The first three cases of coronavirus in India were reported from Kerala. (File)
Thiruvananthapuram/ New Delhi:
- Family didn't show travel history and was not screened at airport
- Patients are residents of Pathanamthitta district
- India's first three coronavirus cases were also reported from Kerala
Five of a family tested positive for coronavirus in Kerala, taking the total number of affected people in the country to 39. The state health minister said three of the affected persons returned from Italy and did not declare it at the airport, which is why they were not screened. The Arunachal Pradesh government has blocked entry of foreigners to contain the virus, which has infected 100,000 people across the world and killed more than 3,000 people. Efforts to check the spread of coronavirus has hit Holi celebrations in India and even in Indian communities abroad. Meanwhile, the centre has decided not to let any foreign cruise ship to dock at Indian ports, news agency ANI reported.
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Kerala health minister KK Shailaja said the couple who went to Italy and their 26-year-old son had visited some relatives on their return. All five are in hospital under observation.The parents of the couple, who are in their 90s and lived with them, have been hospitalised as preventive measure, sources said.
A 76-year-old man who recently returned from a trip to Iran has died in Ladakh after showing symptoms associated with the coronavirus outbreak. Mohamad Ali, a former policeman, was admitted to a hospital on Saturday night and his death has prompted authorities to take precautions including cordoning off his village. COVID-19 test results are awaited.
The Arunachal Pradesh government will temporarily suspend the issuance of Protected Area Permits (PAPs) to foreigners, news agency Press Trust of India reported. "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 government order said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a review meeting with officials to discuss the outbreak. They were asked to identify locations for sufficient quarantine facilities and make provisions for critical care in case the disease spreads further.
The Visva-Bharati University in Bengal will not hold its traditional Basanta Utsav (spring festival) celebrations on March 9 in view of the coronavirus scare.
Temples in Dubai have cancelled celebrations on the occasion of Holi and advised against playing with colours to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, reports said.
Of the 39 people infected with the coronavirus in India, 16 are Italian tourists. Three of the first cases reported from Kerala in January were discharged last month. An Indian national is among 15 new cases of coronavirus in the UAE, the country's health officials have said.
In Tamil Nadu, a 45-year-old man tested positive for coronavirus on Saturday, making him the first positive case in the southern state. Authorities called it a challenging case as the test reports from Chennai were unclear and confirmation only came from the second test at the National Institute of Virology in Pune where the virus was confirmed.
As many as 52 laboratories are now operational across the country for testing COVID-19 virus, the health ministry said. An additional 57 laboratories have been provided with Viral Transport Media and swabs for sample collection, it added.
The novel coronavirus spreads through contact with respiratory droplets spread during coughing and sneezing, doctors say. Besides keeping contact to a minimum with an infected person, the preventive measures include frequent washing of hands and use of hand sanitisers. Fresh tissues should be used while sneezing and coughing and then discarded, to ensure the virus does not spread.