NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged countrymen not to panic and not to believe in rumours related to coronavirus even as the total number of confirmed cases in India reached 34 on Saturday. “I request people to not believe in hearsay and rumours on what to do and what not to do on coronavirus,” said Modi while addressing beneficiaries of a central generic drug scheme Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Yojana. “People should avoid handshakes and start greeting others with ‘namaste’ once again,” he added.
The latest additions in the growing list of confirmed cases in the country included two persons from Ladakh who had recently travelled to Iran and one from Tamil Nadu who had travelled to Oman. Condition of these three patients, like other active cases, is said to be stable so far. Two suspected cases each in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir have also been reported, though the final confirmatory test reports are yet to come. Chairing a multi-department review on coronavirus, the PM maintained that India has to be prepared in its response as per the evolving scenario.
All departments should work in convergence and action shall be initiated for creating awareness in the community and the precautions to be taken, he is reported to have told ministers and officials of several ministries. He directed that an immediate exercise be taken up to identify sufficient locations for quarantine and also for critical care provisioning in case the disease spread. Officials were instructed to plan for early testing and evacuation of Indians from Iran.
In a new decision, passengers from 12 countries will be segregated from other passengers till the conveyer belt areas at airports, an Airport Authority of India (AAI) spokesperson said. Meanwhile, officials said the 76-year old American tourist who had tested positive for the virus in Bhutan after touring many Indian cities had come in close contact with 150 persons in India who have now been put under surveillance.