2020 coronavirus pandemic in India
This article documents a current disease pandemic. Information may change rapidly as the event progresses, and initial news reports may be unreliable. The latest updates to this article may not reflect the most current information. (March 2020) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Map of the pandemic in India (as of 26 March).
100+ confirmed cases
50–99 confirmed cases
10–50 confirmed cases
1–9 confirmed cases
Map of deaths due to the pandemic in India (as of 26 March).
1–9 death cases
|First outbreak||Wuhan, Hubei, China|
|Index case||Thrissur, Kerala|
|Arrival date||30 January 2020|
(1 month and 4 weeks)
(including Foreign Nationals)
|21 states and 6 union territories|
The first case of the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic in India was reported on 30 January 2020, originating from China. As of 28 March 2020, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare have confirmed a total of 873 cases, 79 recoveries, 1 migration and 19 deaths in the country. The infection rate of COVID-19 in India is reported to be 1.7, significantly lower than in the worst affected countries.
The outbreak has been declared an epidemic in more than a dozen states and union territories, where provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 have been invoked, and educational institutions and many commercial establishments have been shut down. India has suspended all tourist visas, as a majority of the confirmed cases were linked to other countries.
On 22 March 2020, India observed a 14-hour voluntary public curfew at the insistence of the prime minister Narendra Modi. The government followed it up with lockdowns in 75 districts where COVID cases had occurred as well as all major cities. Further, on 24 March, the prime minister ordered a nationwide lockdown for 21 days, affecting the entire 1.3 billion population of India.
The World Health Organisation executive director Michael Ryan said that India had "tremendous capacity" to deal with the coronavirus outbreak and, as the second most populous country, will have enormous impact on the world's ability to deal with it.
The country reported its first three cases in Kerala, all of whom were students who had returned from Wuhan, China. The transmission escalated in the month of March, after several cases were reported all over the country, most of which were linked to people with a travel history to affected countries. On 10 March, the total cases reached 50. On 12 March, a 76-year-old man who had returned from Saudi Arabia became the first victim of the virus in the country. The total cases reached 100 on 15 March, and 500 on 24 March, while the death toll reached 10.
Response by Prime minister
—Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the video conference with SAARC nations, 15 March 2020.
On 13 March, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed that SAARC nations jointly fight the pandemic, an idea that was welcomed by the leaders of Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. On 15 March, after a video conference of SAARC leaders, he allocated ₹74 crore (US$10 million) of funds classified as COVID-19 Emergency Fund for the SAARC countries.
|File:PM Modi interacts with SAARC leaders on measures to deal with COVID-19.webm|
Modi called upon a G20 virtual conference to discuss methods to combat COVID-19 and safeguard the global economy. This step was well appreciated and welcomed by the leaders of Russia, United States of America and Saudi Arabia.
Address to the nation
On 19 March, Modi asked all citizens to observe 'Janata Curfew' (people's curfew) from 7 am to 9 pm on Sunday, 22 March. He implored all Indians to stay at home for the next few weeks, and if possible, to also work from home. He also asked citizens to step out onto their house roof tops or balconies at 5 pm on 22 March, and clap their hands to appreciate the hard work of emergency services like doctors, police, health workers, emergency medical services, government officials, home delivery services, etc.. The formation of the COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force was announced during the live address to the nation.
On the evening of the curfew, Modi in a series of tweets wrote: "Janata Curfew is just the beginning of a long battle against COVID-19". He cautioned people against complacency and asked people to not consider it a success and celebrate. He also asked people not to leave the houses in districts and states where the lockdown was announced.
On 24 March, Modi addressed the nation once again. During the address he said "All of you are also witnessing how the most advanced countries of the world have been rendered absolutely helpless by this pandemic...The Coronavirus is spreading at such a rapid pace that despite all the preparations and efforts, these countries are finding it hard to manage the crisis." He said that the only solution to control the spread is breaking the cycle of transmission by social distancing. He announced a nationwide lockdown from midnight of that day, for a period of 21 days.  During this period, people were requested to remain in their homes.
Conference with chief ministers / state health ministers
Conference with pharma industry leaders
Prime Minister said that pharma producers and distributors had a crucial role to play in combating the challenge. He said that not only did the industry need to ensure the maintenance of supply lines of essential medicines, medical kits and equipments, but it also had to try to come up with new and innovative solutions.
He said that the government was committed to helping the industry in maintaining the supply of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API). He said that in order to ensure the production of critical drugs and medical equipment, the government had approved schemes worth ₹10,000 crore (US$1.4 billion) and ₹4,000 crore (US$560 million) respectively.
