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India now has 30 patients, 92 suspect cases

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 05, 2020

An additional 23 samples are being reconfirmed

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has confirmed that the number of coronavirus positive cases stands at 30, while testing of 92 more samples is on and the status of another 23 samples is being reconfirmed. A total of 3,542 samples are being tested.

Regarding a suspected case from Raipur, in an official statement, Health Ministry said, “This man has come from Kenya through Dubai. At the airport, he insisted on getting tested. We have sent his sample to Nagpur. Results are awaited. Meanwhile, he is under home isolation.”

While issuing a statement in both Houses of Parliament, Minister of Health Harsh Vardhan said, “To ensure availability of critical items like Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and N95 masks, the export of the same was also restricted. A buffer stock of personal protective equipment and N95 masks is maintained by States and the Union Government.”

While contacts of those who have tested positive are being traced and cluster management and surveillance of all homes falling within a 3-km radius of positive patients is being done, the Ministry has not clarified its stand on community transmission; these are probable unrelated cases that have spread through a community. “The numbers just don’t add up. Going by India’s population, there may be thousand of cases going undetected. Do we have enough infrastructure and awareness to report all symptomatic cases? We don’t,” said a senior public health official from the Health Ministry, seeking anonymity.

India-EU summit put off

Meanwhile, the coronavirus has disrupted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plans to travel to Brussels this month for the India-EU Summit. Both sides have decided to postpone the annual Summit scheduled for March 13 following advisories issued by health authorities, according to the Ministry of External Affairs.

Delhi’s Education Minister Manish Sisodia tweeted that primary sections (till Class V) in all schools — government-run, private, aided and municipal — will remain shut till March 31.

Masks, sanitizers in demand

The demand for hand sanitizers and masks has zoomed so much so that chemists are running out of day’s stocks by evening. “I sold 5,000 face masks in two days. A mask that costs ₹2 now sells for ₹18, and a mask that usually costs ₹200 is now selling at close to ₹300. Manufacturers have jacked up prices, too. I also sold 800 bottles of hand-sanitizer in a single day,” said a chemist from South Delhi.

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Published on March 05, 2020
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