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Coronavirus India cases now 73: Top developments

Coronavirus India cases now 73: Top developments

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in India rose to 73, announced the Ministry of Healthy Thursday. The ministry on its website said that the total number of passengers screened at airports was 10,57,506, while the total number of confirmed cases across India is now 73.

The ministry gave a state-wise breakup for the cases: Delhi reported six positive cases and Uttar Pradesh 10. Karnataka has four cases, Maharashtra 11 and Ladakh three. Besides, Rajasthan, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Jammu and Kashmir, and Punjab have reported one case each. Kerala has recorded 17 cases, including three patients who were discharged last month after they recovered from the infection declared a global pandemic.

Meanwhile, the health ministry asked people not to panic in the wake of increasing number of coronavirus cases in the country saying the focus is on preventive approach and there are adequate facilities available for testing. It said there is no instance of any community transmission, adding there have been only local transmission.

"India's efforts to deal with coronavirus are in consonance with WHO and the focus is on preventive approach. Over 1,500 people are under observation for coming in contact with 73 positive cases of coronavirus," health ministry officials said at a press conference.

On Wednesday, in a big announcement, the World Health Organisation declared coronavirus as a pandemic. Before this, questions had been raised about why, despite the massive spread of COVID19, the WHO had continued to call it an 'outbreak', and not a pandemic.

'Vaccines will take 1.5 to 2 years to develop'

In a media briefing, the Union Health Ministry's joint secretary Luv Aggarwal debunked several myths, while allaying fears and relayed precautionary measures to be undertaken while asserting that there was no instance of any community transmission. "We have managed to isolate the coronavirus, we have 11 such isolates. Vaccines will take a minimum of 1.5 to 2 years," PTI quoted the Health Ministry as saying.

GoM constituted on directions of PMO to monitor, evaluate preparedness

In a media briefing today, the health ministry also said that the government of India has evacuated 900 citizens along with 48 belonging to other nationalities like Maldives, Myanmar, Bangladesh, China, US, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Nepal, South Africa, and Peru. In addition, 83 evacuees from Italy who arrived yesterday have been housed at Manesar facility for quarantine, the ministry added.

"On the directions of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), a GoM was constituted to continuously monitor the situation and evaluate preparedness and formulate measures regarding the management of coronavirus in the country. The GoM has met 6 times so far, guiding, reviewing and monitoring the situation," said Luv Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry.

Mask not always necessary, if a person maintains effective social distance

Reassuring that there's no need to panic, the health ministry said mask is not always necessary if a person maintains effective social distance. The ministry also said that they have around 1 lakh testing kits available, additional testing kits have already been ordered and they are also in procurement. "Right now, luckily for India we do not have any community transmission. We have only a few cases that have come from outside & they have primarily affected their close family members. 52 testing facilities are located across the country. There are a total of 56 sample collection centers," said Aggarwal.

Meanwhile, Rubina Ali from the Civil Aviation Ministry said they "expect 130-150 passengers from Iran to take an Iran Air flight and land day after tomorrow".

(Inputs and image from theindianexpress.com)

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