COVID-19: Italy Death Toll Reaches 3,405, Crosses China’s

Read all the latest news on coronavirus (COVID-19).

Updated19 Mar 2020, 11:40 PM IST
27 min read

Italy has become the country with the most coronavirus-related deaths, surpassing China by registering 3,405 dead.

The Delhi health department reported that the total number of coronavirus cases in national capital rose to 14 on Thursday, 19 March.

The United States on Thursday reported 10,000 positive cases of COVID-19 and 150 deaths, reported AFP.

Indian National Congress spokesperson Ajay Maken on Thursday, 19 March said that the Congress party will support the government's efforts to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday imposed a “janata” curfew on 22 March from 7 AM to 9 PM to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

  • Total cases in India stand at 173
  • India’s death toll rises to 4 on Thursday
  • MEA on Thursday confirmed the death of one Indian in Iran due to COVID-19
  • Mumbai’s ‘Dabbawalas’ have suspended their services till 31 March
  • The global death toll from COVID-19 has crossed 9,000, with over 200,000 infections
7:31 PM, 18 Mar

First Two Coronavirus Related Deaths Confirmed in Pakistan

The first two COVID19 related deaths were recorded in Pakistan, ANI reports.

"Sad to report one patient who passed away in Mardan," Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Minister Taimur Khan Jhagra tweeted late Wednesday night.

Within two hours after the tweet, Jhagra again announced that a second coronavirus death was also reported from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

The minister tweeted that the patient, a 36-year old person from Hangu district, died in a hospital in Peshawar.

7:31 PM, 18 Mar

Schools in UK to Be Closed From Friday

Schools in the United Kingdom will be closed from Friday, 20 March, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, AFP news agency reports.

7:31 PM, 18 Mar

7 More Cases Confirmed in Telangana, All Indonesian Nationals

Seven more COVID19 cases have been confirmed in Telangana, ANI reports. All the patients are Indonesian nationals and have been kept in isolation wards, according to the Government of Telangana.

7:31 PM, 18 Mar

IIT Delhi Requests Most Students to Vacate Hostels

IIT Delhi has requested all remaining students (except international students and students with special needs) to vacate the hostels at the earliest. Hostels will function with skeleton staff & packed food will be provided for remaining students, reported ANI, quoting IIT Delhi.

7:48 PM, 18 Mar

Indian Embassy in the US Releases Updated Advisory for Indian Students

The Indian embassy in the United States released an updated advisory for Indian students in the country in view of COVID19 pandemic, ANI reported.

7:59 PM, 18 Mar

Italy reports 475 new deaths, France Reports 89

Italy reports 475 new deaths, highest one-day toll of any nation. France reports 89 new deaths. Death toll in United Kingdom jumps to 104, reports AFP news agency.

8:39 PM, 18 Mar

Assam Shuts All Bars, Salons and Beauty Parlours

Assam shuts all bars, salons and beauty parlours with immediate effect.

COVID-19: Italy Death Toll Reaches 3,405, Crosses China’s
(Photo: The Quint)
9:02 PM, 18 Mar

Emergency USD 100 Billion Aid Package Clears US Congress

Emergency USD 100 billion COVID-19 aid package has cleared the US Congress, AFP news agency reports.

9:06 PM, 18 Mar

Israel Closes Borders to Foreign Nationals Amid Coronavirus Scare

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement, said, “Pursuant to recommendations from the Ministry of Health, as of today entry into Israel by foreign nationals will not be permitted, even if they have proven the ability to stay in quarantine,” ANI reported.

9:09 PM, 18 Mar

AIIMS, Safdarjung Hospital Postpone Non-Urgent OPD Appointments, Surgeries

Amid rising cases of COVID-19 in the national capital, the AIIMS administration will urge its OPD patients to postpone their appointments at the hospital if they are not urgent in nature, PTI reports.

The Safdarjung Hospital has also decided to cancel all elective surgeries with immediate effect and until further orders.

10:44 PM, 18 Mar

SC Further Restricts Its Functioning, Only 5 Benches to Function From Thursday

The Supreme Court on Wednesday, 18 March, decided to further restrict its functioning due to coronavirus pandemic and announced that only five benches will function from Thursday, PTI reported.

According to court officials, only urgent cases which have been directed for listing will be taken up for hearing by the benches.

Earlier in the day, the office bearers of the Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association interacted with secretary general of the apex court and urged him to issue a circular to ensure that only urgent matters are mentioned by lawyers.

10:53 PM, 18 Mar

Indian Carriers May Ground 150 Planes; Stare at Quarterly Loss: Report

All Indian airlines will report significant losses in the first quarter of this year and may initially ground around 150 planes as the shock from the coronavirus pandemic will be "far deeper and much longer", according to a report.

Aviation advisory firm CAPA India on Wednesday said consolidated losses are estimated to be in the range of USD 500-600 million for the quarter, excluding Air India.

In a report, it said that some airlines may choose to temporarily shut down their operations by design on the basis that demand is so low that such action would result in reduced losses than if they continue to operate.

As per the report, even before COVID-19 (coronavirus) appeared on the scene, most Indian carriers already had very strained balance sheets and almost no liquidity.

11:06 PM, 18 Mar

Army Suspends War Games, Training Activities

The Indian Army reported its first case of coronavirus after a 34-year-old soldier of Ladakh Scout regiment tested positive, prompting the force to strengthen its check and prevention mechanism and suspend war games and training activities, as the total number of cases rose to 151 in the country on Wednesday, PTI reported.

2:08 AM, 19 Mar

COVID-19: 23-Year-Old Woman Tests Positive in Chandigarh

A 23-year-old woman has tested positive for COVID-19 in Chandigarh on Thursday, 19 March. She has a travel history to the United Kingdom, ANI reported.

2:10 AM, 19 Mar

China Reports No New Domestic Virus Cases for First Time, but 34 Imported

China on Thursday, 19 March, reported no new domestic cases of the coronavirus for the first time since it started recording them in January, but recorded a spike in infections imported from abroad, AFP reported.

There were 34 cases that were brought in from abroad, the biggest daily increase in two weeks, according to the National Health Commission.

