Coronavirus update: India tally crosses 500

Almost the whole country under lockdown

By DTE Staff
Published: Tuesday 24 March 2020
Novel Coronavirus SARS-COV-2

India’s count of novel coronavirus (SARS-COV-2) positive cases crossed the 500-mark on March 24, 2020, according to figures released by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to address the nation at 8 pm, the second such in a week, at a time when nearly every part of India was under some form of lockdown, ordered by governments at the Centre and states, to prevent the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) from spreading:

Kerala and Marashtra led the tally with 87 and 86 cases respectively. Nine people have died.

Finmin postpones deadlines

Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman extended deadlines to file income-tax returns to June 30 as most of the country was under lockdown. Bank customers will be able to withdraw cash using their debit cards from any ATM.

The Centre is also reportedly planning a financial package to offset the impact of COVID-19.

The deadline for linking AADHAARs with PAN and for Goods and Services tax have also been similarly extended. 

The minister said there were no plans to declare a financial emergency in the country. All regulators were working closely, she said.

Also in India

  • Indian Railways is planning to turn empty train coaches into treatement centres to cater to COVID-19 patients, Manoramanonline reported.
  • Some 5,000 Indian students are stuck in Kazakhstan, with air services cancelled, reported Anandabazar Patrika.
  • The 100-day-long protest against the citizenship amendment Act and any move to create a National Register of Citizens at New Delhi's Shaheen Bagh was folded up.  

Across the world

  • A US advocacy filed a $20 trillion lawsuit against the Chinese govt for developing the virus as an ‘illegal biological weapon’.
  • The United Kingdom government tightened restrictions. Non-essential public spots were shut, including libraries, churches, gyms, playgrounds, etc, the CNBC reported. 

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