BH CORRESPONDENT, New Delhi: The worst fear has come true for the Indians. The deadly coronavirus has entered India and by now, 29 confirmed cases have been found. The Union Health Ministry has informed that among the 29 who tested positive for coronavirus, 16 are Italian tourists – who travelled to Delhi last month – with one Indian, who was travelling with them and tested positive on Wednesday. The external affairs ministry said that 17 Indians have been infected abroad.
These 15 travelled to Rajasthan last month as a part of a group of 23 Italians. One of them — currently in Jaipur — tested positive on Tuesday. His wife, too, has tested positive for the virus.
Speaking at the press meet, Union Minister for Health Dr Harsh Vardhan said that from now onwards, all passengers — foreigners or Indians — arriving on international flights will have to undergo medical screening while entering the country.
सीधा प्रसारण !! कोरोनावायरस पर भारत की तैयारियों को लेकर डॉ हर्ष वर्धन, केंद्रीय स्वास्थ्य व परिवार कल्याण मंत्री की प्रेस वार्ता https://t.co/JGwFUa3ym0
— DrHarshVardhanOffice (@DrHVoffice) March 4, 2020
India has banned travellers from four nations. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a review meeting of the coronavirus situation in India on Tuesday and asked the countrymen not to panic. As the fear of coronavirus spread in India with new cases being detected, two Noida schools were shut down as some of the students attended a party organised by the Delhi resident who returned from Italy.
On Monday, two new cases of coronavirus were reported in Delhi and Hyderabad. The Delhi patient had recently travelled to Italy, which is emerging as another hub for the outbreak. Six of his family members in Agra contracted infection from him.
On Tuesday, Modi had tweeted that he had an “extensive review with number of ministries and state governments regarding preparedness levels”. He asked people not to panic and take precautions.
Had an extensive review regarding preparedness on the COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus. Different ministries & states are working together, from screening people arriving in India to providing prompt medical attention.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 3, 2020
Modi also tweeted on Wednesday that he would not participate in this year’s Holi celebrations to avoid mass gatherings. And even Union Home Minister Amit Shah will refrain from any kind of Holi celebration.
“Experts across the world have advised to reduce mass gatherings to avoid the spread of COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus. Hence, this year I have decided not to participate in any Holi Milan programme,” PM tweeted on Wednesday morning.
The Health Ministry has issued the travel advisory on Tuesday — a day after two fresh cases of coronavirus were reported in India — suspending all regular visas/e-visas granted on or before March 3 to nationals of Italy, Iran, South Korea, Japan, who have not yet entered India. The Information and Broadcasting Ministry also urged all private radio and TV channels to give “adequate publicity” to the travel advisory issued by the Health Ministry in the wake of coronavirus outbreak in China and its spread in some other countries.
On Tuesday, a school in Noida was shut for next three days as the child of a Delhi man, who recently tested positive for the virus, study there. Another well-known school in the same area issued a notice saying it will remain shut for the next few days as a precautionary measure.
Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone has also cancelled her trip to Paris over the coronavirus scare that has gripped France.