India has confirmed 30 cases of the novel coronavirus as of Thursday after one person in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad city tested positive. Thirteen Indians and 16 Italian tourists had contracted the virus till Wednesday night. Three of these people have recovered. Seventeen Indians in foreign countries have also been infected.
The novel coronavirus – officially known as COVID-19 – cropped up in a live seafood market in Wuhan city of China’s Hubei province late last year. The virus has spread faster in several other countries this week as fresh cases are being reported more outside China.
Here is what we know about the spread of the virus:
- There are 30 positive cases of the virus so far – 15 people, including 14 Italians, tested positive in Delhi, two Italian tourists in Jaipur along with six Indians in Agra, and one each in Delhi, Hyderabad, Ghaziabad and Gurugram.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not travel to Brussels for the India-European Union Summit later this month amid coronavirus scare. The Ministry of External Affairs said the event will be “rescheduled on a mutually convenient date”. Rashtrapati Bhavan’s Mughal Gardens will be shut for the public from March 7 as a preventive measure.
- The External Affairs Ministry said it was in contact with Iranian authorities to evacuate Indians stranded in the country. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said the first clinic to screen people at Qom city is expected to be set up by Thursday evening. Around 1,200 Indians are in Iran currently.
- India’s Ministry of Health said passengers who want to come to India from Italy or South Korea will be required to provide a certificate of having tested negative for the virus from designated laboratories authorised by the nations. This is a temporary step that will be in force from March 10 till reported cases go down.
- The Delhi government said all primary schools in the national Capital will be shut till March 31 to prevent the spread of the virus. The Punjab government has organised awareness camps at Amritsar’s Golden Temple.
- Coronavirus does not spread through chicken, mutton or seafood, the chief of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has clarified.
- Globally, more than 95,000 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the vast majority of them in China where the virus originated. Researchers in China have said that the novel coronavirus is mutating – and has at least two types of the virus now. The more aggressive strain among these has infected 70% of the people tested.
- Toll in Iran has touched 102, one of the highest outside China. Schools and universities in Iran are set to be closed until early April. South Africa and Bosnia confirmed its first positive case of coronavirus, and Switzerland reported its first death. Greece confirmed 21 new coronavirus cases had been detected among those who recently returned from a pilgrimage to religious sites in Israel and Egypt. Italy said it will close all schools for 10 days from Thursday.
- The pet dog of a coronavirus patient in Hong Kong has been infected with the virus, marking what’s probably the first known instance of human-to-animal transmission.
- International Air Transport Association said the virus outbreak may cost airlines $113 billion revenue in 2020.
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