Coronavirus Outbreak: Number Of Cases In India Rises To 39, Italy Quarantines 16 Million People

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Coronavirus Outbreak: Number Of Cases In India Rises To 39, Italy Quarantines 16 Million People

The Kerala family had recently visited Italy, the epicentre of coronavirus in Europe.

The total number of patients infected by the coronavirus or COVID-19 in India now stands at 39 after five were tested positive for the virus in Kerala on March 8. The Family had recently visited Italy, the epicentre of coronavirus in Europe. Italy, in an unprecedented manner, has announced the quarantine of 16 million people on its northern region of Lombardy and other badly affected areas to tackle the outbreak.

Earlier on Saturday, two cases from Ladakh and one from Tamil Nadu were reported. The two patients from Ladakh had a travel history to Iran whereas, the patient from Tamil Nadu visited Oman recently.

Previously, a man from Delhi with a recent travel history to Thailand and Malaysia tested positive for the virus on Friday, March 6.

On Thursday, a Ghaziabad resident, with a recent travel history to Iran, had tested positive.

The test results of 68 people who had come in contact with the Italian couple, who tested positive for the virus early this week, have come out negative. In Manipur, 10 out of the 12 suspected cases of the virus tested negative. The other two results are awaited.

Two people from Telangana suspected of the coronavirus have also tested negative. The five people who were kept in the isolation wards of Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases in Bengaluru on suspected cases of the virus have also tested negative.

Globally, there are over 100,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and over 3,380 have died. In China, over 3,000 people have died from the virus, and there are over 80,000 confirmed cases. Outside China, South Korea has the highest number of cases with 6,284 infections and 42 deaths. Iran has 4,747infections and 124 deaths and Italy 4,636 infections and 197 deaths, making them the next worst-affected. All Italian schools and universities will be shut till March 15.

Across the globe, over 56,000 people have also recovered from the novel virus.

Health Ministry Issues Advisory To Avoid Mass Gatherings

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has advised people to avoid or postpone mass gatherings until the spread of the virus is brought under control.

"In case any such mass gatherings are organized, states may take necessary action to guide the organizers on precautions to be taken as per the risk communication material already sent so as to avoid any severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) cases and influenza-like illness (ILI) including COVID-19," the ministry said in a statement. The ministry has also made it mandatory for all international passengers, irrespective of nationality, to undergo medical screening.

Prime Minister Modi has also warned people from believing in rumours on coronavirus and to consult a doctor in case of any doubts.

Schools Shut, Biometric Attendance Systems Suspended

With the rise in the number of cases, the Delhi government has ordered to shut the primary schools till March 31. Once the exams are over, secondary schools may also be shut.

In addition, the Delhi government has suspended the biometric attendance system in its offices, autonomous bodies, and municipal corporations. The same was implemented by the Manipur government as well.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration has also announced the closure of all primary schools in Jammu and Samba districts till March 31. All biometric attendance in J&K has also been suspended.

To prevent large gatherings, the Mughal Gardens at Rashtrapati Bhavan will remain closed from Saturday, March 7.

Meanwhile, the staff of the Delhi hotel who had come in contact with the infected Italian tourists staying there, have been under home quarantine since March 3. As the employees have not shown symptoms, they have not been tested, a hotel spokesperson said.

After a 26-year-old man working in Paytm office in Gurgaon tested positive for the virus, the office has now been closed down. Samples of four people who worked closely with the man have been sent for testing, and 91 other employees who did not show any symptoms are under home quarantine.

Special Flights Between India And Iran To Evacuate Citizens

Special flights have been arranged from Iran to India to evacuate its citizens stranded there. Regular flights between the two countries have been suspended amidst the coronavirus scare.

Furthermore, several Indians, including students, pilgrims and fishers, are stranded in India. A team of medical professionals from India reached Iran yesterday to screen Indians there. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that the government hoped to soon establish the first clinic at Qom in Iran for the same.

"Update for Indians stranded in #Iran and for their families: Our medical team for screening arrives in Iran today. Hope to establish the first clinic at Qom by this evening. The screening process will start immediately thereafter. Working on logistics of return with Iranian authorities," Jaishankar said in a tweet.

On Thursday, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said that India is in touch with Iran on possible evacuation of the citizens stuck in the country. Iran at present has reported over 3,500 positive cases and 107 deaths from the deadly virus.

Also Read: How Other States Can Learn From Kerala In Containing Coronavirus

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Editor : Shubhendu Deshmukh
By : Reethu Ravi

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