Mumbai on Wednesday confirmed its first two positive cases of coronavirus. Two positive cases were also confirmed in Delhi and Rajasthan Wednesday, taking the total number of infections reported in the country to 60. The state health officials, however, put the figures at 63.
The number of cases in the country jumped after positive cases were reported from Karnataka, Kerala, and Maharashtra. As the global death toll from coronavirus topped 4,000 and infected over 1.15 lakh people globally, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the threat of a pandemic was “very real.”
Mumbai records first two confirmed cases
Mumbai on Wednesday confirmed its first two positive cases of coronavirus. The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country has risen to 60, with 10 more positive cases — eight from Kerala and one each from Delhi and Rajasthan — being reported since Tuesday’s update, the Union health ministry said on Wednesday.
Govt suspends all existing visas till April 15 barring some
The government Wednesday suspended all existing visas, except diplomatic, official, UN/International Organizations, employment, project visas till April 15, 2020. Also, the visa-free travel facility which is granted to OCI cardholders has been kept in abeyance till April 15 2020. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on March 13, 2020, at the port of departure.
All travellers, including Indian nationals, arriving from or having visited China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain and Germany after Feb 15 to be quarantined for a min 14 days from 1200 GMT on 13 th March: @MoHFW_INDIA @IndianExpress #CoronaVirusUpdate #COVID19india
— abantika ghosh (@abantika77) March 11, 2020
One more patient confirmed for coronavirus in Rajasthan
One patient, who had returned from Dubai on February 28, has tested positive for coronavirus in Rajasthan’s Jaipur. An Italian couple, who tested positive for COVID-19 last week, is also admitted in the same hospital. The health authorities have got the details of his flight and have begun contact tracing. A total of 235 people who came in contact with the octogenarian and his family have already been traced and are being monitored.
Coronavirus in Kerala: 17 positive cases; schools, cinemas shut till March 31
Eight new cases were reported in the state on Tuesday, taking the total number of infected people to 17. Barring Rajasthan, where the Italian tourists were infected, Kerala has the highest number of patients in the country as well as the youngest patient — a three-year-old was tested positive.
Amid the rise, the Pinarayi Vijayan government has announced the closure of all educational institutions and cinema halls till March 31. The chief minister has also advised the citizens to avoid mass gatherings and to not go to the Sabarimala temple which is set to re-open on March 13. All government-related functions have been postponed.
Of the eight new cases, six are primary contacts of the Italy-returned couple and their son who were not screened at the Kochi airport. The government is making efforts to trace their primary and secondary contacts. Health Minister K K Shaylaja also said that “hiding travel history will be treated as a crime and proper action will be taken”.
In another development, a Kerala doctor alleged that she was sacked by the management of the private clinic she was working with for informing authorities about an NRI patient who reportedly declined to undergo the mandatory check for coronavirus.
The Kerala government has also put 45 people, who reached Kochi from Italy, under observation. While 35 people including two children and two pregnant women have been shifted to a Government district hospital in Aluva, 10 suffering from fever and breathing problems have been admitted to the Kalamassery Medical College Hospital, they said. Samples collected from them have been sent for examination at the National Institute of Virology lab in Alappuzha, they said.
After 5 coronavirus patients in Pune, schools shut; Mumbai on alert
At least two schools in Pune’s Dhayari Phata announced a shutdown till Saturday, as a few members of a housing society in the area were taken for coronavirus screening. Other schools in the city are also contemplating closing down briefly. Maharashtra education commissioner Vishal Solanki confirmed that he has spoken to state education minister Varsha Gaikwad and recommended strong preventive measures to help curb the spread amongst school children including recommending shutting down schools for a while.
A portion of Tower 7 in Magarpatta’s IT park and the third floor of an IT company in Rajiv Gandhi Infotech Park in Hinjewadi were evacuated over coronavirus scare.
Mumbai has also been kept on alert and at least 537 people who have returned from abroad have been tested for the coronavirus in the city.
According to Pune divisional commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar, five squads have been constituted – comprising officers and employees from the revenue, health and police departments – to trace those who came in contact with the Pune couple who had returned from Dubai and tested positive for coronavirus. Their daughter, ola cab driver who drove them and a person who travelled with them on the taxi were also tested positive. The Pune Municipal Corporation is also set to undertake a door-to-door survey in the adjoining areas to ascertain the health of all residents.
