Millennium Post

Coronavirus: 6 cases confirmed

New Delhi: As the positive cases of Coronavirus have increased to six in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday reviewed the government's preparedness in dealing with the spread of the deadly virus in India.

As fear spreads, the Prime Minister, after having a high-level meeting with all concerned ministries, said there is no need to panic and all states and Centre are working together to contain the spread.

In a series of tweets on Tuesday, he said: "Had an extensive review regarding preparedness on the COVID-19 novel Coronavirus. Different ministries and states are working together, from screening people arriving in India to providing prompt medical attention. There is no need to panic. We need to work together, take small yet important measures to ensure self-protection."

In a related development, an Italian tourist in Jaipur has been tested positive for Coronavirus on Tuesday, which takes the total number of confirmed cases in India to six.

The first sample collected from the tourist on Saturday had tested negative, but his condition ever since deteriorated and a second sample was collected, which tested positive on Monday.

"Since there was a variation in the reports, samples were sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune for testing," Health Ministry officials said, adding that it had tested positive.

The Italian tourist had come with his group from Udaipur on February 28 and checked into Hotel Ramada in Jaipur. In the night, he complained of breathlessness and was taken to a private hospital where he was kept overnight.

In another development, six new people with "high-viral load" have been detected during sample testing in Agra. As per the ministry officials, all the six patients have been kept in isolation at Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi and their samples are being sent to NIV, Pune for confirmation.

The six people had come in contact with a 45-year-old patient from Delhi, whose case came to light on Monday and they include his family members. As per sources, the man, who is a resident of Delhi's Mayur Vihar, had visited them in Agra.

As a preventive measure, two private schools in Noida were shut on Tuesday for the next few days and several people, including family members of the Delhi man who tested positive for the virus, quarantined.

The Uttar Pradesh government has also asked hotels and tourists sites in Agra to inform the office of the Chief Medical Officer as soon as visitors from Italy, Iran or China arrive so that they can be screened for infection.

In an official statement, the Health ministry stated that contact tracing of the people who came in contact with the six is simultaneously being done through the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) network.

Taking a strong measure to restrict the spread of the virus, the government on Tuesday issued a travel advisory suspending all regular visas/e-visas granted on or before March 3 to nationals of Italy, Iran, South Korea, Japan who have not yet entered India.

In view of the emerging global scenarios regarding COVID19 disease, in supersession of all earlier advisories, the government issued the new travel advisory. Air India has also asked passengers and its crew, who had flown in the Vienna-Delhi flight on February 25 on which a passenger with Coronavirus positive had travelled, to stay in isolation at their homes for 14 days as Union Health Ministry protocols.

The advisory also suspends Visa on Arrival (VoA) issued on or before March 3 to Japanese and South Korean nationals who have not yet entered India.

Meanwhile, NCP leader Supriya Sule has asked External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to ensure the safe return of 34 people from Maharashtra's Kolhapur, who are stranded in Iran amid the Coronavirus scare.

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