Coronavirus LIVE: Poland confirms first virus death

Poland has recorded its first death from the Novel Coronavirus outbreak in the western city of Poznan, its deputy mayor said on Thursday

Photo Courtesy: IANS
Photo Courtesy: IANS

NH Web Desk

12 Mar 2020, 4:50 PM

No Minister of Central Government will travel abroad in the upcoming days, says PM Modi over Coronavirus outbreak

PM Narendra Modi: Say No to Panic, Say Yes to Precautions. No Minister of Central Government will travel abroad in the upcoming days. I urge our countrymen to also avoid non-essential travel. We can break the chain of spread and ensure safety of all by avoiding large gatherings.

12 Mar 2020, 6:00 PM

Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum not be open to public till further notice

Rashtrapati Bhavan: Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum Complex (RBMC)& the Change of Guard ceremony will not be open to public till further notice. Rashtrapati Bhavan will remain closed for exploratory tour visits from March 13, till further notice.

12 Mar 2020, 5:59 PM

Indian Super League 2019-20 final to be played behind closed doors

Indian Super League 2019-20 final between ATK FC and Chennaiyin FC on March 14, to be played behind closed doors at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Fatorda.

12 Mar 2020, 5:57 PM

Poland confirms first virus death

Poland has recorded its first death from the novel coronavirus outbreak in the western city of Poznan, its deputy mayor said on Thursday.

The 57-year-old female teacher, who had recently been hospitalised in critical condition with pneumonia, was put into an artificial coma and on a ventilator but "unfortunately she died not long ago," Poznan deputy mayor Jedrzej Solarski told reporters.

Poland currently has 46 other confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to the health ministry.

The woman's husband and daughter are among those hospitalised with coronavirus but their conditions are not critical. Other family members, including the woman's two sons, have not been infected.

"What we feared over the last few days has come about. We have our first death from the coronavirus," Polish President Andrzej Duda told reporters.

"I offer my condolences to her close ones."

12 Mar 2020, 5:55 PM

UN Human Rights Council to suspend session over COVID-19

The top UN rights body decided Thursday to suspend its main annual session at the end of this week over the new coronavirus pandemic.

"With the agreement of the council, we will suspend the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council on the 13th of March until further notice," council president Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger told country representatives.

There were no objections to the proposal, which came a day after the World Health Organization said COVID-19 could now be classed as a pandemic.

The Human Rights Council, which kicked off its main annual session on February 24 and had been scheduled to continue through to March 20, would wrap up some work, including a debate on racial discrimination, before closing up shop on Friday.

On Friday afternoon, she said, the council would appoint 19 mandate-holders whose appointments had been planned for next week.

12 Mar 2020, 5:55 PM

Iran asks IMF for first loan in decades to combat virus

Iran said on Thursday that it has sought immediate financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund to help it combat one of the world's deadliest coronavirus outbreaks.

According to a tweet by Iran's top diplomat, IMF chief Kristina Georgieva had "stated that countries affected by #COVID19 will be supported via Rapid Financial Instrument (RFI)".

"Our central bank requested access to this facility immediately," Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif added on his Twitter account.

Iran has not received assistance from the IMF since a "standby credit" issued between 1960 and 1962, according to the fund's data.

Zarif said the IMF and its board "should adhere to fund's mandate, stand on right side of history and act responsibly".

The various loans that can be granted by the IMF must be approved by the institution's executive board, where the United States practically has a veto on decisions.

The United States is currently pursuing a policy of "maximum pressure" aimed at crippling the finances of Iran's government.

In an Instagram post picked up by state news agency IRNA, central bank governor Abdolnasser Hemmati claimed to have formally requested access to RFI by letter on March 6.

12 Mar 2020, 5:41 PM

Russian-European Mars mission postponed until 2022 over coronavirus: Roscosmos

A joint Russian-European mission to Mars was postponed on Thursday due to technical difficulties and the global coronavirus epidemic, the Russian space agency said.

"We have made a difficult but well-weighed decision to postpone the launch to 2022," said Roscosmos director general Dmitry Rogozin.

The mission has been repeatedly postponed and was most recently scheduled for this year.

12 Mar 2020, 5:08 PM

Schools, colleges and cinema halls to be shut till March 31, says Delhi CM on Coronavirus scare

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal: All cinema halls to remain shut in Delhi till 31st March. Schools and colleges where exams are not being held will also remain closed.

