Follow live updates on Coronavirus pandemicScientists at Genome India propose study of Covid’s genetic dimensionIn Lutyens’ area, several central govt offices hit by CovidIf otherwise fit, blood cancer patients ‘usually survive Covid’: StudyCommunity spread fears in Andhra Pradesh, TelanganaTesting needed for ‘unlock’ would cost 2% of lockdown economic losses: studyPoaching for meat up during lockdown: reportCentre relaxes visa restrictions for foreigners, allows entry on select purposes

Coronavirus April 9 highlights: 549 COVID-19 cases, 17 deaths reported in last 24 hours in India, says Health Ministry

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Tracker India HIGHLIGHTS: A total of 549 cases and 17 deaths have been reported in India in the last 24 hours, the Union Health Ministry said in its latest briefing on the 16th day of the nationwide lockdown.

Coronavirus: A total of 549 COVID-19 cases and 17 deaths have been reported in India in the last 24 hours.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Tracker HIGHLIGHTS: With the number of novel coronavirus cases in India nearing 5900-mark, including 169 deaths, the central government Thursday approved a COVID-19 emergency package worth Rs 15000 crore for states. A total of 549 COVID-19 cases and 17 deaths have been reported in India in the last 24 hours, the Union Health Ministry said in its latest briefing on the 16th day of the nationwide lockdown. India has so far tested 1,30,000 samples.

Read live updates on the coronavirus pandemic here

Earlier today, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave the first clear signal that some restrictions are likely to continue after the 21-day lockdown period, Odisha became the first state to extend the lockdown till April 30 on Thursday. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also announced that schools in the state will remain closed till June 17 and said he will suggest the Central government to extend the nationwide lockdown till the same period.

On the international front, as many as 88,538 people have died and over 1.5 million positive cases have been reported so far. The United States recorded nearly 2,000 novel coronavirus deaths for the second day in a row, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. With this, America is now at 431,838 infections followed by Spain (148,220), Italy (139,422), France (113,982), Germany (113,296 ) and China (82,809). Click here to follow our complete coverage of the coronavirus pandemic

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Coronavirus latest news HIGHLIGHTS: Number of Covid-19 cases have reached 5,865 including 169 deaths; Some restrictions are likely to continue after the 21-day lockdown period; Globally, 88,444 people have died and over 1.5 million positive cases reported so far. Follow this LIVE blog in Malayalam Tamil

05:37 (IST)10 Apr 2020
UN chief Antonio Guterres urges divided Security Council to act on Coronavirus

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged members of the Security Council to come together to fight the global coronavirus outbreak, marking the first time the divided 15-nation body discussed the pandemic. “The engagement of the Security Council will be critical to mitigate the peace and security implications of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Guterres told council members in a closed-door video conference on Thursday.

“A signal of unity and resolve from the Council would count for a lot at this anxious time,” he said in a text released by his office. READ MORE

02:30 (IST)10 Apr 2020
Five wards account for 55 per cent COVID-19 positive cases in Mumbai

Five wards in Mumbai — Worli, Malabar Hill, Byculla, Bandra and Andheri — account for more than 55 per cent of coronavirus positive cases in the city, data released by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has found. As per the data, updated till April 8, the city recorded 695 positive cases and more than 40 deaths.

Mumbai has 24 administrative wards covering over 430 square kilometres from CST Fort, Colaba, in south Mumbai to Mulund in eastern suburbs and Dahisar in western suburbs. According to the data, G-south ward (Worli, Prabhadevi) alone has 26 per cent COVID-19 patients with 184 cases. In the last two days, more than 100 new cases of coronavirus have been found in Worli. It is followed by E-ward (Byculla, Agripada) with 64 cases, K-west (Andheri West, Vile Parle) with 47 cases, H-east (Bandra, Santacruz east) with 37 and D-ward (Grant Road, Malabar Hill) with five. These five wards alone have 384 positive cases, shows the civic body’s ward-wise data. READ MORE

01:50 (IST)10 Apr 2020
Amid lockdown, domestic helps unable to collect salaries; many running out of supplies

Over a week into the new month, several domestic workers in the city are yet to receive their monthly pay, even if their employers have assured to pay them in full for March.

