12 points: India’s COVID-19 tally rises to 283 as 65 more test positive

Over 2,85,000 cases have been confirmed globally so far, including over 11,500 deaths

coronavirus
Volunteers distribute masks among people in the wake of coronavirus outbreak | PTI Photo

The total number of coronavirus cases in India sharply rose to 283 on Saturday (March 21) after 65 more people tested positive in several states. Meanwhile, Restrictions on travelling and mass gathering have been scaled up in several states.

The country is set to observe a public curfew from 7 am till 9 pm on Sunday as proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday. Several organisations have announced suspension of services in this regard (Click here).

Here are the latest developments from the day:

Highest number of cases on Saturday

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According to the Union health ministry, 65 fresh cases were reported on Saturday, taking the total number of positive cases to 283 in the country. This is so far the highest number of cases reported in a day, and is set to increase over the day since new cases reported by the state have not been taken into account.

Interactive: Know the coronavirus stats here

UP Police books singer Kanika Kapoor

Uttar Pradesh Police have booked singer Kanila Kapoor, who had tested positive, for negligence and committing acts that are likely to spread disease dangerous to life, for attending at least three gatherings in Lucknow, including a party where political leaders were present.

Delhi announces 50% extra ration

The Delhi government said the novel coronavirus was causing terrible financial stress to the poor and announced that those receiving ration from fair-price shops would get 50 per cent extra for next month. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said pension for widows, differently-abled and elderly will be doubled for this month.

Near total lockdown in Odisha

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced a “near total” shutdown in five districts and eight other prominent towns for a week from Sunday morning. These districts and towns were identified as over 3,000 residents have returned to these places from abroad in the past few days.

Section 144 in Goa

The Goa government has imposed section 144 of the CrPC across the state to prohibit large gatherings. Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said the government has also issued an order banning inter-state transport, except for the supply of essential commodities, from Saturday night onwards. Goa shares borders with Maharashtra and Karnataka, where several people have tested positive. Private events, including weddings, have also been banned in Goa till further orders.

Elections deferred in Arunachal

The State Election Commission of Arunachal Pradesh announced municipal and panchayat elections slated to be held in April-May have been temporarily put on hold. The state government had earlier banning public gatherings and congregations till April 5 to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Nashik bans liquor sale

The Nashik administration in Maharashtra has banned the sale of liquor from Saturday till further orders in the district, invoking the Epidemic Diseases Act and Disaster Management Act. The Akola district administration has ordered a lockdown between March 22 and 24 during which all establishments except those selling essential items will remain closed.

All bars, eateries, parks shut in Bengal

The West Bengal government ordered all restaurants, bars, pubs, nightclubs, amusement parks, museums and zoos to remain shut till March 31. The order comes into effect on Sunday morning. The directive also applies to massage parlours and hookah bars, an official said.

Couple with quarantine seal deboarded from Rajdhani

A couple was deboarded from a Delhi-bound Rajdhani train after co-passengers noticed a home quarantine seal on the husband’s hand. Railways reported two other recent incidents when people asked to remain in quarantine were found travelling on trains. Of the total people detected in these two instances, 12 tested positive.

Guidelines for tests revised

Health ministry joint secretary Lav Agarwal said guidelines for coronavirus tests have been revised, directing that asymptomatic direct, high-risk contacts of confirmed cases should be tested once between day 5 and day 14 of coming in contact with an infected person. The government is likely to issue guidelines for private labs for the test later on Saturday, he said.

Govt caps MRP of hand santizers, masks

The Indian government has decided to cap maximum retail price of hand sanitizers at ₹100 per 200ml bottle till June 30 this year. Similarly, price of a 2 ply (surgical) mask has been capped at ₹8 and that of 3 ply (surgical) mask at ₹10 till June 30, said Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan.

Global toll nears 12,000

Over 2,85,000 cases have been confirmed globally, including over 11,500 deaths, according to worldometers.info. At least 93,000 have recovered. Curfews and lockdowns have been multiplied in several parts of the world. China, meanwhile, said its mainland had no new home-grown cases for the third straight day, but 41 imported ones in the previous 24-hour period.

Related news: Kejriwal ready to lock down Delhi to prevent COVID-19 spread

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