das.
Govt's Reconstruction Scheme is credible and sustainable: RBI Governor
RBI Govenor Shaktikanta Das: I would like to convey to the depositors of #YesBank, through you, that their money is completely safe and there is nothing to worry. There is no reason for any undue worry.
(RBI) made very swift and quick action for YES Bank, perhaps a record of sorts: RBI governor
RBI Governor Shakitkanta Das: Swift action has been taken by the RBI and Govt of India. The lifting of moratorium will be on Wednesday, 18th March at 6 pm
Will focus on 2 issues (at the press conference): YES Bank and certain aspects of the coronavirus impact on India's economy: RBI governor

Woman tests positive, Yavatmal Covid-19 count now 3

A woman tested positive for novel coronavirus on Monday in Yavatmal in Maharashtra, taking the number of Covid-19 patients in the district to three, said an official.
 
She was part of a nine-member group which returned from Dubai on March 1.

'Don't sacrifice lives': doubts grow in Japan over Tokyo Olympics

Doubts are growing in Japan about the Tokyo Olympics, with growing opposition to holding them as scheduled and some urging officials not to risk lives by pressing ahead during the coronavirus emergency.
 
Officials like Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach have repeatedly insisted preparations should continue to light the Olympic flame on July 24.
 
But with events from the Premier League to NBA basketball scrapped, and Japanese sport also at a standstill, even US President Donald Trump has suggested putting the Olympics on hold.
 
Japan has seen relatively few cases, with 814 testing positive and 24 dead. But some people on the streets of Tokyo voiced concern for the fans that would pour in from abroad.

Covid-19 panic: RBI Gov to hold presser at 4 pm as market mayhem continues

Reserve Bank of India governor Shaktikanta Das is holding a press conference at 4 pm on Monday as market mayhem continues due to concerns coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
 
There are speculations that Das may announce a rate cut.
 
If it happens, this will be first inter-meeting rate reduction since the monetary policy committee was instituted in February 2016.

Kolhapur man died of lung disease, not Covid-19, says doctor

A 68-year-old man who died in Maharashtra's Kolhapur on Sunday was suffering from chronic lung disease and was not infected with the novel coronavirus, a senior health official said.
 
Since deceased Virendra Singh Yadav's samples were sent to the National Institute of Virology for testing, it was being speculated that he was a casualty of Covid-19.

Coronavirus impact will last at least to Q3 - German economy ministry

The German economy ministry said it no longer expected an economic upswing in the first quarter because of the impact of the coronavirus on growth, with the economy unlikely to stabilise before the third quarter at the earliest.
 
The economy ministry said it anticipated lower demand and consumption due to the virus, with the impact set to be clear in the March figures, if not earlier. Stabilisation might come in the third quarter if supply chains ruptured by the epidemic had been repaired by then.
 
"The strength and duration of the impact cannot yet reliably be forecast," the ministry said. "But given the very rapid pace of developments we have to anticipate significant economic impacts."

Coronavirus update: Andaman and Nicobar to close all Tourist spots with effect from 16 March to 26 March 2020 as a precautionary measure

RBI to hold press conference at 4 pm, hours after the Federal Reserve slashed interest rates and triggered a wave of central bank action across Asia

Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das will hold a press conference Monday, hours after the Federal Reserve slashed interest rates and triggered a wave of central bank action across Asia.
 
The Reserve Bank of India has already announced a $2 billion injection for the foreign exchange market to support the rupee as it fell to a record low. Officials have assured markets that the RBI will provide liquidity-- both rupee and foreign exchange -- to keep the local currency stable.

One more person, with travel history to Dubai, has been tested positive for coronavirus in Maharashtra

Yavatmal District Collector MD Singh: One more person, with travel history to Dubai, has been tested positive for coronavirus. With this, total number of COVID-19 cases rises to 38 in Maharashtra. 

Germany imposes border controls with five countries in virus fightback

Germany on Monday introduced border controls with Austria, Denmark, France, Luxembourg and Switzerland in a bid to stem the coronavirus outbreak.
 
Only those with a valid reason for travel, like cross-border commuters and delivery drivers, are allowed through, officials said. The measures started at 0700 GMT, AFP reporters said.
 
At the border between Germany's Kiefersfelden and Austria's Kufstein, police let trucks through but stopped all passenger cars to question drivers, AFP photographers saw. By 0730 GMT, some 10 cars had been turned back.

Doing our best to ensure everyone is healthy: Modi

COVID-19 pandemic: SC takes suo moto cognisance of overcrowding of prisons

The Supreme Court on Monday took suo moto cognisance of overcrowding and infrastructure of prisons across the country in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
 
A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and L N Rao issued a notice to the Director General, Prison, and chief secretary of all states and union territories and sought their response by March 20 on steps taken in the wake of COVID-19.
 
The court also asked all states and union territories to depute an officer on March 23 who could assist court in the matter.

Rana Daggubati starrer 'Haathi Mere Saathi' pushed due to Coronavirus

Actor Rana Daggubati's upcoming action spectacle "Haathi Mere Saathi" has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak across the country, the makers announced on Monday.
 
Directed by Prabhu Solomon, the movie was scheduled to have a nationwide release on April 2 in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.
 
In a statement released by the producers, Eros International, the makers said the decision was taken in the interest and well being of everyone involved. READ ON...

COVID-19: Parks, gardens closed in Srinagar; man with travel history to Saudi Arabia put in isolation

Authorities in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday announced closure of all parks and gardens in Srinagar till further orders even as a person who had recently travelled to Saudi Arabia has been put in isolation on suspicion of having contracted the coronavirus.
 
"All parks and gardens in #Srinagar will remain closed till further notice. Cooperation of people in implementing precautionary measures is appreciated," Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, Shahid Iqbal Chaudhary said in a tweet.

Air France KLM to step up cuts as coronavirus impact bites

Air France KLM, one of many airlines around the world that has been hit by the coronavirus outbreak, said it was stepping up cost saving measures to deal with the impact.
 
The Franco-Dutch airline said it had identified new measures which would generate 200 million euros ($223 million) in savings in 2020, and ways to cut its capital expenditure by 350 million euros.
 
Air France KLM said it would gradually cut back its flights over the next few days, with the number of available seat kilometres (ASK) potentially falling by 70%-90%.
The company added that as a result of the cut in capacity, Air France would ground its entire Airbus 380 fleet and KLM its entire Boeing 747 fleet.

Should be prepared to implement full lockdown in Delhi, if need be: Arvind Kejriwal

Will there be a full lockdown in Delhi? Can't predict anything yet, but we learn from others' (Italy's) experience. If there is a need for it, we should be prepared to implement it.

CM Kejriwal urges Delhiites to be careful and to cooperate in tackling the pandemic, which has caused a mass-scale global scare

Maharashtra CM. Health Minister, Chief Secretary hold a review meeting with district magistrates via video conferencing

Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray and Health Minister Rajesh Tope along with Chief Secretary is holding a review meeting with district magistrates via video conferencing

Coronavirus India update: Maharashtra numbers rise to 37

Maharashtra Health Ministry: Four more people have been tested positive for coronavirus in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai, taking the total number of cases to 37 in the state.

BJP holding Congress MLAs in captivity, floor test not possible: CM Kamal Nath

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Monday wrote to state Governor Lalji Tandon stating that holding of a floor test in the Assembly was not possible in view of some MLAs of the Congress being held in "captivity" by the BJP with the help of Karnataka Police.
 
"I would like you to recall that when I met you on March 13, 2020, I had brought to your notice that BJP has kept many Congress MLAs as captive under the control of Karnataka Police and they were forced to give different types of statements.
 
"I have clarified that in such a situation holding any floor test has no meaning and it will be undemocratic and unconstitutional," Nath stated.

Don't blame Covid-19 suspects for fleeing; govts need to do more: AAP MLA

Aam Aadmi Party MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj on Monday said if the COVID-19 suspects are running away, they should not be blamed, instead, all governments should focus on building trust that suspects and corona positive will be treated with dignity.
 
In a series of tweets, he asked why a sick person would run away from treatments and said we should imagine the worst conditions or harassment the patients would have faced.

SC says some states have taken steps for COVID-19 pandemic but there are some states which have not take appropriate measures.

SC says some states have taken steps for COVID-19 pandemic but there are some states which have not take appropriate measures.

Coronavirus: Thermal screening of lawyers, litigants, scribes at SC

Lawyers, litigants and media personnels were thermal-screened in the Supreme Court on Monday amid coronavirus scare.
 
The top court, which has taken several precautionary measures in wake of the pandemic has allowed only restricted entry of lawyers, litigants and journalists in the courtroom.
 
Long queues were seen at the entry gate with health officials thermal screening the lawyers, litigants and journalists. READ ON...

Coronavirus: Trump urges countrymen against hoarding of essential items

US President Donald Trump has advised his countrymen against hoarding of essential items as reports of grocery stores being swept by panic buying due to the coronavirus crisis emerged, saying supply chains in the country are the most powerful in the world and there is no shortage of daily goods.
 
The US mainstream media, including newspapers and channels, on Sunday showed pictures and visuals of empty shelves in grocery stores in the country. READ ON...

Centre behind the curve in dealing with coronavirus, says Chidambaram

P Chidambaram, Congress: Govt is not doing enough to combat #coronavirus. I've no quarrel if PM wants to call meeting of SAARC or G-20. States are taking bold measures whereas Centre is very diffident & seems to be behind the curve. There should be a video conference between PM & CMs.

Coronavirus update: Health ministries issue fresh advisories for immediate implementation

Coronavirus scare: Thermal screening of visitors being conducted at Parliament

Paracetamol only medication for coronavirus: AP CM Reddy

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy said that paracetamol is the only medication for coronavirus.
 
He said that COVID-19 is lethal for those have comorbid conditions including blood pressure, asthma and kidney diseases.
 
"There is no need to get panic about Coronavirus. Its impact is majorly on senior citizens aged above 60 years. It is dangerous to those suffering from diabetes, blood pressure, asthma and kidney diseases. For others, it is not so much dangerous. And paracetamol is the only medication for coronavirus," Reddy said on Sunday while addressing a press conference on the postponing of the local body elections as coronavirus cases continue to rise. READ ON...

Finch, Warner question Australia govt's moves to combat COVID-19 pandemic

Australian cricketers Aaron Finch and David Warner have questioned the government's new policy to tackle the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
 
Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced that the country will impose a 14-day self isolation on all international passenger arrivals from midnight Sunday (March 15) to try and contain the spread of coronavirus, which has so far claimed more than 6,000 lives across the world. READ ON...
 

During the Pandemic of Coronavirus, IIT Kanpur Will Provide Free Online Python Courses to Universities Worldwide

Prutor.ai, developed by Dr. Amey at IIT Kanpur, offers many online courses. It is making the online content and access to Prutor free to any university and college in the world which cannot take physical classes anymore due to the coronavirus pandemic. Most colleges have to cancel taking the physical classes in the classrooms, to prevent the virus from spreading. IIT's, IISc, NIT's, and other institutions are just a few of the list of colleges cancelling the classes.
 
Interested educational institutions can sign up through an online portal (https://prutor.ai/) and will have free access through July 31, 2020 for any number of students.

COVID-19: CAPA says most airlines will be bankrupt by May-end unless there is coordinated govt-industry action

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, most airlines in the world will be bankrupt by the end of May and only a coordinated government and industry action right now can avoid the catastrophe, said global aviation consultancy firm CAPA in a note on Monday.
 
"As the impact of the coronavirus and multiple government travel reactions sweep through our world, many airlines have probably already been driven into technical bankruptcy, or are at least substantially in breach of debt covenants," it stated.

Coronavirus in Maharashtra: One more person has been tested positive for Coronavirus in Pimpri-Chinchwad

Maharashtra Health Department: One more person has been tested positive for Coronavirus in Pimpri-Chinchwad, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 33 in the state.

Coronavirus: Alessandro Del Piero announces FIFA World Cup winners' fundraiser

Italy's FIFA World Cup-winning side of 2006 will come together to raise funds to fight coronavirus, the country's legendary footballer Alessandro Del Piero confirmed on Sunday (local time).
 
The former Juventus star posted a video on Instagram and confirmed that the fundraiser will take place and will feature the likes of Francesco Totti and Gianluigi Buffon.
 
"I, together with my other 2006 World Cup companions, take the field again to win a new challenge. A fundraiser to be allocated to the @crocerossaitaliana to help our country in an emergency to Coronavirus. You are part of our team too: United, we will win again," Del Piero said on Instagram.

SC reopens today. Restricted entry in each court room over coronavirus scare, reports Live Law

New York closes public schools, limits services at restaurants to combat COVID-19

New York officials have announced the closure of city's public schools, the largest public school system in the nation, beginning Monday till at least April 20 and ordered all restaurants to limit to food takeaway only, as the city responded with "wartime mentality" to combat the fast-spreading deadly coronavirus.
 
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Sunday announced that he has made the "painful decision" to suspend classes in all NYC public schools, beginning March 16. There are now 329 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New York City and 5 fatalities. READ ON...

James Bond actor Olga Kurylenko tests positive for coronavirus

Ukrainian-born actor-model Olga Kurylenko has revealed that she has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
 
The actor, best known for starring in 2008's James Bond film "Quantum of Solace" and 2013's sci-fi movie "Oblivion", took to Instagram on Sunday to share her diagnosis.
 
Kurylenko, 40, said she had been ill for "almost a week".
 
"Locked up at home after having tested positive for Coronavirus," she wrote alongside a photo showing a view through a window.

Clinical trial for coronavirus vaccine to begin today in US, says official

A clinical trial evaluating a vaccine designed to protect against the new coronavirus will begin Monday, according to a government official. The first participant in the trial will receive the experimental vaccine on Monday, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the trial has not been publicly announced yet. READ ON...

Coronavirus: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal to take review meetings via video conferencing of all district authorities today

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal to take review meetings via video conferencing of all district authorities today on containment measures against the spread of COVID-19. Deputy CM, Health Minister, Chief Secretary and Health Secretary to also join from Delhi Secretariat.

Coronavirus hurts tourism sector in Uttar Pradesh; Agra records 50% drop

The tourist traffic in Uttar Pradesh has taken a severe blow following the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic. Since this is the season when domestic tourism peaks due to holidays in schools and moderate weather conditions, the blow to tourism industry has been all the more severe. READ ON...

Coronavirus: Section 144 of crpc to be imposed in Pune?

The district administration is mulling imposition of the section 144 of CrPC in Pune to check the spread of novel coronavirus, a senior official said here on Sunday.
 
Addressing reporters, Pune Divisional Commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar said the administration has decided to change the strategy to control the spread of the coronavirus in view of rising cases. Here's what you must know about Section 144.

3 more patients free from Coronavirus; 13 cured so far

With three patients from Rajasthan cured, the total number of patients freed from the Coronavirus has reached 13 in India.
 
The Union Health Ministry said till Sunday night, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across India were 110, including the foreign nationals.
 
"A total of 12,76,046 passengers were screened at the airports as on 11.30 p.m. on March 15," the Ministry said in a statement.
 
In a tweet, it says: "Three from Rajasthan are now nCoronavirus-free. The total number of patients now free of COVID-19 is 13."
 
In Delhi, there have been seven cases with two being cured and one death, since the outbreak of the virus in India.

COVID-19 : Follow govt's instructions, says Hema Malini

The 71-year-old actor shared her concern over the COVID-19 pandemic with more than 100 cases having been tested positive in India.
 
"COVID-19 has become a reality in India with more than 100 cases testing positive prevent the spread of the dreaded disease that has no vaccine & no cure as yet, we shd resolve to fully cooperate with the govt & strictly follow instructions in order to beat the disease," she tweeted.

COVID-19 panic-buying: Factories re-orient ops as US supermarkets run dry

Retailers have warned that hoarding toilet paper, cleaning supplies and food staples was fueling shortages and stoking fear. Amazon.com, the biggest online retailer, said it sold out of many household staples after orders spiked. READ ON...
 

US moves nearer to shutdown amid coronavirus fears

Officials across the country curtailed many elements of American life to fight the coronavirus outbreak on Sunday, with health officials recommending that groups of 50 or more don't get together and a government expert saying a 14-day national shutdown may be needed.
 
Governors and mayors were closing restaurants, bars, and schools as the nation sank deeper into chaos over the crisis.

Coronavirus in numbers: Latest Covid-19 cases and deaths in India and world

Click here to see data on coronavirus cases, death, recoveries and total figures of all the impacted nations and India

Coronavirus scare: New York bars, restaurants to be take-out only, says Mayor

New York on Sunday ordered all its bars and restaurants to close except for take-outs, in the latest dramatic shutdown as authorities worldwide struggle to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.
 
"I will sign an Executive Order limiting restaurants, bars and cafes to food take-out and delivery," city mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement, calling for "a wartime mentality."
 
"Nightclubs, movie theaters, small theater houses, and concert venues must all close." New York has already banned gatherings of more than 500 people, including in Broadway theatres.

New Zealand slashes rates amid virus recession fears, market shrugs

New Zealand's central bank slashed its base rate to a record low of 0.25 percent Monday, but economists said the surprise move was unlikely to prevent a coronavirus-induced recession. The official cash rate was already at an all-time low of 1.0 percent and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand was not scheduled to make a monetary policy statement until March 25. READ ON...

Coronavirus update: 2 Karachi shopkeepers arrested for selling overpriced sanitisers

Two shopkeepers were arrested in Karachi for selling overpriced hand sanitisers which are high in demand as health experts have advised people to ensure hand hygiene to prevent the spreading of the novel coronavirus.

Trump congratulates Fed for rates cut, calls action 'terrific'

US President Donald Trump said the Federal Reserve's decision on Sunday to cut interest rates was "good news" and "makes me very happy" as he congratulated the central bank for taking further action aimed at helping shore up the U.S. economy amid the global coronavirus pandemic.

New Bank of England chief starts under virus cloud

Andrew Bailey on Monday takes over the helm at the Bank of England just days after the BoE, under predecessor Mark Carney, slashed its key interest rate to combat the coronavirus.

COVID-19 toll surges past 3,200 in China

The death toll due to the COVID-19 outbreak in China has risen to 3,213, authorities said on Monday, while the number of confirmed cases in the Asian country has surged to 80,860.
 
Chinese health authorities reported 16 new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection and 14 deaths on the Chinese mainland on Sunday, Xinhua reported.
 
All of the deaths were reported in Hubei Province, according to the National Health Commission.

China's Feb home prices stall for first time in five years amid virus outbreak

New home prices in China stalled for the first time in nearly five years in February, according to Reuters calculations, as the property market ground to a halt due to the fast spreading coronavirus outbreak.
 
Average new home prices in China's 70 major cities were unchanged in February from a month earlier, compared with January's 0.2% rise, Reuters calculated from official data on Monday.
 
It marks the first time home prices stopped rising since April 2015.

Pakistan raises Kashmir issue at Saarc Covid-19 line; 'churlish', says India

It was "churlish" of Pakistan to politicise a humanitarian issue by raking up the Kashmir matter at a video conference between SAARC leaders held with an aim to chalk out a joint strategy to fight the coronavirus pandemic, Indian government sources said on Sunday.
 
"Pakistan sent their Health Minister who was uncomfortable in speaking. He was given a slip. It's a churlish approach. This is a humanitarian issue and Pakistan tried to politicise the humanitarian issue," the government sources said. READ ON...

China logs more coronavirus cases imported from abroad

China reported 12 more imported cases of the novel coronavirus on Monday as the capital tightened quarantine measures for international arrivals to prevent a new wave of infections.
 
After declaring they had "basically" curbed the spread of the disease within China, where the virus first emerged, authorities are now worried about an influx of infections arriving from other countries.
 
Beijing's city government has ordered international arrivals from Monday onwards to go into quarantine facilities for 14 days.

Harvard Medical School recommends yoga, meditation to deal with coronavirus anxiety

A leading medical school in the US has recommended yoga, meditation and controlled breathing to address anxiety issues related to the novel coronavirus that has now spread fast across America.
 
There are at least 3,485 cases of the novel coronavirus in the US, according to the state and local health agencies, governments and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
 
The number of deaths due to the deadly virus are 65.
 
The Harvard Medical School said in its latest health guideline that, yoga, meditation and controlled breathing are "some tried and true ways to relax".
 
The article 'Coping with coronavirus anxiety' was published this week.

Coronavirus update: 4th batch of 53 Indians evacuated from Iran, says Jaishankar

A fourth batch of 53 Indians returned to India from Iran on Monday, taking the total number of people evacuated from the coronavirus-hit country to 389.
 
This comes a day after over 230 Indians were brought back from Iran to New Delhi and quarantined at the Indian Army Wellness Centre in Jaisalmer, the third batch to be evacuated from that country.
 
"Fourth batch of 53 Indians - 52 students and a teacher - has arrived from Tehran and Shiraz, Iran.With this, a total of 389 Indians have returned to India from Iran. Thank the efforts of the team @India_in_Iran and Iranian authorities," Jaishankar tweeted.

Justin Bieber urges people to adopt social distancing amid coronavirus outbreak

In the wake of a spurt in COVID-19 cases globally, singer Justin Bieber on Monday urged people to take up social distancing seriously to prevent the spread of the highly contagious virus.
 
The 26-year-old singer took to Instagram to raise awareness about the necessity of isolating oneself.
 
Bieber shared a video of a man standing in his balcony and blowing a trumpet and a picture that had links to various funds that are working for the ones affected by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Tourism industry takes coronavirus blow in Uttar Pradesh

The tourist traffic in Uttar Pradesh has taken a severe blow following the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic.
 
Since this is the season when domestic tourism peaks due to holidays in schools and moderate weather conditions, the blow to tourism industry has been all the more severe.
 
Agra, which is one of the biggest tourist destinations in the state, has recorded a more then 50 per cent drop in tourist traffic.

Coronavirus LIVE: A-League season will go ahead behind closed doors

The Football Federation Australia (FFA) on Monday confirmed that all the remaining matches of the ongoing A-League season will go ahead as planned but behind closed doors in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.
 
However, Wellington Phoenix will play all their matches in Australia for the remainder of the A-League 2019/20 season.
 
"Football Federation Australia (FFA) today confirmed that the remainder of the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 regular season, and the Westfield W-League 2020 Grand Final scheduled for this weekend will go ahead, but with all matches to be played behind closed doors and with no fans permitted to attend," FFA said in a statement.

Wish I would've taken this seriously: Rudy Gobert, the first NBA player to test positive for COVID-19

"Wish I would have taken this thing seriously," said Rudy Gobert, the first NBA player to test positive for COVID-19.
 
The player had tested positive for coronavirus last Wednesday before the start of the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City's match in the NBA.
 
Gobert provided a health update on himself in a video released by the NBA on Twitter.
 
"Thank you to all the people who have been supportive and for the positive energy. I have been feeling better every single day. As you may already know, I just wanted to remind you guys to wash your hands with soap and water. It is all about protecting yourself and the people around you. I wish I would have taken this thing more seriously," Gobert said in a video posted by the NBA.

One positive case of Coronavirus detected in Odisha. He has travel history to Italy. He later took a train from Delhi to Bhubaneswar

Dr CBK Mohanty, Director, Health and Education Training, Odisha: One positive case of Coronavirus detected in Odisha. He has travel history to Italy. He later took a train from Delhi to Bhubaneswar. The patient is admitted at a Bhubaneswar hospital.


Sensex plunges 1,800 pts, Nifty near 9,400

Catch all the live market updates here

Viewers leave comments as Archbishop of Seattle Paul D Etienne celebrates Mass over Facebook Live

Viewers leave comments as Archbishop of Seattle Paul D Etienne celebrates Mass over Facebook Live in the chapel of St. James Cathedral after all parishes in the Archdiocese of Seattle suspended celebrating the Eucharist with parishioners due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, in Seattle, Washington, US.

China's January-February coal output drops 6.3% as coronavirus disrupts

China's coal output in the first two months of 2020 fell 6.3% from the same period a year earlier as the coronavirus outbreak stopped miners from getting back to work after the Lunar New Year holiday was extended in a bid to contain the epidemic.
 
China churned out 489.03 million tonnes of coal over January and February, down from 513.67 million tonnes in the same period last year, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Monday.
 
Production of coke, widely used in steelmaking, fell 5.5% on the year in January-February to 70.64 million tonnes, statistic bureau data showed.
 
The statistics bureau didn't disclose numbers for January and February separately.

Coronavirus: CDC recommends to postpone, cancel gatherings of over 50 people in US

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the US has recommended to postpone or cancel events having a gathering of 50 people or more for the next eight weeks amid stepped up efforts to contain the rapid spread of the coronavirus that has claimed 69 lives in the country. READ ON...

Six COVID-19 cases in Mumbai and MMR above 60 years of age: BMC

Six of the total nine persons who have tested positive for novel coronavirus in Mumbai and the metropolitan region so far are over 60-year-old, while the rest three are in their 30s, a civic official said on Sunday.
 
While seven of the nine patients are males, two are females, according to the official.
 
Dr Daksha Shah, deputy health director of BMC said that of the nine patients admitted at the civic-run Kasturba Hospital, five are from Mumbai and rest four from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).
 
"All six patients, who are above 60 years old, have co-morbid conditions like diabetes and hypertension," Dr Shah told reporters at the BMC headquarters. READ ON...

COVID-19: Forest Research Institute, Dehradun shut till March 31

The Forest Research Institute, Dehradun has been closed for "all kinds of visits" till March 31 in view of coronavirus.
 
This comes in the wake of a trainee forest service officer of the Indian Forest Service (IFS) who returned from an international study tour to Spain recently tested positive for COVID-19.
 
The officer had returned from an international study tour to Spain, Finland and Russia along with other probationers on March 11. In all, 62 trainee officers had gone on a study tour of these countries.
 
This is the first case of novel coronavirus in Uttarakhand.

Kartarpur Corridor travel suspended as border restrictions come in place

The government has suspended travel and registration of pilgrims to the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara through the corridor from Sunday midnight, besides movement of all types of passengers to Pakistan through international border points.

Coronavirus update: Uttarakhand reports first coronavirus case

Uttarakhand on Sunday reported its first confirmed case of coronavirus with a probationer at the Forest Research Institute (FRI) testing positive for the virus.
 
The probationer had returned from Spain on March 11.
 
A designated laboratory in Haldwani confirmed he is suffering from coronavirus, he said.
 
He has been admitted at the isolation ward of Doon Medical College and Hospital, the official said.

Be a responsible citizen and protect yourself and others from COVID-19, tweets Ravi Shankar Prasad

China says impact from coronavirus outbreak on economy to decrease in Q2

China expects the impact from the coronavirus outbreak on the economy to decrease in the second quarter and the pressure on the country's unemployment would ease as economy improves, the statistics bureau said on Monday.
 
Authorities are still confident of achieving the full-year economic growth target, said bureau spokesman Mao Shengyong, adding that the economy is expected to show significant improvement in March.
 
China's nationwide survey-based jobless rate rose to 6.2% in February, compared with 5.2% in December, the latest official data showed.
 
China's economy has suffered a heavy blow as the epidemic has paralysed activity, with industrial output contracting at the fastest pace in 30 years and fixed-asset investment falling for the first time on record.

Calculated response need of hour to fight coronavirus: Pakistan

A calm, calculated and deliberate response is the need of the hour to fight the novel coronavirus, Pakistan said on Sunday as SAARC countries discussed a joint strategy to protect people of the region from the pandemic.
 
Pakistan Prime Minister's Special Assistant on Health Zafar Mirza participates in a video conference of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member countries proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to formulate the joint strategy.
 
Mirza said Pakistan was amongst the first few countries to undertake a joint evaluation of the state of preparedness to cope with health emergences in the context of international health regulations 2005, Radio Pakistan reported.

Coronavirus update: Girl tests positive for Covid-19 in Karnataka's Kalaburagi

A girl tested positive for coronavirus in north Karnataka's Kalaburagi, while three of her relatives tested negative, an official said on Sunday.
 
"The girl who tested positive for Covid-19 is a relative of the 76-year-old man who was the country's first victim of the deadly disease on March 10. She is under treatment in the district hospital and her health condition is stable," Kalaburagi Deputy Commissioner B. Sharat said.
 
"Three of the girl's relatives, who also came in contact with the old man, tested negative. They are also in the same hospital's isolation ward under observation," he added.

China logs more coronavirus cases imported from abroad

China reported 12 more imported cases of the novel coronavirus on Monday as the capital tightened quarantine measures for international arrivals to prevent a new wave of infections.
 
After declaring they had "basically" curbed the spread of the disease within China, where the virus first emerged, authorities are now worried about an influx of infections arriving from other countries. READ ON...

Coronavirus Update: The US Fed slashes rates to near-zero to save US economy

The Federal Reserve slashed interest rates to near-zero and unveiled a sweeping set of programs — including plans to snap up huge amounts of government and mortgage-backed debt — in an effort to backstop the United States economy as the spread of coronavirus poses a dire threat to economic growth.
 
“The coronavirus outbreak has harmed communities and disrupted economic activity in many countries, including the United States,” the central bank said in a statement on Sunday. “The Federal Reserve is prepared to use its full range of tools to support the flow of credit to households and businesses.”
 

Dollar slips as Fed leads world with emergency rate cuts

Markets were set for another chaotic session on Monday after many of the world's major central banks joined in an emergency round of policy easing aimed at cushioning the impact of the coronavirus on economies.
 
The US Federal Reserve cut rates to a target range of 0% to 0.25% and said it would expand its balance sheet by at least $700 billion in coming weeks.
 
Five other central banks also cut pricing on their swap lines to make it easier to provide dollars to their financial institutions facing stress in credit markets.

US Federal Reserve cuts interest rates to near zero

The US Federal Reserve slashed rates back to near zero, restarted bond buying and launched other measures from its crisis-era toolkit, along with other central banks, to put the floor under a rapidly disintegrating global economy assailed by efforts to contain the escalating coronavirus pandemic.
 
"The effects of the coronavirus will weigh on economic activity in the near term and pose risks to the economic outlook. In light of these developments, the Committee decided to lower the target range," the Fed said. Read more

Trump congratulates Fed for rates cut, calls action 'terrific'

US President Donald Trump said the Federal Reserve's decision on Sunday to cut interest rates was "good news" and "makes me very happy" as he congratulated the central bank for taking further action aimed at helping shore up the US economy amid the global coronavirus pandemic.

Qatar restricts entry, announces $23 bn stimulus over virus

Qatar will bar entry to arriving air passengers except citizens from Wednesday, the government said as it announced a $23 billion economic stimulus in response to the new coronavirus.
 
The country is the worst affected in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), with 401 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Sunday.

Coronavirus: Nike closes stores in US and some other countries

Multinational sporting goods seller Nike will close its stores in the US, Canada, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand for 11 days starting Monday in response to the coronavirus pandemic, it said in a statement.
 
Nike stores in South Korea, Japan and much of China will remain open, however, the statement said.