Facing curbs on mobility amid the lockdown, many domestic helps have not been able to visit their employers to collect their pay and are facing a cash crunch. Their supplies have started to run out, and they need the money to buy essentials, said Eknath Mane, president of the Gharkamgar Molkarni Sangathana (GMS). READ MORE

00:11 (IST)10 Apr 2020
UK PM Boris Johnson moves out of intensive care

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has moved out of intensive care, Reuters quoted a spokesman saying on Thursday.

"The Prime Minister has been moved this evening from intensive care back to the ward, where he will receive close monitoring during the early phase of his recovery," the spokesman said.

22:52 (IST)09 Apr 2020
Delhi University postpones practical, written exams

The Delhi University on Thursday postponed practical and written exams till further notice. In a notification, it said the datesheets issued in the regard stand withdrawn and fresh dates will be notified soon.

The varsity has postponed exams of School of Open Learning, regular colleges and Non-Collegiate Women's Board (NCWEB).

The university is shut till April 14 in view of the nationwide lockdown. (PTI)

22:40 (IST)09 Apr 2020
Govt exempts customs duty, health cess on ventilators, surgical masks, PPEs and Covid-19 test kits

Centre has granted exemption from Basic Customs Duty and Health cess, on the import of the following goods, with immediate effect - ventilators, Face masks, surgical masks, PPEs, COVID-19 test kits, inputs for their manufacture. Exemption available up to 30th Sept 2020, reports ANI.

22:33 (IST)09 Apr 2020
Lockdown diary--Day 16

From a 90-year-old Mizoram woman donating her one month's pension to CM's Relief Fund to IITs, IISc developing mobile apps in order to fight the coronavirus, here is a list of interesting stories from across the country on Day 16 of the lockdown.

22:28 (IST)09 Apr 2020
Haryana doubles salary of doctors, nurses, other staff working in COVID-19 hospitals

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced to double the salary of doctors, nurses, paramedical and all other staff working in COVID-19 hospitals, ICU and isolation wards, ambulance drivers bringing corona positive patients etc.

Khattar made this announcement while presiding over the meeting held with the Chief Medical Officers of the State, District Ayurvedic Officers, Officers of Medical Education and Research Department and Directors of the Medical Colleges of the State, District Presidents of the Indian Medical Association through video conferencing here today.

21:58 (IST)09 Apr 2020
Amid lockdown, Goa denies entry to cruise ship

Denying permission to enter the Mormugo port, the Goa government Thursday asked a cruise liner to follow MHA guidelines pertaining to state lockdown.

Port Minister Michael Lobo later told reporters that the authorities are engaged in handling the situation, but currently due to the lockdown the vessel cannot be allowed to disembark in Goa.

The vessel is named MS Karnika, operated by Jalesh Cruises, had arrived at the Goa port from Mauritius on Thursday — and is reported to have many Goans, along with many other state natives. READ HERE

21:20 (IST)09 Apr 2020
Pakistan: Imran Khan warns situation 'can further deteriorate' as tally reaches 4,414

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has warned that the situation due to coronavirus pandemic "can further deteriorate" and "hospitals may not be able to cope" with the increasing number of COVID-19 patients, as authorities on Thursday reported 340 new cases, taking the tally to 4,414, news agency PTI reported.

21:00 (IST)09 Apr 2020
ICMR updates its testing strategy

The India Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has revised its testing strategy for Covid-19.

Under the new strategy, ICMR states 'asymptomatic direct and high-risk contacts of a confirmed case should be tested once between days 5 and day 14 of coming in his/her contact'.

