Coronavirus has infected nearly 90,000 people worldwide and killed over 3,000 (File)
A third case of coronavirus was confirmed in the country on Tuesday; the patient is an Italian tourist who is currently in Jaipur. Six others, who came into contact with a patient from Delhi, are also suspected to have the virus. Their samples were sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune after they tested positive at a hospital in Lucknow. All six are currently admitted to a Delhi hospital. The Delhi patient was one of two confirmed cases reported in the last 48 hours. The second of these two is a Bengaluru-based techie who is now in Hyderabad. The total number of infected people in the country is three. Earlier three people from Kerala had contracted the illness after returning from China's Wuhan district, where the virus originated in December last year. These three have been cured, doctors have said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said there is "no need to panic".
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PM Modi tweeted this afternoon that he had an "extensive review with (a) number of ministries and state governments regarding preparedness levels". He said there was "no need to panic". The government has set up a task force to monitor the situation.
The Italian tourist in Jaipur was part of a group of 23 Italians who landed in Delhi and travelled to Rajasthan last month. The rest of the group has left for Agra and are expected to fly out to Italy from Delhi on Tuesday. Italy is emerging as another hub for the disease which made an appearance in Wuhan, mainland China, in December.
The patient had gone to Italy as part of a group tour. Six of the group have tested positive at the Lucknow hospital and now, all the samples have been sent to Pune's National Institute of Virology. All the families have been quarantined at home.
The Delhi patient who tested positive for coronavirus, recently returned from Italy. His two children attend a private school in Noida, which has been shut since he was diagnosed. The school has cancelled internal exams, and its premises are being sanitised by the local health authorities.
According to sources, the Delhi patient was not screened at airport because he flew in from Austria, where the outbreak has not been declared serious. The crew of the Air India flight that flew him last week has been asked to stay in isolation at their homes for 14 days. A similar advisory has been issued to other passengers.
The affected passenger in Hyderabad had travelled on IndiGo flight 6E 96 (Dubai-Bangalore) on February 20. The crew of the flight have been placed under observation.
The novel coronavirus spreads through contact with 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.
The symptoms of the coronavirus may appear any time between 2 and 14 days after the exposure. The symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Worldwide, the virus has infected around 90,000 people, of whom around 3,000 have died.
The Union Health Ministry has advised people not to travel to China, Iran, South Korea and Italy. It has also asked all citizens to avoid non-essential travel to other affected nations.
Passengers from 10 countries -- China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Nepal, Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia -- are being screened at airports. All passengers from Italy and Iran would now undergo thermal screening after the new cases surfaced. Incoming passengers on all international flights are being asked to furnish "duly filled self-declaration form and travel history".