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Coronavirus in India: Positive cases mount to 29; containment plan afoot

Coronavirus in India

With a Paytm employee becoming the latest victim of Coronavirus infection, the total number of positive cases in India has mounted to 29. As per the statement from the Health Ministry, the total number of victims include sixteen Italians.

The highly contagious virus has affected more than 70 countries with more than 3,000 people globally died due to the viral infection, also called Covid-19.

In India, the tale of panic and fear started from Monday when a total of six positive cases were reported from different parts of the country. On Tuesday, a 45-year-old was found to have been infected by the virus, forcing the school where his child was studying to announce a temporary shutdown. The toll rose to 29 with victim reported from Delhi-NCR, Rajasthan, Kerala, and Telangana.

To contain the infection, authorities are increasing screenings at airports and border crossings, and urging citizens to avoid large crowds. The government has cautioned people to avoid non-essential travel to China, Iran, South Korea, Italy, Japan, and other affected countries.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also canceled Holi celebrations scheduled to be held across the country next week.

On Wednesday, Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan held a group of ministers’ meeting to take stock of the situation. He also met officials of the Delhi government, senior representatives of government hospitals in Delhi and state health minister Satyendra Jain.

“The need of this hour is to put a more strategic approach like cluster containment strategy, making the district collectors more accountable, contact tracing and strengthening state and district surveillance teams to avoid widespread community transmission and also breaking the chain of transmission, if found,” said Harsh Vardhan.

Meanwhile, the Delhi government has formed a task force, chaired by the chief minister Arvind Kejriwal with top officials of all departments concerned, the municipal corporations and Delhi Police. The objective is to take on the situation in strategic and planned manner.

At the first meeting on Wednesday, Kejriwal directed officials of all departments and civic bodies to ensure that measures such as surveillance and screening were implemented on a war footing.

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