New Delhi: The confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country, as per the latest updates, have gone up to 45 on Monday. On the other hand, the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft has left for Iran from Hindon Air Force Station to bring back Indian nationals who are stranded in the coronavirus-hit middle-eastern country. Also Read - Coronavirus: IAF's C-17 Globemaster, That Brought Back Stranded Indians From China, to Leave For Iran Today
While departing for Iran, Wing Commander Karan Kapoor, Captain of C-17 Globemaster said that the plane will land in Tehran at around 2 AM on Tuesday (IST) and will return to the country with evacuated Indians at around 9:30 AM. Also Read - Coronavirus Outbreak: China Denies Delay in Granting Clearance to IAF's Relief Flight to Wuhan
The move from India comes at a time when Iran became the most-affected country by the novel coronavirus, having reported 7,161 cases of the disease so far. In Iran, 237 people have died of the infection. Here are the top developments on the virus that has scared the whole country in the past few days.
- The Indian Air Force’s (IAF) C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft will bring back around 40 Indian citizens who are stranded at Qom city in Iran. In the aircraft, India has sent a team of doctors to Iran for screening and has established a clinic at Qom. This particular aircraft had earlier been sent to the coronavirus-hit Chinese city of Wuhan with about 15 tonnes of medical equipment and had brought back 76 Indians and 36 foreign nationals.
- Earlier in the day, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had met the families of Indian students stranded in Iran and assured them that the Centre has been facilitating their early return to India. He had also earlier said that the screening process of Indian nationals stranded in Iran has started and follow up arrangements are being discussed with Iranian authorities to bring them back.
- In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh for the birth centenary celebrations of Sheikh Mujibur Rehman has been postponed. This was announced by the Ministry of External Affairs.
- Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan earlier in the day held a meeting with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and said he has discussed with Delhi government to prepare for isolation wards, quarantine facilities and availability of doctors. “We have discussed with Delhi government to prepare for isolation wards, quarantine facilities, availability of doctors, contact tracing and other precautions, if the cases increase,” Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said.
- Air India Express said its passengers can reschedule tickets free of cost for all bookings they have made between March 12 and 31. “In view of the uncertain travel situation due to COVID-19, free date change will be permitted up to three days prior to the flight departure, for all new bookings effected between March 12, 2020, to March 31, 2020, for travel up to April 30, 2020,” the airline said in a statement.
- The Haryana government decided to exempt its employees from marking attendance through the biometric system until March 31. The decision has been taken as a preventive measure in view of coronavirus scare. “Necessary directions have been issued in this regard to all Administrative Secretaries, Heads of Departments, Divisional Commissioners, Managing Directors/Chief Administrators of Boards and Corporations, Deputy Commissioners/ Sub Divisional Officers and the Registrars of Universities,” the state government said in a statement. The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) employees have been asked to stop using biometric punching henceforth until further orders.
- After a Bengaluru resident was tested positive for the coronavirus in the state, Karnataka Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar informed that all primary schools in Bengaluru will remain closed from Tuesday till further orders. The Woman and Child Welfare Ministry has also announced 7-day holiday for Anganwadi workers in the state.
- Apart from Karnataka, another man from Punjab has also been tested positive for the coronavirus, thus taking the total number of confirmed cases to 45 in the country.
- As a preventive measure, Mizoram decided to seal the international borders that it shares with Myanmar and Bangladesh. It also banned the entry of foreigners to prevent the spread of the virus. As per updates, Mizoram shares a 510-km border with Myanmar and a 318-km border with Bangladesh. The state government has also decided that all inter-state borders except four entry points will be closed and Inner Line Permits will not be issued to new entrants.
- As the COVID-19 scare spread, nearly 110,041 people from more than 90 countries have been infected and 3,825 people have been killed so far.