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Sunday, March 29, 2020

Coronavirus latest highlights: Death toll rises to 16 in India; total cases now at 694

Globally, the death toll has reached 22,993 with Italy reporting the highest number of casualties at 8,165 followed by Spain, which crossed China’s toll on Wednesday, at 4,145, China at 3,169, Iran at 2,234 and France at 1,331 deaths so far.

By: Express Web Desk | Ahmedabad, Beijing, Bengaluru, Bhopal, New Delhi, Panjim, Paris, Tokyo | Updated: March 27, 2020 9:32:20 am
Coronavirus latest LIVE Updates: Covid-19 cases rising, but rate seems to have stabilised, says Health Ministry Homeless and poor being fed at Howrah station. (Express photo by Partha Paul)

Coronavirus India highlights: The total number of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in India has risen to 694, including 16 deaths, the Health Ministry said in its latest bulletin on Thursday. Among these, 44 patients have recovered so far.

Addressing a press briefing earlier, Lav Aggarwal, Health Ministry Joint Secretary, said that the rate at which the numbers are increasing appears to be relatively stablising. “However, this is only the initial trend,” he said.

With India undergoing a 21-day lockdown till April 14, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also announced a economic package worth Rs. 1.7 lakh crore to help those who have been affected directly due to the nationwide lockdown.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also participated in a virtual summit of G-20 leaders, chaired by Saudi King Salman, to discuss the coronavirus pandemic.

Globally, the death toll has reached 22,993 with Italy reporting the highest number of casualties at 8,165 followed by Spain, which crossed China’s toll on Wednesday, at 4,145, China at 3,169, Iran at 2,234 and France at 1,331 deaths so far. While the total number of confirmed cases across the world has reached 500,000 today.

(Follow our full coverage on coronavirus pandemic and India lockdown)

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As coronavirus cases climbed to 694 in India, FM Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled COVID-19 relief package. Follow Highlights here

Highlights

    03:53 (IST)27 Mar 2020
    US now has more COVID-19 cases than China or Italy

    According to New York Times, at least 81,321 people in the US have been infected with the coronavirus. The number is more than the number of cases in China, Italy or any other country so far, according to data gathered by The New York Times.

    02:58 (IST)27 Mar 2020
    From ‘adopting’ 250 Pakistani Hindu families to feeding 2 teens, Delhi Police extends helping hand

    As many as 250 families staying in a Pakistani Hindu refugee camp in Northwest Delhi, who largely work as daily wagers, have been left without a source of income following the lockdown. It was on Wednesday that the Northwest district police came to their rescue and decided to ‘adopt’ the families for the next 21 days. Police said they will contribute funds from their pockets at the district level to ensure they have three meals a day. Read more...

    01:13 (IST)27 Mar 2020
    Goa opens grocery shops: ‘I dread the future, onus to protect yourself on you now’, CM tells people

    AN Angry Pramod Sawant, Chief Minister of Goa, Thursday finally relented to the growing “outrage on social media”, and allowed grocery shops and those selling milk, vegetables and fish to open. Sawant, however, fumed that the lockdown had been imposed for Goa’s welfare, and he now “dreads the future”.

    Goa has been in complete lockdown since March 22, 7 am. With shops selling grocery and other essential edible shut, a population of 15 lakh in the state has been caught completely unprepared.

    00:36 (IST)27 Mar 2020
    Kerala: IAS officer skips home quarantine to return to UP

    A young IAS officer, who has been under home quarantine since March 18, has skipped the isolation and reportedly went to his native state Uttar Pradesh.Anupam Mishra, sub-collector in Kollam district, had been on leave and joined back duty on March 18. Realising that Mishra had gone abroad during the leave period, District Collector B Abdul Nazer directed the sub-collector to remain under observation at his official residence.

    00:17 (IST)27 Mar 2020
    Coronavirus death toll jumps by 100 in a day in UK

    The death toll due to #COVID19 in United Kingdom jumps by more than 100 in a day for the first time

    23:45 (IST)26 Mar 2020
    Over 500,000 coronavirus cases globally, almost 23,000 deaths

    Total number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus have crossed 500,000 at 510,108, according to the Johns Hopkins tally. At least 22,993 people have died so far, with Italy recording the highest at 8165 deaths. 

