A middle-aged man from Ghaziabad with a recent travel history to Iran has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, taking the total number of confirmed cases in India to 30.
The fresh case was reported amid growing concern over the spread of the respiratory infection even as the health ministry asserted on Thursday that it was taking all steps to tackle the outbreak.
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said the scale of interventions has been increased in alignment with the evolving situation in India where 28,529 persons have been brought under community surveillance and monitoring. India has already decided to screen all international passengers at airports.
Meanwhile, two pending samples sent from Telangana to the National Institute of Virology in Pune have tested negative, said State Health Minister E. Rajender.
Besides the Pune lab, testing of clinical samples has also been initiated in 15 more laboratories. Another 19 laboratories are being prepared to test samples to ensure adequate geographical spread across the country.
The Union health ministry has asked all states to form rapid response teams at district, block and village levels, stating cases of community transmission have been observed.
The Delhi government has ordered immediate closure of primary schools in the national capital till March 31 to prevent the possibility of spread of coronavirus. All Delhi government, aided, private and schools run by civic bodies will remain shut, said Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.
The state government also advised head of departments (HoDs), autonomous bodies and municipal corporations to suspend the biometric attendance system in the wake of the outbreak.
India-EU summit rescheduled
India and the European Union have decided to reschedule Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Brussels for the India-EU summit in view of the advice by health authorities, said the Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday.
MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said Indian embassies across world are on the job to help its nationals even as as several countries grapple with the outbreak of the virus.
He also said no case of any Indian being affected by coronavirus in Iran has emerged.
India witnessed a stark rise in the number of active cases on Tuesday when 16 Italian tourists tested positive for the deadly virus. Three patients who had tested positive in Kerala last month have been discharged following recovery.
Since reporting of an outbreak of Novel Coronavirus on December 31, 2019 in China, a total of 80,270 confirmed cases and 2981 deaths have been reported in China. Outside of China, 12,857 confirmed cases and 220 deaths have been reported in 78 countries including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.