Treatment for coronavirus
There is no specific treatment. Patients are mostly given medicines for symptomatic relief — for example, paracetamol to bring down fever, sometimes medicines for relief from pain. Care is also taken to ensure they stay hydrated. The mortality of the virus is a little over 3%, and for most patients the body’s own immune system succeeds in fighting the virus.
Coronavirus in Karnataka: Four positive cases
The wife and daughter of the techie infected with novel COVID-19 are among the latest tested positive for the virus in the state. Another 50-year-old man who travelled to the US via London is another positive case. The state health department is now tracking 2,666 persons who came in contact with the first Covid-19 patient. Health department officials were set to fumigate the school of the daughter as well as the apartment and office complexes where the techie had spent time.
In Bengaluru, City Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao has requested citizens to avoid protests and gathering in large numbers, in a bid to prevent the virus from spreading among masses. He also clarified that precautions will be taken while undertaking breath analysers for drink-and-drive checks. “Special instructions have been given to all traffic police personnel to replace straws after each use and to clean devices regularly. They have also been told to avoid taking direct breath tests by going close to the motorists to check if they smell of alcohol,” Rao said.
The Karnataka government has also sought advice from the central government seeking advice on whether the IPL matches should be given a go-ahead. It has also started a campaign called ‘Namaste over Handshake’ encouraging people to greet in the traditional Indian style to tackle coronavirus spread.
The state government has also cancelled all international conferences in the state with immediate effect.
Schools to be shut in Srinagar over coronavirus scare
All educational institutions, stadiums and sports clubs in Srinagar will be closed from Thursday till further orders. The order is a precautionary measure and “an unavoidable decision” to allow the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) to plan, sterilize and sanitize schools and colleges, Srinagar Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu said on Wednesday. Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Khan, however, said they have received a communication from the Mayor and the matter will be discussed.
1,454 persons under observation in Haryana
As many as 1,454 people have been kept under observation in Haryana out of which 1,432 persons with travel history to affected countries are asymptomatic. Releasing a bulletin on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) update in the state (till March 10, 2020), Haryana’s health department today stated 22 passengers with travel history from affected countries in various districts such as Ambala, Faridabad, Gurugram, Hisar, Kaithal, Karnal, Panchkula, Rohtak and Sirsa were admitted out of which 19 passengers have been discharged from hospitals as their result is negative for coronavirus.
Global news on coronavirus
- The death toll in Iran from the new coronavirus climbed for another consecutive day, killing 62 more people in the past 24 hours as the government on Wednesday raised the nationwide death toll to 354.
- Britain junior health minister Nadine Dorries has tested positive for coronavirus and is self-isolating. The authorities are now begun tracing people who may have had come in touch with Dorries.
- China reported an uptick in new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections, reversing four straight days of fewer new cases, driven by infected individuals arriving from abroad. of the 24 new cases reported in Mainland China, 10 were imported cases, bringing the overall cases from abroad to 79.
- Taiwan too has begun reporting an uptick in imported cases, with 49 imported cases. Meanwhile, Canada has also reported its first death.
- South Korea, which is among the worst-affected countries apart from China, also reported a jump in the cases as 242 new patients were reported today. Turkey also confirmed its first case.
- Sri Lanka announces its first coronavirus case, a 52-year-old tour guide who had come in contact with a group of Italian tourists.
- Appealing for calm, US President Donald Trump said the coronavirus outbreak would ‘go away’. About three-quarters of US states now have confirmed COVID-19 with over 800 Americans infected.
- The New York auto show is set to be postponed until August because of the coronavirus outbreak. A spokesman for the show, Chris Sams, said on Tuesday organizers were “headed in the direction” of moving it to August and a final decision is expected by Wednesday.
- Singapore started charging visitors for coronavirus treatment after it reported new imported cases from neighbouring Indonesia.
- Arsenal’s game at Manchester City was postponed on Wednesday after players from the London club were put into quarantine, making it the first Premier League fixture to be called off because of the new coronavirus.
- In Italy, which has 9,172 cases and 463 deaths, the government ordered everyone across the country not to move around other than for work and emergencies, banned public gatherings and suspended sporting events.
- Spain, with over 1,200 cases and 30 deaths, decided to close schools and universities in Madrid and the Basque capital Vitoria.
- The European Union will suspend a rule requiring airlines to run most of their scheduled services or forfeit landing slots.
- Ireland cancelled all St. Patrick’s Day parades due next week and the government set aside 3 billion euros to tackle the infection.
(With inputs from agencies)
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