COVID-19 cases in India rise to 31

NEW DELHI, MAR 6 (NPN) | Publish Date: 3/6/2020 11:46:14 AM IST

 Spl. Correspondent/Agencies

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Friday giving an update on novel coronavirus (COVID-19) stated that one more suspect has tested positive for COVID-19. The COVID-19 confirmed case has a travel history of Thailand and Malaysia. 
According to the health ministry, the patient was in hospital quarantine and stable. There are now 31 confirmed cases in the country, which include 16 Italian nationals.
As per the latest advisory, all international passengers irrespective of nationality are mandated to undergo universal medical screening. Adequate screening measures have been setup and nine more airports have been added to the existing 21, bringing the total to 30 airports, as of today. In addition, a day-long national level training on Covid-19 has been organized by health ministry and WHO. 
During the day, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan held a meeting to review preparedness for COVID-19 management, through video conference with health ministers, chief secretaries of all states and UTs, central ministers and representatives from the related organisations and stressed on the need for keeping testing and quarantine facilities, isolation wards, and labs in active readiness. He asked the states and union territories to start an information education and communication campaign to remove misconceptions about the respiratory ailment.
Assam raises COVID-19 alert: Authorities in Assam on Friday initiated steps to find details of the travel itinerary and people who came in contact with a US citizen, who was in the state before he flew to Bhutan this week and tested positive for coronavirus disease.
Bhutan Prime Minister’s Office announced on Friday morning that the US tourist had tested positive for COVID-19. The patient’s partner and eight other Indians who travelled to Bhutan on the same flight, which had 10 passengers, have been quarantined in the Himalayan kingdom.
The 76-year-old US tourist had come to India on February 21 with his 59-year-old partner and had travelled to several places before boarding a Drukair flight KB241 to Paro in Bhutan from the Guwahati airport on March 2.
Assam has particularly been alarmed by the itinerary of the US couple conveyed by the Centre. The two had spent much of their time in Assam and had gone on a seven-day Brahmaputra river cruise that included a stay at a resort in the Kaziranga National Park.
While the Bhutan government has traced over 90 contacts through the patient’s itinerary that included people he associated with along the way, Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the state government will trace the places the US tourist had visited.
 “We are following all precautionary measures according to the Centre’s notice,” Sarma said.
The American tourist had gone on a weeklong Brahmaputra river cruise on board the MV Mahabaahu, which is run by a private firm in collaboration with the Assam Tourism Development Corporation (ATDC). The cruise ship has a capacity of about 50 people, and was carrying a small group of tourists on 24 February from Guwahati. There were three other passengers on board the cruise ship, in which the unnamed tourist travelled for seven days, embarking and disembarking at various places during the journey.
Meanwhile, two cases of suspected coronavirus infections have been detected in Assam and samples of both have been sent to a laboratory for tests. Assam has not reported any coronavirus case so far.
“We have currently one suspected case in Tezpur, detected on Thursday. We are awaiting the results of his samples. There was another suspected patient whose samples have been sent for testing on Wednesday. We are waiting for that result as well,” Anurag Goel, commissioner and secretary of the health and family welfare department, said.
‘This is not a drill’: WHO urges the world to fight virus: The global march of the new virus triggered a vigorous appeal from the World Health Organisation for governments to pull out “all the stops” to slow the epidemic, as it drained colour from India’s spring festivals, closed Bethlehem’s Nativity Church and blocked Italians from visiting elderly relatives in nursing homes, Associated Press report stated.
As China, after arduous weeks, appeared to be winning its epic, costly battle against the coronavirus, the fight was revving up in newly affected areas of the globe, unleashing disruptions that profoundly impacted billions of people.
The UN health agency urged all countries to “push this virus back,” a call to action reinforced by dramatic surges in new cases. The virus has infected 98,000 people and killed over 3,300.
“This is not a drill. This is not the time for giving up. This is not a time for excuses. This is a time for pulling out all the stops,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in Geneva. 


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