NEW DELHI, March 25 (Xinhua) -- As the Indian government began the 21-day lockdown, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases on Wednesday morning across the country rose to 562, the federal health ministry said.

"The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across India is 562," said a statement issued by the ministry of health and family welfare at 9:15 a.m. (local time). "Of these, 519 cases are Indian nationals and 43 foreign nationals."

Meanwhile, the ministry issued a rejoinder, saying the deaths related to the COVID-19 stands at nine.

On Tuesday evening, the ministry put the death toll related to the COVID-19 at 10.

"Second death reported in Delhi is COVID-19 negative," said the rejoinder.

According to ministry officials, so far nine deaths related to the COVID-19 have been reported across the country and 41 people have been discharged from hospitals after showing improvement.

"The number of active cases in the country is 512," said the information released by the ministry.

So far Kerala state has reported the highest number of cases, followed by Maharashtra.

"The confirmed positive cases in Kerala is 109 (101 locals and eight foreigners), while as in Maharashtra the number is 101 (98 locals and three foreigners)," the ministry said.

On Tuesday evening, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his second television address to the nation on the COVID-19 outbreak announced complete lockdown of the entire country for 21 days to tackle the COVID-19.

All road, rail and air services will remain suspended during the lockdown, which came into force early Wednesday. Essential services like medical shops, petrol pumps, grocery stores, milk booths, and online shopping are exempted from the lockdown.