Millennium Post

276 Indians, including 255 alone in Iran, test +ve

New Delhi: A day after the Ministry of External Affairs claimed that reports could not be "confirmed" about a large number of Indians in Iran testing positive for Coronavirus, the government on Wednesday informed Lok Sabha that a total of 276 Indians, including 255 alone in Iran and 21 in other countries, have been tested positive for the deadly virus.

"Apart from Iran, the other 21 Indians who have tested positive for COVID-19 include 12 in UAE, five in Italy and one each in Hong Kong, Kuwait, Rwanda, and Sri Lanka," the Ministry of External Affairs told Parliament in a written reply.

Here in India, the total number of confirmed cases has gone up to 153, out of which 135 are active cases and 25 are foreign nationals.

The hard work of the Health Ministry has started yielding results as about 10 per cent of the total positive patients for COVID-19 have recovered and have been discharged from the hospitals. As per the government officials, all the 14 cured patients are stable and doing well. India has reported just three deaths out of 153 confirmed cases, which is about 2 per cent of the total cases.

In a related development, the Indian Army has reported its first-ever positive case of Coronavirus after a 34-year-old soldier in Leh tested positive. As a precautionary measure, the Army has placed the Ladakh Scouts Regimental Centre in Leh, where the soldier was posted, under lockdown and has quarantined all soldiers and colleagues of the jawan.

Also, the Army has postponed all its courses that were scheduled to start from March 22, while the National Defence College under the Defence Ministry where senior foreign military officers study with officers from the Indian Defence Services has been temporarily closed.

Amid COVID-19 scare, the BJP has decided not to hold any protest or demonstration for a month. BJP president J P Nadda, in a statement, said: "As the Prime Minister had desired to avoid any type of agitation, dharna, demonstration, the BJP has decided that for the next one month the party won't participate in any agitation and demonstration."

In the wake of low turnouts due to Coronavirus scare, all Indian airlines is mulling to ground around 150 planes as the shock from the COVID-19 pandemic will be "far deeper and much longer."

As COVID-19 fear looms large, Puri district administration has asked tourists to vacate hotel rooms within two days. Hotels and lodges have been directed not to make fresh bookings till March 31, the district administration said.

Meanwhile, senior Railway officials, who were summoned by a parliamentary panel, told the committee that more than 60 per cent tickets were cancelled in March this year due to Coronavirus.

The UK has also advised British nationals in India that if they have symptoms of Coronavirus, they should self-isolate for seven days and contact the helpline in case their condition worsens.

Joining hands in the exercise to manage the crisis, Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has urged all the states and UTs to minimise transport numbers among the people and also if it is not unavoidable, refund of fare may be considered against advance bookings.

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