Passengers being screened at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi as part of efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus, on March 8, 2020.
Passengers being screened at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi as part of efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus, on March 8, 2020.

Five more test positive for coronavirus, number of active cases rises to 41

New Delhi, March 9, 2020

Five more people have tested positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in India, taking the total number of active cases in the country to 41, the government said today.

The total number of COVID-19 cases reported so far in the country is 44, which includes the three cases which were reported in Kerala in late January and the beginninng of February -- three students who had returned home from China -- who have since been cured and discharged from hospital.

A press release from the Ministry of Health this evening said that one new case had been reported from Punjab.

Earlier in the day, the Ministry said four new cases had been reported from different parts -- one each in Kochi, Kerala, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu.

Yesterday, five cases were reported from Kerala -- three members of a family who had travelled to Italy and two of their relatives who came into contact with them after their return home to Pathanamthitta district in the state. The three had not reported their travel to Italy on their arrival at Kochi airport on February 29.

The family is reported to have visited several relatives and attended a few functions and their contacts are being traced.

The release said that 3,003 samples had been tested across the country, of which 2,694 had returned negative results.

A total of 9,41,717 international passengers from 8,827 flights have been screened at airports till now with 54 passengers being referred to IDSP/ hospitals.

To meet the increasing demand and convenient screening of passengers, manpower deployed at airports have been substantially increased. There are now 286 doctors, 160 nurses and 295 paramedics stationed at airports across the country.

The government has once again appealed to people to clearly reveal their travel history and fill the details in the self-declaration forms properly at ports of entry.

The Special Secretary (Health) also clarified that the patient who died in Murshidabad, West Bengal was tested negative for COVID-19 and hence, so far no death has been reported due to the virus in the country.

Union Minister of Health Harsh Vardhan is continuously monitoring and reviewing the status, actions taken and future preparedness of States. Also, the Secretary, Health and Family Welfare is reviewing the situation with States/UTs on a regular basis.

The Ministry also appealed to the people to observe the Dos and Don'ts, coughing etiquettes, hand-washing and avoid large gatherings.

In Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala health officials said the new case reported in the state is a three-year-old child in Kochi, taking the number of active cases in the state to six.

The child had travelled to Italy along with his parents and had returned on March 7.

The family was kept in quarantine in a hospital where the child developed the symptoms.

As many as 11,913 cases are under IDSP community follow-up.

The release said 404 Indian contacts of the US citizen tested positive in Bhutan have been identified and put under surveillance in Assam.

The Cabinet Secretary held a video conference with Chief Secretaries of all States/UTs here today. He emphasized upon actions like surveillance at points of entry (PoE), surveillance in the community, laboratory support and hospital preparedness. He called upon States/UTs to scale up logistics, quarantine facilities, capacity building, information management and risk communication.


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