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After 2 more test positive, India steps up screening of Coronavirus

After 2 more test positive, India steps up screening of Coronavirus

New Delhi: As two fresh cases of Coronavirus were reported on Monday, the Union Health Ministry flung into action and asked people to refrain from travelling to China, Iran, South Korea, Singapore and Italy.

Harsh Vardhan, the Union Health minister, said: "Whenever in doubt related to symptoms of the Coronavirus, one must approach the government's helpline number. The situation is being monitored at the highest level. The Prime Minister is himself keeping a close watch."

According to the Union Health minister, two positive cases of Coronavirus have been reported on Monday — the first from Delhi while the other from Telangana and both the cases have travel history. The person from Delhi has a travel history to Italy and is now being treated at RML Hospital while the one from Telangana has a travel history to Dubai, Vardhan said. An Italian man showing symptoms of Coronavirus has been kept under observation at Jaipur's SMS Hospital. Whether he has been infected with the virus is yet to be confirmed. Blood samples have been sent for testing.

In light of the Corona carnage, the share market reacted negatively way after the two positive cases of the deadly disease were reported on Monday. The stock market index fell sharply and it ended 153 points lower at 38,144 while Nifty settled 0.6 per cent lower at 11,132. During the day, the Sensex swung around 1,300 points from the day's high of 39,083 to low of 37,785.

Informing about the positive cases, Vardhan said: "Both the patients had self-reported after they developed symptoms. They tested positive. They are stable and are being closely monitored."

The person in Delhi had self-reported at RML after returning to India while the other had initially gone to a private hospital and then was referred to a government hospital in Telangana.

Vardhan further stated: "As many as 25,738 people are under community surveillance across the country. The Indian government is in discussion with Iran and Italian authorities to evacuate Indians."

He added: "So far 3,217 samples have been tested out of which five tested positive for COVID-19 while reports of 23 are awaited. Italy is reeling under swelling cases of the Coronavirus."

Commenting on the preparedness of the government, Vardhan said: "We are fully prepared to contain the spread of the virus as this is not the first positive case of the disease in India. Earlier, COVID-19 was confirmed among three students from Kerala but later, all of them were discharged from the hospital after treatment."

Vardhan further said so far Coronavirus cases have been found positive in 66 countries all over the world and there have been 139 deaths outside China, while 2,912 deaths inside China.

"Screening is being done at 21 major airports along with 12 major and 65 small ports. At least 5,57,431 people have been screened at the major airports," he said.

As per the health ministry, travelers coming from China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Iran and Italy are also being screened at the airports.

Coronavirus has infected almost 90,000 people globally and caused more than 3,000 deaths, including 2,912 in China so far. The spread of the virus has increased fears of a pandemic, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) raising its global spread and impact risk alert to "very high" on Friday.

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