Conference with residents of Varanasi
On 25 March, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with the residents of Varanasi, his parliamentary constituency, through video conferencing. He answered various questions, while also talking about the new WhatsApp help desk that would provide credible information on the virus to the public, the misbehaviour faced by medical practitioners and airline crew, the need to show compassion towards the poor and our duty towards supporting the administration.
Conference with AYUSH practitioners
Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with AYUSH personnel through the video conferencing. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the country is fighting challenges at the moment, the entire healthcare staff should be ready to meet the challenge. If needed, the government can also seek help from private doctors associated with AYUSH.
Protective measures were first applied in January. The Government of India issued a travel advisory to its citizens, particularly for Wuhan, where about 500 Indian medical students study. It directed seven major international airports to perform thermal screening of passengers arriving from China.
By early to mid March the government had drawn up plans to deal with a worsening of the pandemic in the country which includes seven ministries working together to set up additional quarantine and treatment facilities across the country. States and twenty ministries including home, defence, railways, labour, minority affairs, aviation and tourism have been informed of the containment plan. Plans to avoid a panic like situation have also been made. The Ministry of Textiles has been assigned the task of making sure the availability of protective and medical materials. The Department of Pharmaceuticals is tasked with making sure of the availability of essential medicines. Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution has been asked to ensure availability of essentials.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has adopted precautions against the pandemic in its three facilities in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. The facilities have suspended bio-metric fingerprint scanning, disabled entrance turnstiles and limited internal meetings and travel to a minimum while stepping up medical surveillance. However, mission schedules were not affected.
On 17 March, The Government of India issued an advisory urging to all Indian states to take social distancing measures as a preventive strategy for implementation till 31 March. A government directive was issued asking all paramilitary forces (CAPFs) to get into battle mode; all non-essential leave has been cancelled. A COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force has also been formed.
On 27 March, The Tamil Nadu government has issued appointment orders to 1508 lab technicians, 500 doctors and 1000 nurses with immediate effect in view of the current status of corona virus. With this, orders have also been given to increase 200 new ambulances in the state.
On 14 March the central government declared the pandemic as a "notified disaster" under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, enabling states to spend a larger part of funds from the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) to fight the virus.
Travel and entry restrictions
On 3 March 2020, the Indian government suspended the issuing of new visas and visas already issued for nationals of Italy, Iran, South Korea, and Japan. On 4 March 2020, the Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, announced compulsory screening of all international passengers arriving in India. He also said that so far, 589,000 people have been screened at airports, over one million screened at borders with Nepal and around 27,000 were currently under community surveillance. The government shall also now start universal screening for all passengers flying into India from abroad. Earlier, only passengers coming in from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Nepal, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Malaysia were checked.
On 11 March 2020, the Indian government suspended all visas to India effective from 12:00 GMT on 13 March 2020 except diplomatic, official, United Nations/International organisations, employment and project visas till 15 April 2020. India also suspended visa free travel facility for OCI card holder's till 15 April 2020 and all the Indian nationals coming from COVID-19 hit nations after 15 February needed to be quarantined for 14 days.
From 18 March, the entry of travelers from the European Union, United Kingdom and Turkey was banned till 31 March. This was followed by a ban on other countries such as Afghanistan, Philippines, Malaysia.
As a precautionary measure, the Ministry of Home Affairs suspended travel and registration for Sri Kartarpur Sahib temporarily from 16 March till further orders. Sikkim restricted entry of domestic tourists in the state from 17 March and asked those who are already in the state to leave. Himachal Pradesh banned entry of foreign and domestic tourists on 19 March until further notice. Other states followed such as Uttarakhand, which has also banned tourists till further orders. Punjab banned the use of public transport as of 21 March.
Closure of international borders
- On 9 March, Government of Mizoram has sealed international borders with Bangladesh and Myanmar to prevent the spread of the virus. Manipur's Chief Minister N. Biren Singh orders the closure of Gate No. 1, Gate No. 2 at the border town of Moreh and other crossing points along the Indo-Myanmar border.
- On 13 March, the Government of India suspended all international passenger traffic in and out of Indo-Bangladesh, Indo-Nepal, Indo-Bhutan and Indo-Myanmar border check posts.
- On 15 March, the government also suspended traffic at the Indo-Pakistan land check posts with effect from 00:00 hrs of 16 March.
Closedown and curfews
- On 5 March, amidst a surge in fresh cases being confirmed in Delhi NCR, the Government of Delhi announced that all primary schools across Delhi would be shut until 31 March as a precaution.
- On 7 March, primary schools in Jammu district and Samba district were closed down until 31 March after two suspected cases with "high viral load" were reported in Jammu.
