4,000 people who had come in contact with the 82 positive cases have been identified. (Photo Credit: IANS file)
The number of novel coronavirus cases on Friday rose to 82, which includes a 68-year-old woman, who died in Delhi and 76-year-old man succumbs to his illness in Karnataka, the Health Ministry officials said while cautioning against panicking, saying the situation so far is "not a health emergency".
Addressing reporters, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Health Lav Aggarwal said besides three patients from Kerala who were discharged last month following recovery, seven more coronavirus infected patients have been cured and they will be discharged soon.
“The remaining 71 are clinically stable,” he said. The 82 figure also include 16 Italians and one Canadian. On invocation of the Epidemic Act by the Centre, Aggarwal said,"It is not a health emergency."
With the World Health Organisation declaring novel coronavirus a pandemic, Aggarwal said that 4,000 people who had come in contact with the 82 positive cases have been identified through contract tracing and were being tracked while 42,000 people across the country are under community surveillance.
He said all essential facilities like community surveillance, quarantine, isolation wards, adequate PPEs, trained manpower, rapid response teams are being strengthened further in all states and UTs.
He informed so far, 1,031 persons including 48 nationals have been evacuated from countries such as Maldives, Myanmar, Bangladesh, China, US, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Nepal, South Africa and Peru.
Jammu and Kashmir: The Jammu and Kashmir government on Friday ordered closure of all malls, gyms, swimming pools, recreational clubs in the district till March 31 as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of novel coronavirus, an official said.
As it is not possible to serve this order individually, it shall be circulated in print, electronic and social media for information of all concerned, District Magistrate (DM) Jammu, Sushma Chauhan said.
"It is hereby ordered that all shopping malls, gyms, swimming pools, recreational clubs of Jammu district shall remain closed with immediate effect," she said in the order.
Any violation of this order shall invite action under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) by order of the district magistrate, Jammu, she said.
Bihar: The Bihar government on Friday ordered immediate closure of all educational institutes, coaching centres and cinema theatres till March 31 in view of the novel coronavirus threat and indicated that more steps could be taken in the next few days following a review of the situation.
The Patna zoo, museums and parks run by the state will also remain closed till March 31 to avoid mass gatherings, Chief Secretary Deepak Kumar told a press conference after a high-level meeting on the pandemic was chaired by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Besides, all bookings of government-owned auditoriums for social or cultural events were being cancelled "to prevent large gatherings". Celebrations on the occasion of the Bihar Diwas, the state's foundation day, scheduled on March 22 has also been put off for the same reason, the chief secretary said.
A close watch is being kept on tourists arriving via airport here and at Gaya which attracts a large number of pilgrims from the Far East - and also those entering the state through the border with Nepal, he added.
Haryana: A day after Haryana declared coronavirus an epidemic, state Health Minister Anil Vij on Friday ordered a ban on public rallies, big religious gatherings and sporting events that attract crowds to contain the spread of the infection. The decision was taken after reviewing the situation in the state, he said.
"We took some important decisions. We have banned all public rallies, including political rallies, with immediate effect. Any large social, religious or sporting events, which attract crowds, have also been banned till further orders," Vij, who also holds the home portfolio, told reporters here.
He said 100 health camps will be held across the state to generate awareness about COVID-19 and free medicines, including ayurvedic and homeopathic, will be distributed among people.
The Haryana government had on Thursday declared the contagious coronavirus infection an epidemic.
Over 270 isolation wards with 1,206 beds have been set up in government and private hospitals to deal with any contingency. Rohtak's premier PGIMS Hospital has been designated as the tertiary care centre for treatment of critical patients.
Madhya Pradesh: The Madhya Pradesh government on Friday ordered closure of schools as well as cinema halls in view of the coronavirus threat. While schools, both government and private, will remain closed indefinitely till further order, cinema halls will remain closed till March 31, or as per further order.
An order issued by the Commercial Tax Department and signed by deputy secretary S D Richharia said all cinema halls across the state have been asked to remain closed from March 14 to March 31 or till further order.
Earlier in the day, the state government ordered closure of private and government schools for an indefinite period in view of the virus threat. School examinations, though, would be held as per the schedule.
