Coronavirus: COVID-19 updates for March 26

By Team YS|26th Mar 2020
Here's a daily roundup of YourStory's coverage on how India and the world are dealing with the novel coronavirus outbreak.
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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a Rs 1.7 lakh crore economic relief package to sail the country through the coronavirus crisis and the impact of the 21-day national lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24.

The package involved free food grain and cooking gas for the poor for the next three months, as well as free LPG refills under Pradhan Mantri Ujwala Yojana. Around 20.5 crore women Jan Dhan Account holders will get Rs 500 per month for the next three months, while poor senior citizens, widows, and disabled will get a one-time cash dole of Rs 1,000.

Without work, many migrant labourers from across the country started walking back home, as no mode of interstate transportation is available. To provide relief, the Bihar government converted district schools into 'home quarantines' for people coming back to the state and unable to reach their villages.

The measures come as India saw the highest jump in COVID-19 cases in a day — by 88. According to Worldometer, the total number of infections in the country stand at 719, with 16 deaths reported.


The confusion regarding gig economy workers being allowed to work continues as the Delhi government withdrew the permission it had given to online delivery services like Zomato, Flipkart, and Grofers. However, Delhi, along with Karnataka, has announced that essential services will be open 24x7 during the lockdown.

Meanwhile, many corporates have decided to lend a hand to mitigate the health crisis. Mahindra & Mahindra said that it will send a ventilator prototype for approval within three days and price it at just Rs 7,500 to bridge the gap between the demand and the present infrastructure capacity. CEO Anand Mahindra also said that the Mahindra Group is working to figure out how its factories can produce the ventilators.

Across the world, the number of coronavirus cases has crossed 500,000, with over 22,000 deaths, according to Worldometer.

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

Coronavirus: Need COVID-19 related assistance? Here is a list of helpline numbers in India

YourStory has compiled a list of helpline numbers across India that you can reach out to for any queries related to COVID-19.

Coronavirus: Demand soars, but Bigbasket, Grofers, Ninjacart, and Dunzo run into roadblocks

PM Modi’s 21-day lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus has heightened demand for online delivery of groceries and daily essentials. But startups like BigBasket, Grofers, Ninjacart, and Dunzo are facing on-ground challenges.

Coronavirus making you work from home? We tried these 6 free apps to break the monotony

Here is a list of few tried and tested free apps that will help break the monotony and bring out your hidden talents during the coronavirus outbreak.

FM announces Rs 31,000 crore fund for construction workers

The FM said this fund is aimed at supporting and assisting the construction workers so that they "stay at home and don’t expose themselves to the risk because everything has come to a halt."

FM Nirmala Sitharaman announces relief for women in economic package for coronavirus

Women under Jan Dhan Yojana, Ujjwala schemes to receive Rs 500 and free cooking gas for next three months under the relief package for poor hit by coronavirus and the subsequent lockdown.

Coronavirus: Zomato’s ‘Feed the Daily Wager’ initiative collects Rs 1.5 Cr in 17 hours

Foodtech giant Zomato has launched the ‘Feed the Daily Wager’ initiative to ensure meals for daily wage workers who are out of work due to the 21-day coronavirus lockdown.

Coronavirus: Essential stores like groceries to open 24x7 across major cities; ecommerce hit

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that stores providing essential services such as groceries, medicines etc can open shops 24x7, and will not require any additional permits and licenses to do so.

Coronavirus: Health & hygiene company RB earmarks $32m to fight COVID-19, to distribute 10 million Dettol soaps

RB will be donating one million litres of its disinfectant products, including Lizol and Harpic toilet cleaners, to aid India's public health institutions, and health and sanitation workers.

Coronavirus: How Delhi startups are hustling during the country-wide COVID-19 lockdown

As India goes into complete lockdown to mitigate the coronavirus outbreak, we bring you stories of startups in Delhi-NCR that are continuing to hustle in these trying times.

4 actions every entrepreneur must take in order to tide over coronavirus slowdown

The coronavirus-fuelled slowdown may be an opportunity for startup founders to take stock of the situation, envision new market needs, and gear up for a fresh start.

Coronavirus lockdown: Consortium of F&B SMEs puts forth supply chain grievances for essential commodities

The F&B Covid Emergency Group, a consortium of 50 entrepreneurs in the F&B space, is lobbying for government bailout for the sector as well as seeking help to address the ambiguity in the definition of ‘essential food items’.

Coronavirus: Apple loses trillion-dollar valuation post market crash; China supply chains hit

Apple says it might miss its revenue forecast for the March quarter with retail stores shut and consumer demand falling due to the coronavirus scare.

Coronavirus lockdown: Ugadi celebrations remain a low-key affair

Amid the coronavirus scare and national lockdown, people were forced to celebrate Ugadi in their homes, away from relatives and friends.

