Three new coronavirus cases in India; 80 people who came in contact being tracked

Two Indians - one in Delhi and another in Hyderabad - and an Italian tourist visiting Rajasthan have tested positive for the virus on Monday.

Published: 02nd March 2020 08:57 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd March 2020 01:23 AM   |  A+A-

For representational purposes (Photo| S. Senbagapandiyan)

By Online Desk

After a lull, the novel coronavirus has rattled India again.

Two Indians - one in Delhi and another in Hyderabad - and an Italian tourist visiting Rajasthan have tested positive for the virus on Monday.

Both the Indians are said to be stable.  

Rajasthan health minister Raghu Sharma said the Italian tourist's first sample had tested negative on February 29, but since his condition had worsened, a second sample was collected and sent to the National Institute of Virology, Pune. Both the tests on the second sample came out positive.

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The Telangana government said a further 80 Indians were under watch after the Hyderabad-based software engineer working for a Bangalore-based software company tested positive. 

The 24-year-old had been sent to Dubai by his company, where, officials assume, he contracted the virus from Hong Kong citizens. 

He is said to have come in contact with the 80 people after landing in Bangalore on February 19/20, from where he travelled to Telangana in a bus on February 22. All of these 80 are now being tracked.

Telangana Health Minister E Rajender said his government had also informed their counterparts in Karnataka.

"We are following the Centre's guidelines," Rajender added, while appealing for calm and insisting that the virus will not spread quickly given our tropical climate and high temperatures. 

"This person will be cured. His condition is stable and every precaution has been taken. We are alert and the state machinery is equipped to handle the situation," he underlined.

Dr Prakash Kumar, Joint Director of Communicable Diseases, Karnataka Health and Family Welfare department, confirmed that his department too was on the job.

"When the software engineer landed in Bengaluru, he was found to be asymptomatic. So, we kept him under home isolation as per protocol for those travelling from a coronavirus affected country. He left to Hyderabad after two days. There he developed a fever. The authorities in Telangana have taken his sample, which tested positive for the coronavirus and he has been kept in hospital isolation there," he said. 

"We are tracking the contact persons in places where he travelled, be it Bengaluru or Hyderabad to check on their health, which bus he took and other details," he added. 

The software engineer had initially checked into a private super-speciality hospital in Hyderabad. From here, he was referred to the government-run Gandhi hospital in the state.

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The Delhi patient, who tested positive, had a history of travel to Italy. 

"Both patients are stable and being closely monitored," Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said in a separate briefing.

Three patients from Kerala had previously tested positive for the virus in India and all of them had been cured of it. 

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