New Delhi: Two fresh cases of the novel coronavirus – one in Delhi and another in Telangana – have been reported in India, taking the number of people who have tested positive for the respiratory virus in the country to five so far, the Union Health Ministry said Monday.
In a late development Monday evening another man showing symptoms of coronavirus has been kept under observation at the Jaipur’s SMS Hospital in Rajasthan, an official said.
The infected person from Delhi recently travelled to Italy while the other patient from Telengana travelled to Dubai, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said. He informed that the government has stepped up its vigil and efforts to detect and prevent the spread of the deadly virus that has killed 2,912 people in China and has spread to at least 58 countries.
Addressing a press conference here, Vardhan advised people to refrain from non-essential travel to Iran, Italy, South Korea and Singapore. Italy is reeling under swelling cases of the coronavirus infection while UAE has reported 19 cases so far.
Vardhan said both the patients had self-reported after they developed symptoms like respiratory problems, cough and fever. “They have tested positive. They are stable and being closely monitored,” Vardhan said. “The blood samples for the man in Rajasthan have been sent for testing. We are waiting for the results, but the preliminary symptoms are the same as the other two men who have tested positive,” informed Vardhan.
The minister further said the Indian government is in discussion with Iran and Italian authorities to evacuate Indians there.
Vardhan, who held a meeting of the group of ministers (GoM) constituted to monitor the current status and actions for prevention and management of novel coronavirus, said India has already suspended e-visas/visas issued to Iranian and Chinese nationals over the rising number of confirmed COVID-19 patients in these countries.
“Depending on the evolving situation, visa restrictions may be extended to other countries,” said Vardhan.
Authorities are screening travellers arriving from Kathmandu, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, South Korea, Singapore, and Japan at 21 designated airports in the country for possible exposure to the novel coronavirus.