The number of COVID-19 positive cases in India exceeded 3,100 and the death toll touched 94 on Saturday, according to State and Health Ministry reports. Despite the rise in cases, Joint Secretary at the Union Health Ministry Lav Agarwal said the revised testing guideline is still under consideration and would be released by April 4.
Worldwide, confirmed infections rose past 1 million and deaths topped 58,000, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. Experts say both numbers are seriously undercounted because of the lack of testing, mild cases that were missed and governments that are underplaying the crisis.
The new 24/7 national helpline numbers are 1075, 1930, 1944 (dedicated to Northeast), 1800-112-545 and 011-23978046.
The Prime Minister has announced a WhatsApp helpdesk number: 9013151515.
Here are the latest updates:
1.00 pm | India
Use of masks will help in protecting community at large from COVID-19, the government has said in an advisory asking people to wear ‘homemade face covers’.
12.45 pm | Kashmir
Kashmir registers three more cases
Three more COVID-19 positive cases have been reported in Jammu and Kashmir, bringing the total number of cases in the State to 78.
The cases have been reported from Narsoo and Udhampur, said J&K government spokesperson Rohit Kansal. All cases are contacts of a positive patient from Udhampur with travel history abroad, he added.
12.30 pm | Mumbai
BMC thanks Shah Rukh Khan, Gauri for lending a helping hand
The BMC took to Twitter to thank filmmakers Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri Khan for lending a helping hand in the city’s fight against COVID-19.
“We thank Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri Khan for offering their 4-storey personal office space to help expand our quarantine capacity equipped with essentials for quarantined children, women & elderly. Indeed a thoughtful & timely gesture!,” the corporation tweeted from its official Twitter handle.
Mumbai has detected over 300 COVID-19 positive cases, the highest in Maharashtra.
12.25 pm | Tamil Nadu
AIADMK to donate ₹1 crore to CM’s relief fund
Tamil Nadu ruling party All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) announced a donation of ₹1 crore to the Chief Minister’s Public Relief Fund to combat COVID-19 related issues in India.
This is in addition to the donation of one month salary by the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister, and other Ministers, MLAs and MPs, and the allotment of ₹1 crore from their constituency development funds.
12.20 pm | Maharashtra
The number of COVID-19 positive cases in Maharashtra reached 537 on Saturday, with Mumbai accounting for 300 of these.
More details are awaited.
12 pm | USA
New York State records highest number of deaths in single day from COVID-19
The New York State reported its highest number of 562 COVID-19 deaths in a single day, with a person dying almost every two-and-a-half minutes, as Governor Andrew Cuomo allowed redistribution of ventilators and protective gear to hospitals with greater need.
Coronavirus cases in the state, the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S., crossed 1,00,000 and it recorded the highest increase in the number of deaths from the virus in a single day between April 2 and 3, Mr. Cuomo said.
The death toll in the state now stands at 2,935, an increase of 562 deaths in just one day, Mr. Cuomo said.
The curve continues to go up, Cuomo said while addressing reporters on Friday.
11.50 am | Madhya Pradesh
A 42-year-old man from Indore died of COVID-19 on Saturday morning while undergoing treatment at a hospital, according to officials.
He had no travel or contact history, but was suffering from obesity and hypertension, according to officials at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College in Indore.
So far, Madhya Pradesh has reported 10 deaths owing to the illness, with six in Indore alone.
11.40 am | Malawi
Malawi announces first coronavirus cases
Malawi on Thursday announced its first three coronavirus infections, one of the last African countries to report the potentially deadly disease.
The southern African country was one of the few without any confirmed cases along with the Comoros, Lesotho, Sao Tome and Principe and South Sudan.
The first was detected in an elderly woman who had recently travelled to India to visit her relatives.
11.20 am | India
Nestle announces ₹15 crore grant
FMCG major Nestle India on Saturday announced an initial grant of ₹15 crore for providing food and essential groceries to the needy amid the coronavirus lockdown.
