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Coronavirus outbreak highlights: All landports, international borders fully equipped with medical teams, says MHA

The total confirmed cases in India stand at 28. Over 3,000 people have died of coronavirus worldwide, while some 90,000 people have been infected.

By: Express Web Desk
Bengaluru, Hyderabad, New Delhi | Updated: March 5, 2020 10:13:35 am
Italian nationals being quarantined to guard against coronavirus fill up forms at ITBP’s quarantine facility in Chhawla near New Delhi, India. (Indo Tibetan Border Police Force via AP).

 Amid the increasing coronavirus cases across the nation, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Wednesday assured that all landports and international borders have been well equipped with medical teams to screen all incoming passengers from neighbouring countries. The coronavirus cases in India stand at 28 including — 16 Italian tourists and their driver, three in Kerala (who have recovered), one in Hyderabad, one in Delhi and six of his relatives in Agra.

Earlier in the day, 17 Indians were tested positive for coronavirus abroad, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said. These include 16 cases from Japan on the cruise ship and one from the UAE.

PM Modi, BJP chief JP Nadda, Amit Shah earlier today said that he will not participate in the upcoming Holi Milan programmes. The samples of the six people who were in contact with the Delhi patient have been tested negative for coronavirus. Meanwhile, the rupee slid as much as 0.4 per cent to 73.6 per dollar earlier in the day becoming the worst-performing Asian currency, according to Bloomberg.

The government has ordered that all international passengers to the country will now have to submit self-declaration forms on arrival. They will have to provide contact details, travel history and possible contact with other people there. India has also suspended all regular visas and e-visas issued to nationals of Italy, Iran, South Korea, and Japan issued on or before March 3 and have not entered India yet. Over 3,000 people have died of coronavirus worldwide, while some 90,000 people have been infected.

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28 confirmed cases of coronavirus have been reported in India.

22:03 (IST)04 Mar 2020
Mumbai: National Sports Club of India cancels Holi party

The National Sports Club of India (NSCI) in Worli canceled its Holi party scheduled to be held on March 10 in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Holi party is an annual affair at NSCI which was last year attended by more than 5,000 people.

'Members please be informed that the Holi party on March 10 at NSCI is being cancelled as a precautionary measure against coronavirus,' said committee member Viren Shah in a statement. 

When asked about the Holi celebration in Mumbai, Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner in-charge of the health department, said, 'I would suggest celebrate Holi in the traditional way. If one has traveled abroad recently and has constant fever, cough and cold, I would request them to get themselves checked at the separate OPD at Kasturba hospital.'

21:48 (IST)04 Mar 2020
Landports, international entry points fully equipped with medical teams: MHA

All landports have fully equipped medical teams present to screen all incoming passengers from neighbouring countries, the Home Ministry has said. Further, the MHA said full medical check-up points have been set up at international entry points at Petrapole and Agartala. 

"Medical examination being conducted at Dera Baba Nanak, Attari entry points; full check-up and scanning at all landports," MHA said. 

21:40 (IST)04 Mar 2020
Global growth to 'dip below' last year's rate: IMF chief

The coronavirus epidemic poses a "chicken threat" and will slow world's economic growth below the 2.9 per cent mark, lowest in last year, IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said. The COVID-19 outbreak "is no longer regional issue, it is a global problem (that) calls for global response," Georgieva told reporters. (AFP)

21:29 (IST)04 Mar 2020
Design policy to cover coronavirus treatment: Irdai to insurance cos

Regulator Irdai has asked insurance companies to come out with policies to cover treatment costs for coronavirus infection. "For the purpose of meeting health insurance requirements of various sections, insurers are advised to design products covering the costs of treatment for coronavirus," the regulator said in a circular. 

21:20 (IST)04 Mar 2020
Israel's PM Netanyahu urges people to adopt 'Namaste'

Israel has confirmed 15 coronavirus cases in all and ordered several thousand people into home quarantine after possible exposure.

21:16 (IST)04 Mar 2020
Employee working with digital payment firm in Gurgaon tests positive

An employee with a digital payment firm in Gurgaon has tested positive for coronavirus, the company issued a statement, advising its employees to work from home for the next couple of days. The infected employee recently returned from a vacation in Italy, one of the worst-hit countries from coronavirus, the statement said.