Senior citizens face a high coronavirus risk. Here’s what you can do

Coronavirus puts senior citizens at higher risk due to their weaker immune systems. Ensuring social distancing, maintaining proper hygiene, and consuming immunity-boosting foods can help.

Coronavirus: MapmyIndia and Move app to allow users to report lockdown related grievances

According to Worldometer, COVID-19 cases in India have reached a tally of 718 patients with 14 fatalities.

Coronavirus: These IIT Kharagpur students translated WHO advisory in 12 regional languages

Vision Prabaho, a 20-member students’ group at IIT Kharagpur, has uploaded videos on the WHO guidelines in regional languages of India

Coronavirus: IIT-Hyderabad research scholars formulate hand sanitiser during shortage

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Dr Shivakalyani Adepu and Dr Mudrika Khandelwal, of IIT-Hyderabad, have developed their own hand sanitiser formula to encourage hygienic practices on campus.

Coronavirus: TapChief guide reveals how you can make remote working work

Business are rushing to implement remote working amid the coronavirus pandemic. Bengaluru-based TapChief’s practical guide to working from home in India tells you how you can make work from home work seamlessly.

Mahindra & Mahindra to ready ventilator prototype in 3 days, plans to price it at Rs 7500

Along with announcing their plans on the ventilator prototype, Mahindra & Mahindra also added that it expects to price these ventilators at just Rs 7,500, which otherwise costs up to Rs 10 lakh, as it seeks to assist in combating coronavirus pandemic.

Coronavirus: Govt unveils Rs 1.7 lakh Cr package to deal with economic cost of lockdown

Amidst the coronavirus lockdown, 80 crore ration card holders will each get five kg of wheat or rice and one kg of preferred pulses free of cost every month for the next three months.

Coronavirus: FM announces Rs 50 lakh insurance cover for doctors, paramedics, healthcare workers

FM Sitharaman said the government has finalised an economic stimulus package to deal with the impact of the 21-day countrywide lockdown to mitigate the coronavirus outbreak.

Govt to transfer Rs 2,000 under PM-KISAN scheme to 8.69 Cr farmers in April 1st week

To provide relief to farmers affected due to the lockdown, the Centre said it will transfer the first instalment of Rs 2,000 to each of 8.69 crore beneficiaries under the PM-KISAN scheme in the first week of April.

Ecommerce companies temporarily stop taking orders for non-essential items

Ecommerce companies Paytm Mall, Amazon and Flipkart have temporarily stopped taking orders for non-essential items due to restrictions imposed during the nationwide lockdown to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Coronavirus to impact India's economic growth "severely": D&B

"As lockdowns are imposed in other global manufacturing hubs, besides China, the extent of impairment to global supply chain and global growth is likely to increase," said Arun Singh, Chief Economist Dun & Bradstreet India.

Coronavirus: New portable testing kit can give results in 50 minutes

Researchers at a UK university have developed a portable smartphone-based kit that sequences genetic material from a throat swab and can detect the presence of coronavirus in just 50 minutes.

Coronavirus: Commerce ministry sets up helpdesk for SMBs for import, export queries

According to WTO, global trade may see a sharp fall in the coming months due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Coronavirus: Exchanges cut trading hours for commodity trading till 5 pm

In the wake of coronavirus pandemic, leading stock exchanges cut down trading hours for commodities derivative segment till 5 pm, instead of current practice of allowing it up till midnight.

IMF, World Bank call for suspending debt payments by poorest nations to battle COVID-19

The International Monetary Fund and World Bank on Wednesday called for governments to put a hold on debt payments from the world's poorest nations so they can battle the coronavirus pandemic.

Banks launch special emergency loans for customers amid coronavirus crisis

In a bid to help people and businesses affected in the wake of coronavirus outbreak, state-owned lenders including Indian Bank, Union Bank of India and Bank of Baroda on Wednesday announced special emergency loan products.

Coronavirus impact to bring more worries for Indian banks: Fitch

The coronavirus-related worries are likely to aggravate difficulties for Indian banks, ratings agency Fitch said on Thursday, revising down the operating environment score for the critical sector by a notch.

Coronavirus: DPIIT to monitor real-time status of transport, delivery of essential commodities

DPIIT has set up a control room to monitor in real-time the status of transportation and delivery of essential commodities amid the coronavirus lockdown in the country.

Lockdown: Community kitchens feeding hungry, needy in Kerala

To ensure no one starves, the Kerala government's 'community kitchens' became operational from Thursday to deliver free food to migrant workers, elderly, and those in home quarantine during the 21-day lockdown declared for fighting the spread of coronavirus.

Coronavirus: Nirmala Sitharaman expected to announce economic package

An economic package to deal with the coronavirus impact is expected to be announced by Nirmala Sitharaman at 1 pm on Thursday, according to an official.

(Edited by Suman Singh)

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