Coronavirus cases rise to 31 as Delhi man tests positive

Updated: Mar 07, 2020, 08:25 IST | Agencies | New Delhi

Union health min holds review meeting, stresses on importance of keeping testing and quarantine facilities, isolation wards and labs in active readiness

Police personnel wear facemasks as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, outside a hotel in Amritsar. Pic/ AFP
Police personnel wear facemasks as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, outside a hotel in Amritsar. Pic/ AFP

A number of events related to Holi and Women's Day celebrations were cancelled while the UGC asked universities to avoid large gatherings as precautionary measures against Coronovirus with a man from Delhi testing positive, the 31st such case in the country. 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. Vardhan informed Lok Sabha that a total of 29,607 people are under observation of Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) network for novel Coronavirus as on March 5. The latest case is the third in Delhi. "The man has a travel history to Thailand and Malaysia. He is stable and being monitored. The total number of confirmed cases in India now stands at 31," a health ministry official said.

Army to step in

In the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak, the Indian Army will establish quarantine facilities for 1,500 personnel at various locations. "Indian Army to establish quarantine facilities for 1,500 personnel [total] which will be activated at locations as part of the overall effort of Government of India. Tentative locations identified are Jaisalmer, Suratgarh, Secunderabad, Chennai and Kolkata," said an official statement.

The popular daily retreat ceremony between India and Pakistan at the Attari-Wagah border in Punjab will be held sans public attendance from Saturday. The Border Security Force (BSF) said it will continue performing the ceremonial duty of lowering the flag and other drills. The Delhi government has directed schools in the national capital to suspend morning assembly as a precautionary measure for Coronavirus, officials said on Friday. The Directorate of Education (DoE) has also
advised schools to withhold biometric attendance for staff till further orders.

Anganwadis closed in Delhi

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said anganwadis have been closed in view of the Coronavirus scare. The government child-care centres have been closed from Friday, he added. In a latest advisory, the government said all international passengers irrespective of their nationality are mandated to undergo universal medical screening at airports.

With rumours doing the rounds that Coronavirus spreads through non-vegetarian food like eggs, chicken, mutton and seafood, Union Fisheries, Dairying and Animal Husbandry Minister Giriraj Singh asked people not to pay attention to them.

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