Coronavirus: COVID-19 updates for March 24

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced countrywide lockdown of 21 days, here's a roundup of YourStory's coverage of COVID-19 crisis for today

24th Mar 2020
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Desperate times call for desperate measures.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a total lockdown across India for 21 days, starting from the midnight of March 25, urging citizens to not venture outside. The PM also announced that the government has set aside Rs 15,000 crore to fight the threat of the COVID-19 outbreak by buying more testing kits, increasing the number of ventilators, and stocking hospitals with more equipment and beds. This comes after 30 states and union territories had announced a complete lockdown to curb the rising number of coronavirus cases in the country.


The number of positive coronavirus infections in India has crossed 500, with 10 deaths reported, according to Worldometer.


Earlier in the day, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a slew of measures in response to the economic fallout of the COVID-19 crisis in the country. The FM extended the deadline for filing of ITR and GST returns, and also modified regulations related to Ministry of Corporate Affairs, company probations, insolvency and bankruptcy, fisheries, financial services, and commerce.


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Though India had already banned international flights, the Civil Aviation Ministry said that all domestic passenger flights would be banned in the country till March 31.


On the world stage, the International Olympic Committee postponed the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after many countries pressured the organisation to postpone the event till next year. The death toll in the UK rose to 422 as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced strict lockdown measures. South Africa also announced a 21-day lockdown as the number of cases in the country cross 500.


Here's a roundup of YourStory's coverage today of how India and the world is dealing with the coronavirus outbreak:


Coronavirus: Amazon India prioritises critical products; stops taking orders for lower-priority products


Amazon will prioritise providing household staples, packaged food, healthcare, hygiene, and personal safety products. Customers with pending orders on 'low-priority products' can cancel their orders, and receive a refund for prepaid items.


Coronavirus: PM Modi, Home Ministry clear the air around panic-buying for essential goods amid lockdown across India


The 21-day complete lockdown of the nation announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi an hour back has caused a lot of panic and anxiety among the citizens. And this has resulted in something that Modi has been urging not to indulge in — panic buying. To make matters clear on what will be available and avoid the situation of panic buying in India, the Ministry of Home Affairs has issued a statement clearing the air around the question of the availability of essentials.


Indonesian tech giant Gojek announces $6 M fund for its driver partners in times of COVID-19


While Indian startups like Ola are leading by example, Indonesian tech giant Gojek announced a $6 million fund, the Gojek Partner Support Fund, for its driver partners to cope with low demand in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic. According to Gojek co-CEO Andre Soelistyo, the money for the fund will come from a quarter of the year’s pay of Gojek senior management’s salaries and the budgeted salary increases for all Gojek employees this year.


Oyo offers free stays to medical practitioners in US, looking to work with Indian govt as well


Oyo, the Gurugram-based hospitality unicorn, is offering free stay to medical practitioners in the US. Sources inside OYO confirmed that they are looking to support the Indian central and state governments in every way possible.


After offering health cover, Ola now waives off lease rentals for its driver-partners


The Bengaluru-based ride-hailing unicorn Ola has waived off lease rentals for all driver-partners who leased a vehicle via Ola Fleet Technologies (a subsidiary of Ola). The company has also offered its drivers an option to return cars owned by the company under its leasing program.


Pune-based Mylab’s COVID-19 low-cost PCR kit makes detection faster


Following the commercial approval from CDSCO, Mylab says it can manufacture up to one lakh test kits in a week.


Coronavirus: Manipur University’s chemistry department makes 500 bottles of hand sanitiser for its community


MU’s chemistry department will also make 1,000 more bottles of ethyl alcohol-based hand rub amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


How healthtech startup Bione aims to use genetic testing in the fight against coronavirus


Founded in 2019, Bengaluru-based Bione is a B2C platform for genetic and microbiome testing, and uses AI for predictive analysis of dietary and lifestyle recommendations.