Mnuchin sees virus causing US slowdown but no recession

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Sunday the impact of the coronavirus pandemic was producing a "slowdown" in the American economy but that he did not expect a full-blown recession.
 
Asked by an ABC interviewer if the country was already in recession, he replied, "I don't think so." "We're clearly going to have a slowdown," Mnuchin said, while adding that "later in the year, obviously the economic activity will pick up as we confront this virus."

Oil giants set health checks for critical staff, work-from-home rules

Major energy companies in the United States imposed work-from-home rules for office staff and began health checks for remote or critical workers as coronavirus spread and threatened an industry reeling from falling demand and profits.
 
BP, Exxon Mobil, Kinder Morgan, Motiva Enterprises and Royal Dutch Shell told most office staff to work from home starting Monday.

Morocco to create $1 bn fund to counter coronavirus outbreak

Morocco's King Mohammed VI ordered the creation of a 10 billion dirham ($1 billion) fund to upgrade health infrastructure and help vulnerable economic sectors in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the royal cabinet said on Sunday.
 
The fund will help acquire the necessary health equipment and assist sectors such as tourism as well as help maintain jobs and mitigate the pandemic's social repercussions, a royal cabinet statement said.

Serbia calls state of emergency to counter coronavirus

Serbia has introduced a state of emergency to halt the spread of coronavirus, its President Aleksandar Vucic said on Sunday after meeting the country's top government and health officials in Belgrade.
 
Vucic said he was acting in line with legal provisions that allow him to declare a state of emergency in the absence of a sitting parliament, which was disbanded ahead of April 26 general elections.

Canada will not rule out border closures, medical officer says time running out

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Sunday would not rule out closing borders to combat a coronavirus outbreak while the country's chief medical officer said time was running out to head off a spike in cases.
 
At least 313 Canadians have tested positive and one person has died. Ontario, Canada's most populous province, saw its largest daily increase so far of 38 new cases, totalling 142.

White House urges Americans not to hoard as death toll hits 62

With many store shelves stripped bare of toilet paper, water and other essentials, the White House appealed to Americans on Sunday not to hoard as the coronavirus spreads, reassuring them that grocery supply chains were strong.
 
Panic buying has prompted Walmart and other stores to limit hours so they have time to restock and sanitize.

Germany to reintroduce border controls with five countries

Germany will reintroduce border controls with France, Austria, Switzerland, Luxemburg and Denmark from Monday morning due to the coronavirus crisis, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has said.
 
"The spread of the coronavirus is progressing quickly and aggressively... one of the most important measures will be to cut off the chain of infection," Seehofer told reporters on Sunday as he announced the new border controls.

France reports its biggest jump in coronavirus deaths

France recorded 29 additional coronavirus deaths on Sunday, the biggest one-day increase in the country since the outbreak, bringing the total death toll to 120, Health Minister Olivier Veran said.
 
Around 900 more infections were recorded in the past 24 hours, taking the total to 5,400 since January, Veran told France 2 television.

Ghana to ban arrivals from coronavirus hotspots

Ghana has said it was banning arrivals from coronavirus hotspots as the West African nation saw its number of confirmed cases triple to six.
 
The information ministry on Sunday said entry would be barred from Tuesday for any non-Ghanaian citizen or resident "who, within the last 14 days, has been to a country that has recorded at least 200 cases".

Goldman downgrades US growth forecast for Q1, Q2

Goldman Sachs Group Inc has downgraded its US growth forecast for the first quarter in the wake of the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

In a note sent on Sunday, the US bank said it now sees real gross domestic product growth of 0% in the first three months of the year, from its original estimate of 0.7% expansion.

For the second quarter, it sees US growth contracting to -0.5% from its initial forecast of 0%. Goldman raised its third-quarter US GDP estimate to 3% from 1% originally.

Dealing with pandemic: Buyers, sellers need to reassess impact of COVID-19

The government recently extended the bidding deadline for Air India from March 17 to April 30. That could well be a portent of the shape of things to come in the deal-making world, stuck by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Facing the heat are distressed M&A activities in projects going through the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP).
 
Travel restrictions and other clampdown measures make time-critical deal-making a challenge, leading to legal and regulatory complications, say experts. Read more

From RIL to ICICI Bank, here're the stocks that brought Sensex down

The benchmark Sensex has dropped 7,200 points, or 17.5 per cent, since February 20, 2020, the day when the global sell-off triggered by the spread of coronavirus started. During this period, all the 30 index components have seen an erosion in their stock price. However, 10 stocks have contributed to 70 per cent of the losses. Reliance Industries, HDFC Bank, and ICICI Bank have been the biggest drag on the index performance, given their high weightage. Read more

Recession risk calls for joint response, says UN chief Antonio Guterres

UN chief Antonio Guterres on Sunday urged governments to work together to stop the coronavirus pandemic from plunging the global economy into recession.
 
"No country can face it alone," the secretary general wrote in an opinion article in the Publico daily. Read more

Motherson Sumi to Tata Motors: Europe slowdown to hit auto sector hard

The auto sector, which has been affected by the economic slowdown at home, is now facing a double whammy, given the demand concerns in key geographies, such as Europe. Companies with a significant presence in the European market have a seen a steeper fall in their stock prices, as compared to their peers who are largely confined to the domestic market.
 
Even as the Nifty Auto Index is down by a fifth over the last three weeks, stocks, such as Motherson Sumi, Tata Motors, Varroc Engineering, and Apollo Tyres, are down between 34 per cent and 48 per cent during this period. The sharper fall for these companies is largely because of demand worries in view of the coronavirus pandemic. Read more

IIT Kanpur launches globally free online tutorials

Amid the global lockdown of cities and academic institutions following the coronavirus outbreak, the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT-K) has announced to provide free online tutorials in Python to universities worldwide. Read more

With India-Iran trade at standstill, banks set to lose low cost deposits

The coronavirus scare has led to a near-standstill of trade between India and Iran. Read more

Fuel sales tax hike double whammy for struggling road transporters

The road transport sector, reeling from poor demand amid COVID-19, and shrinking output in the manufacturing sector and the capital goods industry, will be hit further with the hike on fuel sales tax.
 
Owing to reduced demand and a drop in global crude oil prices, freight rates on key trunk routes came down 2-3 per cent in February, according to the Indian Foundation of Transport Research & Training (IFTRT), based in New Delhi. Read more

Margin calls, leverage lower than 2008 amid steep stock market crash

The steep market crash over the past few sessions has triggered margin calls, albeit on a far lower scale than seen during the financial crisis of 2008.
 
Market participants attribute this to regulatory tightening and standardisation of margin requirements, stringent reporting for brokers, and segregation of client funds. Wealthy investors hold far fewer concentrated and leveraged portfolios like they used to. The lacklustre performance of midcap stocks over the past two years has also reduced leverage in the system. Read more

Investors prepare for more market swings as coronavirus spreads in US

With one of Wall Street's wildest weeks in recent memory now in the history books, investors are bracing for more uncertainty and big market swings ahead.
 
Overwhelmingly, caution remains the watchword for investors and analysts reeling from a week that saw all three US exchanges confirm bear markets, oil prices plummet to multiyear lows and wild fluctuations in bond yields and currencies. Read more

French voters shun polls, enjoy sunshine despite coronavirus restrictions

Voting may not have appealed but warm spring sunshine did as people mingled in streets and parks in France on Sunday despite new government measures to curb the rapid spread of the coronavirus.
 
France was choosing mayors for 35,000 town halls and almost half a million councillors in an election that was overshadowed by the coronavirus outbreak and that went ahead even with the stringent steps announced the previous day. Read more

Multiplexes' revenue may be hit by up to 25% amid coronavirus spread

The COVID-19 virus outbreak has caught the cou­ntry’s en­tertainment indu­stry off gua­rd with multiplexes shutting down across several states and big releases like Soorya­vanshi getting postponed. Analysts exp­ect the revenues to dip by 20-25 per cent in the March quarter com­­­pared to the previous one.
 
One of the most awaited releases, Angrezi Medium, which featured the return of ailing actor Irrfan Khan, managed to collect only Rs 4.03 crore on its opening day last Friday. Trade analysts like Taran Adarsh said the film’s business had been severely affected because of the closure of cinema halls in several states. Read more

IT services firms draw business exigency plans

In the wake of coronavirus outbreak, most IT services firms have invoked their exigency plans, which include adoption of practices like work from home, virtual meetings and preparing strategies to conserve cash.
 
As social distancing emerges as the most viable option to contain the spread of this virus, IT companies have started chalking out plans in case the fallout of this pandemic lingers beyond two quarters. Read more

Busy office hubs fall silent as coronavirus outbreak noise gets louder

Two security guards, wearing N95 medical masks, screen the temperature of every visitor with infrared thermometers. A placard announcing ‘temperature scanning in progress, please cooperate’ stands between them. A dozen more men, their faces covered with protective masks, clean the premises.
 
This is the scene that greets you as you enter One Horizon Centre tower in Gurugram’s Golf Course Road, which, together with its sister tower, Two Horizon Centre, houses such large multinational corporations (MNCs) as Apple, Coca-Cola, Samsung, and GSK Consumer Healthcare. The usually bustling complex — it also has a number of showrooms and restaurants — is now deserted. Read more

Valuation of Air India set to take a knock

The valuation of Air India may decline significantly due to the coronavirus pandemic, which is expected to hit the revenues and profits of all airlines in the coming months, according to bidders. Potential bidders for Air India said they were going back to the drawing-board and would submit a bid after taking into account the peer valuations in the stock markets in India and overseas. Read more

Saudi Aramco to cut capital spending over coronavirus; 2019 profits plunge

Saudi Aramco on Sunday said it plans to cut capital spending in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, and also posted a plunge in profit for last year, missing forecasts in its first earnings announcement as a listed company.
 
Saudi Arabia's decision last year to float shares in its state oil company - the most profitable company in the world - was one of the central elements in Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's program for economic and political reform. Read more

Sebi considers short selling ban, trading curbs to reduce market volatility

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is working on a plan to arrest the deep market sell-off and reduce volatility, which has spiked to record levels owing to the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic. A ban on short selling, mandatory delivery-based trading, and invoking the so-called additional surveillance mechanism (ASM) for highly volatile stocks are among the proposals being considered, said people in the know. Read more

Poultry firms, farmers hit due to massive culling

India’s $14-billion (or Rs 1-trillion) poultry market has begun a massive culling exercise as consumers keep off chicken products for fear of catching coronavirus. While the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has said there is no scientific evidence to prove the virus spreads through consumption of non-vegetarian food, this has had no impact on people, executives at some of the top poultry firms said. Read more

Number of cases zoom over 100; Mumbai in semi lockdown

The number of novel coronavirus cases in the country rose to 107 on Sunday. With 12 new cases reported in Maharashtra on Sunday, the state government put Mumbai, the financial capital, in a semi-lockdown mode.
 
Top malls, multiplexes, the Byculla zoo and the Taraporevala Aquarium in Mumbai have been closed as the state government strives to contain the spread of the virus.
 
So far, Maharashtra has reported 32 confirmed cases of COVID-19, ahead of Kerala's 22 cases. Read more

Spain, France tighten controls as global deaths pass 6,000

Cafes, shops and restaurants shut down across France and Spain on Sunday and travellers faced chaos at US airports as governments stepped up their fight against the coronavirus pandemic which has now reportedly killed more than 6,000.
 
France ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses, while Spain went a step further and banned people from leaving home except to go to work, get medical care or buy food.
 
Cases also spiked in Germany and sources told AFP that the government planned to shut its borders with France, Switzerland and Austria on Monday.

2 people test positive in Kerala

Two people, including a UK national tested positive for COVID-19 in Kerala on Sunday, taking the total number of affected to 21 in the state as the government launched a "break the chain" initiative to prevent the spread of the virus.
 
Other than the UK national, who was admitted to the Kalamassery medical college this morning after being offloaded from the flight to Dubai, a doctor who returned from Spain after studies has also been admitted to the isolation ward at medical college hospital in Thiruvananthapuram.

Two coronavirus patients in Delhi discharged from hospitals

Two persons undergoing treatment for coronavirus in Delhi have been discharged from hospitals following their recovery, authorities said on Sunday.
 
So far, Delhi has seen seven positive cases including a patient who died. Of these, two persons who had earlier tested positive for COVID-19 and were admitted to hospitals have been discharged following treatment, the Delhi Health Department said in a statement.

Precautionary steps at popular tourist spots in West Bengal

Amid the growing coronavirus threat, authorities of different tourist destinations in West Bengal on Sunday initiated a host of precautionary measures, including disallowing mass gatherings and temporary closure.
 
Authorities at Belur Math, headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission, on Sunday decided not to allow gatherings inside the math premises even during the regular 'sandhya arati', a senior official of the institute said.

Singapore confirms 14 more coronavirus cases

Fourteen new coronavirus positive cases were reported in Singapore on Sunday, taking the total number of such cases to 226 in the island-nation.
 
It is the highest number of new cases Singapore has reported in a single day. Three patients are linked to previous cases.

Patna HC to hear only urgent matters till March 31

The Patna High Court said on Sunday that it would hear only regular bail and urgent matters till the end of this month as a precautionary measure in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
 
The decision was taken after Chief Justice Sanjay Karol held meetings with all the stakeholders, including high court judges, members of the registry and those of the bar associations, according to a notification.

Pakistan uses SAARC video-conference on coronavirus to raise Kashmir

Pakistan used the SAARC nations' video-conference on coronavirus on Sunday to raise Kashmir, with the country's State Minister of Health Zafar Mirza calling for an immediate lifting of the "lockdown" there to allow virus containment measures.

Two Maharashtra students stuck in coronavirus-hit Italy land in Delhi

Two students from Maharashtra's Amravati district who werestranded in Italy, which has become the Europe's ground zero of novel coronavirus outbreak, returned to India on Sunday morning along with 218 others on a Government of India flight, one of their parents said.

Coronavirus: Nearly 170 people quarantined at south Delhi

Nearly 170 people who returned from coronavirus-hit countries have been quarantined at a government facility in South Delhi district, the Delhi Health Department said on Sunday.
 
A medical team is stationed at the quarantine facility round-the-clock, it said.
 
A total of 1,77,203 people returning from countries affected by coronavirus have been screened at the Delhi Airport and placed under surveillance.

Italy hits one-day record with 368 new coronavirus deaths: Report

Italy on Sunday recorded 368 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, its highest one-day increase to date, taking the total to 1,809, the most outside China, official data showed.
 
The number of infections has reached 24,747, a count released to the media by Italy's civil protection service said.
 
The northern Lombardy region around Milan remained the European epicentre of the pandemic, officially reporting 1,218 deaths, or 67 percent of the Italian total.

Coronavirus scare: Noida admin orders closure of all cinema halls, gyms

The Gautam Buddh Nagar district administration on Sunday ordered closure of all cinema halls and gymnasiums across Noida and Greater Noida till March 31 to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
 
The order will be effective immediately, it said.
 
"All owners, operators and managers of cinema halls and gymnasiums in Gautam Buddh Nagar are directed to keep their facilities completely closed till March 31 in public interest due to the situation caused by coronavirus," District Magistrate Brajesh Narain Singh said.
 

Pakistan's coronavirus tally rises to 53

Twenty new case of the novel coronavirus surfaced in Pakistan on Sunday, bringing the total number of COVID-19 infections in the country to 53. The number of coronavirus cases have doubled in Pakistan's southern Sindh province, with 18 new positive cases detected on Sunday. The Punjab province also reported its first two cases in Lahore and Islamabad. Murtaza Wahab, a spokesperson of the Sindh Government, said 13 of the cases surfaced when a group of pilgrims were tested for the virus after they reached Sukkur city from the Taftan border.

Coronavirus: Advisory issued for pilgrims visiting Vaishno Devi shrine

The Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) on Sunday issued an advisory asking non-resident Indians and foreigners not to visit the temple for 28 days after landing in India in the wake of the coronavirus threat. It also advised domestic pilgrims, having symptoms like cough, heavy fever and breathing problems, to reschedule or postpone their visit to the holy shrine located atop Trikuta hills in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir. The SMVDSB said the precautionary measures are being taken to arrest the impact of coronavirus in the shrine area.

Cases filed in Satara, Shirdi for flouting mass gathering ban

Five people were booked in Satara in Maharashtra for violating social distancing rules in place to tackle the coronavirus outbreak by organising a religious event on March 13 in which over 5,000 people participated, police said on Sunday. These five are members of the 'Bavdhan Yatra Sanyojan Samiti' that organises the 'Bavdhan Yatra' in Wai in Satara, some 230 kilometers from the metropolis. "Despite an order by the collector banning such gatherings in view of the novel coronavirus outbreak, they went ahead and organised the yatra in which over 5,000 people from different parts of the state took part," Satara Superintendent of Police Tejaswini Satpute told PTI.

NCLAT adjourns all hearings in March as precautionary steps

Taking precautionary measures amid coronavirus outbreak, the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) has adjourned all its scheduled hearings in March. However, urgent matters, which require immediate attention could be mentioned before the acting Chairperson Justice Bansi Lal Bhat, a notice by the appellate tribunal said. Moreover, filing office of the appellate tribunal would accept the petitions till 1:00 PM, it added.   “To avoid the rush in the Tribunal due to the present situation, it is notified that all Company Appeals Competition Appeals, Contempt Petitions and Review Applications, which are likely to be listed between March 17, 2020 to March 31, 2020 will be taken up after April 17, 2020,” the notice stated.

Health minister Harsh Vardhan reviews actions taken to prevent, contain Coronavirus

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan reviewed on Sunday the status of actions taken by the states and Union Territories for prevention and containment of coronavirus and directed officials to scale up the capacity of the round-the-clock control room helpline in view of increased volume of queries. According to a health ministry statement, Vardhan was apprised of the emerging international and national status of COVID-19 at the meeting as he took stock of the status and preparedness of the states and UTs in terms of quarantine facilities, isolation wards, adequacy of personal protective equipment and other items.

135 people put in home isolation in Mizoram

A total of 135 people with travel history to coronavirus-hit countries have been put in home isolation in Mizoram, a senior health official said on Sunday. Most of them were undergoing self-quarantine and did not show symptoms of the deadly virus, state health principal director Dr F Lallianhlira said. The self-quarantined people have travel history to coronavirus-hit countries such as Saudi Arabia, Italy, Iran and France and have been quarantined as a precautionary measure, he said. "Though Mizoram has not yet reported any positive case of novel coronavirus, we have to remain alert. The health department is closely monitoring them," he said.

In Pics | Indian Railways speeds up efforts to tackle Coronavirus

Railway workers disinfect the coaches of Delhi –Jammu Rajdhani Express. PTI

A railway worker disinfects a coach of Delhi –Jammu Rajdhani Express train in wake of Coronavirus pandemic. PTI

Railway workers disinfect the coaches of Delhi –Jammu Rajdhani Express train in wake of Coronavirus. PTI

Ford to shut Spanish factory for one week due to coronavirus

Ford said on Sunday it would shut its Spanish plant in the eastern region of Valencia for one week starting on Monday after three employees tested positive for coronavirus. "We have had three positive cases of COVID-19 in the Ford Valencia plant in the past 24 hours," the company said, adding it was following protocol by isolating all employees that had contact with the infected workers.

Section 144 of crpc likely to be imposed in Pune

The district administration of Pune is mulling imposition of the section 144 of CrPC in Pune to check the spread of novel coronavirus, a senior official said here on Sunday. Addressing reporters, Pune Divisional Commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar said the administration has decided to change the strategy to control the spread of the coronavirus in view of rising cases.

Modi proposes SAARC fund to tackle Coronavirus, stresses on joint efforts

Making a strong pitch for SAARC nations to jointly combat coronavirus, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday proposed setting up a COVID-19 emergency fund with India committing USD 10 million initially for it, and asserted that the best way to deal with the pandemic was by coming together, and not growing apart. Apart from Modi, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, Nepalese Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli, Bhutanese premier Lotay Tshering, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Special Assistant to Pakistani Prime Minister on Health Zafar Mirza, participated in the video conference. READ MORE HERE

Modi said it was important to focus on collaboration, not confusion, and preparation, not panic. (PTI)

Guj schools, theatres to be shut for 2 weeks

The Gujarat government on Sunday ordered the closure of educational institutions, cinema halls and swimming pools for two weeks starting Monday as part of preventivemeasures against the novel coronavirus threat, a top official said. The state has not reported a single positive case of coronavirus as yet. An official said action would be taken against those spitting in public as part of the measures to curb the spread of the virus. "For two weeks starting from Monday, all educational institutions, including schools, colleges, tuition classes, Anganwadis etc will remain closed. Teachers and office staff will attend the institutions but classes will remain suspended for a period of two weeks," Chief Secretary Anil Mukim said.

Over 100 deaths in Spain in 24 hours

Spain reports 2,000 new virus cases and more than 100 deaths in 24 hours. 

Just In | Global toll crosses 6000

Global Coronavirus death toll passes 6,000 as countries across the world push efforts to tackle the outbreak. 

With Covid-19 count at 32, Maha expands healthcare facilities

Maharashtra has reported 32 positive cases of novel coronavirus so far, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope said here on Sunday. He announced that the laboratory capacity to test samples of suspected novel coronavirus will be expanded to 350 per day from the present 100 per day at the civic-run Kasturba hospital in Mumbai in the next two days. Tope said another laboratory will be set up at KEM hospital in Mumbai in the next two days. New laboratories will also come up at JJ Hospital, the Haffkine Institute--also in Mumbai, besides at BJ hospital in Pune in the next 15-20 days.

We all must do our part to ensure health workers' safety: WHO

Pakistan raises Kashmir in SAARC video conf

Pakistan raised the issue of Jammu and Kashmir during the video conferencing and said, "It is a matter of concern that COVID-19 has been reported from Jammu & Kashmir and in view of health emergency, it is imperative that all lockdown in the territory must be lifted immediately."

Indian team of doctors to be at SAARC's disposal

We are assembling a Rapid Response Team of doctors and specialists in India, along with testing kits and other equipment. They will be on stand-by, to be placed at your disposal, if required. We had set up an Integrated Disease Surveillance Portal to better trace possible virus carriers and the people they contacted. We could share this Disease Surveillance software with SAARC partners, and training on using this. Looking ahead, we could create a common Research Platform, to coordinate research on controlling epidemic diseases within our South Asian region. The Indian Council of Medical Research can offer help coordinating such an exercise.

India proposes emergency fund for COVID-19, pledges $10 mn

It is clear that we have to work together. We can respond best by – Coming together not growing apart ; Collaboration not Confusion ; Preparation not Panic. We could create a common research platform, to coordinate research on controlling epidemic diseases within our South Asian region. The Indian Council of Medical Research can offer help coordinating such an exercise. I propose we create a COVID-19 Emergency Fund. This could be based on voluntary contributions from all of us. India can start with an initial offer of 10 million US dollars for this fund. 

'Prevent, detect, respond is Pakistan's approach to COVID-19'

Pakistan ws represented by Special Assistant to Pakistani Prime Minister Zafar Mirza, who said Prevent, detect, respond and conduct research along the way has been Pakistan's approach. He said that Pakistan has been alert to the danger and have put in place required protocls and measures for safety of the nationals. We have strongly advised against panic, a calm calulated and deliberate response is the need of the hour. Zafar added that Prime Minister Imran Khan is personally overseeing the efforts to mitigate Coronavirus. With over 155,000 infections, 5833 deaths and 138 countries involved, no nation and no region on earth can afford to be unresponsive.
 

Collective efforts will help us devise a sound and robust strategy: Nepal PM

I would like to thank PM Modi ji for taking this important and timely initiative. Our collective wisdom and efforts will help us devise a sound and robust strategy for the SAARC region as we fight COVID-19.

Bangladesh proposes further conferences

The prime minister of Bangladesh proposed that to continue this dialogue at technical level, our Health Ministers, Health Secretaries & health experts should also hold this kind of video conferences to discuss specific areas of cooperation. 

Sheikh Hasina thanks India for evacuating 23 Bangladeshi citizens

I thank PM Modi for taking this initiative. I also thank him for bringing and hosting 23 of our students from Wuhan (China) along with Indian students. To continue this dialogue at technical level, our Health Ministers, Health Secretaries & health experts should also hold this kind of video conferences to discuss specific areas of cooperation. 

Prez Solih backs coordinated approach to deal with COVID-19

Maldivian President Ibrahim Solih backs coordinated approach to deal with COVID-19, says no country can deal with the situation alone. Solih thanked PM Modi for regional initiative to combat COVID-19 challenge.

Need for South Asia to share ideas and best practices: Sri Lanka Prez

President Gotabaya Rajpaksha of Sri Lanka emphasizes on the need for South Asia to share ideas and best practices in order to face up to the challenge of the rapid spread of the virus. "Our economy has taken serious blow, particularly tourism sector which was just recovering after last years' terrorist attack. I strongly recommend SAARC leaders to formulate mechanism to assist our economies to tide over difficult period," he said. 

PM Modi to SAARC nations

'Prepare, but don't panic' has been India's guiding mantra in dealing with coronavirus outbreak. We started screening people entering India from mid-January itself, while gradually increasing restrictions on travel. Step-by-step approach helped avoid panic; made special efforts to reach out to vulnerable groups. 

Create common framework for telemedicine: Afghanistan

Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani said that we are in an unknow situation and proposed monitoring the impacts and scenarios saying assumptions from US, China, Iran not suitable. He further proposed to create common framework for telemedicine for SAARC nations.

We recognize we are in an unknown situation: PM Modi to SAARC

We responded to the call of our people abroad and evacuated 1400 nations from India and neighbouring countries. We have now built a protocol for such missions and we recognised that other countries would be also concerned about there citizens in India and we, therefore, briefed envoys. We recognize we are in an unknown situation and can not predict with certainty how the situation will unfold further. It will be most valuable for all us to share our perspectives.

Watch | PM Modi holds SAARC video Summit over Coronavirus

Calcutta HC to hear only urgent matters from Tuesday

Calcutta High Court, its subordinate courts to hear only urgent matters from Tuesday to prevent mass gatherings in view of Coronavirus scare. 

Sex workers in Bengal in quandary amid growing Covid-19 scare

Red-light areas in West Bengal were witnessing a sharp decline in the number of customers, amid the novel coronavirus scare, with several sex workers finding it difficult to make ends meet. Many of these sex workers, however, feel safety was of primary concern and preferred to stay indoors for now, even if that would mean curtailing expenses. With just a handful of them out on the streets, Asia's largest red-light area in the city - Sonagachi - wore a deserted look on Sunday afternoon, a time when clients are usually seen making a beeline. Adjacent to Sonagachi area, too, the scene was no different, with only a few women sauntering down the Abinash Kabiraj Street, Masjid Bari Lane and Rabindra Sarani as they wait for customers.

PM speaks to Maha CM on coronavirus mitigation efforts

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday to discuss the state's preparedness to tackle the novel coronavirus outbreak. The telephonic conversation, which took place at 11 am, was centred on the efforts by the state and the Centre to tackle the situation. Thackeray informed the PM about the measures taken by his government, sources said.

Queen shifted out of Buckingham Palace amid COVID-19 crisis

Queen Elizabeth II has been shifted out of Buckingham Palace in London to Windsor Castle as the UK plans for isolation measures for people over 70 amid the country's death toll from COVID-19 hitting 21, nearly doubling from 11 within a day. The 93-year-old monarch and her 98-year-old husband, Prince Philip, are likely to be placed in quarantine at the royal Sandringham Estate in Norfolk in the coming weeks as tougher measures are put in place to fight the coronavirus outbreak in the UK affecting over 1,140 people.

India-Bangladesh passenger train services suspended

India-Bangladesh passenger train services between Kolkata and cities in the neighbouring country have been suspended from Sunday as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19, on a Union government directive, an Eastern Railway official said. The Eastern Railway said services of Maitree and Bandhan Express trains will remain suspended from March 15 to April 15 or till further orders, whichever is earlier. The services of the two trains have been suspended as precautions being taken to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus, the ER official said.

Just In | Iran reports 113 new virus deaths, raising total to 724

Iran's death toll from the new coronavirus has reached 724, with 113 new deaths in the past 24 hours, an Iranian health official tweeted on Sunday, adding that some 13,938 people have been infected across the country. "In the past 24 hours, 1,209 new cases have been confirmed ... with 113 deaths in the past 24 hours, the death toll has reached 724," Alireza Vahabzadeh, an adviser to Iran's health minister, tweeted.

Govt to procure 80,56,365 masks for health workers

23 new cases have been detected since the last update - 17 from Maharashtra, 2 from Telangana, 1 from Rajasthan and 3 from Kerala. There are now 107 confirmed cases of COVID19 in the country, including 9 discharged cases and 2 deaths.  Both first and second confirmatory tests for COVID-19 are free for all citizens. The country has enough capacity as only 10 percent of the capacity has been utilized per day so far. An order has been placed for the procurement of an additional 80,56,365 N95 masks and personal protective equipment for healthcare workers: Sanjeeva Kumar, Special Secretary, Ministry of Health

Hospitality takes a toll

Most of the hotels have lost their business. All casinos are closed, flights cancelled&gatherings are not allowed. But we cannot help. It's good on part of government to take precautions well in advance. 

AIIMS Helpline number for Coronavirus

A 24/7 helpline number has been set up at the All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) - 9971876591.

Delhi govt orders all mini buses to be disinfected daily

The Delhi government has ordered all mini buses to be disinfected daily in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the city where seven COVID-19 cases and one death have been reported so far. The government had recently also ordered the agencies concerned to disinfect all DTC and cluster buses in the wake of the outbreak of the virus. The transport department has issued an order directing the owners of mini buses plying in the national capital to wash and disinfect their vehicles every day. "In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, all the permit holders and owners of mini buses plying in Delhi on STA (State Transport Authority) permit are directed to wash and disinfect their buses on daily basis," the order stated.

Coronavirus: Mumbai cops invoke section 144 to ban group tours

In the wake of coronavirus scare, the Mumbai Police on Sunday invoked section 144 of the CrPC to prohibit tour operators from conducting any kind of group tours to foreign or domestic destinations till March 31, an official said. If any tour operator is found flouting the order, action will be taken against him under IPC 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), the official said. "With a view to prevent danger to human life, health or safety, we hereby promulgate an order under Section 144 of the CrPC in the areas under the control of Commissioner of Police, prohibiting the conduct of any business, holiday or other type of tours involving groups of people travelling together to a foreign or domestic destination organised by private tour operators," the police order read.

Kejriwal orders govt vehicles, private cabs to be sanitized

Delhi Government orders all Govt vehicles as well as Private cabs in Delhi to be sanitized to prevent and control the spread of Corona Virus. Delhi Govt is taking all necessary steps to prevent the outbreak.

