New Delhi: Fourteen more people have tested positive for coronavirus -- eight in Kerala and three each in Karnataka and Maharashtra, State authorities said on Tuesday as the number of such cases went up to 61 and amid the COVID-19 scare, a combination of two anti-HIV drugs was used for the first time in India in the treatment of two patients.
In Maharashtra's Pune also, three persons tested positive, a day after two cases were reported. Announcing the latest cases in Kerala at a media interaction in Thiruvananthapuram after a special cabinet meeting held to discuss the coronavirus situation, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said at least 1,116 people are under observation -- 149 in isolation wards of various hospitals and 967 under home quarantine.
The fresh cases are friends and relatives of an Italy-returned couple and their son who had on Saturday tested positive for the deadly virus along with two other kin staying with them at their home in Rane in Pathanamthitta district, Health Minister K K Shailaja, who was also present, said. The aged parents of the couple are among the six latest positive cases, she said. Late in the night, Shailaja said two more confirmed cases were detected in Kerala with the parents of a three-year-old boy, who tested positive for COVID-19 in Kochi on Monday on the family's return from Italy, is the latest patients.
In Jaipur, the combination of lopinavir and ritonavir, both second-line HIV drugs, was administered on an elderly Italian couple undergoing treatment for Covid-19 at the SMS Hospital.
The Drug Controller General of India approved "restricted use" of these medications for treating those affected by novel coronavirus after the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) sought their emergency approval.
India temporarily closes door on nationals of France, Germany & Spain
Amid the rising cases of coronavirus affliction globally, India on Tuesday barred entry of the nationals of three more countries -- France, Germany, and Spain -- suspending the regular as well as e-Visas granted to them to date.
"All regular (sticker) Visas/e-Visas granted to nationals of France, Germany, and Spain and issued on or before March 11 and who have not yet entered India stand suspended with immediate effect," said a Bureau of Immigration notification issued late Tuesday night