Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan with MoS Health Ashwini Choubey in a press conference on novel coronavirus, in New Delhi | PTI
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan with MoS Health Ashwini Choubey in a press conference on novel coronavirus, in New Delhi | PTI
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New Delhi: India has recorded 28 positive cases of coronavirus until now, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan said Wednesday.

“Out of 28, three cases are from Kerala, one from Delhi, six from Agra, one from Telangana whereas remaining 16 are group of Italian tourists, along one Indian driver,” he said at a press conference.

The number could go up as the government is conducting contact tracing of all infected patients. It has reached out to 66 people who came in contact with the man from Delhi who tested positive for coronavirus after returning from Italy. “He went on to meet his relatives in Agra and infected six people there,” the minister said.

The minister said the situation is not yet “grave” in India but people should use masks, and avoid gatherings, including schools, to prevent the spread.

With the infection making an entry into the national capital, the central government had called a meeting with Delhi government officials Wednesday morning.

“We have requested the Delhi government to keep all their hospitals ready and develop good quality isolation wards, in order to stay prepared if more cases of coronavirus come up.”

Discussions on to bring Indians back from Iran

India has sent four scientists from its apex research institute, the Indian Council of Medical Research, along with laboratory equipment to Iran to conduct tests on Indians before they are brought back.

“The government is trying to formulate a strategy on how to pick our people from Iran. They want to come back considering the growing number of cases in Iran. We will discuss this issue at a meeting with Group of Ministers today,” Vardhan said.

Coronavirus growing outside China

While the outbreak of the virus is being reported from several countries outside China — where it originated in December — the WHO says the world’s understanding of the virus is growing.

Deaths have been reported in Italy, Iran, the United States and Australia.

A report by Al Jazeera said, “In South Korea, where the president has declared ‘war’ on COVID-19, some 516 new cases were announced on Wednesday morning, bringing the total to 5,328.”

Also, Morocco, Andorra, Armenia and Argentina have confirmed their first cases of the virus in the last 24 hours.

Also read: How the spread of coronavirus is silencing critics of globalisation


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