12 Mar 2020, 4:33 PM

Iran announces 75 new virus deaths, taking total to 429

Iran says the new coronavirus has killed 75 more people, raising the death toll to 429 amid over 10,000 cases in the Islamic Republic.

That's according to a Health Ministry spokesman who spoke in a live, televised news conference on Thursday.

Iran is the hardest-hit country in the Mideast by the new coronavirus, which sickens but largely doesn't kill those afflicted.

Iran has asked for an emergency USD 5 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund to combat the outbreak there.

The rising casualty figures each day there suggests the fight against the new coronavirus is far from over. Outside of Iran, only Iraq, Egypt and Lebanon have recorded deaths from the virus in the Middle East.

12 Mar 2020, 4:33 PM

Govt's immediate concern is to contain and control coronavirus, there is no need to panic: MEA

12 Mar 2020, 4:28 PM

COVID-19 is a ‘controllable pandemic’, says WHO chief

The new coronavirus outbreak "is a controllable pandemic" if countries step up measures to tackle it, the head of the World Health Organization said on Thursday.

"We are deeply concerned that some countries are not approaching this threat with the level of political commitment needed to control it," WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told diplomats in Geneva, according to a statement.

12 Mar 2020, 4:21 PM

First COVID-19 case in AP as man who returned from Italy tests positive

A man who returned from Italy to Nellore last week tested positive for coronavirus, making it the first such case in Andhra Pradesh, the Medical and Health Department said here on Thursday.

The person developed dry cough and was admitted to the isolation ward in the government hospital at Nellore on his return from the European Nation on March 6.

"Tests on his blood samples at the virology lab in Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences in Tirupati confirmed positive for COVID-19," the Health department said in a release.

"The patient is stable and all his vitals are normal and he has recovered from the symptoms.He is keeping good health and will be discharged after 14-days on retesting the sample," it said.

Five other people whom the patient came in contact with on return from Italy have been identified and were brought under hospital quarantine as per protocol, the release added.

12 Mar 2020, 4:20 PM

Spain's Equality Minister Irene Montero tests positive for Coronavirus

Spain's Equality Minister Irene Montero tests positive for coronavirus, AFP reports quoting the government, reported News18.

12 Mar 2020, 3:50 PM

We already have around 1 lakh testing kits available, additional testing kits have already been ordered, says Health Ministry

Luv Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Union Health Ministry: We already have around 1 lakh testing kits available, additional testing kits have already been ordered and they are also in procurement

12 Mar 2020, 3:48 PM

Vaccines will be available in 1.5 to 2 years, says ICMR

Indian Council of Medical Research: We have managed to isolate the coronavirus, we have 11 such isolates. Vaccines will take a minimum of 1.5 to 2 years.

12 Mar 2020, 3:26 PM

Out of the 73 positive Coronavirus cases in India, 56 are Indians and 17 are foreigners

Luv Aggarwal, Health Ministry: Out of the 73 positive cases reported in India so far, 56 are Indians and 17 are foreigners.

12 Mar 2020, 3:23 PM

IPL behind close doors? Ministry BCCI, to shut out crowds due to COVID-19

The BCCI kept mum but the Sports Ministry on Thursday dropped hints that the IPL could be held in empty stadiums due to the COVID-19 pandemic even as foreign players were ruled out of the glitzy event till April 15 following government-imposed travel restrictions.

IPL in empty stadiums would be up for discussion at the event's Governing Council meeting on Saturday and the BCCI has decided to adopt a wait and watch policy till then. The T20 tournament is due to start on March 29 in Mumbai.

However, the Sports ministry has asked all national federations, including the cricket board, to follow the Health Ministry's advisory and avoid large gatherings in sports events.

"...ensure that no public gathering takes place in any sporting event. In the event the sporting event cannot be avoided, the same could be done wihout allowing gathering of people, including spectators," read an order from the Sports ministry.

Sports Secretary Radhey Shyam Julaniya reiterated the ministry's position while talking to PTI.

"We have asked all the NSFs, including the BCCI, to follow the Health Ministry's latest advisory, which says public gatherings should be avoided in all events, including sporting activities," Julaniya said.

The government on Wednesday suspended all visas, barring a few categories like diplomatic and employment, in an attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus as cases across India rose to more than 60.

No foreign player will be available in the league due to the restrictions.