2:43 AM, 19 Mar

Two Members of US Congress Test Positive for COVID-19

Two US lawmakers on Wednesday, 18 March, were confirmed positive of the coronavirus as the number of deaths due to the virus crossed 150 in America, while about 10,000 people have been infected.

2:55 AM, 19 Mar

Allahabad HC Directs Govt Not to Initiate Any Recoveries or Demolition Till 6 April

The Allahabad High Court on Thursday, 19 March, directed the Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary, all District Magistrates of the state and financial institutions not to proceed with any recovery or demolition till 6 April in view of coronavirus, ANI reported.

3:30 AM, 19 Mar

50 International Flights, 34 Domestic Flights Cancelled at Chennai Airport

50 international flights and 34 domestic flights have been cancelled at Chennai Airport due to COVID-19, ANI reported.

3:38 AM, 19 Mar

US President Donald Trump Signs Emergency Coronavirus Relief Bill Into Law

US President Donald Trump has signed a multi-billion dollar emergency coronavirus economic relief bill, hours after it was passed by the US Senate, ANI reported.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which was passed by a vote of 90-8 in the US Senate, provides for free testing of COVID-19, insurance, paid leave for those diagnosed with of caring for someone affected by the virus.

3:45 AM, 19 Mar

Western Railway Local Trains See Commuter Count Drop by 8 Lakh

The number of commuters on suburban trains of the Western Railway (WR) reduced by over 8 lakh on Tuesday, the day Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray appealed to people to avoid non-essential travel in view of the coronavirus outbreak in the state. PTI reported.

According to WR, on Tuesday 32.60 lakh passengers travelled on their suburban trains as against 40.75 lakh on Monday.

3:51 AM, 19 Mar

Ensure Undertrial Prisoners Are Not Physically Summoned: Allahabad HC

The Allahabad High Court on Thursday, 19 March, said all efforts should be made to ensure that the undertrial prisoners are not physically summoned in District Courts, according to ANI.

“District judges shall ensure that remand/required judicial work be conducted through video conferencing, wherever possible.”
Allahabad HC 
3:59 AM, 19 Mar

Number of Positive Cases at 169 in India: Health Ministry

The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases rose to 169 in the country on Thursday, 19 March, according to the Health Ministry.

There have been three deaths in the country due to COVID-19 so far.

COVID-19: Italy Death Toll Reaches 3,405, Crosses China’s
4:28 AM, 19 Mar

84 More Trains Cancelled Due to Coronavirus

The Indian Railways cancelled 84 more trains, taking the total number of cancelled trains to 155 on Thursday, 19 March, PTI reported.

“Trains to remain cancelled from 20-31 March in view of coronavirus. All passengers having tickets in cancelled trains are being informed about it individually.”
Railway Officials
4:30 AM, 19 Mar

COVID-19: ISKCON Temple Closed in Noida

ISKCON Temple (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) in Sector 33 on Uttar Prdesh’s Noida has been closed for devotees from Thursday, 19 March till 31 March due to COVID-19, ANI reported.

4:40 AM, 19 Mar

Two Women test Positive for COVID-19 in Mumbai

Two women tested positive for coronavirus in Mumbai on Thursday, taking the total number of cases in Maharashtra to 47, PTI reported quoting officials.

A 22-yr-old woman has travel history to United Kingdom, while one more person, a 49-year-old woman from Ulhasnagar, has travel history to Dubai, ANI reported.

4:47 AM, 19 Mar

'Home Quarantine' Stamping Begins at Bengaluru Airport

'Home quarantine' stamping with indelible ink for international passengers has started at Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru, ANI reported. The stamp indicates last day of quarantine.

COVID-19: Italy Death Toll Reaches 3,405, Crosses China’s
(Photo: ANI)
4:51 AM, 19 Mar

GoAir Withdraws Notification on Suspension of Flights to Mizoram

GoAir has decided to withdraw a notification on suspension of all flight operations to Mizoram amid the coronavirus scare and will continue services due to “public appeal,” PTI reported quoting officials.

5:05 AM, 19 Mar

ICSE, ISC Board Exams Postponed Due to Coronavirus: Officials

The Council for Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) on Thursday announced changes in its evaluation guidelines for ICSE board exam in view of the coronavirus outbreak, saying work will be decentralised and examiners will mark the answer scripts at their respective residences, reported PTI.

5:23 AM, 19 Mar

One Person Tests Positive in Karnataka's Kodagu

One person has tested positive for coronavirus in Karnataka’s Kodagu on Thursday, 19 March, ANI reported quoting state Health Minister B Sriramulu.

“He has returned from Dubai on 15 March to Kempegowda international Airport Bangalore and travelled to Kodagu by bus on same day. He was admitted to designatedisolation hospital at Kodagu on 17 March and sample collected same day,” said the Minister.

Sources told The Quint that several passengers with the patient in the KSRTC bus had booked their ticket in advance. The government has issued an advisory asking people to report if they had traveled in this bus.

COVID-19: Italy Death Toll Reaches 3,405, Crosses China’s
(Photo: Sourced by The Quint)
5:28 AM, 19 Mar

Second Person Tests Positive for Coronavirus in Andhra Pradesh

One person has tested positive for COVID-19 in Andhra Pradesh, the state health department said.

“The person had returned from England on Sunday. This is the second confirmed case in the state,” the health department added.

5:36 AM, 19 Mar

826 Random Samples Test Negative, No Community Transmission Yet: ICMR

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has ruled out community transmission of COVID-19 based on random testing on random samples. It has said that out of the 826 samples tested, none of them have been positive so far, according to ANI.

6:13 AM, 19 Mar

Maharashtra CM in Touch With Indian Consulate in Singapore to Rescue Stranded Students

Maharashtra Chief Minister's Office on Thursday, 19 March, said CM Uddhav Thackeray is in touch with the Indian Consulate in Singapore to bring students stranded there to Mumbai, ANI reported.

6:23 AM, 19 Mar

24-Year-Old Woman Tests Positive, First Confirmed Case in Chhattisgarh

A 24-year-old woman, who returned to Raipur in Chhattisgarh from London on Sunday, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, ANI reported quoting health officials.

This is the first confirmed COVID-19 case in Chhattisgarh.

