|COVID-19 pandemic in India|
Map of confirmed total cumulative number of cases
|First outbreak||Wuhan, Hubei, China|
|Index case||Thrissur, Kerala|
January 2020 – ongoing|
(1 year, 1 month and 3 days)
|28 states and 8 union territories|
The COVID-19 pandemic in India is part of the worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The first case of COVID-19 in India, which originated from China, was reported on 30 January 2020. India currently has the largest number of confirmed cases in Asia, and has the second-highest number of confirmed cases in the world after the United States with more than 10.3 million reported cases of COVID-19 infection and more than 154,000 deaths as of February 2, 2021. The per day cases peaked mid-September in India with over 90,000 cases reported per day and have since come down to below 15,000 as of 2021 January.
In July 2020, India's Ministry of Information and Broadcasting claimed the country's case fatality rate was among the lowest in the world at 2.41% and "steadily declining". By mid-May 2020, six cities accounted for around half of all reported cases in the country – Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Pune and Kolkata. The last region to report its first case was Lakshadweep, on 19 January 2021, nearly a year after the first reported case in India. On 10 June, India's recoveries exceeded active cases for the first time. Infection rates started to drop significantly in September, and the number of daily new cases and active cases started to decline rapidly. A Government panel on COVID-19 announced in October that the pandemic had peaked in India, and may come under control by February 2021. This prediction was based on a mathematical simulation assuming than India reaches herd immunity, the so called "Indian Supermodel". A comparison of the predicted and actual cases is available on its homepage. In a paper on an improved simulation model published February 2021 the same authors estimate the immunity of the Indian population to be close to 60% and claim that India might be the only major economy that has successfully implemented a herd immunity strategy. India has over 30 anti-COVID vaccines in various stages of development and a national vaccination drive was started on 16 January 2021. India began the world's largest Covid vaccination drive on January 16 and in 18 days the country has successfully vaccinated over 4.1 million healthcare workers.
On 12 January 2020, the WHO confirmed that a novel coronavirus was the cause of a respiratory illness in a cluster of people in Wuhan, Hubei, China, which was reported to the WHO on 31 December 2019.
On 30 January, India reported its first case of COVID-19 in Thrissur, Kerala, which rose to three cases by 3 February; all were students returning from Wuhan. Apart from these, no significant rise in transmissions was observed in February. On 4 March 22 new cases were reported, including 14 infected members of an Italian tourist group.
In March, the transmissions grew after several people with travel history to affected countries, and their contacts, tested positive. On 12 March, a 76-year-old man, with a travel history to Saudi Arabia, became the first COVID-19 fatality of India.
A Sikh preacher, who had a travel history to Italy and Germany, turned into a "super spreader" by attending a Sikh festival in Anandpur Sahib during 10–12 March. Twenty-seven COVID-19 cases were traced back to him. Over 40,000 people in 20 villages in Punjab were quarantined on 27 March to contain the spread.
On 31 March, a Tablighi Jamaat religious congregation event in Delhi, which had taken place earlier in March, emerged as a new virus super spreader event, after numerous cases across the country were traced back to it. On 18 April, the Health ministry announced that 4,291 cases were directly linked to the event.
On 2 May, in Punjab, around 4,000 stranded pilgrims returned from Hazur Sahib in Nanded, Maharashtra. Many of them tested positive, including 27 bus drivers and conductors who had been part of the transport arrangement. As of 13 May, 1,225 pilgrims had tested positive.
In July 2020, 57% of the inhabitants of Mumbai's slums had SARS CoV 2 antibodies. Since September, the number of cases in India has been falling. The Indian Supermodel initated by the Indian government correctly predicted this development and assigned it to herd immunity.
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, leading to the temporary closure of educational and commercial establishments. All tourist visas were suspended in March, as many of the earliest confirmed cases were individuals who had travelled from foreign countries. State governments took various measures to contain the spread of the virus.
Testing and countermeasures
|Total samples tested||218,403,277|
|New samples tested||785,220|
|Total positive cases||11,139,516|
|Total active cases||170,126|
|Total recovered cases||10,812,044|
|As of March 3 2021|
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, as of early March. On 13 March, 52 labs were named capable of virus testing.
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. On 16 April, China sent 650,000 testing kits to India but their use was discontinued in view of a very low accuracy (of just 5.4%). In May, National Institute of Virology introduced another antibody test kit ELISA for rapid testing, capable of processing 90 samples in a single run of 2.5 hours.
