COVID-19 death toll in India exceeded 100 on Saturday.

Over 3,500 confirmed cases have been reported across India, according to Health Ministry and State government data. As per Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech on April 3, the nation is poised to observe a lights-off event at 9 p.m. on Sunday ⁠— explained here is how that will affect our power system.

Across the world, more than 1.1 million people have been infected, the bulk of which is in Europe and China, which is the epicentre of the virus. Among India’s immediate neighbours, Pakistan has registered over 2,800 cases and 40 deaths.

The Hindu has brought out a multi-language e-book on essential COVID-19 information, in addition to covering the developments related to the coronavirus pandemic as it unfolded.

Here are answers from experts on your queries about the virus, a list of State Helpline numbers, a State-wise tracker for COVID-19 cases, deaths and testing, and a map of confirmed cases in India.

Numbers to note:

24/7 national helpline can be reached at 1075, 1930, 1944 (dedicated to Northeast), 1800-112-545 and 011-23978046.

WhatsApp helpdesk number: 9013151515.


Here are the latest updates:



5.35 p.m. | New Delhi

Appeal of the PM is to switch off only the home lights: Power Ministry

“Appeal of the Prime Minister is to switch off only the home lights from 9 p.m. to 9.09 p.m. tonight. Lighting in common areas and street lights should remain on for public safety. Similarly, lights in other establishments including hospitals , public places, municipal  services, offices, police stations and manufacturing facilities, etc will function as in normal course.There will be no voltage fluctuation that could damage your appliances such as AC, fridge, fan, etc. There is no need to switch off lights from the main switchboard. Everyone may continue to use their electrical appliances without any worry or anxiety,” said the Ministry of Power in a series of tweets.

5.25 p.m. | Maharashtra

Maharashtra Police calls for additional manpower to enforce lockdown

Maharashtra Police personnel on deputation in the CID and ACB have now been called for regular duties as the state police force is facing shortage of manpower in its efforts to strictly enforce the lockdown.

“Additional manpower is required to maintain law and order in the state and to enforce the lockdown amid the increasing coronavirus cases,” a police official said.

5.15 p.m. | Uttar Pradesh

U.P. records third COVID-19 death

Uttar Pradesh recoreded third COVID-19 death on Sunday. The latest case is from Varanasi. First two deaths were from Basti and Meerut.


5.00 p.m. | Shimla

Come forward for testing by 5 p.m. or face action: HP CM to Tablighi Jamaat members

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Sunday asked all Tablighi Jamaat members who had attended the group’s congregation in Delhi’s Nizamuddin, a COVID-19 hotspot, to come forward for testing by 5 p.m., failing which action will be taken against them.

Three of the seven persons who tested positive for coronavirus in the state on Saturday were Tablighi Jamaat members, he said.

4.15 p.m. | New Delhi


Instead of virus chasing us, we chase the virus: Lav Agarwal

Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary of the Health Ministry, addresses the media.

“Had Tabhlighi Jamaat incident not happened, India’s doubling time would have been 7.4 days and not the 4.1 days that we are seeing now,” he says in New Delhi.

“The Cabinet Secretary has reviewed containment strategies at the district level and conveyed it to the States. Experiences of district magistrates at hotspots like Agra, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Bhilwara, Pathanamthitta were shared with other Collectors on Containment. 274 districts are reporting Covid-19 cases.

“Under the National Rural livelihood Mission in 399 districts in 24 States, nearly 14522 self-help groups have deployed 65,000 to prepare masks.”

“Our strategy is: instead of virus chasing us, we chase the virus.

“28,000 relief camps and shelters have been set up for migrants to provide food and shelter.

“12.5 lakh people are being sheltered. 75 lakh are being fed. 13.6 lakh workers are being fed by employers and industry,” said a Home Ministry spokesperson.

An ICMR expert denies theories that Covid-19 virus is airborne. “If that were true, all members of  Covid positive would all fall sick. That’s not what we see.”

The ICMR expert added, “By Wednesday, rapid antibody test kits should be available and we will start deploying them.

“Antibody testing guidelines are for testing in a concentrated population, where there were large gatherings or lots of cases.

“Many philanthropic organisations are getting Personal Protective Equipments for us to help with potential shortfall. We have started to procure them internationally. This will ease the shortfall. Available PPEs ought to be rationally used.

“In the next few weeks this shortage would be resolved.”