10 admitted to city hospital with coronavirus-like symptoms in Kolkata

Ten persons have been admitted to the isolation ward of the Beliaghata ID and BG Hospital here with novel coronavirus-like symptoms, a senior health department official said on Sunday. All the 10 persons, who are from across the state, have a history of travelling abroad or coming in contact with foreigners, he said. One of the two admitted persons from the city had travelled to Switzerland in the last week of February, the official said. "The other city resident had recently travelled to Darjeeling with a British citizen. After returning from the hill town, he complained of fever and cold," he said.

Schools in Assam to remain shut till Mar 29

Educational institutes, gyms, cinema halls in Assam to remain shut till Mar 29 in wake of COVID-19. Barring board examinations, all other exams scheduled cancelled.

Pak PM's aide to participate in SAARC video conference on Coronavirus

Pakistan Prime Minister's Special Assistant on Health Dr Zafar Mirza will participate in a video conference of SAARC member countries on Sunday proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to formulate a joint strategy to combat the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic. Prime Minister Modi reached out to the eight-member regional grouping on Friday and pitched for a video conference among the leaders of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to chalk out a strong strategy to combat the virus outbreak. His suggestion was backed by all member states of SAARC. "The threat of #COVID-19 requires coordinated efforts at global and regional level. We have communicated that SAPM on Health will be available to participate in the video conference of #SAARC member countries on the issue," Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui tweeted on Saturday.

50 isolation centres have been set up in MP

Schools, colleges, libraries, cinema halls, marriage halls etc will be shut till further orders. 50 isolation centres have been set up in the state. We are working on war footing to tackle this: PC Sharma, Madhya Pradesh Minister 

'Over 25,000 crew, passengers not allowed to disembark at Indian ports'

To contain the spread of deadly coronavirus, the government has so far prevented more than 25,000 crew and passengers on board over 700 ships from disembarking on Indian shores, a Shipping Ministry official said. Apart from restricting cargo handling, the government had last week prohibited entry of any international cruise ship, crew or passengers with a travel history to coronavirus-hit countries post February 1, 2020 to its major ports till March 31. "Till March 13, a total of 25,504 crew and passengers on board 703 vessels arrived on Indian shores from China or travel history to impacted countries. They have not been allowed to disembark as a precautionary measure to contain any possible spread of the virus. They were allowed to anchor at designated places, but no shore passes were issued to such crew and passengers post January 26," the official told PTI.

UK national tests positive, offloaded with 289 others in Kochi airport

At least 289 passengers of a Dubai-bound flight were offloaded at the airport here on Sunday shortly before takeoff after a UK national among them tested positive for novel coronavirus, official sources said here. The passenger belonged to a group of 19 holidaying in the hill resort town of Munnar in Kerala and was under surveillance, a Cochin International Airport Limited spokesman said. He joined the group to reach the Kochi airport without informing authorities in Munnar, he said. READ MORE HERE

In Pics | States pour resources to control Coronavirus

Health officials disinfect a street as part of measure to contain coronavirus pandemic, in Jammu. PTI

Medics interact with a patient at a help desk, set- up in view of coronavirus pandemic, at Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad. PTI

Medics wearing protective suits interact with each other outside an isolation ward, set up in view of coronavirus pandemic in Kochi. PTI

Don't conduct group tours till Mar 31: Mumbai Police to tour operator

Amid the coronavirus scare, the Mumbai Police on Sunday issued an order for tour operators, asking them not to take any groups to foreign or domestic destinations for tourism purpose till March 31, an official said.
 
Defying the order, which came into effect on Sunday, may attract action under IPC 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), the official said. "To prevent further spread of COVID-19, we has issued an order prohibiting conduct of any kind of tour involving group of people, traveling together to a foreign or domestic destination organised by private tour operators. If found, the police take action against such groups under section 144 of CrPC," Deputy Commissioner of Police Pranay Ashok said.

Coronavirus scare: 117 put in home isolation in Mizoram

A total of 117 people with novel coronavirus-like symptoms have been put in home isolation in Mizoram, a senior health official said on Sunday. Though Mizoram has not yet reported any positive case of coronavirus, 117 people have been home quarantined as a precautionary measure, Health department principal director F Lallianhlira. "Even though no positive case has been reported, we have to remain alert," he said.
 

TN govt shuts schools in wake of COVID-19

Holidays declared for up to class five in all schools in Tamil Nadu till March 31 as part of preventive measures for coronavirus, says government.

Indians evacuated from Italy shifted ti ITBP camp

218 Indians who landed from Milan, Italy at Delhi airport today have been shifted to Indo-Tibetan Border Police's Chhawla camp.

India coronavirus cases

Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan report new cases

Thailand reported 32 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, bringing the total infections in the Southeast Asian country to 114. It was the biggest daily jump in cases in Thailand. Indonesia reported 21 new coronavirus infections, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 117. Taiwan reported six new cases of the coronavirus, all imported and marking the biggest daily rise in infections.
 

Uttarakhand declares coronavirus as epidemic

Uttarakhand shut multiplexes, cinema halls, colleges and technical institutes till March 31 as it declared the coronavirus as an epidemic, PTI reported quoting unnamed government officials.

289 passengers offloaded at Kochi aiport

At least 289 passengers of a Dubai-bound flight were offloaded at the airport here on Sunday shortly before takeoff after a UK national among them tested positive for novel coronavirus, official sources said here.

India's coronavirus cases rise to 93

India till Sunday had 93 coronavirus cases, said the Union Health Ministry about numbers that included two elderly persons who died in Delhi and Karnataka last week. Kerala has 22 cases, including three patients who were discharged last month.
 

India suspends Kartarpur pilgrimage to Pakistan

Pilgrimage and registration for the Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara in Pakistan will be suspended from Sunday midnight as precaution against the coronavirus, India's Home Ministry said. India has also barred passengers from entering the entering the country through the international border points with Pakistan from 00:00 hours, March 16 t.

American Airlines cuts international flights by 75% as demand collapses

American Airlines Inc says it plans to cut 75 per cent of its international flights through May 6 and ground nearly all its widebody fleet, as airlines respond to the global collapse in travel demand due to the coronavirus pandemic. American's sweeping cuts include suspending nearly all long-haul international flights to Asia, Australia, Europe, New Zealand and South America.

218 Indians arrive home from Italy

As many as 218 Indians have arrived in India from Italy, said V Muraleedharan, minister of state for external affairs. All of them will be quarantined for 14 days.

Coronavirus scares away FPIs

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) have withdrawn Rs 37,976 crore on a net basis from the Indian markets in March so far amid the coronavirus pandemic triggering fears of a global recession. Overseas investors pulled out a net sum of Rs 24,776.36 crore from equities and Rs 13,199.54 crore from the debt segment between Mar 2-13, depositories data showed.

Apple, some US retailers close stores

Apple Inc said it is closing all its retail stores, except those in Greater China, for the next two weeks to minimise the risk of coronavirus transmission, a move that was followed by several U.S. retailers. The announcements escalated the global response to the outbreak, as most companies had previously kept stores open. Apparel retailer Urban Outfitters Inc will close all its consumer stores worldwide until at least March 28. Verizon Communications Inc said it was temporarily closing "a number of its stores" across the US. T-Mobile US Inc said it will temporary close its stores that are located in a shopping mall starting March 16, said Reuters.
 
 

Japan coronavirus infections rise to 1,484

The number of coronavirus infections in Japan rose to 1,484 on Sunday, increasing by a faster pace than the previous day, said news agency Reuters quoting public broadcaster NHK. Deaths in the country related to the virus stand at 29, up one from the previous day. 
 

Pakistan confirms attendance

Pakistan said Zafar Mirza, the special assistant to Pakistani Prime Minister) on Health, will participate in the video-conference meeting. SAARC comprises Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The last SAARC Summit in 2014 was held in Nepal's Kathmandu.

China says 'imported coronavirus cases' exceed new local infections

The number of new coronavirus cases that came to mainland China from overseas surpassed the number of locally transmitted new infections for the second time on Saturday, data released by the National Health Commission showed on Sunday. Mainland China had 20 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections on March 14, up from 11 cases a day earlier. Of Saturday's cases, 16 involved travellers entering China from overseas, it said, according to Reuters.

UAE to stop issuing new visas from March 17

The coronavirus crisis will hit traffic on India's busiest international route as United Arab Emirates will stop issuing fresh visas from March 17. The decision does not impact existing visas.
 
Air India, IndiGo and Vistara are cancelling flights to Dubai following the decision.
 
Over 11 million passengers flew between India and the UAE in 2019 - and the West Asian country is India's largest air travel market. Dubai is number one destination for Indians with over 500 weekly flights to/from India.
 
Indian government has already asked Indians to avoid all non essential travel while UAE government too has issued an advisory to its citizens to refrain from travelling from India. Click here to read more

No new cases of Coronavirus infection in Kerala, says CM Pinarayi Vijayan

No new Coronavirus has been reported in Kerala today, said state Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The government has strengthened vigilance to bring in all those who are exposed to the Coronavirus infected people in the state.
 
A total of 7677 people are under observation, of which 7375 are in houses while the rest are in hospitals. On Saturday, 106 new patients have been admitted to hospitals. Read more

India's readiness a concern due to shortage of beds, drugs

India has fewer hospital beds and doctors per 1,000 people than any of those countries. A significant section of people might not even have adequate facilities for washing hands, a basic requirement to keep the disease at bay. India also has a high chance of people being pushed into poverty because of out-of-pocket health care expenditure, suggesting that a widespread pandemic may well have wealth and inequality consequences, too. The analysis considered the year with the latest available data for India, and that year’s data for other countries was taken for comparison, where available, or the year closest to the India data.
 
An analysis of medical infrastructure and other data of the top 10 affected countries shows that India lags far behind on the resources required to deal with a pandemic. Read more

Coronavirus: E-commerce gets a boost as customers prefer to stay indoor

Though the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in India has had some impact on the ride-hailing and online food ordering segments, it has come as a boon for the e-commerce companies as more people prefer buying goods, especially grocery items, vegetables and other daily needs from online platforms.
 
According to industry insiders, e-commerce companies such as Flipkart, Amazon, Bigbasket, and Grofers have witnessed about 20-30 per cent spike in orders as customers are avoiding visiting crowded places like malls and supermarkets. Read full story here
 

Xerox pauses HP hostile takeover, proxy fight amid virus outbreak

Xerox Holdings said it will pause its public pursuit of HP Inc amid the outbreak of the coronavirus.
 
“Xerox needs to prioritise the health and safety of its employees, customers, partners and affiliates over and above all other considerations, including its proposal to acquire HP,” Xerox Chief Executive Officer John Visentin said in a statement Friday, adding that the company continues to monitor the situation closely. The printer maker said it would be forced to take a break from its hostile takeover and proxy fight in the wake of the pandemic.

Ferrari halts production for two weeks in Italy amid coronavirus threat

Ferrari NV temporarily halted all production of its iconic sports cars in Italy due to the spread of the coronavirus, according to people familiar with the matter.
 
The Italian supercar maker will suspend its production at the Maranello and Modena plants until March 27, the people said, asking not to be identified because the decision isn’t public. The company will continue to pay its 4,000 workers in Italy, the people said. 
 
Italy has become the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak outside of China, with more than 15,000 confirmed cases and a death toll of more than 1,200.

No need for aviation sector to worry about coronavirus: Hardeep Puri

Union civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Saturday that there was no need for any contingency plan for the aviation sector owing to the coronavirus outbreak. According to Puri, it was just a passing phase.
 
The civil aviation minister asserted that agencies under his ministry were able to effectively monitor airports against the spread of coronavirus without causing any panic.
 
“There may be a 15-20 per cent drop in domestic passenger traffic due to the virus threat but it is a temporary phase.” Puri said at Wings India 2020. Read more

Doctors and insurers urge patients to get medicine on hand

As Americans stay home to try to help stop the spread of a new coronavirus, many patients with conditions that require prescription drugs are being urged to refill their medications for a longer period.
 
Doctors, patient advocates and insurers themselves are telling Americans with chronic conditions such as diabetes that require life saving medications to make sure they have more than enough medicine on hand. Click here

Trump declares national emergency; House passes relief bill

President Trump declared a national emergency on Friday over the coronavirus pandemic and announced steps he said would speed the availability of testing, and early Saturday, the House passed a bill reflecting a deal with his administration to provide billions of dollars to help sick workers and to prop up a slumping economy.
 
The president, who has claimed that anyone who wanted a test could get one, also deflected any blame for the testing delays that have hampered the government’s response.

How the longest bull run in history ended in pandemic panic

As a collapse in the oil price unleashed chaos in financial markets, Madrid money manager Diego Parrilla phoned a colleague who agreed: they had better head to work early in the morning.
 
By daybreak in Europe, the price of crude oil had fallen by a third. The shock had turned worry about the coronavirus to full-blown panic, wiped trillions of dollars from Asian stocks and sent futures for European and US markets plunging. Read more

Centre declares COVID-19 a 'notified disaster' as cases rise to 84

The Centre has decided to treat coronavirus as a ‘notified disaster’ for the purpose of providing assistance under the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and has announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 4 lakhs to families of those who die of the novel coronavirus.
 
The total number of 84 confirmed cases includes 17 foreigners — 16 Italian tourists and a Canadian, the ministry said.

How to tackle coronavirus outbreak the Indian way

Coronavirus spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Most Indians carry a handkerchief to catch the respiratory droplets from cough and sneeze. These handkerchiefs are then tucked into their pockets to spread the contagion. Washing them at riverbanks or hand pumbs may simply lead to more transmission. We must find ways of flooding the market with facial tissue, particularly in dense localities, and then find a way of collecting and disposing of these tissues. Finally, all public transportation systems must be sanitised daily to contain the spread.
 
There is one ray of sunshine for India. Read full piece here

Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro to be tested again for coronavirus

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who met with Donald Trump in the United States less than a week ago, will be retested for coronavirus following a negative test on Friday, Brazil’s Estado de S.Paulo newspaper reported.
 
The test will be done early next week in order to rule out any chance the president has the virus, the newspaper said, without naming the source of the information. 

Pakistan reports two new coronavirus cases

Pakistan on Saturday reported two new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of positive cases to 30.
 
Officials said that the first case was reported from the capital, Islamabad.
 
Health and Population Welfare Department, Sindh, reported that the 20-year-old patient from Karachi had no travel history but his father returned from the UK recently.
 
The second case was reported in the capital, Islamabad, according to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) spokesperson Waseem Khawaja.
 

No fresh cases in Kerala; monitoring of people reaching by road and rail to be strengthened

No fresh cornonavirus cases were reported in Kerala on Saturday, as the government decided to strengthen monitoring of people who reach the state by rail and road, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.
 
Vijayan, who chaired the daily evaluation meet here, told reporters that a total of 302 people are in isolation wards in hospitals across the state.
 
"A total of 7,677 people are under observation in the state, out of which 7,375 people are under home quarantine and 302 are in isolation wards across the state.
 
Out of the total of 1,897 samples sent for testing, 1,345 tested negative," the Chief Minister said.
 
Coronavirus care centres would be set up near airports in the state, he said.

Don't conceal coronavirus-like symptoms, consult doctor immediately: Mamata

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee urged people on Saturday to not conceal coronavirus-like symptoms such as fever and cold, and immediately consult a doctor.
 
Appealing to people not to panic, she said there was no emergency-like situation in the state, but everyone should remain alert.
 
"Do not conceal if you are suffering from fever and cough or facing breathing problems. Go to the doctor straightaway. Remember, if you take rest for 14 days, chances of your recovery are there," the Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo told

Spain locks down as coronavirus infections spike

Spain's government is set to announce Saturday that it is placing tight restrictions on movement and closing restaurants and other establishments in the nation of 46 million people as part of a two-week state of emergency to fight the sharp rise in coronavirus infections.
 
The Associated Press has access to the draft of the battery of measures that Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez will announce in a nationally televised address.
 
According to the draft of the government order, people will only be allowed to leave their homes to buy food and medicine, commute to work, go to medical centers and banks, or take trips related to the care for the young and the elderly. 
 

Schools, colleges in urban areas of Maharashtra closed till Mar 31

The Maharashtra government on Saturday issued a circular asking all schools and colleges in the state's urban areas to remain closed till March 31 as a precautionary measure to combat the coronavirus outbreak.
 
A circular issued by the government said all schools and colleges in the jurisdiction of municipal corporations, municipalities and nagar panchayats will remain closed till month-end.
 

Union health ministry framing guidelines on handling of COVID-19 casualties

Amid a controversy over the cremation of the 68-year-old woman who died in Delhi after being infected with novel coronavirus, the Union health ministry has begun working on framing guidelines for handling the bodies of those who die of the disease.
 
Though it is unlikely that coronavirus infection could spread from handling of a body, the guidelines are being drafted to dispel any misconception and raise awareness regarding spread of the disease from a deceased, a health ministry official said.
 
 

If IPL-13 happens, it will be a truncated one: BCCI president Ganguly

Suspended till April 15 owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 13th edition of IPL can only be a truncated one provided the situation improves, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said on Saturday.
 
The Indian Cricket Board on Friday postponed the start of this year's IPL from March 29 to April 15 in wake of the pandemic, which has caused massive upheaval across the globe.

1.2 million passengers screened for coronavirus, 10-15% drop in domestic pax- Hardeep Singh Puri

Health authorities at various airports across the country have conducted Covid-19 virus screening for nearly 1.2 million passengers who came into India, of whom only 3,225 were referred for further tests, union civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Saturday.
 
Speaking at "Wings India 2020", an aviation related event being held here, he said domestic passenger traffic was down by 10 to 15 per cent owing to the killer virus.
 
He however, exuded confidence that the situation would become normal and the growth story of the sector would continue.

Swimming pools in Noida, Greater Noida closed till April 15

Swimming pools in Noida and Greater Noida will remain closed till April 15 as a precautionary measure to check the coronavirus threat, officials said on Saturday.
 
The restriction is applicable on private and public use of swimming pools in schools, colleges, hotels and residential societies, the district administration said in an order.

Number of coronavirus positive cases rise to 84:Health Ministry

The number of coronavirus positive cases in the country has risen to 84, the Health Ministry said on Saturday.
 
"The number of coronavirus positive cases in India has risen to 84. Seven persons, who tested positive, including five from Uttar Pradesh and one each from Rajasthan and Delhi have been discharged after treatment," a senior health ministry official said.
 
The officials maintained that more than 4000 people who had come in contact with the 84 positive cases are under surveillance.
 
"A Mahan Air flight bringing back Indian passengers from Iran will land in Mumbai on Saturday midnight. A special Air India flight is being sent to Milan in Italy on Saturday to bring back Indian students," the official added. 

BCCI puts all domestic games including Irani Cup on hold

The BCCI on Saturday put on hold all its remaining domestic tournaments, including the blue riband Irani Cup match between Rest of India and Ranji Trophy champions Saurashtra, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
In a statement signed by BCCI secretary Jay Shah, the Board said prominent tournaments that stand postponed are the Irani Cup, Vizzy Trophy, Senior Women's One-Day Knockout and the Senior Women's One-Day Challenger, among others.

Rwanda's 1st coronavirus patient is Indian

An Indian national in Rwanda has been tested positive for the novel coronavirus, becoming the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the east African country, health officials said on Saturday.
 
The country's health ministry, in a statement, said that the Indian citizen arrived here from Mumbai on March 8.

Raptors test negative for coronavirus, one result pending

The majority of the reigning NBA champion Toronto Raptors tested negative for the new coronavirus, but there is still one result pending from the medical examinations that were done in Canada, the club announced on Friday.
 
The team said they were still waiting on the test results of one person. They did not name the individual and didn't provide any details.
 
The team decided to do the testing on Wednesday in Toronto after the Raptors played Monday in Utah against the Jazz, whose players Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell both tested positive for COVID-19.

AIFF suspends all football tournaments till March 31

The All India Football Federation on Saturday suspended tournaments at all levels, including the flagship I-League, till March 31 owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
The suspension will come into effect from Sunday.
 
"Adhering to the advisories issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, and directives from several State Governments, all footballing activities under the aegis of AIFF stay suspended till March 31, 2020," the country's apex football body said in a statement.

Russia shuts land borders to Poland, Norway to foreigners: PM

Russia will close its land borders with Poland and Norway to foreigners in a bid to limit the spread of the new coronavirus, the country's prime minister said on Saturday.
 
The ban will come into force at midnight on Sunday and apply to all foreigners travelling "for professional, private, study or tourist reasons", apart from Belarusians, members of official delegations and residents of Russia, said premier Mikhail Mishustin in a statement.

Coronavirus death toll in Greece rises to three

Greece announced two more coronavirus deaths on Saturday bringing the toll to three, as an unprecedented lockdown takes effect.
 
A 67-year-old man died on Zakynthos island early on Saturday and a 90-year-old man died in the northern city of Ptolemaida, the health ministry said.
 
Both men had health problems.
 
The man in Zakinthos was believed to have contracted the virus after visiting a hospital in western Greece where the first fatality was confirmed, Athens News Agency reported.

South Africans returned from virus-hit Wuhan

South Africa repatriated dozens of its citizens from China on Saturday over the coronavirus, the health ministry said, the first such move by a sub-Saharan country.
 
The 146 South Africans were working and studying in Wuhan city, which was placed under lockdown for around two months after the novel virus was first detected in December.
 
They landed at Polokwane International Airport, in South Africa's northern Limpopo province, where they will be quarantined in a remote resort for 21 days.

Vietnam's coronavirus cases jump to 53: Health ministry

Vietnam on Saturday confirmed five more cases of the coronavirus, including a British, a Czech and three Vietnamese citizens, bringing the country's total cases to 53.
 
Cases have been found in several cities across the country, including the capital Hanoi, the business hub Ho Chi Minh City and some cities in northern and central Vietnam, the Ministry of Health said in a statement.
 
Vietnam has 53 confirmed cases of the disease caused by the virus and 94 suspected cases under quarantine. There are 16 cases of patients who have recovered, it added.

Japan PM says no need to declare emergency due to coronavirus

Japan's coronavirus outbreak is not at a stage that requires the government to declare an emergency, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Saturday.
 
Abe, who made the comment at a news conference in Tokyo, also said that experts have concluded that Japan has not seen an explosive rise in coronavirus cases.
 
The number of coronavirus cases in Japan has risen to 1,423 as of Saturday, said public broadcaster NHK. The total of 1,423 infections includes 697 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship and 14 returnees on charter flights from China, according to NHK data.
 

Rwanda confirms first case of coronavirus: Health ministry

Rwanda has confirmed its first case of coronavirus, an Indian citizen who arrived in the East African nation from Mumbai on March 8, the Health Ministry said on Saturday.
 
He had no symptoms on arrival but presented himself to a health facility on March 13, the ministry said. Rwanda is the 19th African nation to report the presence of coronavirus.
 
"He is currently under treatment in stable condition, isolated from other patients," the ministry said. "The tracing of all contacts has been conducted for further management." RwandAir, Rwanda's national airline, announced it was suspending all flights to India until April 30 and would refund customers.

Airline Swiss to ground half its fleet, cut work hours

Lufthansa subsidiary Swiss International is taking half its fleet out of service and reducing working hours for flight personnel to help safeguard its finances during the coronavirus outbreak, it said.
 
"To compensate for the sharp fall in demand and resultant lost revenue, SWISS has decided to take immediate further precautionary action to secure liquidity," it said in a statement on Friday.
 
Payout of variable salary components would be postponed to the end of this year for both flying personnel and senior management, the airline said, adding all recruitment besides apprentices and interns would also be halted and all non-essential projects halted or postponed.

Japan PM says no need to declare emergency due to coronavirus

Japan's coronavirus outbreak is not at a stage that requires the government to declare an emergency, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Saturday.
 
Abe, who made the comment at a news conference in Tokyo, also said that experts have concluded that Japan has not seen an explosive rise in coronavirus cases.
 
The number of coronavirus cases in Japan has risen to 1,423 as of Saturday, said public broadcaster NHK. The total of 1,423 infections includes 697 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship and 14 returnees on charter flights from China, according to NHK data.
 

Beijing city govt says imported coronavirus cases to cover all treatment fees

Beijing's city government said on Saturday that patients with imported coronavirus will have to cover all treatment fees if they are not enrolled for basic health insurance.
 
Imported cases without insurance will have to cover treatment fees, incuding both patients suspected of having coronavirus and confirmed cases, Chen Bei, deputy secretary-general of the Beijing Municipal Government said at a briefing.

PM shares health ministry's guidelines on home quarantine

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday took to Twitter to share the health ministry's guidelines on home quarantine.
 
"Some important information here. Do read," he said while sharing the guidelines.
 
The health ministry said home quarantine is meant "to protect you and your loved ones." According to the guidelines, those quarantined at home should stay in a well-ventilated single-room, preferably with an attached or separate toilet.
 

Playgrounds and parks shuttered in Italy

Already cooped up most of the day in their homes under Italy's nationwide lockdown to fight the coronavirus, millions of Italians woke up on Saturday to find themselves deprived of one of the few simple pleasures left: a walk in the park.
 
Mayors of many cities, including Rome and Milan, had decided by late Friday to close public playgrounds and parks. Health authorities have lamented that too many people were gathering together, whether it was to kick around a soccer ball, or jog in groups.
 
Under a government decree issued earlier in the week, people had been allowed to walk, jog or bike in parks as long as they kept at least a distance of 1 meter between each other. But not everyone followed the rules.

Playgrounds and parks shuttered in Italy

Already cooped up most of the day in their homes under Italy's nationwide lockdown to fight the coronavirus, millions of Italians woke up on Saturday to find themselves deprived of one of the few simple pleasures left: a walk in the park.
 
Mayors of many cities, including Rome and Milan, had decided by late Friday to close public playgrounds and parks. Health authorities have lamented that too many people were gathering together, whether it was to kick around a soccer ball, or jog in groups.
 
Under a government decree issued earlier in the week, people had been allowed to walk, jog or bike in parks as long as they kept at least a distance of 1 meter between each other. But not everyone followed the rules.

All schools, colleges in West Bengal to remain shut till March 31

All educational institutions in West Bengal will remain shut till March 31 in the wake of coronavirus threat, officials said on Saturday.
 
Board examinations will, however, continue as per schedule, they said.
 
Internal examinations of these institutions will also remain suspended during this period, the officials said. There will be a review of the situation on March 30, following which further decision will be taken, they added.

Czechs close shops, pubs to stem virus spread

The Czech government closed most shops, restaurants and pubs on Saturday in a bid to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.
 
The measure, which will be in effect until March 24, does not concern shops selling food and electronics, pharmacies or petrol stations.
 
"We wanted to stop people from heading to shopping malls," Prime Minister Andrej Babis told reporters, calling on Czechs to show tolerance and solidarity.
 
Restaurants and pubs will be closed for the same period, the government said in a statement published on its website on Saturday.
 

Philippines confirms 34 new coronavirus cases, full tally at 98

The Philippines reported on Saturday an additional 34 confirmed coronavirus cases, bringing total to 98 ahead of the implementation of quarantine measures in the capital Manila.
 
It marked the largest single-day increase in confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian nation, which has eight coronavirus deaths.
 
Details of the new cases are being validated and authorities are verifying reports of additional cases, Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told a news conference.

Norway advises against all foreign travel amid virus outbreak

Norway on Saturday advised its citizens not to travel to any foreign country for the next month, while Norwegians currently abroad should consider returning home as soon as possible amid the coronavirus outbreak, the foreign ministry said.
 
The spread of the virus, and the risk that other nations will restrict travel, made the recommendation necessary, the ministry added.

Shahid Kapoor's 'Jersey' shoot suspended amid coronavirus scare

Bollywood star Shahid Kapoor on Saturday announced that the team of his upcoming film "Jersey" has decided to suspend the shoot of the film to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
 
The 39-year-old actor took to Twitter to share the news with his fans and followers.
 
"At a time like this it is our social responsibility to do everything in our capacity to curb the spread of this virus. Team #Jersey is suspending shoot so as to enable all unit members to be with their families and in the safety of their homes. Be responsible. Stay safe," Shahid posted on Twitter.

AMU suspends all classes till March 22

The Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) on Saturday suspended all classes, including sessional tests, till March 22 as a precautionary measure in view of novel coronavirus threat.
 
"During a special meeting of top university officials presided over by Vice Chancellor Prof Tariq Mansoor, it was decided today that all conferences, workshops, educational tours and sports programmes have been postponed till March 31," AMU spokesperson Omar Peerzada told PTI.
 
The spokesperson, however, announced that "all examinations of the university and schools will be held as per schedule".
 

Urban Company to offer Covid-19 health insurance, income protection cover to professionals

Home services marketplace Urban Company on Saturday said it has rolled out Covid-19 health insurance and income protection cover for 30,000 service professionals active on its platform in India.
 

Apple closing all stores outside China until March 27 due to virus

Apple is closing all of its stores outside China until March 27 in a bid to slow the spread of the new coronavirus outbreak, CEO Tim Cook said.
 
Cook said the firm had learned from steps taken in China, where the tech giant has just reopened its retail stores.
 
"One of those lessons is that the most effective way to minimize risk of the virus's transmission is to reduce density and maximize social distance," he said in a statement Friday.

Turkish Cypriots bar entry to non-residents over virus

Authorities in northern Cyprus have said only Turkish Cypriots and legal residents will be allowed into the breakaway north of the island until April 1, as a precaution against the coronavirus.
 
Turkish Cypriot prime minister Ersin Tatar announced the measure after a cabinet meeting that lasted almost six hours on Friday.
 
Only Turkish Cypriot citizens and "legal residents" with residence and work permits will be allowed into the breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus by land, air or sea until April 1, he said.

Indian forces check meat products for soldiers

In a bid to protect troops from the spread of coronavirus, the Indian armed forces are "properly examining all the meat products" supplied to the soldiers, the Ministry of Defence said.
 
"Since, the virus can spread in animals also, all the meat products for supply to soldiers are properly examined," the ministry said.
 
The ministry further pointed out that all necessary precautions to safeguard troops from the virus are being taken.
 
It is stated that meats in frozen form are always used by the forces. All meat products are being regularly checked since the spread of coronavirus.
 

Isolation ward set up in railway hospital at Patna junction

A special isolation ward has been set up in the railway hospital at Patna junction station amid coronavirus pandemic.
 
The ward comprises of 10 beds along with medical facilities like nebulisers. A team consisting of a doctor and two nurses has been deployed at the isolation ward.
 
"This isolation ward has been set up for the prevention of coronavirus. The quarantine period is for 14 days. The suspected patient will be quarantined for 14 days and in case if symptoms emerge, the patient will be sent for advance treatment," Dr Shyamal Das said.

Use of face mask, hand sanitiser compulsory in Nagaland

In order to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, the Home department of Nagaland has mandated the use of face masks and hand sanitisers in all the public places.
 
The department had directed all the Deputy Commissioners to issue notices ensuring adherence to all preventive measures.
 
