New Delhi (PTI): A three-year-old child in Kerala who returned from Italy with its parents over the weekend is among India's five new coronavirus patients, taking the total number of cases in the country to 44, Health Ministry officials said on Monday.
In the wake of rising cases of coronavirus, the Cabinet Secretary held a meeting via video conference with chief secretaries of all States and Union territories on Monday.
He laid emphasis on actions such as surveillance at points of entry (PoE), surveillance in the community, laboratory support and hospital preparedness. He also called upon states and UTs to scale up logistics, quarantine facilities, capacity building, information management and risk communication, an official statement said.
"One more new case has been reported from Punjab. Thus, as of now there are 44 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country," the ministry said in a statement, adding the figure includes the three patients from Kerala who were discharged last month following recovery.
As many as 11,913 cases are under the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) community follow-up. Also, 404 Indian contacts of the US citizen tested positive in Bhutan have been identified and put under surveillance in Assam, the ministry said. As the COVID-19 scare spread -- with 110,041 people from more than 90 countries infected and 3,825 people killed -- India sent a military transport aircraft with a specialist medical team to Iran on Monday night to bring back Indians stranded in the nation.
About 2,000 Indians are living in Iran, where 7,000 people have tested positive for the contagious disease with flu-like symptoms and 237 people killed. According to the Indian Air Force, its C-17 Globemaster military aircraft left for Iran from the Hindon airbase at 8.30 pm and will return on Tuesday morning. "The aircraft has a specialist medical team onboard. Indian citizens will be flown to Hindan where medical facilities including quarantine have been set up," the IAF tweeted.
So far, the Government of India has evacuated 890 passengers from COVID-19 affected countries. Out of these, 842 were Indian citizens and 48 belonging to different nationalities including Maldives, Myanmar, Bangladesh, China, US, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Nepal, South Africa, and Peru, the ministry said.
Giving details of the new cases reported in India, officials said the patient in Jammu, the first case in Jammu and Kashmir, is learned to have a travel history to Iran while the patient from Uttar Pradesh had come in contact with the six people from Agra who had tested positive.
The Delhi patient has no travel history and had come in contact with a positive patient from the city, Delhi Health Department officials added. With Delhi recording its fourth coronavirus case, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan chaired a meeting with Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and senior officials.