Bharatiya Janata Party MP Suresh Prabhu on Wednesday has gone into self-quarantine for 14 days after returning from Saudi Arabia in light of the novel coronavirus pandemic, PTI reported. He was on a visit to Saudi Arabia to attend the second G20 Sherpas’ meeting in Khobar that was held on March 10. The former Union minister, however, tested negative for COVID-19.
Saudi Arabia has reported 171 cases of the coronavirus infection so far. The kingdom on Tuesday closed all mosques for the customary five daily prayers as well as for Friday congregations to limit the spread the infection. It has also closed Umrah pilgrimage, halted international flights, and closed schools and public spaces.
Meanwhile, in India, the Ministry of External Affairs confirmed that 255 Indians have been infected in Iran and the total number of Indians with the virus abroad is 276.
The total number of novel coronavirus cases in India was 147 on Wednesday. Noida reported its fourth case and two more tested positive in Bengaluru. The person in Noida has a travel history to Indonesia.
On Tuesday, Union minister V Muraleedharan, too, put himself in quarantine in Delhi after he allegedly came in contact with a doctor who has since tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The minister of state for external affairs has also tested negative for COVID-19.
According to India’s testing protocol, a person can be tested only if they have travelled to coronavirus affected countries, or if they came in contact with confirmed cases. Those with severe acute respiratory illnesses who require hospitalisation and whose condition cannot be explained by any other cause, even if they do not have travel and contact history, are considered “suspect cases” for Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, as per government guidelines.
It is not clear whether the ministers who were tested had the symptoms.