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Coronavirus India latest updates: Centre asks states to ensure unhindered movement of essential goods/services

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a complete lockdown across the country for 21 days from Tuesday midnight, asserting that this is necessary for a decisive battle against the coronavirus outbreak.
In his second address to the nation on the pandemic raging across much of the world, Modi said the decision will have an economic cost but saving people’s lives is of the paramount interest to his government.

Most of us are working from homes with the spread of coronavirus. TOI looks at ways and means to be productive during such times

Ensure unhindered movement of essential goods/services: Centre to states
Home ministry asked the states to set up helplines for those engaged in essential services and to ensure unhindered movement of essential goods/services.
“While it is imperative to successfully implement the notified lockdown/restrictions. It is also necessary to ensure the unhindered operation of manufacturing, processing, transportation, distribution, storage, trade/ecommerce and logistics related to all service/establishments and commodities requires for the delivery of essential services,” a government statement read.
Take action against landlords forcing doctors/paramedics to vacate: Govt of Delhi
The government of Delhi has ordered the state administration to ensure strict action is taken against landlords who are forcing doctors/paramedical staff/ healthcare personnel to vacate their rented accomodation due to the unfounded fear of spread of coronavirus.
Flipkart says it is temporarily suspending services
Flipkart has suspended services as India began a 21-day lockdown to fight the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier, Amazon’s India unit on Tuesday said it will halt orders for non-essential products in the country to prioritise customers’ critical needs.
Italy records 743 virus deaths, surging to break two-day trend
Italy reported a sharp rise in its coronavirus death toll on Tuesday, with 743 more victims, breaking a two-day trend that had fuelled hopes the epidemic may be on the wane. The daily toll was the second highest recorded in Italy since the crisis began, but the civil protection agency said that while the number of new cases was up on Monday’s figure, the infection rate was slowing.
Suspension of railway services to be extended till April 14
The Indian Railways has said that its suspension of all passenger services will continue till April 14. However, freight movement will continue to carry essential commodities across the country. The railways on Sunday had announced suspension of all its passenger services from March 22 midnight to March 31
Saudi reports first coronavirus death as infections spike
Saudi Arabia reported its first death from the new coronavirus as the total number of infections spiked to 767, according to the health ministry. An Afghan resident in the western city of Medina died from the virus, the ministry said, while reporting 205 new infections — the biggest jump in the kingdom in a single day.
Govt bans export of sanitisers, all types of ventilatorsThe government on Tuesday banned export of all sanitisers and ventilators with immediate effect in wake of the coronavirus outbreak. It also banned exports of all types of ventilators, including any artificial respiratory apparatus or oxygen therapy apparatus or any other breathing appliance or device.
22 private lab chains registered with ICMR for coronavirus testsAt least 22 private laboratory chains having around 15,500 collection centres spread all over the country have been registered with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) till Tuesday for conducting COVID-19 tests. Besides, 118 government laboratories have been included in the ICMR network of COVID-19 testing. The network has a capacity to test 12,000 samples daily.
Centre asks states to identify, earmark hospitals to deal with COVID-19 casesThe Centre has asked state governments to immediately identify and earmark hospitals to deal with the coronavirus outbreak. The Union government also said it is absolutely essential that surveillance and contact tracing of all positive cases is taken up and no suspected or high risk person is left out.
India has tremendous capacity in eradicating coronavirus pandemic: WHOIndia, which led the world in eradicating two silent killers – smallpox and polio – has a tremendous capacity in eradicating the deadly coronoavirus pandemic that has now claimed nearly 15,000 lives and infected over three lakh others globally, according to a top WHO official.
“India led the world in eradicating two silent killers and eliminating them from the country,” he said during a press conference in Geneva on Monday on the COVIVD-19 pandemic.
Centre advises states to impose curfew wherever necessary
As people continue to venture out despite lockdown, the Centre has advised state governments and union territory administrations to impose curfew wherever necessary in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