6:26 AM, 19 Mar

128 People Home Quarantined in Uttarakhand to Contain COVID-19

128 people have been home quarantined, in order to control the spread of coronavirus in Uttarakhand, ANI reported quoting state health department.

6:32 AM, 19 Mar

Two Immigration Officers Sent to 12-Day Home Quarantine in Kolkata

Two immigration officers at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata have been sent to 12-day home quarantine.

Both the officers were present at the counter during the clearance of an 18-yr-old youth who has been tested positive for COVID-19.

6:39 AM, 19 Mar

HCL Technologies Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19 in Noida

IT major HCL Technologies’ employee in Noida has tested positive for coronavirus while he was in self-isolation after his return from international travel, ANI reported quoting the company.

“Our office is following all government and heath advisory protocols.”
HCL Technologies
6:53 AM, 19 Mar

COVID-19: PIL in SC Seeks Removal of Mass Gatherings at Delhi's Shaheen Bagh

A PIL (Public interest litigation) has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking a direction for immediate removal or dispersal of mass gatherings from Delhi's Shaheen Bagh in view of coronavirus, ANI reported.

6:58 AM, 19 Mar

'PM Modi's Address to Nation on COVID-19 is Very Important': AR Chowdhary

Congress leader AR Chowdhary on Thursday, 19 March, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the nation on the coronavirus pandemic is “very important” as “people are scared,” ANI reported.

“I had always appealed to the PM to address the nation either in Parliament or directly to the people. I also request him to provide relief to students stranded in foreign countries.”
AR Chowdhary, Congress Leader
7:01 AM, 19 Mar

168 Individuals Confirmed Positive for COVID-19 in India: ICMR

The ICMR on Thursday, 19 March, said 168 individuals have been confirmed positive in India among the possibly infected cases and contacts of known positive cases.

COVID-19: Italy Death Toll Reaches 3,405, Crosses China’s
7:04 AM, 19 Mar

'We Are Fighting a War Against COVID-19': Uddhav Thackeray

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday, 19 March, said "We are fighting a war against coronavirus," adding that all precautionary measures have to be taken to avoid unnecessary travelling.

“The situation is not critical but it is worrisome. People shouldn’t step out of their homes.”
Uddhav Thackeray, Maharashtra Chief Minister 
7:20 AM, 19 Mar

Mumbai's 'Dabbawalas' Suspend Services Till 31 March

Mumbai's 'Dabbawalas' have suspended their services from 20 March till 31 March, in the wake of coronavirus outbreak, ANI reported.

7:22 AM, 19 Mar

Two More Persons Test Positive for COVID-19 in Lucknow

Two more persons have tested positive for coronavirus in Lucknow on Thursday, 19 March, taking the total number of cases to five, ANI reported.

“All the patients are stable,” COVID-19 isolation ward in-charge at King George's Medical University Sudhir Singh was quoted by ANI as saying.

7:23 AM, 19 Mar

UGC Directs Universities to Postpone All Exams Till 31 March

The University Grants Commission has instructed universities to postpone all exams and suspend evaluation work till 31 March, PTI reported.

7:31 AM, 19 Mar

All Delhi Schools to be Shut for Teaching & Non-Teaching Staff: Delhi Govt

All schools in Delhi to be closed till 31 March for teaching and non-teaching staff , the Delhi government said.

The government has instructed teachers to do evaluation work for annual exams from home. The board exams' evaluation has been suspended.

8:05 AM, 19 Mar

Mumbai's Haji Ali Dargah to Remain Closed Till Further Orders

The Haji Ali Dargah in Mumbai will remain closed till further orders, in wake of the coronavirus, ANI reported.

COVID-19: Italy Death Toll Reaches 3,405, Crosses China’s
8:05 AM, 19 Mar

Number of Positive Cases Rises to 49 in Maharashtra

The total number of positive cases rose to 49 in Maharashtra on Thursday, 19 March, ANI reported quoting Minister of Public Health and Family Welfare Rajesh Tope.

8:14 AM, 19 Mar

SEBI Gives 45-Day Extension to Companies for Filing Q4 Results

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has given 45-day extension to companies for filing Q4 results and one month more for filing FY20 results due to coronavirus pandemic, PTI reported.

8:16 AM, 19 Mar

MEA to Brief Media About COVID-19 at 4 pm Today

The Ministry of External Affairs will brief the media about the coronavirus pandemic at 4 pm in Delhi on Thursday, 19 March, ANI reported.

8:26 AM, 19 Mar

COVID-19: IndiGo Announces Pay Cut for All Employees

IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta has announced a pay cut for all employees and will himself take a 25 percent cut in salary, PTI reported.

8:29 AM, 19 Mar

COVID-19: PM to Hold Video Conference With CMs & Health Ministers Tomorrow

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will talk with the chief ministers and health ministers of all states in a video conference on Friday, 20 March, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said.

9:05 AM, 19 Mar

Western Railway to Suspend AC Local Services in Maharashtra Till 31 March

AC local services on Western Railway in Maharashtra will be cancelled from Friday, 20 March and will be replaced by non-AC suburban services, till 31 March, ANI reported quoting Public Relations Officer (PRO) of Western Railway.

9:09 AM, 19 Mar

Samajwadi Party Cancels All Programmes Till 22 April

Samajwadi Party has cancelled all party programmes, including Cycle Yatra on 23 March, ANI reported quoting party chief Akhilesh Yadav.

“The party programmes will now be held starting 22 April. I appeal to party workers to remain home and connected through phones.”
Akhilesh Yadav, Samajwadi Party President
9:21 AM, 19 Mar

50% of Group B & C Employees Must Attend Office Every Day: Ministry of Personnel

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, the Union Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions on Thursday, 19 March, said 50 percent of Group B and C employees are required to attend office every day, and the remaining 50 percent of staff should be instructed to work from home.

“Working hours of the employees should be altered.”
Union Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions
10:03 AM, 19 Mar

Russia Reports First COVID-19 Death

Russia registered the first death of a patient infected with COVID-19 on Thursday, an elderly woman who had been hospitalised in Moscow, reported AFP, quoting health officials.

The 79-year-old, who had tested positive, was hospitalised on 13 March and had several other conditions including diabetes and heart problems, the Moscow health department said in a statement.

