Coronavirus: 79000 People Infected Globally; What About India?

The death toll by coronavirus in China has jumped to 2,592 so far; what’s the situation in India?

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Workers wearing protective gears spray disinfectant as a precaution against the coronavirus at a market in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020.
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The WHO experts visited various hospitals in China's coronavirus-hit Wuhan city over the weekend as the death toll climbed to 2,592 with 150 new fatalities while the total number of confirmed cases increased to over 77,000, health officials said on Monday, 24 February.

Globally, however, 79,000 people have been affected.

India Prohibits Exports on Medical Equipment

India on Monday, 24 February, prohibited the export of some medical equipment which are in short supply in the country. However, these types of equipment are in high demand in China, where the outbreak has claimed 2,442 lives.

“The precautions taken by India are in accordance with the WHO’s advisory about the outbreak of Coronavirus infection, which is a global public health emergency. Some restrictions have been imposed on the export of certain medical equipment in view of the fact that these items are in short supply here too. Just like any other country, India with a billion-plus population has the responsibility to take the necessary measures to combat the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak which if not properly managed can become a global risk.”
Shri Raveesh Kumar, Official Spokesperson

However, responding to the needs of our Chinese friends, the Government had allowed a one-time exemption for the export of some items which had been restricted for export.

Further, PM Modi had written to President Xi and offered assistance in the hour of need.
In a humanitarian gesture of medical relief, a gift reflecting the solidarity of the people of India with the people of China, is expected to be delivered to Wuhan by a special flight. We have also called upon the Chinese authorities to allow Indian citizens and those of our neighbouring countries to return by the same flight. We hope that they will give it positive consideration.”

81 Out of 83 in Maharashtra Isolation Wards Test Negative

The Maharashtra government on Sunday said that 81 out of 83 people admitted in isolation wards for suspected exposure to the novel coronavirus have tested negative. While 80 of them have been discharged, three others continue to be hospitalised.

The outbreak of the virus, officially called Covid-19, was first detected in Wuhan in China in December and has since affected thousands of people across the globe.

"Out of the 83 persons, 81 have tested negative for the coronavirus infection. Of these 80 have been discharged.

Three persons are under observation in Mumbai's Kasturba Hospital," a state health department official said on Sunday.

People coming from notified nations including China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Nepal, Indonesia and Vietnam are being monitored as part of the protocol in place to tackle the outbreak, he added.

Since the outbreak of the virus in China and its spread across the globe through travellers, the Maharashtra government, acting on the guidelines issued by the Centre, has been placing people in isolation wards and screening those arriving at the Mumbai international airport from places affected by the outbreak.

Since January 18, a total of 48,295 passengers have been screen at Mumbai airport.

Officials said a 14-day follow-up of 207 of 291 people who arrived in the state from covid-19 affected areas had been completed.

4 Indians on Board the Diamond Princess Test Positive

Four Indian crew members, who underwent tests on board the coronavirus-stricken cruise, Diamond Princess, have tested positive for the virus, taking the total number of Indians infected on the vessel to 12, the Indian embassy said on Sunday, 23 February.

Passengers showing no signs of the deadly disease started deboarding the ship, Diamond Princess, after the quarantine period ended last week.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that over 1,000 passengers and crew will remain on board the ship after the disembarkations.

On Saturday, around 100 more passengers, who were in close contact with the infected people on board, were allowed the deboard the ship.

"Unfortunately, results received as of 1200 JST (Japan Standard Time) include 4 Indian crew members having tested positive," the Indian embassy tweeted.

Earlier, eight Indians were tested positive for the COVID-19. "All 12 Indians are responding well to treatment," the mission said.

The embassy had on Saturday said that Indians, who are still on board the ship, will be tested for the virus infection along with others after all the healthy passengers have disembarked.

"All Indian nationals, amongst others, on board Diamond Princess will be tested for COVID-19 by Japanese authorities, after all passengers disembarked yesterday (Friday)," it said.

A total of 138 Indians, including 132 crew and 6 passengers, were among the 3,711 people, on board the ship when it docked at the Yokohama port, near Tokyo, on February 3. It was quarantined after a passenger who disembarked last month in Hong Kong was found to be the carrier of the disease.

The ship has the largest cluster of COVID-19 cases outside China. Two former passengers of the ship have also died.

According to an AP report on Saturday, with the latest disembarkation, a 14-day quarantine is expected to start for those still on board as many of them did not undergo isolation because they were needed to keep the ship running.

Ninety-seven more people died in China due to coronavirus, taking the death toll to 2,442, while the confirmed cases rose to 76,936, officials said on Sunday.

A team of WHO experts also visited the worst-affected Wuhan city in Hubei province to conduct a detailed probe about the virus which reportedly originated from a seafood market in the city in December last year.

First Indian COVID-19 Patient Discharged

A woman medico, who was India's first novel coronavirus patient being treated at the Government Medical College hospital here was discharged on Thursday, official sources said.

The decision to discharge her from the hospital was taken by the Medical Board, which met and examined the results of the woman's samples that had tested negative for the second time, they said.

The discharge of the student marked the recovery of all three cases of infection in India reported from Kerala.

Two other students -- one from Alappuzha and another Kasaragod -- had been discharged recently after they too tested negative for the virus in fresh tests days after being infected by it.

The woman, India's first coronavirus patient had been undergoing treatment in the isolation ward of the Medical College Hospital here since her return from Wuhan in China last month.

All the three Keralites had earlier tested positive for the coronavirus on their return from Wuhan, the epicentre of the deadly outbreak that has left over 2,000 people dead in China, triggering a scare in the state.

"The health condition of the third patient at Thrissur Medical College Hospital is satisfactory. The second consecutive test result of the blood sample of the student, sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune, has returned negative," Health Minister K K Shailaja had said in a release on Wednesday.

The health department has said a total of 2,242 people are under observation across the state, out of which, eight are in isolation wards of various hospitals and other under home quarantine.

The student admitted to the isolation ward of Alappuzha Medical College was discharged on February 6 while the patient from Kasargod sent home five days later.

Earlier, after the three students tested positive, the government had declared the coronavirus as a state calamity, but withdrew it after effective quarantine and no fresh cases being reported.

(With inputs from PTI)

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