Based on a combination of numbers reported by the central Health Ministry, and updates from the States, the total number of confirmed cases in the country on March 23 stands at 425.

All train, metro and inter-State transport services across the country were suspended on Sunday till March 31.

On Sunday, India observed  a ‘Janata Curfew’ from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., called for by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to practise social distancing in a bid to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

COVID-19 | Interactive map of confirmed coronavirus cases in India

The Hindu has brought out an e-book on essential COVID-19 information, in addition to covering the developments related to the coronavirus pandemic as it unfolded. Here are answers from experts on your queries about the virus, a list of State Helpline numbers, and a map of confirmed cases in India.

The new 24/7 national helpline numbers are 1075 and 1800-112-545 and  011-23978046. Email: ncov2019@gmail.com

Here are the latest updates:

1.10 pm | Tamil Nadu

Indian Medical Association’s Tamil Nadu branch comes forward to help government

The Indian Medical Association’s (IMA) Tamil Nadu branch has come forward to help the State Government for the management of COVID-19.

IMA informed the government that willing member hospitals were ready to keep 50% of their bed strength reserved for the management of COVID-19 in case of any eventuality. If any private hospital was ready to convert its entire facility for COVID-19 management, that was also welcomed by IMA.

1.05 pm | Goa

Goa govt extends ‘Janata curfew’; industry delegation meets CM

Goa witnessed total shut down for the second consecutive day on Monday as the state government extended the ‘Janta curfew’ to contain the spread of coronavirus.

A delegation of various industrial bodies in Goa met Chief Minister Pramod Sawant at his residence on Monday, urging him to allow the industry work with 20% workforce.

1.00 pm

IOA to ‘wait and watch for a month’ after Canada pulls out of Tokyo Olympics

The Indian Olympic Association on Monday said it will “wait and watch” for at least a month before taking any call on Tokyo Olympics participation after Canada created a flutter by becoming the first nation to pull out of the showpiece event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

12.50 pm | Arunachal Pradesh

The Arunachal Pradesh government has announced a lockdown in the State from Monday evening till March 31, officials said.

All essential services will be allowed during the period, according to a notification issued by Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar on Sunday night.

12.40 pm | Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh placed under lockdown till further orders, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur announces in Assembly.

12.30 pm | Delhi

The last international flight landed in Delhi Airport just before midnight on March 23 before international arrivals were suspended till 0531 hours of March 29.

A Delhi airport official said that the last flight to land was AI 014 that flew the Ahmedabad Delhi sector and was coming from London. He added that all the passengers have exited the airport after screening.

12.25 pm | U.P.

Lucknow protest against CAA suspended as city comes under lockdown

The women holding a dharna against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, the National Population Register, and the National Register of Citizens at the foot of the Hussainabad Clocktower in Lucknow since January 17 suspended their protest on Monday due to the lockdown in the city over COVID-19.

12.15 pm | Kerala

Kerala converts Government Medical College hospital into COVID-19 centre

Kerala has converted the Government Medical College hospital, Ernakulam, into a COVID-19 centre. The 500-bed hospital will be used exclusively for COVID-19 patients.

A scene from Government Medical College, Ernakulam, as it is converted into a COVID-19 Centre.

A scene from Government Medical College, Ernakulam, as it is converted into a COVID-19 Centre.  
| Photo Credit: H. Vibhu

All other patients presently under treatment at the hospital will be shifted to the District hospital in Aluva, General Hospital in Ernakulam or the Indira Gandhi Cooperative Hospital in Kadavanthra.

This apart, only emergency OP and dialysis centre will function here. Other patients have been asked to seek treatment at a nearby government hospitals.

12.10 pm | Chandigarh

Another case in Chandigarh

One more person in Chandigarh has been tested positive for (Covid-19), taking the total to such cases to 7 in the city, said a government statement.


