Coronavirus cases in India at 45 after Karnataka and Punjab report first patients; aircraft sent to bring back Indians stranded in Iran

The number of positive coronavirus cases in India rose to 45 on Monday, with Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu, Kerala, Punjab and Karnataka each reporting one case.

FP Staff March 09, 2020 23:53:54 IST
Coronavirus cases in India at 45 after Karnataka and Punjab report first patients; aircraft sent to bring back Indians stranded in Iran
  • The number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 45 on Monday, with Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu, Kerala, Punjab and Karnataka each reporting one case

  • A three-year-old child in Kerala who returned from Italy with its parents over the weekend is among the new coronavirus patients

  • The ministry in a statement also clarified that the patient from Murshidabad, West Bengal, who died on Sunday had tested negative for the infection

The number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 45 on Monday, with Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu, Kerala, Punjab, and Karnataka each reporting one case. A three-year-old child from Kerala was among the patients of the flu-like disease which has claimed more than 3,000 lives worldwide.

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan held a meeting with Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal after Delhi recorded its fourth coronavirus case. "We are sending detailed guidelines to all states on ways to contain the coronavirus . We have asked states to strengthen laboratories and staffing to effectively deal with the coronavirus and form early rapid action teams," Vardhan told reporters.

The cases in India also include the first three patients in Kerala, who have now recovered.

A three-year-old child in Kerala who returned from Italy with its parents over the weekend is among the confirmed coronavirus cases on Monday, PTI reported. One confirmed case each was reported by state officials in Karnataka and Punjab. These are the first cases of coronavirus in the two states.

However, while there was no immediate confirmation from the Union Health Ministry regarding the cases, the Punjab principal secretary (Health) Anurag Aggarwal said that the patient from Amritsar's Hoshiarpur, who returned from Italy last week, was tracked at the airport and got admitted to a government hospital in the city.

Meanwhile, Karnataka minister Dr K Sudhakar said, "The wife and child of the coronavirus patient in Bengaluru have been quarantined. He returned to Bengaluru from the US on 1 March, and developed symptoms on 5 March. A colleague who was travelling with him has also been quarantined. A total of 2,666 people may have come in contact with the person who has tested positive for coronavirus . He travelled from the US to India via Dubai. Contact tracing is underway."

The Union health ministry also clarified that the patient who was in isolation in West Bengal's Murshidabad, and who died on Sunday had tested negative for the infection and "hence so far no death has been reported due to the disease in the country".

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The number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 45. PTI

In the wake of rising cases of coronavirus , the Cabinet Secretary held a meeting via video conference with chief secretaries of all states and Union territories on Monday. He laid emphasis on actions such as surveillance at points of entry (PoE), surveillance in the community, laboratory support and hospital preparedness.

He also called upon states and union territories to scale up logistics, quarantine facilities, capacity building, information management and risk communication, an official statement said.

As many as 11,913 cases are under Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) community follow-up. Also 404 Indian contacts of the US citizen who tested positive in Bhutan have been identified and put under surveillance in Assam, the ministry said.

Aircraft sent to bring back Indians stranded in Iran

As the COVID-19 scare spread — with 1,10,041 people from more than 90 countries infected and 3,825 people killed — India sent a military transport aircraft with a specialist medical team to Iran on Monday night to bring back Indians stranded in the nation.

About 2,000 Indians are living in Iran, where 7,000 people have tested positive for the contagious disease with flu-like symptoms and 237 people have been killed. According to the Indian Air Force, its C-17 Globemaster military aircraft left for Iran from the Hindon airbase at 8.30 pm and will return on Tuesday morning.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar made a surprise visit to Kashmir  in the evening and met parents of students stranded in coronavirus -hit Iran as well as tourism industry representatives, assuring both groups that the government was seized of their problems and all would be well.

According to the officials, the minister informed the parents that elderly and pilgrims would be brought back first, followed by students. Besides, he made it clear that anyone airlifted from Iran would be sent to a quarantine centre for 14 days of isolation. An estimated 300 people from Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are currently stranded in Iran. These include students, pilgrims and other residents.

Patient in Jammu traveled to Iran, Punjab patient has travel history to Italy

Giving details of the new cases reported in India, officials said the patient in Jammu, the first case in Jammu and Kashmir, is learnt to have a travel history to Iran while the patient from Uttar Pradesh had come in contact with the six people from Agra who had tested positive. The Delhi patient has no travel history and had come in contact with a positive patient from the city, Delhi Health Department officials added.