A closed-door IPL seems like a real possibility now but even a postponement cannot be ruled out given that the 60-odd overseas recruits won't be available to ply their trade, at least in the intial stages of the event starting March 29 in Mumbai.

"The foreign players who play in the IPL come under the Business Visa category. As per the government's directive, they can't come till April 15," a BCCI source told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

The Maharashtra and Karnataka governments are already wary of organising the home games of Mumbai Indians and the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The outbreak, declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday, has led to more than 4,000 deaths globally.

Earlier, the shooting World Cup and the Indian Open golf tournament were postponed while badminton's India Open will be played without any spectators.

The coronavirus outbreak has also led to speculation over the fate of the Tokyo Olympics this year.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC), however, has insisted that the Games will be held as scheduled in July-August.

12 Mar 2020, 3:22 PM

Spike in cases in Gulf pushes Mideast past 10,000 infections

A spike in cases in the Gulf helped push infections in the Middle East for the new coronavirus past 10,000 cases on Thursday, with most infected people either in Iran or having recently travelled there.

Countries in the region have imposed varying levels of restrictions on travel, from wholesale halting of all commercial flights in Kuwait, to Saudi Arabia banning travel to 39 countries.

Regional stock markets were down, reflecting investor concerns and nerves felt globally as oil prices plunge and tourism revenue is eroded by the virus.

The World Health Organisation on Wednesday officially designated the outbreak a "pandemic".

Multiple top officials in Iran — from its senior vice president to Cabinet ministers, members of parliament, Revolutionary Guard members, health workers and health ministry officials — have contracted the virus. Some of those officials have died.

Iran says the virus has killed 354 people and infected some 9,000 people nationwide. There are concerns that the number of infections across Iran is much higher than the confirmed cases reported by the government, which is struggling to contain or manage its spread. The rising casualty figures each day in Iran suggest the fight against the new coronavirus is far from over.

12 Mar 2020, 3:20 PM

Delhi Traffic Police gives instructions about coronavirus for safety of its personnel, motorists

The Delhi Traffic Police has issued instructions regarding coronavirus for the safety of its personnel and motorists, officials said on Thursday.

They have been provided extra straws to be used with breath analysers during the alcohol test.

"The Delhi Traffic Police personnel have been provided extra masks, straws and hand gloves. They have been asked to wash their hands if possible or use gloves. They have been instructed not to interact without mask especially during alcometer test," Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) NS Bundela said.

Every individual gets separate straw, which is disposable, for alcometer, they said.

12 Mar 2020, 1:37 PM

COVID-19 peak phase over in China, says spokesperson of Chinese National Health Commission

The peak of the current outbreak of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in China is over, reports China Xinhua News, quoting a spokesperson of the National Health Commission

12 Mar 2020, 12:59 PM

Total confirmed virus cases across India reach 73

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India: Total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across India (including foreign nationals) is 73.

12 Mar 2020, 12:55 PM

Initial focus to bring back Indian pilgrims stranded in Iran, says EAM S Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday said the initial focus is to bring back Indian pilgrims stranded in Iran, which is grappling with cases of coronavirus.

The outbreak of coronavirus is a "matter of concern" and "we need to respond responsibly", he told Lok Sabha as he spoke on the current situation.

He said around 6,000 Indians are stranded in Iran, including 1,100 pilgrims from Maharashtra and Jammu and Kashmir.

There are also around 300 students there, he added.

The "initial focus is on bringing back pilgrims, mostly stranded in Qom", he said, adding the government is also working with Indian authorities to look at the possibility of operating limited commercial flights.

12 Mar 2020, 12:39 PM

Outbreak of coronavirus matter of concern; we need to respond responsibly, says EAM S Jaishankar in Lok Sabha

12 Mar 2020, 12:33 PM

Parliament cancels visitors passes

Amid fear of spread of coronavirus, Parliament on Thursday cancelled the visitors passes in general so as to avoid any contact with outsiders.

When asked about any proposal of adjourning the House, the Speaker said: "NO".

Speaker Om Birla was asked after he arrived in Parliament. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi did not comment on the issue. The cases in the country has crossed 60 with the largest jump in casesreported on Wednesday.

12 Mar 2020, 11:26 AM

Woman doctor from Canada tests coronavirus positive in Lucknow

A woman doctor from Canada has tested coronavirus positive in Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow, taking the total of such cases in the northern state to 10.

