Coronavirus India LIVE Updates: Positive cases shoot up to 1,637; Death toll at 38; Tech cos roll out aid, measures to cope with pandemic

Coronavirus India LIVE Updates: Positive cases shoot up to 1,637; Death toll at 38; Tech cos roll out aid, measures to cope with pandemic
Photo Credit: Pixabay

With the Covid-19 pandemic wrecking havoc across financial markets and offices worldwide, TechCircle brings you updates on developments in India’s technology sector in India. How startups and large technology companies are coping with remote working, measures to support employees and workforces in the gig economy, policy and the triggers to an impending weak funding environment in 2020. 

The updates have been aggregated from verified sources of social media, agencies and news publications.


01:30 PM (IST) 1 April, 2020

Uber unveils new service for healthcare workers in India

Uber Cabs has launched a new service called UberMedic to provide frontline healthcare authorities in India an access to its network of drivers for transportation needs to and fro medical facilities, it said in a statement on Wednesday.

01:15 PM (IST) 1 April, 2020

Positive COVID-19 cases cross 1600 in India

The total number of people infected with Covid-19 in India shot up to 1,637 since last evening. Out of those, 132 were cured or discharged. A total of 38 people have died from the disease, according to data published by the MoHFW.

12:40 PM (IST) 1 April, 2020

Jungleworks to help Haryana district deliver essentials via drones

Seattle headquartered software as a service (SaaS) provider Jungleworks has partnered with the Panipat district administration in Haryana to deliver daily essentials to Covid-19 quarantined suspects using drones. The drones assigned for the task can carry loads of up to 4 kilograms and travel within a 5 kilometres radius from the launch location. 

12:20 PM (IST) 1 April, 2020

RBI announces further measures for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic

In added measures to tacking the Covid-19 crisis, the Reserve Bank of India announced additional measures, including one to extend the realisation period of export proceeds. Presently, the value of the goods or software exports made by the exporters is required to be realized fully and repatriated to the country within a period of 9 months from the date of exports.

In view of the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the time period for realization and repatriation of export proceeds for exports made up to or on July 31, 2020, has been extended to 15 months from the date of export. The measure will enable the exporters to realise their receipts, especially from COVID-19 affected countries within the extended period and also provide greater flexibility to the exporters to negotiate future export contracts with buyers abroad, the central bank said in a circular on Wednesday.

11:50 AM (IST) 1 April, 2020

US start-ups cut over 3,500 jobs in March


Startups in the United States have slashed about 4,000 jobs, according to a CNBC report on Tuesday that cited a compilation of several media reports. The layoffs spanned over 40 companies that have collectively raised more than $14 billion. The job cuts underscore the far-reaching impact of the crisis and shows that once fast-growing businesses in Silicon Valley and beyond are not protected from the fall-out, the report added.

11:30 AM (IST) 1 April, 2020

Covid-19 expected to cut global corporate tech spend by 4.1% in 2020

The fallout of the Covid-19  outbreak will result in a cut of between 3.7% to 4.1% in IT spending for 2020, Reuters reported, citing survey data from Enterprise Technology Research. ETR polled about 1,300 of global chief information officers and other senior tech executives. Corporate revenue has taken a hit from broken supply chains, less demand from consumers and businesses and productivity losses with most employees working from home, the report added.

11:15 AM (IST) 1 April, 2020

Palo Alto Networks pledges $4 mn for wage workers, no lay-offs for Covid-19

Nikesh Arora, CEO of Palo Alto Networks announced that the company board will pool in a total of $4 million to support wage earners at the company including cafeteria and security staff in view of the lockdown related to Covid-19. He asked employees to contribute to the fund and added that there will be no lay-offs related to the lockdown period in a Tweet on Tuesday. Arora also said that he will forgo a month’s salary, reported to be close to $1 million.   

11:00 AM (IST) 1 April, 2020

Karnataka police to seize private vehicles for violating lockdown

The Director General of Police in Karnataka said that the law enforcement will seize all two and four wheelers in use during the 21-day lockdown for violation. This will be valid till April 14. The social media post did not give any explanation on exemption in case of emergency or which law will govern the action.

11:00 AM (IST) 1 April, 2020

NYC probes firing of protesting Amazon worker

New York City’s Commission on Human Rights is investigating Amazon over allegations an employee at a Staten Island warehouse was terminated for organizing a walkout over working conditions in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Amazon had said on Monday that it had fired Chris Smalls, the warehouse employee, because he showed up at work after being in contact with a colleague who was diagnosed with Covid-19, despite being asked to remain home with pay for 14 days. The walkout was to persuade Amazon to shut down the Staten Island facility for deep cleaning after multiple cases of the coronavirus emerged there, multiple US media outlets reported citing the protestors.

10:35 AM (IST) 1 April, 2020

Facebook pledges $100 mn to news orgs

Social media giant Facebook on Monday pledged $100 million in financing and advertising spending to support news organizations, including local publishers in the United States, reeling in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.

10:30 AM (IST) 1 April, 2020

Zoom surpasses Microsoft Teams as Covid-19 keeps citizens at home

As pandemic affected corporate systems across the world take to remote working, average user numbers of video conferencing platform Zoom in March were about thrice than that of Microsoft’s Teams chat and conferencing platform, Reuters reported citing data from Apptopia on Wednesday. Stock price of Zoom, which made trading debut at $36 per share in 2019, was trading at $146 on Tuesday. Its market value has more than doubled since end-January.

10:15 AM (IST) 1 April, 2020

Markets off to a weak start in April

BSE Sensex was down by 756.96 points or 2.57% at 28,711.53 levels, while the Nifty 50 was down by 211.60 points or 2.46% at 8,386.15 levels. Kotak Mahindra Bank was the top drag on Sensex. 

09:30 AM (IST) 1 April, 2020

FM calls for strengthened IMF toolkit on Covid-19 related financing needs

Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman has suggested to the International Monetary Fund to come up with “innovative and ingenious methods” to meet Covid-10 related financing requirements in the policy space at a G20 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors, according to a statement from the Indian finance ministry. The statement added that Sitharaman also urged the international body to use its existing resources to create a non-stigmatised short-term liquidity swap facility which could be rapidly deployed as and when needed by the countries. Additionally, the minister appealed on the need to allow flexibility for countries to engage in new lines of bilateral swap arrangements as per requirements, in the virtual meet. The G20 is an international group for governments and central bank governors from 19 countries and the European Union.

09:30 AM (IST) 1 April, 2020

SC directs on the need to curb fake news in a pandemic-stricken environment

The Supreme Court directed the media to stick to the official government version about developments of Covid-19 when reporting news, in a hearing of a public interest litigation seeking directions for the government to take urgent steps to help migrant workers in the wake of the Covid-19 lockdown on Tuesday. It also held that the central government will provide a daily bulletin through all media avenues, including social media forums, for dissemination of verified news. The apex court order held that panic can severely affect mental health. 

