COVID-19 cases rise to 39, states on high alert
New Delhi: The confirmed cases of Coronavirus continue to rise in India despite 'huge' bundobust of thermal screening at most airports as well as inland ports. India on Sunday recorded five more cases of the deadly COVID-19 taking the total number of confirmed cases to 39, including 16 Italians.
The Union Ministry, which has been mandated to provide details of positive cases, remained 'silent' on the development and it was confirmed by Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja that five people in Kerala, three with recent travel history to Italy, have tested positive for Coronavirus.
The three, a couple and their son, had evaded health screening at the airport on their return about a week ago and all the five hail from Ranni in Pathanamthitta district, the state Health minister said, adding that as of now their condition is stable, but there is a need to take extra care.
The fresh cases have been reported days after Kerala had successfully treated India's first three coronavirus patients —medical students from Wuhan— who have been discharged from hospitals.
Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday ordered that DTC and cluster buses, Delhi Metro and city hospitals be disinfected on a regular basis as a precautionary measure to deal with the deadly virus.
Appealing Delhi citizens not to panic, the Delhi CM said, "The national capital is fully prepared to deal with the deadly coronavirus. A total of 168 isolation beds had been set up at 25 hospitals in the city for coronavirus patients."
The state has been put on high alert following confirmation of five coronavirus positive cases. Those returning from Covid-19 affected countries should immediately contact the health authorities," Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said in a statement.
Additionally, augmenting facilities to deal with COVID-19, the Union Health Ministry has asked the AIIMS administration to designate a part of the new emergency wing of its Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre for setting up of isolation beds for suspected COVID-19 patients in the national capital.
As per the ministry officials, this isolation facility will have a capacity to hold about 20 patients at a given point of time and once confirmed to be positive, the patient concerned will be transferred to National Cancer Institute (NCI), Jajhar for treatment.
A separate entry gate has been delineated which will receive patients from the ambulance bay. Based on the history and severity, patients will be triaged as Red, Yellow or Green case Besides, the ministry has asked the NCI, Jhajjar to augment its isolation bed capacity to 125 from the existing 25.
The increase in 'doubtful' cases of COVID-19 is making scientists at the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune to work "round-the-clock" to ensure smooth testing of samples for the deadly Coronavirus.
According to the government, a total of 726,122 people from 7,108 flights have been screened at different airports. Between Friday morning and Saturday, a total of 73,766 passengers from 573 flights have undergone screening at airports.
It's also been reported that India on Sunday reported its first COVID-19 suspect death in Leh. A patient admitted to Sonam Norbu Hospital in Ladakh reportedly died due to coronavirus infection. However, Ladakh administration has stated that the patient did not have any characteristic symptoms of coronavirus and was brought to the hospital for urine infection and fever and he died of the same reasons.
Meanwhile, the Arunachal Pradesh government has decided to temporarily suspend issuing Protected Area Permits (PAPs) to foreigners to check the spread of Coronavirus.
It was also reported that a diabetic man died in the isolation ward of a hospital in West Bengal's Murshidabad district on Sunday, a day after he was admitted there with suspected symptoms of coronavirus following his return from Saudi Arabia.
According to doctors, he was admitted to the hospital with fever, cough and cold. Though test results of his blood and swab samples for novel Coronavirus were awaited, it can be said that the person died probably of diabetes, Director of Health Services Ajay Chakraborty said.
"The man was highly diabetic and was on insulin. He returned home from Saudi Arabia and had no money to take insulin for the last three to four days. He was also suffering from fever, cough and cold. We are waiting for the results of medical tests. The possibility of his death due to novel Coronavirus infection is remote," health services director said.
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