Today's Paper

Confirmed COVID-19 cases rise to 114

First case in Uttarakhand; experts call for more testing to check for community transmission

Figures released by the Union Health Ministry late on Sunday put the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country at 110. However, according to reports from States, 114 persons have tested positive. Of the new cases, two were from Maharashtra, two from Kerala and one each from Rajasthan, Karnataka, Telangana and Uttarakhand.

Ten persons have so far been discharged after treatment.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan reviewed action taken by States and Union Territories and preparedness regarding prevention, containment and management, along with senior officials.

The government has maintained that no cases of community transmission — people testing positive for the virus who have no traceable link to travellers who’ve come into India from abroad — have been detected.

Inadequate testing?

However, a senior researcher at an institution affiliated to the Union Science Ministry, who did not wish to be identified, said “it is likely” that community transmission is ongoing in India but has not been recorded in official counts due to inadequate testing.

Uttarakhand reported its first confirmed case with a probationer at the Forest Research Institute (FRI) testing positive. The probationer had returned from Spain on March 11, Director (Health) S.K. Gupta said.

Samples from a 45-year-old woman in Kalaburagi, who was in contact with the 76-year-old man who died of COVID-19 in the district last week, have tested positive. The number of infected persons in Karnataka has now risen to seven, including the victim.

A third case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Telangana of a 48-year-old man, who returned from the Netherlands and was admitted to the Gandhi Hospital on March 11.

Two people, including a U.K. national, tested positive in Kerala, taking the total number of affected in the State to 21, as the government launched a “break the chain” initiative to prevent the spread of the virus.

Earlier in the morning, an Air India flight from Milan in Italy arrived in Delhi with 218 evacuees. They have been quarantined at the Indo-Tibetan Border Police camp at Chhawla.

The 236 persons evacuated from Iran have been quarantined at the Army facility in Jaisalmer. They had been tested prior to their departure and were reported to be asymptomatic. So far, 265 persons returning from COVID-19 affected countries have been quarantined at Thiruvananthapuram, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad, the Union Health Ministry said in a statement.

The first coronavirus case was confirmed in India on January 30. As many as 6,500 samples of 5,900 individuals have been tested in the country, according to the ICMR on Friday.

Recommended for you