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Coronavirus Highlights: PM Modi praises AI crew which evacuated Indians from Wuhan

Coronavirus Highlights Japan on Thursday confirmed 44 fresh cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) onboard a luxury cruise currently quarantined near Yokohama port, where two Indian nationals, among others, have tested positive.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: February 15, 2020 10:36:42 am
coronavirus, coronavirus latest news, coronavirus news, coronavirus live update, coronavirus news update, coronavirus prevention, coronavirus infection, coronavirus in india, coronavirus in india news, coronavirus death toll, coronavirus death toll news, coronavirus death toll in india, coronavirus death toll in india, coronavirus in india latest news An entrance to the Wuhan City Central Hospital, in Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic (Chris Buckley/The New York Times)

Coronavirus Highlights: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has written a letter of appreciation to the Air India crew and health ministry officials involved in the evacuation of citizens of India and Maldives from the Chinese city of Wuhan following the outbreak of novel coronavirus, the Prime Minister’s Office said on Thursday.

So far, there have been three confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in India and two of them have been cured while one other has also been discharged, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said Thursday.

Earlier in the day, Japan confirmed 44 fresh cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) onboard a luxury cruise currently quarantined near Yokohama port, where two Indian nationals, among others, have tested positive. The death toll due to the Coronavirus outbreak in China rose to 1,355 while the number of new cases soared by 14,840 – also a daily record – to a total of 48,206 cases, Reuters reported.

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Coronavirus death toll exceeds 1,300 in China, 2 Indians test positive onboard ship in Japan. Follow this blog for Highlights:

20:28 (IST)13 Feb 2020
Manufacturers fear coronavirus outbreak may hit India's drug industry

The prolonged shutdown in China due to novel coronavirus outbreak may affect import of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) from the neighbouring country, fuelling fears that the drug manufacturing industry in India could be severely hit. The Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) last week constituted a high-level panel to assess its impact of the outbreak of the deadly virus in China on the supply of APIs in India.

APIs are bulk drugs or raw materials used for manufacturing medicines. India produces drugs, including antibiotics, using APIs around 80 per cent of which are imported from China, mainly from Hubei province which is the epicentre of the outbreak. India also exports medicines. (PTI)

19:52 (IST)13 Feb 2020
PM Modi praises AI crew which evacuated Indians from Wuhan

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday wrote a letter of appreciation to the Air Indian crew which evacuated Indians from China's Wuhan following coronavirus outbreak. The letter would be handed over to the crew by Minister of State for Civil Aviation, the PMO said in a release.

17:38 (IST)13 Feb 2020
Japan reports first death from coronavirus

A taxi driver in Tokyo has tested positive for the coronavirus, NHK public TV reported, marking a further spread of the disease in Japan even as authorities said some passengers aboard a ship quarantined off its coast would finally be allowed to disembark. The broadcaster, quoting sources, said the health ministry was trying to trace the route of the contagion, adding that the driver said he had carried passengers who appeared to be Chinese. (Reuters)

17:15 (IST)13 Feb 2020
Etihad to add daily flight connecting Abu Dhabhi to Thiruvananthapuram, Chennai just for May

Etihad Airways will operate an additional daily flight on the Abu Dhabi-Thiruvananthapuram route and on the Abu Dhabi-Chennai route just for the month of May using its narrow-body aircraft, a top executive of the airline said on Thursday. The airline currently flies one daily frequency to Thiruvananthapuram and two daily frequencies to Chennai.

"We have added another seven weekly flights to Chennai and another seven to Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram). So, Trivandrum goes up to 14 (weekly flights) and Chennai goes up to 21 (weekly flights) for the month of May," said Neerja Bhatia, Vice President, Indian sub-continent, Etihad Airways. "It is only for the month of May at the moment. We will let you know we have any long-term plans (for these additional flights)," she told reporters. (PTI)

17:07 (IST)13 Feb 2020
Kerala patient discharged from hospital

A coronavirus positive patient who was admitted to Alappuzha medical college has been discharged. He has to remain under home quarantine till February 26. His later samples sent for testing had come back negative. Two other patients who tested positive for coronavirus are also stable. 