09:00 AM (IST) 1 April, 2020

Quikr launches platform to track real time status of grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals

Classifieds platform Quikr has launched that aims to help people to identify the nearest grocery stores, hospitals and pharmacies, COVID-19 centres, and other stores classified as essentials in real-time. The platform also allows its users to update store status and hygiene, add information on groceries along with reviews, images and more directly from their smartphones.  It is currently available for access in 23 cities including Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, Mumbai, Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida,  Lucknow and Kolkata.

07:30 AM (IST) 1 April, 2020

Total postive cases in Maharashtra crosses 300

Maharashtra, home to the country's financial capital, continues to be worst hit by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The total number of infected in the state has risen to 302, Rajesh Tope, minister of public health and family welfare, Maharashtra, said last evening.

08:45 PM (IST) 31 March, 2020

Covid-19 positive cases in India at nearly 1,400; Death toll at 35

The number of people who have succumbed to Covid-19 in India has climbed to 35 even as the total number of people infected by the virus has increased to 1397 -- up by 146 from last night -- according to the latest data available on the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare website. The number of people cured and discharged now stands at 123. Maharashtra reported the highest number of positive cases at 264 while Kerala reported the second highest number at 254. The death toll is the highest in Maharashtra at 9. This is data is as on March 31, 2020, 8:30 PM.

07:40 PM (IST) 31 March, 2020

Google, Facebook seek to defer new Indian digital tax by six months: Reuters

US technology giants such as Google and Facebook, who have an extensive presence in India, may seek a deferment of the new Indian digital tax, Reuters reported. India had announced last week that all foreign billings for digital services provided in the country would attract a 2% tax starting April 1, 2020.

07:25 PM (IST) 31 March, 2020

Covid-19 infects 719,700 globally; death toll rises to 33,673: WHO

The worldwide infection from Covid-19 has reached 719,700 within 3 months of its outbreak. The pandemic that has affected 202 nations has killed 33,673 people across 202 countries, as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) in their latest tally at 10:00 Central European Time (CET) on 31 March, 2020. The United States of America remains the most affected nation with 140,640 cases so far.

07:15 PM (IST) 31 March, 2020

Govt extends validity of lower withholding tax orders

Finance Ministry has extended the validity of all lower withholding tax orders by three months till June 30. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) in its order gave a major relief to taxpayers whose application for lower or nil deduction of TDS/TCS is pending for disposal.

05:50 PM (IST) 31 March, 2020

Ixigo cuts employee salaries to avoid layoffs

Travel and hotel booking firm Ixigo’s leadership team will take a 60% pay cut while other employees will suffer pay cuts in the range of 20-50%. The company employs close to 150 employees in its headquarters in Gurugram, its only location in India. Company’s co-founders Aloke Bajpai and Rajnish Kumar will take a 100% paycut, the company said.

05:29 PM (IST) 31 March, 2020

Swiggy sets up Covid-19 relief fund for its delivery partners

Online food delivery platform Swiggy has set up a relief fund called ‘Swiggy Hunger Savior Covid Relief Fund’ which will be used towards the safety and welfare of delivery partners and their families. The corpus for the fund will be created by Swiggy with primary contributions from the founders, senior leaders, employees and investors, as well as donations from customers and well-wishers, the company said in a statement.

04:30 PM (IST) 31 March, 2020

NRAI to produce and distribute 10 mn meals

National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI), which represents 500,000 restaurants,  will produce and distribute about 10 million meals in coordination with various authorities and NGOs during the lockdown. These meals cost anywhere between Rs 20 and Rs 25 per head and the financial resources for this initiative will be partially crowdfunded, it said in a statement. 

NRAI is accepting donations for the cause at and

04:20 PM (IST) 31 March, 2020

Temporary shelters for migrant workers: MoHFW

21,064 relief camps with 6.66 lakh migrant workers housed across states and Union Territories and food being provided to 23 lakh poor, destitue and stranded migrant workers.

04:15 PM (IST) 31 March, 2020

Paytm Mall waives order delay cancellation penalties

Paytm Mall has waived off order delay and cancellation penalities on merchants due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic until 22 April 2020. The company said that there were over 100,000 orders placed by customers which were yet to be processed by sellers, due to the restrictions announced by the government. 

04:10 PM (IST) 31 March, 2020

Empowered science and technology committee formed for COVID-19

In response to COVID-19 an empowered committee of science and technology has been constituted. The committee is chaired by DR VK Paul of NITI Aayog and Dr K Vijay Raghavan, principal scientific advisor to the government. The committee also will also coordinate with DRDO, IISc, CSIR, DST and DBT.

04:00 PM (IST) 31 March, 2020

Razorpay launches same day settlements

Payments gateway Razorpay has launched ‘Same Day’ settlements for all customers who provide essential businesses till April 15th. Businesses will receive funds in just a few hours instead of the usual 3-5 working days settlement period. This will help businesses improve their cash flows and manage operational expenses better, the company said in a statement. 

04:00 PM (IST) 31 March, 2020

DRDO specifies technical features of ventilators used for COVID-19

Government agency DRDO has specified technical features for the ventilators to be used in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. Six technical features were specified by the director general of life sciences, DRDO during the empowered group meeting for ensuring availability of essential medical equipment on March 30.

03:40 PM (IST) 31 March, 2020

Stock markets close stronger; IT services stocks gain

The Indian stock markets closed trading near the day's high today, amid positive

global market cues. The BSE Sensex ended 1,028 points higher at 29,468 and the Nifty

gained 316 points to trade at 8,597. Infosys and TCS closed with gain at more than 2%. HCL Tech was up by about 4% and Wipro’s stock closed the day with a gain of 6.87%.

03:25 PM (IST) 31 March, 2020

Ola offers interest-free micro-credit to support driver-partners

Homegrown ride-hailing company Ola has launched ‘Sahyog’, an interest-free micro-credit scheme, which will help driver-partners get instant access to cash in their bank accounts. This move is aimed at addressing immediate liquidity needs of over 100,000 driver-partners of Ola, the company said in a statement.

03:15 PM (IST) 31 March, 2020

Airtel extends prepaid validity for subscribers

Telecom major Bharti Airtel has extended the validity of prepaid packs for its customers until April 17, 2020. Prepaid packs of almost 80 million customers will remain active and will continue to receive incoming calls even after the validity is over, Airtel said in a statement.

