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No positive case of coronavirus so far in India, says Union Health Minister

A health worker speaking during a coronavirus information camp at an India-Nepal border crossing on Monday.

A health worker speaking during a coronavirus information camp at an India-Nepal border crossing on Monday.   | Photo Credit: AFP

Of the 17 cases, 14 samples were tested and they have come negative for the virus so far; suspected cases kept in isolation at Kolkata, Jaipur, Chandigarh and Patna, says a senior official

“India still has no coronavirus positive case and we will step up our surveillance and testing facilities to ensure that we are able to provide immediate healthcare response”, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Tuesday. 

Over 500 Indian students are currently in Wuhan, China, and they were waiting to return to India. “After they return, they will be put in two-week quarantine to ensure that they are virus-free. So far we have picked up 20 samples from those with history of travel to China and those showing symptoms and none have come positive. We will be scaling up the airport surveillance and lab testing facilities,”' he asserted.

The Minister also stressed the need for disclosure in case people are symptomatic.

A senior Health Ministry official on Tuesday, “No positive case of novel coronavirus has been detected in India though we have suspected cases in isolation in Kolkata, Jaipur, Chandigarh and Patna. Of the 17 cases, 14 samples were tested and they have come negative for the virus so far. We are requesting people for information-sharing through self-declaration on symptoms of the virus,” he said, adding that with the World Health Organisation (WHO) now saying coronavirus could spread through droplets, contact and fomites, the Ministry was working on disseminating this update.

The outbreak, which began less than a month ago in China, has killed 81 people so far and spread to 11 countries so far.

Meanwhile, three person are under observation in the Capital’s Ram Manohar Lohia hospital with flu-like symptoms after they returned from China.

“Three people with suspected coronavirus were brought to the hospital on Monday. They had shown no symptoms after they came back from China and were living with their families in Delhi-NCR. They were brought to the hospital after they started showing some respiratory symptoms,” said Minakshi Bhardwaj, medical superintendent of the RML hospital. Samples testing for the virus is being done at the National Institute of Virology, Pune.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 12:21:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/no-positive-case-of-coronavirus-so-far-in-india-says-health-ministry/article30672622.ece

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