A third individual has reportedly died within India from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
India’s current coronavirus case count stands at 137 at the time of writing. Fourteen of these cases have been resolved as individuals have fully recovered. Considering the three fatalities, there are 120 active cases dispersed throughout the country.
A 76-year-old man from Kalaburagi in the state of Karnataka who had recently returned from Saudi Arabia succumbed to the virus on Tuesday last week, marking the first confirmed fatality due to COVID-19 in the country. A further death occurred last Friday as a 68-year-old woman passed away at the Dr Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital in Delhi. The most recent death, bringing the overall toll to three, was of a 63-year-old in Mumbai.
The Union Government has put in place measures to restrict the travel of passengers from European Union (EU) and European Free Trade Association countries, Turkey and the United Kingdom to India as of March 18th. The announcement came from the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday as a means of limiting the spread from countries in Europe — many of which are now seeing cases of coronavirus surge.
Screening efforts continue to track vast numbers of individuals travelling to India via air travel. “A total of 12,76,046 passengers were screened at the airports as of 11.30 p.m. on March 15,” said the Union Health Ministry in a statement.
At the global level cases are beginning to increase at an accelerated rate. There are currently 188,383 cases in total, with a corresponding 7,499 deaths associated with the virus. 80,848 individuals have reportedly recovered from the virus at the time of writing, leaving 100,036 cases still ongoing.
While many of the initial cases within India were from Italian tourists visiting the country, there are now far more Indians affected by the coronavirus. Domestic transmission is occurring in numerous cities across the country.
With the increase in the load of screening samples for the coronavirus from suspected cases with symptoms and travel history to the affected countries, a total of 52 testing sites have been commissioned across the country. Two of them are in Delhi. In addition to these labs, 57 laboratories are helping in sample collection for the COVID-19.
The Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Monday launched helplines for those seeking assistance in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. “All hands on deck! @MEAIndia’s helplines for COVID-19 Control Centre are open. Control Room: 1800118797 (toll free), +91- 11- 23012113, +91- 11- 23014104, +91- 11- 23017905,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.