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Coronavirus outbreak HIGHLIGHTS: US death toll rises to 9

Coronavirus HIGHLIGHTS: The Union Health Ministry has issued advisory suspending all regular visas and e-visas granted on or before March 3 to nationals of Italy, Iran, South Korea, Japan who have not yet entered India.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: March 4, 2020 9:52:12 am
Coronavirus HIGHLIGHTS: The quarantine facility in Manesar set up by the army for 248 people evacuated from China last month. (Express Photo by Gajendra Yadav)

Coronavirus HIGHLIGHTS: The death toll in the United States has reached 9 with escalating tensions over how to curb the coronavirus outbreak. All nine deaths have taken place in the state of Washington. In India, the total number of cases has risen to six as an Italian tourist in Jaipur tested positive on Tuesday for COVID-19. The tourist’s first sample, which was taken last week, had tested negative, but his condition deteriorated and his reports were awaited since Monday. Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry issued advisory suspending all regular visas and e-visas granted on or before March 3 to nationals of Italy, Iran, South Korea, Japan who have not yet entered India.

After a person was tested positive for coronavirus in the Delhi-NCR region on Monday, two schools in Noida were fumigated, one of which is where the children of the patient studies. The patient, who hosted a birthday party last Friday, was put under observation. On the other hand, six suspected cases, who came in contact with the Delhi patient have been quarantined in Agra.

Meanwhile, China’s coronavirus caseload continued to wane Tuesday even as the epidemic took a firmer hold beyond Asia, with three countries now exceeding 1,000 cases and the US reporting its sixth death. Clusters of disease grew in South Korea, Italy and Iran, and the virus has turned up for the first time in New York, Moscow and Berlin, as well as Latvia, Indonesia, Morocco, Tunisia, Senegal, Jordan, and Portugal. The worldwide death toll topped 3,000, and the number of cases tops 89,000 in about 70 countries.

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Follow this space for updates on the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

03:04 (IST)04 Mar 2020
US reports ninth death from coronavirus

The death toll in the United States has reached 9 with escalating tensions over how to curb the coronavirus outbreak. All nine deaths have taken place in the state of Washington. The state alone has 27 confirmed cases. The United States has now over 100 cases spread across 15 states.

The novel coronavirus has infected more than 92,000 people with a death toll of 3100 worldwide, AP reported. 

01:33 (IST)04 Mar 2020
UK declares coronavirus as "highest level of emergency"

The National Healthcare Service in the UK on Tuesday called the coronavirus the highest level of emergency by declaring it as a
"Level 4 Incident". Earlier today Britain unveiled a "battle plan" to reduce the impact and contain the spread of coronavirus. The United Kingdom till now has 51 confirmed cases of the virus which are "likely to increase" according to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The plan would include shutting down schools and canceling large scale gatherings.  As much as 20 percent of UK employees could stay home from work, Reuters reported.

01:20 (IST)04 Mar 2020
An army officer in MP under observation due to suspected coronavirus exposure

An Indian army officer who returned from Iran on 25 February has been put under isolation in Madhya Pradesh due to an unsub coronavirus exposure. 
A health official said that the officer was in an isolated ward in the military hospital near Indore while some senior army officials said he was at home. The location of his quarantine is still not clear. Dr. Santosh Sisodia, district in-charge of the Integrated Disease Surveillance Program said "His condition is fine. He has been kept under medical observation in an isolation ward. His blood and swab samples being sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune for testing".

01:06 (IST)04 Mar 2020
US reports seventh coronavirus death, number of cases exceed 100

The United States on Tuesday confirmed its seventh death in the state of Washington due to coronavirus. The country has 108 confirmed COVID-19 cases in 12 states, according to US health officials. All the novel coronavirus deaths took place in the state of Washington. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday confirmed 17 new cases of the novel coronavirus. The US Department of Homeland Security shut its office for 2 weeks after an employee had visited a nursing home that reported four deaths. The pubic transportation agency in New York taking to twitter said it was using 'enhanced sanitizing procedures' at trains and bus stations.

