Coronavirus spreads through contact with droplets spread during coughing and sneezing, doctors say.
About 15 Italian tourists - who landed in Delhi last month - and one Indian, who was with travelling with them, tested positive for coronavirus, taking the total number of cases to 28. India recorded its biggest jump in coronavirus cases today. They were a part of a group of 23 Italians who traveled to Rajasthan last month. One of them - currently in Jaipur - tested positive on Tuesday; his wife has also tested positive. The Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan announced that all international flights and passengers will now have to undergo a screening process, and not just the 12 countries listed earlier.
China on Wednesday reported 38 more deaths from the new coronavirus but a fall in fresh cases for a third consecutive day. The death toll in China is now 2,981, the National Health Commission said, with more than 80,200 people infected in total.
Here are the Highlights on Coronavirus outbreak:
Schools Asked To Make Students Aware Of Steps To Check Spread Of Coronavirus
The West Bengal government has asked all state-run schools to spread awareness among students about steps needed to reduce the risk of novel coronavirus infection.
In a circular, the school education department directed district inspectors of schools to instruct heads of institutes to distribute pamphlets to students, advising them to follow basic hygiene habits like frequently washing hands, using handkerchief/tissue paper while sneezing to reduce the risk of infection.
NDMC Forms Teams To Screen People Who Visited Coronavirus-Affected Countries
The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has formed two rapid response teams for screening of residents who had visited coronavirus-affected countries after January 15 and has already screened 56 houses.
"Two rapid response teams consisting of doctor, paramedical staff and public health specialist have been formed for awareness generation and screening of persons who visited coronavirus-affected countries after January 15 belonging to NDMC area," a senior official of NDMC's Health Department said.
70,000 People Screened For Coronavirus In Punjab
As many as 70,000 people have been screened for the deadly coronavirus in Punjab so far, Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu informed the state assembly on Wednesday.
"Their test reports have been found negative," he said during the Zero Hour.
The health minister further informed the House that medical teams have been deputed at the Amritsar and Mohali airports for screening of passengers.
Besides, medical teams have also been deputed at the Attari-Wagah border and the Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur.
"Isolation wards have been set up in all district hospitals," Sidhu said, while highlighting the state''s health department''s preparedness in dealing with the emergent situation.
Rashtrapati Bhavan Cancels Holi Gatherings Amid Virus Scare
The Rashtrapati Bhavan has cancelled the Holi gatherings amid Coronavirus scare. "With alertness and safeguards, we all can help contain the outbreak of COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus. In a precautionary measure, the Rashtrapati Bhavan will not hold the traditional Holi gatherings," the Rashtrapati Bhavan tweeted.
Hyderabad Metro Staff Sprays Disinfectant At Stations, Metro Coaches
The Hyderabad Metro Rail staff is spraying disinfectant at all stations and in metro coaches in an attempt to prevent a coronavirus outbreak in the city. The steps have been taken after Telangana Minister KT Rama Rao urged the Managing Director (MD) of Hyderabad Metro Rail to follow the lead of the authorities in the neighbouring state of Karnataka.
According to the MD Hyderabad Metro Rail, NVS Reddy, "The staff of Hyderabad Metro Rail has started spraying disinfectant in all the stations and metro coaches to ensure that COVID-19 does not spread. The steps have been taken after a techie in the Hyderabad city tested positive at a state-run government hospital."
BJP Leader Asks Delhi Police To Suspend Use Of Breath Analyser Tests
In view of the coronavirus outbreak, Delhi BJP spokesperson Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga has called for suspension of the use of breath analyser tests for alcohol consumption, by the police.
In a letter to Delhi Police Commissioner, Mr Bagga said, "In the light of ongoing ncovid2019(corona) infection, to protect(prevent) further spread of the disease, I request to please suspend the breath analyser tests for drunk drivers."
Centre Intends To Set Up Coronavirus Testing Facility For Indians In Iran: Minister
India intends to set up a laboratory in Iran so that Indians there can be tested for a possible exposure to novel coronavirus before being brought back, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Wednesday.
The Iranian government has not yet given permission for it.
An estimated, 1,200 Indians, mostly students and pilgrims, are in Iran currently.
"If the Iranian government lends its support, a testing facility could be set up there as well, so that Indians there can be tested before they can be brought back," Harsh Vardhan said.
At Least 215 People Came In Touch With Italian group: Rajasthan Health Minister
Rajasthan Health Minister Raghu Sharma informed the House on Wednesday that at least 215 people came in contact with the virus affected group of Italian tourists that had visited various places in the state.
Replying to an adjournment motion in the state Assembly, Mr Sharma said samples of 93 people have been taken.
A total of 51 suspected patients have been tested negative whereas reports of 41 others are still pending, he said.
Over 6 lakh people screened at 21 airports for coronavirus: Prakash Javadekar
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar has said that over 6 lakh people have been screened at 21 airports of the country for Coronavirus. There have been 28 confirmed cases of coronavirus in India so far, 16 of them are people who have come from Italy.
