Coronavirus has infected nearly 90,000 people worldwide and killed over 3,000
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said there is "no need to panic" as a renewed coronavirus scare gripped India today after two new cases of the disease were confirmed over the last 48 hours.
The Prime Minister took to Twitter this afternoon to say he had held an "extensive review with number of ministries and state governments regarding preparedness levels" and said the government was working to contain any possible outbreak.
Asking all Indians to "work together (and) take small yet important measures to ensure self-protection", the Prime Minister also listed "basic protective measures", including frequent washing of hands and covering the mouth with a tissue when sneezing or coughing.
"Had an extensive review regarding preparedness on COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus… different ministries and states are working together, from screening people arriving in India to providing prompt medical attention," the Prime Minister said.
"There is no need to panic. We need to work together, take small yet important measures to ensure self-protection," he added.
Had an extensive review regarding preparedness on the COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus. Different ministries & states are working together, from screening people arriving in India to providing prompt medical attention.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 3, 2020
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has called an urgent meeting with Health Minister Satyendar Jain and other officials to take stock of his government's preparedness to deal with the coronavirus.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan held a high-level meeting on Monday and advised people to avoid non-essential travel to Iran, Italy, South Korea and Singapore
The first case from Telangana was reported from Hyderabad on Monday; a 24-year-old software engineer who works in Bengaluru had worked with people from Hong Kong in Dubai last month, where he is suspected to have contracted the virus.
The first case in Delhi was confirmed after the parent of a child in a private school in neighbouring Noida tested positive for the virus. The school will be shut for three days – from Wednesday to Friday. The 45-year-old man has a travel history from Italy, the Union Health Ministry said on Monday.
According to sources, he was not screened at Delhi airport because he flew in from Austria's Vienna where the outbreak has not been declared serious.
The crew of the Air India plane in which he returned home has been asked to stay in isolation at their homes for 14 days. It's not yet clear if a similar advisory has been issued to the passengers.
An Italian tourist in Jaipur is also suspected to have been infected after he tested positive in the second examination. His samples have been sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune for a final confirmation due to variations in two of his test results.
Earlier three cases had been reported from Kerala; all three had returned from China's Wuhan district, from where the virus is believed to have originated.
The government had mounted a massive operation, led by the Army, to bring back over 600 Indians from Wuhan. As many as 119 Indians stranded on a quarantined Japanese ship were also brought back.
The global death count from the outbreak has crossed 3,000 and cases soared around the world with six deaths in the United States. The deadly virus, first detected in China in December last year, has spread to more than 60 countries and infected more than 88,000 people.