Recently WHO has declared Coronavirus pandemic as more than 4,000 people have been died due to this deadly virus.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic on March 11, 2020. The WHO said that so far more than 4300 people have died worldwide due to this virus, therefore it has been declared pandemic. The European country Italy has declared a complete lock-down to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. At the same time, the Gulf countries have also banned the movement of foreigners. In India, all tourist visas have been suspended till April 15.

Coronavirus update in India: A 76-year-old man who passed away in Karnataka could be India’s first death due to COVID-19 virus. The elderly man is suspected to have died due to the virus. His sample has been sent for testing.

The news comes as India’s total number of confirmed coronavirus cases rose to 62 on March 11 with 14 new cases in Kerala, one fresh case in Delhi and one in Rajasthan. As a precaution, the Indian government has suspended all visas granted to nationals belonging to eight countries– Spain, France, Germany, China, South Korea, Japan, Italy and Iran.

The Union Health Ministry has advised people to avoid all non-essential travel aboard and refrain from travelling to the mentioned eight nations. The novel coronavirus has spread to over 100 countries across the world. The Ministry’s advisory also urges all international passengers coming to India to self-monitor their health and undergo self-imposed isolation for 14 days from the date of their arrival.

Coronavirus India helpline number: +91-11-23978046

Coronavirus India helpline email: ncov2019@gmail.com

Coronavirus cases in India: UT/State-wise confirmed cases

Kerala: 17 

Rajasthan: 17

Uttar Pradesh: 9

Delhi: 4 

Maharashtra: 5

Karnataka: 4

Ladakh: 2

Jammu and Kashmir: 1

Telangana: 1

Tamil Nadu: 1

Punjab: 1

Total- 62

The Union Health Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan is continuously reviewing and monitoring the status and the actions being taken by various states to prepare for the virus. The Health Ministry has also requested people to kindly adhere to the do’s and dont’s specified by the Ministry in regard with the virus and avoid large gatherings. He has also ordered universal screening for all international passengers in 30 airports across the country.

Qatar puts India on travel ban list

Qatar has imposed a temporary ban on people coming from 14 countries including India as a precaution to stop the spread of novel coronavirus.  The list also includes nations such as China, Iran, Iraq, Bangladesh, South Korea, Pakistan, Nepal, Lebanon, Philippines, Thailand, Syria, Sri Lanka and Egypt. The nation has also suspended all its flights to and from Italy.  Qatar Airways is currently working closely with the health authorities of India after it was revealed that some of the Indians who tested positive for the virus had come on its flight on February 29.

Coronavirus update in India: All Cases

• Four new confirmed cases have been reported, including the first confirmed case from Jammu, one from Uttar Pradesh, one from Delhi and another from Ernakulum, Kerala.

• Earlier, five cases of COVID-19 virus were reported in Kerala on March 8. As per reports, a family of three with travel history to Italy was tested positive for coronavirus. Two of their relatives who came in contact with them were also tested positive for the virus. The family had reportedly visited a couple if relatives and attended few functions. All those who came in contact with them are being traced currently.

• One confirmed case of coronavirus was reported in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. The person had travelled to Iran. Another case was reported in Gurugram, Haryana when a Paytm employee was tested positive for coronavirus after he returned from his vacation in Italy. Paytm, as a precautionary measure, has shut both its offices in Gurugram and Noida.

• The confirmed case in Telangana had first landed in Bengaluru from Dubai and then traveled to Hyderabad, where he developed symptoms.  According to Karnataka’s Health Minister, B Sriramulu, a medical team is monitoring all those people who came in contact with him in Bengaluru. The Telangana government is doing the same for the people who came in contact with him in Hyderabad.

• The infected Delhi resident was not screened at the Delhi Airport, as he had flown in from Vienna in Austria. He had reportedly traveled by road to Vienna from Italy and took the Delhi flight from there. The patient is currently being kept in isolation at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. He is reported to have infected 6 of his relatives in Agra.

• The Italian tourist reported to have tested positive for the deadly virus infected his wife and other 15 people, including 14 Italians who had come as a group with him to tour India and one Indian driver.

• Around 100 people, who came in contact with the infected patients, have been requested to stay in isolation for a period of 14 days.

• The Union Health Minister has requested the public to exercise calm and follow the basic precautions to keep themselves healthy. He also requested the public to avoid large gatherings for sometime.

