Coronavirus: With 29 confirmed cases, India sees big count jump in a day

The coronavirus count in India jumped by a whopping 23 on Wednesday, taking the total active cases to 26. The latest was that of a digital paywall’s employee who had recently returned from Italy. 

Published: 05th March 2020 03:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th March 2020 11:54 AM   |  A+A-

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan. (Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The coronavirus count in India jumped by a whopping 23 on Wednesday, taking the total active cases to 26. The latest was that of a digital paywall’s employee who had recently returned from Italy. 

The spurt came from a group of 15 Italian tourists, their Indian bus driver, six in Agra who came in contact with the Delhi man who had tested positive on Monday, and the paywall’s staffer. All of them are under quarantine.

Add to that the two who had tested positive on Monday (Delhi and Telangana), one Italian tourist in Jaipur whose infection was confirmed on Tuesday and three Keralite students who have already recovered, and the total count stands at 29. 

The spouse of the infected Italian tourist quarantined in Jaipur, too, tested positive, Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Harsh Vardhan informed.

As he was part of of a group of over 20 Italian tourists, the 15 possibly got their infections from him, Vardhan added. Contact tracing of the infected Delhi man based in Mayur Vihar established he had visited his relatives in Agra shortly after his return from Italy late last month.

On Tuesday, six of those relatives were reported to have “high viral load” and were quarantined in New Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital. Their swab samples sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune tested positive for the virus, Vardhan said. 

In the wake of the rising global footprint of the virus — 82 countries and territories besides a Japanese cruise ship — the Centre has now decided to start universal screening for international flights.

Earlier, only passengers from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Nepal, Indonesia, Vietnam, Italy, Iran and Malaysia were being screened.

The government has also directed all public hospitals in Delhi to be prepared for more cases, both confirmed as well as suspected.

“We will ensure that all facilities are of the highest order to handle patients that require any isolation,” said Vardhan.

Iran is high on the priority list as hundreds of Indian fishermen, mainly from Kerala and Tamil Nadu, are stuck in the middle of the outbreak there.

Vardhan said that India is trying to set up a COVID-19 screening test in Iran itself so as to evacuate those who have not been infected.

One scientist has already been sent to Iran, while three more scientists and the testing equipment will go to Iran on Wednesday.

Vardhan said that the government was seeking Iran’s support for the implementation of the plan. 

Confirmed cases


Total Deaths


Recovered cases


No Holi Milan 

President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders have announced they will not participate in any Holi Milan in view of the advisory to avoid congregational events 

More schools shut 

Apart from 2 Noida schools, 3 schools in Delhi and its adjoining areas announced holiday for students and staff. Also, two schools advanced their spring break as a precautionary measure

17 infected abroad 

Seventeen Indians have been infected with the coronavirus abroad, including 16 crew of a Japanese cruise ship, Diamond Princess, and one from the UAE, the Centre informed Parliament

Visiting Italian tourists catch the bug in large numbers, raising India’s tally; govt plans to set up a testing lab in Iran to evacuate those Indian fishermen who are uninfected; universal screening of all international passengers from now


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp