NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a complete lockdown across the country for 21 days from Tuesday midnight, asserting that this is necessary for a decisive battle against the coronavirus outbreak.

In his second address to the nation on the pandemic raging across much of the world, Modi said the decision will have an economic cost but saving people’s lives is of the paramount interest to his government.

Here is a look at the latest updates on coronavirus in India and around the world —

Armed forces to work beyond mandate to support nation in battling COVID-19: Gen Bipin Rawat

Coordinating efforts of the military in controlling COVID-19 spread, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat has said that at this juncture, the uniformed force needs to extend all type of assistance ranging from creating quarantine infrastructure to providing specialist care to help the nation combat Coronavirus.

“Uniformed forces are expected to support the government and provide every type of assistance from developing infrastructure for isolation and quarantine to preparing speciality medical care centres for those who need immediate care,” the CDS said.

People scramble for supplies on first day of lockdown in India

The country’s crowded grocery stores and chemists on Wednesday in a struggle for essential items after PM Modi ordered a total lockdown for three weeks to fight a coronavirus pandemic, one of the toughest such measures worldwide. As states shut their borders, long queues of trucks carrying milk, fruits and vegetables snaked down highways.

There will be no shortage of essential services: Kejriwal

There is no need to panic. After PM Modi’s speech yesterday people started lining up at shops for essential services. I again appeal to people to not do panic buying, I assure everyone that there will be no shortage of essential services. We will issues passes for those providing essential services, E-passes will be provided to those who need to open their shops and factories for these services: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

Cloud of uncertainity over annual Haj ritual

Clouds of uncertainty hovering over Haj 2020. Saudis tell other countries not to make new commitments like booking hotels and airlines as it is not certain if Haj will be conducted this year. India has a quota of 2 lakh Haj pilgrims. Saudi Arabia is also fighting Coronavirus and has suspended Umrah or the smaller pilgrimage.

Psychologists to study mental health and social impacts of Covid-19

Researchers, led by Professor Richard Bentall at the University of Sheffield, are surveying 2,000 people in the UK, and again in a month’s time, and hope that their findings will help inform the better management of future public health crises, the University said in a release.

Negotiators reach agreement on massive US coronavirus response bill worth $2 trillion: Trump aide

US senators and Trump administration officials have reached an agreement on a massive economic stimulus bill to alleviate the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “We have a deal,” a government official told reporters after days of negotiations on a stimulus package expected to be worth $2 trillion.

ICMR: Isolation may cut peak coronavirus numbers by 89%

Strictly implemented social distancing measures such as home quarantine can reduce the overall expected number of cases by 62% and peak number of cases by 89%, thus “flattening” the curve and providing more opportunities for interventions, a mathematical modelling done by the Indian Council of Medical Research shows.

277 passengers arrive from Middle East to India via Air India flights

As many as 277 passengers, including 273 pilgrims and four non-pilgrims, arrived early morning at Jodhpur Airport. They were airlifted from Middle East. Among them 149 women and 128 men also five children and one infant arrived at army wellness facility station. They travelled by two Air India aircraft.

Ensure unhindered movement of essential goods/services: Centre to states

Home ministry asked the states to set up helplines for those engaged in essential services and to ensure unhindered movement of essential goods/services.

“While it is imperative to successfully implement the notified lockdown/restrictions. It is also necessary to ensure the unhindered operation of manufacturing, processing, transportation, distribution, storage, trade/ecommerce and logistics related to all service/establishments and commodities requires for the delivery of essential services,” a government statement read.

Take action against landlords forcing doctors/paramedics to vacate: Govt of Delhi

The government of Delhi has ordered the state administration to ensure strict action is taken against landlords who are forcing doctors/paramedical staff/ healthcare personnel to vacate their rented accomodation due to the unfounded fear of spread of coronavirus.

‘Act like you have Covid-19’: PM Ardern says as New Zealand heads into lockdown

PM Jacinda Ardern told New Zealanders on Wednesday to behave as if they had the coronavirus and cut all physical contact outside their household when the country heads into a one-month lockdown at midnight. Ardern declared a national state of emergency as the number of cases surged by a record 50 cases to take the national tally to 205.

Flipkart says it is temporarily suspending services

Flipkart has suspended services as India began a 21-day lockdown to fight the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier, Amazon’s India unit on Tuesday said it will halt orders for non-essential products in the country to prioritise customers’ critical needs.