In the town of Kochi in Kerala, officials said the three-year-old child who tested positive for coronavirus and its parents landed at the Cochin International Airport Limited at 6 am on 7 March from Italy. They underwent thermal screening and the child was detected with symptoms of the disease. The family was immediately referred to the isolation ward of the Kalamassery Medical College Hospital, they said. Samples of the parents have also been sent for lab tests, the officials added.

In the town of Kochi in Kerala, officials said the three-year-old child who tested positive for coronavirus and its parents landed at the Cochin International Airport Limited at 6 am on 7 March  from Italy. They underwent thermal screening and the child was detected with symptoms of the disease. The family was immediately referred to the isolation ward of the Kalamassery Medical College Hospital, they said. Samples of the parents have also been sent for lab tests, the officials added.

The five cases from Kerala reported on Sunday are three members of a family with a travel history to Italy and two of their relatives who came in contact with them. The family is reported to have visited relatives and attended few functions and their contacts are being traced, the ministry said in a statement.

Up north, in Jammu, a 63-year-old woman who declared positive was among the two patients declared "high viral load cases" by the administration on the weekend. They are undergoing treatment at the isolation ward of the Government Medical College (GMC) hospital and are in a stable condition, officials in Jammu said. "The test report of the woman patient is positive, while the report of the other patient is still awaited," a health department official said.

The two with a travel history to Italy, South Korea and Iran had fled the hospital's isolation ward on Wednesday shortly after being admitted there but were brought back within hours of the incident, the official said. Jammu and Kashmir administration spokesperson Rohit Kansal said they are watching the situation and have put 400 people under surveillance in Satawari and Sarwal areas of Jammu. In Mangaluru, a person who arrived from Dubai and was admitted to the isolation ward of a hospital with symptoms of coronavirus went missing, sources said.

Harsh Vardhan holds meeting with Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi LG

Asserting that the government is prepared to deal with the outbreak, Vardhan, in a meeting with Delhi state officials, stressed on the need for coordinated action between departments and agencies for activities such as contact tracing, community surveillance, hospital management and ensuring adequate personal protection equipment and masks.

A total of 8,74,708 international passengers from 8,255 flights have been screened at airports till now with 1,921 passengers identified as symptomatic, the ministry said. Of these, 177 have been hospitalised, 33,599 passengers are under observation and 21,867 passengers have completed their observation period. Of the 3,003 samples tested for COVID-19 , 43 were positive and 2,694 samples returned negative results. The results of the other tests are awaited.

Underlining the Centre's preparedness to deal with COVID-19 , Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers DV Sadananda Gowda said in Bengaluru that there was sufficient stock of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API), need to make medicines, for the next three months.

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A devotee wearing a mask as precautionary measure takes part in Attukal Pongala, in Thiruvananthapura,. PTI

The coronavirus scare cast a shadow over Holi on Tuesday in large parts of north India with many people cancelling their celebrations. In Kerala, notwithstanding the scare and strict government guidelines, lakhs of women took part in the famous "Attukal Pongala" festival, an all-women ritual at the Attukal Bhahavathy Temple. Unlike previous years, women devotees, including children and elders, could be seen wearing face masks while preparing the offering, as a precautionary measure in the wake of the virus outbreak.

The number of COVID-19 cases in India, which was just six till last Tuesday, includes 16 Italians as well as three Kerala patients who were discharged last month following their recovery.

'Fake News Media', Democrats hyping situation, says Donald Trump

US president Donald Trump on Monday accused the 'Fake News Media' and the Democratic Party of inflaming the coronavirus situation even as the number of infections in the country crossed 500.

In another tweet, Trump observed that "37,00 Americans died of the flu last year" but trade and economy are not shutdown because of that.

Meanwhile in Portugal, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa's office said that the 71-year-old president has canceled all public activities and will stay at home amid the coronavirus outbreak, reported AP.

The president recently received a group of students from a school which has since been closed following the detection of a student with COVID-19 . The office clarified that that the infected student wasn't included in the group that visited the presidential palace and said the president had no symptoms.His office said that he decided to self-isolate "to provide an example of taking preventative measures while continuing to work at home.”

China for the second consecutive day recorded a fall in the number of fresh cases detected, with only 40 testing positive for the virus on Monday. A 100-year old Chinese man became the oldest patient in the world to recover from the disease, said Chinese state media reported.

According to Xinhua, the centenarian patient was discharged on Saturday from a hospital in Wuhan. He was admitted to Hubei's Maternity and Child Health Care hospital on 24 February. Apart from the flu-like respiratory disease, the elderly patient had Alzheimer's, hypertension and heart problems. He underwent 13 days of therapy, which included treatment with anti-viral drugs, plasma transfusions, and traditional Chinese medicine.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date:

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