16:45 (IST)13 Feb 2020
EU ministers hold emergency talks on COVID-19 virus

European Union health ministers were holding an emergency meeting Thursday on how to prevent the COVID-19 virus from further spreading across Europe. Ministers from the bloc's 27 member states gather in Brussels amid the outbreak, which has infected around 60,000 people worldwide. Mike Ryan, the executive director of the World Health Organization's emergencies program, will also join the debate via video link.

More people have now died from COVID-19 than during the SARS outbreak, but no death has been reported in Europe so far. Less than 50 suspected cases have been registered on the continent but the EU insists coordinated action is required to keep these figures low.

15:50 (IST)13 Feb 2020
In India, almost 16000 under surveillance for coronavirus

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan: "15991 people across the country are under surveillance for coronavirus. 457 people were given treatment and 41 in isolation."

15:49 (IST)13 Feb 2020
Three confirmed cases of coronavirus in India

Union Minister Harsh Vardhan addresses press on coronavirus: Three confirmed coronavirus cases in India. Two have been cured, one has also been discharged. All three had links to Wuhan. We revised the travel advisory as the situation changed. All visas were declared invalid, including for foreign nationals. 

15:07 (IST)13 Feb 2020
Two more passengers test positive for coronavirus at Kolkata airport

Two passengers who arrived at NSCBI Airport from Bangkok have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, Airports Authority of India officials said on
Thursday. With this, a total of three passengers have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Kolkata.

15:02 (IST)13 Feb 2020
Coronavirus has just 0.2% mortality rate, SARS was 10%

In comparison to the SARS epidemic of 2002-2003, the novel coronavirus is less fatal than the epidemic which resulted in around 800 deaths 17 years ago. Like the 2019-nCoV or Wuhan virus, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is also caused due to a type of coronavirus, called the SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV). Read more here

14:12 (IST)13 Feb 2020
Passenger suspected of coronavirus onboard Bangkok-Delhi flight quarantined

An Indian citizen, onboard a Bangkok-Delhi SpiceJet flight, suspected to be infected with coronavirus was quarantined at IGI airport on Thursday, an airline spokesperson said. “He was seated on seat number 31F and was the only passenger in that row. The said passenger was quarantined by the Airport Health Organisation (APHO) after landing in Delhi,” the official said.

12:52 (IST)13 Feb 2020
Tokyo stocks wobble after China reports sharp rise in coronavirus deaths

Japanese shares wobbled on Thursday as a sharp jump in the death toll from the coronavirus triggered concerns that the epidemic could get worse before it is brought under control. The benchmark Nikkei average slipped 0.14% to 23,827.73, while the broader Topix fell 0.34% to 1,713.08. The death toll in China's Hubei province, the epicentre of the flu-like virus outbreak, rose by 242 to 1,310 as of Wednesday. A record 14,840 cases were reported in Hubei on Thursday, from 2,015 new cases nationwide a day earlier, under a new method for diagnosing cases.

12:07 (IST)13 Feb 2020
Imran Khan directs authorities to take all possible steps for Pakistan students stuck in virus-hit Wuhan

Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed authorities to take every possible step to help Pakistani students stuck in China's Wuhan. The government, however, said that it would not evacuate its citizens from Wuhan in an attempt to stem the spread of the coronavirus which has killed over 1,000 people and infected nearly 50,000 since its outbreak, The Express Tribune reported. "I have issued instructions to our Foreign Office and Overseas Ministry to do everything possible for our students who are stuck in Wuhan city," Khan had tweeted on Wednesday night.

