India also announced restrictions on international passenger traffic through its land check posts on Saturday(HT Photo/Biplov Bhuyan)
India also announced restrictions on international passenger traffic through its land check posts on Saturday(HT Photo/Biplov Bhuyan)

Coronavirus latest update: Covid 19 declared a disaster tops the Saturday roundup

The coronavirus has so far taken over 5,500 lives globally and spread to more than 100 countries, where close to 150,000 people are now infected. Europe has been named the new epicentre of the disease by the WHO.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 15, 2020 12:25 AM IST

India declared coronavirus a disaster in order to unlock funds for states to mobilise resources aimed at containment of the deadly virus that has infected 84 people in the country till Saturday, according to the health ministry data.

New Delhi also announced restrictions on international passenger traffic through its land check posts located at borders with Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar with effect from the midnight of March 15. Several other immigration checkpoints in 8 States with International Border, however, remain function with the visa restrictions announced in the past few days. A late PTI alert said the suspension of land border crossing points with Pakistan had also been announced with effect from the midnight of March 16.

Two fresh cases on Saturday – one each in Uttar Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir – took the confirmed infections tally to 84. The health ministry confirmed that 10 of these had been discharged after making recovery.

“Contract tracing of these cases has led to the identification of over 4,000 contacts who have been put under surveillance,” said Sanjeeva Kumar, special secretary at the health ministry.

While an initial notification declaring coronavirus a disaster explicitly mentioned an ex-gratia relief of Rs 4 lakh for the families of the dead, a modified order was issued later with no specific mention of the compensation or hospitalisation cost.

The coronavirus has so far taken over 5,500 lives globally and spread to more than 100 countries, where close to 150,000 people are now infected. Europe has been named the new epicentre of the disease by the WHO.

Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Goa joined the list of States that have shut down schools and other public places which could potentially become centres of mass transfer of the highly contagious infection.

Union health ministry official said seven positive cases including five from Uttar Pradesh and one each from Rajasthan and Delhi have been discharged after treatment.

Delhi has reported seven positive cases and Uttar Pradesh 12 so far. Kerala has recorded 19 cases, including three patients who were discharged last month after they recovered from the highly contagious infection.

Here are some of the other major related developments from Saturday

Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed Saarc response to joint strategy proposal with a tweet saying he is confident that coming together of SAARC leaders will lead to effective outcomes and benefit people. He was responding to all eight member countries including Pakistan confirming their participation in the video conferencing proposed by the Indian prime minister on Friday.

“Timely action for a healthier planet. Tomorrow at 5 PM, leaders of SAARC nations will discuss, via conferencing, a roadmap to fight the challenge of COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus. I am confident that our coming together will lead to effective outcomes and benefit our citizens,” he tweeted.

5 more cases were reported from Pune, Maharashtra. All of them had tested positive at Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), taking the state tally to 31, however, the union health ministry data put the number of infected people in the State at 14.

Schools, Colleges, Malls closed in Maharashtra. All schools and colleges in Maharashtra’s urban areas and malls except grocery stores for daily need have been shut down till March 31, said State health minister.

Maharashtra school exams for classes 1 to 9th postponed. The State said only board exams of 10th and 12th will continue as per schedule

Bombay HC imposes restrictions at its principal bench in Mumbai and benches at Nagpur, Aurangabad and Goa and said it would only deal with urgent matters for a week from March 16.

Goa closes down educational institutes and public places including casinos.

West Bengal also announced the closing of educational institutions till March 31 with the exception of board exams

Parliament public gallery entry passes and entry for a show around in parliament complex suspended on Saturday as precaution

Delhi government announced quarantine facilities for around 1,400 people at police training schools in Jharoda Kala and Wazirabad

Jharkhand postponed State-level archery championship indefinitely

All India Football Federation suspends tournaments, including I-League, till March 31 following an appeal by Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee

Indian Railways withdrew blankets and curtains provided in AC coaches and advised passengers to bring their own blankets in their own interest.

Mysore Palace committee said palace will remain closed for tourists from 15th March to 22nd March.

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