It will also support purchase of medical equipment for hospitals to fight against the COVID-19 outbreak, Nestle India said in a statement.
The company has already started with a contribution of ₹1 crore to Narayana Hrudayalaya Foundation for purchase of ventilators for Delhi/NCR.
“We commit to initially, a sum of ₹15 crores towards feeding programs for less privileged sections of society through participation with leading and credible NGOs engaged in this along with distribution of essential groceries to the needy,” Nestle India said.
The company would participate with NGOs working on distribution of food and essential groceries.
11 am | Delhi
Delhi hospital treating COVID-19 cases seeks details of staff WhatsApp group admins
To “prevent” any “adverse comments or statements” on social media and the spread of fake news and rumours by any hospital or college staff, the Vardhaman Mahavir College and Safdarjung Hospital in the capital has asked for names and details of all admins of WhatsApp groups of staff members.
The hospital is among those treating COVID-19 patients.
10.40 am | Gujarat
Death toll in Gujarat touches double digits
Gujarat registered its tenth death due to COVID-19 on Saturday, in addition to detecting 10 new cases of coronavirus infection. This brings the total number of cases in the State to 105, said the health department.
The deceased is an elderly woman who was on ventilator in SVP Hospital in Ahmedabad.
Of the 10 new cases detected today, five are from Ahmedabad, two from Bhavnagar, two from Gandhinagar and one from Patan.
Fourteen patients have been discharged so far, according to officials.
10.30 am | Odisha
Tablighi Jamaat returnees in Odisha told to turn up for testing within 24 hours
Calling upon the Tablighi Jamaat returnees to come forward for testing within 24 hours, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday urged the people not to panic but stay watchful to contain the spread of coronavirus in the State.
Mr. Patnaik appealed to those who had returned to the State after attending the Jamaat’s religious conference in Delhi to call toll free number 104 and follow the advice of the doctors for the well-being of their families.
The 104 helpline is manned by a group of doctors who are accessible to the people for offering expert advice with regard to testing for coronavirus infection and treatment of COVID-19.
10.20 am | Assam
The number of COVID-19 positive case in Assam touches 24. Overall, 28 cases have been detected in the Northeast, of which 25 are linked to Delhi’s Nizamuddin congregation.
9.50 am | Rajasthan
A 60-year-old COVID-19 positive woman with no travel history has died in a government hospital in Bikaner, Rajasthan. She was handicapped and was on ventilator for four days.
Meanwhile, the tally of COVID-19 positive cases in Rajasthan has increased to 164 with the detection of 12 cases today. This includes eight Tablighi Jamaat members.
In addition to this, 27 evacuees from Iran, staying in the Army’s wellness centres in Jodhpur and Jaisalmer, have been tested positive for COVID-19. They have been shifted to isolation facilities. Including them, the infection tally in Rajasthan stands at 191.
9.20 am | Uttar Pradesh
U.P. villages tense as many skip quarantine
In many districts, migrants who returned home following the lockdown and consequent loss of jobs, and were kept inside these centres as per preventive protocol, have jumped quarantine or found reasons to leave the centres. The government estimates that around 2-2.5 lakh such migrants returned to various districts of U.P. after it operated bus services to transport them back from Delhi and nearby cities.
9 am | China
China honors virus victims with 3 minutes of reflection
With air raid sirens wailing and flags at half-mast, China has held a three-minute nationwide moment of reflection to honor those who have died in the coronavirus outbreak.
Commemorations took place at 10 a.m. Saturday in all major cities, but were particularly poignant in Wuhan, where the virus was first detected in December
Amid new research, U.S. CDC recommends face masks to stop virus spread
President Donald Trump on Friday recommended that Americans cover their faces with masks when outdoors, a policy U-turn following growing scientific research suggesting their widespread use can stem the spread of the coronavirus.
Mr. Trump told a White House briefing that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was urging people to wear face coverings like scarves or homemade cloth masks, but to keep medical-grade masks available for health workers.