Kerala reported eight new cases of novel coronavirus disease-2019 (nCOVID-19), Karnataka and Maharashtra reported three cases each and Rajasthan reported one fresh case. The Union Health Ministry meanwhile said the number of confirmed cases had risen to 50 while the media had already reported last night that the figure was 61.
The government will update its data once the cases the four states above are retested for confirmation. Adding the case from Rajasthan, the total becomes 62 nCOVID-19-positive cases across India.
Given that Kerala is the worst hit by the outbreak, state health minister KK Shailaja yesterday said that hiding one’s travel history would be considered a crime. “According to the Public Health Act, people hiding their travel history, which can lead to the spread of the infectious disease, is a crime,” she told journalists.
Two of the eight new cases in Kerala are parents of a three-year-old boy who tested positive for nCOVID-19 in Kochi on Monday. The family had recently returned from a trip to Italy. They did not reveal their travel history to officials on their return and only when their parents reported sick at a district hospital — with fever, cough and cold — that the authorities came to know that the family had contracted the disease.
Top 10 developments from Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Punjab
- Fifteen more people were confirmed to be carrying the nCOVID-19 coronavirus as of 10 March — eight of them in Kerala and three each in Karnataka’s Bengaluru and Maharashtra’s Pune, and one in Rajasthan’s Jaipur. On Monday, eight cases had been reported — one each in Bengaluru, Delhi, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Punjab and two in Pune.
- On 10 March, Holi celebrations were subdued and relatively muted in many parts of the country as people avoided crowding. Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and several other politicians had announced they would avoid what had otherwise been their annual appointment with people on the occasion of Holi. Experts had advised them against “mass gatherings to avoid coronavirus spread”, they had said.
- India has heightened border security to fight the nCOVID-19. The authority has suspended visas and e-visas granted on or before 11 March to nationals of three more coronavirus-affected countries — France, Germany and Spain. Earlier, the government had suspended visas and e-visas for nationals of Italy, Iran, South Korea, Japan and China. Italy has reported the highest number of deaths outside China, where the global pandemic had originated in December 2019.
- In Jammu and Kerala, movie theatres will remain closed till 31 March. The Kerala administration has suspended all public events for this month.
- The Union Ministry of Health said that Dr Harsh Vardhan had yesterday called a meeting of his state counterparts from Delhi, Haryana, Kerala, Telangana, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and the lieutenant governors of Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir to know the status of the nCOVID-19-afflicted people who had been quarantined.
- India brought back 58 of its own nationals by airlifting them from Iran on Tuesday. Iran is one of the countries worst affected by nCOVID-19. The central government is evacuating hundreds of citizens stuck in that country. “Mission completed. On to the next,” Foreign Minister S Jaishankar tweeted.
- The Manipur government has closed all border entry points with Myanmar. The entry of foreigners from these border checkpoints is banned.
- The raging COVID-19 outbreak could cost the global economy between $1.0 and $2.0 trillion this year, UN economists have warned. They called on all member states to spend more to mitigate the impact.
- The day before yesterday, the coronavirus scare wiped off billions of dollars from global markets. Domestic stock markets crashed, with benchmark indices slumping more than 6% in their biggest single-day fall in at least 10 years. This happened amid a selloff in global markets.
- The novel coronavirus outbreak that surfaced in China’s Wuhan in December last year has claimed over 4,000 lives and affected over a lakh people worldwide. The virus can be airborne for a while after an infected person coughs or sneezes, spreading respiratory droplets around. Besides keeping contact to a minimum with an infected person, the preventive measures include frequent washing of hands and use of hand sanitisers. Use fresh tissues while sneezing and coughing and then discard them to ensure the virus does not spread. For more preventive measures, refer to the WHO advice at the bottom of this post.