COVID-19 has claimed 20 lives in India as of March 27, according to data from the Health Ministry and State governments. As many as 748 people have been tested positive for the coronavirus.
The United States overtook China and Italy to occupy the grim title of the country with the mostcoronavirusinfections. China, meanwhile, reported its first locally transmitted coronavirus infection in three days, and 54 new imported cases. Worldwide, the number of cases topped half a million, and deaths climbed past 24,000.
The new 24/7 national helpline numbers are1075and1800-112-545and011-23978046.Email:ncov2019-at-gmail.com. The Prime Minister has announced a WhatsApp helpdesk number:9013151515.
Here are today's updates:
Pune crime branch seizes face masks worth Rs. 4.30 lakh, arrest two
Against the backdrop of soaring demands for protective gear to ward off the coronavirus, the Pune police has arrested two persons and seized a hoarded cache of nearly 18,000 face masks worth more than 4 lakh from the citys Somwar Peth area.
According to a senior police official, more than 17,800 masks worth Rs. 4.30 lakh were seized during a raid conducted by a unit of the Pune Crime Branch at a godown in Narpatgiri chowk on Thursday night.
-- Shoumojit Banerjee
Five new cases in Punjab
Five fresh positive cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Punjab. Confirmed cases have reached 38, Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu told The Hindu.
Thirty-nine cases reported in Delhi so far, says CM Arvind Kejriwal
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal said a team of doctors tasked with creating a plan to tackle an increase in coronavirus cases has submitted its report.
This plan has been divided in three stages depending on the number of cases. The plan details preparations in terms of ICU, testing facilities and other necessary services for three stages: 100, 500 and 1000 daily cases, respectively. We are currently at stage one of this, he added.
-- Jatin Anand
Six new cases have been reported in Tamil Nadu, according to the State's National Health Mission.
Tailors at government hospitals in T.N. come to the aid of healthcare workers, stitch cloth masks
Many government hospitals have tailors to sew torn bedsheets or other hospital linen. In the wake of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), some of these hospitals have given the tailors another task -- to stitch cloth masks for hospital personnel, both as a stop-gap measure and as an alternative to disposable masks.
A 65-year-old man, who died in Tumakuru, tested positive for COVID-19.
Addressing a press conference in Tumakuru, Deputy Commissioner, Dr. K. Rakesh Kumar said that the person died around 10.45 am today.
Twelfth case reported from Visakhapatnam
Visakhapatnam has reported one more positive case, taking the total count to 12 in the State.
The patient was a close contact of a 25-year-old male patient who returned from Birmingham in England to Visakhapatnam on March 17 via New Delhi by flights, according to the bulletin by the Health Department.
It is the second case of direct transfer from an infected person both in the State and in Visakhapatnam city where the highest number of cases were reported in the State.
Restrictions continue in J&K, most mosques, shrines closed
The restrictions on the movement and assembly of people to contain the spread of thecoronaviruscontinued in Kashmir for the ninth day on Friday as most mosques and shrines were shut to avoid large gatherings for congregational prayers, officials said.
Three fresh cases reported in Bihar
With three new cases of COVID-19 reported in Bihar, the figure touched nine in the State. Bihar, so far,has reported one fatality.
One man died of COVID-19 in Indore on Thursday. Active cases jump to 24 in Madhya Pradesh.
-- Sidharth Yadav
Two new cases detected in Rajasthan
Two new COVID-19 positive cases have been detected in Rajasthan's Bhilwara city. Both are close relatives of the 60-year-old man who had tested positive and died yesterday because of dysfunctional kidney and other complications. The total number of confirmed patients is 21 in the worst-affected Bhilwara city and 45 in Rajasthan.
A total of 724 individuals have been confirmed COVID-19 positive in India with 17 deaths, according to data updated by the Union Health Ministry on Friday. As per State-wise data, 18 deaths have been reported.
A total of 27,688 samples from 26,798 individuals have been tested for SARS-CoV2 as on March 27, 9 a.m., noted a release issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research.
Second COVID-19 case in Andaman and Nicobar as man tests positive
A man has tested positive for COVID-19 in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the second such case in the Union Territory, a senior official said on Friday.
A man, who returned from Kolkata on March 24, tested positive for the deadly virus on Thursday and the second patient had travelled with him on the same flight, Chief Secretary Chetan Sanghi said.
Both were undergoing treatment at a hospital here, he added.
All the 55 passengers of the plane were quarantined after the first case came to light.
Hydroxychloroquine now a schedule H1 drug
Hydroxychloroquine is now a schedule H1 drug, and can be sold on prescription only.
According to a gazette notification issued by the Union Health Ministry, the sale of the drug from now on should be in accordance with the conditions for sale of drugs specified in Schedule H1 to the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945.
Koyambedu wholesale market to function on March 27 and 28
The Koyambedu wholesale market, including vegetable and fruits market, will continue to work on March 27 and March 28, according to traders welfare associations.
Various traders associations had earlier announced that the market would remain closed on these two days in solidarity with the nation-wide lockdown. However, the decision was withdrawn after a meeting with the authorities concerned on Thursday morning.
Business as usual in Mangaluru's Central Market
Notwithstanding Deputy Commissioner's prohibition on retail sales at the Central Market from Thursday, business was as usual at the wholesale vegetable and fruit market of Mangaluru on Friday morning.
Thousands thronged to the market throwing all safety norms to the wind. However, customers had to park their vehicles outside the barricaded area and walk into the market, unlike usual.
The DC's promise to make alternative arrangements outside the market for availability of essentials remained unfulfilled.
Rate of spread has slowed relatively, says Health Ministry
With 16 deaths and 694COVID-19positive cases, India is now showing a relatively slower spread of COVID-19 infection rate, Joint Secretary, Union Health Ministry, Lav Agarwal said on Thursday. But he added, We cannot be relaxed about restrictions put in place to contain the virus.
Reports from the States put the number of deaths at 18 with Maharashtra, Karnataka and Jammu and Kashmir each reporting a fatality. The totalnumber of positive casesstood at 716 Kerala had the highest number at 137, followed by 129 in Maharashtra and 52 in Karnataka.
US tops world in COVID-19 cases, overtaking China and Italy
The United States on Thursday took the grim title of the country with the mostcoronavirusinfections and reported a record surge in unemployment as world leaders vowed $5 trillion to stave off global economic collapse.
More than 5,00,000 people around the world have now contracted the new coronavirus, overwhelming healthcare systems even in wealthy nations and triggering an avalanche of government-ordered lockdowns that have disrupted life for billions.
In the United States, more than 82,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19, edging out Italy, which has reported the most deaths, and China,where the virus was first detectedin December in the metropolis of Wuhan.
(With inputs from PTI)