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Number of COVID19 cases rise to 151 in India, says Health Ministry

A cleaning worker wearing protective suit sprays disinfectant inside the cabin of a Lion Air’s Boeing 737-800, amid the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport near Jakarta, Indonesia. (Courtesy: Reuters photo)

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in India has risen to 151, the Health Ministry has said. Out of this, 122 are active Indian cases, 25 foreigners, 14 have been discharged after recovery and three have died. Also, the government informed the Lok Sabha that as many as 276 Indians have been infected with coronavirus abroad, including 255 in Iran, 12 in UAE and five in Italy.

Earlier, Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar informed that an Air Asia flight would bring back Indian students and other passengers that were waiting in transit at the Kuala Lumpur airport in Malaysia. He added that the Indian government had approved and Air Asia flights to take them to Delhi and Vizag.

Uttar Pradesh government declared that students of classes one to eight of all government primary schools in state will get promoted without having to appear in examinations in view of the coronavirus outbreak. Examinations in primary schools were scheduled between March 23 and 28. CM Yogi Adityanath has also announced free treatment of those affected by COVID19 infection.

The first positive case of COVID-19 was confirmed in an Indian Army jawan (from Ladakh Scouts). The jawan’s father has a travel history to Iran, ANI said. The jawan is being treated while his family including sister and wife have been put in quarantine. Jawan’s father has also tested positive, Army sources told ANI.

Earlier on Tuesday, as per PTI reports quoting health ministry, a coronavirus patient in Maharashtra has died taking the death toll in India to three. Coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc across countries and take a toll on multiple economies. States across the country have shut down all schools, colleges, gyms, night clubs and spas until March 31. In fact, the central government has also announced the shut down of all Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)-protected monuments along with central museums as the COVID-19 infection is piercing deep within the Indian subcontinent. There are more than 3,000 monuments under ASI including one of the world’s seven wonders, Taj Mahal. While the closure will impact the exchequer as the monuments receive a huge footfall but the government finds the closure necessary for preventing the outspread of the novel Coronavirus. Meanwhile, the Health Ministry informed that passengers travelling to India from EU countries, the UK, European Free Trade Association and Turkey will not be allowed from March 18, 2020.

As the number of positive cases increases, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das has said that disease will not only impact the domestic economy but the global economy as well. The statement came at a time when airlines, tourism, hospitality and trade business have already been impacted badly in the last one month.

India is also in a sanitization and disinfection overdrive. While various state governments have announced disinfecting buses and public transport, Delhi Metro and Indian railways are also conducting cleaning and sanitization process. In a bid to further curtail the spread of COVID-19, Indian Railways has decided to remove curtains and sheets from all air-conditioned coaches.