11:24 (IST)13 Feb 2020
Hong Kong property developers cut retail rents in February amid coronavirus battle

Major shopping mall landlords in Hong Kong are offering cuts in February rent by as much as 60% to help tenants ride out the effects of the coronavirus outbreak. Hong Kong's retail sector, battered by months of often violent anti-government protests, is likely to suffer in the coming months as the outbreak in mainland China has emptied shopping centres and closed down tourist attractions. Henderson Land said it will cut February rent by 20% to 60% for its small- to medium-size tenants in retail, food and beverage, as well as education businesses following similar moves by its peers. "Hong Kong's retail and food and beverage businesses have been greatly affected since February due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus outbreak," Henderson Land said in an emailed statement on Thursday.

10:43 (IST)13 Feb 2020
Qatar ready to re-route oil, gas cargoes to China due to spread of coronavirus: Minister

Qatari energy companies are “actively engaged” in accommodating rescheduling or re-routing some requests for deliveries of Qatari oil and gas cargoes to China after the spread of the coronavirus, the Qatari energy minister said in a statement late on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

10:23 (IST)13 Feb 2020
Singapore rugby sevens tournament postponed due to coronavirus: Source

Singapore's annual rugby sevens tournament will be postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Thursday. The World Sevens Series tournament, due to take place in the city-state April 11-12, could be pushed back until October, the source said. Singapore, which has reported 50 cases of a virus that has claimed over 1,300 lives in China, has advised businesses to defer or cancel non-essential, large-scale events. Event organisers did not respond to a request for comment.

09:48 (IST)13 Feb 2020
Coronavirus LIVE: China's Hubei province communist party chief relieved of duty

The head of the Communist Party in the Chinese province of Hubei, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, has been relieved of duty, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday. Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong has been appointed as the new secretary of the Hubei Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China, replacing Jiang Chaoliang, the report said, citing the party's central committee.

09:24 (IST)13 Feb 2020
Coronavirus LIVE: Japan confirms 44 more cases onboard luxury cruise, Indian crew in quarantine

Japan today confirmed 44 more cases of COVID-19 onboard a luxury cruise currently quarantined near Yokohama port, where several Indians are also stranded. The number of cases onboard the ship have now increased to 218.

09:20 (IST)13 Feb 2020
No word of any coronavirus cases, but North Korea steps up anti-virus campaign

While North Korea has yet to publicly confirm any cases of the new coronavirus, authorities have doubled down on prevention efforts, extending quarantines and dispatching Red Cross workers around the country, state media said, Reuters reported. On Wednesday, North Korean media announced that the quarantine period had been extended to 30 days, and that all government institutions as well as foreigners living in North Korea were expected to obey it "unconditionally." "The spread of the epidemic comes to be a serious problem with the possibility of international disaster," state news agency KCNA said.

08:59 (IST)13 Feb 2020
Second case of new coronavirus confirmed among China evacuees in US

A second case of novel coronavirus has been confirmed in the US among evacuees from China, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Wednesday, AP reported. The person was aboard a flight from the city of Wuhan that arrived at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in Southern California last week, the CDC said. The patient was in isolation at a San Diego hospital, UC San Diego Health confirmed.

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, workers disinfect closed shop lots following the coronavirus outbreak, in Jiang'an District of Wuhan in central China's Hubei Province, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020.  (Cheng Min/Xinhua via AP)

The fast-spreading virus has killed more than 1,000 people in China, where there have been nearly 43,000 cases. There have been another 319 confirmed cases in 24 other countries, including 13 in the United States.

Over 800 people have been evacuated from Wuhan on six US evacuation flights since Jan. 28. Hundreds have been quarantined on air bases in California, Texas and Nebraska, according to the U.S. State Department.

Nearly 200 people evacuated from the China coronavirus outbreak were released from quarantine in California on Tuesday with officials urging Americans not to shun them, or workers who helped them, after both groups faced discrimination.

The 195 US citizens, mostly US State Department employees and their families, underwent the United States’ first mandatory quarantine since 1963 after they were evacuated from the coronavirus-stricken Chinese city of Wuhan. They were flown by government-chartered cargo jet on Jan. 29 to March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County about 60 miles (97 km) east of Los Angeles where they were in quarantine for 14-days – the outer limit of the virus’ possible incubation period.

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