As per the precautionary measures advised by the Home department, people should use masks and hand sanitisers in all public places, people who are in contact with large numbers of people must wear masks, and all establishments must keep hand sanitisers for both personal and public use.

Delhi jails on alert over COVID-19, isolation wards set up

In wake of COVID-19 outbreak, all the 16 jails in Delhi, including Tihar jail, have been put on alert. An isolation ward has also been set up in every jail.
 
Instructions have been issued to the jail doctors and hospital staff for 24-hour vigilance. Besides, the prison staff and inmates of the jails here are also being told to take preventive measures.
 
"An awareness campaign was organised in every jail on Friday. Jail staff, doctors and nursing staff also participated in the campaign. The participants were told to make others aware of the disease's spread," Additional Inspector General, Delhi prisons, Raj Kumar told IANS on Saturday.

Indian-Americans confused over New Delhi's travel restrictions

There was widespread confusion among hundreds of the Indian-Americans across the US due the government in New Delhis decision to suspend all existing visas, except those of officials and diplomats, till April 15, a media report said.
 
The visa free travel facility for OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) card holders has also been suspended until April 15.
 
The curbs that went into effect Friday onward at the ports of departure have altered the travel plans for many in the US, The American Bazaar said in the report on Friday.

Around 20,000 people to lose jobs as Nepal temporarily stops on-arrival visas to tourists

Around 20,000 people are expected to go jobless after Nepal temporarily stopped issuing on-arrival tourist visas to all countries and put an end to all mountaineering expeditions for this season, in efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a media report on Saturday.
 
Nepal has so far reported only one case of coronavirus and the infected person has already been treated.
 
Hundreds of climbers flock each year to Nepal, home to several of the world's highest mountains, including Mt. Everest, to scale the Himalayan peaks during the spring season that begins around March and ends in June.

US couple traced from Kochi airport, placed under isolation

An American couple, which allegedly gave the slip to police after being admitted to the coronavirus isolation ward of the medical college hospital here following complaints of fever and cough, was traced to Kochi airport and placed under observation.
 
The two were traced late Friday night and admitted to the Kalamassery medical college hospital isolation ward, police sources said.
 
They had visited the hospital here with fever and were sent to the isolation ward, but left the place shortly thereafter.

All educational institutions, cinema halls in HP to be closed till March 31: CM Thakur

All educational institutions and cinema halls have been closed in Himachal Pradesh till March 31 as a precautionary measure to check community transmission of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said in the state assembly on Saturday.
 
In a statement in the House during the Budget session, the chief minister said all cinema halls and educational institutions including schools, colleges, universities, anganwadi centres and creches will remain closed till March 31.
 
However, examinations will continue as per schedule, he added.

World closes borders, restricts travel to contain coronavirus spread

Countries around the world on Saturday continued to close borders, impose strict entry and quarantine requirements and restrict large gatherings in efforts to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.
 
Apple Inc said it will close all its retail stores outside Greater China until March 27. Apple reopened all 42 of its branded stores in China on Friday as the spread of the virus on mainland China slowed dramatically.
 
Countries have shuttered museums, tourist attractions and sporting events to minimise the risk of transmission.

UK to move to ban mass gatherings next week to curb COVID-19

Britain's government will introduce emergency laws next week to ban mass gatherings in an attempt to curb the coronavirus outbreak, an escalation of its crisis plan which critics had said was too relaxed.
 
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has so far resisted pressure to take some of the stringent measures adopted by other European countries to slow the spread of the virus.
 
But on Friday, England's soccer Premier League suspended all matches until April 4 and other events such as the London Marathon were postponed by their organisers.

Fresh coronavirus case reported in Telangana

Another case of coronavirus was confirmed in Telangana on Saturday taking the total number of those infected to two, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said here.
 
The patient with travel history to Italy has been admitted to the state-run Gandhi hospital in the city for quarantine purpose, Rao told the assembly.
 
The samples of two others with suspected symptoms of the virus have been sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune, he said.
 
Asserting that his government was taking all necessary steps to prevent the spread of the virus in the state, the Chief Minister said a meeting of senior officials has been convened to discuss the COVID-19 situation.

Mexico's Guadalajara International Film Festival postponed due to coronavirus scare

The 35th edition of Mexico's Guadalajara International Film Festival (FICG) has been postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
 
The festival was scheduled to run from March 20 to 27.
 
Governor of western Mexican state Jalisco, Enrique Alfaro Ramirez, announced the indefinite postponement of all mass events, with soccer matches to take place without audience.

Hope COVID-19 subsides and show goes on: KKR co-owner Shah Rukh Khan on IPL

Kolkata Kight Riders co-owner and Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan on Saturday said he is hopeful of the COVID-19 pandemic subsiding and a deferred IPL going ahead with all the necessary health precautions in place.
 
A day after the start of the IPL was suspended from March 29 to April 15 by the BCCI, the franchise owners had a meeting before the event's Governing Council meet here.
 
"Wonderful to meet all the Franchise owners 'off the field' so to say. The meeting by @Bcci and @ipl was to reiterate what all of us feel...safety first of the spectators, players management & cities we play in. All directives of the health agencies & govt to be followed..," Khan tweeted.
 

Indonesian capital closes schools for 2 weeks due to coronavirus concerns

Indonesia's capital city will close all schools and ordered remote teaching for at least two weeks starting next week to curb the spread of the coronavirus, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said on Saturday.
 
The world's fourth most populous country on Friday reported 35 new coronavirus cases, including two toddlers, bringing its total to 69. At least four people have died of the virus.
 
The doubling of confirmed infections had already triggered some schools to announce closures ahead of Baswedan's announcement, while some companies had also suggested employees work from home.

China's finance ministry Q1 fiscal income affected by coronavirus

China said its first quarter fiscal income was affected by coronavirus but it's economy was resilient, a ministry of finance official said at a press briefing on Saturday.
 
The lives of those who live in poverty should not be affected as the economy was resilient because the total size of fiscal income remained huge and there was a relatively big potential for economic growth, Fu Jinling, head of the social insurance division of the Ministry of Finance said.

Indonesian capital closes schools for 2 weeks due to coronavirus concerns

Indonesia's capital city will close all schools and ordered remote teaching for at least two weeks starting next week to curb the spread of the coronavirus, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said on Saturday.
 
The world's fourth most populous country on Friday reported 35 new coronavirus cases, including two toddlers, bringing its total to 69. At least four people have died of the virus.
 
The doubling of confirmed infections had already triggered some schools to announce closures ahead of Baswedan's announcement, while some companies had also suggested employees work from home.

Disney halts production on 'The Little Mermaid', 'The Last Duel' and other films

Disney Studio has suspended production on its live-action movies -- "The Little Mermaid", "Home Alone", "The Last Duel", "Nightmare Alley", and "Peter Pan & Wendy" and "Shrunk" -- amid coronavirus outbreak.
 
The move was just a precaution and no one has been effected on any sets by the coronavirus, the studio said in a statement to Variety.
 
"While there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on our productions, after considering the current environment and the best interests of our cast and crew, we have made the decision to pause production on some of our live-action films for a short time. We will continue to assess the situation and restart as soon as feasible," the statement read.

4 including Peruvian national admitted in isolation ward

A Peruvian national and three Indians including a nine-month-old child have been admitted to an isolation ward of a government hospital here with symptoms of novel coronavirus, a senior official of the state health department said on Saturday.
 
The 27-year-old man from Peru has been admitted to the isolation ward of the Beliaghata ID Hospital and his blood and swab samples have been sent for examination, the official said.
 
The man has a history of asthma and bronchitis and is down with fever and cough, both symptoms of novel coronavirus, he said.

Four admitted in Nagpur hospital return home without informing authorities

Four persons admitted to a government-run hospital here for suspected coronavirus infection, returned home without informing the authorities, police said on Saturday.
 
The incident occurred late Friday night, they said.
 
According to police, the four persons were later traced and asked to return to the hospital. Their test results are awaited.
 
"Four persons, including two women, had come to the Indira Gandhi Government Medical College and Hospital (IGGMCH) on Friday morning to give their blood samples for suspected coronavirus infection. They were kept in the isolation ward.

Celebrations to mark 3rd anniversary of BJP govt in Uttarakhand postponed

Statewide celebrations that were scheduled to be held in Uttarakhand on March 18 to mark the completion of BJP government's three years in office have been postponed in view of the coronavirus threat.
 
As coronavirus has become a pandemic and gradually acquiring proportions of a global crisis, celebrations planned to be held in all assembly constituencies of the state on March 18 are being postponed till further orders, Chief Secretary Utpal Kumar Singh said in a letter to all district magistrates on Friday.

Saudis cancel flights as Gulf nations move to contain virus

Saudi Arabia said Saturday that it would halt all international flights to the kingdom for two weeks in the latest effort to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.
 
Gulf nations have been scrambling to contain the pandemic, which has spread to more than 100 countries and infected more than 130,000 people. Of special concern is nearby Iran, where one of the worst outbreaks has infected more than 11,000 and killed more than 500.
 
For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

Stocks surge on new virus measures; Dow up 1,985 points

Wall Street roared back from its worst day in 30 years Friday with a broad rally that sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average nearly 2,000 points higher — its biggest point gain ever — after President Donald Trump declared the coronavirus pandemic a national emergency.
 
The Dow's gains doubled in the last half-hour of trading as Trump made his remarks, giving the index its largest percentage gain since 2008 and capping a rally that recouped many of the losses from a day earlier.
 
That's when the index saw its worst slide since the Black Monday crash of 1987 and European indexes had one of the worst drops on record. The major indexes each closed with gains of more than 9 per cent.

Coronavirus: After shutting down educational institutions, Punjab to close cinema halls, restaurants

After ordering closure of all educational institutions in the state till March 31, the Punjab government is likely to shut down cinema halls, restaurants and clubs till the end of this month amid coronavirus scare.   Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said the government is contemplating to take this step keeping public health in view.
 
"Keeping public health in view, we are contemplating closure of cinemas, restaurants, gyms, clubs till March 31. Besides, we are also thinking to impose ban till the end of this month on all such public functions which attract big crowds," Sidhu told PTI over phone.
 
In the wake of coronavirus scare, the Punjab government on Friday ordered closure of all universities, colleges and school till March 31.

Coronavirus scare: West Bengal seals border with Bhutan

The West Bengal government has sealed the state's border with Bhutan in the wake of novel coronavirus outbreak, a senior official said on Saturday.
 
The West Bengal Police, which mans the border gate on the Indian side in Jaigaon in Alipurduar district, stopped the movement of goods and travellers from India to Bhutan on Friday evening, the official said.
 
The move comes after Bhutan recently issued a notification to the Alipurduar district administration informing it about a halt in tourist and business activities in the wake of coronavirus outbreak, he said.

NASCAR and IndyCar both postpone racing over virus concerns

NASCAR and IndyCar reversed course and pulled the plug on racing this weekend, with IndyCar also suspending its season through the end of April due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
NASCAR called off Sunday's race at Atlanta Motor Speedway and next weekend's events at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Both events were already scheduled to be run without spectators.

Boston Marathon postponed until Sept 14 amid virus concerns

The Boston Marathon, the world's most celebrated footrace, was postponed until September 14 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
 
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced the decision Friday. The Boston Athletic Association, which oversees the marathon, had held off deciding the fate of the April 20 race even as other high-profile sports events were canceled or postponed around the globe.
 
But pressure had mounted in recent weeks from officials in Boston and the seven cities and towns along the 26.2-mile (42.2-kilometer) course.

G7 leaders to host videoconference on COVID-19 next week

Leaders of Group of Seven (G7) will hold a videoconference on COVID-19 early next week, the White House said following a telephonic conversation between French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Donald Trump on Friday.
 
During the phone call, the two sides agreed to host a videoconference on the coronavirus with all of the G7 leaders early next week, according to a White House statement, Xinhua news agency reported.
 
The two leaders discussed how France and the United States are working to combat COVID-19 as well as opportunities to work together to contain the pandemic.

Children may get less sick from COVID-19: Study

Amid the outbreak of the deadly novel coronavirus that has claimed over 5,000 lives globally, researchers have found that children rarely have severe symptoms when infected by COVID-19 and may even less likely to get the disease.
 
According to the review, published in the The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, like previous epidemic coronaviruses, COVID-19 seems to cause fewer symptoms and less severe disease in children compared to adults.
 
"There is some suggestion that children are just as likely as adults to become infected with the virus but are less likely to be unwell or develop severe symptoms," said researchers Petra Zimmerman from University of Fribourg in Switzerland and Nigel Curtis from The University of Melbourne in Australia.

MCA postpones all matches till March 31

In view of the coronavirus situation in Maharastra, the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) has decided to suspend all its matches till March 31.
 
"Mumbai Cricket Association has decided to postpone all its cricket matches, which were scheduled to be played between 14th March and 31st March 2020, due to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation," an apex council member of the city's cricket body said.
 
Due to the outbreak of novel coronavirus, several sporting events have either been called off or postponed.

Nearly 1.2 mn international passengers screened for coronavirus: Civil Aviation Minister

Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Saturday said so far nearly 1.2 million passengers coming from abroad have been screened for coronavirus at various airports across the country.
 
Speaking at "Wings India 2020" an aviation related event being held here, the Union Minister said there would be a drop of 15 to 20 per cent in domestic air traffic for time being due to the virus concerns.
 
He further said, out of over 1.1 million passengers who were screened at 30 airports only 3,225 were referred to tests.
 
Indian airports have "set up a benchmark" for other countries in terms of taking precautionary measures such as screening and making facilities available at aerodromes in the wake of the virus outbreak, he added. 

5 suspected coronavirus patients escape Nagpur hospital

Five suspected coronavirus patients have escaped from the isolation wards of Mayo Hospital here on Friday night.
 
One of them had tested negative for COVID-19 while the results of rest are awaited.
 
"One of them had tested negative, reports of other 4 were awaited. We have traced them and they will be brought back to the hospital by the administration," said S Suryavanshi, Sub-Inspector, Nagpur Tehsil police station.
 
"The five suspects left the hospital and to inspect the matter, I visited the hospital. I learned that the suspects left the ward for snacks but didn't return," he said.
 

81,000 teachers to be trained online in Kerala

Necessity is the mother of invention goes the old saying and hence Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE) on Saturday decided to give specific IT training in an online mode for over 81,000 primary teachers in the state, through a focussed intervention in 11,274 schools.
 
It is the first time in India that such a massive specific training for teachers is conducted within a short time by utilising a complete digital mechanism.
 
K. Anvar Sadath, Chief Executive Officer, KITE, said they had planned for providing this training in three batches in over 1000 centres, with each centre having 25 teachers and two trainers.
 

21 stranded passengers from Italy arrive in Kerala

Twenty one passengers, who were stranded in coronavirus-hit Italy, were brought here on Saturday following which they were shifted to Aluva hospital for investigation, airport sources said.
 
Several Indian passengers have been stuck in the European nation, despite having confirmed tickets.
 
This was after Italian authorities and Emirates airlines refused to take them following a ciruclar issued by the DGCA stipulating that people travelling from Italy or South Korea and desirous of entering India should obtain certificates of having tested negative for COVID-19 from those countries.
 

Tokyo governor vows full measures to combat coronavirus during Torch relay

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike on Saturday vowed to take thorough measures against the coronavirus outbreak for the Olympic Torch relay through Japan and reaffirmed that preparations for a "safe and secure" 2020 Games were progressing, TV Asahi reported.
 
Koike's comments came after Greece's Olympic Committee on Friday cancelled the remainder of the Olympic Torch relay through the country to avoid attracting crowds that could raise the risk of virus contagion.
 
The Olympic Torch relay through Japan is scheduled to start on March 26 in northern Fukushima prefecture.

Philippine capital to undergo curfew, mall closures as coronavirus deaths rise to six

Mayors of Metro Manila's 16 cities announced nighttime curfews on Saturday and urged shopping malls to close for one month, in a bid to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, as the Philippines reported its sixth death.
 
President Rodrigo Duterte has raised the country's health emergency status to the highest level and issued quarantine measures in the capital, home to 12 million people.
 
All the measures in the Philippine capital, if implemented fully, would be among the strictest in place in Asia, and come as European countries and the United States battle to contain a pandemic that has killed more than 5,000 worldwide.

FIH Pro League on hold till April 15 due to COVID-19

The International Hockey Federation on Saturday suspended the ongoing FIH Pro League, which also involves India, till April 15 citing the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic.
 
The FIH said its decision was based on "information and recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the decisions taken by a number of governments and local authorities around the world..." "...the International Hockey Federation (FIH) and all participating National Associations (NAs) have decided to put all FIH Hockey Pro League matches currently scheduled until 15 April on hold, with immediate effect," a statement from the world body read.
 
India are next scheduled to play on April 26 against Germany in Berlin. The league is a home and away tournament involving nine teams.

Australia vs New Zealand series called off

The two remaining games of the Chappell-Hadlee ODI series between Australia and New Zealand were on Saturday cancelled as the visiting will have to hurry back home to avoid a new set of travel restrictions owing to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
 
According to a report in 'ESPNCricinfo', a three-match T20 International series that was scheduled in New Zealand after the ODI series in Australia also stands cancelled at the moment.
 
"On Saturday afternoon, the New Zealand government tightened border restrictions saying those entering the country from Australia would be subjected to a mandatory 14-day self-isolation period," the website reported.

Coronavirus cases rise to 83 in India: Officials

The number of novel coronavirus cases in the country rose to 83 on Saturday, which includes one death each from Delhi and Karnataka, the Union Health Ministry said.
 
While a 76-year-old man from Kalaburagi who had recently returned from Saudi Arabia died on Thursday, a 68-year-old woman in Delhi who had tested positive for coronavirus passed away at Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital on Friday night.
 
The woman, whose son with a travel history abroad had tested positive, died because of co-morbidity (diabetes and hypertension), the health ministry said, adding she had tested positive for COVID-19.
 
Delhi has reported seven positive cases and Uttar Pradesh 11 so far. Karnataka has six coronavirus patients while Maharashtra 14 and Ladakh three.
Besides, Rajasthan, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh and Punjab have reported one case each.

Infosys evacuates building in Bengaluru after employee comes in contact with suspected COVID-19 patient

The Infosys in Bengaluru has evacuated one of its satellite office buildings following reports of its employee coming in contact with a suspected coronavirus patient.
 
The development comes after the Karnataka government advised IT and other professionals working in air-conditioned places to work from home for time being, for about a week, to prevent the spread of the virus.
 
An internal communication from the office here read, "We have received information about a situation of a team member from the IIPM building, who may have been in proximity to an individual with suspected COVID-19." Read More

Coronavirus spreads quickly, before people show symptoms: Study

Researchers, studying the novel coronavirus, have found that the time between cases in a chain of transmission is less than a week, and over 10 per cent of patients are infected by someone who has the virus, but does not show symptoms yet, a finding that may help public health officials contain the pandemic.
 
The study, published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, estimated what's called the serial interval of the coronavirus by measuring the time it takes for symptoms to appear in two people with the virus -- the person who infects another, and the infected second person.
 
According to the researchers, including those from the University of Texas at Austin, the average serial interval for the novel coronavirus in China was approximately four days.

Places of public gatherings shut down in Karnataka amid coronavirus scare

Amid coronavirus threat, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has ordered shutting down for a week of all places/activities where people gather in large number including swimming pools, shopping malls, schools, colleges, cinema halls etc, state Health Minister B Sriramulu said.
 
This comes after Yediyurappa chaired an emergency meeting with ministers and senior officials on Friday to discuss the situation.
 
Earlier, schools in the state had announced early summer vacation for their students this academic year as a precautionary measure. Other public places have been shut down in the state amid the Covid-19 scare.

Newborn in London becomes youngest coronavirus victim

A newborn in north-west London has become the youngest ever victim of the deadly coronavirus pandemic that has spread to every continent across the globe, apart from Antarctica, and infected more than 140,000 people with over 5,000 deaths.
 
The mother of the newborn rushed to the North Middlesex University Hospital days before giving birth over fears she had contracted pneumonia, The Sun reported Friday.
 
Her coronavirus test came back positive only after she had given birth; her baby was tested minutes later.

Amid coronavirus scare, chicken sales crash in Hyderabad

The poultry industry in Hyderabad is facing losses amid rumours that chicken is infected with coronavirus and the disease is being transmitted to humans.
 
The prices of chicken have dropped as people are desisting from consuming meat amid the scare of the deadly virus.
 
Shaikh Munawar, a chicken retailer in Hyderabad told ANI that the retailers are now selling 2.5 kgs of chicken for just Rs 100 due to the rumours.
 

Apple shuts retail stores in Spain, closes first US outlet

As Apple opened all 42 retail stores in China after the new coronavirus situation improved in that country, the Cupertino-based iPhone maker has now announced plans to shut all 11 stores in Spain from Saturday till further notice.
 
A US retail store at Willow Grove Park in Pennsylvania has also been closed on orders from the state's governor, reports Apple Insider. Pennsylvania has shut down schools, community centres, gyms and entertainment venues in Montgomery County for two weeks.
 
"According to Apple's regional website, each of the company's 11 branded brick-and-mortar stores in Spain will be closed effective Saturday, March 14. The stores will remain closed until further notice, the report mentioned.
 
"Due to current health precautions, this store will remain closed until further notice. If you need online support, visit getsupport.apple.com. Sorry for the inconvenience," read a message posted on each store's landing page in Spain.
 
Apple has shut down retail operations in Italy too that is bearing the maximum brunt after China, reporting 17,660 cases with 1,266 deaths.
 

Colombia closes border with Venezuela over coronavirus cases

Colombia's president has ordered his nation's border with Venezuela closed as a coronavirus containment measure.
 
Iván Duque announced late Friday that all official border crossing with the neighboring Andean nation will be shuttered beginning at 5 a.m. Saturday.
 
The two nations share a porous 1,370-mile (2,200-kilometer) border that is crossed by thousands of Venezuelans each day searching for food and medicine.
 

US House passes coronavirus bill funding free tests, sick leave

The US House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a coronavirus aid package early on Saturday that would provide free testing and paid sick leave, in a bid to limit the economic damage from a pandemic that has shuttered schools, sports arenas and offices.
 
By a bipartisan vote of 363 to 40, the Democratic-controlled House passed a multi-billion dollar effort that would expand safety-net programs to help those who could be thrown out of work in the weeks to come.
 
Economists say the outbreak, which has infected 138,000 people worldwide and killed more than 5,000, could tip the US economy into recession.

Thailand reports seven new coronavirus cases, bringing total to 82

Thailand reported seven new coronavirus cases on Saturday, bringing the total number of cases in the Southeast Asian country to 82, health officials said.
 
One person has died so far.
 

Surinder Khanna backs decision to postpone IPL amid coronavirus

Former cricketer Surinder Khanna on Friday said the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman have taken the right decision to postpone the league as the safety of people is more important amid coronavirus.
 
"Keeping in view the seriousness of coronavirus and the directions and advisory issued by the central government, BCCI and IPL chairman have taken the right decision and we are having a meeting tomorrow, rest of the things will be discussed there," Khanna, who is a member of IPL governing council, told ANI.
 
"Responsibly it has been taken up by IPL and BCCI. I am very happy for that. The safety of the people is more important," he added.

IOC committed to delivering 'safe' Olympic games despite coronavirus outbreak

International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Saturday said they are committed to delivering safe Olympic games, scheduled to commence in July this year, despite the coronavirus outbreak.
 
"The International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirms its full commitment to the success of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. We remain absolutely in line with our Japanese hosts in our commitment to delivering safe Olympic Games in July this year," IOC said in a statement to ANI.
 
"At the same time, the world is facing challenges that are also impacting sport. But with 19 weeks before the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the many measures being taken now by authorities all around the world give us confidence and keep us fully committed to delivering Olympic Games that can bring the world together in peace," the statement added.

Pak responds positively to Modi's video conferencing offer on COVID-19

Pakistan has responded positively to a proposal made by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, where he called on the leaders of South Asian Association Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries to discuss how to deal with the coronavirus pandemic via video conferencing, it was reported on Saturday.
 
In a series of tweets on Friday, Modi said: "I would like to propose that the leadership of SAARC nations chalk out a strong strategy to fight coronavirus.
 
"We could discuss, via video conferencing, ways to keep our citizens healthy. Together, we can set an example to the world, and contribute to a healthier planet."

2020 London Marathon postponed due to coronavirus

This year's London Marathon, which was supposed to take place on April 24, has been postponed to October 4 due to the global outbreak of coronavirus.
 
The organizers have said that every runner with a place will be able to use their place in the rescheduled event without any further payment. If they choose not to take part or are unable to do so, they will receive a refund of their entry fee.
 
Runners may also choose to defer their entry to the 2021 race, which is scheduled for April 25 next year, on payment of the entry fee for 2021, following the standard deferment process.
 

US President Trump encountered second person who later tested positive for coronavirus: White House physician

US President Donald Trump encountered a second individual last weekend who later tested positive for coronavirus, but the president did not require testing for the virus or quarantining, the White House physician said on Friday.
 
Trump last weekend dined with a group that included Brazil's communications secretary, Fabio Wajngarten, who Brazilian officials say has now been tested positive for coronavirus.
 

COVID 19: Kohli's message "Stay strong and fight outbreak"

India captain Virat Kohli has urged his countrymen to take all ncessary precautions in the wake of novel coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed lives of over 4000 people across the globe.
 
In India, there has been two deaths along with 80 plus positive COVID 19 cases which has prompted suspension of all sporting activities including an ODI series against South Africa and the cash-rich Indian Premier League.

Coronavirus: RSS suspends highest decision-making body meeting in Bengaluru

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh suspended its three-day annual meeting of its highest decision-making body scheduled to begin on Saturday, RSS general secretary Suresh 'Bhaiyyaji' Joshi said.
 
The annual meeting of the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha (ABPS) was to be held in Bengaluru from March 15-17 to decide on the organisation's future course of action.
 
"In view of the seriousness of the pandemic COVID-19 and in the light of instructions and advisories thereof issues by the Union and the state govts, the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha (ABPS) meeting scheduled in Bangaluru has been suspended.

Swaminarayan sect closes all temples globally

In view of the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus, the Swaminarayan sect has announced to close all its temples globally and suspend routine activities until further notice as part of its efforts to protect the health of volunteers, visitors and local communities.
 
COVID-19, which has been declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, has claimed over 5,000 lives, including 41 in the US, and infected more than 134,000 people globally.

Coronavirus positive cases in Maharashtra rise to 19

With two more persons testing positive for coronavirus in Maharashtra, the number of infected individuals in the state has gone up to 19, a health department official said on Saturday.
 
One of the two new patients is from Ahmednagar city, the official said. However, he did not specify the location of the other patient.
 
"Till Friday evening, the number of persons who tested positive for coronavirus was 17. The test reports of two more persons came late at night. As they were found positive, the count of infected persons in the state now stands at 19," the official said.

All international football should be postponed, says FIFA

FIFA on Friday recommended that all international football matches scheduled for March and April be postponed due to the spread of the new coronavirus.
 
Falling short of banning matches outright, world football's governing body said that clubs would be allowed to refuse to send their players to national squad gatherings in March and April.
 
FIFA also said that it was working on rescheduling qualifying matches for the 2022 World Cup in both Asia and South America which have been postponed.

Antetokounmpo pledges $100,000 for idled arena workers

NBA Most Valuable Player Giannis Antetokounmpo on Friday pledged $100,000 for workers at the Milwaukee Bucks' FiServ Forum that will lose wages during coronavirus pandemic.
 
The hourly wage workers will take a big hit from the shut-down of the NBA and other sports leagues, along with cancellations of concerts as public health officials caution that large gatherings can hasten the spread of COVID-19.

Mainland China sees imported virus cases exceed new local infections for first time

The number of new coronavirus cases imported into mainland China from overseas surpassed the number of locally transmitted new infections for the first time on Friday, data released by the National Health Commission showed on Saturday.
 
Mainland China had 11 new confirmed cases on Friday, up from eight cases a day earlier, but only four of those - all in the virus epicentre of Hubei province - were locally transmitted.
 
The other seven - including four in the financial hub of Shanghai, one in the capital Beijing and two in the northwestern province of Gansu - were all detected in travellers coming into China from overseas, specifically Italy, the United States and Saudi Arabia, according to local authorities.

New Zealand bowler Ferguson in isolation over virus fears

New Zealand fast bowler Lockie Ferguson is to be tested for coronavirus and has been placed in isolation after complaining of a sore throat following the Black Caps' opening ODI against Australia, team officials said.
 
The right-armed quick was quarantined immediately after the 71-run defeat in Sydney on Friday and would remain isolated for at least 24 hours while tests are conducted.

New Zealand says everyone entering country must self-isolate to contain coronavirus

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Saturday that everyone entering the country from midnight Sunday must self isolate for 14 days in an effort to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.
 
People from small South Pacific island countries, which currently have no reported cases, will be exempted, Ardern said in a news conference. New Zealand has a large South Pacific islander population.
 
All cruise ships will also be told not to come to New Zealand until June 30, she said.

US military to halt domestic travel amid coronavirus

The US military said on Friday that it will halt all domestic travel, with some exceptions, for service members, Defense Department civilians and their families amid the fast-spreading coronavirus.
 
The memo, signed by Deputy Secretary of Defense David Norquist, said the policy would go into effect on Monday through May 11.
 
It added that exceptions could be granted for mission essential travel, travel necessary for humanitarian reasons, and travel warranted due to extreme hardship.

India Open badminton cancelled for time being

The India Open badminton tournament was on Friday suspended at least till April 12 after the sport's world governing body decided to halt all events from March 16 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
 
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) said in a statement that the escalation of the COVID-19 outbreak globally has forced it to cancel or postpone all tournaments from March 16 to April 12.
 
The situation, it said, has been aggravated by heightened travel and quarantine restrictions in place and the subsequent extreme logistical complications this causes to the movement of badminton athletes.

Bangladeshi nationals support India's decision to temporarily suspend visas

Some Bangladeshi nationals, at the immigration check post in Fulbari, Siliguri, on Saturday extended full support to India's decision over temporarily suspending visas of foreign nationals, saying that the government has taken a very good decision despite that the move may affect few who need visas for emergency purposes.
 
"This is a pandemic disease that is spreading across the world. The government has taken a very good decision despite that it will be problematic for some, for example, those who require the visa for emergency purposes. But it should be our collective responsibility to fight the disease," said Durga Shah from Naushindi in Bangladesh.
 
In view of the coronavirus outbreak, all passenger movements through immigration land checkposts at borders with Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and Myanmar will be suspended from March 15 till further orders.

School, colleges, movie halls to remain shut in Rajasthan

The Rajasthan government has decided to shut all schools, colleges, coaching centres, gymnasiums, movie theatres across the state till March 30 in an effort to stop the spreading of the novel coronavirus.
 
The decision was taken by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot after chairing a high-level meeting at his residence late Friday night with senior officials of the state.
 
