India has managed to restrict the number of coronavirus cases to 43, of which 40 are active while the other three who had tested positive in Kerala have been discharged. Importantly, no deaths have been reported so far.
Over 8 lakh people have been screened at various airports in the country. According to an official statement, as many as 1,921 passengers have been identified as “symptomatic” and 177 of them have been hospitalized.
“While it is still too early to say that India has successfully managed to handle the spread of coronavirus, but by and large we can say that medical authorities have done a commendable job in dealing with the problem and arresting its spread,” a Gurgaon-based doctor who did not wish to be identified told IN. The doctor also said that the awareness level on this deadly disease among people across the country was “extremely high” primarily due to the timely initiatives undertaken by the government—both central and states—and industry.
Many companies in India have asked their employees to work from home while the Delhi government has ordered all primary schools to remain shut till March 31. Panic struck last week after 16 Italians, who had visited Agra and Jaipur, tested positive.
Health Minister Harsh Varshan has been regularly holding review meetings with various stakeholders, including state governments, district level administrative authorities, hospitals, and medical colleges on the overall level of preparedness.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also advised people to refrain from attending large gatherings. In a tweet, he also said that he will not participate in Holi celebrations. “Experts across the world have advised to reduce mass gatherings to avoid the spread of COVID-19 novel coronavirus. Hence, this year I have decided not to participate in any Holi Milan programme,” he tweeted.
There have been mass cancellations of Holi celebrations in the wake of the outbreak, and people have refrained from buying colors and other products as large chunk of these come from China, the epicentre of the virus.
The Ministry of Health and Family Planning, meanwhile, said that telecom service providers have launched a pre-call awareness message on COVID-19, as part of a major exercise to raise awareness levels among people. The message is aimed at educating people about the deadly disease, the do’s and don’ts in order to avoid getting infected from it and also what one is expected to do in case she catches a cold.
The novel COVID-19 was first detected in December 2019 and came into limelight around early January when China locked down its industries and about 18 cities were completely closed bringing a near halt in production of goods..