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  India   All India  07 Mar 2020  Coronavirus cases in India rise to 31, major events off

Coronavirus cases in India rise to 31, major events off

Published : Mar 7, 2020, 6:17 am IST
Updated : Mar 7, 2020, 6:18 am IST

The IIFA 2020 and Lotus Makeup India Fashion Week have been postponed.

Medical officials check tourists in wake of the deadly coronavirus at Junagarh Fort in Bikaner on Friday. (Photo: PTI)
 Medical officials check tourists in wake of the deadly coronavirus at Junagarh Fort in Bikaner on Friday. (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: One more suspected case tested positive for Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in New Delhi on Friday, taking the overall number of infected cases in India to 31. The new confirmed case from Uttam Nagar has a history of travel to Thailand and Malaysia. According to the Union health ministry, the patient is now in hospital quarantine and is stable.

A 13-member group of tourists from Italy have been out on quarantine at a hotel in Amritsar. They were asked to not go out till their medical examination is completed, a Punjab government official said. “We are conducting a proper medical examination. If any of them are found symptomatic (for coronavirus), samples will be taken,” an officer said. A group of 16 Italians is now undergoing treatment in India after testing positive for COVID.

In an interesting incident, an Irishman suspected of COVID infection fled from a hospital in Cuttack but was traced to a hotel in Bhubaneswar, where he has been kept in isolation with another person with whom he had come into contact, officials said. In accordance with protocols to manage coronavirus cases, they will be kept in mandatory isolation for 14 days.

The rising cases in India has led to wide cancellations of major events. The IIFA 2020 and Lotus Makeup India Fashion Week have been postponed. The CISF too has put off its anniversary celebrations at Ghaziabad on March 13, while the CRPF deferred its March 8 event. Wings India 2020, a major civil aviation sector event scheduled for March 12-15, will be held on a truncated basis and large public gatherings will be avoided. In fact, in view of travel restrictions, the local representatives of companies would be attending the event.

While the BSF is going ahead with its daily retreat ceremony with Pakistan at the Attari border, the public or spectators will not be allowed to attend it. “This is in line with the government’s guidelines to avoid large congregations of public in the wake of the coronavirus scare,” an official said.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said that anganwadi centres have been closed in view of the coronavirus scare. Citing the coronavirus scare, the Mata Amritanandamayi Math in Kollam too decided not to let anyone to enter its ashram as a preventive measure. The math said these curbs apply to Indian nationals as well as foreign citizens (including OCI holders).

The Indian government intensified universal screening of all international passengers irrespective of nationality. India also began efforts to evacuate its nationals from coronavirus-hit Iran. External affairs minister S. Jaishankar on Friday tweeted that an Indian medical team was landing in Iran to establish a clinic in the city of Qom there by Friday evening for screening of Indian nationals. He added that New Delhi was also working out the logistics of their return with Iranian authorities. Incidentally, this comes amid a spat between the two countries over statements made by Iran on the recent Delhi riots, which New Delhi has categorically rejected.

The health ministry has begun national-level training of personnel to deal with COVID. The first round was attended by 280 health officials from all states, and the hospitals of the railways, the military and paramilitary forces. In Delhi, 10 per cent beds in all government and private hospitals have been asked to be kept for COVID patients.

Due to COVID India’s poultry industry sales dipped to nearly 80 per cent over false claims that chickens were carriers of the new coronavirus and could pass it on to humans. Messages warning people to stop eating chicken because of the contagion have been widely shared on he social media, including Facebook and WhatsApp, in recent weeks.

While the Indian authorities have repeatedly said there was no scientific evidence showing chickens could carry or transmit COVID-19, many Indians and restaurants have stopped buying the meat. “People are not eating poultry at home. They are not going out to eat,” said Gulrez Alam, secretary of All India Poultry Breeders.

Tags: coronavirus, union health ministry