Read: Airtel extends prepaid validity for subscribers until April 17

02:12 PM (IST) 31 March, 2020

Adivid launches e-pass for essentials during lockdown

Software as a service (SaaS) provider Adivid Technologies has launched an e-pass system for passes that must be carried by individuals directly involved in the movement of essential goods during the Covid-19 lockdown. It is currently in use by Maharashtra Police and is available to other state police departments.  

01:37 PM (IST) 31 March, 2020

Bharti Enterprises pledges Rs 100 crore support for Covid-19

Telecom major Bharti Enterprises has committed over Rs 100 crore to support the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. A significant portion of the money will go to The Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) Fund and the rest will be used to procure personal protective equipment such as face masks for doctors, healthcare workers and other essential services personnel.

Read: Bharti Enterprises commits Rs 100 cr to support initiatives to fight against Covid-19

01:15 PM (IST) 31 March, 2020

Airbnb earmarks $250 million for hosts to help cover cancellations

Airbnb has committed to pay $250 million to hosts who have had to face cancellation of reservations between March 14 and May 31 due to Covid-19 pandemic. Airbnb will pay the host 25% of what they would normally receive through their cancellation policy.

01:09 PM (IST) 31 March, 2020

Health minister reviews sampling and testing strategy for COVID-19

Union minister for health and family welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan met senior officials of central research bodies ICMR, DST, DBT and CSIR on Monday to discuss procurement of reagents, website integration, data management and analysis and research studies on the COVID-19 pandemic. He was informed that 129 government labs and 49 NABL accredited private labs were functional for testing.

12:12 PM (IST) 31 March, 2020

Kerala to issue special passes for tipplers to buy liquor during lockdown

Kerala government will now issue special passes for those who have withdrawal symptoms and doctor's prescription to purchase liquor. The order was issued on Monday night to supply liquor to tipplers under prescription during the 21-day lockdown to fight Covid-19.  
11:50 AM (IST) 31 March, 2020

Mohandas Pai reaches out to PM for video call with startups solving for Covid-19

Former Infsoys CFO and board member Mohandas Pai has written to the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi for a video call with the startups of the country to discuss their work in combating Covid-19.   

10:45 AM (IST) 31 March, 2020

World economy to dip into a recession due to coronavirus: UN

The world economy will go into recession this year with a predicted loss of trillions of dollars of global income due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a UN trade report. The report highlighted that this will be a huge trouble for developing countries with the likely exception of India and China. 

10:42 AM (IST) 31 March, 2020

DPIIT to monitor manufacture and supply of essential goods

The government has set up a control room to monitor the manufacturing and supply of essential commodities and goods. Minister of railways and commerce, Piyush Goyal said that the DPIIT will monitor these services and a separate helpline will respond to queries from traders and industries on import and export of goods.

10:25 AM (IST) 31 March, 2020

Amazon and other delivery workers protest in US amid safety concerns

Delivery and warehouse gig workers across the United States of America are protesting against inadequate safety measures and insufficient pay for the risks they are confronting on the job during the Coronavirus pandemic. The protesting workers include those employed by Amazon and grocery delivery platform, Instacart.  

09:30 AM (IST) 31 March, 2020

Demand for Zoom will continue after pandemic: JPMorgan

Video conferencing company Zoom Video Communications has seen massive jump in usage and application downloads, at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic has forced millions of people globally to work from home. The stock price of the provider of online meeting and collaboration tools at last check rose 5.9% to $160.65. Monthly Active Users (MAU) at the company are up about 190% while Daily Active Users (DAU) are up about 378%, from a year ago, a brokerage research note from JPMorgan said, citing Apptopia data. The demand is set to continue even after the pandemic eases since companies "will want to be prepared to handle disruptions in the future," analyst Sterling Auty said in the note.

09:30 AM (IST) 31 March, 2020

Markets start the day on a stronger note; IT stocks trade up

After yesterday’s slide, the stock markets opened the day on a rebound this morning. The BSE Sensex gained 850 points to open at 29,300 and the Nifty opened abovev 500 amid gains across global markets. The Nifty IT index also started the day on a positive note with Infosys, TCS, Wipro and HCL Tech up around 1.5%.

08:47 AM (IST) 31 March, 2020

Positive Covid-19 cases in India at 1,251; 101 cured/ discharged

The number of postive Covid-19 cases reported in India climbed to 1,251 last night, according to data available on the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare website. Of these, 1117 are currently active while the death toll has risen to 32. The number of cases cured/ discharged stood at 101.

08:15 PM (IST) 30 March, 2020

Infosys Foundation makes Rs 100 crore contribution to help fight Covid-19

Infosys Foundation is committing Rs 100 crore to support efforts towards fighting COVID-19 in India. The Foundation contributed half of this commitment to the PM CARES Fund. The remainder will primarily be deployed to expand hospital capacity for treatment and enable hospital stays for patients across India, especially ones belonging to the economically weaker sections of the society; provide ventilators, testing kits; and ensure better access to food and nutrition for the underprivileged sections of society, it said in a  statement.

08:00 PM (IST) 30 March, 2020

Ministry of finance eases procurement rules for medical and essential supplies

The department of expenditure has issued special instructions for speedy procurement and transportation of medical and other essential supplies in view of COVID-19. In a set of guidelines issued on March 27, the department has eased rules on procurement for all medical and essential supplies for the department of pharmaceuticals, ministry of health and family welfare, ministry of textiles, department of consumer affairs and ministry of civil aviation.

07:30 PM (IST) 30 March, 2020

India Covid-19 death toll rises to 29; positive cases at 1,071

The total number of Covid-19 cases in India is at 1,071 after crossing the 1,000 mark yesterday. According to data available on the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare website, the total number of recovered cases is at 99 and death toll has reached 29.

07:15 PM (IST) 30 March, 2020

RIL commits Rs 500 crore to prime minister's Covid-19 fund

Reliance Industries (RIL) today announced a donation of Rs 500 crore to the PM CARES Fund to support the fight against coronavirus. RIL has also provided contributions of Rs 5 crore each to the governments of Maharashtra and Gujarat to support their fight against Covid-19, the company said in a  statement.

06:15 PM (IST) 30 March, 2020

Amitabh Kant chairs first meeting of empowered committee on response measures

NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant chaired a meeting of the empowered committee with representatives of 32 civil society organisations (CSO), including World Bank, WHO, UNDP and others to support the local administration during the COVID-19 related lockdown. Kant asked the CSOs to support the administration by running decentralised kitchens and shelters, and encouraging social distancing among the vulnerable. He heads the empowered committee for coordinating with private sectors, NGOs and international organisations for response related activities as part of the 11 committees announced by MHA on Sunday.