00:50 (IST)04 Mar 2020
Jammu and Kashmir on high alert due to coronavirus

Jammu and Kashmir has been put on a high alert amid growing coronavirus fears. The UT has currently no positive COVID-19 case but more than 200 individuals with a travel history from high alert countries such as China, Iran, South Korea and Italy are being contacted and to date, 21 cases have been tested to be negative. "UT of J&K is in a state of alert. The surveillance for this virus has been increased ever since the first advisory was issued by the Government of India on 2nd February 2020," Rohit Kansal, Principal Secretary, Planning and monitoring Information said while addressing reporters. Surveillance points at airports in the UT and checkpoints for travelers on road have been set up along with a 24*7 Data Control Centres to receive information of travelers coming from affected countries. (PTI)

23:17 (IST)03 Mar 2020
WHO says only one percent of China coronavirus cases without symptoms

Only 1 percent of the novel coronavirus cases that are registered in China are without symptoms, the World Health Organisation said on Tuesday. The WHO chief addressing reporters in Geneva said "Evidence from China is that only one percent of reported cases do not have symptoms, and most of those cases develop symptoms within two days," PTI reported.  This statement comes in response to the fears that COVID-19 can spread via people who appear healthy and have no apparent symptoms.

22:31 (IST)03 Mar 2020
Protective gear to fight coronavirus running out: WHO

The World Health Organisation has claimed that protective gear such as masks and goggles used by health workers fighting the new coronavirus were running out, warning against "hoarding and misuse."

"We are concerned that countries' abilities to respond are being compromised by the severe and increasing disruption to the global supply of personal protective equipment ... caused by rising demand, hoarding and misuse," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva, warning that "supplies are rapidly depleting." (AFP)

21:30 (IST)03 Mar 2020
Rajasthan: 24 people shifted to ITBP facility after coming in contact with Italian tourist

At least 24 persons, including 21 Italian tourists and three Indians, who had come in contact with the Italian national tested positive for coronavirus in Jaipur, have been shifted to the ITBP facility for testing. The tourist has been admitted to the isolation ward of Sawai Man Singh hospital. He was staying in a hotel in Jaipur and was admitted in a private hospital from where he was referred to a government hospital,  Rohit Kumar Singh, Additional Chief Secretary, Health said. 

20:48 (IST)03 Mar 2020
In Photos | How to keep yourself safe from Coronavirus

The total number of coronavirus cases in India has risen to six as an Italian tourist in Jaipur tested positive Tuesday for COVID-19. See here how to keep safe from the virus 

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20:24 (IST)03 Mar 2020
Delhi's five-star hotel asks staff to self-quarantine after man tests positive in national capital

A five-star hotel in Delhi has asked its staff to go on self-quarantine for 14 days and has enacted elevated precautionary operational protocols at the property as advised by the government.

The development comes after the government confirmed that the individual, who was tested positive for the virus on Monday, dined at La Piazza restaurant at Hyatt Regency Delhi on February 28. "All colleagues who were present at the restaurant on February 28, 2020, have been asked to self-quarantine for 14 days. Hyatt Regency Delhi has also started to conduct daily temperature checks for all colleagues and contractors when they enter and exit the building," Area VP and General Manager Julian Ayers said.

The patient had hosted a birthday party last Friday and all the people who attended have been put under observation. Samples of at least 20 people have been sent for testing to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune, and the results are awaited. Following this, a school in Noida was fumigated, where the children of the patient study.

(PTI)

19:32 (IST)03 Mar 2020
DGCA issues circular to airlines with guidelines to prevent spread of Coronavirus

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation issued circular to all airlines and their crew members with the guidelines for the prevention of the spread COVID-19:

-Ground handling staff entering international flights should have disposable protective gears like surgical masks, gloves
-Advisable that crew on all flights have protective gears like surgical masks and gloves. 
- Adequate hand sanitising facilities should be there at multiple locations in airports for staff and passengers
-Ensure that adequate protective gears like surgical masks, gloves are available in flights for passengers

19:21 (IST)03 Mar 2020
Rajasthan health officials told to screen people who came in contact with Italian tourist

After the Italian tourist was tested positive with coronavirus, the Rajasthan Health Minister Dr Raghu Sharma has instructed health officials to screen all those people who had come in contact with him. The team comprising of senior professors and epidemiologists will inspect hotels and excursions in Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Mandawa (Jhunjhunu) and Jaisalmer.

Jaipur Chief Medical and Health Officer Dr Narottam Sharma said the room where the 69-year-old tourist stayed has been locked. "The room will be disinfected as per the procedure. The hotel authorities will be able to use it only after it is properly disinfected," Sharma said

18:23 (IST)03 Mar 2020
Hyderabad: AYUSH dept distributes coronavirus preventive medication

In Hyderabad, the AYUSH department is distributing coronavirus preventive medicine.