Initially, the labs tested samples only from those with a travel history to 12 countries designated as high-risk, or those who had 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. On 9 April, ICMR further revised the testing strategy and allowed testing of the people showing symptoms for a week in the hotspot areas of the country, regardless of travel history or local contact to a patient.
The Ministry of Health said that only 10 per cent of test capacity had been used per day till 15 March, claiming that the number of tests was 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 including private laboratories. In mid-March the government authorised accredited private labs to test for the virus.
Expansion of tests
On 17 March, the Union Ministry of Health had decided to allow private pathology labs to test for COVID-19. The ministry official claimed that by allowing private labs, the work of testing can be doubled. The ministry said that National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) accredited laboratories may soon be allowed. 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 licence 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, 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.
111 additional labs for testing became functional on 21 March. 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 and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The test takes 2.5 hours and the company is looking to price it at around ₹1,200 (US$17), or Rs 80,000 for a 100 test kit.
In April, Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology of Delhi had developed low cost paper-strip test that could detect COVID-19 within an hour. Each test would cost ₹500 (US$7.00) and method could fulfill India's rapid need of testing.
On 13 April, ICMR advised pool testing in the low infection areas with a positivity rate less than 2% to increase the capacity of the testing and save resources. In this process maximum five samples are tested at once and samples are tested individually only if a pool tests positive. Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Uttar Pradesh have started doing pool testing.
On 14 April, ICMR and DGCI approved 18 new suppliers of test kits that included three Indian firms, bringing the total suppliers to 51.
On 16 April, 650,000 Rapid antibody test and RNA extraction kits were dispatched from China, and over 2 million kits were to be sent in next 15 days. On 21 April, Health department of West Bengal alleged that large number of testing kits supplied by ICMR-NICED (National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases) were giving inconclusive results. ICMR-NICED admitted that there was problem in the kits and said that they are addressing the issue. While Rajasthan stopped using rapid testing kits as they were giving low accuracy of 5.4% in compared to expected 90% accuracy. Later, ICMR advised all states to stop using rapid testing kits for next two days until their on-ground teams validates these kits. Rapid antibody test kits were put on hold till further notice. The Chinese manufactures of the rapid testing kits said that the testing kits were approved by ICMR and the problem is not with the kits but with the way they were being used. However, Chinese manufacturers promised to cooperate with Indian authorities to resolve the issue. Amid this, ICMR asked states to return the faulty kits which will be sent back to the Chinese suppliers and cancelled the order of all remaining kits.
Testing community transmission
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. Between 15 February and 2 April, 5,911 SARI (Severe Acute Respiratory Illnesses) patients were tested throughout the country of which, 104 tested positive (1.8%) in 20 states and union territories. About 40% of the identified patients did not have travel history or any history of contact with a positive patient. The ICMR advised to prioritise containment in the 36 districts of 15 states which had reported positive cases among SARI patients. Till third quarter of the year, India had attained highest number daily tests in world.
Research and treatment
In Rajasthan, a combination of anti-malaria, anti-swine flu and anti-HIV drugs resulted in the recovery of three patients in March. In the same month, the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Cipla launched a joint venture to develop anti-COVID-19 drugs. Another Indian firm, Stempeutics, announced plans to introduce a stem cell-based agent for treating critical COVID-19 patients. Following randomised clinical trials, another Indian firm Biocon got its novel biologic therapy by use of a newly formulated intravenous drug for treatment of patients.
In March, a startup incubated in Pune's Sci-Tech Park introduced 'Airon', a negative ion generator capable of reducing a room's viral load by 99.7%. In April, funds for a number of preventive agents were released to initiate research.
According to estimates, India has around 40,000 ventilators, of which 8,432 are with the public sector. Various Indian PSUs, firms and startups, including DRDO and ISRO, have since repurposed their production lines to manufacture general PPEs, full body suits and ventilators. They are also designing low-cost or mobile medical equipment. The focus was to increase the production of low-cost, compact and portable ventilators that could cater to multiple patients at a time. This led to the creation of some of the world's smallest and cheapest ventilators. The government aims to double the current capacity of ventilators by June 2020 with the assistance from PSUs. The government has also requested major private automakers to explore the possibility of manufacturing ventilators at their plants. Maruti Suzuki, in collaboration with AgVa Healthcare, will supply 10,000 ventilators till end of the May. From nil in near past, India was producing around 200,000 PPE kits and 250,000 N95 masks per day in May 2020. By second half of month, India had emerged as world's second largest producer of PPE body coveralls.