10:11 AM, 19 Mar

SpiceJet Airlines Suspends International Operations

SpiceJet Airlines on Wednesday announced in a statement that it is suspending all its international operations from 21 to 30 April, reported PTI, quoting sources

“We are forced to temporarily suspend a majority of our international operations from 21 March till 30 April. We will resume the suspended flights as soon as the situation normalises ,” they said in a statement.

“Our Kolkata-Dhaka flight will continue to operate as per schedule. Our Chennai-Colombo flight will restart from the 25 March while our Delhi-Dubai and Mumbai-Dubai flights will resume from 16 April,” the statment read.

10:13 AM, 19 Mar

Maharashtra: Police to Take Action Against Those Violating Quarantine

Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said on Thursday that the police has been asked to take action against those who violate the mandatory quarantine amid the coronavirus outbreak in the state, reported PTI.

"There have been complaints of people who are under mandatory quarantine period violating the norms and going out in public. I have asked the police to initiate action against them under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897," the minister said.

10:18 AM, 19 Mar

Puri Jagannath Temple Closed for Visitors Amid Novel Coronavirus Scare

The Shree Jagannath Temple will be closed for visitors till March 31 with effect from Friday, in view of the coronavirus scare, reported PTI, quoting officials.

“Servitors, however, will be allowed to perform rituals inside the shrine,” said, Krishan Kumar chief administrator.

"Darshan by devotees inside the temple will remain suspended from tomorrow till March 31. However, the rituals inside the temple will continue. Only the servitors can enter the temple premises to perform the rituals," he added.

10:21 AM, 19 Mar

Punjab to Suspend Public Transport From 20 March Midnight

Punjab government on Thursday announced suspension of public transport services from Friday, 20 March midnight, besides restricting public gatherings to less than 20 in the state amid the coronavirus pandemic, reported PTI.

It has also decided to shut marriage palaces, hotels, restaurants, banquets and dining places, except home delivery services and takeaways in the entire state.

“Public transport buses, tempos and auto rickshaws will be suspended from the midnight of Friday,” Local Bodies minister Brahm Mohindra.

10:26 AM, 19 Mar

Section 144 Imposed Kodagu District After Positive Case

Section 144 (3) of CrPC Act has been imposed in Kodagu district of Karnataka in the interest of public safety till 31 March, after one person tested positive for COVID-19 in the district today, ANI reported quoting Kodagu Deputy Commissioner

“All hotels, lodges, resorts, and home-stays in the district will remain closed," he added."

10:32 AM, 19 Mar

Hotels in Nainital to Remain Closed Till 31 March

Hotels in Nainital will remain closed till 31 March as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The decision for shutting down the hotels was taken by the Nainital Hotel and Restaurant Association in view of the coronavirus threat, NHRA president Dinesh Sah said. The hotels will be closed from 20 March.

10:37 AM, 19 Mar

Section 144 in Raipur Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

Section 144 (3) of CrPC Act has been imposed in Raipur and other municipal corporation areas in Chhattisgarh to prohibit large gatherings and to avoid the spread of the novel coronavirus, reported ANI quoting, Bhupesh Baghel, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister.

10:45 AM, 19 Mar

Odisha Churches Suspend Sunday Mass

Churches in Odisha have decided to suspend Sunday mass till 31 March as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus outbreak, reported PTI.

The Odisha Baptist Church in Cuttack, one of the largest in the state, and the Church of Christ in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday decided to put all activities on hold in view of the outbreak.

10:54 AM, 19 Mar

EU Brexit Negotiator Tests Positive for COVID-19

European Union’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier on Thursday, announced that he tested positive for COVID-19, reported AFP.

10:58 AM, 19 Mar

Vegetable Markets in Haryana to be closed to 31 March Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

All farmer, vegetable markets shall remain closed in Haryana till 31 March to avoid large gatherings in view of the novel coronavirus outbreak, reported ANI, quoting Haryana State Agricultural Marketing Board order.

11:03 AM, 19 Mar

Chennai Reports Third COVID-19 Positive Case

A third positive case of COVID-19 was announced in Tamil Nadu by the Health Minister C Vijayabaskar on 19 March, Thursday

The patient is a 21-year-old student from Dublin, Ireland. On his arrival on Tuesday at Chennai, he was screened and home quarantined.

11:04 AM, 19 Mar

Nearly 11,000 COVID-19 Cases in Germany Reported

Germany recorded 10,999 cases of the novel coronavirus, official data showed on Thursday, with the number of new reported infections rising by 2,801 in a single day, reported AFP.

Twenty people have died from the viral infection, data from the disease control agency Robert Koch Institute (RKI) showed.

North Rhine-Westphalia remains the worst-hit state, with 3,033 COVID-19 cases, up 661 from a day ago.

11:09 AM, 19 Mar

Central Railway Cancels 30 Outstation Trains Till 1 April

The Central Railway has cancelled 30 outstation trains till 1 April, citing low occupancy due to the coronavirus outbreak, reported PTI, quoting an official on Thursday.

“These trains are cancelled mainly due to low occupancy, as people have been advised to avoid non-essential travel during the pandemic,” a Central Railway spokesperson said.

11:12 AM, 19 Mar

Rlys Suspends Concessional Tickets Except for Patients, Students, Divyangjan From 20 March

The Indian Railways decided on Thursday to suspend all concessional tickets except for patients, students and those in the Divyangjan category from the midnight of 20 March till further notice to discourage unnecessary travel in view of the novel coronavirus outbreak, reported PTI.

Of the 53 categories of concessions, only 15 can be availed.

11:16 AM, 19 Mar

Gujarat Introduces Wrist Bands for COVID-19 Suspects in Home Quarantine

The Gujarat government said on Thursday that those undergoing 14-day home quarantine for suspected coronavirus infection will have to wear a coloured wrist band, reported PTI.

"In some states such persons are stamped on their hands," he said, referring to the practice in Maharashtra.

"On the same lines, we have decided to put coloured bands on the wrists of suspected patients who are under 14-day home quarantine upon return from abroad," Patel told the Assembly during a discussion on the coronavirus.

"People can report to the authorities if they spot anybody with this band on the wrist in public," he added.

