India saw a doubling of the number of COVID-19 cases in the past week, with 328 more cases and 12 deaths reported on April 2. According to the Union Health Ministry, the tally now stands at 2,069 cases, with 53 deaths and 155 cured of the novel coronavirus infection.
However, data from the State authorities put the number of positive cases at over 2,400 and the death toll at 70.
Worldwide, the number of coronavirus infections has hit 1 million, with more than 50,000 deaths, according to the tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.
The new 24/7 national helpline numbers are 1075, 1800-112-545 and 011-23978046.
The Prime Minister has announced a WhatsApp helpdesk number: 9013151515.
Here are the latest updates:
10.20 am | China
China to observe April 4 as mourning day for coronavirus victims
China will observe a national day of mourning on Saturday for martyrs, including the “whistleblower” doctor Li Wenliang, who sacrificed their lives in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak and the over 3,300 people who died of the COVID-19 in the country.
During the commemoration, national flags will fly at half-mast across the country and in all Chinese embassies and consulates abroad, and public recreational activities will be suspended across the country, official media reported on Friday.
At 10:00 a.m. Saturday, Chinese people nationwide will observe three minutes of silence to mourn the deceased, while air raid sirens and horns of automobiles, trains and ships will wail in grief.
10 am | India
PM Modi urges people to light candles, mobile torches for nine minutes at 9 p.m. on April 5
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 3 asked Indians, entering the ninth day of a harsh lockdown, to demonstrate collective will to fight the coronavirus, a token demonstration of which, he said, would be to light candles, lamps, mobile torches for nine minutes on April 5 at 9 p.m. “There is no bigger force than our conviction and resolve. There is nothing we cannot achieve with these forces,” he said.
Addressing the nation via a video conference, Mr. Modi made it very clear that the coronavirus threat could only be combated with the full co-operation of the people, and that the collective strength was what would take the country out of what he termed “darkness that engulfs us” in the form of coronavirus.
9.45 am | South Korea
South Korea has 86 new cases, total over 10,000
South Korea has reported 86 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing its caseload above 10,000.
South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday said about half of the new cases came from the densely populous Seoul metropolitan area, where infections linked to international arrivals have been rising.
Another 22 infections were detected at airports where workers have been isolating and testing passengers arriving with fever or respiratory symptoms.
South Korea has been enforcing two-week quarantines on all passengers arriving from overseas since Wednesday to stem a rise in imported infections.
9.30 am | Singapore
Singapore reports fifth death
Singapore reported another coronavirus-related death on Friday, raising the city-state’s total fatalities from the disease to five.
The latest death was of an 86-year-old female Singapore citizen, the Health Ministry said in a statement.
The country has reported 1,049 coronavirus cases in total. —Reuters
9.10 am | Karnataka
27 persons who attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation test negative
About 27 of the 33 persons from Belagavi district of Karnataka, who attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Nizamuddin, Delhi have proved to be Negative.
The results of six others are awaited.
The district administration had identified 62 persons from Belagavi district who had attended the meeting in new Delhi in March.
Of them, the throat swab samples of 33 suspected cases had been sent for testing. The tests of 27 have proven negative and the results of six are awaited.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Commissioner of Police S.B. Bommanahalli has urged the people to declare if they had attended the meeting.
Members of the general public who have knowledge of anyone from their village attending the meeting have been requested to inform the concerned teheshildar. — Special Correspondent
24 Indian expatriates test positive for Covid-19 in Kuwait
Twenty four Indian expatriates have tested positive for Covid 19 on Wednesday in Kuwait, signaling that New Delhi will have to keep an eye on the cnnditions of millions of Indian workers in the Gulf, where the footprint of novel Coronavirus is gradually expanding.
The daily Kuwait Times quoting Kuwaiti Health Ministry, reported on Thursday that 28 new coronavirus cases have been reported beteween April 1 and April 27, of whom are expats, including 24 Indians, two Bangladeshis and one Nepali. This raises the total number of Covid 19 cases in Kuwait to 317. — Atul Aneja
8.50 am | India
Air India to bring personal protective equipment from Shanghai, Hong Kong
Air India has received China’s clearance to operate cargo flights to Shanghai and Hong Kong to help Indian pharmaceutical companies import personal protective equipment for frontline health workers.
“We have secured requisite approvals from Shanghai for our flights on April 4 and 5 and await clearances for flights on April 6,7 and 8. Permissions have also been obtained for operations to Hong Kong,” Air India Chairman and Managing Director, Rajiv Bansal, said at a press conference.
The flights are being operated on commercial basis following demands from pharmaceutical companies and their intermediaries and will carry cargo on inbound as well as outbound flights.
8.30 am | USA
Chinese figure of 82,000 COVID-19 cases ‘not accurate,’ says Nikki Haley
Indian-American politician Nikki Haley has cast doubt on the accuracy of China’s official coronavirus figures, terming them “clearly not accurate”, amidst reports that the CIA has advised the White House not to trust the data being provided by Beijing.
“China has reported only 82,000 coronavirus cases & 3300 deaths in a nation of 1.5 billion people. This is clearly not accurate,” Ms. Haley, the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, said in a tweet on Thursday.
As compared to China, the number of confirmed coronavirus infections in the U.S. on Thursday jumped to 240,000 and the fatalities rose to 5800.
8 am | India
World Bank approves $1 billion emergency funds for India to tackle pandemic
The World Bank on Thursday approved $1 billion emergency financing for India to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, which has claimed 76 lives and infected 2,500 others in the country.
The World Bank’s first set of aid projects, amounting to $1.9 billion, will assist 25 countries, and new operations are moving forward in over 40 nations using the fast-track process, the bank said. The largest chunk of the emergency financial assistance has gone to India — $1 billion.
7.30 am | Bihar
Six more COVID-19 positive cases have been detected in Bihar, bringing the total tally in the State to 30. More details are awaited.
How T.N. handled Delhi Tablighi Jamaat event fallout
Has Tamil Nadu really got the lid on what it perceived as a big threat to its efforts to control the pandemic? With 1,103 people who attended the Tablighi Jamaat conference in Nizamuddin in Delhi, identified, health authorities do believe that the bulk of cases are under control.
The transformation from apprehension to confidence has been literally overnight. Until Monday, 515 people had been identified and the State government unsure of tracing every single person who attended the event in Delhi. In an initial batch, 16 out of 17 people whose swabs were picked up tested positive.
Dharavi emerges as COVID-19 hotspot
With coronavirus (COVID-19) claiming its first victim in Dharavi, Asia’s largest slum is a hotspot. On Wednesday, Dharavi reported its first case, a 56-year-old garment shop owner from Baliga Nagar, and the person died on the same day.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Mumbai Police are checking whether he had come in contact with anyone from Tablighi Jamaat. He had no history of foreign travel. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone V) Niyati Thaker said, “The person had another house in the same area and it seems some members of Tablighi Jamaat were staying there. Some other members of the Jamaat were also staying in a local mosque. We are verifying.”