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi had tweeted earlier saying that he has decided not to participate in any Holi programme this year. He also quoted expert’s advice to reduce mass gatherings to avoid the spread of novel coronavirus.

Air India Crew asked to stay in isolation

The Delhi resident who was tested positive of COVID-19 virus on March 2, had flown on Air India’s Vienna-Delhi flight on February 25 . As a result, the entire crew of the flight has been asked to stay in isolation for 14 days and report to health authorities in case they develop any symptoms of the virus. However, it is not clear if a similar advisory has been issued to the other passengers of the flight or not. The flight had carried over 200 passengers.

India restricts export of 26 medicines

India has restricted the export of 26 pharmaceutical ingredients and medicines including paracetamol as the threat of coronavirus looms larger across the nation. India is the world’s key supplier of generic drugs.

The listed 26 active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and medicines account for almost 10 percent of all Indian medical exports. Besides common pain reliever paracetamol, the list includes erythromycinVitamin B12 and tinidazole.

While the Indian government has assured that there is enough stock in the nation to manufacture formulations for the next 2-3 months, it is not clear how the restriction in export of these medicines would impact their availability in the nations that import them. The United States accounted for almost 24 percent of the import of Indian medicines and 31 percent of the import of Indian pharmaceutical ingredients in 2018, as per US Food and Drug Administration.

Coronavirus Symptoms: Know all symptoms

The most common symptoms of novel coronavirus or COVID-19 include:

• Fever

• Dry cough, Sore throat

• Tiredness, aches and pain

• Cold, runny nose, nasal congestion

• Diarrhea

• Respiratory issues

Important Note: The coronavirus symptoms are generally mild to begin with. Some people may be infected but may not feel unwell. Most people can recover from the disease without needing much serious treatment. People who are already battling a medical condition are more vulnerable to getting infected from the deadly coronavirus.

Coronavirus Prevention: How to protect yourself from COVID-19?

Following are some basic protective measures that WHO has issued for the public to protect themselves and others from novel coronavirus:

1. Wash hands frequently:  Clean your hands regularly with either soap and water or hand sanitizer. Regular and thorough cleaning of hands will kill the virus that may be on them.

2. Do not touch eyes, mouth or nose: Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, especially when you are outside as hands come in contact with many surfaces and can pick up the virus. Once hands are contaminated, they can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth, from where it can enter your body and infect you.

3. Maintain 3 feet distance from others: Ensure that you maintain at least 3  feet or 1 metre distance from those who are coughing or sneezing, as the moist particles that come out from their nose or mouth at that time may contain the virus if the person is infected and can infect you as well.

4. Cover your mouth and nose/ wear a mask: Make sure that you cover your nose or mouth with either a tissue, handkerchief or bent elbow when you sneeze or cough.  Throw the tissue immediately into the dustbin after using. This way you will protect yourself and those around you. You can also wear a mask to avoid inhaling any droplet infected with the virus.

5. Seek medical care for fever, cough: If you have difficulty in breathing or have fever or cough, seek medical help immediately. Avoid travelling, especially in public transport if you are feeling unwell. You can call your national or local health authorities to be directed to the right medical facility. It will help protect you and prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses.

Coronavirus Protection: Important Facts

1. Coronavirus is not known to survive for long on surfaces or objects.

2. Spraying alcohol on your body will not kill the virus that has already entered your body.

3. Currently, there is no evidence of the deadly virus spreading  to pets such as cats or dogs.

4. Vaccines used to cure pneumonia do not provide protection against COVID-19.

5. No evidence that regular rinsing of nose with saline water will protect people from getting infected.

6. People of all ages can get infected by the deadly COVID-19 virus. However, older people or people with pre-existing medical illness such as diabetes, asthma or heat disease are known to be more vulnerable to catching the virus.

Background

The latest two cases of COVID-19 take India’s total tally of confirmed coronavirus cases to five. Previously, three patients were tested positive of the novel coronavirus in Kerala. The first one was detected in Thrissur, second in Alappuzha and the third in Kasargod.

All the three people had reportedly traveled together from Wuhan and two were medical students from the city. They were kept in isolation wards in different hospitals and given special medical care. They were discharged last month after they recovered and their samples came out negative.