New Delhi: Coronavirus continued to wreak havoc around the world on Friday as well, with the total number of confirmed cases crossing the 5,000-mark. India too didn’t remain untouched, with the total number of confirmed cases here rising as well. While the Centre issued a slew of measures to help contain the spread of the virus, various state governments, too, have announced a shutdown of schools, colleges, malls, theatres, pubs and other public places. Also Read - Coronavirus Sports Live Tracker: Athletes Welcome Decision to Postpone Tokyo Olympics
Amid calls for people to not panic, various sporting events in the country, including the Indian Premier League (IPL), have either been postponed or cancelled; others, meanwhile, will be played behind closed doors. Also Read - Amid Coronavirus Scare, Govt Declares Masks & Hand Sanitizers As Essential Commodities Till June-End
Here are the top 10 developments, from Friday, on the virus that has brought the whole world, not just India, to a standstill. Also Read - With 17 Cases Of Coronavirus, Maharashtra Orders Closure of Theatres, Gyms & Swimming Pools in Six Cities
- A 68-year-old woman, admitted in Delhi Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) hospital, died Friday night, becoming the country’s second casualty due to the virus. Earlier, a 76-year-old man from Kalaburagi in Karnataka, who died on Tuesday, was yesterday confirmed to be India’s first case of death due to coronavirus.
- According to official figures, as stated by the Union Health Ministry, a total of 82 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including that of Delhi woman, have been reported in India thus far. Of these, while 64 are Indian nationals, 16 are Italians and one a Canadian national. Also, more than 4,000 ‘contacts’ have been put under surveillance thus far.
- The Ministry of Consumer Affairs made surgical masks, N-95 masks and hand sanitisers as ‘essential commodity’ temporarily due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases. Also, in a meeting earlier today, the Union Cabinet decided that daily briefings would be held by the Foreign, Finance, Health, Commerce and Civil Aviation Ministries in connection with coronavirus.
- An Air India flight earlier today brought back to Mumbai a batch of 44 Indians, who were stuck in Iran; they were moved to a quarantine facility of the Navy in the city. At an Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) camp in Delhi, all 112 evacuees from China’s Wuhan tested negative and will be sent home.
- The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) postponed the start of the 2020 IPL season to April 15. The season was earlier scheduled to begin on March 29. The announcement came just hours after the Delhi government announced a ban on all sporting activities in the national capital.
- Various state governments, including Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha etc. have announced the closure of schools and colleges except for those where exams are currently going on. While in most places schools and colleges will be closed till March 31, schools in UP would be closed till March 22.
- The Maharashtra government has announced that movie theatres, gyms and swimming pools would be closed in Mumbai and five other cities-Pune, Navi Mumbai, Nagpur, Thane and Pimpri Chinchwad-from 12 AM on Saturday till further orders. The state has recorded 17 confirmed cases thus far.
- Meanwhile, Karnataka, the state which recorded the country’s first COVID-19 death, has announced that all malls, night clubs, pubs, theatres and swimming pools across the state will be closed for a week. Wedding functions and even summer camps will also not be allowed during this period. There have been five coronavirus cases in the state.
- Earlier today, Google announced that an employee in its Bengaluru office had tested positive. In Noida, a Delhi-based employee of a leather manufacturing company tested positive, In both cases, the respective co-workers of the two patients have been quarantined.
- In a unique initiative, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached out to the members of the SAARC, proposing formulation of a joint strategy by the bloc to fight the virus. Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, Afghanistan, Maldives and Bangladesh-all responded to the Prime Minister, appreciating the proposal. However, there was no response from Pakistan.