More details:

(Source: ANI)
20:47 (IST)09 Apr 2020
Visuals from across the world

Some visuals from across the world:

A medical staff member rests leaning against a wall in an intensive care unit, where patients suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are treated, at the Santa Maria hospital in Lisbon, Portugal April 9, 2020. (Reuters)
Sailors transport a patient across the brow to be admitted aboard the hospital ship USNS Mercy, deployed as a referral hospital for non-COVID-19 patients currently admitted to shore-based hospitals, in Los Angeles, California, US April 6, 2020. (Reuters)
Travellers are seen inside Hankou Railway Station after travel restrictions to leave Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province and China's epicenter of the novel coronavirus disease outbreak, were lifted. (Reuters)
A health worker disinfects face masks in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, April 8, 2020. (AP)

20:29 (IST)09 Apr 2020
Wearing masks mandatory in Rajasthan

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has made it mandatory for citizens to wear masks in all urban areas of the state. There are 196 urban regions (Nagar Nigam, Nagar Palika or Nagar Parishad) in Rajasthan.

20:06 (IST)09 Apr 2020
2020 could see worst global economic fallout since Great Depression: IMF

Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has claimed thousands of lives around the world, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva Thursday said that due to the pandemic, the year 2020 could see the worst global economic fallout since the Great Depression in the 1930s with over 170 countries likely to experience negative per capita income growth. More details here.

19:50 (IST)09 Apr 2020
Lockdown, Day 16: At a glance
Here are some visuals from across the country.

Sector 08, Noida wore a deserted look after it was sealed by the UP government on Wednesday.
Under Hindmata flyover in Mumbai's Parel on Thursday.
On the banks of River Yamuna, New Delhi on Thursday 
A young boy out for a swim in River Yamuna, New Delhi
A deserted market yard in Pune
19:26 (IST)09 Apr 2020
Covid-19 pandemic hangs over India's future like a 'spectre': RBI

With the nationwide lockdown and the global slowdown adversely impacting economic activity, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Thursday stated that risks around inflation projections appear balanced at this juncture but “COVID-19 hangs over the future like a spectre”. In its Monetary Policy Report, the RBI observed the ongoing lockdown and expected contraction in global outlook would weigh heavily on the growth outlook. Click here for more details.

19:22 (IST)09 Apr 2020
Coronavirus in India: Here's what happened today

Here's what happened today

-COVID-19 death toll rises to 169, no. of cases climbs to 5,865 in India

-Centre sanctions Rs 15,000 cr COVID-19 emergency package for states.

-No need to panic over availability of PPE, says Health ministry.

-COVID-19 pandemic hangs over India's future like a 'spectre', says RBI

-Third death in Dharavi, Chhattisgarh reports seven new cases

-Kerala CM writes to Modi, highlights plight of Indian migrants in UAE

-Covid-19 cases in Jammu and Kashmir mount to 184.

18:47 (IST)09 Apr 2020
PM Modi, S. Korea president discuss ways to tackle Covid-19

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday discussed with South Korean President Moon Jae-in ways to tackle the novel coronavirus pandemic through cooperation and leveraging the power of technology. "Had a telephone conversation with President Moon Jae-in on the prevailing COVID-19 situation and how we can fight this pandemic through cooperation and leveraging the power of technology," the prime minister tweeted. PM Modi also expressed appreciation to the Republic of Korea government for facilitating supplies and transport of medical equipment being sourced by Indian companies, an official statement said.

18:28 (IST)09 Apr 2020
96 new cases in Tamil Nadu, total cases at 834

Tamil Nadu records 96 new cases of COVID19 today, pushing the tally of cases in the state to 834. Health Secretary Dr Beela Rajesh says that of the 96 new cases, 84 patients had attended the single source event in Delhi.

18:24 (IST)09 Apr 2020
12 new positive cases in Kerala

12 new COVID-19 positive cases have been reported in Kerala, fourch each from Kannur and Kasaragod, two in Malappuram, one each in Kollam & Thiruvananthapuram Of these, 11 contracted the disease through local contact, 1 had returned from a foreign country. Total positive cases here reach 357, said chief miniter Pinarayi Vijayan

Coronavirus LIVE news updates:  ‘Sealing’ orders triggered panic buying in some areas in Noida on Wednesday. (Express Photo by Gajendra Yadav)

Coronavirus LIVE news updates:

According to a government statement, Modi emphasised that several state governments, district administrations and experts had pressed for extension of the lockdown. He, however, said he would hold another round of discussions with the chief ministers on April 11 before taking a final decision. Last week, Modi had told the chief ministers to formulate a common but staggered exit strategy to lift the lockdown.