"My advice to people is not to panic due to this virus but at the same time, I appeal to them to avoid going to crowded places and use public transport only when necessary," Gehlot said after the meeting, adding that the decisions come in the wake of the WHO and UN declaring the outbreak as a pandemic.

Telangana Legislative Council to discuss impact of COVID-19 in state

Telangana Legislative Council will hold to a short discussion on the impact of coronavirus in the state and measures that have been taken so far.
 
Meanwhile, Telangana Health Minister's office said that the lone coronavirus patient from the state has recovered and is going to be discharged from the hospital soon.
 
The development comes after 82 confirmed cases of coronavirus and two deaths related to the lethal infection have been reported in the country.

Saudi Arabia suspends international flights for two weeks over coronavirus fears: SPA

Saudi Arabia has suspended all international flights for two weeks, starting Sunday, to prevent the spread of coronavirus, state news agency SPA said on Saturday, citing an official source at interior ministry.
 
The period will be considered as an exceptional official holiday for citizens and residents who are unable to return due to the suspension of flights or if they face quarantine after their return to the Kingdom, SPA cited the official as saying.
 
Saudi Arabia has reported 86 coronavirus cases.

Netanyahu requested PM Modi to allow export of masks, pharmaceuticals to Israel: Report

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu requested Narendra Modi to approve and allow the export of masks and pharmaceutical raw materials to Israel during his telephonic conversation with his Indian counterpart this week, according to a media report.
 
Israel's Channel 13 on Friday reported that Netanyahu made the request after India decided to stop the export of these items to meet its own domestic requirements in view of the rapid spread of coronavirus.

US Embassy, Consulates in India cancel all visa appointments from March 16

The US Embassy and Consulates in India have cancelled all visa appointments from March 16 in the wake of coronavirus outbreak.
 
US President Donald Trump on Friday officially declared a national emergency that he said would give states and territories access to up to $50 billion in federal funds to combat coronavirus.
 
A statement issued by the US Embassy here said, "US Mission India posts, in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic, are cancelling immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments from March 16, 2020, onward."  "Your visa appointment stands as cancelled. Once Mission India resumes regular consular operations, appointments will be made available and you will be able to reschedule," it said.
 

Argentina, Ecuador deaths take LatAm virus toll to five

Argentina announced its second coronavirus-related death on Friday as Ecuador reported its first, taking the total death toll in Latin America to five as the virus shows signs of spreading rapidly.
 
Venezuela, Uruguay, Guatemala and Suriname reported their first cases of the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Overall cases in the region have more than doubled in the last two days to over 340 as the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) warned governments on Thursday to prepare their health services to cope.
 
Several Latin American countries have tightened restrictions on travel links with Europe, from where many people in the region are descended and still have family.

Pak closes western borders as COVID-19 cases reach 28

The Pakistan government has taken a number of steps to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, including closing the western borders with Iran and Afghanistan and banning all large public gatherings, as the number of confirmed cases has increased to 28 in the country.
 
The decisions were taken at a high-level National Security Committee (NSC) meeting on Friday which was chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan and attended by the provincial chief ministers and the civilian and military leadership, reports Dawn news.
 
Speaking to the media after the meeting, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Zafar Mirza said seven new cases had all been reported in Taftan among Pakistani pilgrims who have returned from Iran.

Ecuador confirms first COVID-19 death

The first patient died of the coronavirus disease in Ecuador, national health minister Catalina Andramuno said.
 
"Unfortunately, I have to inform you that today our first patient, who was diagnosed with the coronavirus in Ecuador, has died. The national government expresses its condolences to her family," Andramuno said at a press conference.
 
According to the minister, three new cases of COVID-19 were registered in Ecuador on Friday. The whole number of confirmed cases in the country has reached 23.

'34 people in Telangana came in contact with Karnataka man who died of coronavirus'

Telangana Public Health Director Dr Srinivas on Friday said that 34 people, who came in contact with the 76-year-old Karnataka man who died of coronavirus, have been identified in the state.
 
"So far, 34 people who came in contact with him have been traced and are kept under strict home isolation by the Telangana health authorities. As of now, all the contacts are stable and under active surveillance by the health teams of the Telangana government," Srinivas said.
 
He added that the rapid response team of the state is further searching for the persons who might have come in contact with the person who died of COVID-19.

Centre restricts passenger movement through immigration checkposts

In view of the coronavirus outbreak, all passenger movements through immigration land checkposts at borders with Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar will be suspended from March 15 till further orders.
 
In a statement, the Union Home Ministry said on Friday that the people will be allowed to travel through 19 of 37 land immigration checkposts from Saturday midnight.
 
The announcements come after the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. Over 5,000 people have died due to COVID-19. In India too, the number of cases of coronavirus continues to rise.
 

IIT Delhi suspends academic, curricular activities amid coronavirus fears

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi has suspended all academic, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities as part of preventive measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the campus.
 
"As a part of preventive measures against the spread of COVID-19, the institute has suspended all the academic, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities," IIT Delhi said in an official notice on Friday.
 
The institute said that these measures include classes and other examinations, events, projects or any other activities which require the presence of students on the campus.

S Korea reports 107 new coronavirus cases, total 8,086: KCDC

South Korea reported more recoveries from the coronavirus than new infections on Saturday for the second day in a row, as a downward trend in daily cases raised hopes that Asia's biggest epidemic outside China may be slowing.
 
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) recorded 107 new coronavirus cases on Saturday compared with 110 a day earlier, taking the national tally to 8,086. In contrast, 204 patients were released from hospitals where they had been isolated for treatment.

US agency issues emergency order to speed coronavirus relief deliveries

The US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said late Friday it was issuing a national emergency order to waive hours-of-service requirements for commercial vehicle drivers transporting emergency coronavirus relief.
 
The agency of the U.S. Transportation Department said the order covers deliveries including medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19, food for emergency restocking of stores; and supplies and equipment like masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants. It marks the first time the agency has issued a nationwide order and requires that after deliveries are complete, drivers must receive the required time off.

Mainland China reports 11 new coronavirus cases on March 13

Mainland China had 11 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections on March 13, the country's National Health Commission said on Saturday, up from eight cases a day earlier.
 
That brings the total number of confirmed cases in mainland China so far to 80,824.
 
The death toll from the outbreak in mainland China had reached 3,189 as of the end of Friday, up by 13 from the previous day. All of the latest deaths were in the central province of Hubei, the epicentre of the outbreak, and 10 of them were in Hubei's provincial capital of Wuhan.

Philippines records one new coronavirus death, raises toll to six

The Philippines health department on Saturday confirmed one new fatality from the coronavirus outbreak, bringing the total number of deaths to six, a day after the country raised its health emergency status to the highest level.
 
The patient, confined at a government hospital in southern Philippines, died late Friday because of complications from severe pneumonia and acute kidney injury, the health ministry said.
 
The Southeast Asian nation had 64 coronavirus cases as of Friday, with President Rodrigo Duterte raising the health emergency status to the highest level and issuing quarantine measures in the capital.

US FDA approves Thermo Fisher's coronavirus test: Official

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday approved Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc's coronavirus test, which would allow the firm to increase capacity to 1.4 million tests a week, a Trump administration official said.
 
"This will dramatically increase our ability to test people for the virus," the official said. It was not immediately clear if capacity referred to test kit production or processing of tests performed on individual patients.
 
The move comes as the Trump administration struggles to meet demand for testing. The FDA has already approved emergency authorization for a faster coronavirus test made by Swiss diagnostics maker Roche.

Guatemala bans arrivals from US, Canada to fight coronavirus

Guatemala will from Monday widen travel restrictions to fight the spread of coronavirus, banning arrivals from the United States and Canada, President Alejandro Giammattei said on Friday.
 
"We are therefore announcing that everyone who arrives from Canada and the United States between now and midnight on Monday will be subject to quarantining," Giammattei said in a televised address.
 
The president said he had also asked the Mexican government to halt deportations of migrants by land to Guatemala.
 

Philippine central bank ready to support growth amid coronavirus outbreak

The Philippine central bank stands ready to deploy any or all of its policy tools even as it said the fast-spreading coronavirus would not severely cut the country's growth momentum, its governor said late Friday.
 
The central bank is widely expected to cut interest rates at its meeting on Thursday and economists believe it will likely ease policy further to cushion the blow of coronavirus on one of Asia's fastest growing economy.

Major US internet firms agree not to cancel service over next 60 days

The US telecoms regulator said Friday that major internet providers - including Comcast Corp, AT&T Inc and Verizon Communications Inc - agreed not to terminate service for subscribers for the next 60 days if they are unable to pay their bills due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus.

Australia steps up lockdown to combat coronavirus spread

Australia's prime minister cancelled plans to go to a rugby game on Saturday after a senior minister was diagnosed with COVID-19, while the nation's treasurer called a second crisis meeting over the rapidly growing economic threat from the coronavirus.
 
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg was set to hold a phone hook-up with Reserve Bank of Australia officials and financial regulators on Saturday, his spokeswoman said, without elaborating on what would be discussed.
 
It will be the second crisis meeting involving the central bank, the country's prudential regulator and markets watchdog and follows the government's A$17.6 billion ($10.9 billion) stimulus plan this week to prevent the coronavirus outbreak triggering a recession.

Miami mayor tests positive for virus after Brazilian event

The mayor of the city of Miami has tested positive for the new coronavirus after meeting with a Brazilian senior official who was also in close proximity to President Donald Trump.
 
Mayor Francis Suarez said in a Friday statement that he was not feeling any symptoms and advised anyone who shook hands with him or was close to him since Monday to self-isolate for 14 days.
 
Florida politicians such as US Sen. Rick Scott had expressed concerns about coming into contact with the Brazilian president's press secretary Fábio Wajngarten, who tested positive after joining Bolsonaro in a visit to Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate last weekend.

Coronavirus cases in Japan at 1,423 as of Saturday morning: NHK

The number of coronavirus cases in Japan has risen to 1,423 as of mid-morning on Saturday, with western Nagasaki prefecture reporting its first case, public broadcaster NHK said.
 
The total of 1,423 infections includes 697 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship and 14 returnees on charter flights from China, according to NHK data.
 
Japan has now recorded 28 deaths from the virus, including seven from the cruise ship, NHK said.

Canada shuts Parliament, Trudeau in quarantine, no travel

Canada shut down Parliament and advised against all nonessential travel outside the country while Prime Minister Justin Trudeau governed remotely from his home, in self-imposed quarantine after his wife tested positive for the new coronavirus.
 
Dr Theresa Tam, the chief public health officer, also advised more social distancing, no handshakes and kisses.
 
The Canadian government is advising the cancellation of all large events like concerts. Transport Minister Marc Garneau said cruise ships with more than 500 people will not be able to dock in Canada until July 1.

Coronavirus: Jaipur Foot USA postpones mega camp in Patna

The Jaipur Foot's US chapter has deferred mega camp in Patna to provide the needy artificial limbs in view of travel restrictions and precautionary measures implemented by the government of India to combat the novel coronavirus.
 
"The new dates of the Dr B R Ambedkar mega camp will be announced soon," Jaipur Foot USA chairman Prem Bhandari said.
 
Hundreds of differently-abled people from in and around the Bihar capital were slated to get artificial limbs and other equipment at the April 14 camp, which was being organised to mark the 129th birth anniversary of Dr B R Ambedkar.

New Zealand cancels mosque massacre remembrance over virus fears

New Zealand has cancelled a national remembrance service to mark Sunday's first anniversary of the Christchurch mosque attacks because of coronavirus fears, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.
 
"This is a pragmatic decision. We're very saddened to cancel, but in remembering such a terrible tragedy, we shouldn't create the risk of further harm being done," Ardern said Saturday.

KLM to slash up to 2,000 jobs because of virus

Dutch national airline KLM said Friday it will cut up to 2,000 jobs as it battled the impact of the new coronavirus outbreak, and announced other cost-cutting measures.
 
Chief executive Pieter Elbers said KLM -- which has around 33,000 employees -- will also ask personnel to work shortened hours, while grounding its fleet of six Boeing 747s from April 1.
 
"In the coming months we'll reduce 1,500 to 2,000 jobs to mean that not only in the coming weeks, but in the coming months we will have fewer colleagues," Elbers said in a video message posted on KLM's website.

Democrats, Trump administration reach deal on coronavirus relief: Pelosi

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Friday that Democrats had reached a deal with the administration of President Donald Trump on a relief package for Americans hit by the coronavirus outbreak.
 
Pelosi said Democrats secured agreement on testing, emergency paid sick leave and family leave related to the epidemic, as well as enhance unemployment insurance.
 
"We are proud to have reached an agreement with the administration to resolve outstanding challenges, and now will soon pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act," Pelosi said after days of tense talks with the White House.

UN non-essential staff to work from home

All United Nations staff at its headquarters in New York were told Friday to work from home for at least three weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak unless it was essential for them to be present.
 
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the plan was "to reduce our physical presence at United Nations Headquarters, while continuing to deliver on our mandates." "Your health and well-being remain my greatest concern. Be safe, be smart, be kind," he said in a separate message to staff Thursday. About 3,000 UN employees are based in New York.

Embassy asks Indian students in US to avoid non-essential domestic, international travel

Soon after President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency to combat the novel coronavirus, the Indian Embassy in the US asked the large Indian students' community to avoid all non-essential domestic and international travel.
 
There are over 200,000 Indian students studying in various educational institutions and universities in the US.
 
"Please avoid all non-essential domestic or international travel," the embassy here said in an advisory to Indian students.

Trump announces 30-day suspension of cruises from US soil

President Donald Trump on Friday announced that major cruise lines would suspend trips from US ports for 30 days amid the coronavirus pandemic that has hit several vessels.
 
The companies already had announced the move to pause cruises, including Carnival's Princess line which on Thursday announced a 60-day suspension.

Google building self-check website for coronavirus

US President Donald Trump announced Friday that internet giant Alphabet is creating a website where people will be able to check whether they have symptoms of the novel coronavirus.
 
Verily Life Sciences, once a project in a Google X lab devoted to "moonshot" projects and now its own health business unit, is testing a "tool to help triage individuals for COVID-19 testing," Google confirmed on Twitter.

Trump says he will most likely be tested for coronavirus

US President Donald Trump has said he will most likely be tested for the novel coronavirus, stressing that he had displayed no symptoms.
"I didn't say I wasn't going to be tested … Most likely, yeah," Trump said on Friday.
 
His remark came after he was repeatedly asked at a press conference at the White House Rose Garden as to why he was not undergoing tests given that he had last weekend met a Brazilian official who was found positive for the virus later.

Dow Jones, S&P 500 rise over 9% after national emergency declared

Wall Street staged a furious rally in the waning moments of the session on Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump declared a national emergency to combat the rapidly spreading coronavirus, although major averages still suffered sharp losses for the week.

The rare combination of severe shocks to both supply and demand has caused the crude market to collapse as producers around the world steel themselves for an unexpected glut of oil in coming weeks. Read more

Oil posts biggest weekly losses since 2008, hit by virus and price war

Oil prices on Friday posted their biggest week of losses since the 2008 global financial crisis, rocked by the coronavirus outbreak and efforts by top exporter Saudi Arabia and its allies to flood the market with record levels of supply.
 
The rare combination of severe shocks to both supply and demand has caused the crude market to collapse as producers around the world steel themselves for an unexpected glut of oil in coming weeks.
 
The coronavirus sparked panic selling across markets for the bulk of the week.

India's Silicon Valley placed under lockdown for a week

The Silicon Valley of India has been put under a lockdown for a week to tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
 
Most of Bengaluru’s top tech companies are asking employees to work from home. The state government ordered that all malls, cinema halls and populated areas in the city be shut beginning Saturday. Read more
 

Oyo plans to entice coronavirus-stricken hotels in Japan with cash

Oyo Hotels, one of the largest start-ups in SoftBank Group’s portfolio, is promising cash to hotels in Japan that join its platform as bookings plunge in the coronavirus-stricken country. The Indian start-up, looking to get more hotels into its network and expand its reach, will pay new members a lump sum equal to a proportion of their past year’s revenue, the company said in a statement on Friday.

Infosys revenue growth likely to decline in FY21

Infosys is likely to post lower revenue growth of around 7 per cent in organic terms in financial year 2020-21 (FY21), compared to FY20 as the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) is widely expected to pull down the global economy. 

Despite severe restriction being imposed on talent mobility because of the virus’ spread, Infosys believed that a major portion of enterprise applications work could be handled remotely from offshore locations like India and wouldn’t require deploying engineers at the client site. Click here

Marriott is set to go slow on India expansion plans amid coronavirus outbreak

Marriott International’s expansion plans in India could face delays because of the overall economic slowdown and disruption in construction-related supplies from China after the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, a top official of the firm said.
 
The world’s biggest hotel operator was planning to add 20 hotels to its existing portfolio of 120. Read here

Friday's market surge may be temporary; traders need to be cautious

On Friday morning, after the Sensex locking in the lower circuit at 29,339, the dramatic recovery once trade resumed was something never seen before.
 
State Bank of India, Tata Steel, and HDFC were among large-cap stocks with gains of over 10 per cent on Friday, while Sun Pharma, Bharti Airtel, ONCG, and NTPC gained 4–8 per cent. Opportunities like Friday don’t come often and there are reasons to be cautious. Click here to read more

Stock market turmoil to hurt plans for IPOs

The current turmoil in Indian equities has thrown cold water on the fundraising plans of companies, with valuation computations going awry and investors jittery about locking up money in new names.
 
The volatility has also cast a shadow on the listing of SBI Cards and Payment Services, the credit card arm of State Bank of India (SBI). Read on

Coronavirus outbreak: Bank of Canada makes surprise 50 bps rate cut

The Bank of Canada unexpectedly cut its overnight rate by 50 basis points to 0.75% on Friday, its second half-point cut in nine days, and the government said it would offer C$10 billion ($7.2 billion) in credit support to businesses.
 
Just eight days ago, Poloz said the resilience of the Canadian economy could be "seriously tested" by a coronavirus outbreak. Read more here

Trump declares national emergency

US President Donald Trump declares national emergency over coronavirus outbreak, asks hospitals to activate their emergency preparedness plans.

Second positive case of coronavirus reported from Jammu

Jammu and Kashmir NHM Director Bhupinder Kumar on Friday said that a new case of coronavirus has emerged from Jammu. The patient is a close contact of the first confirmed case in Jammu and Kashmir. Meanwhile, amid fears of coronavirus outbreak, Sher-I Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences has cancelled the leave of all its doctors and support staff on Friday. Read more...

Academic activities at IIT Kharagpur suspended till March 31

In order to help contain the spread of coronavirus, the IIT Kharagpur has suspended all academic activities till March 31. Students and residents have been advised not to travel outside the campus. Students outside the campus have been instructed to stay at home. Read more...

Nepal suspends visa-on-arrival services

The Nepal government on Friday announced the suspension of its visa-on-arrival services till April 30 as part of the measures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country.
 
The suspension will come into effect from Saturday, Immigration Department spokesperson Chandra Tiwari told ANI. Read more...

Indian Embassy in US takes measures to address concerns over travel restrictions

The Indian Embassy and its consulates in the US have taken pro-active measures to address the concerns and difficulties being faced by Indians, including students, due to travel restrictions imposed by New Delhi as a preventive measure to fight the deadly coronavirus.
 
A large number of the more than 200,000 Indians studying in various US universities were schedule to travel to India during the spring break and in particularly during the upcoming summer vacation when the university dorms are closed for the next few months. Read more...

Hospital staff put in home quarantine after Covid-19 patient

After a patient admitted to a private hospital here tested positive for coronavirus, nearly eighty staff members were put in quarantine at home, a Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) official said on Friday.
 
The patient, who tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday, was shifted to civic-run Kasturba Hospital, the official said. Read more...

Three more confirmed COVID-19 cases in Kerala, number goes up

Three more people, including an Italian national, tested positive for coronavirus in Kerala on Friday, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said. With the three fresh cases, the number of affected people in the state has touched 19, he told reporters here.
 
"An Italian tourist, who was staying at a resort in nearby Varkala, has tested positive and is kept in isolation there itself," Vijayan said. Health minister K K Shailaja, who was also present, said the foreigner will be shifted to the medical college hospital later. Read more...

Mizoram bans mass gatherings over COVID-19 scare

The Mizoram government on Friday banned mass gatherings and social events to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus, officials said.
 
All government departments, churches, educational institutions and non-government organisations have been asked to avoid mass gatherings and organising big events as a preventive measure, a senior official said.
 
Chief Minister Zoramthanga has also appealed to the churches to avoid organising conferences and pilgrimages, for the time being, he said. The state government has also urged people not to travel to other states or abroad, the official said. Read more...

Cabinet approves Odisha Covid-19 Regulations 2020

The Odisha Cabinet on Friday approved the Odisha Covid-19 Regulations 2020 to contain the spread of the deadly virus. These regulations come into force with immediate effect and will remain valid for a period of one year, Health and Family Welfare Secretary N B Dhal told reporters.
 
"Any person/institution/organization found violating any provision of these Regulations shall be deemed to have committed an offence punishable under section 188 of IPC (45 of 1860)," Dhal said. Read more...

Manipur government formulates regulations to tackle COVID-19

The Manipur government has issued regulations to deal with coronavirus, an official statement released by the Health Department said on Friday.
 
The state government is of the opinion that the ordinary provisions of law for time being are insufficient for the purpose as the disease is assumed as dangerous epidemic, the statement signed by the Deputy Secretary of Health and Family Welfare, S Lengen, said. Read more...

Total number of confirmed COVID 2019 cases across India is 82

Man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Telangana discharged

The lone COVID-19 male patient in Telangana was discharged from a state-run hospital here on Friday after his full recovery, Telangana Health Minister E Rajender said. The minister, while stating this in a release, said there is no coronavirus positive case in the state at present. The man,a 24-year-old techie working in Bengaluru,has been advised 14 days home quarantine, sources at the state run Gandhi hospital, where he had been admitted, said. Read more...

DoT relaxes work from home norms for IT-ITeS firms

The Department of Telecom (DoT) has relaxed certain norms for Other Service Providers (OSPs) till April 30 to facilitate work from home (WFH) amid the coronavirus outbreak. These include exemptions in requirement of security deposit and agreement for WFH facility for OSPs (IT and IT-enabled services companies), as well as the need for prior permission for offering the facility.
 
Industry body Nasscom and leaders of the IT industry had requested the government to relax the norms to facilitate business continuity that is posing to be a major challenge for the sector. Read more...

Indian evacuees from Iran shifted to Navy facility

Forty-four Indian nationals who returned to Mumbai from Iran on Friday were shifted to a quarantine facility set up by the the Western Naval Command (WNC) here, a defence release said. The Navy has set up a 100-bed quarantine camp in suburban Ghatkopar.
 
On Friday, a team from the WNC received an Air Iran flight at the Mumbai Airport and shifted 44 Indian nationals who returned from the country to the quarantine facility, the defence spokesperson said. Read more...

A 68-year-old woman in Delhi became India's second victim of coronavirus

A 68-year-old woman in Delhi became the country's second victim of coronavirus on Friday as several states went into battle mode to contain the spread of COVID-19, shutting down schools, theatres and colleges, and many public events, including the IPL, were postponed.
 
The Union Health ministry put the number of positive cases at 82, eight more since Thursday night, which includes the woman and a 76-year-old man from Karnataka who became the country's first coronavirus fatality besides 17 foreign nationals, Health Ministry officials said.

Pakistan to close border with Iran, Afghanistan over coronavirus

Pakistan will close its border with Iran and Afghanistan in a bid to control the spread of the coronavirus, the interior ministry said Friday. The move is the latest such action as countries around the world act swiftly to restrict travel in an attempt to slow the global outbreak, which was this week declared a pandemic. The closure of Pakistan's porous border with Iran -- where hundreds of people have died from the disease -- and Afghanistan will start March 16. Read more...

'Notification' on closure for coronavirus is fake: Maharashtra govt

The Maharashtra Government on Friday lodged a complaint with Cyber Police about a fake central government 'notification' about closure of colleges, schools and offices in view of coronavirus. The so-called notification, doing rounds on social media, claimed that it was issued by the Union Health and Family Welfare ministry.
 
It purportedly declared holiday for educational institutions and other organizations which have more than ten employees from March 14 to 21, and said a fine of Rs 5,000 per day will be imposed if the order was violated. Read more...

Coronavirus is at 'containment stage': Delhi CM Kejriwal

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Friday that the novel coronavirus outbreak was at the "containment stage", adding that the Centre and the Delhi government had been working together to deal with it. Kejriwal urged the people to not hoard sanitisers and masks, which is he said was not needed for those who are healthy as COVID-19 was not an airborne disease. Read more...

Saudi Arabia extends travel ban to EU, 12 nations including India

Saudi Arabia has extended its travel ban to include the European Union and 12 other countries, including India, as the number of coronavirus cases in the Kingdom jumped to 62, according to media reports on Friday. Saudi health officials on Friday announced 17 new coronavirus cases, raising the number of cases in the country to 62, according to the official Saudi news agency. There are 11 foreign nationals among the people who contracted the virus, Saudi Press Agency quoted the Saudi Health Ministry as saying. Read more...

Woman who tested positive for coronavirus dies in Delhi: Health Ministry

India reported its second casualty due to coronavirus on Friday with the health ministry saying a 68-year-old woman died in Delhi. The death was caused due to co-morbidity (diabetes and hypertension), it said, adding she had tested positive for COVID-19. The woman was admitted in Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, officials said. She became the second person to die of coronavirus infection in the country. On Thursday, the first death was reported in Karnataka.

Iran imposes lockdown to check all citizens for virus

Iran said Friday the security forces will clear the streets nationwide within 24 hours so all citizens can be checked for coronavirus -- its toughest measure yet to combat the outbreak. The COVID-19 epidemic in Iran -- a nation of more than 80 million people -- has now claimed over 500 lives and infected more than 11,000.
 
Since it announced the first deaths last month, Iran has shut schools, postponed events and discouraged travel ahead of Nowrouz, the country's New Year holidays. Read more...

IIT Kharagpur suspends all academic activities till March 31

65-year-old Coronavirus patient passes away at a Delhi hospital

Navy sets up 100-bed quarantine camp in Mumbai

The Western Naval Command (WNC) of the Indian Navy has set up a 100-bed quarantine camp within the premises of Material Orgsnisation Ghatkopar, Mumbai in the wake of the spread of Coronavirus.
 
"In accordance with a Department of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India directive of setting up COVID -19 quarantine facilities in the vicinity of 30 major airports, the Western Naval Command (WNC) of the Indian Navy has set up a 100-bed quarantine camp within the premises of Material Orgsnisation Ghatkopar, Mumbai," an official statement read. Read more...

France announces G7 coronavirus meeting

The G7 will hold an extraordinary meeting via videoconference next week to bolster the international response to the coronavirus outbreak, the French presidency said Friday, also proposing enhanced EU border control.
 
The meeting of the Group of Seven nations will seek to coordinate action against the virus in the spheres of health, economy, finance and research, the presidency said. Read more...

69-year-old woman who tested positive for coronavirus infection dies in Delhi

69-year-old woman who tested positive for coronavirus infection dies in Delhi: Health Ministry and Delhi government officials, news agency PTI reported.

AI Express to prepone flights to Saudi Arabia; stop services from March 15

Air India Express on Friday said it will prepone three flights scheduled to fly from Kerala to Riyadh and Dammam, as Saudi Arabia has decided to suspend arrival of passengers from India and few other countries. Further, the airline would withdraw all flights to Riyadh and Dammam from March 15 till further notice.
 
Against the backdrop of Saudi Arabia's latest decision, the carrier would prepone its flight on Saturday from Kozhikode to Riyadh by one-and-a-half hours. Read more...

69-year-old woman who tested positive for coronavirus dies in Delhi

Trump announces news conference on coronavirus

President Donald Trump announced a White House news conference Friday, his latest attempt to restore public confidence in his handling of the coronavirus crisis. Trump, who has been criticised for persistently downplaying the pandemic, said in a tweet that this would take place at 3:00 pm (1900 GMT).
 
"Topic: CoronaVirus!" he tweeted. The announcement came as Congress and the White House said they were nearing agreement on measures to ease the financial pain caused by the pandemic's disruption to the economy. Read more...

Coronavirus: Govt extends deadline to bid for Air India till Apr 30

The government on Friday extended the deadline for submitting bids to buy state-run Air India by about one-and-a-half months till April 30, citing demand from interested bidders (IBs) and situation arising out of coronavirus.
 
The government had on January 27 issued preliminary information memorandum (PIM) inviting EoI for sale of 100 per cent stake in Air India. The deadline for submitting bids was March 17. Read more...

Olympic qualifying tournament in Mexico postponed by virus

A 2020 Tokyo Olympic football North American qualifying tournament that was scheduled to begin next Friday in Mexico has been postponed by organizers due to the coronavirus outbreak.
 
The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) announced it was delaying the event and all other competitions for 30 days. The eight-team Olympic qualifier had been set for March 20-April 1 at Guadalajara, Mexico. Read more...

Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles trips hit by virus outbreak

Queen Elizabeth II and heir to the throne Prince Charles both postponed upcoming engagements in Britain and abroad on Friday because of the coronavirus outbreak, the royal household said. The 93-year-old monarch had been due to visit Cheshire in northwest England, and Camden, in north London, from next week, while her son, 71, was set to tour Bosnia, Cyprus and Jordan.
 
Buckingham Palace said the queen's diary commitments had been changed "as a sensible precaution and for practical reasons in the current circumstances". Read more...

Assam CM will not take part in any public program till March 31

Two more test positive for coronavirus in Kerala

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said that two more COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Kerala, both in Thiruvananthapuram. With this, the total number of COVID-19 cases has risen to 19 in Kerala.
 
Of the two new confirmed cases, one is a native of Italy who was staying at a resort in Varkala. The second person is a Kerala native who had recently returned from the UK. Read more...

Avoid unnecessary travel, and large social gatherings: WHO

Air India cancelled flights to Kuwait and Italy

No decision on shutting schools, colleges yet, says Gujarat govt

The Gujarat government on Friday said as of now it does not have any plans to close schools and colleges like some other states due to the coronavirus threat.
 
No confirmed coronavirus case has been found in Gujarat so far, and all 68 samples of suspected cases collected so far came out negative, an official release said.
 
"We are taking all necessary steps to stop the spread of the virus. Till now not a single case of coronavirus has been found. We do not have any immediate plans to shut schools, colleges and markets," Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel told reporters.

Crew stopped from deboarding ships at Kolkata port amid corona scare

The Kolkata Port Trust on Friday said it has stopped issuing shore passes to crew members of all ships as the coronavirus threat intensified. The decision means no crew, whether Indians or foreign nationals are being allowed to deboard after the ships have berthed at Kolkata port.
 
"We have stopped issuing shore passes to all vessels be it coastal or foreign, since the last two weeks," Kolkata Port Trust chairman Vinit Kumar said.
 