- On 9 March, district collector of Pathanamthitta district of Kerala declared three days long holidays for all educational institutions in the district. Karnataka declared indefinite holiday for all kindergarten and pre-primary schools in Bangalore. The holiday was extended to all primary schools up to fifth grade after a confirmed case was reported in the city.
- On 10 March, Kerala announced closure of all schools and colleges across the state until 31 March, with effect from 11 March.
- On 12 March, the Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal announced that all schools, colleges and cinema halls in New Delhi would be closed till the end of March and all public places disinfected as a precautionary measure.
- On 12 March, the Chief Minister of Karnataka B. S. Yediyurappa announced that all educational institutions, malls, cinema halls and pubs would be shut for a week across the state. He also issued prohibitory orders on public events such as parties and weddings. The Government of Odisha, declaring the outbreak a "disaster", announced the closure of educational institutions and cinema halls until the end of the month, as well as prohibition on non-essential official gatherings. The Government of Maharashtra declared the outbreak to be an epidemic in the cities of Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad. It announced that all malls, cinema halls, swimming pools and gyms in these cities will be closed until 31 March.
- On 13 March, the Punjab and Chhattisgarh governments declared holidays in all schools and colleges till 31 March. Manipur government announced that all schools in the state, where examination are not being held would remain closed till 31 March.
- On 14 March, the Himachal Pradesh chief minister Jai Ram Thakur declared that all educational institutions and theaters would remain closed until 31 March as a precautionary measure in view of the threat of the coronavirus. Also, in the West Bengal government announced that all educational institutions will be closed till 31 March, however the board examinations will be conducted. Maharashtra government closed shopping malls, swimming pools, movie theatres, gyms and asked all schools and colleges in the state's urban areas to remain close till 31 March 2020. Government of Rajasthan announced to close all educational institutions, gyms, and cinema halls till 30 March, however ongoing school and college exams will continue.
- On 15 March, IIT, Bombay suspended all academic activities till 29 March.. In Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant declared that all educational institutions would remain closed until 31 March. While the examinations of the 10th and 12th Goa Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education will be held as per schedule. Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation shut down Jijamata Udyaan till further orders. The Gujarat government announced that all schools, colleges, cinema halls will be closed till 31 March, however the board examinations will be conducted. Bihar Public Service Commission (BPSC) has postponed all the recruitment exams till 31 March. Vaishno Devi Shrine Board issued an advisory asking non-resident Indians and foreigners not to visit the temple for 28 days after landing in India. The Tamil Nadu and Telangana governments declared closure of schools, malls and theatres till 31 March. Ministry of Culture shut down all monuments and museums under Archaeological Survey of India till 31 March.
- On 17 March, schools, colleges and multiplexes in Uttar Pradesh were shut down till 2 April and on-going examinations were postponed. BMC ordered private firms in Mumbai to function "only at 50% of their staff capacity or face action under section 188 of the IPC". Rajasthan government banned the gathering of more than 50 people in public places till 31 March. Important tourist destinations in Tamil Nadu were locked down. Authorities in Nilgiris district ordered the closure of tourist sites including Ooty and the tourists staying in hotels and resorts were given 24 hours to leave the city. In Maharashtra, government offices were closed down for seven days. Chandigarh administration ordered the closure of shopping malls, cinema halls, gyms, nightclubs, swimming pools, coaching centres, spas, creches and video game parlours till 31 March. It also banned gatherings of more than a 100 people and census work was postponed. At the same time, Dera chiefs were asked to postpone all religious events till 31 March. The GoM has also directed that no more than 50 people are allowed to gather at any place other than weddings. Pondicherry shut down schools, colleges, cinemas and gyms till 31 March. Mumbai Police ordered the closure of pubs, bars and discotheques till 31 March.
- On 18 March, District Magistrate of Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir said that the entry of all foreign tourists has been banned in the entire union territory. On the other hand, the Directorate of Floriculture, Parks and Horticulture of the state has also extended the Bagh-e-Bahu Garden to the general public from 18 to 31 March to keep the situation under control in the Union Territory.  Government of Andhra Pradesh announced closure of all educational institutions till 31 March.
- On 23 March Chief Minister of Maharashtra announced that borders of all the districts will be closed, and a strict curfew will be implemented statewide.
On 22 March, the Government of India decided to completely lockdown 82 districts in 22 states and Union Territories of country where confirmed cases have been reported till 31 March. At 6 am on 23 March Delhi will be put under lockdown till at least 31 March. Essential services and commodities were to continue. 80 cities including major cities such as Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai, Chandigarh and Kolkata were also put under lockdown. Inter-state movements are allowed during the lockdown period. However some states have closed their borders.