3.55 p.m. | Maharashtra


Man dies in Aurangabad, Maharashtra COVID-19 positive tally rises to 690

Three Covid-19 deaths were reported from Pune district on Sunday, taking the total number of deaths in the district to five.

Aurangabad district in Marathwada region reported its first death after a 52-year-old man who tested positive succumbed during treatment at a local hospital.

With the deaths in Pune and Aurangabad, the State’s toll due to the Covid-19 contagion has now increased to 36.

The number of positive cases in Pune district exceeded 100, while Maharashtra’s total surged to 690 cases.

The deceased man was believed to be diabetic and suffering from high blood pressure.

– Shoumojit Banerjee

3.55 p.m. | Jammu and Kashmir


Jammu and Kashmir government spokesman Rohit Kansal  said that 14 new positive cases of COVID-19 have been detected in the Kashmir division. The total number of positive cases in the State is now 106.

3.35 p.m.


Decision on April 14 whether to reopen schools, colleges: HRD Minister

HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal, in an interviw to PTI, said on Sunday that the government will take a decision on April 14 whether to reopen schools, colleges after reviewing COVID-19 situation. India is currently on a nationwide lockdown till April 15.

“We are prepared to ensure there is no academic loss to students if schools, colleges remain shut beyond April 14,” said Mr. Pokhriyal. “Regularly reviewing plan of action being followed by universities and higher educational institutions during lockdown.

“Plan ready for conducting pending exams, evaluation once the lockdown is lifted.”

3.15 p.m. | Dehi


Eight Malaysian nationals sent to quarantine from Delhi airport

Eight Malaysian nationals have been sent to quarantine after they were stopped from boarding a special flight to Malaysia at Delhi’s IGI airport, an Immigration official said on Sunday.

It was found that they figured in a list of foreign nationals who attended a religious congregation at the Tablighi Jamaat centre in Nizamuddin. Their credentials are being verified with the Malaysian embassy.

In a related development, a Delhi Police official confirmed that eight Malaysian nationals had been handed over to them by Immigration department. Later, they were sent for medical examination. “All Malaysian nationals have been shifted to a quarantine centre after their samples were taken by health department”, a senior police officer said.

– Saurabh Trivedi



Lockdown to be lifted in U.P. on April 15: Yogi Adityanath

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said on Sunday the lockdown imposed to arrest the spread of novel coronavirus will be lifted on April 15 and asserted that a mechanism should be evolved to ensure crowding doesn’t take place, else all efforts will go in vain.

Holding a discussion with Members of Parliament from the State through video-conferencing, the Chief Minister sought their suggestion for smooth movement of people and services after the lockdown period.


2.50 | Jharkhand


A woman, who recently returned from Bangladesh, tested positive for coronavirus in Jharkhand’s Bokaro district on Sunday, taking the count in the State to three. A 22-year-old Malaysian woman and man from Hazaribagh had tested positive for coronavirus on March 31 and April 2 respectively, an official said.


2.30 p.m. | Andhra Pradesh


34 new cases overnight in A.P.

The number of positive Covid-19 cases in Andhra Pradesh crossed the 200-mark on Sunday, with the addition of 34 new cases overnight. The total tally stands at 226 cases as of Sunday morning.

Kurnool district alone reported 23 new cases overnight and Chittoor reported seven new cases. Prakasam and Nellore reported two cases each.

– A.P. Bureau

1.40 pm | Karnataka

Two more cases in Karnataka

Two new COVID-19 cases have been reported in Karnataka on Sunday, taking the total number of cases in the State to 146.

A bulletin issued by the Department of Health and Family Welfare states that both the patients have a travel history to Dubai and returned to Bengaluru on March 22. The two patients, a 62-year-old female and a 68-year-old male, were quarantined at Akash Hospital, and did not have any symptoms till date.

1.30 pm | Bihar

The number of COVID-19 positive cases in Bihar rose to 32 on Sunday.

The latest patient is a 65-year-old man from Bhagalpur district. He had recently travelled to the UK.

1.10 pm | Maharashtra

Pune records third death as Maharashtra’s tally surges to 661

The test samples of a recently deceased 60-year-old woman residing in the city’s Yerwada area has tested positive for COVID-19, making it the third death in Pune district, said authorities on Sunday even as Maharashtra’s total positive cases soared to 661, with 33 deaths.

According to Ajay Chandanwale, Dean of Sassoon Hospital, the woman with difficulties in breathing was brought dead to the hospital a couple of days ago. Her tests samples which were sent to the National Institute of Virology returned positive.

