Delhi and Telangana reported their first cases of the novel coronavirus on Monday, taking the total number of persons who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the country to five, the Union Health Ministry said.
The infected person from Delhi recently traveled to Italy and is being diagnosed at Ram Manohar Lohia hospital while the other patient from Telengana traveled to Dubai, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said in a press conference.
“Both the patients are stable and being closely monitored,” a statement from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare stated.
Health Ministry issues travel advisory for 5 countries
Harsh Vardhan further said till now over 5 lakh passengers had been screened at airports while 12,431 passengers had been screened on minor and major seaports. As many as 25,738 people were under community surveillance across the country, Vardhan said as he advised people to avoid non-essential travel to China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, and Singapore. Also, 37 people across the country are currently hospitalised after showing symptoms of coronavirus or COVID-19, PTI reported.
Vardhan further said India had already suspended e-visas/visas issued to Iranian and Chinese nationals over the rising number of confirmed COVID-19 patients in these countries. “Depending on the evolving situation, visa restrictions may be extended to other countries,” he said.
Meanwhile, the DGCA said it would expand screening of all passengers arriving in flights from Italy and Iran besides the flights from China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia.
Telangana coronavirus patient returned from Dubai
The first positive case of novel coronavirus in Telangana is a 24-year-old techie who returned from Dubai. He works for an IT company in Bengaluru. Speaking to media, state Health Minister Etela Rajender said as many as 80 persons who have been in direct contact with him were being tracked by the Telangana government.
Explained: How does Coronavirus compare to the flu?
He had traveled to Dubai from Bengaluru on February 17 and returned to Bengaluru on February 20. He returned to Hyderabad on February 22. He was home for five days and as he felt sick, he consulted a private hospital in Hyderabad. As his fever didn’t subside, he was referred to Gandhi Medical Hospital on March 1, said the minister.
To confirm the case, samples were sent to NIV Pune Sunday night. “We received a confirmation today afternoon. The patient is in the isolation ward at Gandhi hospital. We have the best facilities here. His condition is stable,” Rajender said.
Since the patient came to Hyderabad by bus, the government is in touch with all 27 passengers who traveled with him. “We have shared available information with Karnataka government and they are in touch with people who worked in the IT company with him,” the minister said.
Karnataka puts border districts on high alert
Following the confirmation of a positive Coronvirus case in neighbouring Telangana, the Karnataka Health and Family Welfare department has put four border districts — Bidar, Kalaburagi, Yadgir and Raichur on high alert.
Speaking to Indianexpress.com, Karnataka Health Commissioner Pankaj Kumar Pandey said, “As one positive case of Coronavirus has been reported in Telangana, the border districts of Bidar, Kalaburagi, Yadgir and Raichur are on high alert and any suspect is advised to report immediately to State Surveillance Unit (SSU) Karnataka.”
According to the Karnataka health department, 39,391 passengers have been screened at Kempegowda International Airport (KIA), Bengaluru so far.
Meanwhile, the Karnataka Department of Public Instruction issued a circular to all the schools across the state to grant leave to the students and staff who are suffering from fever, cough, cold and other respiratory infections.
“If any student, teacher or staff is suffering from respiratory infections, they should be granted leave. They should be allowed to come back to school only after confirming from the doctor that they are cured. In case a student or staff staying at hostels develop any symptoms, they should be kept in a separate room,” the circular stated.
Poultry sector faces Rs 1,750 cr losses due to coronavirus rumours
Poultry breeders on Monday demanded a relief package from the government, claiming that the sector had incurred heavy losses of around Rs 1,750 crore in a month due to fake news that coronavirus was spreading due to chickens, PTI reported.
The prices of poultry have plunged to Rs 10-30 per kg at farm gate level due to a slump in chicken demand while the average cost of production is Rs 80 per kg, the All India Poultry Breeders Association (AIPBA) said in a representation to the Ministry of Animal Husbandry.
First three positive coronavirus cases in Kerala
Before this, Kerala had reported India’s first three coronavirus cases but all of them had been discharged and are on the road to recovery. They have been asked to remain under home quarantine.
The state had declared a state ‘calamity’ to tackle the virus. It had fallen back on its past experience in managing the Nipah outbreak and put in place a multi-level mechanism for surveillance and control of the infection. Groups of Indians who were evacuated from Wuhan are under quarantine, while some of them have been released after staying under observation for weeks.
On Saturday, a 26-year-old man who reached Kochi from Malaysia died due to high fever. While the initial lab test was negative for coronavirus, the Health Department is awaiting the final report to ascertain the cause of death.
Govt sends third flight to coronavirus-hit Wuhan to evacuate Indians
On February 26, the government sent its third flight to coronavirus-hit Wuhan to evacuate nearly 100 Indians who were on stand-by since February 20 to be evacuated out of Hubei province. Though many among them were students, the third evacuation had Indians who work in the province and chose to stay back.
Apart from this, the government had already evacuated 654 individuals — 647 Indians and seven Maldivians — on two Air India flights from Wuhan. It has been decided that passengers entering the country via air will be screened at earmarked aerobridges at seven international airports — Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Cochin, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai.
Coronavirus claims over 3,000 lives globally
The virus has claimed over 3,000 lives globally and has been reported in at least 60 countries. In the US, second death due to the virus was reported today. The virus, which first emerged in China, has now infected more than 88,000 people in over 60 countries. The rapid spread of the coronavirus has raised fears over its impact on the world economy, causing global markets to log their worst losses since the 2008 financial crisis.
China’s economy has ground to a halt with large swathes of the country under quarantine or measures to restrict travel. Many countries have banned arrivals from virus-hit countries and have urged citizens to refrain from traveling there. The Louvre — the world’s most visited museum — closed on Sunday after staff refused to work over fears about the virus.
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