Coronavirus outbreak: The Centre Saturday declared COVID-19 a “notified disaster” for the purpose of providing assistance under the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF), Ministry of Home Affairs said in a notification on Saturday. Listing out assistance to be provided from SDRF, the government said the hospitalisation cost of coronavirus patients will also be taken care of at the rate fixed by the state government.
According to the latest data provided by the Ministry of Health, the total number of active coronavirus cases in India stands at 84 while 10 people have been treated and discharged.
Leaders from SAARC nations — Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka — will hold a video conference at 5 pm Sunday, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggested the same to tackle the pandemic in the region.
In other news, a Mahan Air flight bringing back Indian passengers from Iran will land in Mumbai at midnight on Saturday. An Air India flight has also left for Milan in Italy to fly back the second batch of Indians from the country that has been severely hit by the virus.
As the worldwide death toll surged past 5,000, the World Health Organization on Friday officially declared Europe as the epicentre of the pandemic. More than 132,000 cases of the virus have been reported in 123 countries since it emerged in December in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual news conference. US President Donald Trump, meanwhile, officially declared a national emergency, invoking the Stafford Act to open the door to more federal aid for states and municipalities.