The Ministry of External Affairs under Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Air India and the Indian Air Force have been successful in evacuating many Indian nationals and certain foreign nationals from the virus effected areas.
- On 1 February, India evacuated 324 people which included three minors, 211 students and 110 working professionals from Wuhan region on its first Air India flight evacuation.
- On 2 February, India evacuated a second Air India flight carrying 323 Indians and seven Maldivians from Wuhan region.
- On 7 February, Brazil evacuated 34 Brazilians, four Poles, a Chinese and an Indian national from Wuhan by Air Force planes.
- On 27 February, Indian Air Force evacuated 112 people from Wuhan, which included 76 Indian nationals and 36 foreign nationals (23 nationals from Bangladesh, 6 from China, 2 each from Myanmar and Maldives and one each from South Africa, USA and Madagascar). This was the third evacuation flight sent by India to Wuhan. India also provided 15 tonnes of medical assistance comprising masks, gloves and other emergency medical equipment to China through the same IAF flight. On the same day, 124 people – 119 Indians and five nationals from Sri Lanka, Nepal, South Africa and Peru were evacuated from Japan by an Air India flight.
- On 10 March, Indian Air Force's C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft evacuated 58 Indian pilgrims from Iran, the flight tooks off from Hindon Air Base, Ghaziabad on the evening of 9 March. It also brought back another 44 passengers on 11 March from Iran.
- On 11 March 83 people were evacuated from Italy by Air India. The evacuees were 74 Indian citizens and 9 US citizens of Indian origin. All evacuees were placed under quarantine for 14 days in an army facility.
- On 15 March 218 Indians from Italy were evacuated by a special Air India flight. The evacuees brought to New Delhi will be shifted to Indo-Tibetan Border Police's camp in Chhawla area where they will be quarantined for 14 days. Later, 234 Indian nationals including 131 students and 103 pilgrims were evacuated from Iran who were quarantined for 14 days in Indian Army's wellness centre facility in Jaisalmer.
- On 16 March 53 Indians which includes 52 students and 1 teacher were evacuated from Tehran and Shiraz cities of Iran and were then quarantined at Army wellness centre, Jaisalmer.
- On 22 March 263 Indians were evacuted by Air India from Rome, Italy and then were quarantined at Indo-Tibetan Border Police's camp near Delhi.
On 9 March, an FIR was lodged against a man in Arunachal Pradesh for allegedly posting misleading information on social media regarding the outbreak. On 16 March, the father of a woman, whose husband had tested positive for coronavirus in Bengaluru, was booked by Agra police for allegedly misleading authorities about the whereabouts of his daughter, who was a suspected patient. On 18 March, a case was registered against the owner of a furniture shop at Bhiwandi in Thane district, Maharashtra for issuing a misleading advertisement which claimed that mattresses sold at his shop cured the disease. Lucknow police lodged an FIR against Bollywood singer, Kanika Kapoor for alleged negligence in compliance of necessary directives post her return from London. On 21 March, a chemist was booked for allegedly selling N95 masks at over four times higher than the fixed price in Himachal Pradesh's Kangra district. On 24 March, a 54-year-old man from Ernakulam, who who landed from Chennai at the Cochin International Airport on 23 March, was arrested for refusing to follow instructions given by doctors. A case was registered against a Coca-Cola plant in Himachal Pradesh for operating in violation of lockdown order. 255 people in West Bengal were arrested for violating restriction order and were prosecuted under IPC section 188. A man was arrested for hosting a party during the lockdown in Andhra Pradesh's West Godavari district. Hyderabad traffic police seized 2,480 vehicles for violating the lockdown. On 25 March, two people were booked under sections 353, 188 and other relevant provisions of the IPC and Disaster Management Act, 2005 for allegedly abusing and manhandling policemen during the lockdown at Kalyan in Maharashtra's Thane district. On 27 March, an Infosys employee from Bengaluru was arrested for his social media post that encouraged people to venture out and spread the virus. Three people were arrested for circulating a fake audio clip which suggested that 59 fresh cases were reported in Nagpur, Maharashtra. A 29-year-old woman was arrested in Kolkata for allegedly spreading rumors related to the outbreak by posting fake news on social media. Patna police arrested three police officials for allegedly shooting at a driver of a vehicle carrying potatoes and asking for a bribe of ₹5,000 (US$70).
State government response
State governments took various measures to contain the spread of the virus.