Sources further said that the woman was placed in isolation at the city’s Naidu hospital a few days back and discharged after testing negative. However, soon she started complaining of breathlessness and was rushed to the Sassoon Hospital where she was declared dead on arrival.


12.50 pm | Karnataka

PM Modi’s appeal on lighting lamps is BJP’s hidden agenda, says H.D. Kumaraswamy

Former Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy alleged on Sunday Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal for lighting lamps in the context of the fight against the coronavirus was a “hidden agenda” of the BJP and challenged him to offer a credible scientific and rational explanation for his call.

“Has the PM slyly asked the nation to observe a candle light vigil on the eve of foundation day of BJP? April 6 being its foundation day, what else can explain the choice of date & time for this event? I challenge the PM to offer a credible scientific and rational explanation,” the Janata Dal (Secular) leader tweeted.


12.20 pm | Madhya Pradesh

Principal Secretary of Public Health in Madhya Pradesh tests positive

The Madhya Pradesh Principal Secretary of the Public Health and Family Welfare, the seniormost bureaucrat in the department, tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday even as the toll owing to the illness reached double digits in the State.

She tested positive along with an Additional Director in the Directorate of Health Services tasked with implementing strategies to combat the outbreak in the State, according to Sudhir Dehariya, Bhopal Chief Medical and Health Officer.


11.40 am | India

PM tweets #9pm9minute to remind people to light up diyas on Sunday night

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reminded people to light up lamps on Sunday night to show the country’s collective resolve to fight coronavirus.

“#9pm9minute”, the Prime Minister tweeted to remind people of the exercise.

Mr. Modi had on Friday urged people to switch off the lights at their homes and light up lamps, candles or mobile phone torches for nine minutes at 9 p.m. on April 5 to display the country’s “collective resolve” to defeat coronavirus.


11.35 am | USA

NY continues to record highest number of daily deaths from COVID-19

New York State, the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., continued to record the highest count of daily deaths from COVID-19 as a staggering number of 630 people died in a 24-hour period and Governor Andrew Cuomo said the outbreak in the state could peak in about seven days.

The state had recorded the highest single increase in the number of deaths from novel coronavirus in a single day between April 2 and 3 when 562 people had died, one person dying from the viral infection almost every two-and-a-half minutes.

In the 24 hours since April 4, the death toll grew to 630, “all-time increase” up to a total of 3,565, up from 2,935 on Friday morning, Mr. Cuomo said.


11.25 am | South Africa

South African Muslim cleric dies of coronavirus after attending Nizamuddin congregation

A South African Muslim cleric, who recently returned from India after attending the Nizamuddin congregation, has died after contracting the novel coronavirus, according to his family members.

Moulana Yusuf Tootla, 80, attended the March 1 to 15 Tablighi Jamaat congregation in the Nizmuddin area, that has emerged as the epicentre for the spread of the coronavirus in different parts of India and abroad after thousands of people took part in it.

Tootla, who died on Tuesday, was buried after his body was collected in a bag by the Islamic Burial Council (IBC).

11.10 am | India

Testing, treatment now available for free under Ayushman Bharat Scheme

The Central government has decided to provide free testing and treatment of Coronavirus under the Ayushman Bharat Scheme.

This, it notes, will help more than 50 crore Ayushman beneficiaries to avail free testing and treatment in designated private hospitals across India.

Confirming this Dr. Indu (CEO) of Ayushman Bharat said this would allow beneficiaries to get timely and standard treatment.


10.55 am | Gujarat

14 new cases in Gujarat

14 new cases of coronavirus were reported from Gujarat out of which 6 are linked with Tabligh Jamaat congregation in Delhi.

A 61 year old female patient who tested positive for COVID-19 died in Surat.

10.30 am | Rajasthan

Another death in Jaipur

An 82-year-old man who was tested positive for COVID-19 died in Sawai Man Singh Government Hospital in Jaipur. He was admitted to the hospital on Saturday.

Six new COVID-19 positive cases, including that of an 82-year-old man who died in Jaipur, were reported in Rajasthan today, bringing the total number of cases in the State to 182. Of this, 25 people have recovered.

Adding the 28 evacuees from Iran who have been tested positive in the Army camp, the total number of cases in Rajasthan is 210.

10.20 am | Tamil Nadu

Two more deaths in TN; death toll rises to 5

Two more COVID-19 related deaths have been identified in the State, said Tamil Nadu health officials. With this, the death toll in the State rose to five.

