All India cases now 39, isolation facilities boosted across country, Arunachal bans foreigners’ entry
With no let up in the coronavirus cases which rose to 39 on Sunday, with five new cases in Kerala, India is pulling out all stops in fight against the deadly pathogen.
While the Centre has asked the States to enhance community surveillance and augment isolation facilities in hospitals across, Arunanchal Pradesh suspended issuing of Protected Area Permits (PAP) to foreigners whereas Kerala warned of taking stringent action against those hiding travel history and symptoms of the infection.
Last week, the Sikkim Government had suspended issuing Inner Line Permit (ILP) to foreign nationals.
The Kerala Government’s move to warn the citizen followed after it reported five new cases on Sunday— a couple in their fifties and their 24-year-old son — who had flown in from Italy last month and evaded airport screening.
Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja said the State has been put on high alert in the wake of the new cases, reported more than a fortnight after India’s first three coronavirus patients — medical students from Wuhan—were discharged from hospitals in the State.
The Minister said all the passengers who travelled with the infected family in the Venice-Doha Qatar airlines QR 126 flight on February 29 and Qatar Airlines flight QR514 from Doha to Kochi that arrived at 8.20 am on March 1 should get in touch with health authorities.
The Kerala Government, however, has decided to go ahead with “Attukal Pongala,” one of the largest all-women religious congregations to be held on Monday, while issuing fresh guidelines including asking those coming from abroad especially from the affected countries to make the offering in their hotels itself.
The number of COVID-19 cases in India, which was just six till last Tuesday, stands at 39, including 16 Italians. The figure includes the three Kerala patients who have recuperated.
A cruise ship with a Panama flag “MSC Lirica” was turned back at the New Mangalore Port on Saturday following the Centre’s advisory to deny entry to cruise ships till March 31 in the wake of the coronavirus scare.
Meanwhile, a diabetic man died in the isolation ward of a hospital in West Bengal’s Murshidabad on Sunday, a day after he was admitted there with suspected symptoms of coronavirus following his return from Saudi Arabia. Though test results of his blood and swab samples for novel coronavirus were awaited, it can be said that Janarul Haque died probably of diabetes, Director of Health Services Ajay Chakraborty told PTI.
Globally, the number of coronavirus cases stood at over 105,800, including 3,595 deaths, across 95 countries.
China, where the epidemic emerged in December, had 80,695 cases, of which 3,097 were fatal.
In keeping with the Central Government’s advisory, the Assam Government announced postponing 33rd Guwahati Bookfair, scheduled to be held later this month in the wake of virus outbreak.
In Tamil Nadu, a 15-year old boy who arrived in Chennai from the US via Doha with his father was sent to the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital in Chennai as he showed some symptoms associated with fever during screening at the airport, officials said.
It is “learnt that the spread of the coronavirus in India is primarily from visitors who had history of travelling abroad recently or through tourists who have visited India,” the Arunanchal Pradesh government order said. “In order to prevent the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) in Arunachal Pradesh, it has been decided to temporarily suspend issuing Protected Area Permit (PAP)…,” it added.
The Union Health Ministry has asked the AIIMS administration in New Delhi to designate a part of the new emergency wing for setting up of isolation beds for suspected COVID-19 patients while six other AIIMS have been directed to keep an isolation bed capacity between 12-15 for coronavirus patients, which can be scaled up to 30 if need arises, an official said.
Besides, the ministry has asked the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Jhajjar, Haryana to augment its isolation bed capacity to 125 from the existing 25. Also, the Jawaharlal Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Pondicherry has been asked to keep aside 13 beds for isolating patients.
The Delhi government has ordered DTC and cluster buses, metro and hospitals to be disinfected on a regular basis as a precautionary measure to deal with the novel coronavirus, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Sunday.
The Union Health ministry has made 52 laboratories functional for testing samples while 57 labs have been designated for helping in sample collection to enhance the capacity for diagnosis and detection of the virus. As of March 6, a total of 4,058 samples from 3,404 individuals have been tested by the network, officials said.
Monday, 09 March 2020 | PNS | New Delhi
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