Coronavirus: COVID-19 updates for March 24
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.
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:
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
Following the commercial approval from CDSCO, Mylab says it can manufacture up to one lakh test kits in a week.
MU’s chemistry department will also make 1,000 more bottles of ethyl alcohol-based hand rub amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
The Finance Minister addressed the media on Tuesday, March 24, after revealing that a financial relief package to help Indians is in the works.
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.
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.
The news comes at a time when coronavirus cases in India have risen to 519, with 10 deaths reported from the COVID-19 infection.
Indian equities followed an improved investor sentiment in Asia after the Federal Reserve announced limitless bond-buying programme to support the US economy.
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.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s second address on COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus, comes just days after his first address on Thursday.