05:30 PM (IST) 30 March, 2020

Apollo Hospitals join hands with Zomato, Oyo for Project Stay I

Apollo Hospital has partnered with Zomato, OYO, Biocon, Lemon Tree, Ginger Hotels, and other companies to launch Project Stay I. Under the project, the company will add 5,000 rooms for coronavirus patients to stay in isolation. The project is CSR funded by Hindustan Unilever Limited, SBI, and Deutsche Bank. 

04:00 PM (IST) 30 March, 2020

L&T to donates Rs 150 crore to PM CARES fund

Engineering conglomerate Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has pledged to donate Rs 150 crore to the PM-CARES fund to help combat Covid-19.Apart from this one-time contribution, the company has also set aside over Rs 500 crore per month to support about 160,000 contract workers by continuing to pay their wages during the ongoing 21-day lockdown.

03:45 PM (IST) 30 March, 2020

SEBI announces relaxation in compliance for CRAs

SEBI announced relaxation in compliance by Credit Rating Agencies (CRAs) registered with the regulator in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and three-month moratorium on loan servicing and working capital facilities etc by RBI. If a delay in payment of interest/principle is made due to the lockdown or as a result of the moratorium issued by RBI, CRAs need not recognise it as a default.

03:40 PM (IST) 30 March, 2020

Market decline continued to closing; Sensex and Nifty close in red

Indian market continued to decline till the end of the trading day. Financial and banking stocks were the biggest losers on the stock exchange today. Sensex ended down 4.61% at 28440.32 while Nifty closed at 8281.10 which was a 4.38% of decline. 

02:13 PM (IST) 30 March, 2020

KlinicApp launches at home COVID-19 sample collection in Mumbai

Digital diagnostic brand KlinicApp has launched at-home sample collection for coronavirus test in Mumbai in partnership with government approved private labs such as Thyrocare and Metropolis. The tests will be offered only on doctor’s prescription and results will be provided within 48 hours for those with risk of community transmission.

01:30 PM (IST) 30 March, 2020

Ola puts lockdown to best use; offers cabs to Karnataka government

Homegrown ride-hailing company Ola has agreed to give 500 vehicles to Karnataka government for  Covid-19  related activities in the state. These vehicles will be used by the government for commute by doctors etc.

01:00 PM (IST) 30 March, 2020

IT stocks mostly in red

The bear market is pulling down IT stocks as well. Of the four major IT stocks, only Wipro was trading up, though marginally by around 1%. Infosys is trading down around 2%.

12:30 PM (IST) 30 March, 2020

Stock markets remain volatile as Covid-19 cases mount

The stock markets, predictably, started the week on a sour note. The Sensex opened about 600 points lower at 29226.55 and dropped around 1100 points to as low as 28,708.83. The picture is equally ugly for Nifty, which is currently trading 2.71% lower at 8424.

11:00 AM (IST) 30 March, 2020

PhonePe to donate Rs 100 crore for PM CARES fund

Walmart owned-Flipkart’s digital payments subsidiary PhonePe has pledged to donate up to Rs 100 crore or $13.25 million for the Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) Fund, over and above donations made through its platform, it said on Saturday.

10:30 AM (IST) 30 March, 2020

Marico Foundation offers grant worth Rs 2.5 crore as part of Covid-19 challenge

The Marico Innovation Foundation, a non-profit started in 2003 by Harsh Mariwala, founder and chairman of Mumbai-based FMCG giant Marico Ltd, has launched a grand challenge #Innovate2BeatCOVID. The programme, which will offer a grant of Rs 2.5 crore, is calling MedTech entrepreneurs, corporates and innovators from across the nation to contribute towards mitigating the risk of the outbreak. 

10:15 AM (IST) 30 March, 2020

Paytm aims to contribute Rs 500 crore to PM CARES Fund

Digital payments major Paytm is seeking contribution for PM CARES (Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund) on the Paytm app. The company is aiming to contribute Rs 500 crore to the fund. “For every contribution or any other payment made on Paytm using the wallet, UPI and Paytm Bank debit card, the company will contribute an extra upto Rs 10,” it said.

10:00 AM (IST) 30 March, 2020

Mahindra to manufacture face shields in partnership with Ford Motor

M&M chief Pawan Goenka announced that the company has partnered up with Ford Motor for making face shields to be used by medical service providers. Goenka said that M&M has borrowed the design from Ford Motor and aims to release 500 units on Monday, ramping up there on. M&M had recently announced partnering up with two public sector units to aid a third party manufacturer of high spec ventilators with design and production capacity. Goenka had added that the ventilators will soon be retailed at as low as Rs 7500, much cheaper than industry comparisons ranging from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakhs. 

09:30 AM (IST) 30 March, 2020

NASSCOM seeks govt aid for startups working on Covid-19 solutions

Information Technology industry lobby NASSCOM on Saturday reached out to government and appealed for relief measures for startups so that they continue to work under the stress of Covid-19. The industry body has requested the government to consider rental subsidy for workspaces used by startups which are regulated/owned/managed by government agencies. It also requested blanket suspension of all deadlines, including tax payment deadlines and filing deadlines until at least four weeks post lifting of all city lockdown.

Read: NASSCOM seeks relief for startups, SMEs from Covid-19 lockdown impact

09:00 AM (IST) 30 March, 2020

Covid-19 infects 638,146 globally; death toll rises to 30,105: WHO

The worldwide infection from Covid-19 has reached 638,146 within 3 months of its outbreak. The pandemic that has affected 202 nations has killed 30,105 people across the globe, as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) in their latest tally at 18:00 Central European Time (CET) on 29 March, 2020. The United States of America remains the most affected nation with 103,321 cases so far.

08:45 AM (IST) 30 March, 2020

Govt creates Empowered Groups to respond quicker to Covid-19 issues

The Ministry of Home Affairs constituted 11 'Empowered Groups' across sectors on Sunday. The groups, headed by secretaries of various departments, will ensure preparedness and responses related to Covid-19. The groups cover sectors including medical emergency management planning, availability of hospitals, isolation and quarantine facilities, maintaining logistics to ensure supply of essential goods and food among other aspects.

Read: Govt forms 11 ‘empowered groups’ to manage Covid-19 challenges

10:03 PM (IST) 29 March, 2020

India Covid-19 death toll shoots up to 27; positive cases at 1,024

The total number of Covid-19 cases in India has crossed the 1,000 mark, according to data available on the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare website. The number of active cases are at 901 while the death toll has shot up to 27. India's 21-day lockdown entered its fifth day on Sunday.

09:57 PM (IST) 29 March, 2020

Jack Ma Foundation, Alibaba Foundation ship face marks, test kits, ventilators to India

The Jack Ma Foundation and the Alibaba Foundation today announced donations of essential medical supplies to seven more countries, including India. Collectively, these seven countries will receive 1.7 million face masks, 165,000 test kits as well as protective clothing and medical equipment such as ventilators and forehead thermometers. The shipment for India arrived in Delhi on Saturday evening.

