Thermal screening of passengers being conducted at the Guwahati Railway Station in Assam, as part of measures to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus, on March 16, 2020.
Thermal screening of passengers being conducted at the Guwahati Railway Station in Assam, as part of measures to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus, on March 16, 2020. |IANS

Coronavirus: Number of cases in India rises to 125

By Sonny Abraham/NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, March 17, 2020

The total number of confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases reported by India has risen to 125 with 11 more persons testing positive since yesterday, the Government said today.

The new cases reported since yesterday include seven in Maharashtra, two in Karnataka and one each in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Two persons have so far died of the disease -- a 76-year-old man in Kalburgi, Karnataka and a 68-year-old woman in Delhi.

Of the 125 cases, 13 have recovered and have been discharged from hospitals -- four in Uttar Pradesh, three each in Kerala and Rajasthan, two in Delhi and 1 in Telangana, figures put out by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said, on the basis of information received from around the country till 9.15 am today.

Out of the 125, as many as 103 are Indians while 22 are foreigners.

The number of confirmed cases include 39 in Maharashtra, 24 in Kerala, 14 in Haryana, 13 in Uttar Pradesh, eight in Karnataka, seven in Delhi, four each in Rajasthan, Telangana and Ladakh, three in Jammu and Kashmir, and one each in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Punjab and Uttarakhand.

Contact tracing activity of these positive cases has led to identification of more than 5,200 contacts, who are kept under surveillance.

The 4th batch of 53 evacuees from Iran arrived yesterday and they have been quarantined at the Army facility in Jaisalmer. All are reported to be asymptomatic at present and are in quarantine as per protocol.

Addressing a press conference here yesterday, Ministry of Health Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said that, as a precautionary measure, the government has decided to expand the minimum quarantine of 14 days for passengers coming from the UAE, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait. He said the decision will come into effect from March 18.

He also said that the government has prohibited the entry of passengers from European nations from March 18.

To check shortages and blackmarketing, Government of India has declared masks and hand sanitizers as essential commodities under the Essential Commodities Act up to June 30, 2020. Under the Act, States can ask manufacturers to enhance their production capacity of these items to make the supply chain smooth.

Some states have also utilised the enabling provision for infectious disease management as provided under Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897. Under the Act, the States may take, or require or empower any person to take some measures and by public notice prescribe such temporary regulations to be observed by the public.

Under the Disaster Management Act, the States/UTs can now draw funds from the State Disaster Response Fund, in addition to the funds from the state government and the NHM. Ministry of Home Affairs has issued detailed guidelines to States/UTs in this regard.

Also, more than 13.19 lakh passengers have been screened from more than 11,400 flights at the 30 designated airports. In addition, instructions to enforce quarantine for all incoming passengers as per the guidelines are being implemented.