17:55 (IST)03 Mar 2020
Four crew members travelling with Hyderabad's coronavirus-infected person under observation: Indigo

A day after a Hyderabad person tested positive for coronavirus, Indio issued a statement saying that four crew members, who were onboard the Dubai-Bengaluru flight with the infected passenger on February 20, were kept under observation on Monday.  "We're following all prescribed Airport Health Organization guidelines," the airline said. 

The patient had travelled to Dubai from Bengaluru on February 17. He later travelled to Hyderabad on February 22 and consulted a private hospital complaining of fever. As his flu did not subside, he was referred to Gandhi Medical Hospital on March 1.

17:34 (IST)03 Mar 2020
25 hospitals setting up isolation wards in Delhi: Manish Sisodia

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said 25 hospitals in the national capital are setting up isolation wards urging people to follow personal hygiene.

"Chief Minister was informed about the one positive case. In 25 hospitals, the process of setting up of isolation wards is underway. We have to take care of personal hygiene & develop a habit of washing our hands frequently," Sisodia said in a press conference.

He further said, "We are trying to get in touch with people who could be infected or were in contact with coronavirus-infected man."

17:25 (IST)03 Mar 2020
Air India asks fliers travelling with coronavirus-infected person to follow protocols

Air India has asked passengers, who travelled on February 25 with a person who tested positive for coronavirus, to follow Union Health Ministry protocols. A Delhi resident on Monday was tested positive for novel coronavirus. 

The directive as the Air India crew who had flown the Vienna-Delhi flight on February 25 on which he was the passenger to stay in isolation at their homes for 14 days. "This is for the attention of passengers who flew on AI154 Vienna-Delhi of 25th Feb' 20," Air India tweeted. "One of the passengers has tested positive for #coronavirus. Please follow the protocol notified by the Ministry of Health regarding Coronavirus."

17:01 (IST)03 Mar 2020
Govt puts export restrictions on 26 pharma ingredients, medicines

Export restrictions on 26 pharma ingredients and medicines, including paracetamol, vitamin B1 and B12 have been put in place by the Centre. Apart from paracetamol, vitamin B1, B6 and B12, other APIs and formulations over which the export restrictions have been imposed include tinidazole, metronidazole, acyclovir, progesterone, chloramphenicol, ornidazole, formulations made of chloramphenicol, clindamycin salts, neomycin, and paracetamol.

Due to the restrictions, the export of these active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and formulations will require a license from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).

16:41 (IST)03 Mar 2020
Karnataka govt tracks all primary contacts of Bengaluru techie who tested positive

The Karnataka health department conducted medical screenings and took blood samples of all the 25 people who were working with the Bengaluru-based techie, who was tested positive for coronavirus in Hyderabad. The department also screened residents of the apartment where techie was staying along with one of his roommates.

“Once we received information from the Telangana health department about the techie on Monday, we traced all the contacts he made in two days after he returned from Dubai. Twenty-five people in the company, where he was working, have been isolated in their homes and screening is being carried. We have also contacted all the passengers on the bus in which he travelled and they have been screened. The blood samples of all the passengers of the flight, in which he traveled from Dubai to Bengaluru, have been collected as well,” Karnataka Health Minister B Sriramulu said. READ MORE 

16:38 (IST)03 Mar 2020
Death toll in Iran rises to 77

The death toll in Iran has risen to 77 as 11 new deaths due to coronavirus have been reported. After China, Iran has become the second country with massive fatalities. There are now over 2,530 cases of the new coronavirus across the Mideast. Of those outside Iran in the region, most link back to the Islamic Republic.

16:17 (IST)03 Mar 2020
Don't waste time playing the clown with your social media accounts, deal with coronavirus: Rahul to PM

Congress leader and former party chief Rahul Gandhi took a dig at PM Narendra Modi stating he should quit wasting India's time "playing the clown" with his social media accounts when India is facing an emergency."Dear @PMOIndia, Quit wasting India's time playing the clown with your social media accounts, when India is facing an emergency. Focus the attention of every Indian on taking on the Corona virus challenge," Gandhi tweeted.

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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.

Across Japan, children stayed home after the government announced the closing of schools until April. In Paris, the galleries of the Louvre museum were off-limits. With Israel holding a national election, special voting booths were set up for those under quarantine. In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel was rebuffed by her interior minister when she extended her hand to greet him. At the United Nations, officials said they were postponing a major conference on women that had been expected to bring up to 12,000 people from its 193 member countries to New York next week.

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