- Two people test positive in Ladakh, one in Tamil Nadu
- PM Modi reviews preparedness, asks for enough quarantine facilities
- Primary schools in several districts of Jammu and Kashmir closed
Here are the top 10 developments in the coronavirus outbreak in India:
Of the three new coronavirus cases, two are from Ladakh with travel history to Iran and one is from Tamil Nadu with travel history to Oman, the Health Ministry said. All three patients are stable, it added.
Two more people who returned from Italy are suspected to have the COVID-19 infection in Punjab's Hoshiarpur, news agency ANI reported quoting doctors at the Guru Nanak Dev Hospital in Amritsar. "Their final report is yet to come from the National Institute of Virology, Pune," a doctor said.
All primary schools in several districts in Jammu and Kashmir including Srinagar have been closed after two people were suspected to be infected by the highly contagious novel coronavirus, the government said. Principal Secretary of Planning in the newest Union Territory Rohit Kansal said both the patients had left hospital against medical advice and had to be brought back. "Appeal to public to cooperate fully wherever quarantine is advised," he tweeted.
At least 150 people came in contact with a US tourist who left for Bhutan from Assam and tested positive for the virus are under surveillance. Assam Health Minister Pijush Hazarika said they have identified a resort in Jorhat where the US tourist stayed. "We have isolated the resort workers and staff... The floor of a hotel in Guwahati where he stayed has also been sanitised and isolated," the minister said.
At a meeting with all ministries and departments concerned, PM Modi instructed government officials to plan for early testing and evacuation of Indians from Iran where, according to reports, 145 people have died so far due to COVID-19. On Saturday, a flight from Tehran brought to Delhi swab samples of Indians in Iran who are suspected of having the coronavirus infection. The flight, operated by Mahan Air, then returned with many Iranian nationals.
"All departments should work in convergence and action should be initiated for creating awareness in community about the disease and the precautions to be taken," the Prime Minister was quoted as saying in an official statement.
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.
Reports say people are rushing in to buy face masks and hand sanitisers, leading to a shortage. The government has warned of action against hoarding and black-marketing of these items. The Department of Telecom has asked telecom operators to play awareness messages in place of ring tones.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was screened for coronavirus infection at Delhi airport on his return from Italy on February 29, the party said on Friday. The confirmation came after three caustic digs this week, including two by the BJP's Ramesh Bidhuri, targeting Mr Gandhi and his mother, Sonia Gandhi, and suggesting they should be wary of spreading the disease.
Of the 34 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.