11:22 AM, 19 Mar

Mumbai's Haji Ali, Mahim Dargahs Closed for Devotees Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

No entry will be allowed to devotees at the landmark Haji Ali Dargah as well as the Mahim Dargah in Mumbai in view of the novel coronavirus epidemic, reported PTI.

11:26 AM, 19 Mar

Indian Army Imposes Ban on Foreign Travel for All Army Personnel

Amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, the Indian Army on Thursday imposed a ban on foreign travel including those for private visits, for all Army personnel till further orders.

11:36 AM, 19 Mar

Global Death Toll From COVID-19 Tops 9,000

The novel coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 9,000 people across the globe, according to an AFP tally Thursday based on official sources.

A total of 9,020 deaths were recorded as of 1100 GMT, with 4,134 in Europe and and 3,416 in Asia, where the outbreak first emerged in China in December.

With 712 more deaths reported in the past 24 hours and a total of 90,293 cases, Europe is now the region where COVID-19 is spreading the most rapidly.

11:37 AM, 19 Mar

India Reports 4th Death from COVID-19 in Punjab

The sample of a 72-year-old man, who returned from Germany via Italy a fortnight ago and died at a hospital in Punjab's Nawanshahr district after severe chest pain, has tested positive for novel coronavirus, the Health Ministry confirmed on Thursday.

“The septuagenarian, who had diabetes and hypertension, tested positive after he died at the Banga community health centre on Wednesday.”
Jagat Ram, Director of Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER).

Health authorities did not confirm the exact cause of his death and there was no immediate confirmation from the Union Health Ministry either.

11:38 AM, 19 Mar

Train Services Between Banihal and Baramulla in J&K Suspended Till 31 March

Authorities suspended the train service in Kashmir till 31 March as a precautionary measure on Thursday in the wake of the detection of the first coronavirus case in the valley, reported PTI.

11:42 AM, 19 Mar

Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited Asked to Avoid Power Cuts for Easy Work-From-Home

Maharashtra Energy Minister Nitin Raut said on Thursday that he has asked the state power distribution company to ensure uninterrupted electricity for the convenience of those who are working from home, reported PTI.

With Maharashtra recording the highest number of coronavirus patients in the country (47 so far), the state government has asked private firms and organizations to allow employees to work from home or online till March-end.

12:08 PM, 19 Mar

No International Flights To Land in India from 22 March For 1 Week

The Press Information Bureau on Thursday, 19 March announced that scheduled international commercial passenger flights shall not be allowed to land in India from 22 March for a period of one week.

12:08 PM, 19 Mar

Govt Advises Children Below 10, Adults Above 65 to Stay at Home

All children below 10 are also advised to stay at home and not to venture out. Railways and civil aviation shall suspend all concessional travel except for students, patients and divyang category, announced the Press Information Bureau on Thursday.

State governments shall issue appropriate directions so that all citizens above 65 (other than for medical assistance) except for public representatives /govt servants/medical professionals are advised to remain at home.

12:19 PM, 19 Mar

Delhi Closes All Restaurants, Only Take Out and Delivery Allowed

The Delhi Government on Thursday decided to close restaurants in Delhi till 31March. Eating at restaurants will be prohibited but take away of foods or delivery of food will continue, reported ANI, quoting Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal

“20 or more people will not be allowed to gather at any place for social, cultural, religious, academics, seminars, conferences purposes in the state. Earlier, 50 or more people were not allowed to gather,” he added.

12:32 PM, 19 Mar

Delhi Police Will Not Conduct Drunken Driving Test Unless Someone Is Visibly Drunk

Amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, the Delhi Police on Thursday said it will not conduct drunken driving test unless someone is visibly drunk and driving recklessly, reported PTI.

They said no drunken driving checking will be conducted unless someone is visibly drunk and driving so recklessly as to endanger his/her or others' life.

12:39 PM, 19 Mar

Evaluation Work to Be Decentralised, Examiners Will Mark Answer Scripts at Respective Residences: CISCE

The Council for Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) on Thursday announced changes in its evaluation guidelines for ICSE board exam in view of coronavirus outbreak saying work will be decentralised and examiners will mark the answer scripts at their respective residences, reported PTI.

"Marking of answer scripts should take place at the residences of examiners during the allocated time period. Ahead of that, on day one, the chief examiner/co chief examiner/ examiner coordinator of an evaluation centre will meet all the examiners for a short time to discuss the marking scheme, give necessary instructions and to hand over the boxes containing the answer scripts to them," said Gerry Arathoon, Chief Executive and Secretary, CISCE.

12:40 PM, 19 Mar

Don't Have Tournaments, Trials Till 15 April: Sports Ministry Advises NSFS

The sports ministry on Thursday advised all national federations to refrain from conducting tournaments and selection trials till 15 April besides asking them to ensure that Olympic-bound athletes are isolated from anyone who is not a part of their training camp, reported PTI.

"All sport organisations and their affiliate units are advised against holding any sports events, including competitions or selection trials till 15 April," the ministry said in a letter to the Indian Olympic Association and NSFs, including the BCCI.

12:42 PM, 19 Mar

Punjab CM Wants Centre to Allow Corona Tests by Pvt Hospitals

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday warned of a worsening coronavirus crisis in the country and urged the Centre to allow private hospitals to conduct tests to ensure its access to all the people, reported PTI.

The chief minister also suggested to the Centre to distribute its over 20 million food stocks, stored in Punjab godowns, among the poor whose earnings have been hit due to coronavirus outbreak.

12:47 PM, 19 Mar

Kerala HC Directs Banks, IT, Financial Institutions to Defer Recovery Proceedings Till 4 April

In the backdrop of increasing coronavirus cases, the Kerala High Court on Thursday directed banks, financial institutions and Income Tax authorities to defer recovery proceedings till 4 April, reported PTI.

“Authorities dealing with GST, recovery of tax on motor vehicles and building tax have also been asked to stall recovery proceedings till 4 April,” said Justice Amit Rawal said in his order.

12:49 PM, 19 Mar

Eight Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 Reported in Ladakh

There are eight confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ladakh and the coronavirus reached the Union Territory through pilgrims who returned from Iran, the Home Ministry said on Thursday.

"Presently there are eight confirmed cases, which include one Army jawan in Ladakh. COVID-19 has reached Ladakh through the pilgrims who returned from Iran," a Home Ministry statement said.

