- 58 Indians were airlifted from coronavirus-hit Iran today
- In Kerala, over 12 cases have been reported in the last 3 days
- Centre has decided to bar foreign cruises to dock at Indian ports
Here are top 10 developments in this big story:
The evacuation this morning from Iran - where over 200 people died due to the illness - is the second in two weeks by Indian Air Force's C-17 Globemaster, the largest military aircraft in the IAF inventory. On February 27, 76 Indians and 36 foreign nationals were brought back from the Chinese city of Wuhan, epicentre of coronavirus outbreak, by the IAF aircraft.
In Kerala, where 12 cases have been reported in the last three days, cinema halls will be shut till March 31. About 270 people - who came in contact with coronavirus patients - have been traced. Ninety-five of them are in the "high-risk category," according to officials. Surveillance has been strengthened after fresh cases emerged. "About 1,116 people are under observation, 976 are under home quarantine while 149 people are in hospitals. This includes people with symptoms as well," Health Minister KK Shailaja told reporters.
Eight new cases were reported in India on Monday - one each in Bengaluru, Delhi, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Punjab and two in Pune. In Bengaluru, three more tested positive on Tuesday, taking the number of cases in the state to four.
In Jammu and Kashmir, a 63-year-old Jammu woman, who had travelled to Iran, was among two patients who were declared "high viral load cases" by the administration during the weekend.
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said on Monday that over 8.74 lakh passengers coming from foreign countries have been screened. The government has decided not to let any foreign cruise ship to dock at Indian ports, news agency ANI reported. The government had suspended visas and e-visas granted on or before March 3 to people travelling from Italy, Iran, South Korea and Japan after a surge in cases of coronavirus or COVID-19 in these countries.
On Monday, billions of dollars were wiped off global markets amid coronavirus scare. Domestic stock markets crashed with benchmark indices slumping more than 6 per cent in their biggest single-day fall in at least 10 years, amid a selloff in global markets.
The Manipur government has closed all border entry points with Myanmar to prevent the spread of the highly contagious COVID-19. Entry of foreigners from these border checkpoints is banned.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's next week visit to Bangladesh has been deferred after coronavirus cases were detected in the country, the Ministry of External Affairs informed on Monday. He was invited by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to an event to commemorate the 100th birth anniversary of the country's founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, but since the event has been postponed, his visit stands "deferred", the MEA said.
UN economists have warned that the raging outbreak could cost the global economy between $1.0 and $2.0 trillion this year and called on governments to ramp up spending to mitigate its impact. "We envisage a slowdown in the global economy to under two per cent for this year, and that will probably cost in the order of $1.0 trillion compared to a September forecast," warned Richard Kozul-Wright, head of UN Conference on Trade, Investment and Development (UNCTAD).
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.