Read: Jack Ma Foundation, Alibaba arm donate Covid-19 medical supplies to India

09:52 PM (IST) 29 March, 2020

Bengaluru police rolls out e-passes to enable essential movements

The Karnataka State Police has partnered with myGate, a security solutions platform for gated societies, to deploy an e-pass system for organisations, including government entities, to enable their employees to go to work during the ongoing lockdown. The e-passes will be valid only in Bengaluru.

10:51 PM (IST) 27 March, 2020

Google commits $800 mn-plus to help fight Covid-19

Google announces $800 million-plus commitment to support small and medium businesses, health organisation and governments, and frontline health workers around the world coping with the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes a $200 million investment fund that will support NGOs and financial institutions around the world to help provide small businesses with access to capital, and direct financial support and expertise to help increase the production capacity for personal protective equipment (PPE) and lifesaving medical devices, Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said in a post on the company's website.

Read: Google commits over $800 mn in ad credits, funds in fight against Covid 19

06:10 PM (IST) 27 March, 2020

Ola launches Rs 20 cr fund for drivers

Cab-hailing platform Ola has launched a financial relief fund for its driver partner community in India. The company and its employees have already contributed initial capital of Rs 20 crore to the fund, while co-founder Bhavish Aggarwal forgo his salary for one year to deploy the money into the fund. The fund is also open to donations from investors and citizens in order to raise up to Rs 50 crore.

Read: Ola launches fund to support drivers; CEO Aggarwal to contribute one-year salary

06:00 PM (IST) 27 March, 2020

Alphabet ramps up coronavirus testing via Verily

Search engine giant Google’s parent company Alphabet has more than 1,000 volunteers from across the company working on Covid-19. The company’s life sciences unit Verily, had launched a coronavirus screening website last week, which directs people to local testing centers, and has opened "drive-thru" locations itself, manned by employees, according to multiple US media reports.

05:06 PM (IST) 27 March, 2020

PM Modi’s remarks during the G20 virtual summit to combat Covid-19

05:00 PM (IST) 27 March, 2020

Home Secy meets state authorities for guidelines check

Home Secretary of India Ajay Kumar Bhalla held a meeting with all states, union territories and director generals of police (DGPs) to ensure that orders in relation to transport of essential goods as well as guidelines on taking care of migrant workers and students are relayed to the field level.

04:29 PM (IST) 27 March, 2020

India to join WHO in developing anti-Covid19 drugs: ICMR

India will participate in the World Health Organization’s “solidarity trial” for developing potential drugs for Covid-19, the Indian Council of Medical Research has said, according to a PTI report.

04:13 PM (IST) 27 March, 2020

Over a lakh of Indian cos go remote: Govt

An estimate of 1.4 lakh companies have allowed employees to work from home to check spread of coronavirus, the health ministry announced on Friday.

03:30 PM (IST) 27 March, 2020

Financial inclusion startup RevFin to provide loans to e-rickshaw owners at zero interest

Digital lending fintech startup RevFin has offered to provide a loan of Rs 2,100 to its e-rickshaw owners at 0% interest, to support them during the global crisis. Customers can repay the loan in up to 8 installments. The company will allow EMI repayment moratorium of up to 3 months to its customers who have earlier taken loan for e-rickshaw, amidst the lockdown.

02:58 PM (IST) 27 March, 2020

Gap between actual number of travellers and those being monitored by states: Cabinet Secy

Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba said there is a gap between the actual number of passengers and those being monitored by Indian states. Gauba said he wrote to all states to monitor 15 lakh international passengers who came to India from January 18 to March 23. The list of passengers as compiled by the Bureau of Immigration has already been shared with states.

02:51 PM (IST) 27 March, 2020

Facebook launches messenger chatbot to share Covid-19 info

Facebook has launched a messenger chatbot called Corona Helpdesk Chatbot, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and MyGov to raise awareness, provide authentic and accurate information and bust fake news about the pandemic. Users can reach out to the Ministry of Health through the offering which has both English and Hindi language capabilities.

01:20 PM (IST) 27 March, 2020

BigBasket resumes operations, to clear pending orders first

On-demand grocery delivery platform BigBasket has resumed operations across all centres except Kochi. The company will prioritise pending orders which have been already paid for by the customers. The platform has assured customers that it will open up for new orders soon.

12:28 PM (IST) 27 March, 2020

Union minister Goyal speaks to essential services reps in India

Minister of Railways and Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal helmed a meeting with stakeholders of the commerce and logistics industry to ensure smooth delivery of essential goods during the 21-day lockdown.

E-commerce founders and CEOs from companies such as Snapdeal, Shopclues, Flipkart, Grofers, NetMeds, PharmEasy, 1MG Tech, Udaan, Amazon India, Big Basket, Zomato. Large retail operators were represented by heads of Metro Cash & Carry, Walmart, RPG, whereas Express Industry Council,  Delhivery,  Safexpress,  PayTM, Swiggy represented logistics operators.

12:15 PM (IST) 27 March, 2020

Network is not stressed by Covid-19: Google

Google’s networks are designed to perform during times of peak events such as the Cyber Monday online shopping surge, or World Cup finals, the search engine giant’s Senior Vice President of technical infrastructure, Urs Hölzle said in a blogspot late Thursday in the United States.

The clarification follows a Google outage across the mainland US. Hölzle clarified on Twitter that the outage had nothing to do with traffic levels or Covid-19 since the company’s network is not stressed by Covid-19, and instead was a result of a router failure in Atlanta, Georgia.

“And while we’re seeing more usage for products like Hangouts Meet, and different usage patterns in products like YouTube, peak traffic levels are well within our ability to handle the load,” Hölzle added.

12:00 PM (IST) 27 March, 2020

Delhi to provide movement passes via WhatsApp

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said e-passes for movement of people associated with delivering essential commodities, will be provided over WhatsApp. Essential service providers can directly WhatsApp their details to the relevant district phone numbers and receive e-passes.

11:20 AM (IST) 27 March, 2020

SENSEX plunges by 550 pts

Indian equity markets turned red in stark difference to its morning gains, even after the central bank lowered the policy repo rate by 75 basis points to 4.4% to slow economic slowdown in the wake of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. The S&P BSE Sensex was down by 1.9%, at 29,380 levels. The Nifty50 index slipped below the 9,000-mark.

11:05 AM (IST) 27 March, 2020

Cognizant employees to get higher base pay in light of pandemic

IT firm Cognizant has announced an additional payment of 25% of the base pay for April for employees up to associate level in India and the Philippines, according to an internal memo from CEO Brian Humphries. This applies to more than two-thirds of the workforce in India.

