The number of coronavirus cases in India reached 31, including 16 Italians touring through Rajasthan, the government announced on Wednesday. (Photo Credit: File)
An employee of Paytm in Gurugram has tested positive for novel coronavirus, the company said in a statement on Wednesday. It said the employee had recently returned from a vacation in Italy, one of the worst-hit countries from coronavirus. Paytm has advised all its employees to work from home for the next couple of days while the Gurugram unit gets sanitised, according to the statement.
"One of our colleagues based out of Gurgaon office who recently returned from Italy has sadly been tested positive for Coronavirus. He is receiving appropriate treatment. As a precautionary measure, we have suggested his team members to get health tests done immediately," the statement said.
The latest report comes soon after two fresh cases of novel Co nonavirus were reported from Ghaziabad on Wednesday. The patients have been transferred to Delhi's Ram Manohar Lohia and Safdargunj hospitals.
The number of coronavirus cases in India reached 31, including 16 Italians touring through Rajasthan, the government announced on Wednesday as consternation bordering on panic over the contagious disease with flu like symptoms spread across the country.
All international passengers will henceforth be screened at airports, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said at a press conference. Earlier, travellers from only 12 countries were screened at airports for the disease that has claimed over 3,000 lives and infected more than 90,000 worldwide.
With Holi less than a week away on March 10, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP president JP Nadda and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said they would not celebrate the festival of colours or hold any Holi Milan gathering. President Ram Nath Kovind's office also said Rashtrapati Bhavan will not hold any Holi gathering.
“Experts across the world have advised to reduce mass gatherings to avoid the spread of COVID19 Novel Coronavirus. Hence this year, I have decided not to participate in any 'Holi milan' programme,” the prime minister tweeted.
Giving a break-up of the cases in the country, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said one patient is from Delhi, six more, his relatives, are from Agra, one is from Telangana and there are 16 Italians as well as their Indian driver in Rajasthan. The figure includes three earlier cases in Kerala who have been discharged.
The minister said the government has adopted a cluster approach, as part of which health authorities will check and sensitise every household within a three kilometre radius of the house of the infected person.
The government also intends to set up a laboratory in Iran so Indians there can be tested for possible exposure to the virus before being brought back, he said. An estimated 1,200 Indians, mostly students and pilgrims, are in Iran.
As Indians all over came to grips with the global epidemic, the health crisis was discussed at a meeting of the Union cabinet. Union minister Prakash Javadekar said over six lakh people had been screened for coronavirus symptoms in 21 airports.
Briefing reporters, the Information and Broadcasting minister said more than 10 lakh people entering India from the open borders with Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar have also been screened.
While only the virology institute based in Pune is fit for conducting coronavirus tests, the government has now set up 15 more labs and is in the process of establishing 19 additional centres, he said.
“The government is proactively engaged in dealing with coronavirus. The prime minister is monitoring the situation daily,” he said. Several state governments, including in Rajasthan and Delhi, screened visitors and others for the disease in hotels and guesthouses.
(With PTI inputs)