Dubai: The number of people infected with coronavirus in India rose to 73 on Thursday, with fresh cases reported from Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Ladakh, the federal health ministry said on Thursday.
It also said that a total of 1,057,506 passengers have been screened at airports.
Out of the 73 confirmed cases (17 of them foreign nationals) in the country, Kerala has the maximum number of positive cases with 17.
Uttar Pradesh reported 10 cases, the Union Territory of Ladakh three, while Maharashtra had 11 cases till Thursday.
In the Lok Sabha, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said as per available information there are about 6,000 Indian nationals in various provinces of Iran, including 1,100 pilgrims mainly from Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir and Maharashtra, and nearly 300 students primarily from J&K. The government is taking all steps to ensure their earliest possible return, he said.
On Wednesday, WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic and expressed deep concern both by the alarming levels of spread and severity and by the alarming levels of inaction.
India has taken several steps to contain the virus, including suspension of all visas to India till April 15, after the WHO declared coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.
Delhi cinema halls to remain shut
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said that all cinema halls in the national capital will remain shut till March 31 to help contain the spread of coronavirus.
"Schools and colleges where exams are not being held will also remain close till March 31," said Kejriwal.
"A meeting was held today in which all the Delhi government officials were present. Delhi's Health Minister and LG were also present. Delhi Government is ready to deal with the situation," he added.
Chief Minister added that arrangements have been made for sufficient beds for quarantine.
Doctor from Canada tests positive in Lucknow
A woman doctor from Canada has tested coronavirus positive in Lucknow, taking the total of such cases in the northern state to 10.
The patient, who tested positive late Wednesday night, has been admitted in an isolation ward in King George’s Medical University (KGMU), IANS reported.
According to Prof. Himanshu of the KGMU Medicine Department, the woman is a doctor based in Toronto. She travelled to Lucknow via London and Mumbai on March 8.
During thermal scanning at the Lucknow airport, she did not show any symptom of coronavirus on Tuesday, but later developed fever and cough and contacted the KGMU doctors.
She and her husband were admitted in the isolation ward. Her husband’s blood report is negative. The doctors are now drawing up a list of people who interacted with the woman between March 8 and 11. Ten of them will also be tested for the virus.
Daily international passenger arrivals fall to 62,000
The number of international passengers arriving at the country’s airports has reduced to around 62,000 per day from 70,000 in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, federal minister Hardeep Singh Puri said in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.
He said the count might further come down to around 40,000 following the travel advisory issued on Wednesday. There are 30 international airports in the country and on an average, these aerodromes receive about 70,000 international passengers. Puri, the Minister of State for Civil Aviation, said all international passengers are screened at airports.
Action against those revealing identity of coronavirus patients
Authorities in Pune have warned of action against those who reveal the identity of patients testing positive for coronavirus on social media platforms.
Following a complaint from a relative of a Pune-based patient, who tested positive for Covid-19, divisional commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar said police have been asked to monitor social media posts and take appropriate action in such matters, PTI reported.
“The police have been asked to monitor social media platforms through their cyber cell to make sure that no rumours are spread and the identity of patients should not be revealed,” Mhaisekar said.
If the identity of a patient is revealed, the person and his family could face social hardships, he noted.
A relative of one of the patients on Wednesday wrote to the divisional commissioner, alleging that information about the infected person was revealed on social media making life difficult for the family.
Government Dos and Don’ts for home quarantine
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has prepared guidelines for home quarantine, as well as for the use of masks by the public, in view of the coronavirus outbreak. The government said those under home quarantine should stay in a well-ventilated single-room preferably with an attached or separate toilet. It adds that if another family member needs to stay in the same room, it’s advisable to maintain a distance of at least 1 metre between the two.
The government advised coronavirus patients to stay away from elderly people, pregnant women and children within the household as their immune system may be low.
- with inputs from agencies