    23:37 (IST)26 Mar 2020
    1245 foreign nationals to be evacuated from India

    1,245 foreign nationals to be evacuated to their respective countries (Austria, UAE, Israel, Germany, and Italy) from Delhi airport via 5 special flights between 25th March and 26th March: Airport official

    23:16 (IST)26 Mar 2020
    Coronavirus lockdown: Study projects wave of infections in India, says ‘draconian measures’ can help

    The study acknowledges this -- "the most severe form of interventions", it says, would drastically bring down the number of infected people, and restrict the spread to just about 13,800 cases by May 15, instead of 58,600

    22:29 (IST)26 Mar 2020
    Nitin Gadkari donates one month's salary to PM relief fund for Covid-19

    Union Minister Nitin Gadkari donated a month's salary to PM Relief Fund for COVID-19 and urged everybody to come forward and contribute, PTI reported.

    22:09 (IST)26 Mar 2020
    At G20, PM Modi noted alarming social and economic cost of coronavirus pandemic

    In his remarks at the G20 Virtual Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi noted the alarming social and economic cost of the coronavirus pandemic. He added that 90% of the COVID-19 cases and 88% of deaths were in G20 countries, even as they share 80% of world GDP and 60% of world population: Ministry of External Affairs

    21:39 (IST)26 Mar 2020
    Delhi govt offers free food for homeless at 236 centres

    The Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi is offering free food to the homeless in 236 centres in the city which is under lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    21:35 (IST)26 Mar 2020
    Muslim law board asks people to pray indoors

    The All India Muslim Law Board has asked worshippers to offer Zuhur at home instead of praying Jumah at mosques, and avoid coming out out for congregational prayers.

    21:28 (IST)26 Mar 2020
    Animal fodder essential item, exempted under lockdown: MHA

    The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued a revised notification allowing inter-state travel of animal fodder. "It is hereby clarified that exceptions under clause 6 covers the transportation/inter-state movement of animal feed and fodder, being the essential items," the notification read. 

    21:03 (IST)26 Mar 2020
    A 20-year-old man from Patna tests positive; total cases in Bihar touch 7
    21:00 (IST)26 Mar 2020
    Maharashtra: Nagpur's first Covid-19 patient discharged after his second sample tested negative

    For a Nagpur resident, who was discharged after 14 days' treatment for Coronavirus on Thursday, his fight with the pandemic was like a boxing bout which he always knew he would win. When the 44-year-old IT professional returned home on Thursday, his two children, a 18 - year old son and 14-year-old daughter, and his parents in their mid-70s were emotional. "I will be home-quarantine for 14 more days. So they welcomed me by keeping distance. I couldn't hug them physically. But I did give them a mental hug, " the patient told The Indian Express, on phone.

    20:50 (IST)26 Mar 2020
    G20 leaders put up a 'united front', pledge USD 5 trillion for global economy

    Asserting confidence on overcoming the pandemic together, G20 leaders said they were ready to strengthen global financial safety nets, pledging USD 5 trillion into the global economy. "We are injecting over USD 5 trillion into the global economy, as part of targeted fiscal policy, economic measures, and guarantee schemes to counteract the social, economic and financial impacts of the pandemic," the leaders said in a statement, according to AFP.

    20:26 (IST)26 Mar 2020
    Death toll climbs to 16; total positive cases in India at 694

    The positive cases reported in India climbed to 694, the Health Ministry website said on Thursday evening. The death toll rose to 16, meanwhile, 44 have recovered from coronavirus. Kerala and Maharashtra have reported highest number— with 125 and 124 cases, respectively. The national capital has reported 42 cases, whereas 58 positive cases have been reported in Karnataka until now.

