The deadly virus continues to spread with even more cases popping up outside of China. Last month, India announced three cases of Coronavirus in Kerala and the Government released a state calamity warning. However with effective quarantine and medical procedures, the three people were successfully cured and the warning was withdrawn. No new cases were reported in the state.
It seemed to be under control in India but two more positive cases have been revealed; one in Hyderabad and the other in Delhi. The patient from Delhi flew to Italy that currently has over 1,800 confirmed cases of the virus. The Hyderabad patient flew from Dubai to Bangalore and then to Hyderabad.
Delhi and Hyderabad Patients under Quarantine
The Delhi patient attended a birthday party that has led to a school shut down. Shriram Millennium School in Noida has canceled its examination and begun a rigorous screening process. The patient zero of Delhi has been quarantined and is stable according to the hospital officials.
The patient in Hyderabad is being kept on an isolated floor in Gandhi Hospital. The Health Minister held a press meet at the hospital yesterday to lay down the facts of the case. Health Minister Etela Rajendra stated that everyone who was in contact with the infected person is being tracked and informed.
Rajendra said, “There were around 27 others on the bus from Bengaluru who will be traced and notified. All those who were in touch with the man and worked with him have also been notified. We are working with officials from Karnataka and the Centre to keep tabs on the issue.”
Union Health Minister Announces Contact Tracing
Dr. Harsh Vardhan, the Union Health Minister of India addressed the media amidst ongoing fear over Coronavirus. He assured that contact tracing was undertaken to curb the spread of the virus. Dr. Vardhan stated that stringent measures are being taken to control further spread of Coronavirus.
He was quoted as saying, “We advise Indians to avoid non-essential travel to China, Iran, Korea, Singapore, and Italy. Screening of passengers (is) being conducted at 21 airports, 12 major seaports, and 65 minor seaports. 557,431 passengers have been screened so far at airports and 12,431 passengers have been screened on minor and major seaports.”
India Suspends Visas for 4 Countries
The Union Ministry of External Affairs announced the suspension of regular and eVisas for travelers from Italy, Japan, Iran and South Korea. The suspension was announced today with immediate effect. On Tuesday, the Union Government sent out a tweet to inform the suspension due to the spread of Coronavirus in India.
The tweet read, “All Regular/eVisas issued to nationals of Italy, Iran, South Korea and Japan issued on/before March 3, 2020 and who have not yet entered India, stand suspended with immediate effect.”
However, the suspension is exempted for Diplomats, UN Officials, OCI cardholders and aircrew. The exceptions will have to go under a rigorous medical screening at their arrival. The Union Government has also advised Indian citizens to cancel any unnecessary travel plans.
Flight Suspension to China Due To Coronavirus
China is the epicenter of Coronavirus with over 2,900 deaths and 70,000 positive cases. This has led to a number of airlines banning their flights from traveling to Mainland China. Here is a list of the airlines and their suspension dates for flights to China.
- American Airlines: The U.S., based airline has extended its suspension date to 24th April for flights to China and Hong Kong.
- United Airlines: The United flights have been suspended to China and Hong Kong till the 30th of April. It has also temporarily suspended services to Narita, Osaka, Singapore, Tokyo and Seoul.
- Qatar Airways: The airlines informed that flights to China would remain suspended until further notice.
- Delta Airlines: The U.S., air carrier has cancelled flights to China till the 30th of April.
- Air India: The Indian air carrier has announced a suspension of flights to Shanghai and Hong Kong till 30th June.
Most airlines have followed the same pattern including Lufthansa, Air France, British Airways and Singapore Airlines.
Precautionary Steps for Coronavirus
The World Health Organization is working tirelessly to help people cope with the ongoing outbreak. There is a lot of false news spreading, making it difficult for people to get the right information. However the following precautionary measures are straight from the WHO website.
Wash your hands regularly: Use an alcohol-based sanitizer or soap and water to clean your hands as often as possible. Avoid touching your face before you properly cleanse your hands.
Sneezing and Coughing: If you are constantly coughing and sneezing use the inside of your elbow or tissue to contain the cough or sneeze. Discard the tissue into a closed bin immediately. Sneezing into the elbow is to avoid the virus from sticking to your hands and spreading more easily.
Maintain Distance: Keep away from people showing symptoms of the flu. This is not to say they have Coronavirus but a precaution to not contract it.
Medical Care: If you are developing flu-like symptoms and are in a place that has Coronavirus, seek immediate medical attention. Also remember to reveal your travel details to your healthcare provider.
Food: Ensure you do not consume undercooked meat or buy non-veg from an unreliable source. Buy your raw meat from good vendors or go vegetarian until the virus subsides.