The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology has been working on genome sequencing of COVID-19. In May, CCMB also started a partnership with a private company Eyestem Research to grow novel coronavirus strain in human lung epithelial cells for research and trials of anti-viral drugs.
On 12 April, the ICMR invited health institutions and hospitals to participate in trials of convalescent plasma therapy and plasma exchange therapy. Later, the ICMR submitted a list of such institutes to the DCGI to start trials, which the DCGI approved. Several states were allowed by ICMR to start clinical trials of the plasma therapy. In Delhi, a 49-year-old man who was on ventilator support became the first patient in the country, who recovered through plasma therapy in April. Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal said that the initial results of the plasma therapy treatment on four patients gave positive and encouraging results, adding that they had decided to conduct it on three more patients. However, the ICMR later stated that there is no robust evidence to support convalescent plasma therapy as a routine therapy, describing it is as an emerging and experimental therapy. It has some risks, which include life-threatening allergies and lung injuries. The ICMR have since started multi-centre clinical trials to ensure the treatment's safety and efficacy in treating COVID-19 patients across the country.
In late July, Cipla and Indian Institute of Chemical Technology launched jointly developed anti-viral drug favipiravir at cost of 10% of existing alternative in the market, followed by Jenburkt pharmaceuticals and Lupin Limited launching same at even lower cost.
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Various laboratories in India had been trying to develop a vaccine against COVID-19. In September, India's federal science minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, announced that the first vaccine for use will be available by first quarter of 2021. 30 million health workers directly dealing with COVID patients, especially doctors and other medical personnel were supposed to be first to receive the vaccine.
On 1 January 2021, the Drug Controller General of India, approved the emergency or conditional use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine AZD1222 (marketed as Covishield). Covishield is developed by the University of Oxford and its spin-out company, Vaccitech. It is a viral vector vaccine based on replication-deficient Adenovirus that causes cold in Chimpanzees. It can be stored, transported and handled at normal refrigerated conditions (two-eight degrees Celsius/ 36-46 degrees Fahrenheit). It has a shelf-life of at least six months.
On 2 January 2021, BBV152 (marketed as Covaxin), developed by Bharat Biotech in association with the Indian Council of Medical Research and National Institute of Virology received approval from the Drug Controller General of India for emergency or conditional usage. However, this approval was met with some concern as the vaccine had not then completed phase-3 trials.
The national vaccination drive began on 16 January 2021 across 3,006 vaccination centres.
On 19 March, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal announced the closure of all restaurants in the capital by 31 March in view of the increasing cases 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 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. The 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 union 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 metre between the students taking the exam with a class not having more than 24 students. If the rooms of the examination centres 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. The Union Public Service Commission 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.
The International Indian Film Academy Awards, scheduled to take place on 27 March, was cancelled. 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 resolution 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. The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) said that four major broadcasting networks in the country have decided to waive all fees for four channels for two months. The IBF is an organisation promoting the Indian television industry.
In a statement, the foundation said that Sony Pal, run by Sony, Star Utsav, run by Star India, Viacom18's Colors Rishtey run by colours and Zee Anmol run by Zee TV will be available for two months free to all viewers in the country. This offer is for all DTH and cable networks.
On 17 March, it was announced that all the historic buildings in the country would 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 were to remain closed till 31 March. The Statue of Unity was to be closed to visitors till 25 March. However, the monuments were opened to the public only on 6 July.
During the lockdown, many religious institutions started live-streaming to help devotees worship from home.
However, many revered temples and shrines, ai Maharashtra, started imposing entry restrictions as the infection rates increased. Many Christian churches suspended in-person mass and offered worship for their congregants through livestreaming, radio and television.
The Government announced the opening of religious places beginning 8 June under "Unlock 1" and also released detailed guidelines for subsequent operations on 4 June.
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. On 16 April, BCCI suspended the tournament indefinitely due to the pandemic. The same day, BCCI 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 7 August, Air India Express Flight 1344, a repatriation flight, crashed while landing at Calicut International Airport in Kozikhode, killing 18 of the 190 people on board. Two of the survivors tested positive for COVID-19.
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 cancelled 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. IRCTC suspended the bookings for 3 private trains till 30 April. After the Prime Minister Modi extended the nationwide lockdown till 3 May. the Indian Railways not only extended the suspension of all its passenger trains during the period but also suspended all ticket bookings till further notice.
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.
