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India on high alert as COVID-19 cases rise to 6

India on high alert as COVID-19 cases rise to 6
Spl. Correspondent/Agencies NEW DELHI, MAR 3 (NPN) | Publish Date: 3/3/2020 12:28:26 PM IST

India is now on high alert as concerns over the spread of the virus mounted after three more persons tested positive of coronavirus (COVID-19), taking the total number of confirmed infections in the country to six.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday held an extensive review on the preparedness and also urged the people not to panic and instead take basic protective measures. “There is no need to panic. We need to work together, take small yet important measures to ensure self-protection,” PM Modi tweeted and released a 24×7 helpline number (+91 1123978046) and email id (ncov2019@gmail.com) to report any suspected cases and to seek further help.

The Civil Aviation Ministry too conducted a meeting with all airports to review and update guidelines. Officials said the sample of an Italian tourist in Jaipur which was sent to National Institute of Virology, Pune was found to be positive after the first two tests gave contradictory results. With this, six cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the country so far. Three of the patients have recovered.

The 69-year-old Italian’s wife also tested positive for the virus on Tuesday but her samples are being sent to Pune for another test. The couple has been kept in isolation at the Jaipur’s Sawai Man Singh Hospital. Twenty-one Italian tourists and three Indian tour operators, who were in the same group as the couple, have been sent to an ITBP quarantine facility in Delhi on Tuesday for suspected coronavirus exposure, official sources said.

2 Noida schools shut, several families quarantined: After it was found that the child of the Delhi man who tested positive for coronavirus yesterday studied in a Noida school, the school’s authorities postponed its annual exam Tuesday and even decided to remain shut for a day or two. Amid the scare, another school in the vicinity also decided to shut down temporarily.

Several students of the school had attended a birthday party on February 28 in the house of the Delhi man who was later found to be infected with coronavirus. As a precautionary measure, the school announced a shut down and postponed its annual examinations.

It came to light that the man had thrown a birthday party last week for the child, triggering fears that those who attended it including some students and his relatives might be at risk. 

While some family members of the man, an accountant and others who came in contact with him were asked to remain quarantined at their homes in Delhi and Agra, six others from Agra with “high-viral load” have been kept in isolation at Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi and their samples sent to NIV, Pune, officials said. Contact tracing of the people who came in contact with the six is simultaneously being done through the Integrated Disease Surveillance Program (IDSP) network, the Health Ministry said in a statement.

In a statement, the Uttar Pradesh government said that two Agra residents, who had come in contact with the Delhi man, were found to be having symptoms of Coronavirus.

Protective gear ‘rapidly depleting’: World Health Organisation warned on Tuesday that protective gear such as masks and goggles used by health workers fighting the new coronavirus were running out, warning against “hoarding and misuse.”

“We are concerned that countries’ abilities to respond are being compromised by the severe and increasing disruption to the global supply of personal protective equipment ... caused by rising demand, hoarding and misuse,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva, warning that “supplies are rapidly depleting.

India restricts exports of common drugs: India said on Tuesday it would limit export of some common medicines as concerns grow over shortages of chemical ingredients. Many manufacturers of those ingredients in China are shut or making less medicine than usual due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The drugs include over-the-counter painkiller and fever reducer paracetamol and finished pills that include it. Similar restrictions have been placed on the common antibiotic metronidazole, various versions of vitamin B and eight other medicinal chemicals, according to a notice from the Indian government.

 

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