People wearing masks as a precautionary measure against the novel coronavirus outbreak; at Chennai International Airport on February 1, 2020.
People wearing masks as a precautionary measure against the novel coronavirus outbreak; at Chennai International Airport on February 1, 2020. |IANS

Italian tourist in Jaipur tests positive for coronavirus, six suspected cases in Agra

By Sonny Abraham/NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, March 3, 2020

One more person has tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in India, taking to three the number of confirmed cases in the past two days.

The latest case is that of an Italian tourist in Jaipur, who has been confirmed as positive for COVID-19, an official statement said here today.

Yesterday, the Ministry of Health had said that two persons -- one in Delhi and the other in Telangana -- had tested positive for the disease as an outbreak that began two months ago in China has spread to several countries around the world. In China, COVID-19 has claimed more than 2940 lives so far.

Earlier, three cases had tested positive in Kerala -- all students who had returned home from China -- in January-end and early February, but they have since recovered fully and been discharged from hospital.

The Jaipur patient is in isolation and is stable, the Health Ministry said.

Meanwhile, six cases with high viral load have been detected during sample testing in Agra.

These are people who came in contact with the COVID-19 patient from New Delhi, reported yesterday. They have been kept in isolation. Their samples are being sent to National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune for confirmation, it said.

"Contact tracing of the persons who have come in contact with these six persons is also simultaneously being done through the Integrated Disease Surveillance Program (IDSP) network," the release said.

The Delhi patient, who had a travel history to Italy, which has reported a very large number of coronavirus cases. On his return to India, apart from attending a birthday party for his child in Agra, he had also visited a restaurant in a Delhi five-star hotel for dinner.

The crew of the Air India flight on which he travelled to Delhi from Vienna, Austria on February 25 and the staff of the restaurant have been advised to self-quarantine themselves for two weeks as part of the protocol prescribed by the government to prevent the spread of the virus.

The school at which the patient's child studies in Noida near here has also been shut down for a few days for complete sanitisation of the premises.

The Government has also issued fresh travel advisories for immediate implementation, as part of which all regular (sticker) visas/e-visas (including visa on arrival for Japan and South Korea) granted to nationals of Italy, Iran, South Korea, Japan and issued on or before March 3 and who have not yet entered India, stand suspended with immediate effect.

Visas granted to nationals of China, issued on or before February 5, were suspended earlier. That remains in force.

Similarly, visas granted to all foreign nationals who have travelled to China, Iran, Italy, South Korea and Japan on or after February 1, 2020, and who have not yet entered India stand suspended with immediate effect.

Those requiring to travel to India under compelling circumstances may apply for fresh visa to nearest Indian Embassy/Consulate, the advisory said.

Diplomats, officials of UN and other international bodies, OCI cardholders and aircrew from above countries are exempted from such restriction on entry. However, their medical screening is compulsory.

Passengers of all international flights entering into India from any port are required to furnish duly filled self-declaration form (including personal particulars i.e. phone no. and address in India) and travel history, to health officials and immigration officials at all ports.

Passengers (foreign and Indian) other than those restricted, arriving directly or indirectly from China, South Korea, Japan, Iran, Italy, Hong Kong, Macau, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nepal, Thailand, Singapore and Taiwan must undergo medical screening at port of entry.

Indian citizens are advised to refrain from travel to China, Iran, Korea, Italy and advised to avoid non-essential travel to other COVID-19- affected countries, the advisory added.