win_200319 trolley india-1584607819422
A masked passenger pushes a luggage trolley at NSCBI airport, in Kolkata, on Thursday, March 19, 2020. Image Credit: PTI

Dubai: The number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 169 on Thursday after 18 fresh cases were reported from various parts of the country, the Health Ministry said.

The cases include 25 foreign nationals - 17 from Italy, 3 from the Philippines, two from the UK, and one each from Canada, Indonesia and Singapore. The figure also includes three deaths reported from Delhi, Karnataka and Maharashtra.

Delhi has, so far, reported 12 positive cases which includes one foreigner, while Uttar Pradesh has recorded 17 cases, including one foreigner.

Maharashtra has 45 cases, including three foreigners, while Kerala has recorded 27 cases which include two foreign nationals. Karnataka has 14 coronavirus patients.

Several opposition leaders raised the issue of Indians stranded in various countries in the Lok Sabha on Thursday seeking government’s action to evacuate them. Some of the MPs sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the House over the COVID-19 pandemic and some demanded that a social media initiative should be started by the government to dispel rumours.

Railways cancels trains

The Railways on Thursday cancelled 84 trains, which will not operate between March 20 and March 31, in view of low occupancy and the coronavirus pandemic, officials said. With this, the total number of cancelled trains has climbed to 155.

“All passengers having tickets on these 155 trains are being informed about it individually. No cancellation fee will be taken for these trains. Passengers will get 100-per cent refund,” an official said.

Karnataka starts marking passengers at airport

Karnataka has started marking passengers at the city airport, required to be home quarantined as a precaution to contain the potential spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), Karnataka Health Minister B. Sriramulu said on Thursday.

“COVID-19 passengers hands being stamped at international airport, Bengaluru. #Indiafightscorona,” tweeted Sriramulu.

He shared three photographs of passengers being stamped at the Kempegowda International Airport. The region above the knuckle of a watch wearing man’s left hand bore the stamp: Proud to protect Bengaluru. Home quarantined till April 3. Officials wearing masks are stamping passengers at the airport.

Read more

Kerala CM, Congress’ Chennithala in show of unity

In a show of unity to fight COVID-19, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Leader of opposition Ramesh Chennithala on Thursday jointly addressed people’s representatives through a video conference at over 1,000 local bodies and urged them to see that all safe practices to prevent the spread of coronavirus be taken.

Also present on the occasion was State Local Self Government Minister A.C. Moideen. The three came live on the state run educational TV channel -- Victers TV.

Kerala has so far recorded 24 positive cases and over 26,000 people are under observation in homes or hospitals.

“There need be no pain or fear over COVID-19, instead we all should realise the potential dangers if we do not treat this with caution. It’s here that the role of the local self governments and the representatives of people come into play. All of you should ensure that the directives of the state government be adhered to and utilise the services of the numerous volunteers engaged in pain and palliative care,” said Vijayan.

The Chief Minister said that special focus will be given to the poor and disadvantage sections of the society.

2 immigration officers at Kolkata Airport quarantined

Two immigration officers of Kolkata Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport have been sent to 12 days in quarantine after they came in contact with an 18-year-old youth who has tested positive for coronavirus, agencies reported. The youth, who was tested positive for the virus on Tuesday, recently returned from the United Kingdom and is the only confirmed case of coronavirus in West Bengal. Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Mimi Chakraborty was sent to home quarantine following her return from London on Wednesday.

Two Maharashtra doctors booked for claiming cure

Two doctors in Maharashtra have been booked for allegedly claiming to cure the lethal infection. The doctors, in Vasai and Nala Sopara areas, had allegedly put hoardings outside their clinics, where they claimed to cure coronavirus. Further investigation is underway.

Two women, both with history of foreign travel, have tested positive for coronavirus, taking the total number of positive cases in Maharashtra to 47, on Thursday. They are currently undergoing treatment at isolation wards in Mumbai, IANS reported.

23-yr-old woman tests positive in Chandigarh

A 23-year-old woman who returned from London has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the first confirmed case of the deadly infection in the Union territory, PTI reported. The sample of the woman was tested at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), the official said. Meanwhile, the administration is not allowing people at the Secretariat as a precautionary measure against the new coronavirus pandemic.

Delhi shuts schools for teaching, non-teaching staff

Days after schools in the national capital were closed for students, the Delhi government on Thursday closed all the schools for the teaching and non-teaching staffs as well. “The ongoing annual examinations are also postponed from March 19 and 31. However, the evaluation work of annual exams are to be carried out by the concerned teachers from their home,” the order reads.

- with inputs from agencies