11:03 AM (IST) 27 March, 2020

Milkbasket reworks delivery time as it resumes services

Micro-delivery platform MilkBasket will resume deliveries. It has pushed back its regular delivery time slot from 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM, co-founder and CEO Anant Goel tweeted on Friday afternoon.

11:00 AM (IST) 27 March, 2020

Gig workers in US to also benefit off the historic $2 trillion stimulus

The United States Senate’s $2 trillion stimulus package on Thursday will provide for financial assistance to gig workers. As part of the bill gig workers, such as driver partners of cab-hailings services and food delivery executives, would be eligible to apply for unemployment benefits. The bill would also provide $600 per week in federal assistance for unemployed workers for up to four months. The benefits will come as a major relief to workers, who have been fighting for companies like Uber, Lyft and DoorDash to provide them with benefits.

10:44 AM (IST) 27 March, 2020

SENSEX on a high around RBI governor’s address

The S&P BSE Sensex was up 162.40 points at 30,109 levels. The Nifty50 index also reclaimed the 9,000-mark. IndusInd Bank was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rallying up to 20%.

10:15 AM (IST) 27 March, 2020

RBI governor announces relief measures

Highlights: Liquidity measures include the auction of Target Long-Term Repo Operation (LTRO) of up to three-year tenure and upto Rs 1 lakh crore. Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) cut 100 basis points by 3%, in a measure to release Rs 1.37 lakh crore in the market. Banks and lending institutions can allow a moratorium of three months on payment of installments as of March 1, 2020. Banks may reassess the working capital cycle, they won't be treated as non-performing assets (NPA), says Das.

10:00 AM (IST) 27 March, 2020

RBI governor Das addresses media, slashes repo rate by 75 bps to 4.4%

Highlights: Implied GDP growth of 4.24 in H2 is in question. Outlook for 2021, most sectors of the economy will be impacted adversely by the intensity, spread and duration of pandemic. The Monetary Policy Committee of India (MPC) decided to considerably reduce the repo rate to revive growth and mitigate the impact of Covid-19 while ensuring inflation remains within target. The policy repo rate was reduced by 75 basis points from 5.15% to 4.4%. The reverse repo rate was reduced by 90 bp, to 4%. The central bank (RBI) has quarantined 150 members with IT facilitators to ensure continuity of business.

09:47 AM (IST) 27 March, 2020

Covid-19 cases in India cross 700

Death toll rises to 17 in India. Total number of positive cases at 724, according to Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.

09:30 AM (IST) 27 March, 2020

Moody’s slashes India’s growth rating

Moody's Investors Service on Friday lowered its estimate of India's gross domestic product (GDP) growth during the 2020 calendar year to 2.5% from an earlier estimate of 5.3%, on account of the rising economic cost of the coronavirus pandemic: Press Trust of India.

08:10 AM (IST) 27 March, 2020

RBI governor to brief media today

RBI governor Shaktikanta Das is slated to hold a press briefing at 10.00 AM today.

10:46 PM (IST) 26 March, 2020

MHA outlines SOP for suppliers of essentials

The Ministry of Home Affairs issues SOP for maintaining the supply of essential goods during the lockdown. Suppliers, including restaurants for home delivery of cooked food, warehouses, transporters, drivers and manufacturers of drugs, pharmaceuticals allowed to operate.

10:42 PM (IST) 26 March, 2020

Covid-19 positive cases in India at nearly 700

Total number of Covid-19 positives cases in India rises to 694, according to data available on the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare website. Of these 633 are currently active. The death toll is now at 16.

08:24 PM (IST) 26 March, 2020

B2B e-grocers turn B2C during lockdown

Business-to-business grocery delivery startups Jumbotail and Ninjacart have started delivering vegetables and other staples to residential areas in the wake of nationwide lockdown.

Read: B2B grocery startup Jumbotail starts direct delivery to residential areas

Read: Ninjacart to supply fruits, vegetables directly to apartments during lockdown

07:30 PM (IST) 26 March, 2020

Innerchef offers to convert cloud kitchens into community kitchens

Innerchef founder and angel investor Rajesh Sawhney moots turning cloud kitchens into community kitchens, on Thursday morning.

07:00 PM (IST) 26 March, 2020

Online food delivery platforms get banned in Chennai

Online food delivery platforms Zomato and Swiggy have been ordered to shut down by Chennai’s municipal corporation in an attempt to curb the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.

06:30 PM (IST) 26 March, 2020

Airbnb hosts to provide housing to Covid-19 responders

Home rental startup Airbnb has announced a global initiative to help connect those responding to the Covid-19 pandemic with safe and convenient places to stay while they carry out their critical work, in a move expected to support 100,000 healthcare professionals, relief workers, and first responders around the world. It will further waive all fees for stays arranged through this initiative.

05:18 PM (IST) 26 March, 2020

AIIMS sets up medical sub committees

All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi has set up a task force to develop a management protocol to reduce the pandemic’s spread. It is creating committees such as resource management committee, human resource committee, diagnostic management committee and medical management committee.

05:15 PM (IST) 26 March, 2020

Snapdeal relaxes rules for sellers to ensure flexibility and morale

Snapdeal has extended its timelines available to its sellers for shipping received orders. It has communicated to its sellers that no cancellation charges or penalties will be levied if they are not able to ship in time or ship at all, a company spokesperson told TechCircle.

04:15 PM (IST) 26 March, 2020

Health ministry provides Thursday update

17 states in India have started work on earmarking hospitals for dedicated treatment of Covid-19 patients, Luv Aggarwal, joint health secretary said on Thursday afternoon.

04:00 PM (IST) 26 March, 2020

Shopclues joins other online retailers in selling essentials

E-commerce platform Shopclues will retail food, medicines and medical equipment for its customers with immediate effect. The platform will retail essentials such as sanitizers, masks, packaged foods, groceries, medicines and personal hygiene products, according to a statement

03:47 PM (IST) 26 March, 2020

Delhi withdraws order on letting online delivery exec movement in city

Delhi Police has withdrawn order allowing online delivery executives to operate, according to an Indian Express journalist on Twitter. Revised order will follow.

03:00 PM (IST) 26 March, 2020

Indian stock indices go up as FM announces financial stimulus

Indian equity stocks hit the day's high as Finance Minister Nirmala Sithamran announced the economic package to help the poor and battle financial woes during the 21-day lockdown. Frontline index S&P BSE Sensex was up about 4%, at 29,550 levels, and the Nifty50 index hovered around 8,590 level, up 3.4%.

