New Delhi: With at least 14 fresh cases coming from Kerala, Maharashtra and Karnataka on Tuesday, the total number of people who have tested positive for the deadly coronavirus has gone up to 60. Stepping up the measures to curtail a further spread, the Union Health Ministry has asked people to avoid any non-essential travels from China, Italy, Republic of Korea, Japan, France, Spain and Germany.Also Read - More Restrictions in Maharashtra From Today? Team Uddhav Goes in Huddle Amid Rising Omicron Cases

As many as 11 people tested positive till Tuesday evening in Kerala. The government in Kerala, where the spike is the highest, has urged citizens with symptoms of COVID-19 to not hide their identity as it may cause a further spread of the disease. Also Read - Will Omicron Infect Kids Below 5 Years in India? Here's What Experts Say

“Those who are not revealing their travel history of coming back from affected areas and countries will be considered a crime,” said Kerala Health Secretary. Also Read - Crowd And Chaos at Terminal 3 Turning Delhi Airport Into 'Hotspot'? | Scary Pictures Emerge As Omicron Threat Looms

Meanwhile, four new cases were revealed in each, Karnataka and Maharashtra’s Pune. Remarkably, amid the increasing health scare, a combination of two anti-HIV drugs was used for the first time in India in the treatment of two patients.

Anti-HIV Drug, a cure for coronavirus?

A combination of lopinavir and ritonavir, both second-line HIV drugs, was used on an elderly Italian couple in Jaipur undergoing treatment at the SMS Hospital. This combination, along with other drugs, was popularly used in clinical trials in China, where the coronavirus first emerged and rampantly spread. It was also used in Thailand for treating COVID-19 patients.

The Drug Controller General of India approved the “restricted use” of these medications for treating coronavirus-affected people after the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) sought their emergency approval.

The Italian man and his wife had reportedly developed severe respiratory problems following which a decision was taken to put them on the combination. As a result, the drugs were administered after taking consent of the patients, SMS Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr DS Meena said.

A global epidemic

All in all, over 4,000 people have died as a result of the viral outbreak and more than 116,558 have been infected by the disease. European countries including France, Italy, Spain and Germany have already been at the brunt of coronavirus. However, 54 new positive cases were reported in the United Kingdom, increasing the total count in the country to 373.

On the other hand, Iran reported 54 new Coronavirus deaths on Tuesday, recording the highest one-day toll, taking the total number of deaths to 291.

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