30 - 03 - 2020

India reports 28 confirmed cases of coronavirus: Harsh Vardhan

New Delhi, March 4,2020:India has reported 28 confirmed cases of coronavirus so far, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan announced on Wednesday. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared that he would avoid celebrating Holi with an eye on infection control. Following Prime Minister’s example, BJP president J P Nadda and Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday said they will not celebrate Holi or hold any Holi Milan function in view of the coronavirus outbreak.

In a tweet aimed at motivating everyone to avoid mass gatherings PM Modi said he won’t participate in Holi Milan because doctors have advised avoiding mass gatherings on account of COVID19 build up.

India has witnessed 25 positive coronavirus cases in a matter of three days. Earlier, there were three confirmed cases of coronavirus from Kerala, who recovered and were discharged. 

The 25 newly positive cases include one in Delhi, one in Telangana, 16 Italian tourists who landed in India on February 21 and their Indian driver; and six family contacts of the Delhi patient.

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Wednesday said in the wake of the spread of the infection India has decided to universally screen passengers from all countries instead of the 12 currently covered.

Further, with several Indians trapped in Iran which is among four nations that have reported the highest number of infections outside China, India is exploring possibilities of establishing a lab in Tehran to screen Indians there before evacuating them back to India.

“One scientist has gone to Iran and three more are going today to explore setting up a lab there for pre-screening Indians to be evacuated,” Vardhan said.

The issue will be discussed at a meeting of GOM on Coronavirus on Wednesday.

Vardhan said 66 contacts of the New Delhi patient who returned from Italy and 88 contacts of the positive Telangana patient are being traced for quarantine.

Advising respiratory hygiene the minister asked everyone to use the namaste greeting instead of the handshake because the infection spreads by touch.

The Italian group in which 16 Italian tourists have tested positive came to India on February 21 and are now quarantined at ITBP facility in Delhi.

Vardhan said India quarantined them after Italy declined to take them back right now.

The Italian group was infected by the one tourist in Jaipur who tested positive on Tuesday. ( agencies )