01:30 PM (IST) 26 March, 2020

FM unveils Covid-19 Economic Relief Package for India

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announces an economic relief package worth Rs 1,70,000 crore in a move that is expected to benefit poor migrant workers, unorganized sectors and women. Other beneficiaries of the package include and addresses Gareeb Kalyan Yojana, Gareeb Kalyan Nidhi, frontline medical workers’ insurance covers for paramedics, doctors, nurses, sanitation workers and ASHA workers, Gareeb Kalyan Anna Yojana, MNREGA, Jan Dhan Yojana accounts, Ujjwala scheme, EPFO workers, construction workers, Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana (National Rural Livelihoods Mission), PM Kissan Yojana, senior citizens, widows and disabled and more.

Read: FM announces food security measures, Rs 50 lakh medical cover as part of relief package  

01:00 PM (IST) 26 March, 2020

Milkbasket resumes operations, with partial service

Micro-delivery platform Milkbasket has been able to resume partial operations across Gurugram, Noida and Bangalore. The platform’s Hyderabad operations are still shut, and is expected to resume services to all our customers by weekend, a company spokesperson told TechCircle Thursday afternoon.

12:40 PM (IST) 26 March, 2020

Delhi CM updates status of movement passes provision

Delhi Chief Minister recommends to authorities to let movement of people without e-passes on roads, provided the individuals are seen carrying essentials such as milk cans or others. The generation of e-passes is an ongoing process. The minister requested gig economy workers such as food delivery companies to issue IDs for delivery executives in which case separate e-passes won't be required.Additionally, he said the state government will continue to conduct tests on doctors, paramedical staff who are engaged in treating Covid-19 patients.

11:51 AM (IST) 26 March, 2020

FM Nirmala Sitharaman to address media at 1 PM IST

Finance minister Sitharaman will address the media at 1 pm on Thursday, in her second media briefing within a week.

11:40 AM (IST) 26 March, 2020

Mumbai Police opens lines of communication for essential delivery persons

All e-commerce and delivery service providers, catering essential commodities like food and medicines can directly message us on Twitter their contact number or email us at for any assistance. Tweet or Dial 100 in case urgent: Mumbai Police. Relevant tweets can be hashtagged with #wEcommerceMumbai

11:32 AM (IST) 26 March, 2020

Union Minister Javdekar audio-conferences with 350 govt officers

Union minister Prakash Javadekar advised officers of  Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry to be available around the clock and work even harder than usual to bring correct and authentic information to the masses, stressing that media and communication is an essential service during a pandemic.

11:12 AM (IST) 26 March, 2020

DPIIT sets up control room for 21-day lockdown

Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India has set up a control room, accessible on +91-11-23062487, to monitor real-time status of transportation, delivery of goods and manufacturing, delivery of essential commodities and difficulties being faced by industrial stakeholders.

11:00 AM (IST) 26 March, 2020

E-grocers services resume partially

Gurugram-based online grocery platform Grofers has resumed taking orders in cities of Delhi, Gurugram, Faridabad, Lucknow, Kanpur and Bengaluru since 11 PM Wednesday. Bigbasket and Flipkart have also started accepting orders in certain parts of the country.

Read: BigBasket, Grofers partially resume grocery delivery services

Read: Flipkart resumes delivery of essentials, after temporary suspension of operations

10:00 AM (IST) 26 March, 2020

Alibaba’s Jack Ma creates online hub for doctors and nurses globally

Covid-19 gets Alibaba founder Jack Ma to join Twitter. Alibaba has been at the forefront of deploying resources to fight the disease.

09:48 AM (IST) 26 March, 2020

PM Modi to attend G20 meet virtually

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the G20 conference on the Coronavirus pandemic on Thursday through video conferencing. The G20 is an international group for governments and central bank governors from 19 countries and the European Union.

09:02 AM (IST) 26 March, 2020

K'taka authorities to issue passes to ecommerce, hyperlocal delivery personnel

In a bid to enable the smooth delivery of essentials via online platforms, the Karnataka police department said it will issue passes to delivery personnel of food delivery platforms such as Swiggy and Zomato, online pharmacies such as 1mg and Netmeds, and ecommerce platforms such as Amazon and Flipkart.

09:00 AM (IST) 26 March, 2020

World Health Organization (WHO) briefs media, late Wednesday

Highlights: Governments should stop wasting precious time needed to fight the coronavirus even as much time has been wasted in preventing the pandemic. Lockdown Not Enough. Find, Isolate, Test, Treat.

09:00 AM (IST) 26 March, 2020

Infection numbers see steady rise in India

Positive cases in India crossed the 600 mark as of Wednesday night. Currently stands at 649.

08:45 AM (IST) 26 March, 2020

OYO says payments to vendors, partners may be delayed

SoftBank-backed hospitality chain OYO has told vendors that payment cycles may be disrupted on account of Covid-19 crisis, The Economic Times reported, citing a letter written by Ankit Agarwal, head of the company's procurement and supply chain.

08:33 AM (IST) 26 March, 2020

Ola seeks govt sops to tide over Covid-19 crisis

Homegrown ride hailing firm Ola has sought a number of relief measures from the government including short-term, interest free loans to meet working capital needs and a delay in tax payments. Reuters reports. Ola operates a fleet of 2 million vehicles, most of which owned by drivers, the report said.

01:55 AM (IST) 26 March, 2020

Netflix reduces video quality in more countries to handle surge

Netflix, the world’s most popular paid-TV network and the second-biggest driver of internet traffic in the world, is reducing video quality in India, Australia and some Latin American countries following conversations with internet service providers and governments, Bloomberg reported citing a source.

08:00 PM (IST) 25 March, 2020

India likely to yes a $20 billion-plus stimulus package: Reuters

India is likely to agree to an economic stimulus package of more than Rs 1.5 trillion ($19.6 billion) to fight a downturn in the country that is currently locked down to stem the spread of coronavirus, Reuters reported citing sources on Wednesday evening. The stimulus plan could be as large as Rs 2.3 trillion, but final numbers were still in discussion, the report added.

07:40 PM (IST) 25 March, 2020

Bike rentals Rapido extends services to medical community

Bike share mobility company Rapido will be operational with a minimal network of vehicles to support essential services, for hospitals, doctors, nurses and government staff, supporting life continuity, a company spokesperson told TechCircle.The company has offered a group insurance cover worth Rs 10 Lakhs for our captains, or driver partners to shield them from financial burden in case of hospitalization.

Related: Yulu, Bounce, Rapido hit the brakes as Covid-19 stalls biz

07:30 PM (IST) 25 March, 2020

Stanza Living creates employee contingency fund

Student housing platform Stanza Living has set up an emergency contingency fund to cover the medical expenses of any employee who tests positive for Covid-19.