A bulletin from the health department identified the two patients as a 71-year-old man from Ramanathapuram and a 60-year-old man from Washermanpet. They had both been admitted to the Stanley Government Hospital prior to death.


10 am | China

China reports 30 new coronavirus cases; nine districts in Wuhan classified as ‘low-risk’

China has reported 30 new cases of the novel coronavirus, including five locally transmitted infections, even as nine of the 13 administrative districts of virus-hit Wuhan city were declared ‘low-risk areas’ signifying a gradual return to normalcy, officials said on Sunday.

China’s National Health Commission (NHC) in its daily report said other than the 30 new confirmed COVID-19 cases reported in the mainland on Saturday, 47 new asymptomatic cases were also reported.

The NHC said 1,024 asymptomatic cases were still under medical observation, including 244 from abroad.


9.30 am | United Kingdom

Liverpool furlough non-playing staff amid COVID-19 pandemic

Premier League leaders Liverpool have furloughed some of their non-playing staff due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are holding talks about the prospect of salary deductions for players and senior staff, the club said on Saturday.

Liverpool added on their website that the furloughed staff would continue to receive 100% of their salaries.

Furloughed British workers can claim 80% of their wages up to 2,500 pounds per month as part of the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which means Liverpool will top up the remaining 20% of salaries for furloughed staff.



9 am | India

DRDO comes up with more products to tackle coronavirus

The Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) has announced a few more products made by its scientists with indigenous technologies to combat coronavirus pandemic.

The Centre for Fire Explosive & Environment Safety (CFEES), Delhi, developed two configurations of sanitising equipment which are spin-offs from technologies developed for fire suppression applications. First is a portable sanitisation equipment for spraying decontamination solution consisting of 1% Hypochlorite (HYPO) solution for sanitisation of suspected area.


8.33 am | USA

U.S. to witness toughest next two weeks due to rising coronavirus cases: Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump has warned the Americans of the toughest next two weeks as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases crossed three lakh-mark and the death toll stood over 8,000.

“Next two weeks are going to be very, very deadly. Unfortunately, but we are going to make it so that we lose as few lives as possible and I think we are going to be successful, Mr. Trump told reporters during a press conference at the White House that was also attended by Vice President Mike Pence.



42% of patients in India between 21 and 40 years

About 42% of those confirmed positive for COVID-19 in India are between the ages of 21-40 years old, the Union Health Ministry said on April 4, for the first time throwing light on the demography of the disease in India. Only 17% of those testing positive were over 60.

By comparison, data from the U.S. Centres for Disease Control said 29% of those affected were in the 20-44 age group and 32% were above 60. India recorded 2,904 cases and 75 deaths as on Saturday compared to the 2,79,355 cases and 7,451 deaths in the United States.



Grounding of planes partially hits IMD’s weather data supply

The grounding of the country’s civilian aircraft has strangled a key source of weather data that the India Meteorological Department (IMD) uses for its forecasts. Officials, however, clarified that India’s annual monsoon forecast system was on track, with the first forecast scheduled to be issued in mid-April.

Aircraft relay data about temperature and wind speed in the upper atmosphere to meteorological agencies the world over and this is used in the dynamical models, the ones which are run on super computers and relied on to give weather forecasts three days, or even two weeks ahead. “Inputs from aircraft are important for the dynamical models as it determines the initial conditions for these models,” D.S. Pai, chief forecaster, IMD Pune, told The Hindu. “However for the monsoon forecast, which is a long-term forecast, this isn’t significantly affected.”


Tamil Nadu

Shops selling essential commodities will close at 1 p.m. from Sunday, says Palaniswami

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Saturday announced that shops selling essential items would stay open only between 6 a.m. and 1 p.m. from Sunday.

He said that all markets should strictly follow the prescribed physical distancing norms and advised against any type of religious congregation.

Mr. Palaniswami said that he had instructed district collectors to ensure the reopening of private hospitals. “Private hospitals have been advised to treat COVID-19 patients without discrimination and utmost care. They will also make vehicles available to bring patients,” he said, adding that select private hospitals had been identified to treat COVID-19 patients.



Two more positive cases from Dharavi

The number of COVID-19 positive cases from Dharavi rose to four on Saturday.

A 30-year-old woman, a resident of the same area as the first patient, along with a 48-year-old man from Dharavi’s Mukund Nagar, tested positive for the disease. This brings the total to four from the area, excluding a conservancy worker, who also tested positive.

Upscale Shivaji Park too reported its first positive case on Saturday.


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