Virus count 30, india-eu talks deferred

Health minister says New Delhi in touch with Tehran on the evacuation of stranded Indians; MEA confirms prep for their return

Published: 06th March 2020 04:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th March 2020 09:31 AM   |  A+A-

People wear protective masks as a precaution against the coronavirus outbreak in New Delhi on Thursday | Ashish Kumar Kataria

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: It was a mixed day for India on the coronavirus front, as a Ghaziabad-based man was found infected, but swab samples of two persons in Telangana, who were suspected to have high viral load, tested negative. The Ghaziabad man had recently returned from Iran and showed symptoms of coronavirus. In all, India now has 30 active virus cases. Also, the India-EU talks in Brussels slated to be held later this month, has been rescheduled, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, adding that the health authorities on both sides agreed that travelling was not advisable at present. The summit will be rescheduled on a mutually convenient date, he said.

Brussels was scheduled to hold the meet aimed at enhancing strategic and trade partnership between India and the European Union. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan informed Parliament that as of now, nearly 29,000 people across the country are under community surveillance for the virus. He said the government was in touch with Iran on the evacuation of Indians stranded there.

A major area of concern is Indian pilgrims and students stuck in Tehran and Qom, two cities having significant spread of the infection. The MEA spokesperson said arrangements are being made to facilitate the return of stranded Indians from Iran. India also tightened visa restrictions on foreign visitors who had been to Italy or South Korea, making it mandatory for them to submit a certificate from an authorised lab in their country of having tested negative for COVID-19. The fresh travel curbs would come into effect from midnight of March 9 and will remain till cases subside, the DGCA said.

‘Many countries not taking it seriously’
The WHO has warned that many countries were not taking all the steps needed to fight the spread of the Coronavirus. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva he was concerned that a “long list” of countries were not showing “the level of political commitment” needed to “match the level of the threat we all face.”

ConfirMed cases

Total Deaths

countries hit

‘No impact of rain’ 
Indian Council of Medical Research director general Balram Bhargava said rain won’t weaken the virus. 

No to biometric attendance 
The Delhi govt on Thursday suspended biometric attendance in its offices across the national capital “till further orders”.

Britain reports  first case  
Britain has recorded its first Corona death, England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty said on Thursday

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