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Coronavirus scare: Highest single-day jump in new cases, over 450 airlifted from Iran and Italy

With the WHO declaring COVID-19 a pandemic, over 4,000 people who had come in contact with the positive cases have been identified through contact tracing and are being tracked, while 42,000 people across the country are under community surveillance.

Written by Abantika Ghosh | New Delhi | Updated: March 16, 2020 6:54:09 am
Coronavirus, Coronavirus india, Coronavirus cases india, Coronavirus new cases, Indian airlifted from Iran, Indians airlifted from Italy, COVID-19 pandemic, Workers line up the luggage of Indians who were airlifted from Italy, at the airport in New Delhi on Sunday. (PTI photo)

With 26 new novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases being reported on Sunday — the biggest single-day rise so far — the total number of positive cases jumped to 110, including 17 foreign nationals.

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While 13 people have recovered, two have died. Of the new cases, 18 were reported from Maharashtra, 2 from Telangana, 3 from Kerala and 1 each from Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. At 32, Maharashtra has now overtaken Kerala (22) as the state with the highest number of cases.

coronavirus cases, self-quarantine, mumbai weekend, reading books, indoor games, mumbai news, maharashtra news, indian express news Mumbai Zoo was closed on Sunday till further orders as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19. (Photo: Ganesh Shirsekar)

The health ministry clarified that a 71-year-old man from Maharashtra’s Buldhana, who was admitted to a private hospital and died on Saturday, tested negative for coronavirus infection. He had returned from Saudi Arabia recently and had diabetes and high blood pressure.

With the World Health Organisation (WHO) declaring COVID-19 a pandemic, over 4,000 people who had come in contact with the positive cases have been identified through contact tracing and are being tracked, while 42,000 people across the country are under community surveillance.

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Meanwhile, over 450 stranded Indians were airlifted from Italy and Iran, the two worst affected countries after China, and quarantined. While 218 Indians, mostly students, from Milan landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) in Delhi and were taken to an ITBP quarantine facility in south-west Delhi’s Chhawla area, another 234 Indians from Iran, who first reached New Delhi, were quarantined at the Indian Army Wellness Centre in Jaisalmer.

coronavirus cases, Kasturba hospital isolation ward, mumbai news, maharashtra news, indian express news People with masks on visit Kasturba hospital on Sunday. (Photo: Ganesh Shirsekar)

“218 Indians including 211 students from Milan landed in Delhi. All will be quarantined for 14 days. GoI is committed to reach out to Indians in distress, wherever they are. Appreciate Govt. of Italy for their support and team. These evacuees are quarantined at the ITBP camp at Chhawla, as per protocol,” tweeted Minister of State, External Affairs, V Muraeedharan.

“234 Indians stranded in Iran have arrived in India; including 131 students and 103 pilgrims,” tweeted External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

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Those who were airlifted were tested prior to their departure, and are reported to be asymptomatic at present.

Enforcing social distancing measures, more states ordered closure of schools and public places like cinema halls and malls. Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan reviewed the actions takes by states and UTs along with senior officials on Sunday.

PTI adds: Extending the border restrictions, the government has suspended travel and registration of pilgrims to Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara through the corridor from Sunday midnight, besides movement of all types of passengers to Pakistan through international border points.

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Earlier, the government had announced suspension of all types of passenger movement from March 15 midnight through the Indo-Bangla, Indo-Nepal, Indo-Bhutan and Indo-Myanmar borders, barring a few specified border checkposts.

Indian Railways, Indian Railways coronavirus, coronavirus Indian Railways, coronavirus in India, coronavirus cases in India, India news, Indian Express Workers clean a train at the railway yard in New Delhi on Sunday. (Express Photo)

Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy said all paramilitary forces, including the CRPF, ITBP and BSF, have been advised to keep ready quarantine camps for COVID-19 suspects as a preparatory measure.

The Mumbai Police clamped prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC to stop tour operators from conducting any kind of group tours to foreign or domestic destinations till March 31. Elections to rural and urban local bodies in Andhra Pradesh have been put off for six weeks by the State Election Commission.

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