According to the statement a 21-year old man has been tested positive for COVID-19. He is a secondary contact of a positive patient. The patient is undergoing treatment at the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) in Sector 32, said the statement.

— Vikas Vasudeva

12.05 pm | Delhi

Will grant special parole to convicts to decongest prisons, Delhi govt. tells HC

The AAP government told the Delhi High Court that it had decided to decongest its prisons to check the spread of coronavirus by providing convicts with the options of special parole and furlough.

The Delhi government told a bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad that it was going to amend its prison rules to provide the options of special parole and furlough.

Also read: Coronavirus | Curbs at Kolkata prison trigger violent clash

Taking note of the submission, the Bench directed the Delhi government to take steps during the day to implement what it has proposed and disposed of a plea moved by two lawyers seeking decongesting of the prisons in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Bench disposed of the matter on the submission made by the government and did not examine the matter further, saying a similar issue has been taken up by the Supreme Court on its own.

12.00 pm

Supreme Court mulls shutting down

The Supreme Court on Monday said it was mulling over shutting down its functioning and considering to hear urgent matters through virtual means.

The top court said that by Tuesday evening, all lawyers’ chambers in and around the apex court premises would be sealed.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde said the apex court administration would temporarily cancel all proximity cards to dissuade lawyers from coming to the court.

The bench, also comprising justices L N Rao and Surya Kant, said only Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president Dushyant Dave could authorise lawyers to enter the top court premises for urgent reasons.

11.50 am | Maharashtra

BMC to take testing facilities to homes

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will be giving at-home COVID-19 testing services so as to ease the load on Kasturba Hospital, where people with flu-like symptoms are queuing up by the dozen.

If a doctor has advised a patient to undergo testing, the BMC or affiliated private hospitals will collect the sample from the patient’s home. — Tanvi Deshpande

11.50 am | Maharashtra

Maharashtra Minister Jitendra Awhad (NCP) demands that the government should enforce a curfew since people are not taking the lockdown seriously anymore.

Scene from a petrol pump at Borivali, on March 23, 2020.

“Some people have no idea how dire the crisis is and while the lock down does not seem to work anymore, the Chief Minister should enforce a total communication ban now,” he said.

— Sharad Vyas

11.30 am | Delhi

The Delhi High Court has suspended breath analysing test through tube for air traffic controllers.

The Court directed authorities to hold an urgent meeting tomorrow for exploring alternative methods of the breath analysing test.

11.20 am

Centre asks State governments to strictly enforce lockdown: official statement

The Centre has asked State governments to strictly enforce the lockdown and take legal action against violators, according to an official statement.

11.10 am

Cases climb to 424 in the country

There are 424 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country till date. Of these, 393 are active cases. 47 new cases were reported overnight. There have been 18 new cases from Maharashtra and 11 from Gujarat.

11.00 am | Assam

Assam govt. asks residents stranded abroad to send details for financial aid

The Assam government has issued an e-mail id for residents of the State, who have been stranded abroad due to suspension of international flights in view of the coronavirus pandemic, to send their details for providing financial assistance, an official said.

An advisory issued by Chief Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna said that residents, who went abroad 30 days before the suspension of international flights from March 22 and are unable to return to their homes due to the coronavirus outbreak, will receive the one-time financial assistance of $2,000.

10.45 am | Gujarat

11 new cases reported in Gujarat, taking the total number of cases in the State to 29.

Ahmedabad tops the chart with the highest number of cases, 13, while Vadodara has six.

In Vadodara, four members of a family have tested positive.

10.40 am | West Bengal

Seven cases in West Bengal as State braces for four-day shutdown

Beginning from 5 pm on Monday, entire West Bengal will be shut down till March 27 midnight. The decision was taken after the State reported seven COVID-19 cases till Sunday night.

Morning markets and shopping complexes witnessed heavy rush on Monday as people wanted to stock essential supplies.

10.20 am | Delhi

Even as the National Capital Region is under lockdown, the Delhi government has decided to present the Budget on Monday.

