New Delhi: In a media briefing, the Indian health ministry on Friday confirmed that the total number of cases of coronavirus in the country stands at 81. Out of the 81 positive cases, there are 64 Indians, 16 Italians and one Canadian, informed the Health Ministry. Also Read - After Recording India's First Coronavirus Death, Karnataka Closes Schools, Malls, Pubs For a Week
Addressing reporters, officials said coronavirus is not a health emergency and that there is no need to panic. Also Read - Coronavirus Pandemic: Remaining Two ODIs of India-South Africa Series Called Off
”It is important to understand that it is not a health emergency. We are trying to support initiative taken by the state in terms of managing the situation,” Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry said. Also Read - Coronavirus Scare: All Schools, Colleges & Cinema Halls To Be closed Till March 31 in Bihar
Officials also said so far, India has evacuated 1,031 people, including from the Maldives, US, Madagascar and China.
“Government has brought 42,296 passengers under community surveillance, out of which 2,559 were symptomatic and 522 hospitalised including 17 foreign nationals,” officials further said.
Meanwhile, the Centre also decided to allow international traffic only through 19 border checkposts out of 37 and decided to continue the suspension of Indo-Bangladesh cross border passenger trains and buses till April 15, or earlier, if so decided.
Ministry of Civil Aviation Joint Secretary Rubina Ali, who also addressed the briefing, said that central government would dispatch an Air India flight to Milan, Italy—the most affected country outside of China—to bring back stranded Indians.
“The flight would take off tomorrow afternoon and would be landing on Sunday morning at Delhi Airport,” she said.
On Thursday, a 76-year-old man from Karnataka became the first coronavirus fatality from India.
In the wake of the spread of the deadly virus, several states across India went into battle mode to contain the spread of COVID-19, shutting down schools, theatres and colleges, and many public events, including the IPL.
Taking stock of the situation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed a video conference of SAARC leaders to chalk out a joint strategy and set an example for the world.
(With Agency inputs)