07:22 PM (IST) 25 March, 2020

Urban Company launches fund for gig workers

New Delhi based home services startup Urban Company has partnered with Srinidhi foundation, a charitable trust, to launch a fund to support gig workers and independent contractors during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. Such a move is expected to support its over 30,000 workers, spread across fields of financing, training, product or consumables support.

06:31 PM (IST) 25 March, 2020

India ups its testing capability with additional centres

A total of 29 private laboratories are functioning in India to test Covid-19, out of which, 4 labs are in Delhi. 

06:25 PM (IST) 25 March, 2020

Delhi CM updates information on e-pass availability for movement during lockdown

Delhi Police statement on e-passes has asked to visit the jurisdictional district DCP office for getting the movement pass issued, carrying relevant supporting documents. The Movement Pass is meant for utmost essential duties. The same should not be misused. Any violation will be dealt strictly as per law.

06:18 PM (IST) 25 March, 2020

No pass needed to nearby shops, says Delhi CM

Delhi CM lists 5 essential services; manufacturers, transporters, storage and retailers will be issued passes. Helpline for availing e-pass is 1031. No pass required for buying essentials from nearby shops, Kejriwal added.

05:34 PM (IST) 25 March, 2020

Passenger trains suspension gets extended to April

The Railway ministry has extended cancellation of passenger train services till 24:00 IST of 14th April, 2020. Freight trains to continue operations.

05:00 PM (IST) 25 March, 2020

Prasar Bharti mandates lower streaming bandwidth for OTTs

All companies from the digital industry have decided upon temporarily defaulting HD and ultra-HD streaming to SD content or offering only SD content, at bitrates no higher than 480p on cellular networks until April 14, government-owned public broadcasting agency Prasar Bharati has said.

05:00 PM (IST) 25 March, 2020

MoHFW gives push to telemedicine with new guidelines

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has announced guidelines for technology platforms offering telemedicine in consultation with NITI Aayog.

05:00 PM (IST) 25 March, 2020

Snapdeal prioritises on essentials for deliveries

E-commerce platform Snapdeal is working regionwise to complete as many deliveries of essential goods to our customers as possible as per local operating conditions, a Snapdeal spokesperson told TechCircle. 

05:00 PM (IST) 25 March, 2020

Flipkart to resume services later Wednesday: CEO

E-tailer Flipkart will resume its grocery and essentials services later on Wednesday, CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy said in a statement to TechCircle. The company has been assured of the safe and smooth passage of our supply chain and delivery executives by local law enforcement authorities. Flipkart’s website now reads  “Paused. But Not For Long!”

04:30 PM (IST) 25 March, 2020

Govts orders closure of ports

India’s Ministry of Shipping advised ports to consider the Covid-19 pandemic as grounds for invoking force majeure, a clause absolving companies from meeting their contractual commitments for reasons beyond their control.

04:00 PM (IST) 25 March, 2020

Grocery delivery services come to a standstill

Grocery delivery services across ecommerce platforms have been severely affected due to supply shortage and precautionary actions from local authorities and police forces in the wake of a nationwide lockdown. Read: BigBasket, Grofers, Milkbasket crippled due to supply shortage, police action

04:00 PM (IST) 25 March, 2020

Ola offers relief to driver partners

Cab-hailing platform Ola, owned by Bengaluru headquartered ANI Technologies, has waived off the daily lease rental fee for driver partners who are part of its car leasing programme. Read: Ola waives off daily car lease rental fee to support driver partners

04:00 PM (IST) 25 March, 2020

Prakash Javdekar says ecommerce deliveries disrupted only in specific districts

“It is not true that all 700 districts are facing disruption of e-commerce deliveries for grocery. This is happening only in specific districts from where the reports are coming in,” cabinet minister Prakash Javadekar said.

04:00 PM (IST) 25 March, 2020

US potentially global epicenter for Covid-19

The United States could become the global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic with cases growing quickly, the World Health Organization said.

04:00 PM (IST) 25 March, 2020

States to have separate helplines for Covid-19

Government has asked all states to start separate helplines for Covid-19 related problems. MHA to launch its own helpline Wednesday, as informed at cabinet minister Prakash Javadekar’s address to the media.

03:00 PM (IST) 25 March, 2020

Delhi police meets ecommerce cos to resolve problems faced in operations

The Delhi Police has set up a platform for e-commerce websites where the companies can share problems they are facing. This comes after a meeting between police authorities in NCR region and online-based company representatives Zomato, Flipkart, Amazon, Bluedart, Wow Express, Swiggy, Grofers, Swiggy, BigBasket, Milkbasket, Dunzo, BigBazaar, Iffco Tokio. Curfew passes to be issued to all delivery persons by Thursday. 

01:20 PM (IST) 25 March, 2020

Arvind Kejriwal launches two helplines

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announces the launch of two helplines to allow people attached with essential services getting e-passes and for general people to lodge complaints related to any form of police harassment during the lockdown period. Helpline for lodging complaints: 011-23469536; helpline for e-passes will be created by afternoon-evening.

01:00 PM (IST) 25 March, 2020

MHA asks private security agencies not to withhold staff salaries

The Ministry of Home Affairs has written to private security agency associations to adopt a humane approach and protect its workers and staff members from lay-offs. These agencies have been urged to treat their workers on duty and paid accordingly during the 21 day-lockdown.

12:40 PM (IST) 25 March, 2020

PM Modi illustrates social distancing

Prime Minister Narendra Modi chairs a cabinet meeting at his residence where ministers are seen practising social distancing norms of being seated apart at least two meters form each other.

11:00 AM (IST) 25 March, 2020

Capital and debt markets exempt from lockdown

Commercial and private establishments shall be closed down but the capital and debt market service shall be exempted from such closures, according to an order of the Ministry of Home Affairs and SEBI Notification.

10:00 AM (IST) 25 March, 2020

Ecommerce major Flipkart suspends operations

10:00 AM (IST) 25 March, 2020

Amazon suspends deliveries

10:10 PM (IST) 24 March, 2020

Twitter creates corpus for journalists

“Right now, every journalist is a COVID-19 journalist,” microblogging giant Twitter said as it pledged to donate one million dollars to the Committee to Protect Journalists and the International Women’s Media Foundation. The move is seen to ensure these organizations can continue their work in the face of new economic strains and to directly support journalists.

09:20 PM (IST) 24 March, 2020

MHA issues guidelines for 21-day lockdown

The Ministry of Home Affairs issued a list of guidelines to be followed by various ministries in the wake of the 21-day lockdown announced in the country. Read: Delivery of essential goods, mission critical IT services exempted from 21-day Covid-19 lockdown

08:10 PM (IST) 24 March, 2020

Modi puts India under lockdown for 21 days

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announces nationwide lockdown from the midnight of Wednesday for 21 days, in an effort to reduce the spread of the Covid-19.