Exodus of migrant workers
With factories and workplaces shut down, many migrant workers were left with no livelihood. They thus decided to walk hundreds of kilometres to go back to their native villages, accompanied by their families in many cases. The Central Government then announced that it had asked state governments to set up immediate relief camps for the migrant workers returning to their native states, and later issued orders protecting the rights of the migrants. In its report to the Supreme Court of India on 30 March, the Central Government stated that the migrant workers, apprehensive about their survival, moved in the panic created by fake news that the lockdown would last for more than three months. In early May, the Central Government finally permitted the Indian Railways to launch "Shramik Special" trains for the migrant workers and others stranded, but this move had a few complications. On 26 May, the Supreme Court admitted that the problems of the migrants had still not been solved and ordered the Centre and States to provide free food, shelter and transport to stranded migrant workers.
The lockdown disrupted food supplies and threatened to trigger a food crisis. By the first week of April, essential industries such as growing, harvesting and food deliveries were allowed to operate.
On 19 March, Kerala chief minister (CM) Pinarayi Vijayan announced a stimulus package of ₹20,000 crore (US$2.8 billion) to help the state overcome both the COVID-19 epidemic and economic hardship caused by it. On 21 March, Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath announced ₹1,000 (US$14) to all daily wage labourers. 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, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced an economic relief package of ₹1.7 lakh crore (US$24 billion), which would be a mix of food security and direct cash transfer, primarily for migrant labourers and daily wage labourers. Prime Minister's National Relief Fund received several donations – ₹3,381 crore (US$470 million) from the Central Reserve Police Force, and a month's salary from Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and NCP's MPs. NCP President Sharad Pawar announced that his party's MLAs would donate their one month's salary 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 Union Government released ₹4,431 crore (US$620 million) pay off the pending wages of daily wage labourers who come under MGNREGA scheme. In Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal announced that if a doctor, nurse or hygiene worker dies during treatment, their family will be provided ₹10 million (US$140,000). Karnataka chief minister B. S. Yeddyurappa announced ₹16.1 billion (US$230 million) relief for unorganised sectors including flower growers, washermen and women, barbers, construction workers, auto and cab drivers, MSMEs, and weavers.
PM CARES Fund
On 28 March, the Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES Fund) was set up to provide relief to the affected people. Several large business groups and PSUs contributed to the relief fund. A sum of ₹3,100 crore was announced as the first allocation from the fund on 13 May.
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, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar announced that 80 crore people would be given wheat at the rate of Rs 2 per kg, and rice at Rs 3 per kg. He also said that three months ration advance would be given.
On 21 April, Arvind Kejriwal announced that 1 crore people would be given free rations in Delhi.
Masks and supplies
On 25 March 2020, Vivo said that they would be donating 100,000 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.
Premier universities in India such as National Institute of Technology Tiruchirappalli, National Institute of Technology Karnataka, National Institute of Technology Warangal, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur and Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad had prepared hand sanitisers and in their laboratories and started distributing to people.
Deaths of doctors due to COVID-19
On 8 August 2020, Indian Medical Association announced that 198 doctors have died due to COVID. This number was increased to 515 by October 2020. By 3 February 2021, the Indian Medical Association increased the number of death of doctors to 734. However just a day before the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare announced in the Rajya Sabha that 162 doctors had died due to COVID-19.
Tablighi Jamaat event
The Nizamuddin faction of the Tablighi Jamaat held a religious congregational program (Ijtema) in Nizamuddin West, Delhi in March. The Delhi Government's order against organising seminars, conferences or any big event (beyond 200 people) was apparently ignored by the organisation, and the Delhi Police also failed to enforce it. The gathering emerged as one of India's major coronavirus hotspots. The entire Nizamuddin West area was cordoned off by the police as of 30 March, and medical camps were set up. On 18 April, the Central Government stated that 4,291 cases (or 29.8% of the total 14,378 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in India) were linked to the Tablighi Jamaat, and these cases were spread across 23 states and Union Territories. As of 4 April, about 22,000 people who came in contact with the Tablighi Jamaat missionaries had to be quarantined.
There have been several incidents of panic buying in India related to the pandemic. 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 Narendra Modi's address to the nation. Modi assured the citizens that there was enough food and ration supplies and advised them against panic buying.
Escape of suspected infected people
Misinformation and discrimination
Cases have been reported in all states and union territories.
|Republic of Ireland||Unknown||1||N/A|||
|United States of America||Unknown||13||N/A|
|United Arab Emirates||238||4||238|
|*Total of countries where confirmed Indian cases reported till 10 September 2020|
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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
- "District Map of CoViD-19 in India". fieldmaps.in. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
- COVID-19 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
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