First case of novel coronavirus infection reported from northeast today as a 23-year old girl in Manipur had tested positive for COVID-19. The patient had a history of travelling to United Kingdom, an official confirmed PTI. She had returned to Imphal via Delhi and Guwahati airports, reported the news agency.

The total number of coronavirus cases in the country climbed to 492, according to data released by Ministry of Health and Welfare. The deadly infection claimed nine lives in the country so far. In the wake of this, the Centre has announced complete lockdown in over 500 districts across the country.

To contain the spread of the virus, Assam, Manipur, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram have also declared lockdown. Only the essential services including banks, grocery shops, medicine shops and petrol pumps will remain functional during the lockdown.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also asked citizens to follow the instructions seriously. He also requested the state governments to strictly implement the lockdown in their respective states.

"Many people are still not taking the lockdown seriously. Please save yourself, save your family, follow the instructions seriously. I request the state governments to get the rules and laws followed," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter.

As India continues to reel under the threat of the novel coronavirus, the doctors and scientists are stressing on social distancing measure to flatten the curve of the deadly virus. Strictly implemented social distancing measures such as home quarantine of symptomatics and suspected cases will reduce the overall expected number of cases by 62% and the peak number of cases by 89%, says Indian Council of Medical Research.

All the domestic flights will be suspended from March 25 amid COVID-19 outbreak. Indian Railways had already cancelled all the trains, suburban railways across the country till March 31.

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