The directive is the same for the crew of barges coming here from other Indian ports and Bangladesh. There is, however, no restriction on the movement of ships.

Rajasthan governor asks officials to conduct awareness campaigns

Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra directed officials on Friday to conduct awareness programmes on coronavirus in universities.
He said universities too should run activities to spread awareness on COVID-19 among the people in their vicinity.
 
The governor was chairing a high-level meeting with officials to review the situation in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. He was briefed about the measures taken by the state government to control the situation.
 
The governor asked officials to continue with the efforts and said active public participation in combating the situation was important.

All education institutions closed in Pakistan till April 5

Pakistan on Friday ordered the closure of all education institutions in the country till April 5 in view of the coronavirus outbreak which has claimed over 5,000 lives globally. The decision was taken at a meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, attended by key minister, services chiefs and other senior officials.
 
Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood tweeted, "It has been decided to close all educational institutions in the country till April 5. This includes all schools and universities, public and private, vocational institutions and madaris."  Read more...

Indian among 13 new coronavirus cases in Singapore

An Indian was among 13 new persons identified with coronavirus in Singapore on Friday taking the total number of COVID-19 cases in the island-nation to 200.
 
The 36-year old Indian, listed as case number 189, is a likely imported case as he was in India from February 21 to March 1, reported the Channel News Asia. He holds a Singapore Work Pass.
 
He reported COVID-19 symptoms on March 11 and sought treatment at a general practitioner (GP) clinic on March 12. Read more...

Spain declares state of emergency over coronavirus

Spain will be in a state of emergency for the next 15 days to better combat the coronavirus, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Friday, in a dramatic increase to the policy response that will allow authorities to confine people and ration goods. The state of emergency, which Sanchez said will formally be decided by a cabinet meeting on Saturday, will give the government power to take wide-ranging measures including temporarily occupying factories or any other premises except private homes.
 
"The government of Spain will protect all its citizens and will guarantee the right life conditions to slow the pandemic with as little inconvenience as possible," Sanchez said.
 
He did not spell out what specific measures the government will take, reports Reuters.

Brazilian President Bolsonaro tests negative for coronavirus

WTO meet in Kazakhstan in Jun not feasible due to coronavirus outbreak

The meeting of the highest decision making body of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Kazakhstan in June is not "feasible" on account of the outbreak of coronavirus.
 
WTO Director-General Roberto Azevdo has circulated a note to members saying "it is our considered view that holding MC12 (12th ministerial conference) as previously agreed from 8-11 June will not be feasible". Read more...

Irani Cup to be played behind closed doors

India's first-class cricket tournament -- Irani Cup 2020 -- will be played behind closed doors due to the rising concern over the coronavirus pandemic.
 
"Irani Cup will be played in an empty stadium. The tournament will start from March 18-22," the BCCI source told ANI.
 
The tournament is scheduled to start from March 18 to 22. The Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry has advised all the federations to avoid large gatherings. Read more...

Donald Trump to hold news conference at 3 pm in Washington (12:30 am IST)

US President Donald Trump plans to declare a national emergency on Friday over the coronavirus outbreak, invoking the Stafford Act to open the door to more federal aid for states and municipalities, according to two people familiar with the matter.
 
The president said he will hold a news conference at 3 pm in Washington. Trump spoke Friday with Emmanuel Macron, the French president tweeted, about the pandemic, and agreed to organize a video conference with world leaders on Monday to coordinate research efforts on a vaccine and treatments and work on how to respond to the economic fallout.

Coronavirus cases rise to 81, Health Ministry says situation so far 'not a health emergency'

The number of novel coronavirus cases on Friday rose to 81, which includes a 76-year-old man who died in Karnataka, the Health Ministry officials said while cautioning against panicking, saying the situation so far is "not a health emergency".
 
Addressing reporters, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Health Lav Aggarwal said besides three patients from Kerala who were discharged last month following recovery, seven more coronavirus infected patients have been cured and they will be discharged soon.
 
"The remaining 71 are clinically stable," he said. Read more...

It can happen to anyone: WHO

Our message to countries continues to be: you must take a comprehensive approach: WHO

Brazil's Bolsonaro tests negative for coronavirus

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has tested negative for the coronavirus, his son told Fox News on Friday following media reports that his father, who recently met with US President Donald Trump, had tested positive.
 
"The test is negative," Eduardo Bolsonaro told Fox News Channel in an interview.

Total 854 under surveillance for coronavirus in Noida

More than 700 people working in a leather company in Greater Noida have been put under surveillance after a Delhi-based director of the firm tested positive for novel coronavirus, taking the number of individuals currently under observation for COVID-19 to 854, officials said on Friday. According to Health Department officials, 1,222 coronavirus suspects have been under surveillance in Gautam Buddh Nagar since mid-January. Read more...

Coronavirus: Traders, MSMEs seek stimulus package, deferral of statutory compliance

Representatives of traders and MSMEs on Friday demanded a stimulus package and deferring of all statutory compliance till June 30 in view of the coronavirus outbreak. At a seminar on 'Corona Virus- Impact on Trade and Small Industries' organised by CAIT, representatives of various trade sectors and MSMEs also appreciated the steps taken by the government to deal with impact of the coronavirus. Read more...
 

No pre-kg, LKG, UKG classes in Tamil Nadu till March 31

The Tamil Nadu government on Friday announced that pre kindergarten, LKG and UKG classes in public and private institutions would remain shut upto March 31 in view of the coronavirus scare.
 
A government notification, while stating this, also said that institutions bordering Kerala, which had reported the most number of coronavirus positive cases in South India, should declare holidays for students upto Class V.
 
"In Kanniyakumari, Tirunelveli, Tenkasi, Theni, Coimbatore, Tiruppur and Nilgiri districts, there will be no classes for students upto class V till March 31, it said.

WHO begins media briefing on Coronavirus

UK defends not going into lockdown as coronavirus cases jump

The UK government's Chief Scientific Adviser on Friday defended the decision to not put the country into complete lockdown as the number of coronavirus cases in Britain jumped by over 200 to hit 798.
 
Sir Patrick Vallance, who had addressed the joint press conference at 10 Downing Street on Thursday evening when British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the UK would step up to measures aimed at delaying the peak of the virus, said the latest advice for those with high temperature or cough to self-isolate for a week would have the "biggest impact", even as critics and former ministers called for more stringent measures such as school closures and a ban on large gatherings. Read more...

Jammu reports fresh positive case of Coronavirus

Pakistan to close border with Iran, Afghanistan

Pakistan's interior ministry said Friday it will close the country's border with Iran and Afghanistan in a bid to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The closure of the porous frontier will begin March 16 "for an initial period of two weeks... in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, in the best interest of all three brotherly countries", the ministry said, using the scientific name for the highly communicable disease.

Jharoda Kalan police training camp to turn into coronavirus screening base

The Delhi Police training camp located in Jharoda Kalan in south west Delhi will be turned into a camp to screen people showing symptoms of COVID-19, officials said on Friday. After receiving the order from Police Headquarters, all kinds of training at Jharoda Kalan has been deferred till March 31, they said. There were more than 1,000 trainees in the camp who have been asked to leave by Saturday, a senior police officer said.

Maharashtra to shut down theatres, gyms from Monday

All theaters, gyms, swimming pools in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Nagpur, Pimpri-Chinchawad to be closed starting midnight today till 30th March.

Amitabh Bachchan recites poem on coronavirus, asks fans to wash hands

Megastar Amitabh Bachchan has written a poem to warn his fans against coronavirus, saying washing hands was the way to beat the spread of the disease. Bachchan chose his mother tongue, the Awadhi dialect, to recite the poem on social media. "There are many discussions on coronavirus around us. It has done a lot of damage. People are not leaving their homes and are worried about their health. This morning, I thought I should speak about it, so I have written a few lines," Bachchan said in a video.

Coronavirus is at containment stage: Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Friday that the novel coronavirus outbreak was at the containment stage, adding that the Centre and the Delhi government had been working together to deal with it.
 
Addressing a one-day session of the Delhi Assembly, the chief minister said his government had been taking every step to check the spread of the pandemic.
 
"We have closed schools, cinema halls, universities... to contain the spread of coronavirus," Kejriwal told the Assembly. "We have been taking all precautionary measures and people have been supporting us." Read more...

MP govt orders closure of schools, cinema halls

Madhya Pradesh government on Friday ordered closure of private and government schools for an indefinite period and shutting down of cinema halls till March 31 in view of the coronavirus threat, a senior official.
 
The government earlier in the day said private and government schools will remain shut till further orders but examinations of different classes would be held as per the schedule. Read more...

Chennai Super Kings' training suspended owing to coronavirus scare

Chennai Super Kings' practice sessions will stand suspended from Saturday in view of the novel coronavirus pandemic, it was announced here on Friday.
 
The three-time IPL champions had commenced training from March 2 at the M A Chidambaram Stadium with captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayudu getting down to work. Read more...

Most German schools to close over coronavirus: officials

Most schools across Germany will now be shut from Monday after North Rhine-Westphalia joined Bavaria, Baden-Wuerttemberg and other states in announcing closures. Twelve of Germany's 16 states have now announced school closures as part of efforts to stem the coronavirus outbreak.
 
"The schools are closed from Monday," said Armin Laschet, premier of Germany's most populous state North Rhine-Westphalia, on Friday. Read more...

British Airways to cut jobs over coronavirus: CEO

British Airways will cut jobs after the coronavirus pandemic devastated demand for global air travel, its chief executive Alex Cruz said Friday.
 
"To be frank, given the changing circumstances, we can no longer sustain our current level of employment and jobs will be lost -- perhaps for a short period, perhaps longer term," Cruz said in an internal memo confirmed by the group.
 
Global airlines have cancelled thousands of flights worldwide, as COVID-19 decimates demand for passenger travel, with destinations to China and Italy in particularly hit hard. Read more...

Delhi High Court has decided to restrict its functioning to urgent matters

Three, including foreigner, test positive for coronavirus in Kerala

Three more people, including an Italian national, tested positive for coronavirus in Kerala on Friday, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said. With the three fresh cases, the number of affected people in the state has touched 19, he told reporters here.
 
"An Italian tourist, who was staying at a resort in nearby Varkala, has tested positive and is kept in isolation there itself," Vijayan said. Read more...

CZA directs all zoos to screen visitors for coronavirus

The Central Zoo Authority on Friday directed all zoos in the country to screen visitors for coronavirus and maintain sanitation measures at entry and exit gates.
 
In a health advisory for zoos, the CZA has also asked the staff to use masks, especially while dealing with the public, and to wash their hands regularly. Read more...

France limits gatherings to 100 after closing schools

France announced Friday it was limiting gatherings to no more than 100 people in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus, a day after closing schools until further notice in its toughest measures yet. "The idea is that we can slow the progression and the circulation of the virus," Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told TF1 television, adding the limit would come into force immediately and nationwide.

Indian medical team in Italy to test stranded Indians for coronavirus

A medical team from India reached Italy on Friday to test stranded Indian nationals for the coronavirus so that they can be brought back.
The death toll from COVID-19 jumped over 5,000 on Friday as the number of cases around the world topped 134,000. Italy has more than 15,000 cases and over 1,000 deaths -- the most outside of China, the epicentre of the disease. "Pleasure to welcome the medical team at the Embassy in Rome. Gearing up for the testing which starts this afternoon and will proceed through the weekend," the Indian Embassy here tweeted. The Indian government on Wednesday said it was focusing on bringing back Indians stranded in coronavirus-hit Italy and Iran after screening them.
Delhi HC decides not to insist on personal appearance of parties unless it is indispensable.
Delhi HC holds emergency meeting over coronavirus, decides to restrict its functioning to urgent matters from March 16

Rajasthan Assembly adjourned till Mar 26 in view of coronavirus outbreak

Rajasthan Assembly Speaker C P Joshi on Friday adjourned the House till March 26 in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. As soon as the House passed Finance Bill and Appropriation Bill by voice vote, Joshi announced the adjournment.
 
"As you all know that the entire country is worried about coronavirus. The Centre has issued an advisory in this regard and the chief minister has also highlighted the matter. Keeping (this) in view, the House is adjourned till March 26," the speaker said. Read more...

Ukraine reports first death from novel coronavirus

Ukraine on Friday reported its first death from the coronavirus as authorities said the country was closing its borders to foreigners in a bid to keep the pandemic at bay.
 
"A woman who was diagnosed with the coronavirus yesterday... has died," Ukraine's deputy health minister Viktor Lyashko told reporters. The ex-Soviet country, which has a population of 42 million, has so far reported three confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

Malaysia returnee admitted in govt hospital

A 43-year-old man, who returned to India from Malaysia on Friday, was later in the day admitted to a government hospital for suspected exposure to the novel coronavirus, said an official. The man, who returned home from Malaysia, was suffering from cold and cough, Chief Medical and Health Officer (CMHO) Dr Praveen Jadia said. Read more...

Delhi Higher Judicial Service exam postponed due to coronavirus scare

The Delhi High Court on Friday announced its decision to postpone the Delhi Higher Judicial Service (Mains) Examination in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. The examination was earlier scheduled to be held on March 14 and 15.
 
The World Health Organisation on Wednesday declared coronavirus outbreak a pandemic and expressed deep concern both by the alarming levels of spread and severity and by the alarming levels of inaction. Read more...

Army postpones all recruitment rallies by a month

The Indian Army has postponed all recruitment rallies by a month, and has asked its personnel to travel only for essential duties in the wake of novel coronavirus outbreak, army sources said on Friday. The sources added that instructions have been issued to all concerned to accord adequate focus on health security and all ranks must take precautions to avoid infection.
 
"All recruitment rallies will be postponed by one month," a source said. Read more...

All govt, private colleges and universities will remain closed till March 31 in Punjab

Ethiopia, Kenya confirm first virus cases in East Africa

Kenya and Ethiopia on Friday announced their first confirmed cases of coronavirus, as East Africa, which has so far been unscathed by the global pandemic, scaled up emergency measures to contain its spread. In Kenya, a 27-year-old Kenyan woman tested positive for the virus on Thursday in Nairobi, a week after returning from the United States via London. She was in a stable condition and recovering, Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe told reporters. Read more...

J-K govt orders closure of all malls, gyms, swimming pools in Jammu

The Jammu and Kashmir government on Friday ordered closure of all malls, gyms, swimming pools, recreational clubs in the district till March 31 as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of novel coronavirus, an official said.
 
As it is not possible to serve this order individually, it shall be circulated in print, electronic and social media for information of all concerned, District Magistrate (DM) Jammu, Sushma Chauhan said. Read more...

IIT Delhi asks students to vacate hostels by Mar 15 in view of coronavirus outbreak

The Indian Institute of Technology has directed students to leave hostels by Sunday in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
 
"In view of the current COVID-19 epidemic, as a preventive measure decided by the competent authority, the students are required to leave the hostels positively by midnight of March 15, 2020.
 
"There is no need to vacate the room though. Please fill the entry and exit register of the hostel concerned and the mess rebate form. This applies to students currently living in Nalanda and IP Apartments and in off-campus hostels in Katwaria Sarai and Jia Sarai also," Dean of Student Affairs Rajesh Khanna said in an official communication. Read more...

Air India flight to bring back Indians stranded in Milan

In the backdrop of several Indians stranded in the coronavirus-hit Italy, India will send a flight to Milan on Saturday in order to evacuate its nationals.
 
The Air India flight would take off tomorrow afternoon and will land in Delhi on Sunday morning with the evacuees.
 
"Air India would be taking a flight to Milan (Italy) to bring back Indians stranded there. The flight would take off tomorrow afternoon and would be landing on Sunday morning at Delhi Airport," said Rubina Ali, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation. Read more...

Punjab shuts all schools till March 31

Punjab Education Minister Vijay Inder Singla on Friday announced closing of all schools in the state till March 31 as a precautionary measure to prevent spread of coronavirus. He, however, said exams would be continued to be conducted according to schedule.
 
"Holidays have been declared in all government and private schools in the state till March 31 as a precautionary measure," Singla said in a statement. Read more...

IIT-Delhi directs students to leave hostels by Sunday

IIT-Delhi directs students to leave hostels by Sunday in view of coronavirus threat. 

Seven from Ludhiana who returned from virus-hit countries not traceable

The health authorities on Friday sought the help of district administration and police to locate seven people, who recently returned from coronavirus-affected countries, after their addresses were found to be incorrect, officials said.
 
Ludhiana Civil Surgeon Rajesh Bagga said the seven people from Ludhiana district had recently returned from the coronavirus-hit countries. "These seven people are not traceable and the addresses given by them at the time of their arrival are found to be incorrect," he said.

Screening mandatory for RSS workers before attending Pratinidhi Sabha meet

All workers and office bearers of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) will have to undergo screening for coronavirus before attending the meet of its highest decision-making body in Bengaluru, a senior office bearer said on Friday.
 
The annual meeting of the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha (ABPS) will be held in Bengaluru from March 15-17 to decide on the organisation's future course of action. Read more...

All classes, exams at IIT-Kanpur suspended till March 29

With the outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur has decided to suspend all classes and exams as a precautionary measure till March 29, its director Abhay Karandikar said here on Friday. The mid-semester recess will be extended till March 29, Karandikar added. Classes were scheduled to begin from March 16. Read more...

Maharashtra virus cases reach 17; CM urges 'work from home'

With the total number of coronaVirus cases touching 17 in Maharashtra, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday appealed to all companies to allow their employees to 'work from home' wherever possible. Making a statement in the Assembly, the CM also asked people to avoid unnecessary travel and avoid crowded places.

He asked all companies that wherever feasible, employees should be allowed to carry out their duties from home in view of the coronavirus concerns among the people, reported IANS.

COVID-19: Andhra to increase the number of testing facilities

Andhra Pradesh government has decided to increase the number of coronavirus testing facilities in the state.
 
"Coronavirus testing facilities are being increased in the state. Tirupati SVIMS Virology lab is providing both initial screening test and a confirmatory test. Another laboratory will start functioning at Vijayawada from tomorrow, where the initial screening test will be available," said Andhra Pradesh special chief secretary to Medical and Health Department K S Jawahar Reddy on Friday. Read more...

Romanian PM self-quarantines after possible virus contact

Romania's Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said Friday he would self-quarantine after attending the same meeting as a senator from his party who tested positive for the novel coronavirus. "I will put myself in isolation (...) while continuing to exercise my duties," Orban told journalists.
 
Orban, 56, and his ministers will all be tested for Covid-19 Friday, possibly leading to a decision to put the whole government in quarantine, government spokesperson Ionel Danca told AFP. Read more...

Jailbirds in Kerala to make masks in wake of coronavirus

Kerala government on Friday decided to use the tailoring units in prisons of the state to deal with the shortage of masks following the coronavirus scare. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the central jails of the state would begin the manufacture of masks soon.
 
"Since there is a shortage of masks in Kerala due to coronavirus scare, the state government has decided to manufacture them at the tailoring units in the prisons," he said. Read more...

India vs South Africa ODI series called off due to Coronavirus threat

The two remaining ODIs between India and South Africa in Lucknow and Kolkata were on Friday called off owing to the COVID-19 threat as the country's sports calendar continued to go haywire because of the global pandemic.
 
"With the IPL being postponed, it only made sense that at this point of time, this series is also called off. The country is facing a serious pandemic," a top BCCI official told PTI.

Security forces in virus-hit Iran to clear streets within 24 hours

Iran's security forces have been ordered to clear the streets nationwide within 24 hours in a bid to stop the novel coronavirus spreading, the armed forces chief said Friday.
 
A newly formed commission will be charged with overseeing the "emptying of shops, streets and roads" as part of a nationwide decision to be implemented within the next 24 hours, Major General Mohammad Bagheri said in televised remarks.

Coronavirus: 112 released from ITBP quarantine facility in Delhi

An ITBP-run quarantine centre here released 112 people, comprising 76 Indians and 36 foreigners, on Friday after they all tested negative for coronavirus, a senior official said.
 
They were evacuated last month from Wuhan in China and admitted on February 27 to the special centre of the border guarding force in Chhawla area of south-west Delhi, one of the biggest quarantine centres in the country set up to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more...

Plea seeks Delhi HC's intervention to prevent spread of coronavirus on court premises

A plea was moved in the Delhi High Court on Friday seeking its "intervention" to prevent the spread of coronavirus on its premises by taking precautionary methods like restricting inflow of people, including litigants, and reducing the working hours of the staff.
 
The petition was mentioned before a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar which allowed it to be listed on March 16. Read more...

All schools in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad will be closed till further notice: CM

Czechs close borders from March 16 over virus spread

The Czech government said Friday it would ban all foreign travellers from entering and all Czechs from leaving the country as of March 16 in a bid to stem the coronavirus spread.
 
"As of midnight Sunday-Monday, we ban all foreigners from entering the Czech Republic and, at the same time, all Czech citizens from leaving the Czech territory," Interior Minister Jan Hamacek told reporters. Read more...

Nepal halts all mountaineering expeditions, including Mount Everest ascents

Nepal halts all mountaineering expeditions, including Mount Everest ascents, and stopped issuing on-arrival tourist visas after the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic
More than 700 people working in leather company in Greater Noida are under surveillance after firm's Delhi-based director tested positive for coronavirus, officials say.

Scientists in Iran to establish makeshift lab for testing stranded Indians for coronavirus

Indian scientists stationed in Iran to establish makeshift lab for testing stranded Indians for coronavirus have not been given permission by authorities to do so, official sources say.

Do not sell masks and sanitisers above MRP: NPPA tells states and UTs

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority asks states and Union Territories to ensure that masks and sanitisers are not sold above MRP.

Govt, RBI closely monitoring: FM on market volatility over Coronavirus

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said the government and the Reserve Bank are closely monitoring the stock market, which is facing intense volatility amid mounting coronavirus fears.
 
Together with the RBI, the government is closely monitoring markets, she said on the situation arising out of a panic spread of coronavirus pandemic. Read more...

Coronavirus impact: IIT Kanpur, IIM Lucknow defer flagship events

Amid the coronavirus scare, the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT-K) and Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow (IIM-L) have either cancelled or deferred their flagship events slated to be held in March.
 
While, IIM-L postponed its 34th convocation ceremony scheduled for the evening of March 21 following the health advisories by the central government and the World Health Organisation (WHO), the IIT-K has cancelled its annual technical and entrepreneurial fiesta ‘Techkriti 2020’, slated to kick off from March 19. Read more...

Coronavirus not health emergency, total 81 cases in India: Health Ministry

The number of novel coronavirus cases on Friday rose to 81, which include 16 Italians and one Canadian, Health Ministry officials said. Addressing reporters, officials said coronavirus is not a health emergency and that there is no need to panic. Officials said so far, India has evacuated 1,031 people, including from Maldives, US, Madagascar and China.
 
"An exercise will be undertaken on Saturday to bring back Indian passengers stranded in Iran. Air India will also send a flight to Milan on Saturday to bring back stranded Indians. It will land on Sunday morning at Delhi airport," officials said. Read more...

India-South Africa series called off due to COVID-19 threat

The two remaining ODIs between India and South Africa in Lucknow and Kolkata were on Friday called off owing to the COVID-19 threat as the country's sports calendar continued to go haywire because of the global pandemic. "With the IPL being postponed, it only made sense that at this point of time, this series is also called off. The country is facing a serious pandemic," a top BCCI official told PTI.
 
The first ODI between the two sides in Dharamsala was washed out. Both the sides had reached Lucknow on Friday.

All malls, theaters, gyms, swimming pools in Mumbai to be closed till March 30: CM

Security forces in Coronavirus-hit Iran to clear streets within 24 hours: AFP

India vs South Africa ODI matches in Lucknow and Kolkata called off

Coronavirus cases rise to 81 in India: Health Ministry

The number of novel coronavirus cases on Friday rose to 81, which include 16 Italians and one Canadian, Health Ministry officials said. Addressing reporters, officials said coronavirus is not a health emergency and that there is no need to panic. Officials said so far, India has evacuated 1,031 people, including from Maldives, US, Madagascar and China.

"An exercise will be undertaken on Saturday to bring back Indian passengers stranded in Iran. Air India will also send a flight to Milan on Saturday to bring back stranded Indians. It will land on Sunday morning at Delhi airport," officials said. Read more...

10 COVID-19 suspects go missing in Ludhiana

Ten people who recently returned from coronavirus-hit countries have gone missing in Ludhiana city in Punjab, officials said on Friday. Local health authorities have asked the police to locate them for self-isolation at home as a precaution to prevent the risk of spreading the virus. A total of 480 people returned from various countries in Ludhiana district but whereabouts of 10 of them are not known, an official told IANS.

250,000 pilgrims mass in Pakistan despite coronavirus warnings

Hundreds of thousands of Islamic worshippers gathered in eastern Pakistan this week amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, ignoring government warnings that such events could propagate the disease. Organisers late Thursday curtailed the annual Tablighi Ijtema congregation, which had drawn people from across the country, but cited rainy weather as the cause. The early closure came after about 250,000 people had already congregated in camps near Lahore since Wednesday for the five day festival. Read more...

Malls, gyms, cinema halls, swimming pools to remain closed in Mumbai

Malls, gyms, cinema halls, swimming pools to remain closed in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad and Nagpur from 12 midnight: Maha CM in Assembly.

Foreigners not to be allowed entry through Attari-Wagah border,: BSF official

Any foreign national will not be allowed to enter India from Pakistan through the Attari-Wagah border from Friday evening onwards amid coronavirus threat, a senior BSF official said. He said Indian nationals who had gone across the border would be allowed to come back before their visas expire. The entry of foreign nationals through the Attari-Wagah land route will not be allowed, the Border Security Force (BSF) official said. Read more...

124 evacuees from Japan, 112 from China being discharged after testing negative: Health Ministry

124 evacuees from Japan, 112 evacuees from China being discharged from Friday onwards after testing negative for COVID-19, said the Health Ministry officials

Functioning of the Supreme Court shall be restricted to urgent matters only

Functioning of the Supreme Court shall be restricted to urgent matters only in view of global pandemic COVID-19, says apex court notification.

No persons except concerned lawyers shall be permitted in SC courtrooms in view of virus pandemic

No persons except concerned lawyers shall be permitted in SC courtrooms in view of coronavirus pandemic: apex court notification

11 positive coronavirus cases in UP; institutions to remain closed till Mar 22: Adityanath

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday ordered all schools, colleges, technical and vocational education institutes to remain closed till March 22 after 11 people tested positive for coronavirus in the State.
 
Addressing a press conference here, Adityanath said: "A total of 11 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the State. Out of these, seven are from Agra, two from Ghaziabad and one each from Noida and Lucknow. All these patients have been admitted to different hospitals and they are being treated." Read more...

Maharashtra govt invokes Epidemic Diseases Act in wake of coronavirus scare

Maharashtra government invokes Epidemic Diseases Act in wake of coronavirus scare; Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray announced this in the Assembly on Friday.

Coronavirus deaths pass 5,000

The death toll from the coronavirus pandemic has risen to 5,043, according to an AFP tally based on official sources at 1630 IST on Friday. A total of 3,176 people have died in mainland China, followed by 1,016 in Italy, and 514 in Iran -- the three countries with the highest number of deaths. Since COVID-19 was first detected in December, more than 134,300 people have been infected in 121 countries and territories.

States can take action if masks are sold at exorbitant prices: Health Ministry

Trying to support initiative taken by the state in terms of managing the situation: Health Ministry

Chhattisgarh govt orders closure of libraries and gyms

The Chhattisgarh government on Friday ordered closure of all public libraries, gyms and swimming pools in urban areas of the state till March 31 amid novel coronavirus scare, officials said. The government also issued orders to keep anganwadi and mini-anganwadi centres in the state shut during this period as a measure to prevent the spread of infection. 

42,000 across India under community surveillance: Health Ministry

At least 42,000 people across India are under community surveillance: Health Ministry official

Air India would be taking flight to Italy to bring back stranded Indians: Ministry of Civil Aviation

PM's Gujarat visit postponed due to coronavirus scare

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's two-day visit to Gujarat from March 21 has been put off due to the coronavirus scare, it was announced here on Friday. Making the announcement about deferment of the PM's visit, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said new dates will be finalised later. Read more...

Centre to allow international traffic through 19 border checkposts out of 37

Centre decided to allow international traffic through 19 border checkposts out of 37, said Health Ministry officials

Indo-Bangladesh cross border passenger trains and buses to remain suspended till April 15

Indo-Bangladesh cross border passenger trains and buses to remain suspended till April 15, or earlier if so decided, said Health Ministry officials

Exercise will be undertaken on Saturday to bring back Indians stranded in Iran: Health Ministry

Exercise will be undertaken on Saturday to bring back Indian passengers stranded in Iran, said the Health Ministry officials. 

India has evacuated 1,031 persons, including from Maldives, US, Madagascar and China

India has evacuated 1,031 persons, including from Maldives, US, Madagascar and China: Health Ministry officials

Government has brought 42,296 passengers under community surveillance: Health Ministry

Till now, there are 81 confirmed cases in India: Health Ministry

Bihar govt declares closure of schools, colleges till March 31

The Bihar government on Friday announced closure of all schools, colleges, coaching institutes, zoos and public parks till March 31 as a precautionary measure against coronavirus pandemic.
 
An announcement to this effect was made here by Chief Secretary Deepak Kumar shortly after a high-level meeting to discuss measures to prevent the spread of the disease in the state was chaired by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Read more...

Health Ministry briefing on Coronavirus

Delhi Higher Judicial Service (Mains) Examination-2019 postponed due to coronavirus

Iran reports 85 new virus deaths, taking total to 514

Iran announced Friday that the new coronavirus has claimed another 85 lives, the highest single-day death toll in one of the world's worst affected countries.

All remaining I-League matches to be played in empty stadiums

All the remaining 28 matches of the I-League, including Sunday's marquee Kolkata derby between champions Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, will be played in empty stadiums owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the All India Football Federation said on Friday.
 
The decision was taken after the AIFF and I-League officials had a Skype meeting with club representatives following Thursday's Sports Ministry advisory asking national federations to follow the Health Ministry's guidelines and avoid large gatherings in sports events. Read more...

Ohio likely has 100,000 coronavirus cases

The US state of Ohio likely has more than 100,000 people carrying the new coronavirus, the state health department director said. Speaking at a press conference Thursday with state governor Mike DeWine to announce measures to slow the spread of the pandemic, director Amy Acton said Ohio had community spread of the virus. Read more...

Madhya Pradesh govt orders closure of schools due to coronavirus threat

The Madhya Pradesh government on Friday ordered closure of private and government schools for an indefinite period in view of the coronavirus threat, said a senior official. The private and government schools will remain shut till further orders but examinations of different classes would be held as per the schedule, he said. Read more...

Kenya confirms first case of coronavirus in East Africa

Kenya announced Friday the first confirmed case of coronavirus in East Africa, as the region so far unscathed by the global pandemic scaled up emergency measures to contain its spread.

