Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

An Indian paramilitary soldier removes barbed wire to let a Kashmiri man and a child pass as restrictions are imposed on the movement of people after the first person in the region tested positive for COVID-19, in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, on March 19, 2020.

Dar Yasin/The Associated Press

India banned incoming international flights on Thursday, restricted public gatherings and blocked roads to seal Kashmir after the insurgency-torn region reported its first coronavirus infection.

Elsewhere in densely populated South Asia, Sri Lanka postponed parliamentary elections as the coronavirus epidemic spread in an area that had been relatively unscathed compared to elsewhere in the world.

New cases in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are all accelerating, with the total across the region nearing 700. Six people have died.

Story continues below advertisement

Authorities worry that these countries could be especially at risk should the virus begin to spread locally, due to poor health facilities and infrastructure.

India, the world’s second most populous country after China, said it would ban all international commercial passenger flights from landing from Sunday for a week. The country has already suspended visas for the vast majority of foreigners seeking to enter.

In Indian-ruled Kashmir, claimed in whole but ruled in part by both India and Pakistan, dozens of people told Reuters they had been prevented from leaving their neighbourhoods by police and paramilitary units.

Srinagar’s senior superintendent of police, Haseeb Mughal, told Reuters that road blockades across the valley had been imposed to prevent the spread of the virus.

“I had to take my mother to hospital in Srinagar but the police closed the road,” said Mohammed Ayub, from the nearby town of Budgam.

“I am waiting here for the last two hours. I can’t even go home now as the road is blocked due to a traffic jam.”

Muslim-majority Kashmir has been relatively unaffected by the virus, reporting its first case on Wednesday. But the picturesque valley of seven million is one of most militarized places on earth due a decades-long insurgency against Indian rule and its residents have been subject to prolonged curbs on movement.

Story continues below advertisement

An internet shutdown that began in August following sweeping constitutional changes in Kashmir has only just been eased.

ELECTION SHELVED

Sri Lanka said on Thursday it would delay parliamentary elections scheduled for April 25.

The island country banned all incoming flights for two weeks effective Wednesday and imposed a curfew in some areas. There have been 53 confirmed cases in Sri Lanka.

Confirmed cases in Afghanistan remained static at 22 on Thursday, despite what experts say is a brewing crisis in the war-torn country, especially in Herat province bordering Iran, one of the worst affected countries.

In India, several areas introduced curbs on gatherings as coronavirus cases rose to 166.

Late on Wednesday, the desert state of Rajasthan invoked colonial-era laws that prevent the unlawful assembly of four or more people – powers more often used to quell riots.

Story continues below advertisement

Similar restrictions were introduced in Noida, a satellite city of New Delhi.

The financial hub of Mumbai expanded its partial shutdown of offices to government buildings on Thursday, with at least half the staff ordered to work from home.

Online retailers say they are struggling to keep up with demand as consumers stockpile supplies.

“We are seeing unprecedented order volumes in all cities in India,” Hari Menon, chief executive of online grocery retailer BigBasket, said.

The spread of the virus continued to hit markets and companies across the region. The Indian and Sri Lankan currencies both fell to a record lows against the U.S. dollar, with Pakistan stocks hitting their lowest level in five years.

Indian airline IndiGo said it would cut the salaries of most of its staff, while rivals SpiceJet and Vistara suspended international flights.

Story continues below advertisement

Since emerging late last year in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the flu-like coronavirus has infected more than 218,000 people and killed nearly 9,000.

The spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 continues, with more cases diagnosed in Canada. The Globe offers the dos and don'ts to help slow or stop the spread of the virus in your community.

Sign up for the Coronavirus Update newsletter to read the day’s essential coronavirus news, features and explainers written by Globe reporters.

Coronavirus information
Coronavirus information
The Zero Canada Project provides resources to help you manage your health, your finances and your family life as Canada reopens.
Visit the hub

In the interests of public health and safety, our coronavirus news articles are free for anyone to access. However, The Globe depends on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe to globeandmail.com. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.

Your subscription helps The Globe and Mail provide readers with critical news at a critical time. Thank you for your continued support. We also hope you will share important coronavirus news articles with your friends and family. In the interest of public health and safety, all our coronavirus news articles are free for anyone to access.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies