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Govt Focuses On 'Social Distancing' As India Reports Third Fatality And Cases Spike To 137

On Tuesday, a 64-year-old man from Mumbai with a travel history to Dubai died of the novel coronavirus.

Govt Focuses On 'Social Distancing' As India Reports Third Fatality And Cases Spike To 137
Peoples wearing a protective mask in wake of the deadly novel coronavirus, waits to board metro at a station, in New Delhi. | Photo by Jitender Gupta/Outlook
Govt Focuses On 'Social Distancing' As India Reports Third Fatality And Cases Spike To 137
outlookindia.com
2020-03-18T08:32:18+05:30

The number of novel coronavirus cases in the country rose to 137 on Tuesday after fresh cases were reported from several states, the Health Ministry said.

The cases include 22 foreign nationals and three persons who died in Delhi, Karnataka, and Maharashtra.

The Heath Ministry also said that guidelines for management of bodies infected with the disease have been issued to define a set of protocols in handling such cases. 

Meanwhile, the Centre deputed 30 officers in the rank of Joint Secretary and above to states so that they can effectively deal with the outbreak of coronavirus.

"The Government of India deputes 30 officers of Joint Secretary and above level, to assist state governments in effective management of #COVID19india," an official spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, the cabinet secretary held a review meeting of officials concerned from various ministries and departments on Tuesday.

During the meeting, the secretary emphasised on the implementation of social distancing measures as detailed by guidelines of Ministry of Health, an official statement said.

"Social distancing would have a major impact in limiting the spread of the disease," he said as he reviewed the preparedness of various states for quarantine facilities, hospital management and awareness campaigns.

Catch all the latest updates on Coronavirus here

The confirmed cases continued to rise in several states. Delhi has so far reported seven positive cases while Uttar Pradesh has recorded 13 cases, including one foreigner, as per the Health Ministry's figures.

Karnataka has 8 coronavirus patients while Maharashtra 39, including 3 foreigners. Ladakh has reported four cases while Jammu and Kashmir three. Telangana has reported four cases.

Rajasthan has also reported four cases including that of two foreigners. Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Punjab have reported one case each.

Odisha reported its first case on Monday.

Also Read: US Begins First Human Trial Of Coronavirus Vaccine, 45 Adults To Be Tested

In Haryana, there are 15 cases, which includes fourteen foreigners, while Uttarakhand has reported one case.

Kerala has recorded 24 cases including two foreign nationals. The number also includes three patients who were discharged last month after they recovered from the contagious infection with flu-like symptoms.

According to the ministry's data, 13 people have been discharged so far, including the three Kerala patients.

On Tuesday, a 64-year-old man from Mumbai with a travel history to Dubai died of the novel coronavirus.

While a 76-year-old man from Kalaburagi who returned from Saudi Arabia died on Tuesday last, a 68-year-old woman in Delhi who had tested positive for coronavirus passed away at the Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital on Friday night.

Amid rising coronavirus cases in India, the government has said no community transmission of the virus has been observed and there have only been a few cases of local transmission so far.

With the World Health Organisation (WHO) declaring COVID-19 a pandemic, a health ministry official said over 5700 people who had come in contact with the 125 positive cases have been identified through contact tracing and were under vigorous surveillance.

He said all essential facilities like community surveillance, quarantine, isolation wards, adequate personal protective equipment (PPEs), trained manpower, rapid response teams are being strengthened further in all states and union territories.

With the positive cases of COVID-19 showing an increase, the government has proposed a set of social distancing measures to be in force till March 31.

"Travel of passengers from member countries of the European Union, the European Free Trade Association, Turkey and the UK to India is prohibited with effect from 18th March 2020," Lav Aggarwal, the Joint Secretary in the ministry said on Monday.

"No airline shall board a passenger from these nations to India with effect from 1200 GMT on 18th March 2020. The airline shall enforce this at the port of initial departure," he had said.

Both these instructions are temporary measures and shall be in force till March 31, 2020, and will be reviewed subsequently, he had said.

(With PTI Inputs)

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