12:56 PM, 19 Mar

Iran Death Toll Rises to 1,284

Iran on Thursday announced 149 new deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, raising the death toll to 1,284, reported AFP.

12:57 PM, 19 Mar

Pakistan Closes Wagah Border With India for Two Weeks Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

Pakistan announced on Thursday to close down Wagah border with India for two weeks as the number of coronavirus cases in Pakistan rise to 341, reported PTI.

It said the measure was taken to "prevent the spread of COVID-19, in the best interest of both countries."

Pakistan's western border with Iran and Afghanistan had already been closed to curb the spread of the deadly virus which had infected people in more than 150 countries.

1:01 PM, 19 Mar

6 Passengers With 'Home Quarantine' Stamp Deboarded From Train

Six Singapore-returned passengers with 'home quarantined' stamp on their hands were deboarded from the Gujarat-bound Saurashtra Express at Borivali station in suburban Mumbai on Thursday morning, reported PTI, quoting officials.

They were made to de-board after some of their co-passengers spotted the stamp on their hands and informed about it to the railway staff, the official said.

"The six passengers were travelling to Vadodara from Mumbai Central in the train. They had been stamped 'home quarantined' on the back of their left hand palms after their arrival at the airport from Singapore," a spokesperson of the Western Railway (WR) said.

1:04 PM, 19 Mar

Up to USD 200 Billion in Emergency Aid Needed for Airlines Amid Pandemic: IATA

Up to USD 200 billion is needed to rescue the world's airlines during the coronavirus crisis, the global aviation association said Thursday, appealing especially to African and Middle Eastern countries to provide emergency assistance, reported AFP.

"Support measures are urgently needed," the International Air Transport Association said in a statement, adding that "on a global basis, IATA estimates that emergency aid of up to $200 billion is required".

1:07 PM, 19 Mar

Spain Virus Death Toll Hits 767, 30 Percent Jump in 24 Hours

Spain on Thursday announced deaths due to the novel coronavirus had risen about 30 percent over the past 24 hours to 767, reported AFP.

A total of 17,147 people have contracted the disease in the country, a roughly 25 percent increase over the previous day, according to the health ministry, with the figure expected to rise further in the coming days as testing for COVID-19 becomes more readily available.

1:44 PM, 19 Mar

Uttarakhand Closes Shopping Malls Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

Shopping malls across Uttarakhand were closed on Thursday till 31 March in view of the novel coronavirus outbreak, reported PTI, quoting officials.

Multiplexes, schools and colleges have already been closed in the state by a decision taken by the state cabinet last week.

1:47 PM, 19 Mar

Himachal Pradesh Restricts Entry of All Tourist

In view of emergence of the positive case in Chandigarh and cases in neighbouring states, the Himachal Pradesh government on Thursday announced entry of tourist (domestic and foreign) will be be restricted to the state to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

1:50 PM, 19 Mar

Tirupati Balaji Temple to Be Shut for Devotees;

The famous hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara in Tirumala and all other major temples will be out of bounds for devotees while malls and cinema halls would be closed down in Andhra Pradesh till 31 March to check the spread of coronavirus, the state government announced on Thursday.

The restrictions would come into force from Friday, 19 March Deputy Chief Minister for Medical and Health A K K Srinivas (Nani) said briefing reporters here after a high-level meeting on COVID-19, chaired by Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy.

1:54 PM, 19 Mar

US-Based Art Fair Frieze, New York Cancelled

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the 2020 edition of Frieze New York, scheduled to be held on 7-10 May, now stands cancelled.

“In light of global health concerns regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus) and following advice and restrictions from local, national, international and health authorities, we regret to announce the cancellation of Frieze New York 2020,” organisers of the annual art fair announced in a statement.

1:58 PM, 19 Mar

60,000 Maha Prisoners to Undergo Health Check-Up

Amid the growing number of coronavirus cases in Maharashtra, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Thursday announced carrying out health check-up of some 60,000 prisoners in the state, reported PTI.

"New prisoners will be isolated for sometime before allowing them to mix with other prisoners,” Anil Deshmukh said.

2:05 PM, 19 Mar

One More Tests Positive for COVID-19 in Kerala

A person with travel history to Dubai has tested positive for COVID-19 in Kerala’s Kasargod district. Number of cases in the state rise to 28, reported ANI.

2:07 PM, 19 Mar

AMU Postpones All Exams Scheduled Till 2 April

The Aligarh Muslim University on Thursday postponed all university examinations scheduled till 2 April in view of the novel coronavirus pandemic, reported PTI.

The university has advised students residing in hostels to not panic and take every precaution while travelling to their home.

2:09 PM, 19 Mar

UP CM Appeals to People to Resort to Social Distancing

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday appealed to people to adopt social distancing as preventive and precautionary measure against the spread of coronavirus, reported PTI.

"I appeal to all to adopt social distancing and avoid going to crowded places to check spread of corona," the CM said.

2:14 PM, 19 Mar

Gujarat Govt Orders Closure of Major Temples

To stop the spread of the novel coronavirus in Gujarat, the state government on Thursday decided to close Somnath and Dwarkadheesh temples for devotees from 20 March, reported PTI.

2:55 PM, 19 Mar

Resolve and Patience Key in Combating COVID-19: PM Modi

In his address to the nation over the novel coroanvirus outbreak on Thursday, PM Modi made the following remarks:

“To deal with coronavirus, no definite solution has been found, nor has any vaccine produced.”

“A view has emerged in last few days that all is well, this mindset is not correct.”

“Social distancing extremely important and effective in reducing impact of coronavirus.”

“Every above 60 or 70 should not leave their homes.”

“I request all people in country to get out of house only when it is extremely necessary, try and do all work from home.”

“If possible, please call at least 10 people every day and tell them about the 'Janta Curfew' as well as the measures to prevent the outbreak."

“Postpone elective surgeries by a month, avoid routine check-ups to ease pressure on health services.”

“On 22 March at 5 pm, we should thank people like doctors, medical personnel, cleaning staff, for their service.”

“I appeal to all not to go into panic buying to store essential commodities. Steps are being taken to ensure that there is no scarcity of essential commodities.”