Today. Budget will be presented in the Delhi Assembly. Despite lockdown in Delhi, it is necessary to do this because without passage of budget, the government won’t be able to spend money from April 1,” Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi. – Jatin Anand

10.30 am

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed his anguish that several people are not taking the lockdown seriously.

In a tweet in Hindi, Mr. Modi said: “Many people still not taking lockdown seriously. Please save yourself, save your family and follow instructions.” He also requested the State governments to ensure the lockdown is strictly enforced.

10.15 am | Gujarat

19 booked for ‘Corona festival’

Ahmedabad Police has booked 19 people who celebrated “Corona festival” in Khadia locality on Sunday. On the day when India was observing ‘Janata curfew’, these people allegedly took out a rally at 5 pm for ‘thanksgiving.’ – Mahesh Langa

10.00 am | Maharashtra

The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra rose to 89, State Health has said.

A 68-year-old man from Philippines, who tested positive for coronavirus infection and later recovered, has died at a hospital in Mumbai, the city civic body said on Monday.

8.30 am | Tamil Nadu

No lockdown in Tamil Nadu today

The Tamil Nadu government will on Monday take a decision on imposing stringent restrictive measures in Chennai, Kancheepuram and Erode districts, which figure among the 80 districts countrywide where the Centre has advised maintaining only “essential services” in view of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We will take a decision on imposing severe restrictions in these districts at a high-level meeting on Monday morning. We want to be cautious before announcing closure of establishments in Chennai and elsewhere,” a government official said.

Another senior official said that the State government is taking stock of the situation and will come up with a notification. “No lockdown as of now. It is a normal day tomorrow [March 23]. The State government will take a call,” he added.

7.30 am | Japan

Tokyo Olympics may be postponed due to coronavirus

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said for the first time on Monday that the Tokyo Olympic Games may need to be postponed if the event cannot be held in its “complete form” due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Sunday after an emergency meeting that it is stepping up its “scenario planning” for the 2020 Games due to start on July 24, including a possible postponement.

UAE

UAE to suspend all passenger flights

The United Arab Emirates announced on March 23 it will temporarily suspend all passenger and transit flights amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The Emirati authorities “have decided to suspend all inbound and outbound passenger flights and the transit of airline passengers in the UAE for two weeks as part of the precautionary measures taken to curb the spread of the COVID-19”, reported the official state news agency, WAM.

Singapore

Singapore Airlines grounds most of its fleet

Singapore Airlines Ltd announced on Monday that it would cut capacity by 96% and ground almost all of its fleet in response to coronavirus travel restrictions that the carrier said was “the greatest challenge” it had ever faced.

Shares of the airline were down more than 8% by 0129 GMT, while the broader market was down over 7%.

The move comes as global travel hub Singapore closed its borders to travellers and transiting passengers in an effort to stem the spread of the virus.

80 districts in lockdown to contain virus spread

Unprecedented restrictions were imposed in 80 districts across 17 States and five Union Territories affected by the pandemic.

“State governments will issue orders allowing only essential services to operate in districts with confirmed COVID-19 cases. The focus should be on closure of all activities except essential services such as hospitals, telecom, medicine shops and provision stores,” an official release said.

South Asian coordination on pandemic crisis intensifies

Members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation intensified anti-COVID-19 steps to secure people from the pandemic. Sri Lanka evacuated a large number of Buddhist pilgrims from India in the early hours of Sunday before India stopped all flights as Kathmandu boosted health inspection on the Indo-Nepal border.

Four pvt. labs get approval to carry out COVID-19 tests

Four private laboratories — Thyrocare, Suburban Diagnostics, Metropolis Healthcare Ltd. and HN Reliance Foundation Hospital — have received approval from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to carry out COVID-19 tests. At least 16 more laboratories are in the pipeline for approval and more names will be added to the list within this week.

(With inputs from PTI)

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