Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases have hit thirty in India, with more new cases reported.
A man hailing from Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh became the latest person to test positive for the virus which has spread across the globe since it first broke out in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year. At the time of writing, 96,274 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported.
Of the 96,274 confirmed cases, 39,070 are active. Of the remaining 57,204 cases, 53,900 are of individuals who have recovered. The death toll, which currently stands at 3,304, accounts for the remaining cold cases.
The first three cases in India were reported in the state of Kerala. All three were of students who had returned to India from Wuhan and have since recovered. Fortunately, COVID-19 has yet to claim any Indian lives.
Fresh cases of COVID-19 were reported earlier this week. The 27 active cases have been reported from the National Capital Region, including Delhi and Guragaon; Rajasthan; Telangana; and Uttar Pradesh. Sixteen Italian tourists have tested positive COVID-19 whilst in India.
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare estimates approximately 25,000 people to have come into contact with confirmed COVID-19 patients. Swathes of people across the country are under observation with 28,529 people under community surveillance as of March 4th.
Passengers from all flights to the country will now be screened for COVID-19, as opposed to the prior screening efforts which covered just twelve countries. As of March 3rd, 0.5 million have been screened at airports, 15,000 at seaports and more than one million at the Indo-Nepalese border. As precautionary measures, events such as Holi celebrations at the presidential residence Rashtrapati Bhavan have been cancelled. High-level political figures including Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have declined to attend large-scale Holi celebrations due to the outbreak, which has also prompted school closures.
Vardhan has taken to Twitter to assure the country that the COVID-19 outbreak is under control. “Regular monitoring has been launched throughout the country of people traveling to the affected countries,” he said, adding that the Union Government is “in regular touch” with the World Health Organization (WHO) and its regional and country-level offices concerning the outbreak. Prime Minister Modi, Vardhan said, is personally overseeing the situation.