Italy records 743 virus deaths, surging to break two-day trend

Italy reported a sharp rise in its coronavirus death toll on Tuesday, with 743 more victims, breaking a two-day trend that had fuelled hopes the epidemic may be on the wane. The daily toll was the second highest recorded in Italy since the crisis began, but the civil protection agency said that while the number of new cases was up on Monday’s figure, the infection rate was slowing.

Suspension of railway services to be extended till April 14

The Indian Railways has said that its suspension of all passenger services will continue till April 14. However, freight movement will continue to carry essential commodities across the country. The railways on Sunday had announced suspension of all its passenger services from March 22 midnight to March 31

Saudi reports first coronavirus death as infections spike

Saudi Arabia reported its first death from the new coronavirus as the total number of infections spiked to 767, according to the health ministry. An Afghan resident in the western city of Medina died from the virus, the ministry said, while reporting 205 new infections — the biggest jump in the kingdom in a single day.

Govt bans export of sanitisers, all types of ventilators

The government on Tuesday banned export of all sanitisers and ventilators with immediate effect in wake of the coronavirus outbreak. It also banned exports of all types of ventilators, including any artificial respiratory apparatus or oxygen therapy apparatus or any other breathing appliance or device.

22 private lab chains registered with ICMR for coronavirus tests

At least 22 private laboratory chains having around 15,500 collection centres spread all over the country have been registered with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) till Tuesday for conducting COVID-19 tests. Besides, 118 government laboratories have been included in the ICMR network of COVID-19 testing. The network has a capacity to test 12,000 samples daily.

Centre asks states to identify, earmark hospitals to deal with COVID-19 cases

The Centre has asked state governments to immediately identify and earmark hospitals to deal with the coronavirus outbreak. The Union government also said it is absolutely essential that surveillance and contact tracing of all positive cases is taken up and no suspected or high risk person is left out.

India has tremendous capacity in eradicating coronavirus pandemic: WHO

India, which led the world in eradicating two silent killers – smallpox and polio – has a tremendous capacity in eradicating the deadly coronoavirus pandemic that has now claimed nearly 15,000 lives and infected over three lakh others globally, according to a top WHO official.

“India led the world in eradicating two silent killers and eliminating them from the country,” he said during a press conference in Geneva on Monday on the COVIVD-19 pandemic.

Centre advises states to impose curfew wherever necessary

As people continue to venture out despite lockdown, the Centre has advised state governments and union territory administrations to impose curfew wherever necessary in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

Coronavirus outbreak: Complete coverage

Read our coronavirus live blog for all the latest news and updates

Almost all of India is in lockdown

More areas of India came under lockdown on Monday as the battle against Covid-19 entered a decisive phase with governments of Maharashtra and Punjab imposing curfew across their states. According to information provided by the Centre, 30 governments have imposed complete lockdown in the entire state/Union territory, covering 548 districts. Another three governments have brought certain areas under lockdown, covering total of 58 districts. India has 728 districts.

16 pvt labs with 15,000 centres get nod to test

Expanding the network of laboratories to test suspected Covid-19 cases, the government and its research wing— Indian Council of Medical Research — have so far approved 16 private diagnostic lab chains with over 15,000 collection centres spread across the country and more are in the process of approval, officials said.

Over 60 private laboratories have applied to the ICMR seeking approval. Besides, two companies have also secured approval from the ICMR for locally manufactured testing kits.

69 drugs identified to test against coronavirus

As many as 69 drugs and experimental compounds may be effective in treating the coronavirus. Some of the medications are already used to treat other diseases, and repurposing them to treat Covid-19 may be faster than trying to invent a new antiviral from scratch.

Ban imposed on flying of domestic commercial flights

Domestic commercial flights will stop flying from 11.59 pm on Tuesday till the same time on March 31. The Centre took this decision amid an increasing number of states announcing lockdowns and curfews that make commuting between cities and airports difficult for everyone — passengers, airline crew and all other stakeholders required to make air travel possible.

Scheduled international flights had been suspended on Sunday (March 22) for a week. When flights resume depends largely on how the pandemic unfolds.

1/5th of the world told to stay home

The hunt for masks, ventilators and other medical supplies consumed the US and Europe, as more than 1.5 billion people — one-fifth of the world’s population — were asked or ordered to stay home on Monday to try to blunt the spread of the coronavirus. Worldwide, over 3,67,000 people have been infected and more than 16,000 have died from the virus.

In Video:Covid-19 crisis: All essential services will be provided, assures PM Modi

  • Download

    The Times of India News App for Latest India News

  • Subscribe

    Start Your Daily Mornings with Times of India Newspaper! Order Now

Read More