“The Prime Minister underlined that the situation in the country is akin to a ‘social emergency’. The country has been forced to take tough decisions, and must continue to remain vigilant,” the statement quoted him as saying. This was Modi’s first interaction with leaders of political parties after announcing the 21-day lockdown on March 24.

According to sources, the PM underlined that he had not come across any opinion which suggests that lifting the lockdown at this juncture is “advisable”. The view that is emerging so far, he said, is that lifting the lockdown is not going to be “simple” and the norms for ensuring social distancing will have to be enforced strictly.

Utensils placed inside circles in a queue at a slum area as Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) began supplying food amid a nationwide lockdown.

Coronavirus curve up, lockdown impact may take a while

Two weeks into the lockdown period, there is no indication yet that the largest quarantine exercise in the world is having the desired effect of slowing down the spread of the COVID-19 disease.

Scientists using computer models to measure the spread of an infectious disease say they are yet to notice a “flattening of the growth curve”. This does not mean that the lockdown has been a wasted exercise, however. It is too early to draw such a conclusion.

Pooled testing planned in zero-case districts to get the real picture

Pushing for increased testing, health authorities are all set to do pooled testing in some of the 436 districts of the country from where no case of COVID-19 has been reported. This will be done to get a “realistic estimation” of the spread of the disease, highly placed government sources said, and the areas will be selected based on information available.

Into the third week of the 21-day lockdown, there is realisation in the government that without adequate testing in the COVID-free districts, there is an inherent risk in taking any decision on the lockdown. That is why information from two databases — from Aarogya Setu app and surveillance — will be merged to choose the areas where pooled testing will be done among symptomatic people. These tests will be done through RT-PCR, the nucleic acid-based test that India has been using from the start, and not the recently introduced faster option of serological tests, sources said.

Residents of an apartment building look at street musicians performing on their courtyard as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Prague, Czech Republic (REUTERS)

‘Will have many body bags if we don’t behave’: WHO chief on Trump’s criticism

The head of the World Health Organization gave a strident defence of his agency’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday, in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s criticism and suggestions that Washington could review its funding for the agency.

WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called for unity and a halt to “politicization” of the global health crisis, specifically urging China and the United States to show “honest leadership”.

Fact Check: Tracking the coronavirus curve in India

The first three cases of novel coronavirus infection in India happened on January 29, and none thereafter for the next more than one month. Fresh cases began to emerge in the first week of March but for more than two weeks, it came in trickles, even as many other parts of the world were battling with the emergence of thousands of cases every day.

Coronavirus latest LIVE news updates: Road painted in West Bengal with "Stay Home, Stay Safe" message.

In the last few days, however, the growth of numbers in India has begun to prominently resemble what is so characteristic of the spread of an infectious disease — an exponential curve. If we ignore the first three cases in Kerala and January, it took India 13 days after the emergence of a fresh case on March 2 to cross the 100 mark. Over the next 14 days, India had more than 1,000 cases. By April 7, or in another nine days, the numbers had crossed the 5,000 mark, and at this rate, India is on route to touch 10,000 cases in about a week.

Read more news on the coronavirus pandemic:

From Ground Zero: Tested in hospitals, they died hours later

Cash over, women queue to draw Rs 500 from Jan Dhan accounts

Desperate to get home, migrants at UP shelters ask: ‘Are we criminals?’

Cash ‘stress’: Finance tells ministries to limit spends during Q1

Hydroxychloroquine: The drug everyone is looking at

Here’s a quick Coronavirus guide from Express Explained to keep you updated: What can cause a COVID-19 patient to relapse after recovery? | COVID-19 lockdown has cleaned up the air, but this may not be good news. Here’s why | Can alternative medicine work against the coronavirus? | A five-minute test for COVID-19 has been readied, India may get it too | How India is building up defence during lockdown | Why only a fraction of those with coronavirus suffer acutely | How do healthcare workers protect themselves from getting infected? | What does it take to set up isolation wards?

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