28 confirmed cases of coronavirus in India: Health minister Harsh Vardhan

NEW DELHI: 22 new cases of the novel
coronavirus have been found positive in India, said Union
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan.

This brings the total number of cases in India to 28. Out of these, three patients from Kerala have recovered successfully.

Out of the 22 new cases, 16 have been reported in Jaipur- 15 Italians and one Indian. The group from Italy was on a holiday, while the Indian was the group’s bus driver, said Vardhan. All of them have got the disease from the patient who was confirmed to have contracted the virus earlier.

Another six fresh cases have been confirmed as the New Delhi man’s family, whom he had visited in Agra shortly after arriving from Vienna. A total of 66 people were tested through the ministry’s Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP).

The Ministry of Health had earlier identified these six people having a “high viral load.” Their confirmation comes after the National Institute of Virology in Pune tested their samples.

All of them continue to be in isolation in New Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital, said the minister.

The government shall also now start universal screening for all passengers flying into India from abroad. Earlier, only passengers coming in from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Nepal, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Malaysia were checked.

The government has further directed all public hospitals in Delhi to be prepared for more cases, both confirmed as well as suspected. “We will ensure that all facilities are of the highest order to handle patients that require any isolation,” said Vardhan.

Iran seems to be at the top of the Centre’s concern list, as Vardhan also said that India is trying to set up a COVID-19 screening test in Iran itself. One scientist has already gone to Iran, while three more scientists and the testing equipment will go to Iran later on Wednesday. Vardhan said that the government was seeking Iran’s support to ensure its implementation smoothly.

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