“Keeping in mind economic challenges arising out of coronavirus, government has decided to form COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force. The task force will remain in regular touch with all stakeholders, take their feedback and make decisions accordingly.”

3:09 PM, 19 Mar

CISF Personnel Asked to Undertake 'Minimum Touch' Approach at Airports

The CISF, that frisks lakhs of passengers at airports everyday, have asked its personnel to adopt a 'minimum touch' approach in view of the COVID-19 outbreak, officials said on Thursday, reported PTI.

The CISF personnel have also been asked to maintain a distance of 2.5 cm from passengers during frisking, they said.

3:19 PM, 19 Mar

Monaco's Prince Albert II Has Coronavirus, No Concern for His Health: Palace

Monaco's Prince Albert II has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the principality said in a statement on Thursday, adding there were "no concerns for his health", reported AFP.

The titular head of the Mediterranean enclave is continuing to work from his private apartments at the royal palace, the statement said.

3:29 PM, 19 Mar

Not Getting Much Help From Centre to Tackle COVID-19: WB CM

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday claimed that her government was not getting necessary assistance from the Centre for combating COVID-19 in the state and was dependent on its own resources to tackle the crisis.

"We are not getting enough help from the Centre. We are procuring necessary things by roping in self-help groups..." Banerjee stated.

Banerjee said her government will provide Rs 5 lakh insurance each to the 10 lakh government medical staff across the state till April 15.

"Please note shops, markets and departmental stores will remain open. If these places down shutters, how will people buy essentials? I will not allow hoarding of essential commodities and escalation of prices. We will take strong action against those who spread rumours," the CM added.

3:31 PM, 19 Mar

Uttarakhand Reports Two More Positive COVID-19 Cases

Two trainees at the Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy have tested positive for COVID-19. Both the trainees were part of a team that went to Spain and had recently returned, reported PTI.

3:33 PM, 19 Mar

Next Batch of Stranded Indians in Italy to Be Evacuated Over Weekend: MEA

The next batch of Indians stranded in coronavirus-hit Italy is expected to be evacuated over the weekend, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday, reported PTI.

“380 swab samples of Indian were brought back from Italy. Out of these, four have tested positive for coronavirus and the remaining 376 negative,” said Dammu Ravi, Additional Secretary in the MEA and the coordinator for the COVID-19.

3:35 PM, 19 Mar

Jhandewalan Temple to Remain Closed From 21 March

Delhi's Jhandewalan temple to remain closed from 21 March till further orders, in view of the novel coronavirus outbreak, reported PTI.

3:49 PM, 19 Mar

Over 160 Students Returning From Bangladesh Refuse to Undergo Isolation

Over 160 students, who were returning from Bangladesh amid coronavirus fear, allegedly refused to undergo isolation and created a ruckus at the airport, before they were brought under control and sent to a quarantine facility on Thursday, reported PTI, quoting police.

"At the same time, parents of these students also started protest outside arrival terminal of airport. Airport authority and the CISF then called in local police for resolution of the issue," he said.

"Police on the directions of the magistrate, using all restraint, dispersed the protestors and took cognizance of the incident. Students were later sent for quarantine at pre-designated locations by the district administration," the official added.

However, the students claimed that there were not enough arrangements at the airport for screening them and the arrival hall was so crowded that they were all at risk during their stay at the airport.

The students also alleged that some of the students belonging to influential families were allowed to go home, instead of being put in mandatory quarantine.

3:50 PM, 19 Mar

Med Teams at 108 Entry Points to Bengal to Screen Travellers

The West Bengal government has deputed medical teams at the 108 entry points to screen those entering the state in wake of the coronavirus outbreak, officials said on Wednesday, reported PTI.

Each of the medical teams, comprising 15-20 persons, will be working round the clock to screen those entering through these points, a senior official said.

3:57 PM, 19 Mar

Shopping Malls, Weekly Bazaars, Coaching Classes Closed in Goa

The Goa government on Thursday issued an order shutting down shopping malls and weekly bazaars in the state in view of the coronavirus threat, reported pTI.

Director of Health Service Jose A D'Sa issued the advisory in addition to the one issued last week which had ordered closure of cinema halls, swimming pools, casinos and some other establishments.

3:57 PM, 19 Mar

ICC Appeals Govt to Provide Relief to Businesses Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Paris on Thursday appealed to the government to provide relief measures to businesses and borrowers hit by COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, reported PTI.

The chamber's President Vikramjit Singh Sahney said OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) has estimated that dip in global growth may lead to recession, and India is already struggling with an economic slowdown.

4:00 PM, 19 Mar

Coronavirus Forces End of Playboy US Print Edition

Playboy is ending its US print edition after 66 years with the coronavirus forcing the men's lifestyle publisher to accelerate its move to digital.

4:03 PM, 19 Mar

Assam's Barpeta Dist Imposes Section 144

Stepping up measures against outbreak of novel coronavirus, the Barpeta district administration in Assam on Thursday imposed Section 144 of CrPC in the entire district and banned assembly of more than five persons, reported PTI.

4:05 PM, 19 Mar

PM Violating Law by Attending Parliament: Cong

The Congress on Thursday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to walk the talk and not pontificate, claiming that he was violating the law by attending Parliament despite his government urging citizens above 65 years to remain indoors by invoking the Epidemic Act.

4:06 PM, 19 Mar

NATO Expects Allies to Maintain Defence Spending Despite Virus

NATO expects its members to keep up defence spending despite the economic turmoil caused by coronavirus, the alliance chief said Thursday, insisting they must maintain the ability to defend themselves, reported AFP.

4:07 PM, 19 Mar

Spain Returnee Admitted to Bengal Hospital With COVID-19- Like Symptoms

A person who recently returned from Spain was admitted to the isolation ward of a state-run hospital in West Bengal's Siliguri with coronavirus-like symptoms, officials said on Thursday.

With this, the total number of persons admitted to the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital with coronavirus- like symptoms rose to seven, they said.

4:09 PM, 19 Mar

Mizoram Government to Use Force to Quarantine People

Invoking 'The Epidemic Diseases Act 1897', the Mizoram government has rolled out a set of regulations with the help of which it can use force to quarantine and isolate certain people to prevent the spread of coronavirus, officials said.

