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Coronavirus pandemic threat now 'very real', can still be controlled: WHO

Even as the number of positive cases of novel coronavirus rose in India, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan reiterated that only those who are not healthy should wear masks.

By Anubha Rohatgi | Updated: Mar 10, 2020 00:12 IST
Coronavirus pandemic threat now 'very real', can still be controlled: WHO
A firefighter wearing protective clothing, mask and goggles, sprays disinfectant on Tabia't bridge pedestrian overpass in Tehran, Iran, on Monday, March 9, 2020. (Bloomberg)

The number of confirmed novel coronavirus cases in India on Monday rose to 44 after five new cases were reported - one each from Kerala, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Punjab. Globally, the numbers crossed 110,000 in 100 countries and territories with more than 3,800 dead, according to an AFP tally.

The outbreak has affected the demand for oil as well. The International Energy Agency said that the global oil demand was set to contract in 2020 for the first time in more than a decade as global economic activity stalls due to the coronavirus.

Even as the number of positive cases rose in India, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan reiterated that only those who are not healthy should wear masks, as he listed the steps being taken by the government to control the spread of coronavirus in the country.


Here are LIVE updates on the coronavirus outbreak:

12:12 AM IST

Puducherry CM holds meet to discuss how to tackle coronavirus

Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy had a meeting at chief secretariat on 9th March, with the Chief Secretary, Secretaries and Officials for reviewing the preventive measures to deal with coronavirus.

11:19 PM IST

76 who came in contact with coronavirus patient advised quarantine

76 people who came in contact with fourth coronavirus patient in Delhi advised home quarantine: Delhi health department

11:04 PM IST

Two test positive for coronavirus in Pune: ANI

Two people in Pune, with travel history to Dubai, have tested positive for novel coronavirus, reports ANI. Both of them have been admitted to Naidu Hospital in Pune.

11:02 PM IST

New York state launches its own hand sanitizer amid coronavirus outbreak

New York state on Monday launched its own brand of hand sanitizer as the number of confirmed novel coronavirus cases in the state rose to 142, reports AFP.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said 100,000 gallons of "NYS Clean" would be produced a week by prisoners, who already manufacture soap, to meet shortages. "This is a superior product," said Cuomo, as the gel was unveiled from behind a curtain at a press conference.

The product will be provided for free to government agencies, schools, the public transportation system and prisons, Cuomo said.

The sanitizer will cost USD 6 a gallon to make and is not expected to go on general sale.


10:58 PM IST

Pop star Madonna cancels Paris gigs over coronavirus

Pop singer Madonna has called off two concerts in Paris after French authorities banned large gatherings to contain the spread of novel coronavirus.

"It is with profound regret that we are announcing the cancellation of the last two Madame X shows," the venue for the March 10 and 11 shows, the Grand Rex concert hall, announced on its website.

Paris was to be the last stage in Madonna's tour, which kicked off in New York last September and took her to Chicago, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, Miami, Lisbon and London.

10:55 PM IST

Saudi Arabia to impose $133,000 fine for hiding health details on entry

Saudi Arabia will impose a fine of up to 500,000 riyals ($133,000) on people who do not disclose health information and travel details at entry points, it said on Monday, as the Gulf state works to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The kingdom on Sunday imposed a temporary lock down on its eastern oil-producing province of Qatif, where the majority of the 15 individuals diagnosed with the disease live. Some have failed to disclose travelling to Iran to the authorities upon returning to Saudi Arabia via other Gulf Arab states.

10:50 PM IST

Coronavirus crisis could cost world up to USD 2 trillion: UN

UN economists warned on Monday that the raging outbreak of the deadly new coronavirus could cost the global economy between USD 1.0 and USD 2.0 trillion this year and called on governments to ramp up spending to mitigate its impact.

A report from the UN Conference on Trade, Investment and Development (UNCTAD) concluded that the COVID-19 epidemic will push some countries into recession and will significantly slow growth in the world economy as a whole.