    20:00 (IST)26 Mar 2020
    Door-to-door distribution of 10 lakh packets of dry ration to daily wagers: Punjab CM

    Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today, announced door-to-door distribution of 10 lakh packets of dry ration to daily wagers and unorganised labour in the state. Claiming that these sections of the society were ignored by the Finance Minister during the announcement of the economic relief package to combat coronavirus, Singh undertook this initiative and apprised Congress president Sonia Gandhi of the measures taken by his government. He also ordered for these packets to be made available at the offices of the Deputy Commissioners to support any such persons who do not get covered during the distribution effort.

    19:55 (IST)26 Mar 2020
    Saudi king urges coordinated G20 response to coronavirus crisis

    Saudi Arabia King Salman on Thursday addressed G20 leaders through video conference and urged them to take 'effective and coordinated' action to combat the global crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, amid forecasts of a deep economic recession, news agency AFP reported. US President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are part of the the emergency videoconference chaired by King Salman, who is under pressure to end an oil price war with Moscow that has roiled energy markets. The talks come amid criticism that the group has been slow to address the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left a global death toll of more than 21,000 and triggered financial shockwaves as more than three billion people around the world are locked down in their homes.

    Read the Coronavirus world updates here

    19:50 (IST)26 Mar 2020
    Labourers take long road to home amid nationwide lockdown

    coronavirus, coronavirus news, lockdown, india lockdown, india news, coronavirus current status, coronavirus update, corona, coronavirus update in india, coronavirus in india, coronavirus india, coronavirus cases in india, coronavirus latest news, coronavirus news update, coronavirus latest news update, corona virus, corona virus in india, corona virus news update Supply trucks stuck in Ghaziabad, near UP's border with Delhi, Wednesday. (Express photo by Prem Nath Pandey)

    Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will chair the virtual summit on March 26 to advance the global coordinated response to the pandemic. Apart from the leaders of G-20, the heads of state of Jordan, Spain, Singapore and Switzerland are also scheduled to participate. The UAE will also take part in its capacity as sitting president of the Gulf Cooperation Council states.

    In a separate video conference earlier this week, G-20 finance ministers and central bankers agreed to develop an action plan to respond to the outbreak, which the IMF expects will trigger a global recession.

    A video conference of senior health professionals of SAARC countries to share their experiences of combating the spread of COVID-19 is also proposed to be held on March 26. The major topics of discussion will be “practical joint action on online training capsules for emergency response teams, setting up of an Integrated Disease Surveillance Portal, creation of a Common Research Platform and coordination of research…”

    In India, as the 21-day nationwide lockdown kicked in Wednesday, confusion prevailed among local authorities and police over exemptions, causing major disruptions in last-mile supply of food and grocery items, which are part of essential goods and services and exempted from prohibitory orders.

    While some authorities including Delhi Police, Gurugram Police, Noida Police and Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation instituted mechanisms for allowing home deliveries, including issuing curfew passes to the staff of Amazon, Flipkart, BigBasket, Grofers, Swiggy, Zomato, etc, many raised concerns over non-adherence of Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) orders in different states. Offline retailers such as Future Retail, which operates the Big Bazaar chain, also complained that police confiscated bikes and keys of its staff and even beat them up on their way to stores.

    Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday interacted with citizens of Varanasi. During the interaction, he warned of tough action against those misbehaving with healthcare professionals and airline crew. “People in whites in hospitals and clinics are our Gods now; they should be respected. They are saving us by risking their own lives,” PM Modi said.

    On Tuesday, in the first step for unorganised sector workers, the Centre had asked states to devise schemes for the use of Rs 52,000 crore of unutilised cess collected under the Building and Other Construction Workers’ Welfare Cess (BOCW) Act and transfer these funds to the bank accounts of construction workers through the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) route.

    The government is also planning to suspend invocation of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) “for a period of six months so as to stop companies at large from being forced into insolvency proceedings in such force majeure causes of default.”

    Here’s a quick Coronavirus guide from Express Explained to keep you updated: Are smokers at high risk form coronavirus? | Can Vitamin-C prevent or cure coronavirus infection? | What exactly is community spread of coronavirus? | How long can the Covid-19 virus survive on a surface? | Amid the lockdown, what is allowed, what is prohibited?