Testing and countermeasures
|Tests per 1 million people||20|
|As of 27 March|
The Union Health Ministry's war room and policy making team in New Delhi consists of the ministry's Emergency Medical Response Unit, the Central Surveillance Unit (IDSP), the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and experts from three government hospitals. They are part of policy decisions to decide how coronavirus should be tackled in the country. A cluster-containment strategy is mainly being adopted, similar to how India contained previous epidemics, as well as "breaking the chain of transmission". 15 labs across India led by the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, are testing for the virus, with more labs being trained. On 14 March 65 labs were named capable for testing for the virus (though as of 17 March not all are fully functional.
On 14 March, scientists at the National Institute of Virology isolated a strain of the novel coronavirus. By doing so, India became the fifth country to successfully obtain a pure sample of the virus after China, Japan, Thailand and the US. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said that isolation of the virus will help towards expediting the development of drugs, vaccines and rapid diagnostic kits in the country. NIV has shared two SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences with GISAID.
Initially, the labs tested samples only from those with a travel history to 12 countries designated as high-risk, or those who have come in contact with anyone testing positive for the coronavirus, or showing symptoms as per the government guidelines. On 20 March, the government decided to also include all pneumonia cases, regardless of travel or contact history after the country saw a sharp increase in the number of cases. The first and second confirmatory tests for the virus has been made free by the government. As of 14 March, the National Institute of Virology (NIV) has tested around 5,900 samples from individuals across the country. The number of tests per million in the country was 5 as of 14 March. In comparison, it is 26 in US, 76 in Japan, 1,005 in Italy and 4,099 in South Korea. There are concerns that testing for the virus in India is being inadequately conducted and the need for ramping up the scale of testing is a necessity to understand the real scope of the number of people affected.
The Ministry of Health said that only 10 per cent of test capacity has been utilised per day as of 15 March, claiming that the amount of tests were enough. However experts thought they were not, saying that community transmission may go undetected without adequate testing. They also wanted to add more testing centres by inclusion of private laboratories. In mid-March the government authorized accredited private labs to test for the virus.
Testing for community transmission began on 15 March. 65 laboratories of the Department of Health Research and the Indian Council of Medical Research (DHR-ICMR) have started testing random samples of people who exhibit flu-like symptoms and samples from patients without any travel history or contact with infected persons. As of 18 March, no evidence of community transmission was found after results of 500 random samples tested negative.
On 17 March, The Union Ministry of Health has decided to allow private pathology labs to test for COVID-19. The ministry official said that only the government lab is allowed to test the coronavirus. By allowing private labs, the work of testing can be doubled. The ministry said that about 60 private labs may soon be allowed for this. Once set up, a person can get COVID-19 test done at a private lab after a qualified physician in a government facility recommends it. The ICMR has appealed to the private labs to offer the tests for free as the government labs do.
On 18 March, A top health ministry official said that a Swiss private company named Roche Diagnostics has been given the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) emergency approval to conduct tests for coronavirus. The Indian regulator has given them a licence to conduct diagnostic tests of the virus on 17 March. The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) was assessing giving another firm license while two Indian diagnostic companies have also sought approval for the coronavirus testing kits developed by them. The government has also issued guidelines to cap the cost of sample testing by private labs at ₹4,500.
On 19 March, Dr Ramanan Laxminarayan, director of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy stated that India could be facing a "tsunami of cases within a few weeks" as testing increases and the reason for the low number of confirmed cases currently is due to under-testing. He also said that according to mathematical models applied in the US or UK at least 20%-60% of the population will be affected. Applying the same models in India means that at the lower end of the estimate there could be 300 million cases of which 4-8 million could be severe.
On 24 March, Pune-based molecular diagnostic company Mylab Discovery Solutions became the first Indian company to have received validation for its RT-PCR tests from National Institute of Virology. The test's turn out time is 2.5 hours and the company is looking to price it at around ₹1,200 (US$17).
111 additional labs for testing became functional on 21 March.
On 24 March, Pune-based MyLab Discovery Solutions Pvt Ltd of Maharashtra has developed India's first indigenous corona virus test kit, approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The cost of this one kit is 80,000 rupees. It can test 100 more patients.
According to ICMR, 27,688 samples from 26,798 individuals have been tested as of 27 March out of which 691 individuals have been confirmed positive.
In Rajasthan, a combination of anti-malaria, anti-Swine flu and anti-HIV drugs resulted into recovery of three patients in March. In same month, Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and Cipla corporation, launched a joint venture to develop anti-COVID-19 drugs. Pune based Serum Institute of India is expected to apply for clinical trials of certain strains from Drug Controller General of India. As per company president Adar Poonawalla, a vaccine for COVID-19 will be delivered within an year, however, it may not be effective on 20 to 30% people.
On 19 March, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced the closure of all restaurants in the capital by 31 March in view of the ever increasing case of coronavirus. He said that there will be a ban on eating in restaurants but food delivery will continue. He also said that 20 or more people will not be allowed to unite anywhere in the state. On 20 March, in Lucknow all restaurants, hotels, sweet shops have been closed till 31 March.
