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Coronavirus reaches Delhi and Telangana, health ministry says both patients are stable

Earlier, three patients in Kerala had been kept under isolation after they tested positive for nCoV19. They were later discharged.

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New Delhi: Two positive cases of the novel coronavirus (nCoV19) have been detected in India, the Union Ministry of Health said Monday. While one patient is in Delhi, the other is in Telangana.

According to a statement released by the ministry, “The person from Delhi has a travel history from Italy, while the one from Telangana has a travel history from Dubai.”

The statement adds that both the patients “are stable and being closely monitored.”

In a press conference held Monday, following a meeting of the group of ministers, the ministry confirmed both cases had been self-declared. “They had contacted us and the IDSP’s (Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme). In the second case, the patient had initially gone to a private hospital and he is now being kept in a government hospital,” the Health Ministry secretary, Preeti Sudan, informed.

The ministry, however, refused to divulge details of the quarantined patients citing privacy concerns. “We can only tell you that we have contacted the family members and the offices in which they work,” said Sudan.

According to data provided by the ministry, 3,217 samples have been found to be negative, while five samples tested positive.

Earlier, three patients in Kerala had been kept under isolation after they tested positive for nCoV19. The three persons — all students who had returned from China’s Wuhan — were eventually discharged after they recovered.

Over 15 lakh people screened

Passengers from 12 countries are being screened, according to Health Minister Harsh Vardhan. “We had been screening passengers from China, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan. Vietnam, Malaysia, Nepal, Indonesia, Nepal and Italy have also been added to the list of countries,” he said.

Screening is being done at 21 airports, 12 major seaports, and 65 minor seaports. 5, 57,431 people have been screened at the airports while 12, 431 people have been screened at the major and minor seaports, the minister detailed.

About 10, 24,922 people have also been screened at the states that bordered Nepal, which had reported one positive case.

So far, 124 people from Japan and 112 from China’s Wuhan are being kept under quarantine. The government has also kept 1,186 people from Iran under “community surveillance”.

“Everything is being monitored at the highest level and the health ministry is working in collaboration with other ministries, including the civil aviation ministry, shipping and commerce ministry. We have also asked enquired about personal protective equipment, the N-95 masks and drugs. We have spoken to the UN about this as well,” Vardhan said.

He added that the Department of Pharmaceuticals had assured the ministry of sufficient stocks of drugs.

The global health scare

The coronavirus outbreak has now reached 66 countries with the global death toll exceeding 3,000. China alone reported 2,912 deaths, while 10 other countries have reported 139 deaths in total. In Italy, which is being called the “European hotspot of the disease”, the number of infections doubled in 48 hours with 1,694 confirmed cases.

In the UK, too, the number of cases surged to 36 prompting the government to convene an emergency committee.

The situation seems to be worsening in South Korea as well, which reported a total of 4,212 cases.

Also read: Global death toll for coronavirus crosses 3,000 after China reports 42 more deaths



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