Sunday, Aug 14, 2022

As Cases Rise To 81, Government Says Coronavirus 'Not Health Emergency'

The government said India is set to evacuate its nationals from Iran and Milan in Italy

People wearing protective masks in the wake of novel coronavirus scare in New Delhi. Tribhuvan Tiwari/Outlook

The number of novel coronavirus cases on Friday rose to 81, which include 16 Italians and one Canadian, Health Ministry officials said.

Addressing reporters, officials said coronavirus is not a health emergency and that there is no need to panic.

"It is important to understand that it is not a health emergency. We are trying to support initiative taken by the state in terms of managing the situation," said Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry. 

Officials said so far, India has evacuated 1,031 people, including from Maldives, US, Madagascar and China.

"An exercise will be undertaken on Saturday to bring back Indian passengers stranded in Iran. Air India will also send a flight to Milan on Saturday to bring back stranded Indians. It will land on Sunday morning at Delhi airport," officials said.

Meanwhile, 124 evacuees from Japan, 112 evacuees from China are being discharged from Friday onwards after testing negative for COVID-19, they added.

The Centre also decided to allow international traffic only through 19 border checkposts out of 37 and decided to continue suspension of Indo-Bangladesh cross border passenger trains and buses till April 15, or earlier, if so decided.

With the World Health Organisation declaring coronavirus a pandemic, the officials said 42,000 people across the country are under community surveillance. 

(With PTI inputs)