New Delhi: As the world battled with the new Coronavirus, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday held a video conference with South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member nations to chalk out a joint strategy to fight the deadly infection. Also Read - Coronavirus Outbreak: Tata Motors Asks Staff Members to Work From Home
While the countries discussed various measures to combat the Virus, PM Modi proposed that SAARC member nations create a “COVID-19 emergency fund”. He also offered an initial contribution from the Indian side of 10 million US dollars for this fund. Also Read - Coronavirus: 13 Test Positive For COVID-19 in UP, Shutdown in Lucknow Till March 31
The Prime Minister also spoke about India’s guiding mantra– ‘prepare, but don’t panic’– in dealing with the outbreak of the virus. Also Read - Coronavirus: Mahan Air in a Letter to PM Modi Offers to Bring Back Stranded Indians From Iran Without Charging Any Fee
Furthermore, in a significant development, the Health Ministry on Sunday also made the first and second confirmatory tests for COVID-19 free for all citizens.
Meanwhile, the number of novel coronavirus cases in India climbed to 107, with Maharashtra reporting the highest followed by Kerala, while over 450 stranded Indians were flown back from Italy and Iran, the two worst-affected countries after China, and quarantined.
Here is a list of top developments:
1) The coronavirus infection has claimed over 6000 lives globally. Spain has emerged the second-most affected country in Europe. On Sunday, the country reported nearly 2000 new coronavirus cases, with the death toll rising to over 100 within 24 hours.
2) The death toll from the coronavirus in Iran has risen by 113 to 724, according to the latest figures from the country’s Health Ministry on Sunday. The number of infections has reached nearly 14,000, making it the third most-affected country in terms of the number of cases and deaths after China and Italy.
3) Meanwhile, in India, the Lucknow administration has shut down all cinema halls, multiplexes, gyms, swimming pools and discotheques in the state capital till March 31. A total of 13 people have tested positive for Coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh; eight of them are from Agra, two from Ghaziabad, one from Noida and two from Lucknow.
4) The Andhra Pradesh state election commission postponed rural and urban local bodies polls for six weeks. Elections to gram panchayats have been kept in abeyance for six weeks, State Election Commissioner N Ramesh Kumar said.
5) India Trinamool Congress said that they will appeal to the state Election Commission to defer upcoming Municipal/Corporation elections in the wake of Coronavirus scare.
6) ) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami ordered holiday for school students studying in LKG to the fifth standard in the state and also the closure of malls, theatres in border Taluks till March 31 as a precaution against the spread of Coronavirus.
7) The government of India shut the Kartarpur Sahib corridor from Sunday midnight till further orders for pilgrims as a precaution against coronavirus.
8) Shopping malls, schools and colleges have been closed in Maharashtra till March 31.
9) The Assam government too ordered shutting down of educational institutions, gymnasiums, swimming pools and cinema halls with immediate effect till March 29 in the wake of novel coronavirus outbreak.
10) In Kerala, 20 Dubai-bound passengers were detained at the Kochi airport after a UK national, who was under surveillance but sneaked out and joined the group, tested positive for novel coronavirus, official sources told news agency PTI.
11) More than 230 Indians brought back from Iran reached New Delhi at about 3:15 AM Sunday and were quarantined at the Indian Army Wellness Centre in Jaisalmer, the third batch to be evacuated from that country.
12) One more person was tested positive in Karnataka. “After one death in Kalaburagi due to Coronavirus, we had sent samples of 4 persons for test, of which 3 have been found negative and 1 has been tested positive,” Karnataka Health Minister BS Sriramulu said.