On 20 March, Delhi Government announced that all malls in Delhi will close with only vegetable, grocery and medicine shops remaining open. Shops in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur will remain closed till 31 March. During this period, the essential services will continue. Medical services will be available.
On 22 March, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has said that in view of coronavirus, the state has ordered lockdown till 31 March. All essential government services will continue and shops for essential goods such as food, medicines etc. will remain open. Chief Minister of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot said public vehicle will be banned till 31 March, along with all the malls and shops will remain closed.
On 16 March, the Central government declared a countrywide lock-down of schools and colleges. On 18 March, CBSE released revised guidelines for examination centres. This includes maintaining a distance of at least 1 meter between the students taking the exam with a class not having more than 24 students. If the rooms of the examination centers are small, divide the students and make them sit in different rooms. On 19 March, CBSE and JEE main examinations were postponed till 31 March.
On 20 March, Maharashtra government cancelled examinations for class 1 to 8 and promoted the students to the next classes, whereas examinations for class 9 and 11 were postponed till 15 April. Madhya Pradesh Board of Secondary Education postponed board exams for class 10 and 12 and asked school principals to promote or detain students of class 5 to 8 based on their performance in previous terms. Board exams of class 10 and 12 were postponed in Kerala. Assam government cancelled all exams till 31 March. UPSC has also postponed the interview for the Civil Services Examination 2019 to be held from 23 March to 3 April. The SSC exams in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry were postponed to 15 April.
On 2 March, the BSE SENSEX witnessed a flash crash on the back of Union Health Ministry's announcement of two new confirmed cases. A UN report estimated a trade impact of US$348 million on India due to the outbreak, making India one of the 15 worst affected economies across the world. Asian Development Bank estimated that the outbreak could cause losses of up to US$29.9 billion to India's economy. On 9 March, The BSE SENSEX closed 1,942 points lower at 35,635 while the NSE Nifty 50 was down by 538 points to 10,451.
On 12 March, Indian stock markets suffered their worst crash since June 2017 after WHO's declaration of the outbreak as a pandemic. The BSE SENSEX dropped 8.18 per cent or 2,919 points which was its lowest in 23 months while the NIFTY dropped 9 per cent or 950 points.
This section needs to be updated.March 2020)(
Cinema halls were shut down by most state governments. Film bodies decided to stop the production of films, TV shows and web series till 31 March. On 25 March, all video streaming services, jointly decided to offer only SD quality content on cellular networks. They also decided to lower the bitrates to 480p to lower the stress on telecom networks throughout the 21-day lockdown during which there would be an unprecedented surge in mobile internet consumption since people were confined to their homes.
On 6 March, the Border Security Force announced that the Wagah-Attari border ceremony would be conducted without any spectators as a precautionary measure, effective from 7 March. The 21st IIFA Awards ceremony, which was scheduled to be held in Indore on 29 March, was postponed indefinitely. The India Fashion Week, scheduled to begin on 11 March in New Delhi, was put off. The Padma Awards ceremony that was scheduled to be held on 3 April was postponed.
On 17 March, All the historic buildings in the country will remain closed till 31 March. According to Union Tourism Minister Prahlad Patel the Taj Mahal, Red Fort and Qutub Minar and all the National Monuments and Museums under the Archaeological Department of India will remain closed till 31 March. The Statue of Unity will be closed to visitors till 25 March.
On 17 March, Mumbai's Siddhivinayak Temple was closed till further notice. The next day, the Mata Vaishno Devi pilgrimage in Jammu and Kashmir was called off. Apart from this, the operation of all interstate buses coming to from Jammu and Kashmir has also been stopped. Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB), issued a consultation for foreigners not to visit the temple until 28 days after their arrival in India. Entry restrictions are also in place for the aarti held at the Ganges Ghat in Varanasi; the organizers have been asked to complete the Ganga Aarti in a simple way.
On 19 March, entry at Har Ki Pauri, Ganga Ghat, in Haridwar closed till 31 March. However, the aarti at Har Ki Pauri Ghat will continue and devotees will be shown through live streaming. Jagannath Temple, Puri was closed for visitors till 31 March. On the same day, the Government of Andhra Pradesh closed visits to Venkateswara Temple, Tirumala until 31 March. Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad will also be closed to visitors from 19 to 29 March.
On 21 March, Rameswaram Ramanathan Swamy Temple in Tamil Nadu will also be closed till 31st. During this period, there will be a ban on devotees coming to the temple. On 26 March, The Mecca Masjid of Hyderabad was closed to devotees.
