Two New Cases Of Coronavirus Detected In India: Health Ministry
File image of commuters waiting for buses during the evening rush hour in New Delhi. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Two New Cases Of Coronavirus Detected In India: Health Ministry


India on Monday recorded two fresh cases of the novel coronavirus, taking the number of people who have tested positive for the respiratory illness in the country to five.

The two new coronavirus cases were detected in Delhi and Telangana. The infected person from Delhi recently travelled to Italy while the other travelled to Dubai, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said, adding that the government has stepped up its vigil and efforts to detect and prevent the spread of the virus.

The three previous patients were from Kerala. They were discharged from state-based hospitals following recovery.

The coronavirus outbreak has so far killed 2,912 people in China. The contagion has spread to at least 58 countries, including Italy and the United Arab Emirates.

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Vardhan advised people to refrain from non-essential travel to Iran, Italy, South Korea and Singapore. He said both the patients had self-reported after they developed symptoms like respiratory problems, cough and fever. "They have tested positive. They are stable and being closely monitored.”

The health minister further said the Indian government is in discussion with Iran and Italian authorities to evacuate Indians there.

Vardhan, who held a meeting of Group of Ministers constituted to monitor coronavirus in India, said the country has already suspended e-visas/visas issued to Iranian and Chinese nationals over the rising number of confirmed COVID-19 patients in these countries. "Depending on the evolving situation, visa restrictions may be extended to other countries," he said.

Vardhan said around 1,086 people who returned from Iran in recent times have been recommended for community surveillance.

Authorities are screening travellers arriving from Kathmandu, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, South Korea, Singapore, and Japan at 21 designated airports in the country for possible exposure to the novel coronavirus.

A total of 557,431 passengers have been screened at airports and 12,431 at major and minor seaports so far, Vardhan said. He also informed that around 1,024,922 people have been screened in the villages of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Sikkim bordering Nepal.

Besides, as many as 25,738 people are under community surveillance across India while 37 people suspected to have COVID-19 symptoms across the country are currently hospitalised. Their samples have been sent for testing, a senior health ministry official said.

Also Read: Coronavirus Outbreak Puts Densely Populated India on High Alert

Responding to a question on whether there could be shortage of drugs in the country as around 70 percent of the active pharmaceutical ingredients come from China, Vardhan said that he has spoken to the minister in-charge of the health ministry’s Department of Pharmaceuticals and that he has informed that "we are adequately prepared to deal with the situation as of now".

So far, 3,217 samples have been tested out of which five have tested positive for COVID-19 while reports of 23 are awaited.

Vardhan also urged people to pose their queries on the helpline numbers made available in case they have symptoms.

Man With Coronavirus Symptoms Admitted To Jaipur Hospital

A man showing symptoms of coronavirus has been kept under observation at Jaipur's SMS Hospital, an official said on Monday. Whether or not he has been infected with the virus is yet to be confirmed. Blood samples have been sent for testing to the SMS medical college laboratory, a state health department spokesperson said. So far, no confirmed case of coronavirus has been reported from the state.

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