The patient, who tested positive late Wednesday night, has been admitted in an isolation ward in King George's Medical University (KGMU).

Her blood sample reported positive result at the KGMU laboratory, and will now be sent for reconfirmation to the National Institute of Virology in Pune.

According to KGMU Medicine Department Prof Himanshu said on Thursday that the woman is a doctor based in Toronto, Canada. She travelled to Lucknow via London and Mumbai on March 8.

12 Mar 2020, 10:40 AM

Spectator at India-Australia Women's T20 WC final diagnosed with COVID-19: MCG

A spectator who attended the ICC Women's T20 World Cup final between India and Australia here on March 8 has tested positive for novel coronavirus, the Melbourne Cricket Ground said on Wednesday but insisted that the risk of him infecting others was low.

The final was won by Australia by 85 runs for a fifth world title.

"...a person who attended the ICC Women's T20 World Cup Final at the MCG on Sunday March 8 has now been diagnosed with COVID-19," the Melbourne Cricket Ground management said in a statement.

12 Mar 2020, 10:20 AM

Qatar COVID-19 cases jump to 238 in a day

The number of coronavirus cases in Qatar jumped to 238 in a span of one day, bringing the overall infections to 262, according to the country's Ministry of Public Health.

12 Mar 2020, 9:59 AM

Italy shuts stores across country to fight virus

Italy on Wednesday shut all stores except for pharmacies and food shops in a desperate bid to halt the spread of a coronavirus that has killed 827 in the the country in just over two weeks.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced the latest wave of restrictions in a dramatic appeal to the nation that came with the country of 60 million battling its biggest crisis in generations.

"Thank you to all Italians who make sacrifices. We are proving to be a great nation," Conte said in his nine-minute evening prime time address to the nation.

Italians have watched ever tighter restrictions slowly eat away at the very fabric of everyday life.

An existing clampdown on public gathering and basic travel had already emptied streets and shuttered everything from churches to restaurants.

AFP photographers spotted masked sanitation workers in white nylon suits and rubber gloves spraying Florence's deserted Saint Mark's Square with disinfectant through a long hose.

Cathedrals posted hand-written notes cancelling mass and cafes apologised to their regulars for having to turn them away.

"I can't even recognise Rome now," 30-year-old Muscovite Yekaterina said while posing alone for a photo by the usually bustling Trevi Fountain in the heart of Rome.

12 Mar 2020, 8:41 AM

Tom Hanks, wife Rita Wilson test positive for COVID-19

Hollywood superstar Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson announced that they have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

12 Mar 2020, 8:39 AM

WHO declares Covid-19 a pandemic but says no change in measures

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday declared coronavirus disease as a pandemic, with its chief expressed his "deep concern" over "alarming levels of inaction" in combating the virus spread.

WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, at a press conference at headquarters here, said that said the number of cases outside China had increased 13-fold over the past two weeks, and thus the coronavirus outbreak qualified as a pandemic, or a disease spreading in multiple countries around the world simultaneously.

"We have therefore made the assessment that Covid-19 can be characterized as a pandemic."

12 Mar 2020, 8:38 AM

COVID-19 toll outside China reaches 1,130: WHO

The death toll due to the novel coronavirus outside the Chinese mainland, the epicentre of the outbreak, has increased to 1,130, according to a report by the the World Health Organization (WHO).

The new toll as of Wednesday morning was an increase of 258 deaths from the previous day, Xinhua news agency quoted the report as saying.

Over 110 countries and regions have reported 118,326 confirmed cases, including 37,371 cases outside China.

WHO said on Wednesday that the COVID-19 outbreak can be characterized as a "pandemic" as the virus spreads increasingly worldwide.

Bolivia, Jamaica, Burkina Faso and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have reported their first coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours as of Wednesday morning.

Additional five countries -- Serbia, Albania, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Paraguay -- have seen local transmission of COVID-19, raising the total number of countries and regions where local transmission emerged to 66 in addition to China.

Besides, WHO's report showed the coronavirus infects people of all ages, among which older people and those with underlying medical conditions are at a higher risk of getting infected.

12 Mar 2020, 7:38 AM

US suspends all travel from Europe except Britain

US President Donald Trump has suspended all travel from European countries except Britain for 30 days due to the coronavirus outbreak, Xinhua news agency reported.

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