Coronavirus in India | Virus cases rise, more airlifts planned

Union Health Ministry puts the number of confirmed cases at 84. Data from States, however, put the number of confirmed cases at 102.

March 14, 2020 10:25 pm | Updated March 15, 2020 12:50 am IST - NEW DELHI

Covering nook and corner:  Health workers spraying disinfectants in a residential area as  a precautionary measure in Jammu on Saturday.

Covering nook and corner: Health workers spraying disinfectants in a residential area as a precautionary measure in Jammu on Saturday.

The list of positive coronavirus cases as confirmed by the Union Health Ministry stood at 84 on Saturday, with two deaths reported so far from Delhi and Karnataka. Data from States, however, put the number of confirmed cases at 102, with Maharashtra reporting 12 new cases.

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Ten persons have been discharged and contact tracing of the positive cases has led to identification of more than 4,000 contacts who have been put under surveillance, health ministry officials said.

“We currently have a total number of 84 confirmed cases including 17 foreigners. More than 4,000 people who had come in contact with those testing positive have been identified,” Special Secretary, Union Health Ministry, Sanjeeva Kumar said on Saturday.

He added that a Mahan Air flight bringing back Indian passengers from Iran will land in Mumbai on Saturday midnight. A special Air India flight is also being sent to Milan, Italy on Saturday to bring back Indian students.

COVID-19 | Interactive map of confirmed coronavirus cases in India

Facility fortified

Stating that all essential facilities like community surveillance, quarantine, isolation wards, trained manpower, rapid response teams are being strengthened further in all States and UTs, Mr. Kumar added that there have, however, been cases of people not willing to be quarantined despite coming in contact with people testing positive.

With new cases being detected in Mumbai, Nagpur and Yavatmal, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Maharashtra rose to 26 on Saturday. Four new patients of coronavirus were confirmed in Mumbai while two persons who had recently returned from Dubai were confirmed in Yavatmal.

No fresh cases were reported in Kerala, as the government decided to strengthen monitoring of people entering the State by rail and road, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said. “A special team will monitor all the passengers of inter-State trains at the first station inside Kerala borders.”

An IIT-Roorkee student, who recently returned from Japan and had symptoms of coronavirus has been admitted to the isolation ward of a hospital in Haridwar, an official said. According to the district Health Department, 854 people in Gautam Buddh Nagar in Uttar Pradesh were under surveillance till Friday.

Also read:Coronavirus live updates | No fresh cases in Kerala, says Pinarayi Vijayan

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to share the Health Ministry’s guidelines on home quarantine even as officials announced that the Padma Award ceremonies, scheduled to be held on March 26 and April 3, have been postponed in view of the outbreak.

According to the Ministry guidelines, those quarantined at home should stay in a well-ventilated, room, preferably with an attached or separate toilet. If another family member needs to stay in the same room, it’s advisable to maintain a distance of at least a metre between the two. Quarantined individuals must stay away from the elderly, pregnant women, children and persons with co-morbidities within the household as their immunity may be low.

The Health Ministry has now also said that people under moderate risk which includes “asymptomatic passengers coming from China, Democratic Republic of Korea, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Iran and are elderly (above 60 years) who are hypertensive, diabetic, asthmatic, are to be shifted by State governments to a dedicated quarantine facility and monitored daily by State governments for next 14 days. In case they develop symptoms, they should be isolated.”

The Delhi government will make quarantine facilities for around 1,400 people at police training schools in Jharoda Kala and Wazirabad,a statement issued by the Lt Governor’s office said. In the second phase, DDA Flats at Narela will be prepared with quarantine facilities and required infrastructure to accommodate around 4,000 persons.

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