Teachers and non-teaching staff will have to attend schools during this period, the order stated.
Rajasthan: Rajasthan Assembly Speaker CP Joshi on Friday adjourned the House till March 26 in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. As soon as the House passed Finance Bill and Appropriation Bill by voice vote, Joshi announced the adjournment.
"As you all know that the entire country is worried about coronavirus. The Centre has issued an advisory in this regard and the chief minister has also highlighted the matter. Keeping (this) in view, the House is adjourned till March 26," the speaker said.
Maharashtra: In a drastic step to curb the spread of coronavirus, the Maharashtra government ordered closure of cinema halls, gyms and swimming pools in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad and Nagpur cities from Friday midnight.
Making the announcement in the state Legislative Assembly, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said the government was invoking the Epidemic Diseases Act of 1897 from midnight.
Wherever possible, companies should allow employees to work from home in view of coronavirus threat, he said. Thackeray announced that schools in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad areas will remain shut till further orders. However, the SSC exams in those schools will continue as per schedule, he said.
Chhattisgarh: The Chhattisgarh government on Friday ordered closure of all public libraries, gyms and swimming pools in urban areas of the state till March 31 amid novel coronavirus scare, officials said. The government also issued orders to keep anganwadi and mini-anganwadi centres in the state shut during this period as a measure to prevent the spread of infection.
"All public libraries, swimming pools, water parks and government, semi-government and private gyms located under the jurisdiction of civic bodies will be compulsorily closed till March 31 for the prevention and control of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection," a government official here said.
State Urban Administration Department's Secretary, Alarmelmangai D, in a communique to District Collectors, Municipal Corporation Commissioners and Chief Municipality Officers of Nagar Palika Parishad and Nagar Panchayats, has ordered strict compliance of the directives, he said.
Delhi: The Delhi government has stopped all sports gatherings, including the Indian Premier League 2020, in the national capital amid novel coronavirus threat, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Friday. Addressing a press conference, Sisodia said district magistrates have been asked to ensure that all directives pertaining to coronavirus are implemented and they have also been asked to keep a close watch on the possible spread of the virus in their respective regions.
All sports gatherings will be banned, including the IPL, in the wake of coronavirus threat, he said.
Citing the example of Korea, Sisodia said coronavirus was contained for the first 30 cases but the 31st patient passed it to thousands of other people.
Punjab: Punjab Education Minister Vijay Inder Singla on Friday announced closing of all schools in the state till March 31 as a precautionary measure to prevent spread of coronavirus.He, however, said exams would be continued to be conducted according to schedule.
"Holidays have been declared in all government and private schools in the state till March 31 as a precautionary measure," Singla said in a statement here.
The state government has formed a seven-member group of ministers to daily review the situation triggered by the coronavirus scare. Hospitals are on high alert, with specialized arrangements to tackle any exigency arising out of the crisis.
So far, one person who had returned from Italy had tested positive for coronavirus in Punjab.
Chandigarh: Schools in Chandigarh will remain closed till March 31. Students will have to appear for examinations. However, all teaching and non-teaching staff members will attend the school as usual till further orders.
Bihar: The Bihar government on Friday announced closure of all schools, colleges, coaching institutes, zoos and public parks till March 31 as a precautionary measure against coronavirus pandemic. An announcement to this effect was made by Chief
Secretary Deepak Kumar shortly after a high-level meeting to discuss measures to prevent the spread of the disease in the state was chaired by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
The Chief Minister, however, made it clear that candidates appearing for their CBSE exams will be allowed to do so and that all necessary steps are being taken to ensure that those venturing out in public places do not catch the contagion.
Uttar Pradesh: The Uttar Pradesh government announced on Friday that all schools and colleges in the state where exams were not going on, have been closed till March 22 in view of the coronavirus scare. With the state reporting 11 confirmed coronavirus cases, the Yogi Adityanath government asserted that all precautions were being taken to check the spread of the disease.
Exams would go on according to schedule, he said, adding the people concerned have been instructed to take all precautionary measures and maintain hygiene. The decision would be reviewed on March 20 on the basis of which the future course of action would be decided, the chief minister said.
(With PTI inputs)