Coronavirus: Experts urge India Inc to avoid layoffs, pay cuts for faster recovery


Amid the coronavirus pandemic, business consultants and HR experts say companies need to be careful when it comes to rationalising expenses as job and pay cuts will further aggravate the problem by delaying recovery.


Xiaomi to donate N95 masks, protective suits to help states battle coronavirus


As India takes the fight to coronavirus, smartphone maker Xiaomi has announced that it will donate N95 masks and protective suits to state governments, hospitals, and police forces. It will also donate hazmat suits to doctors at government hospitals.


8 out of 10 Indian mums concerned about their immunity: Momspresso survey


A survey of over 500 mums reveals growing concern following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. While these mums are concerned about their overall health, a large proportion aren’t doing anything to boost their immunity.


Coronavirus: Remote working ain't a cakewalk, but here are some dos and don'ts


Remote working or work from home is the new buzzword. With the novel coronavirus compelling people to stay indoors, this could be our new normal for the next one or two quarters.


Coronavirus: Modi government working on economic package to help people


The Narendra Modi government is working on an economic package on priority amid the coronavirus crisis, and will announce it soon, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says.


Hero Cycles earmarks Rs 100 Cr contingency fund to deal with coronavirus pandemic


With the COVID-19 outbreak expected to unleash long-term economic consequences, Hero Cycles announced that it is setting aside Rs 100 crore as a contingency fund to address and mitigate its impact on partners and the community at large.


Omidyar Network India announces $1M rapid response funding for COVID-19


Omidyar Network India announced a rapid response window to fund proposals that support the lower 60 percent of India’s income distribution in managing and mitigating the challenges that come with coronavirus.


Amid coronavirus, China reports death due to Hantavirus: here's what you need to know


As per reports, a man died on Monday in China while travelling to Shandong Province for work on a chartered bus. He tested positive for Hantavirus.


Coronavirus lockdown: ecommerce players flag delivery disruption


With lockdowns being imposed in various parts of the country to contain the spread of coronavirus, ecommerce players, including Amazon India, on Monday faced disruption in the delivery of even essential products to their customers.


30 states and UTs in complete lockdown over coronavirus


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appealed to state governments to ensure that rules and regulations of the coronavirus lockdown are enforced strictly as he noted that many people were not following the measures seriously.


Coronavirus live update: Nirmala Sitharaman extends ITR filing, GST return deadline to June 30


The Finance Minister addressed the media on Tuesday, March 24, after revealing that a financial relief package to help Indians is in the works.


Coronavirus: Domestic passenger flights suspended from Tuesday midnight to March 31


No domestic commercial passenger flight will be allowed to operate in the country from Tuesday midnight to March 31 to restrict travel amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Union Civil Aviation Ministry stated.


Tokyo Olympics postponed to 2021 amid coronavirus: IOC


The 2020 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.


Coronavirus live update: PM Narendra Modi announces complete lockdown of the nation for 21 days


The news comes at a time when coronavirus cases in India have risen to 519, with 10 deaths reported from the COVID-19 infection.


Sensex recovers 693 pts amid govt measures to aid coronavirus-hit economy


Indian equities followed an improved investor sentiment in Asia after the Federal Reserve announced limitless bond-buying programme to support the US economy.


Roche Diagnostics India becomes the first private firm to get COVID-19 test approval


Swiss firm Roche Diagnostics India received the license for conducting coronavirus tests on March 17, after approval from drug regulator DCGI, making it the first private firm to get permission.


PM Modi to address the nation again tonight amid the coronavirus crisis


Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s second address on COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus, comes just days after his first address on Thursday.


Fighting Coronavirus: Learnings from serving the elderly. Discussion with Prashanth Reddy from Anvayaa Kin Care Services.

How has the coronavirus outbreak disrupted your life? And how are you dealing with it? Write to us or send us a video with subject line 'Coronavirus Disruption' to editorial@yourstory.com

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