Karnataka residents shouldn't worry about coronavirus: BS Yediyurappa
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa says people in state need not worry about coronavirus as all necessary arrangements have been made to deal with the situation.
International passengers screened at Guwahati airport
International passengers were screened for coronavirus symptoms at the Guwahati airport today.
Avoid large gatherings, crowded areas: Arvind Kejriwal
Task force on coronavirus formed under my leadership, all concerned stakeholders will be part of it, says Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Avoid large gatherings and crowded areas, he adds.
He says coronavirus testing lab will be set up at Lady Hardinge Hospital and also in LNJP Hospital if necessary. "There is no shortage of masks."
"We are concerned about situation but there is no need to panic," the chief minister says.
Amit Shah won't participate in Holi events
Home Minister Amit Shah says he will not be participating in any Holi gatherings this year, due to coronavirus outbreak. His statement came soon after a similar decision by PM Modi.
"Holi is a very important festival for we Indians but in the wake of Coronavirus, I have decided not to participate in any Holi Milan celebration this year. I also appeal to everyone to avoid public gatherings&take good care of yourself and your family".
Passengers on international flights to be screened: Health Minister
"From now on, all flights and passengers will be part of universal screening, not just the 12 countries which we had listed earlier," says Health Minister Harsh Vardhan.
28 cases of Coronavirus confirmed in India: Health Minister
A total of 28 cases of Coronavirus confirmed so far in India of which 16 are from an Italian tourist group, says the health minister. About 14 of them are currently in isolation at the ITBP facility, two are in hospital, he adds.
The 28 cases include -- one in Delhi, six in Agra, 16 Italians and one Indian driver, and one in Telangana. Three in Kerala have now recovered.
Do not panic, take precautions: Health Minister
"On conducting contact tracing of the person tested positive in Delhi, we came to know that he infected 6 members of his family who are in Agra. All 6 members tested positive for coronavirus," Harsh Vardhan says.
He asked citizens to not panic and take proper precautions to prevent the virus from spreading.
15 Italian tourists in Delhi test positive for Coronavirus: Health Minister
After a review meeting, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan says: "We have requested all hospitals in Delhi to develop good quality isolation wards, in order to stay prepared if more cases of Coronavirus are suspected in the national capital."
He says 15 Italian tourists who came to India have tested positive for coronavirus. An Indian driver with them has also been infected, the health minister adds.
Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take a meeting at 12:30 pm today to review preparedness for dealing with the Coronavirus situation in the country.
PM Modi to stay away from Holi events this year
PM Modi says he won't participate in any Holi festival programmes this year.
"Experts across the world have advised to reduce mass gatherings to avoid the spread of COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus. Hence, this year I have decided not to participate in any Holi Milan programme," PM says.
Health minister chairs meeting over coronavirus
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan holds high-level meeting on Coronavirus.
Senior officials of the Health Ministry, MCD Commissioners, Director AIIMS and MS of Safdarjung Hospital are among those attending the review meeting.
15 Italians, quarantined in Delhi, suspected to have coronavirus
Fifteen of 21 Italian tourists, who have been quarantined in Delhi, are suspected to have coronavirus, say sources.
They were a part of a group of 23 Italian tourists who landed in Delhi and traveled to Rajasthan last month.
Samples of all six people in Noida test negative
Samples of all six people in Noida taken on Tuesday for suspected coronavirus test negative, say officials.
Amazon employee in US tests positive for coronavirus
Online retailer Amazon.com Inc said on Tuesday an employee in the United States tested positive for the coronavirus. "We're supporting the affected employee who is in quarantine," a company spokeswoman said in an email to Reuters.
Health Minister to meet Delhi government officials today
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan will hold a meeting today with senior officials from the Delhi Government for management and preparedness amid Coronavirus outbreak.
World bank unveils $12 billion aid package to combat coronavirus
The World Bank unveiled a $12 billion aid package on Tuesday that will provide fast-track funds to help countries combat the coronavirus outbreak.
"The goal is to provide fast, effective action that responds to country needs," World Bank President David Malpass told reporters.
He said it is critical to "recognize the extra burden on poor countries" least equipped in the struggle to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Coronavirus kills 3 more in Seattle
Three more deaths from the coronavirus were reported by Washington state on Tuesday as the nation's largest and only fatal outbreak of the respiratory disease reached beyond the Seattle area in what appeared to be the first known instance of coast-to-coast transmission.
The total number of people diagnosed with the coronavirus in the greater Seattle area rose to 27 on Tuesday, including nine deaths, up from 18 cases and six deaths tallied on Monday, the state Department of Health reported.
China reports fall in new virus cases for third day
China on Wednesday reported 38 more deaths from the new coronavirus but a fall in fresh cases for a third consecutive day. The death toll in China is now 2,981, the National Health Commission said, with more than 80,200 people infected in total. There were 115 new cases in central Hubei province -- the epicentre where the virus first emerged in December last year -- and only four elsewhere in the country.
The figures in China have generally been declining in recent weeks as a series of draconian quarantine measures seem to be paying off.