Amid uptick of coronavirus cases across the globe, two fresh cases have been detected in India. While one patient belongs to New Delhi and had travelled from Italy, the other belongs to Telangana and had visited Dubai. ‘Both the patients are stable and being closely monitored,’ a statement from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare stated.
Officials said that on Sunday four persons who landed at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) were screened as they showed symptoms of coronavirus. While three persons tested negative, one tested positive and has been admitted to the isolation ward at the government hospital at Koti and the treatment has started.
Telangana Health Minister Etela Rajender Monday said that the state government is on a high alert to detect any case of coronavirus. “The screening process is very tight in the state. We are taking all precautions to ensure that the patients are taken care of well and also ensure that it does not spread. While one person tested positive, three others are fine but they have been advised isolation at home for a few days,” he said.
The official added that the number of passengers screened at RGIA by the Health Desk was 16,982 till February 29 while 680 were screened today. 178 persons self-reported for checkups at Gandhi Hospital while 172 persons who travelled to China or other countries earlier were referred by the Government of India or the Ministry of Home Affairs. The total number of suspected cases is 350 out of whom 100 were put under 28 days of observation.
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan Monday said that screening of passengers is being done at 21 airports, 12 seaports and 65 minor seaports. Till now over 5 lakh passengers have been screened at airports while 12,431 passengers have been screened on minor and major seaports. He added that 23 samples have been sent for testing and the results are awaited. “We advise Indians to avoid non-essential travel to China, Iran, Korea, Singapore, and Italy. As the situation develops, the travel restrictions may be further extended to other countries also”, he added.
The virus has claimed over 3,000 lives globally and has been reported in at least 60 countries. The latest detections take the total coronavirus cases in India to five.
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Before this, three cases of coronavirus had been reported in India, all from Kerala. All the patients have 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.
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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