According to the regulations, any person, who returned from coronavirus affected states and countries in the past 28 days, must report to screening points and will have to put under home quarantine or isolated at a designated isolation facility, failing which he or she will be forced to be either quarantined at home or isolated at designated isolation centres.

4:16 PM, 19 Mar

Teaching and Non-Teaching Staff in Haryana to Work From Home

The Haryana government on Thursday asked all teaching and non-teaching staff in government and private schools of the state to work from home, reported PTI.

The state government has already ordered government and private schools in the state to remain closed till 31 March.

4:41 PM, 19 Mar

Timings of Delhi Govt's Free Disinfection Drive for Vehicles Extended

The Delhi government has decided to conduct its free coronavirus disinfection drive for public service vehicles the "entire day" from Friday in view of a large number of people requesting it, reported PTI.

Earlier, the drive was being carried out in two shifts–10 am to 12 pm and 4:30 pm to 6.30 pm –at all DTC and cluster depots.

4:35 PM, 19 Mar

Couple From Sweden, Woman From Spain Quarantined in Coimbatore

Four people, including a couple from Sweden and a woman from Spain, have been quarantined in two government hospitals here on Thursday after they showed symptoms of the coronavirus.

The couple from Sweden had arrived in Delhi on 16 March and came to Coimbatore on Wednesday, health department sources said.

As both, aged around 60, have suspected symptoms of the coronavirus, they were admitted to the Government ESI Hospital in a special ward, after taking their blood samples and swab.

4:50 PM, 19 Mar

Mideast Airlines Lose USD 7 Billion as Airports Shut to Combat Virus

Seven Middle Eastern countries have suspended all commercial flights due to a fast-spreading new virus as the aviation industry's largest trade association announced on Thursday that airlines in the region have already lost more than USD 7 billion in revenue, reported AFP.

4:51 PM, 19 Mar

TN CM Directs Closure of Places of Worship, Cuts Down Bus, Train Transportation

As part of steps to combat the coronavirus, Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Thursday ordered closure of important places of worship for darshan in Tamil Nadu including the famous Madurai based Meenakshi shrine besides curtailing inter-state services by buses and trains, reported PTI.

Directing shutting of large retail outlets with centralised air conditioning facility till 31 March, the Chief Minister advised private sector firms to take steps to allow their employees to work from home.

5:00 PM, 19 Mar

Four More Test Corona-Positive in Up, Number Rises to 19

Four more persons have tested positive for the coronavirus affliction, taking the total number of people confirmed corona cases in Uttar Pradesh to 19, a senior official said on Thursday, reported PTI.

The freshly confirmed corona-positive cases included two in Lucknow and one each in Noida and Lakhimpur, said Dr Vikasendu Agrawal, the state surveillance officer of the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP).

"As on March 19, total number of samples in UP found positive is 19 (Agra - 8, Ghaziabad - 2, NOIDA-4, Lucknow - 4, Lakhimpur-Kheri-1)," said Dr Agrawal, in a statement.

5:00 PM, 19 Mar

Govt Bans Export of Ventilators, Surgical/Disposable Masks

The government on Thursday banned export of all ventilators, surgical/disposable masks and textile raw material used for making masks and coveralls with immediate effect in wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

"The export of all ventilators, surgical/disposable masks only, and textile raw material for masks and coveralls only...has been prohibited, with immediate effect," the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification.

5:00 PM, 19 Mar

Carpets Removed From Mosques in Mumbai, Faithfuls Asked to Perform Namaz at Home

Taking precautions in the face of coronavirus threat, several Jama Masjids in Mumbai have taken measures such as stopping pre-namaz ablutions in common ponds, reported PTI.

Most of the Jama Masjids in the city have removed the`Kaleens' (Turkish carpets) from the premises so that floors can be disinfected properly before and after every namaz, said a cleric.

Many mosques have advised people not to perform `Wazu', or the ritual ablutions before the namaz, in the common ponds (Masjid Houd) but wash themselves at water taps on the premises.

The faithfuls can even perform Wazu at home before visiting the mosque for prayers, some religious leaders said.

5:07 PM, 19 Mar

Indian Doctors in UK Call for Non-Urgent Surgeries to Be Cancelled

Indian doctors in the UK on Thursday called on the UK government to take urgent steps to address the growing pressures on the state-funded National Health Service (NHS) by cancelling all non-urgent surgeries for greater focus on the fight against the rapid spread of COVID-19, which has claimed 104 lives across Britain, reported PTI.

The British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO), the UK's largest representative body for Indian-origin doctors, wrote to England's Chief Medical Officer (CMO) to express solidarity during the coronavirus pandemic crisis and said that Indian doctors stand “shoulder to shoulder” alongside other frontline healthcare workers but required adequate support.

5:11 PM, 19 Mar

No Official Meetings in Maharashtra Till Coronavirus Curbed

The Maharashtra government on Thursday decided to temporarily stop holding official meetings in view of the coronavirus outbreak, reported PTI.

A Government Resolution (GR) issued said if at all an urgent meeting is to be called, it should be ensured that sitting arrangement is made in such a way that officers and other staff members are at a safe distance from each other.

7:02 PM, 19 Mar

Italy Death Toll Reaches 3,405, Crosses China’s

Italy has become the country with the most coronavirus-related deaths, surpassing China by registering 3,405 dead, AP reported.

Italy reached the gruesome milestone on the same day the epicenter of the pandemic, Wuhan, China, recorded no new infections. Overall, China on Thursday counted 3,249 dead, 156 fewer than Italy, according to the Johns Hopkins University virus map.

Both Italy’s death toll and its new infections shot up again, adding 427 more dead and 5,322 more infections. Overall, Italy has recorded 41,035 infections, more than half of the world’s positive cases.

Italy’s health care system has been overwhelmed by the virus, and on Thursday a visiting Chinese Red Cross team criticized the failure of Italians to fully quarantine and take the national lockdown seriously.

7:07 PM, 19 Mar

France Reports 108 New Cases in 24 Hours

France has reported 108 new COVID-19 related deaths in the last 24 hours, reports AFP news agency.

We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated.

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Published: 18 Mar 2020, 07:33 PM IST

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