The 2020 ISSF World Cup, which was to commence on 15 March in New Delhi, was postponed. The Indian Open badminton tournament which was scheduled to be held in New Delhi from 24 to 29 March was suspended until 12 April.
India's FIFA World Cup qualification match on 26 March against Qatar in Bhubaneswar was postponed. The All India Football Federation suspended all matches of I-League and I-League 2nd Division from 15 March. On 14 March, the 2020 Indian Super League Final was played behind closed doors.
On 13 March, the Board of Control for Cricket in India announced that the opening of 2020 Indian Premier League was postponed from 29 March to 15 April. Later that day, it cancelled the ODI matches between India and South Africa on 15 and 18 March, which were originally announced to be played without spectators.
IndiGo cancelled its Delhi-Istanbul and Chennai - Kuala Lumpur flights starting 18 March to prevent international travel from Turkey and Malaysia. This ban will continue till 31 March. On 17 March 2020, Go Air suspended its international flights till further notice. On 19 March, the Government of India announced that no international flights will be allowed to land in India from 22 March. On 23 March, the union government announced the suspension of all domestic flights in the country starting 25 March.
On 14 March, Western and Central Railways removed curtains and blankets from AC coaches. On 17 March, Western Railways hiked platform ticket charges from Rs. 10 to Rs. 50 across 250 stations. Central Railways cancelled 23 trains. On 19 March, Tejas Express running between Lucknow Junction to New Delhi and Varanasi to Indore will remain canceled till 31 March. On 20 March, Delhi Metro was scheduled to remain closed on 22 March due to Janata Curfew. On 22 March, metro services across India were suspended till 31 March. On 21 March, in view of Janata curfew, Indian Railways announced the cancellation of 3,700 trains across the country. On 22 March, the union government cancelled all train services in the country baring goods trains, that is around 12,500 trains, and all non-essential passenger transport including interstate transport buses.
On 19 March, bus services between the cities of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh have been postponed from 21 to 31 March 2020. Punjab government imposed a ban on public transport including buses, auto rickshaws and tempos from 21 March. Public transport including buses, mini buses, maxi cabs and auto services were banned in Srinagar.
On 18 March, government of India sent 15 tons of masks, gloves and other emergency medical equipment to China. Minister of State for External Affairs gave the information that the material would be sent to China on 26 February. The medical supplies sent to China include one hundred thousand masks, five hundred thousand pairs of gloves, 75 infusion pumps, and 30 internal feeding pumps.
On 21 March, Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath announced ₹1,000 (US$14) to all daily wage laborers. On 22 March, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh announced ₹3,000 (US$42) to all registered construction workers.Telangana CM K. Chandrashekar Rao announced that white ration card holders will be provided ₹1,500 (US$21) per family through ration shops. On 26 March, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced an economic relief package of ₹1.7 lakh crore (US$24 billion), which was a mix of food security and direct cash transfer, primarily for migrant laborers and daily wage laborers. Prime Minister's National Relief Fund received several donations - ₹3,381 crore (US$470 million) from Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), ₹50 lakh (US$70,000) from comedian Kapil Sharma, ₹25 lakh (US$35,000) from former international cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and a month's salary from Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and NCP's MPs. Actor and politician Pawan Kalyan donated ₹1 crore (US$140,000) each to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana CM's relief funds. NCP President Sharad Pawar announced that his party's MLAs would donate their one month's salary to Maharashtra CM's Reief Fund. Sachin Tendulkar also donated ₹25 lakh (US$35,000) to Maharashtra CM's Relief Fund. RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das permitted all banks to provide a moratorium on all loans for three months without having to worry about NPAs and keeping their books healthy. He also laid down various measures for injecting ₹3.74 lakh crore (US$52 billion) liquidity into the system. Saibaba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi donated ₹51 crore (US$7.2 million) to Maharashtra CM's relief fund. The Central Government released ₹4,431 crore (US$620 million) pay off the pending wages of daily wage laborers who come under MGNREGA scheme. Bihar CM's Rabri Devi donated ₹1 crore (US$140,000).
On 21 March, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal increased free ration from 5 kilograms to 7.5 kilograms for the 7.2 million people who are dependent on the ration scheme. On 22 March, Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa announced two months of free ration for all the people. Andhra Pradesh CM Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy announced free ration for the poor. Telangana CM announced that white ration card holders will be provided with 12 kilograms of free rice per person (against a monthly supply of 6 kilograms per card person) through ration shops. On 23 March, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar announced one month of free ration for all ration card holders.
On 25 March, Modi government at the Center made a big announcement about rationing. After the cabinet meeting, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said that 80 crore people of the country will get wheat at the rate of Rs 2 per kg. He said that three months ration advance will be given.
