A petition was filed on Wednesday before a court here accusing Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan of failing to put a check on “black marketing” of face masks and hand sanitizers, the demand for which has spiked in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Social activist Tamanna Hashmi filed the petition before the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Mukesh Kumar where it has been posted for hearing on March 30. In his petition, Hashmi has cited news channel reports of face masks and hand sanitizers being in short supply and those with the stocks selling the same at “10 times the selling price”.
The South African cricket team has been asked to self-quarantine for the next 14 days after returning midway from an ODI tour of India due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Cricket South Africa’s chief medical officer, Dr Shuaib Manjra, was quoted as saying that the players have been told to isolate themselves and will be tested for the deadly virus in case any symptoms show up.
A resident of Noida, who recently returned from Indonesia, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, Gautam Buddh Nagar health officials said on Wednesday. The total number of positive cases for the COVID-19 in the district now stands at four, Chief Medical Officer Anurag Bhargava said.
Rajya Sabha Congress MP Ripun Bora on Wednesday highlighted problems being faced by people due to shortage and high prices of sanitisers and masks amid outbreak of coronavirus. Raising the issue during the Zero Hour in the House, he said the government has asked people to take precautionary steps like cleaning of hands. Bora said there was shortage of sanitisers, soaps and masks not only in metro cities, but also in rural areas of the country.
The Assam Government today banned entry of all visitors to the state secretariat as a preventive measure against any outbreak of Coronavirus. The order to prevent any visitor to the secretariat was issued by Secretariat Administration Department today, barely 24 hours after announcing restricting number of visitors to 100 in the secretariat. In case of any urgent work, the people can contact the necessary officer over telephone or email, the order said.
Cash-strapped Pakistan and the World Bank are in talks for up to USD 200 million in loans to enhance the capacity of resources-deficient 270 public hospitals and laboratories here in the country to control the spread of deadly coronavirus contagion, according to a media report on Wednesday.
In view of rising health risks following the spread of coronavirus, the National Restaurant Association of India on Wednesday asked all members to shut down their restaurants till March 31 or till such time when no new cases are reported. “In view of the serious health risk to employees and patrons in the food service sector amidst ever-worsening situation around COVID-19 in India, we as a responsible industry body, have sent out an advisory to all our members to shut down their restaurant operations from March 18 till March 31 or till such time when there are no new cases reported for a few days,” NRAI said in its advisory.
Producers Guild of India (GUILD) has announced to set up a relief fund for daily wage earners impacted by a complete shutdown of film, television and OTT productions owning to the COVID-19 pandemic. President of the GUILD, Siddharth Roy Kapur said in a statement shared on Twitter on Tuesday, “In the light of the complete shutdown of all production relation activity for the foreseeable future due to the Covid-19 outbreak, there is bound to be a significant impact on the lives and livelihoods of daily wage earners in the industry.”
South Africa on Wednesday reported 31 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the tally to 116, as local transmissions increased. Among the new patients, there has been a further increase of six local transmission cases, Health Minister Zwelini Mkhize said. Late on Tuesday, Mkhize announced 23 new cases, including eight local transmissions.