Coronavirus update: Kolkata death takes India toll to 8

Italy reported 651 deaths in one day, a 13.5% increase

By DTE Staff
Published: Monday 23 March 2020

A 58-year-old man died in Kolkata from the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) on March 23, 2020, according to local media reports. The man was admitted in the city's AMRI hospital. His son had reportedly returned from Italy. The total number of dead across India rose to eight.

There was a spurt in Kerala, with 28 new cases reported — the largest in any Indian state in a single day. The state health department said 25 of the 28 new cases had a travel history to Dubai.

The new Kerala count apaert, there were 467 positive cases in the countr, according to the Union health ministry, with nine deaths.

Full lockdown in Kerala

The Kerala government on March 23 announced a full lockdown in the state, after 28 new cases were reported in the state. The enforcement of a lockdown means the state borders are closed, with no public transport available. 

Government offices have to ensure necessary security arrangements are made. All ceremonies where people come to worship will be stopped. Medical shops will be open, while other shops will be closed. A 140-day quarantine is made compulsory for those coming from other states.

Domestic flights banned

India banned domestic flights after midnight on March 24, the Union government said. The decision was taken after a jump in the number of those infected across the country. West Bengal Chief Minister had earlier written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging the stoppage of domestic flights to ensure lockdown.

339,645 infected worldwide

The total number of those infected by the virus across the world reached up to 339, 645, with 14,716 deaths recorded, according to John Hopkins' Coronavirus Resource Center.

The number of those recovered reached upto 98,840, according to Johns Hopkins.

Italy reported 651 deaths due to the virus in one day, taking the total number of dead in the country to 5,476.

Rwanda is the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to order a total shutdown because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The tiny central African country confirmed 17 cases of the virus.

Supreme Court may seal premises

The Supreme Court was considering shutting down its functioning and hearing only urgent cases through virtual means, according to media reports. The top court said all lawyers' chambers in and around the court premises would be sealed by March 24.

Tamil Nadu to impose Section 144

The Tamil Nadu governmenr said Section 144 would be imposed across the state from 6 pm on March 24 until March 31, amid the COVID-19 outbreak. In capital Chennai, 3,000 were advised to self-isolate themselves at home, with the civic body saying it would keep a close watch on the houses. The houses would be stamped by authorities after checking to alert others, it said.

Kerala priest arrested for holding prayer meet

The Kerala police arrested a priest in Koodapuzha in the state’s Thrissur district for holding Qurbana (or weekly sacrifice) prayer meet on March 22.

Over 100 people reportedly took part in the prayer meet, amid a strict lockdown in several states, taken as a precautionary measure to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kerala’s chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan had warned against violations of the lockdown in the state, adding that strict action would be taken against offenders. The state moved to a complete lockdown from a partial one.

Sensex plummets 3,900 points

The Sensex ended at 3,935 points, while the Nifty 50 index sank 1,135 points to close at 7,610 points on March 23, after India entered a lockdown because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Analysts say more correction may be up ahead as investors the world over assess the effectiveness of policy measures to curb the spread of the outbreak.

Healthcare comes under CSR

Healthcare and preventive healthcare were covered under corporate social responsibility (CSR), K Vijay Raghavan, the principal scientific adviser to the Union government of India, said.

“Any project or program for preventing or controlling or managing COVID19 is legitimate CSR expenditure,” he said in a tweet.

US Federal Reserve to backstop credit

The US Federal Reserve said on March 23 that it would backstop an unprecedented range of credit for households, small businesses and major employers, citing “tremendous hardship” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, reported news agency Reuters.

The Fed said in a statement the effort was taken because “it has become clear that our economy will face severe disruptions.”

799 cases in Pakistan

The number of cases of those infected with the virus shot up to 799. Of the 799 cases, Sindh province reported the most, with 352 cases, according to The Hindu.

Nepal reports second case

A second case of infection was reported from Nepal on March 23, of a 19-year-old student who returned from France via Qatar, according to a report by The Economic Times.

WHO launches global megatrial of promising drugs

The World Health Organization (WHO) launched SOLIDARITY, a large global trial, to find out whether four promising drugs could hold the key for a potential treatment against the novel coronavirus, according to journal Science.

A combination of two drugs used against HIV, a malaria treatment first tested during World War II and an antiviral whose promise against the Ebola disease fizzled last year, were the drugs being tested.

New York has roughly 5 per cent coronavirus cases worldwide

The number of cases of those infected with the virus in New York, US comprises of five per cent of cases across the world, governor Andrew Cuomo said on March 22.

The increase in cases stems from both the rapid growth of the outbreak and significantly increased testing in the state.

Egypt, South Africa, Algeria most affected in Africa

Egypt, South Africa and Algeria emerged as the major hotspots for SARS-CoV-2. The three countries accounted for over 58 per cent (769) of 1,300 confirmed cases in 43 African countries, as of March 22, 2020.

Philippines seeks 215 who attended Malaysia event

A religious gathering in Malaysia that drew 16,000 muslims from around 30 countries, was linked to a spike in the number of cases of those infected with the virus, according to Al Jazeera.

More than 1,000 Israelis infected

Around 1,071 Israelis were infected with the novel coronavirus, according to newspaper The Jerusalem Post.

The spike in the number of cases was tied to a sharp increase in the number of coronavirus tests being conducted, according to the report.

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