The number of novel coronavirus cases globally stood at 133,970

The number of novel coronavirus cases globally stood at 133,970, with 4,958 deaths, across 120 countries and territories by 0900 GMT Friday, according to a tally compiled by AFP from official sources.

MP govt orders closure of schools due to coronavirus threat

The Madhya Pradesh government on Friday ordered closure of private and government schools for an indefinite period in view of the coronavirus threat, said a senior official. The private and government schools will remain shut till further orders but examinations of different classes would be held as per the schedule, he said. Read more...

Odisha Assembly adjourned till March 29 in view of coronavirus

The Odisha Assembly was adjourned till March 29 on Friday in wake of the coronavirus outbreak, even as members of the opposition BJP protested against the speaker's decision. Speaker S N Patro announced adjournment of the ongoing budget session after a voice vote on a motion moved by government chief whip Pramila Mallik. The motion moved by Mallik said the House may be adjourned till March 29 because of the spread of coronavirus across the world in an alarming way. Read more...

UP shuts schools till March 22, CM warns against black marketing

With the coronavirus outbreak spreading to more than 100 countries, the Uttar Pradesh government on Friday announced the closure of all schools till March 22. So far 11 positive cases have been found in the state.
 
However, the examinations of various academic boards would continue to be held according to schedule and only normal classes would be suspended. A further decision would be taken after the next review meeting on March 20. Read more...

Consultation underway with PMO on Coronavirus: Sitharaman

The Finance Minister said that each ministeries are having engagements with the concerned industries and we are not waiting for them to finish, the consultations are being done with the PMO as they finish. On whether private sector will chip in YES Bank, the minister said thare has been no discussions. 
 

Nine foreign cricketers in PSL to return home amid coronavirus concerns

Nine foreign cricketers, including the English trio of Jason Roy, Alex Hales and James Vince, have decided to leave the Pakistan Super League and return home on Friday owing to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
 
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), however, said the PSL will continue as scheduled despite the withdrawal of the overseas players. Read more...

Annual health check ups for govt officials suspended till June 30

The government has suspended till June 30 the mandatory annual health checkup of all its officials in the wake of coronavirus outbreak to avoid unnecessary strain on hospitals and ward off chances of them getting infected in health facilities, officials said Friday.
 
Annual health checkup is a mandatory requirement for the appraisal of all central government officials above the age of 40 years and it is to be done by March 31 every year, they said. Read more...

Australian minister who met with Ivanka Trump in US diagnosed with coronavirus

A senior Australian minister has tested positive for the deadly coronavirus and was placed under quarantine in a Brisbane hospital on Friday, days after his return from America where he met Ivanka Trump and US Attorney General William Barr. Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, who sits on the national security committee, said on Friday he was feeling fine after waking up with fever and sore throat. "I immediately contacted the Queensland Department of Health and was subsequently tested for COVID-19," he said in a statement. Read more...

Karnataka health staff to work on holidays, leave cancelled

The Karnataka government on Friday asked doctors and other health staff to work on public holidays also till the spread of coronavirus is contained. The government issued a circular stating that certain emergency measures are being taken to control the spread of coronavirus is some parts of the state. Accordingly, starting from tomorrow -- a second Saturday -- and Sunday followed by all public holidays subsequently, they have been asked discharge their duties. Read more...

Air India cancels flights to Italy, France, Germany, three other countries

National carrier Air India has cancelled flights to Italy, France, Germany, Spain, South Korea and Sri Lanka till April 30, an airline official said on Friday. The decision has been taken in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

Trump says coronavirus testing will soon happen on 'large scale basis'

US President Donald Trump said on Friday that coronavirus in the United States will soon happen on a large scale, but did not provide any details on how that would be accomplished. "The changes have been made and testing will soon happen on a very large scale basis. All Red Tape has been cut, ready to go!" he wrote in a tweet.

Two quarantined patients test negative for coronavirus in Goa

Two out of the three patients quarantined for possible exposure to the novel coronavirus at Goa Medical College and Hospital have tested negative for the infection, a senior official said on Friday. The test report of the third patient was awaited, he added.
 
The swab samples of the 23-year-old woman and 27- year-old man, who had travel history to coronavirus-affected countries, came negative for the infection, the official from the health department said. Read more...

All cinema halls and public parks will remain closed till March 31 in Bihar

Haryana govt shuts all universities, colleges till March 31

The Haryana government on Friday shut all universities and colleges in the state till March 31, a day after it declared coronavirus an epidemic. The government also decided to close schools in five districts -- Gurugram, Sonepat, Rohtak, Jhajjar and Faridabad till March 31, officials said. However, school students in these districts will take their exams as per schedule, according to a school education department order. Read more...

Japan passes law allowing state of emergency

Japan's Parliament on Friday enacted a law that would allow Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to declare a state of emergency if the coronavirus outbreak worsens in the country.
 
The law is controversial because it can severely limit civil rights. Read more...

Karnataka announces lock-down of malls, cinema

A day after the country's first coronavirus death was reported from Kalaburagi in Karnataka, the state government on Friday swung into action announcing lock-down of malls, cinema theatres, pubs and night clubs for a week.
 
Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa also issued instructions to stop all kinds of exhibitions, summer camps, conferences, marriage events and birthday parties state-wide for a week. Read more...

Man tests positive at Army's Manesar quarantine facility

A man who returned from Italy this week and was lodged at the Army's quarantine facility in Manesar, Haryana has tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease, Army sources said on Friday. According to the medical protocol, he has been shifted to an isolation facility at the Safdarjung Hospital here for further medical examination and recovery. Read more...

Two test positive for Coronavirus in Nagpur

Air India cancels flights to Italy, France, Germany, Spain, South Korea and Sri Lanka till April 30

Air India cancels flights to Italy, France, Germany, Spain, South Korea and Sri Lanka till April 30: Airline official

Second batch of 44 Indian pilgrims arrived from Iran: S Jaishankar

Second batch of 44 Indian pilgrims has arrived from Iran, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday said. An Iran Air flight carrying Indian pilgrims stranded in coronavirus-hit Iran landed at the airport in Mumbai on Friday afternoon, an official said. Iran is one of the worst-affected countries by the coronavirus outbreak and the government has been working on plans to bring back the Indians stranded there. Read more...

44 Indian citizens have been evacuated from Iran

SAARC leadership could chalk out strong strategy to fight coronavirus: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday proposed that the leadership of SAARC nations could chalk out a joint strategy to fight coronavirus and set an example for the world. He said the SAARC leadership can discuss via video conferencing ways to keep their citizens healthy.

"Our planet is battling the COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus. At various levels, governments and people are trying their best to combat it," Modi said on Twitter. Read more...

All schools, colleges in UP to be shut till March 22

The Uttar Pradesh government on Friday declared closure of all schools and colleges where examination process is not going on till March 22 in view of coronavirus scare and asserted that all precautions are being taken to check the spread of the disease.
 
"All schools and colleges associated with the basic, secondary, higher education and vocational colleges, where examination process is not on, have been closed till March 22," Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath told newspersons here.
 
Wherever the examination process is underway it will go on as per schedule. The concerning people have been instructed to take all precautionary measures and maintain hygiene, the chief minister said.

Coronavirus: South Korea to limit information about patients

South Korea plans to limit the amount of information it releases about coronavirus patients amid criticism that the details currently shared reveal too much personal information and exacerbate panic.
 
The director of South Korea's Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Jung Eun-kyeong, on Friday said her agency is drafting a new guideline for local governments to prevent them from releasing details that are unnecessary for quarantine and prevention work.
 
She didn't say what specific recommendations would be included in the guideline.

All malls, cinema halls, pubs, marriages and other large gatherings banned in Karnataka: BS Yediyurappa

Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa: All malls, cinema halls, pubs, marriages and other large gatherings in the state have been banned for another one week.

Coronavirus update: One positive case detected in Indian Army’s Manesar quarantine facility

Indian Army: At the Indian Army’s Manesar quarantine facility, one male individual who had returned from Italy on March 11 has been tested positive. He was employed in one of the restaurants in Italy for the last 14 years.

BCCI explores alternate venues after Delhi shuts doors on IPL matches due to COVID-19

The Delhi government's refusal to allow any IPL matches in the city owing to the COVID-19 pandemic has added to the BCCI's woes with the Board now looking for alternate venues in "willing" states to conduct a closed-door edition.
 
The IPL is due to start on March 29 in Mumbai and Delhi's first game was to be on March 30.
 
"All sports gatherings will be banned, including the IPL, in wake of the coronavirus threat," Sisodia said.
 
The BCCI responded by listing the alternate venues that could play host. Delhi is home to the Delhi Capital IPL franchise.
 
"Lucknow has been wanting to host IPL matches for a while now. If it's a closed door tournament, it really doesn't matter where it is played," a BCCI source told PTI.

IPL 2020 deferred to April 15, say agencies

IPL 2020 deferred to April 15, says BCCI over COVID-19

IPL 2020 deferred from March 29 to April 15, tweets ESPNcricinfo


Coronavirus: NIIT to not hold classes in Delhi-NCR centres

Skills and talent development company NIIT on Friday said it will not hold classes in its education centres located in Delhi-NCR until further notice amid the coronavirus outbreak.
 
"In compliance with Delhi government order to close all educational institutions as a precautionary measure to control COVID-19 spread, NIIT has decided not to hold classes in its education centres located in Delhi- NCR, until further notice," NIIT Senior Vice President (Corporate Communications and Marketing) Prateek Chatterjee said in a statement.
 
He added that the company is reviewing the situation and will keep the students informed on a regular basis.
 
"Till such time the classes restart, we are working on online modes of imparting training to our learners to minimise disruption," he said.

Coronavirus LIVE: 900 still under observation in Kerala

Around 900 people are still under observation in Pathanamthitta after the district administration released a route map identifying places visited by the three-member family from Ranni which returned to Kerala from coronavirus-hit Italy last month, health officials said.
 
Around 16 squads led by the District Collector and the District Medical Officer (DMO) travelled across the the district to identify the places visited by the family and to track the contacts, a senior medical official of the state said.
 
"A flow chart was prepared with all the places visited by the family upon their return and have been mentioned in a map, so that people can voluntarily inform authorities if they had come in contact with them," state Health Minister K K Shailaja said.

Coronavirus update: Kenya confirms first case of coronavirus in East Africa

Kenya announced its first confirmed case of coronavirus on Friday, saying a woman who returned from the United States tested positive for the illness in Nairobi.
 
"I want to inform you that the Ministry of Health has confirmed the first coronavirus case in Kenya," Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe told reporters.
 
"The case is a Kenyan citizen who travelled back to Nairobi, returning from the United States of America via London, United Kingdom, on March 5, 2020."

Coronavirus outbreak: Sick pay for all in self-isolation in Britain, says Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak, the Indian-origin British Chancellor, has said that anyone who needs to self-isolate because of coronavirus and even if they dont have any symptoms, will be paid Statutory Sick Pay from the first day they are off work.

SAARC leadership could chalk out strong strategy to fight coronavirus: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday proposed that the leadership of SAARC nations could chalk out a joint strategy to fight coronavirus and set an example for the world.
 
He said the SAARC leadership can discuss via video conferencing ways to keep their citizens healthy.
 
"Our planet is battling the COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus. At various levels, governments and people are trying their best to combat it," Modi said on Twitter.

Coronavirus update: Jamia Millia suspends classes till March 31

After JNU, the Jamia Millia Islamia on Friday suspended classes with immediate effect till March 31 and advised students to avoid large gathering in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
 
The varsity has also decided to close all schools run by it till March 31 but the Board examinations will continue as per the schedule.

J&K govt orders suspension of Nodal officer for Coronavirus control

The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Friday ordered the suspension of Shafqat Khan, the nodal officer for Coronavirus efforts in the Union Territory for dereliction of duty.
 
"Pending an inquiry into his conduct, Dr Khan, Nodal Officer for Coronavirus Efforts in Jammu and Kashmir, Health and Medical Education Department, is hereby placed under suspension with immediate effect," Additional secretary to GAD, Charandeep Singh said in an official order.
 
During the period of his suspension, Khan will be attached with the office of the Deputy Commissioner, Kathua, or the Chief Medical Officer, Kathua, he said.

Pakistan working to protect its citizens, ready to help neighbours to combat coronavirus: Official

Pakistan is working to protect its citizens from the novel coronavirus and is ready to provide assistance to neighbours if needed, a top government official said on Wednesday, a day after the country reported a new infection, taking the number of confirmed cases to 21.
 
Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said the government was monitoring the situation very closely to limit the spread of coronavirus pandemic that has killed nearly 5,000 people.
 
"On coronavirus, as I said before that the Government of Pakistan is monitoring the situation very closely and will take measures required for the citizens within Pakistan and any assistance we can provide to our neighbouring countries," she said.

Govt, RBI to take all necessary steps to quell 'fear sentiment' around coronavirus: CEA

The government and the RBI will take all necessary steps to quell the "fear sentiment" created due to coronavirus, Chief Economic Advisor Krishnamurthy Subramanian said on Friday.
 
He said the fall in Indian stock indices is lower than the decline witnessed globally and the situation in India will stabilise over the next few weeks as focus shifts to economic fundamentals like declining inflation, growing industrial production and adequate forex reserves.
 
"The government is seriously considering and looking at all aspects of this situation and the government together with the regulator will definitely respond when it is necessary. Market reaction is not reflecting fundamentals, fundamentals (of Indian economy) are improving," Subramanian told reporters. READ ON...

SAARC leaders must chalk out a strong strategy to fight Coronavirus: Modi

South Asia should leave no stone unturned to ensure our people are healthy: Modi

Fresh concerns over India Open badminton after Delhi govt bans all sports activities

Delhi government's decision to ban all sports activities due to the novel coronavirus pandemic has raised fresh doubts over the fate of India Open badminton, a crucial event in the Tokyo Olympics qualification cycle.
 
The $400,000 Super 500 event was supposed to be held without any spectators to avoid spreading the deadly disease.
 
"We will go by what the government decides. It is not in our hand. We have to follow the government's decisions. Currently there is no clarity on the visa process of the foreign players and on top of it now the Delhi govt has come up with this directive," a Badminton Association of India (BAI) official told PTI. READ ON...

Schools, cinema halls, swimming pools, and gyms closed till March 31: Odisha CM

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in state assembly: All educational institutions shall remain closed till March 31 except for holding examinations. Cinema halls, swimming pools, and gyms are also to be closed till 31st March. 

First COVID-19 case can be traced back to Nov 17 in China's Hubei province: report

The first case of novel coronavirus can be traced back to November 17 last year in China's Hubei province, which subsequently became its epicentre as it rapidly spread at home and abroad before Chinese health officials could identify the deadly virus, according to a media report on Friday.
 
Chinese authorities have so far identified at least 266 people who were infected in 2019. All the 266 individuals came under medical surveillance at some point, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.
 
The first case of someone in China suffering from COVID-19 can be traced back to November 17, the report said quoting government data.

No case of Coronavirus has been reported in Uttarakhand: CM Trivendra Rawat

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat: We have issued advisories to all hotels regarding safety measures to be taken while allowing foreign tourists in hotels. All schools have been closed until March 31. Do not fear as no case of Coronavirus has been reported here.

BJP MP Hema Malini on Coronavirus: Everybody should be careful & secure themselves

Sports activity where people will gather in huge numbers like IPL banned in Delhi, says Manish Sisodia

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia: We have decided to ban any sports activity where people will gather in huge numbers like IPL. Social distancing is important to curb the breakout of Coronavirus.

Coronavirus: Bengaluru shuts down; firms ask employees to work from home

After Dell and Mindtree, Google is now the third tech firm in Bengaluru to have an employee diagnosed with coronavirus.
 
E-commerce giant Amazon early on Friday issued an advisory to all its employees to work from home till March end in response to the coronavirus outbreak. READ ON...

McLaren: 1 staffer has coronavirus, 14 others in quarantine

One positive case of coronavirus for a McLaren staffer was the catalyst for the cancellation of the Australian Formula One Grand Prix.
 
Now the British-based team has another 14 team members in quarantine.
 
McLaren issued a statement Friday saying the other team members had also been placed in quarantine in a Melbourne hotel for 14 days in accordance with local health guidelines.
 
These are individuals who had been in close contact with the team member who tested positive for coronavirus, the team said.

NBA says virus hiatus will likely last "at least" a month

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Thursday night that the league's hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic will likely last at least a month, or roughly what would have been the remainder of an uninterrupted regular season.
 
What we determined today is that this hiatus will be, most likely, at least 30 days," Silver said on TNT's "Inside The NBA" while making his first public comments since the league suspended play Wednesday night after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus, or COVID-19. A second Jazz player, Donovan Mitchell, said Thursday that he has also tested positive.

AICF postpones all events till May 31 over coronavirus scare

The All India Chess Federation on Thursday postponed all national championships till May 31 in view of the coronavirus pandemic.
 
The AICF also asked the state associations to avoid any state-level events till April 15.
 
"All the national championships to be held till May 31 stay as postponed and new dates will be notified soon," AICF honorary secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan said in a release.
 
"As you are well aware the coronavirus has been declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation. It is likely to have widespread implications in the times to come but instead of panic we need to take adequate precautions.

China reports 7 more deaths, 8 new cases as coronavirus continues to decline

China on Friday reported seven more fatalities due to the novel coronavirus infection, taking the death toll to 3,176, while the new confirmed cases were just eight, as the disease continued to abate across the country, including in its epicentre Wuhan.
 
China's National Health Commission (NHC) said it received reports of the seven deaths from the Chinese mainland on Thursday. While six people died in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, one died in Shandong province.
 
The eight new confirmed cases were also from the Chinese mainland, it said.
 
Meanwhile, 33 new suspected cases were reported in the country, taking the total number to 147, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Coronavirus update: State helpline number for COVID-19


Subramanian Swamy meets Hardeep Puri, urges him to cut Airline Turbine Fuel taxes in view of Coronavirus

Google techie tests positive; Amazon asks all employees to work from home

As a Google employee in Bengaluru tested positive on Thursday, the US-headquartered company has shut its office in the city for a day asking all employees to work from home as a precautionary measure. 
 
"We can confirm that an employee from our Bangalore office has been diagnosed with COVID-19. They were in one of our Bangalore offices for a few hours before developing any symptoms. The employee has been on quarantine since then, and we have asked colleagues who were in close contact with the employee to quarantine themselves and monitor their health,” said the company in a statement.
 
After Dell and Mindtree, this case makes Google the third tech firm in Bengaluru to have an employee diagnosed with coronavirus.
 
E-commerce giant Amazon early on Friday issued an advisory to all its employees to work from home till March end in response to the coronavirus outbreak. 

Barack Obama on Coronavirus

Coronavirus updates: Economy will be destroyed if action not taken, says Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi slams govt response to coronavirus, says ignoring problem is non-solution.

Plea in Delhi HC for judicial intervention to deal with coronavirus outbreak

A plea was moved in the Delhi High Court on Friday seeking its "intervention" to deal with the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
 
The petition was mentioned before a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar that allowed it to be listed on March 16.
 
"We seek intervention of the courts regarding coronavirus outbreak," the lawyer, who mentioned the plea, said to the bench. 

Coronavirus: Delhi govt shuts all swimming pools in national capital

The Delhi government has ordered the shutting of all public swimming pools in the city with immediate effect till March 31 in wake of coronavirus outbreak, an official said on Friday.
 
The health department of the Delhi government had issued an order in this regard on Thursday, the official said, adding swimming pools of all hotels and other entities, where people use the facilities, will be closed.
 
On Thursday, the Delhi government had declared coronavirus an epidemic and shut all cinema halls, schools and colleges, except those where exams are on, till March 31.
 
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also issued an order, saying, "All educational institutions -- schools, colleges, ITIs, polytechnics, universities and private coaching and tuition centres -- will remain closed till March 31, except for holding examinations."

Apple, Facebook, Intel, Qualcomm shut Bengaluru units, according to reports

The tech giants have asked employees to work from home.

Markets are paying the price for not banning short sale; crash due to panic, says Deven Choksey

I don’t think the markets have over-reacted with the Nifty50 hitting lower circuit today. On the contrary, I think we have not reacted much to the developments. The worst part, according to me, is that when the global markets are melting, our government and regulators were not at all prepared for such a situation. READ ON...

Coronavirus update: Seven more coronavirus suspects admitted to Nashik hospital

Seven persons with suspected coronavirus-like symptoms were admitted to the Nashik district civil hospital on Thursday.
 
With this, the number of persons admitted to the hospital for suspected exposure to the virus went up to 11.
 
Those who were admitted had returned from countries such as Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, Bhutan, Britain and US. READ ON...

Trading resumes on stock exchanges; Sensex tanks over 3,300 pts

Domestic stock trading on Friday resumed after a 45-minute halt, with equity benchmark Sensex plummeting further to 3,389 points and the broader Nifty sinking below 8,600 level.
 
Stock exchanges paused trading for 45 minutes after both indices plunged over 10 per cent, hitting their lower circuit limits, within the first 15 minutes of opening of the session.
 
Continuing its downward spiral, domestic BSE Sensex was trading 3,380.59 points, down 10.31 per cent at 29,397.55. It hit an intra-day low of 29,388.97, falling up to 3,389.17 points.

Equities in freefall after Wall St, Europe implode on Coronavirus fears

Asian equities went into meltdown on Friday, extending a global rout that saw markets experience their worst day in decades as fears of a worldwide recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic wiped trillions off valuations.
 
Shellshocked investors fled for the hills as governments across Europe and in the United States struggled to get a grip on the crisis that has swept the planet and shut communities down.
 
Central bank moves to support financial markets have also failed to staunch the bloodletting, while Donald Trump's decision to shut the US border to European travellers added to the panic.
 
"Markets remain in a freefall as uncertainty persists with no reliable anchor which can create near-term stability," Ben Emons, at Medley Global Advisors in New York, said.

Coronavirus could cost US advertising industry billions

The US advertising industry could face steep losses as sports leagues cancel or postpone live events and consumers spend less while many stay at home during the coronavirus outbreak, experts said on Thursday.
 
With companies widely expected to slash marketing budgets, the ad industry could see nearly $26 billion in lost revenue, or a 10.6% decline, Michael Nathanson, an analyst at MoffettNathanson, estimated in a research note on Thursday.
 
The coronavirus effect on live sports, one of the last remaining categories that continues to attract large audiences and therefore advertisers to traditional television, could "accelerate a meltdown" for TV advertising, said Richard Greenfield, a media analyst at Lightshed Partners.

Coronavirus sparks historic market rout, global shutdown

Global stock markets suffered historic falls as panic spread on Friday over the spiralling coronavirus crisis that has killed nearly 5,000 and infected sport, schools and society across the planet.
 
The virus has affected all areas of life, sealing off entire countries, sparking draconian government measures not seen in peacetime, and forcing the cancellation of global sporting and cultural events from Broadway to basketball.
 
Japan's stock market fell more than 10 percent on Friday, following the worst day on Wall Street since the crash of 1987 as traders scrambled to sell everything on fears the virus will catapult the world into a deep recession.

IOC will follow WHO advice on Olympics cancellation, says Bach

The International Olympic Committee will follow the World Health Organisation's recommendation on whether to cancel or postpone this year's Tokyo Olympics over the coronavirus pandemic, IOC chief Thomas Bach said Thursday.
 
In an interview with German television ARD, Bach said his organisation has been in regular contact with WHO experts since mid-February over the issue.
 
"We will follow the advice of the WHO," he said, adding that the IOC was now still working towards preparing for a "successful" Games.
 
With cancellations of Olympic qualifiers piling up as countries unroll drastic measures to halt the contagion, Bach acknowledged that there are "serious problems with qualification competitions".
 
"Here we will have to react very flexibly," he said, adding that this could be through postponing competitions or changing qualification criteria.
 

Coronavirus: No test for Donald Trump after Brazilian official tests positive

The White House says United States President Donald Trump has no plans to be tested for the new coronavirus or go into self-quarantine after attending events last weekend with a senior Brazilian official who tested positive.
 
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's communications director tested positive just days after traveling with Bolsonaro to a meeting with Trump and senior aides in Florida.
 
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Thursday that "exposures from the case are being assessed, which will dictate next steps."
 
Grisham says Trump and Vice President Mike Pence "had almost no interactions with the individual who tested positive and do not require being tested at this time."
 
Trump said he was not worried that he may have been exposed to the virus.
 
"Let's put it this way: I'm not concerned," Trump told reporters earlier on Thursday while meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in the Oval Office.

Coronavirus update: Copa Libertadores suspended over coronavirus

South American football's governing body CONMEBOL on Thursday suspended the next round of Copa Libertadores fixtures due to the new coronavirus pandemic.
 
The Copa Libertadores is the South American equivalent of Europe's Champions League, although the 2020 edition only began in January and is still at the group stage.
 
"Committed to the prevention of COVID-19 and faced with the risk of its spread, and to safeguard delegates, referees, officials, press and fans, (CONMEBOL) has taken the decision to suspend the 2002 Copa Libertadores matches in the week of March 15-21," said the governing body in a statement.

Delhi CM, L-G hold meeting to review preparedness for tackling coronavirus

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and L-G Anil Baijal on Thursday held a joint meeting to review the preparedness for coronavirus in the wake of four confirmed cases of infection.
 
According to a statement from the CMO, Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain and senior Delhi government officials were also present in the meeting.

Nifty hits lower circuit amid global sell-off; trading halted for 45 mins

Stock market hit circuit breaker on Friday as markets continued to witness panic selling amid fears pandemic Coronavirus will derail economic growth. Trading was halted in the early trade as the benchmark index Nifty hit the 10 per cent lower circuit. Trading will be halted for 45 minutes, and will resume at 10:05 am for pre-open.
 
World Health Organisation (WHO) on Thursday declared Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, denting the investor sentiment further. READ ON...

Tom Hanks updates fans on Twitter a day after COVID-19 diagnosis

Hollywood actor Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson are apparently enduring their isolation after testing positive for COVID-19 in Australia's Queensland with good cheer.
 
The 63-year-old actor posted an update on Twitter thanking fans for their support after he made the announcement on Wednesday (local time) that they had contracted the virus and were quarantined in Australia.
 
"Hello folks. Rita Wilson and I want to thank everyone here Down Under who are taking such good care of us."
 
Then the 'Forest Gump' star went on to say "we have COVID-19 and are in isolation so we do not spread it to anyone else".
 
"There are those for whom it could lead to a very serious illness," he said.

Google: We can confirm that an employee from our Bengaluru office has been diagnosed with COVID-19

Google: We can confirm that an employee from our Bengaluru office has been diagnosed with COVID-19. He was in one of our Bengaluru offices for a few hours before developing any symptoms. The employee has been on quarantine since then.

All 112 people admitted to ITBP facility in Delhi test negative for coronavirus; to be released on Friday: Officials

Bernie Sanders speaks of the "largely incompetent" administration’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak

Bernie Sanders spoke of the "largely incompetent" administration’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak and said "Congress in a bipartisan manner must take responsibility for addressing this unparalleled crisis".

Dollar wins out as pandemic drives rush for liquid assets

The dollar stood tall on Friday as investors scrambled for the world's most liquid currency amid deepening panic about the coronavirus while the euro nursed losses after the European Central Bank disappointed by not cutting rates.
 
The greenback held gains against most currencies after a blowout in swap spreads showed investors are facing a shortage of dollars as equity markets plunged on fears about the economic impact of the flu-like virus.
 
The ECB on Thursday unveiled a stimulus package that provides loans to banks with rates as low as minus-0.75% and increases bond purchases.
 
The Federal Reserve moved to provide $1.5 trillion in short-term liquidity and changed the durations of Treasuries it buys, but money markets show investors expect the Fed will have to go even further to restore calm to financial markets.

Amid coronavirus fears, Trump moves away from rallies - for now

US President Donald Trump said Thursday he is temporarily halting his trademark rallies — as his campaign bows to the coronavirus outbreak that is rapidly reshaping the nation's political landscape.
 
The rallies have long been Trump's most potent political weapon: They energize the candidate, give him a powerful platform from which to attack his adversaries and allow his team to collect a treasure trove of voter data.
 
But the spread of the virus, which has closed schools and shuttered professional sports leagues, has also touched the 2020 presidential campaign. The two leading Democratic contenders, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, cancelled their scheduled rallies earlier this week.
 
The president's reelection team reluctantly followed suit, with Trump saying Thursday that multiple events that were in the works are being postponed.
 
“We had about three of them in Nevada, actually. And we had four or five of them of them that we were thinking about," Trump said at the White House.
 
The president's campaign has suspended all rallies, events and fundraisers for at least the next week, according to officials. Trump was slated to fly west Thursday night for events in Nevada and Colorado, a trip that was cancelled after his Oval Office address to the nation on Wednesday night about the severity of the coronavirus outbreak.

Cricket Australia: South Africa tour of the women's team has been suspended until further notice.

Google Bangalore employee tests positive for Coronavirus

A Google employee in its Bangalore, India, office has tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus and is in quarantine.

Merkel says coronavirus situation more extraordinary than banking crisis

The coronavirus crisis is proving more of an extraordinary situation than the banking crisis, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday, adding that her government's focus now was not how its budget works out.
 
Speaking after meeting the leaders of Germany's 16 states, Merkel said her finance and economy ministers would present a "very comprehensive" package of additional measures to support German businesses on Friday.
 
Asked about Germany's self-imposed policy pledge of not taking on new debt, Merkel said the budget was not her government's main focus, underlining her message from a day earlier that the public finances were secondary.
 
"The debt brake ... provides for exceptions in extraordinary situations - and that is, as I said yesterday, really not our topic as to how the budget balance will look in the end," Merkel told a news conference.
China vice industry minister says will coordinate with other countries' governments to push forward business resumption, reduce the impact of Coronavirus pandemic as much as possible

Coronavirus update: All test reports so far negative in MP

All 23 persons in Madhya Pradesh whose medical reports have been received so far have tested negative for the coronavirus, an official said on Thursday.
 
As many as 9,387 persons with travel history to affected countries were screened at airports in the state.
 
Of these, 690 persons were examined for suspected symptoms of the virus, additional director of the health department Dr Veena Sinha said. READ ON...

Coronavirus update: US coronavirus stimulus package stuck in Congress over paid sick leave

 As schools close, offices clear out, and sporting events are canceled across the United States, a familiar Washington problem - partisan gridlock - threatened on Thursday to derail the US government’s ability to contain the economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump meets with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar amid Coronavirus pandemic

The Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix has been officially cancelled

The Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix has been officially cancelled after a member of the McLaren Racing team was tested positive for the COVID-19, prompting the team to pull out of the event.
 

Abe, Trump to hold telephone talks on coronavirus outbreak

Latest updates on Coronavirus

— Mainland China had on Thursday 15 new infections, down from 24 cases a day earlier, bringing the total to 80,793. The death toll touched 3,169, up by 11 from the previous day.

