Coronavirus Updates: PM Modi Addresses Nation; India Under 21-Day Lockdown; IOC Postpones Tokyo Olympics; Kerala Reports 14 Fresh Cases

PM Narendra Modi has addressed the nation for the second time in less than a week, as India grapples with the raging coronavirus pandemic, that has now affected 190 countries worldwide.

In his second address to the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a complete lockdown across the country for three weeks from 12 midnight. “From 12 am tonight there will be a complete lockdown across the country,” PM Modi said. PM Modi also said social distancing was the only option to stay safe. “To stop coronavirus, stay at a distance from each other and stay inside your houses,” he said. ”

As per the latest briefing by the Health Ministry, the total number of cases in India has crossed 500, including 39 who have recovered, and 10 people have died.

The number of deaths around the world from the novel coronavirus cases stood at 16,961. More than 386,350 declared cases have been registered in 175 countries and territories since the epidemic first emerged in China in December. The tallies, using data collected by AFP offices from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), likely reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. Many countries are now only testing cases that require hospitalisation. Italy, which recorded its first coronavirus death in February, now has more fatalities than China with 6,077, as well as having 63,927 declared infections with 7,432 recoveries.

Tokyo Olympics have been postponed to no later than the summer of 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe, the International Olympic Committee announced Tuesday. The Games were scheduled for July 24-August 9, but after telephone discussions between IOC president Thomas Bach and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a historic joint decision was taken for the first postponement of an Olympics in peacetime. Abe said Bach was in “100 percent agreement” when Japan asked the IOC to push back the Games.

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Tuesday welcomed the IOC’s decision to postpone the Tokyo Olympics by one year in view of the worsening COVID-19 pandemic, saying the country’s athletes have been relieved of having to train during a global health crisis. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday announced postponement of the 2020 Games, scheduled for July-August, to no later than the summer of 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic which has brought the world to a standstill. “IOA welcomes the decision of IOC. Discussions were held by IOC with organisers and all stakeholders prior to this,”

Kerala reported 14 fresh cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, taking the total number of positive cases in the state to 105. A health worker is among those affected, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters after a Covid19 review meeting this evening. While six cases were reported from Kasaragod, two new positive patients were detected from Kozhikode, he said. Over 72,460 people are under observation, with 467 in isolation wards of various hospitals.

TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday demanded that the Centre should waive taxes on sanitary essential products like face masks and hand sanitiser required for containing the spread of coronavirus. He also sought a special package on the lines of the Kerala government and compensation to labourers under the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGREGA).  

In an effort to contain coronavirus, the Haryana government on Tuesday decided to appoint over 400 recently selected doctors besides creating a revolving fund of Rs 100 each for the departments at the forefront of the battle against the infection. Among the other health measures, the government decided to notify hospitals for the treatment of the victims apart from allowing private laboratories at four places to conduct tests. 

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