Total Coronavirus cases jump to 321 in India

Updated: Mar 22, 2020, 07:48 IST | Agencies | New Delhi

Indian Railways said no passenger train will run from midnight to 10 pm on Sunday during the Janata Curfew.

Passengers wearing protective face masks wait at a railway station in Jammu
Passengers wearing protective face masks wait at a railway station in Jammu

The Ministry of Health has said that the total number of novel coronavirus cases, on Saturday, rose to 321 in India at the time of going to press. So far, five deaths, one each in Punjab, Maharashtra, Delhi, Rajasthan and Karnataka, have also been reported. As of Saturday at 9 am, data shared by the Union Health Ministry, out of the total cases, 22 were discharged and cured of the virus across India.

Of the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, one is a migrated COVID-19 patient, said the ministry. Himachal Pradesh made it into the statistics of health ministry by confirming its first coronavirus case. Maharashtra remained worst hit state with 63 confirmed cases and one casualty, followed by Kerala which has 40 active cases.

A deserted view of NH 32 in the wake of coronavirus pandemic in Dhanbad
A deserted view of NH 32 in the wake of coronavirus pandemic in Dhanbad

SOS to govt
A day before Indian airspace deploys complete lock-down on all international landings amid the ongoing crisis, 100 Indian nationals, returning from the US, urged the government on Saturday to rescue them. They have been stranded at Amsterdam airport after their flight was turned back mid-air two hours away from Delhi airport, said the wife of a passenger stranded.

Tina Sapra, wife of Sanjay Sapra, has written to Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri pleading to help her husband and other stranded at the Amsterdam airport. Tina said, "My husband is among 100 other passengers in Amsterdam, Netherlands, where they have been stranded. They were turned back mid-air when the flight was just two-hours away from the Delhi airport. All these passengers, which include pregnant women and senior citizens, are Indian passport holders." She urged the Indian government to arrange a special flight to bring home all passengers.

Members of Don Bosco Alumni (DBI) distribute free safety masks in Guwahati. Pics/PTI
Members of Don Bosco Alumni (DBI) distribute free safety masks in Guwahati. Pics/PTI

R1 crore from MPLAD
National Conference Party president and MP from Srinagar Farooq Abdullah on Saturday released an amount of R1 crore from his Members of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) fund to combat COVID-19 threat in Jammu and Kashmir. Out of this, R50 lakh has been earmarked for Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Srinagar and R25 lakh each for Budgam and Ganderbal districts, a party statement said. Abdullah also solicited joint efforts to stop coronavirus from spreading in the Union Territory.

J&K issues warning
The J&K administration said that strict action will be taken against those who fail to self declare their travel history at the Srinagar Airport.
This after reports of some medical students returning from Bangladesh protesting and refusing to be taken into quarantine after arriving in Srinagar and producing fake ID cards to escape the laid out procedure. Divisional Commissioner Kashmir PK Pole said that the administration will not tolerate any violations of the procedures. "Strict action will be taken against those who do not follow the rules," he said.

Sunday mass cancelled
The Roman Catholic Church in Goa has cancelled mass prayer services in the state's Churches on Sunday, in view of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for Janata Curfew for 14-hours, according to a circular issued by the Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao's office to all parish priests in the state. The top Catholic religious figure in the state has also urged priests to adopt modern means of technology, to ensure that prayer services are broadcast online in order to avoid congregations in times. "In view of the nationwide curfew on March 22, I am instructed by the Archbishop to convey to you that no mass with congregation should be celebrated in our places of worship on Sunday, the March 22," the circular said.

Raje, son test negative
Former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has tested negative for coronavirus. This is the first report which has come; the second report is expected tomorrow. Vasundhara Raje went for a party in Lucknow which was attended by singer Kanika Kapoor, who returned from London and later tested positive.

Board exams postponed
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Saturday announced postponement of tenth standard board exams to April 15 in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. Announcing this in the state Assembly, Palaniswami said the exams scheduled to begin on March 27 have been postponed to April 15.

Petrol stations to be open
Though petrol stations would remain open on Sunday during the Janata Curfew hours (7 am to 9 pm) across Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, only minimum fuelling service will be offered for unavoidable and emergency transportation, said the State Level Coordinator (SLC) of oil marketing companies. In a statement issued on behalf of SLC on Saturday, the fuel pumps of Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum would remain open on Sunday across Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

Apps to tackle crisis
Engineering students of Sona College of Technology, Salem and engineers from Vee Technologies, Bengaluru on Saturday announced they have created two apps to help the country tackle the pandemic. One app called 'Corona-Scan' proactively allows public health officials to map individuals who were in close proximity with a possibly infected or active coronavirus patient.

The second is a corresponding user app, 'Corona-Support,' that asks the public for their voluntary registration. If an individual tests positive, a voluntary status update can be entered in the app, helping health authorities and experts tracking the spread of the virus get accurate information. "The students have built robust app pair 'Corona-Scan' and 'Carona-Support' in a matter of days. This will go a long way to contain spread of Covid-19," Chocko Valliappa, CEO, Vee Technologies, said.

Couple deboarded from express train

Bengaluru: Amid the pandemic gripping the country, a newlywed couple was deboarded from the Benagluru-New Delhi Rajdhani Express in Kazipet after they were detected with the quarantine stamp on the back of their palms, a railway ministry official said here on Saturday. A senior railway ministry official said, "As per on board staff information, a couple hailing from Delhi boarded Rajdhani Express at Secunderabad station on Saturday. While the said passengers were using wash basin to wash hands, a co-passenger observed seal on their hands and informed the TTE. Both the passengers were taken to the hospital in an ambulance."'

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