Coronavirus outbreak: Complete coverageRead our coronavirus live blog for all the latest news and updates
Almost all of India is in lockdown
More areas of India came under lockdown on Monday as the battle against Covid-19 entered a decisive phase with governments of Maharashtra and Punjab imposing curfew across their states. According to information provided by the Centre, 30 governments have imposed complete lockdown in the entire state/Union territory, covering 548 districts. Another three governments have brought certain areas under lockdown, covering total of 58 districts. India has 728 districts.
Lockdowns turn into curfews
On Monday, Punjab became the first in the country to impose curfew in the entire state with no relaxations and only exempted essential services to prevent the infection. Hours later, the Chandigarh, too, imposed its curfew, with effect from Monday midnight till further orders. Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray announced that curfew will be imposed in the entire state, also from Monday midnight. Puducherry imposed a curfew from 9:00 pm on Monday till March 31. Haryana and Himachal Pradesh also put curfews in place.
Manipur woman tests positive for coronavirus, first case in northeast
A 23-year-old woman tested positive for coronavirus in Manipur, the first confirmed case in the Northeast, officials said on Monday. The woman had recently returned from the UK, Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences Director said. She had returned to Imphal via Delhi and Guwahati airports.
16 pvt labs with 15,000 centres get nod to test
Expanding the network of laboratories to test suspected Covid-19 cases, the government and its research wing— Indian Council of Medical Research — have so far approved 16 private diagnostic lab chains with over 15,000 collection centres spread across the country and more are in the process of approval, officials said.
Over 60 private laboratories have applied to the ICMR seeking approval. Besides, two companies have also secured approval from the ICMR for locally manufactured testing kits.
69 drugs identified to test against coronavirus
As many as 69 drugs and experimental compounds may be effective in treating the coronavirus. Some of the medications are already used to treat other diseases, and repurposing them to treat Covid-19 may be faster than trying to invent a new antiviral from scratch.
Ban imposed on flying of domestic commercial flights
Domestic commercial flights will stop flying from 11.59 pm on Tuesday till the same time on March 31. The Centre took this decision amid an increasing number of states announcing lockdowns and curfews that make commuting between cities and airports difficult for everyone — passengers, airline crew and all other stakeholders required to make air travel possible.
Scheduled international flights had been suspended on Sunday (March 22) for a week. When flights resume depends largely on how the pandemic unfolds.
1/5th of the world told to stay home
The hunt for masks, ventilators and other medical supplies consumed the US and Europe, as more than 1.5 billion people — one-fifth of the world’s population — were asked or ordered to stay home on Monday to try to blunt the spread of the coronavirus. Worldwide, over 3,67,000 people have been infected and more than 16,000 have died from the virus.
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Will pray for health, safety of those engaged in combating coronavirus: PM Modi
PTI | Mar 25, 2020, 09:11 IST

PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (PTI photo)
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NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday greeted people on festivals, most of which mark the beginning of the new year, and said on this Navratra, he will pray for those engaged in combating coronavirus.
In a series of tweets, he greeted people on Ugadi, Gudi Padava, Navreh and Sajibu Cheiraoba.
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Most of us are working from homes with the spread of coronavirus. TOI looks at ways and means to be productive during such times

“We are celebrating various festivals across India and also the start of a new year as per our traditional calendar. May these auspicious occasions bring good health, happiness and prosperity in our lives,” the Prime Minister said.
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He also said that as Navratri begins from Wednesday, he would pray for the good health, safety and success of those engaged in combating the deadly virus.

“Over the years, I have been worshipping Maa (Durga). This time I pray for the health, safety and success of all the nurses, doctors, medical staff, policemen and media personnel who are engaged in the fight against coronavirus,” Modi said.
More on Covid-19
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No need to worry about availability of milk or milk products: Amul MD
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PM Narendra Modi announces 21-day lockdown: Highlights09:28
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‘Koi road par na nikle’: PM Modi03:13

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