On 25 March, Vivo said that they would be donating 1 lakh surgical and 5,000 N95 masks to Maharashtra government. On 26 March, former Indian cricketers, Irfan Pathan and Yusuf Pathan, made a donation of 4,000 masks.
Rumours and misinformation
Despite evidence to the contrary, a viral rumour spread online alleging that only people who eat meat were affected by coronavirus, causing "#NoMeat_NoCoronaVirus" to trend on Twitter. To curb these rumours and combat declining sales, some poultry industry associations held a "Chicken and Egg Mela" in Hyderabad. Several Telangana state ministers were in attendance and ate some of the free eggs and fried chicken being distributed at the event to show their support for the industry.
Some politicians like Swami Chakrapani and Suman Haripriya claimed that drinking cow urine and applying cow dung on the body can cure coronavirus. WHO's chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan rubbished such claims and criticized these politicians for spreading misinformation.
Indian Islamic cleric Ilyas Sharafuddin said in an audio address that "Allah unleashed Coronavirus on Chinese for persecuting Uighur Muslims". Ilyas said that "they the Chinese have threatened the Muslims and tried to destroy lives of 20 million Muslims. Muslims were forced to drink alcohol, their mosques were destroyed and their Holy Book was burned. They thought that no one can challenge them, but Allah the most powerful punished them." Hubei was the centre of origin of the virus and has reported 67,000+ confirmed cases.
Reports of harassment of people from Northeast India, which shares a border with Tibet and Myanmar, in Chennai, Pune and Hyderabad have been reported following the outbreak. Students from Kirori Mal College in Delhi, Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai and other institutes in Kolkata have also faced harassment and filed complaints with authorities.
Hyderabad witnessed panic buying throughout 20th evening and Saturday 21st. Panic buying of milk and other dairy products was also reported. Online grocery delivery service Grofers also witnessed panic buying across states.
Retailers and consumer goods firms saw their average daily sales more than double on 19 March as consumers rushed to buy essentials ahead of PM Modi’s address to the nation. In response to this, Modi assured the citizens that there was enough food and ration supplies and advised them against panic buying.
Escaping of suspected people
Punjab: On 20 March, A case of 26-year-old woman suspected of being infected with the corona virus has been reported to have fled the hospital in Punjab. The woman, who hails from Mohali, recently returned from the US and was brought to a government hospital in Chandigarh.
Gujarat: In Gujarat 93 people have broken self-isolation rules in 10 days. FIRs have been filed against 10.
Kerala: Two expats in Kasaragod district who violated quarantine measures were subjected to punitive measures, including cancellation of their Indian passports.
The numbers are from data published by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on their website.
2020 coronavirus pandemic in India by state and union territory
|S.No.||State/Union Territory||Active cases||Deaths||Recoveries||Total cases|
|1||Andaman and Nicobar Islands||2||0||0||2|
|11||Jammu and Kashmir||16||1||1||18|
|23||Tamil Nadu †||35||1||2||38|
|26||Uttar Pradesh †||34||0||11||45|
|*† Inclusive of 47 foreign nationals (1 in Delhi, 1 in Gujarat, 14 in Haryana, 8 in Kerala, 3 in Maharashtra, 2 in Rajasthan, 6 in Tamil Nadu, 10 in Telengana, 1 in Uttarakhand, 1 in Uttar Pradesh)|
|As of 28 March 2020|
|Semi-log plot of SARS-CoV-2 cases and COVID-19 deaths in India|
|Semilog plot of the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and of COVID-19 deaths in India|
Confirmed Indian cases abroad
The Ministry of External Affairs has confirmed that there are 276 confirmed Indians cases abroad as of 18 March. Most of them were in Iran (255), with others in United Arab Emirates, Italy, Kuwait, Sri Lanka, Rwanda and Hong Kong. One Indian died in Iran on 20 March 2020. A 3-year-old Indian girl tested positive in Singapore on 26 March, taking total to 277.
|United Arab Emirates||12||0||12|
- Timeline of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic in India
- 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to COVID-19 pandemic in India.|
- COVID-19 on MyGov.in – Government's portal for COVID-19
- Covid-19 India - CovidCrowd – COVID-19 India tracker
- 2020 coronavirus pandemic in India playlist on YouTube – COVID-19 Management videos by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
- Prasad, R.; Perappadan, Bindu Shajan; Shelar, Jyoti (2020). George, P.J. (ed.). The Pandemic Notebook (PDF). The Hindu.
A handy guide from The Hindu on understanding the coronavirus pandemic and staying protected against COVID-19