"One of our colleagues based out of Gurgaon office who recently returned from Italy post a vacation has sadly been tested positive for Coronavirus. He is receiving appropriate treatment. As a precautionary measure, we have suggested his team members to get health tests done immediately," a company spokesperson said.

21:01 (IST)04 Mar 2020
Singapore citizen sent back amid coronavirus fear

Amid coronavirus scare, a Singapore-based engineer has been sent back by the district health department on Wednesday. Singapore national Tan Ki had come to Derabassi on a seven-day visa and had landed at the international airport on Tuesday.

On Wednesday morning, the health department received information that a Singapore national staying in a hotel was suffering from the deadly virus. Upon examination, it was found he was not suffering from coronavirus, however, he was asked to leave the country.

20:17 (IST)04 Mar 2020
MakeMyTrip witnesses slowdown in outbound travel bookings

Online travel company MakeMyTrip said the outbound travel has taken a hit in bookings and there has been a spike in number of cancellations amid the coronavirus outbreak. "Travellers are being cautious in making their (outbound) travel plans," a MakeMyTrip spokesperson said.

"We do expect a potential impact on the overall business if the outbreak spreads westwards. Data on our platform indicates that flight bookings for Southeast Asian countries have been significantly impacted, however, countries in the westward region, including US and Europe, are seeing dip in numbers," the spokesperson said.

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19:59 (IST)04 Mar 2020
CBSE allows students to carry masks, hand sanitiser during board exams

The CBSE has allowed students to carry masks and hand sanitiser during class 10 and 12 board exams, said CBSE secretary. Earlier in the evening, the HRD ministry had instructed all state chief secretaries and CBSE to spread awareness among students on basic protective measures against coronavirus.

19:06 (IST)04 Mar 2020
Railway Ministry issues advisory regarding Coronavirus to travellers and staff

Railway Ministry issued an advisory on Coronavirus as positive cases emerged in India. The advisory suggests IEC material regarding Covid-19 infection to be prominently displayed for awareness of general public, need for signages and separate counters being set up for fever cases. Railway staff would also be trained on prevention of the spread of virus and the statement added that in case any suspicious case is detected, it should be reported to the Railway Hospital.

19:00 (IST)04 Mar 2020
Coronavirus: DMRC issues advisory, to step up cleaning on Metro premises

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on Wednesday said it would increase the frequency of cleaning on its premises in view of the coronavirus outbreak. DMRC has also issued Do's and Dont's in both English and Hindi regarding the virus, PTI repported. It will also be run on digital screens at major stations like Rajiv Chowk, Kashmere Gate, Central Secretariat, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi. "Delhi Metro staff has been sensitised and guidelines have been circulated regarding Do's and Dont's to prevent the spread of coronavirus," it said.

18:53 (IST)04 Mar 2020
Italy closes all schools, colleges amid coronavirus outbreak

All schools and universities have been shut in Italy amid the coronavirus outbreak. At least 79 people have died due to the virus. 

18:42 (IST)04 Mar 2020
Saudi Arabia ban Muslim pilgrimage in Mecca over coronavirus fear

Saudi Arabia has banned citizens and residents from performing the Muslim pilgrimage (Umrah) in Mecca over fears about the coronavirus. No time frame has been given for how long the suspension will stand. Last week, Saudi Arabia had put restrictions on the hajj to foreign pilgrims.

18:33 (IST)04 Mar 2020
HRD asks CBSE to spread awareness among students on preventive measures

Higher Education secretary Amit Khare writes to all state chief secretaries & CBSE asking them to spread awareness among school students on basic protective measures against COVID-19. Preventive interventions such as frequent hand wash, respiratory etiquettes would help in reducing transmission of not only this disease but also a large number of another communicable disease, notably flu-like illness. 

18:22 (IST)04 Mar 2020
Top Chinese medics offer tips for Indian doctors

Top Chinese doctors treating coronavirus patients in Wuhan have advised their Indian counterparts to prepare plans, train medical staff and educate the public about wearing masks and washing of hands to contain the disease. 'China and India are the most important countries in Asia. We have some similarities like large population” with united families and similar medical system,' Qiao Jie, President of the Peking University Third Hospital who was drafted for controlling coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, said.

- Have enough medical staff ready to treat infections. Train medical staff.

- Prepare rooms to treat patients. Rooms should have high-power exhaust fans to ensure change airflow which is crucial for both the patients and medical staff.