—Poland has reported its first death from coronavirus. So far 47 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the country.

— Greece reported its first fatality, a 66 year-old-man who had returned from a religious pilgrimage to Israel and Egypt at the end of February.

— Italy’s death toll from the coronavirus epidemic shot past 1,000 as the economic impact worsened. The total number of infections rose to 15,113.

Coronavirus: Denmark under lockdown as all schools closed and workers sent home

Denmark is second European country put under lockdown as all schools closed and workers sent home. Coronavirus can be controlled: Over 68,000 have recovered so far globally

Coronavirus can be controlled: Over 68,000 have recovered so far globally

Even as the virus forces countries to quarantine citizens, lock down borders and suspend travels, the number of recoveries across the world so far has been 68,000, according to data collated by the Johns Hopkins University & Medicine. The data show that over 50,000 people have recovered in China’s Hubei province alone. READ ON...

Coronavirus update: Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta tested positive for coronavirus

Arsenal said its head coach, Mikel Arteta, had tested positive for coronavirus.
 
"Our London Colney training centre has been closed after head coach Mikel Arteta received a positive COVID-19 result this evening," the club said in a statement on late Thursday.
 
The team personnel, who had recent contact with Arteta, will self-isolate in line with the required procedures.
 
"We expect this to be a significant number of people from Colney, including the full first-team squad and coaching staff, as well as a smaller number of people from our Hale End Academy which we have also temporarily closed as a precaution," Arsenal added.

Life upended for Americans as US scrambles to contain coronavirus threat

From Disneyland to the US Supreme Court, from Wall Street to Dodgers Stadium, nearly every facet of American life fell into turmoil on Thursday as the coronavirus outbreak caused sweeping closures and economic disruption.
 
As concern grew over a rapid spread of the sometimes-fatal COVID-19 respiratory illness caused by the virus, the US stock market cratered anew, professional and college sports leagues suspended play, Broadway theaters went dark and many schools from Ohio to Texas shuttered.
 
The unprecedented cascade of shutdowns reflected growing fears that the outbreak of the highly contagious pathogen, which has already killed at least 40 people in the United States, could race out of control unless authorities squelch large public gatherings.

Disney shutting theme parks in California, Florida over Coronavirus

Walt Disney Co will close its theme parks in California and Florida and its resort in Paris from this weekend through the end of the month due to the global outbreak of coronavirus, the company said on Thursday.
 
Disney Cruise Line will suspend all new departures starting Saturday through the end of the month, the company said.
 
"We are proceeding with the closure of our theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Paris Resort, beginning at the close of business on Sunday, March 15, through the end of the month," the company said in a statement.
 
Disney earlier had said that its Disneyland and California Adventure theme parks in Southern California would be closed from Saturday.
 
The hotels at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris will remain open until further notice, the company added.

Coronavirus update: ICC to hold meetings scheduled for Dubai at the end of March via conference call only.

International Cricket Council: In light of the continued global spread of COVID-19, the ICC Board has decided to hold its meetings scheduled for Dubai at the end of March via conference call only.
 
The Board and a number of committees will convene remotely to consider matter for urgent decisions only, with the full meetings rescheduled for early May.

All educational institutions in Pakistan's Sindh closed till May 31 over coronavirus

The Sindh government in Pakistan has announced all educational institutions will remain closed till May 31 to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, and postponed class nine and class 10 annual exams.
 
The decision was taken at an emergency Cabinet meeting, held under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, government spokesperson Murtaza Wahab said on Thursday night.

Disneyland in California to close over virus

Disneyland will close its doors beginning Saturday after California called for large gatherings to be canceled to slow the spread of coronavirus, the resort said Thursday. The giant 100-acre (40-hectare) attraction in Anaheim is the second-most visited theme park in the world, drawing tens of thousands of visitors each day, but will remain shut at least until the end of March.
 
"After carefully reviewing the guidelines of the Governor of California's executive order and in the best interest of our guests and employees, we are proceeding with the closure of Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure," a statement said. No cases of the virus had been reported at the resort, it added.

Amazon tells staff globally to work from home if possible

Amazon.com Inc on Thursday said it was recommending that employees globally work from home this month if they are able to do so, while necessary on-site staff such as warehouse workers would get up to two weeks' pay if quarantined because of the coronavirus.
 
The news follows a decision by the world's largest online retailer earlier this week to extend its work-from-home advisory to include employees in New York and New Jersey as it and other corporations strive to lower the risk of coronavirus transmission among their ranks.

Detailed tracking procedure in place to prevent coronavirus spread, no ban imposed: Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday said that a very detailed tracking procedure was in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus and untested people cannot be brought back to the country in a very severe epidemic situation as the nation's health security has to be ensured.

New York bans public gathering of 500 or more amid coronavirus outbreak

New York state banned public gatherings of 500 or more people which is effective from Friday afternoon amid the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Thursday (local time).
 
"No gathering with 500 people or more," Cuomo said at a press briefing. "Those new rules will go into effect five o'clock on Friday, except for the Broadway theaters in Manhattan, where it will go into effect, five o'clock today," he added.

WTO says June ministerial conference 'not feasible' amid pandemic

The World Trade Organization said Thursday that a planned ministerial conference in Kazakhstan in June would "not be feasible" due to the coronavirus pandemic.
 
"It is our considered view that holding MC12 (the 12th Ministerial Conference) as previously agreed from 8-11 June will not be feasible," WTO chief Roberto Azevedo said in a note circulated to member states and sent to the media.

Canada PM working from home as wife tested for COVID-19

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife announced they were self-isolating Thursday as she undergoes tests for the new coronavirus after returning from a speaking engagement with "mild flu-like symptoms."
 
Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau's symptoms have subsided since she recently got back from Britain, but as a precaution the prime minister "will spend the day in briefings, phone calls and virtual meetings from home," according to a statement.

5,000-10,000 people 'likely' have COVID-19 in UK: govt

Britain on Thursday said up to 10,000 people in the UK could be infected with the novel coronavirus, as it announced new measures to slow the spread of the outbreak. Government chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance said there were currently 590 confirmed cases but it was "much more likely we've got somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 people infected".

Britain was "about four weeks" behind the level of cases currently seen in Italy and other worst-hit countries in Europe, he added.

Top adviser to Iran's Khamenei quarantined with virus symptoms

A key adviser to Iran's supreme leader has been placed in quarantine after experiencing "mild symptoms" of the new coronavirus, Tasnim news agency reported on Thursday. Ali Akbar Velayati, who advises supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on foreign policy, was "quarantined after having experienced mild symptoms of coronavirus," the agency said.

France to close schools over coronavirus: Macron

President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday announced schools in France would close indefinitely from next week to curb the spread of the coronavirus, also urging people over 70 to stay at home.In an address to the nation on the fight against COVID-19 which has already killed 61 people and infected almost 2,900 in France, Macron made clear that it could no longer be business as usual.

Brazil's Bolsonaro tested for coronavirus: son

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has undergone a test for the new coronavirus after a top aide contracted the disease following a trip on which both met with Donald Trump, his son said Thursday.
 
"President Bolsonaro has been tested for coronavirus and we are waiting for the results. However, he is not exhibiting any symptoms of the disease," Eduardo Bolsonaro, a lawmaker, wrote on Twitter. The far-right leader's test results are expected Friday, Brazilian media reports said.

Unnecessary events' big events should be scrapped: Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on organisers of non essential events gathering hundreds of people to cancel them to help slow the spread of coronavirus."That is a call to all," she said, noting that "where possible, social contact must be avoided".
 
Merkel said all events of under 1,000 people should be cancelled. The German government had previously recommended the cancellation of events gathering more than 1,000 people.

Uttarakhand schools to remain closed till March 31 amid coronavirus fears

All schools in Uttarakhand will remain closed till March 31 in an attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus, an official statement said on Thursday.
 
"All schools, including pre-primary, primary, secondary, high school and intermediate, in the state to remain closed till March 31, 2020, in view of the coronavirus pandemic," Uttarakhand School Education Secretary R Meenakshi Sundaram said in the statement issued in Hindi.

Centre releases coronavirus helpline for states, UTs

The central government on Thursday released a list of helpline numbers for all the states and Union Territories (UTs) to assist the people amid the coronavirus scare. According to the list, which was put up on the official website of Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, people in the national capital can dial 011-22307145 for assistance.
 
People can also call 18001805145 in Uttar Pradesh, 020-26127394 in Maharashtra, 0755-2527177 in Madhya Pradesh, 3323412600 in West Bengal, 8558893911 in Haryana and 04712552056 in Kerala.Those in Odisha can dial 9439994859 to avail assistance regarding coronavirus.

Next week's London Brexit talks cancelled over virus

Brexit trade talks scheduled to be held in London next week have been cancelled due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak, a joint EU-UK statement said.
 
"Given the latest COVID-19 developments, EU and UK negotiators have today jointly decided not to hold next week's round of negotiations in London," the statement said.

Chinese doctors head to Italy to share expertise

A Chinese medical team and surplus ventilators, protective masks and other equipment are heading to Italy in a remarkable exchange of medical knowhow and material from the source of the coronavirus outbreak to its current epicenter. The Italian Red Cross says a plane bringing a nine-person Chinese team of experts and nine cargo pallets of medical equipment would land late Thursday in Rome. The team includes Chinese ICU specialists, pediatricians and nurses who helped manage the crisis in China.

Spain cabinet, royals tested as minister infected

Spain's cabinet and the royal family underwent coronavirus testing Thursday after a minister tested positive and was quarantined with her partner, the second deputy prime minister.
 
Equality Minister Irene Montero's positive test coincided with infections nationwide jumping to 2,968 cases by 1200 GMT, from 2,140 on Wednesday evening, and deaths leaping to 84 from 48 within the same timeframe.

Coronavirus : Delhi Health Minister writes to Harsh Vardhan for lab facilities

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain has written to Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan to "strengthen the lab facility in Delhi hospital" in wake of coronavirus pandemic. According to Jain, if the government strengthens the lab facility, then the panic among people with respect to the COVID-19 will be reduced.

China government spokesman says US military may have bought virus to China

A spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry suggested on Thursday the US military might have brought the coronavirus to the Chinese city of Wuhan, which has been hardest hit by the outbreak, doubling down on a war of words with Washington.
 
China has taken great offence at comments by US officials accusing it of being slow to react to the virus, first detected in Wuhan late last year, and of not being transparent enough.

'Don't panic' says US woman who recovered from coronavirus

An American woman who has recovered from the novel coronavirus has a simple message for people who are worried: Don't panic -- but do think about high-risk individuals and stay home if you feel ill.
 
Elizabeth Schneider lives in Seattle, the biggest city of Washington state, which has the most deaths in the United States from the disease sweeping the globe.
 
The 37-year-old, who has a PhD in bioengineering, said she was sharing her story "to give people a little bit of hope" through her own relatively mild experience with the infection, which she treated herself from home.

Coronavirus cases in Germany surge past 2,000: Koch Institute

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany has risen to 2,369, the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases said on Thursday.
 
A day earlier, it reported the number of cases at 1,567. Five people have died from the virus in Germany.

Iraq stops flights to India and Lebanon over coronavirus

Iraqi Airlines announced on Thursday it would stop all flights to India and Lebanon over the coronavirus outbreak, the state news agency reported.
 
The statement from the company added that evacuation flights from India will be excluded from this decision, and March 15 will be the last day for Iraqis in Lebanon to return.

Chinese doctors head to Italy to share expertise

A Chinese medical team and surplus ventilators, protective masks and other equipment are heading to Italy in a remarkable exchange of medical knowhow and material from the source of the coronavirus outbreak to its current epicenter.

IATA urges 'emergency measures' for airlines after US travel ban

The global aviation association warned Thursday a US-imposed trans-Atlantic travel ban would further hurt an industry already hard-hit by the coronavirus crisis, insisting airlines needed "emergency measures" to get through.
 
US President Donald Trump has announced a shock 30-day ban on travel from mainland Europe over the coronavirus pandemic.

Iran accuses US of `economic terrorism,' urges sanctions end

Iran's foreign minister demanded Thursday that the United States immediately halt what he called a “campaign of economic terrorism” and lift sanctions, saying they have made it increasingly difficult for the country to export oil and virtually impossible to import medicine and medical equipment, including to identify and treat coronavirus patients.
 
Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that US sanctions have also left thousands of Iranians stranded abroad and severely disrupted air links with Europe.

As Bengaluru battles COVID-19, tech platforms come handy for IT workforce

With the coronavirus reaching tech parks, campuses of multinational companies and even schools and colleges in Bengaluru, the IT city is gearing up to shoot the trouble with the help of technology. The city has so far reported four positive coronavirus cases. Read more

Flipkart and Amazon play against coronavirus, test work from home

With the outbreak of coronavirus in India, top e-commerce companies including Walmart-owned Flipkart and Amazon are testing out the future of work, and are telling their employees to do their jobs from home. Read more

Edtech firms offer free access to their courses

Online education companies in India and globally are offering their paid programmmes to students — whether in school or pursuing higher education — free of cost because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Beginning Thursday, online learning giant Coursera said it is going to provide every impacted university in the world free access to its course catalogue through ‘Coursera for Campus’ until July 31. Read more

Uncertainty around Coronavirus to keep cement prices stagnated: Experts

The uncertainty around the novel coronavirus’ impact on the construction sector is likely to keep cement prices flat in the upcoming months.
 
According to industry officials and sector analysts, although the effects of coronavirus aren’t felt in the construction sector yet, a prolonged crisis across business segments might affect the cement industry as well, and it is unlikely that prices will be increased under such volatility. Read more
 

Earnings dip after coronavirus may test corporate India's resilience

The next few months will test the financial resilience of Corporate India, as India Inc is staring at a sharp cut in revenue and earnings, thanks to a combination of the recent fall in commodity and energy prices, and lower demand for goods and services because of the economic disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak. Read more
 

Retail market could be set back by at least a quarter

India’s consumer and retail market could be set back by at least a quarter due to the coronavirus scare, top executives of companies have told Business Standard.
 
While supply-side concerns remain, the bigger worry for most companies is the impact on domestic demand, which has been weak for a few quarters now.
 
October-December 2019 saw the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) market report its lowest growth in six quarters, according to market research agency Nielsen. Read more

Foreign cruises banned from entering India

With Covid-19 coronavirus cases rising in India, entry of cruise ships from abroad into the country has been halted — effective Wednesday, says the central government order.
 
“Due to this, we (Mumbai port) have had to cancel 15 pre-booked cruises in the final leg of the season,” Yashodhan A. Wanage, deputy chairman of Mumbai Port, told Business Standard. Read more

Airlines, travel firms grapple with cancellation requests

The conundrum—to travel or not—is a common one as the virus spreads globally. Those with reservations face potentially steep losses for cancelling; those contemplating trips must weigh the risk of getting sick or being quarantined.
 
With the rapidly expanding outbreak up-ending travel across the globe, many airlines are waiving the fees typically charged to change or cancel a ticket. Read more

Impact of coronavirus outbreak a mixed experience for India's exporters

India’s exporters have had mixed experiences with their global clients after the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) — some sectors have seen a major decline in trade, while others are seeing clients queue up at their doorsteps looking for alternative sources to reduce their dependence on China. Read more

Schools, colleges shut till March 31 in Chhattisgarh

The Chhattisgarh government on Thursday declared holiday in schools and colleges till March 31 as a precautionary measure in view of the novel coronavirus outbreak in several parts of the country.
 
However, exams will be held as per schedule in these educational institutes. Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Thursday late evening chaired an emergency meeting of his cabinet colleagues and senior officials to review the preparedness to prevent any spread of the infection in the state, an official of the government's public relations department here said.
 
No confirmed coronavirus case has been reported so far in Chhattisgarh, where samples of 44 persons screened for possible exposure to the virus tested negative till Wednesday, health officials said.

Mark attendance through face, not biometrics: SPPU tells staff

The Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) on Thursday advised teachers and other staff to use face-recognition method to register attendance instead of contact-based biometric system to prevent spread of the coronavirus.
So far nine persons have tested positive for the coronavirus in the city.
 
"The attendance system is equipped with bio-metric as well as face-recognition systems. In view of COVID-19 outbreak, faculty and non-teaching staff have been advised to use face-recognition instead of biometric system," said a varsity official. 

British PM asks citizens with virus symptoms to self-isolate for a week

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson stepped up the response to the coronavirus outbreak on Thursday, moving to the so called "delay phase" which includes the option of more stringent measures designed to slow down the spread of the virus.
 
Stock markets tumbled across the world, with Britain's FTSE 100 down 10.9 per cent, its worst one-day performance since 1987. Sterling fell three cents against the dollar, the biggest fall since the 2016 Brexit vote.
At a meeting of Britain's emergency committee, known as COBR, Johnson decided to move to the so called "delay phase" from the "contain phase". Read More...

Coronavirus 'worst public health crisis for a generation': Boris Johnson

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday declared the coronavirus pandemic as the "worst public health crisis for a generation", as he announced that the UK would be moving to the next level of its fightback strategy to delay the peak of the virus outbreak to the warmer months.
 
He said that the scientific advice was not to shut down schools at this stage because it could do more harm than good, but that decision would remain under constant review. “This is the worst public health crisis for a generation,” said Johnson.

Seven more coronavirus suspects admitted to Nashik hospital

Seven persons with suspected coronavirus-like symptoms were admitted to the Nashik district civil hospital on Thursday.
With this, the number of persons admitted to the hospital for suspected exposure to the virus went up to 11.
 
Those who were admitted had returned from countries such as Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, Bhutan, Britain and US. Their throat swab samples have been sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune.

Future of Euro 2020, Champions League up in the air as UEFA calls crisis meeting

UEFA will hold a crisis meeting next week, European football's governing body announced on Thursday, as the coronavirus pandemic threatens to force the postponement of Euro 2020 and the ongoing Champions League.
 
A videoconference will be held "to discuss European football's response to the outbreak" next Tuesday "in the light of the ongoing developments in the spread of COVID-19 across Europe and the changing analysis of the World Health Organisation." The meeting will involve representatives from all 55 national associations and club and player bodies. UEFA later confirmed that next Tuesday's Champions League last 16, second legs between Manchester City and Real Madrid, and between Juventus and Lyon were postponed.

5,000-10,000 people could have COVID-19 in UK: Govt

Britain on Thursday said up to 10,000 people in the UK could be infected with the novel coronavirus, as it announced new measures to slow the spread of the pandemic.
 
Government chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance said there were currently 590 confirmed cases but it was "much more likely that we've got somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 people infected". 
 

US army might have brought coronavirus to Wuhan: Chinese official

A Chinese official on Thursday alleged that the US army might have brought coronavirus to Wuhan, amid war of words between the two countries over the rapid spread of the deadly virus across the world.
 
China's state-run Global Times on Thursday reported that US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield reportedly acknowledged some flu patients may have been misdiagnosed and actually had coronavirus.

16 Indian archers not competing as World Cup first stage in Guatemala cancelled

The first stage of 2020 Archery World Cup to be held next month in Guatemala City, where 16 Indians were to compete, was on Thursday cancelled due to the COVID-19 pendemic.
 
Tarundeep Rai, Jayanta Talukdar, Kapil and Dhiraj Bommadevara were to take part in recurve men while Baria Premilaben, Himani, Ridhi, Tisa Sancheti were to participate in recurve women in the World Cup scheduled to be held from April 20 to 26. Vedant Wankhede, Sukhbeer Singh, Mohan Bhardqaj, Harsh Parashar were the compound men archers who were to be represent India in the meet while Trisha Deb, Muskan Kirar, Markoo Raginee, Ashu made up the women's compound team.

Just In | Italy's coronavirus death toll tops 1,000: official

The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in Italy has jumped in the last 24 hours by 189 to 1,016, a rise of 23%, the Civil Protection Agency said on Thursday.
 
The total number of cases in Italy, the European country hardest hit by the virus, rose to 15,113 from a previous 12,462, an increase of 21.7%. That marked the biggest daily rise in absolute terms since the contagion first came to light on Feb 21.

Just In | India reports first Coronavirus death

A 76-yr-old man from Kalaburagi in Karnataka who died on Wednesday has been confirmed positive for coronavirus, report news agencies PTI and ANI quoting health department. Contact tracing, isolation other measures being taken. Telangana government has also been informed as he went to a hospital there, says ANI. 

The man had recently returned from Saudi Arabia. On his return, he was down with fever and took treatment at a private hospital. Later, on the advice of doctors or family he had gone to Hyderabad, Karnataka health minister said.

No coronavirus case found in Palghar: collector Palghar

As many as 28 persons who had recently returned from abroad have tested negative for the coronavirus in Maharashtra's Palghar district, a senior official said on Thursday.
 
Palghar Collector Kailas Shinde said 16 of these persons were residents of Vasai-Virar area while 12 were from rural parts of the district. Isolation wards have been set up in different hospitals in the district where upto 300 people can be quarantined, he said. 

US CDC reports 1,264 coronavirus cases, death tally of 36

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday reported 1,264 cases of the coronavirus, an increase of 277 cases from its previous count, and said that the number of deaths had risen by 7 to 36.
 
The agency said the cases have been reported by 42 states and the District of Columbia, up from its previous report of 38 states and the District of Columbia.

Major League Soccer suspending season over coronavirus

Major League Soccer announced a 30-day suspension of its season on Thursday as fears over the new coronavirus gripped sport across the United States.
 
A day after the NBA announced a suspension of the league after a player tested positive for the virus, MLS said in a statement it was following suit. "Major League Soccer has suspended match play for 30 days, effective immediately, as the league continues to assess the impact of COVID-19 with its medical task force and public health officials," the league said.

German national in Nagpur tests negative for coronavirus

A German woman who is kept under observation at a hospital here has tested negative for the coronavirus, a health official said on Thursday.
 
The 52-year-old woman, who arrived in Maharashtra for visiting the nearby Tadoba tiger reserve, tested negative. Another woman, who had traveled to Italy, also tested negative, said an official of the Government Medical College and Hospital. Both were under observation at GMCH and would be discharged soon, he added. The city has one confirmed coronavirus patient who is undergoing treatment at present.

Containment zones to be created to stop virus spread in Pune

The Pune district administration has decided to enforce "containment program" in the localities where confirmed cases of coronavirus infection were found, a senior official said here on Thursday.
 
The number of coronavirus patients in the city rose to nine earlier in the day with another person testing positive. "A containment zone will be enforced in three- kilometre radius from the place of stay of the patients who tested positive," said divisional commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar.

First COVID-19 case in AP as man who returned from Italy tests positive

A man who returned from Italy to Nellore last week tested positive for coronavirus, making it the first such case in Andhra Pradesh, the Medical and Health Department said here on Thursday.
 
The person developed dry cough and was admitted to the isolation ward in the government hospital at Nellore on his return from the European Nation on March 6.
 
"Tests on his blood samples at the virology lab in Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences in Tirupati confirmed positive for COVID-19," the Health department said in a release.

Road Safety World Series cancelled due to coronavirus outbreak

The Road Safety World Series, featuring cricket greats such as Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara, have been cancelled for the time being in view of the rising coronavirus threat in Maharashtra.
 
The organisers said the series have been called off for the safety of the players and the public. "In the interest of public safety and security, and following the advisory issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the organising body has unanimously agreed to reschedule the remaining matches of the series to a later date," a media release said.

Coronavirus: All schools in Uttarakhand to remain shut till March 31

R. Meenakshi Sundaram, Uttarakhand School Education Secretary says, all schools in the state to remain closed till 31st March in view of the Coronavirus pandemic. Educational institutes where examinations are being held to remain open till the examinations are underway.

Woman dies from coronavirus in first Guyana case

A woman who tested positive for the coronavirus in Guyana after arriving from the United States a week ago has died, health officials in the South American country announced Thursday.
 
The 52-year-old Guyanese woman, who traveled from New York, died on Wednesday, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Karen Gordon-Boyle said.
The woman's family has been quarantined and efforts were underway to trace passengers who traveled on the same flight.

Coronavirus: Flipkart offers work from home for employees with small children

Flipkart is offering its employees with small children to work from home and encouraging use of digital and video tools to ensure business continuity amid the global coronavirus outbreak.
 
Its group company PhonePe has also asked most employees to work from home (WFH) until further notice. The number of coronavirus cases continues to climb globally, with 74 cases being reported in India so far. Coronavirus, declared as a pandemic by World Health Organization, has claimed over 4,600 lives worldwide.

Norwegian Air to cut 4,000 flights, lay off half its employees - NRK

Norwegian Air will scrap 4,000 flights and temporarily lay off around half its employees, public broadcaster NRK reported on Thursday, citing unnamed sources.
 
Travel restrictions and falling demand due to the coronavirus outbreak are increasingly hurting the airline industry's ability to fly.

New virus slow to spread in Africa, but cases creep up

The new coronavirus has been slow to spread in Africa but cases are increasing on the continent, with South Africa reporting 17 confirmed infections Thursday, including its first transmitted locally.
 
Across Africa, 12 of the continent's 54 countries have registered COVID-19 cases, the most recent being Ivory Coast announcing one case. Algeria's president ordered all schools closed immediately on Thursday after the North African country saw its first death from the virus. Algeria has 25 cases so far.

AI cancels flights to Kuwait; curtails services to France, Spain, Italy

Air India on Thursday decided to cancel all flights to Kuwait till April 30 and curtail services to various countries, including Spain, France and Sri Lanka.
 
The move comes a day after the national carrier announced temporary suspension of its services to Rome, Milan and Seoul, amid the coronavirus pandemic that has triggered imposition of travel restrictions by various countries. An airline official said all flights operating to/ from Kuwait have been cancelled till April 30. Besides, the existing curtailment of services to Seoul (South Korea), Rome and Milan (Italy) has been extended till April 30.

US Capitol closing to public until April amid virus outbreak

Congress is shutting the Capitol to the public until April in reaction to the spread of the coronavirus, officials announced Thursday, a rare step that underscores the growing gravity with which the government is reacting to the viral outbreak.
 
In a statement, the House and Senate sergeants at arms said congressional office buildings and the Congressional Visitor Center, through which tourists enter the Capitol, were also being shuttered. In an email to lawmakers' offices, the sergeants at arms said the Capitol will be closed to all tours, including special ones led by House and Senate members and their aides.

Covid-19 scare: Kolkata shopping malls offer hand sanitisers to visitors

Major shopping malls in Kolkata are offering hand sanitisers to visitors to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus.
The cleaning workers of the shopping centres were on Thursday seen sanitising major points of human contact like handrails and lift switches at regular intervals.
 
The move comes after the West Bengal government advised people to avoid large gatherings even though no specific guideline was issued to the shopping malls.

1433 people put under surveillance for coronavirus in J-K: Govt

The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Thursday said 1,433 travellers and persons in contact with suspected coronavirus cases have been put under surveillance in the Union Territory, which has reported one positive case so far.
 
With the cases of coronavirus on the rise in the country, Financial Commissioner of the Jammu and Kashmir Health and Medical Education Department Atal Dulloo took stock of measures put in place to prevent the spread of the disease in the Union Territory (UT).

IIMA cancels March 21 convocation due to coronavirus scare

The Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA) has cancelled its annual convocation scheduled for March 21 owing to coronavirus scare.
 
In a statement on Thursday, the premier business school said the decision to cancel the convocation was taken in view of an advisory from the central government asking people to avoid large gatherings. No positive case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has been reported so far from anywhere in Gujarat.

There should be no ticket sales: Maharashtra health minister on IPL

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Thursday said if the BCCI approached it regarding the fate of IPL matches, the government's stand would be "there should be no ticket sales".
 
He was speaking to reporters here about the coronavirus situation in the state, where 14 persons are confirmed to have been infected so far. The Indian Premier League T20 cricket tournament is to start in Mumbai on March 29.

Just In | Canada PM working from home as wife tested for COVID-19: official

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife announced they were self-isolating on Thursday as she undergoes tests for the new coronavirus after returning from a speaking engagement with "mild flu-like symptoms".
 
Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau's symptoms have subsided since she got back from Britain on Wednesday, but as a precaution the prime minister "will spend the day in briefings, phone calls and virtual meetings from home," according to a statement.
 
Trudeau also cancelled a meeting with Canada's provincial and territorial leaders in Ottawa. 

Just In | Trump met Brazilian official who tested positive for Coronavirus

A close aide to Brazil’s president who attended a dinner with Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago over the weekend tested positive for coronavirus. Fabio Wajngarten, President Jair Bolsonaro’s communications secretary, had his diagnosis confirmed by a second test on Thursday, according to a statement from the presidential palace. 

Total positive cases in Maharashtra rise to 14: Health minister

Number of coronavirus positive cases in Maharashtra now 14: Health Minister Rajesh Tope

Coronavirus testing in US not geared for 'what we need' - National Institute of Allergy head

The top U.S. official on infectious diseases, Anthony Fauci, said on Thursday that people cannot get tests for the deadly coronavirus easily and the US testing system is not meeting the country's needs.
 
"The system is not really geared to what we need right now... That is a failing. Let's admit it," Fauci said. "The idea of anybody getting it easily the way people in other countries are doing it, we're not set up for that. Do I think we should be? Yes. But we're not."

Trump says didn't notify EU on ban because 'it takes time'

US President Donald Trump defended his decision to announce a suspension on arrivals from the EU without informing European governments, telling reporters on Thursday there wasn't enough time.
 
His remarks came after the presidents of the European Commission and European Council reacted with anger to the suspension Trump announced "unilaterally and without consultation" on Wednesday. The president conceded that the 30-day suspension targeting European countries in the EU Schengen visa-free area would have "a big impact" on the economy. 

Delhi govt writes to Centre for more COVID-19 testing labs in city

The Delhi government on Thursday requested the Centre to increase the number of testing laboratories for COVID-19 in the national capital as the city reported its sixth case of coronavirus.
 
Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain wrote to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan requesting him to increase the number of testing labs for COVID-19 in the city.
 
In Delhi, the facility of coronavirus sample testing has been made available at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and the National Centre for Disease Control.

China says its coronavirus peak over as cases drop to single-digit

China on Thursday said the peak of the novel coronavirus in the country is over but its success in controlling the deadly disease has become complicated due to a global surge in the COVID-19 cases.
 
In China, new cases keep declining and the overall epidemic situation remains at a low level, Mi Feng, a spokesperson for the National Health Commission (NHC), told the media here.

Leicester players show symptoms of coronavirus: Manager Brendan Rodgers

A number of Leicester players have shown symptoms of coronavirus and have been "kept away from the squad", manager Brendan Rodgers said on Thursday.
 
As it stands, a full Premier League programme is scheduled for this weekend, with third-placed Leicester due to travel to struggling Watford on Saturday, despite widespread cancellations of matches across Europe. The game between Manchester City and Arsenal on Wednesday was postponed as a "precautionary measure" after Olympiakos owner Vangelis Marinakis tested positive for coronavirus.