The development comes even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the coronavirus situation in the country at a meeting with officials. (Photo Credit: IANS file)
The total novel coronavirus cases in India reached 34, with three people, including two from Ladakh and one from Tamil Nadu, testing positive on Saturday. The two cases from Ladakh have a travel history to Iran, while the person from Tamil Nadu had visited Oman recently.
The ministry also said more than 150 people, who had come in contact with two American nationals who tested positive for coronavirus in Bhutan and had toured various placed in India, have been put under Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP).
The development comes even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the coronavirus situation in the country at a meeting with officials and directed them to identify locations for sufficient quarantine facilities and make provisions for critical care in case the disease spreads further.
At the meeting with all ministries and departments concerned, he said that in view of expert opinion, people should be advised to avoid mass gatherings as much as possible and made aware of the do's and don'ts.
While complimenting all departments for the work done so far, Modi stressed that as the coronavirus scenario evolves, India has to be prepared in its response.
The prime minister also highlighted the need for advanced and adequate planning, and timely response which is critical for managing this infectious disease. According to the statement, the officials were instructed to plan for early testing and evacuation of Indians from Iran where, according to reports, 145 people have died so far due to COVID-19.
On Saturday, a flight from Tehran brought to Delhi swab samples of Indians in Iran who are suspected of having the coronavirus infection. The flight, operated by Mahan Air, then returned with many Iranian nationals.
The meeting was attended by Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, his deputy Ashwini Kumar Choubey, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Niti Ayog member Vinod Paul, Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat, and secretaries of health, pharma, civil aviation, MEA, health research, home, shipping, NDMA and others.
(With PTI inputs)