COVID-19 scare grips India, death toll rises to 2

Narendra Modi. (File Photo: IANS)

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi postponed his scheduled two-day visit to Gujarat on Friday amid coronavirus scare.

Two deaths have been confirmed in India after a 69-year-old woman died at RML hospital here died on Friday. Earlier, a man from Karnatak died on Thursday.

Owing to the spreading global threat, the Central government has issued an advisory to avoid mass gatherings and public gatherings for government programmes have also being cancelled.

However, the Congress on Friday slammed the government over its handling of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak in the country and demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should head the committee on Covid-19, which has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The Congress alleged that the Prime Minister was securing himself by not attending the Parliament and by not going for public functions.

Meanwhile, the coronavirus scare gripped country as even after the Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to people not to panic, the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi on Friday asked its students to leave the hostel rooms till March 31 with the exception of foreign students and PhD scholars.

The rooms have to be vacated by Sunday night.

According to an email sent by IIT-D Assistant Registrar Mukesh Chand on Friday, all students of B.Tech, M.Tech, M.Sc, MBA and other courses are to leave the hostels by midnight on March 15.

Delhi top other universities, JNU and Jamia also decided to shut down their classrooms and rely on E-learning to compensate for students’ classes. A

The biggest blow came to IPL as the Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Friday said the Delhi government has decided to stop all sports events, including the IPL, conferences and seminars in the national capital, in view of the coronavirus outbreak across the country.

Sisodia said these events are banned as they are attended by a large number of people. He said social distancing is the most effective way to stop the spread of the virus.

While in Karnataka, the state government on Friday asked IT and biotech employees to work from home for a week in the wake of coronavirus outbreak in the state.

“In the wake of coronavirus outbreak, we are requesting all IT and biotech employees to work from home for a week,” said Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, following a high level meeting with health officials.

In the northern part of the country, the Punjab government said all schools, private and government, where exams are not being held will be closed in Punjab till March 31 in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

In Goa, the state’s top B-school, Goa Institute of Management has postponed its convocation ceremony involving more than 360 management graduates, in view of the coronavirus outbreak, the institute said in a statement on Friday.

The convocation ceremony was scheduled to be held on March 27.

Indian judiciary also started to take precautionary measure from Friday as the Supreme Court in a notification said it will have limited functioning restricted to urgent matters.

“The competent authority has been pleased to direct that the functioning of the courts from Monday, March 16, shall be restricted to urgent matters with such number of benches as may be found appropriate”, said the notification issued by the apex court Secretary General Sanjeev S. Kalgaonkar.

Over 80 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in India.

The coronavirus outbreak was first reported in December last year in Wuhan city of China. The disease has affected more than 100 countries and has been declared a pandemic by World Health Organisation (WHO).