India is also planning to send equipment to set up a testing lab in Iran to screen suspected Indian coronavirus cases. (Photo Credit: Reuters Photo)
India will begin the universal screening of all internal passengers at airports across the country, Union Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Wednesday. The decision by the Modi government came as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases continue to rise. The Minister told media that India has 28 coronavirus positive cases so far. This include 16 Italian tourists, one driver who was travelling with them, three in Agra, one each in Telangana and Delhi. Three positive cases have been cured in Kerala, Dr Harsh Vardhan said. India is also planning to send equipment to set up a testing lab in Iran to screen suspected Indian coronavirus cases. Some scientists have already been sent to Tehran, the minister said.
Advising people to avoid large gatherings, Dr Harsh Vardhan said that every hospital in the country has been instructed to designate a quarantine ward for COVID-19 cases. The minister also said that ‘it is advisable not to play Holi’. He also said that so far, 5,89,000 people have been screened at airports, over 10 lakh screened at borders with Nepal and around 27,000 were currently under community surveillance. So far, the outbreak has claimed 3,200 lives across the world. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is holding a review meet to monitor the government arrangements to combat coronavirus outbreak. The Prime Minister and several BJP leaders took to Twitter to inform about them skipping the Holi Milan programmes.
Several state governments have also launched awareness programmes to dispel the myths related to COVID-19 disease. In India’s tech capital Bengaluru, Intel has said that one of its employees "potentially been exposed" to coronavirus and is currently under quarantine.
Meanwhile, six people from Noida, including three children, whose samples were taken to check for coronavirus infection have tested negative, officials said on Wednesday. The six have, however, been kept self-quarantined at their homes for the next 14 days and if symptoms for COVID-19 develop, they would be retested, the officials said. Among those whose samples were taken on Tuesday were a couple and their 12-year-old son, and a woman and her two children, aged 12 and five, according to Noida Health department sources. These six had come in contact with a Delhi-based man who has tested positive for the coronavirus infection during a party thrown by him on February 28.
(With agency inputs)