- Doctors must educate and train the public to wear masks and basic sanitation like constant washing of hands to avoid contracting the disease.

- Prepare a plan involving all the concerned departments. 'Other departments such as police, transport etc also have to work together. That is the only way to control the epidemic not only in China but also in other countries,'Dr Du Bin, Director ICU, Peking Union Medical College Hospital and President of Chinese Association of Critical Care Patients, said.

18:13 (IST)04 Mar 2020
No Holi gathering in Rashtrapati Bhawan: President Kovind

President Ram Nath Kovind has announced to not hold Holi gatherings in Rashtrapati Bhawan in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. "With alertness and safeguards, we all can help contain the outbreak of COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus. In a precautionary measure, the Rashtrapati Bhavan will not hold the traditional Holi gatherings," the President said. 

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi too had refused to participate in the upcoming Holi Milan programmes. 

18:02 (IST)04 Mar 2020
Over 370 who travelled abroad since January 15 put on surveillance in Noida

Tightening the noose on the possible carriers of coronavirus, 373 people who have travelled abroad since January 15 have been kept surveillance in Gautam Buddh Nagar.

"Till Tuesday evening, 373 people who have travelled abroad after January 15 have been put on surveillance. Of them, 55 people have been tested for the virus. 49 of them, including the six from yesterday, have tested negative. Results of remaining six are awaited," Chief Medical Officer Anurag Bhargava told PTI.

17:54 (IST)04 Mar 2020
Delhi-NCR: 3 schools announce holiday as precautionary measure

Three schools in Delhi and adjoining areas have declared a holiday for students and staff as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus, while two schools advanced their spring break and others sent out advisories to parents. The development comes after two new cases of coronavirus were reported in the country.

17:49 (IST)04 Mar 2020
WHO asks South-East Asia region to strengthen preparedness

The World Health Organisation asked countries in its South-East Asia region to strengthen preparedness for all possible scenarios and ensure early containment measures. Five of the 11 countries in the region have confirmed coronavirus cases including — Thailand 43, India 28, Indonesia two and Sri Lanka and Nepal one each.

The risk of the new coronavirus is very high across the world and in WHO South-East Asia Region. More cases can be expectedDr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director of WHO South-East Asia Region said.

17:20 (IST)04 Mar 2020
Coronavirus reaches Brussels

A European Union official working in the bloc's Brussels administration has tested positive for coronavirus, news agency AFP quoted a spokeswoman as saying. According to the Euractiv news site, the male official worked at the European Defence Agency and had recently returned from Italy.

Doctors walk past the entrance of an isolation ward where people who returned from China are under observation at the Government Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad (AP)

In South Korea, which is the worst affected country after China, over 5,000 infections and 28 deaths have been reported. South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday cancelled his planned trip to the UAE, Egypt and Turkey in response to COVID-19. In China, a total of 80,270 people have been infected, with 49,856 people discharged and 2,981 dead, according to government figures.

The virus has now spread to New York, Moscow and Berlin, as well as Latvia, Indonesia, Morocco, Tunisia, Senegal, Jordan and Portugal. Global health officials sought to reassure the public that the virus remains a manageable threat. “Containment is feasible and must remain the top priority for all countries,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

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. Many countries have banned arrivals from virus-hit countries and have urged citizens to refrain from travelling there.

In a review meeting chaired by the Cabinet Secretary, all states were asked to increase quarantine capacity and “augment isolation wards and include facilities of the Labour department, armed forces, paramilitary forces, medical colleges and PSUs within their jurisdiction.”

The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) said that Pradeep Singh Kharola, secretary, MoCA, and Arvind Singh, chairman, Airports Authority of India (AAI), “conducted a video conference with all the airports to review & guide the preparations to take effective steps for preventing the spread of COVID-19”.

Airports and airlines have been advised to comply with the travel advisory issued for passengers by the Bureau of Immigration, it said.

Read | Novel coronavirus outbreak: States raise alert, say no need to panic

Read | Coronavirus: Delhi patient was at a hotel party, kin went to Agra; 2 schools shut

Explained | How to handle COVID-19 scare

Read | How coronavirus is likely to impact the global economy

In pictures | How to keep yourself safe amid coronavirus outbreak

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First published on: 04-03-2020 at 09:53:06 am
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