In fact, the outbreak, which has already infected more than 110,000 and killed more than 3,800 people worldwide, is expected to push global economic growth well below 2.5 percent, "often taken as the recessionary threshold for the world economy," UNCTAD said.

10:44 PM IST

Kerala to set up isolation rooms in jails

Kerala will set up isolation rooms in jails across the state in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. The DGP Prison (Kerala) Rishiraj Singh issued directive for this on Monday, reports ANI.

Prisoners with symptoms like fever/cold will be moved to isolation rooms. New detainees will be admitted to jail and lodged for 6 days in specially set up rooms in admission block.

The directive by Jail DGP (Kerala) also states that prisoners prisoners who arrive after parole, are to be lodged in separate room in the admission block.

10:44 PM IST

Delhi Metro intensifies cleaning trains, sanitising its hand-contact points

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation on Monday said it has adopted the practice of cleaning all its trains exhaustively at depots before putting them into passenger services everyday, reports PTI. The practice has been further intensified in the wake of recent coronavirus outbreak, said Executive Director Anuj Dayal of DMRC's Corporate Communications in a statement.

The DMRC has also put special emphasis on cleaning and sanitizing locations like hand railings, train doors and PEAs where hands come in direct contact during the travel, said Dayal.

Emphasis on cleaning has also been intensified in lifts, escalators, hand-railings alongside staircases at stations, he added

10:23 PM IST

US urges elderly to stock up on groceries, prepare to stay home

US health authorities have urged the elderly and those with underlying conditions - the Americans most at-risk of developing a serious illness from the novel coronavirus - to stock up on food and medicine and prepare to remain at home.

"Make sure you have supplies on hand like routine medications for blood pressure and diabetes, and over the counter medicines and medical supplies to treat fever and other symptoms," said Nancy Messonnier, a senior official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

"Have enough household items and groceries so that you will be prepared to stay home for a period of time," she added.

10:21 PM IST

Coronavirus death toll in Italy's Lombardy region rises to 333: Official

The death toll from novel coronavirus in the northern Italian region of Lombardy, which has borne the brunt of a nationwide contagion, has risen over the past day to 333 from 267, a local official said on Monday, reports Reuters.

The latest national death toll figures are due to be released later in the day. On Sunday, the country-wide tally stood at 366.

10:20 PM IST

Over 70% of people infected with coronavirus in China recovered: WHO

More than 70 percent of those infected with the new coronavirus in China have recovered, the World Health Organization said on Monday, adding that the country was "bringing its epidemic under control".

Out of the more than 80,000 cases of COVID-19 in China, "more than 70 percent have recovered and have been discharged," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva.

10:18 PM IST

Threat of coronavirus pandemic now 'very real': WHO

The World Health Organisation warned on Monday there was now a "very real" threat that the global outbreak of the new deadly coronavirus will become a pandemic, but stressed the virus could still be controlled.

"The threat of a pandemic has become very real," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters, while stressing that "it would be the first pandemic in history that can be controlled... we are not at the mercy of the virus".

10:04 PM IST

Kashmir’s 2 suspected coronavirus case test negative: Officials

Two people from the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir who had shown symptoms of novel coronavirus have tested negative for the infection, officials said on Monday. The two were part of a group of 41 Budgam residents who recently returned from coronavirus-hit China and Iran.

Jammu and Kashmir recorded its first case of coronavirus on earlier Monday after a 63-year-old tested positive. The woman from Kargil, who lives in Jammu, had travelled to Iran.

09:34 PM IST

Germany reports first two coronavirus deaths: Officials

Two people have died of the novel coronavirus in the western German city of Essen and virus hotspot Heinsberg, officials told AFP on Monday, the country's first casualties of the outbreak.

In Essen, an 89-year-old woman who had been diagnosed with the virus on March 3 died despite medical measures to support her breathing and circulation, while Heinsberg officials said they would discuss the fatal case there at a 6:30 pm (1730 GMT) press conference.


First published: Mar 09, 2020 06:19 IST