Coronavirus Outbreak LIVE Updates: ISKCON bars entry of foreigners in Vrindavan temple, cancels Holi celebrations scheduled for 7 March, says report

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Coronavirus Outbreak LATEST Updates: The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon) temple management in Vrindavan has banned the entry of foreigners in temple, as per media reports.

The move comes after 23 people, including six from Agra, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Besides, the famous Holi celebrations or Gaura Purnima festival by the widows in Vrindavan, scheduled for 7 March, have also been cancelled.

Iskcon Mathura spokesperson Rajiv Lochan was by TOI as saying, “Due to the rapid spread of the virus across the globe, the temple management has decided not to allow foreigners inside the premises as a precautionary measure.”

The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has reported its first case of the coronavirus after a US tourist tested positive, the Prime Minister Lotay Tshering said on Friday.

The tiny, land-locked country, famous for measuring Gross National Happiness has emerged as a popular tourist destination in recent years. But the government immediately shut borders to foreign visitors for two weeks in an effort to limit the impact of a disease that has wreaked havoc in more developed countries around the world.

The 76-year-old man arrived in Bhutan from India on 2 March and was admitted to hospital on 5 March with a fever, where he tested positive for COVID-19, the prime minister’s office said in a Facebook post.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, Sikkim has decided to ban entry of foreigners to insulate itself from the novel coronavirus, The Times of India reported. The preventive measure has led to wide-spread fears among travel and tour operators and hoteliers in Darjeeling that bookings would be canceled.

A blanket ban has also been issued for permits to visit the Nathula pass that borders China.

“Darjeeling and Sikkim are inter-linked tourist destinations. Overseas tourists usually spend four-and-a-half days in Sikkim and two-and-a-half days in Darjeeling. Now that they will not be able to travel to Sikkim, they are most likely to cancel the Darjeeling leg of their visits and go elsewhere for week-long holidays,” said Amit Periwal, the proprietor of Clubside Tours & Travel, was quoted as saying.

A man from Ghaziabad with a recent travel history to Iran has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, taking the total number of cases in the country to 30 and seven in Uttar Pradesh as the Central Government on Thursday asked states to form rapid response teams at district, block and village levels.

The test reports of 68 people who had come in contact with the Italian couple, who tested positive for the new coronavirus earlier this week, have come out negative, a senior health department official said on Thursday. Test results of eight more people are awaited, the official said.

As many as 229 people were found to have come in contact with the Italian tourists who visited Jaipur, Bikaner, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jhunjhunu and Jaipur. Of them, samples were collected from 76 people.

“Sixty-eight have tested negative and test reports of eight samples are yet to come,” said Additional Chief Secretary, Medical and Health, Rohit Kumar Singh. He said 247 samples have been collected in the state so far and 239 samples have been tested. Barring the Italian couple, the test reports of all others (except 8 which are under process) are negative, he added.

The New York Times reported that sweeping shutdown of schools in Italy, a suspension of classes in New Delhi and warnings of school closures in the United States, mandated by the virus outbreak, have intensified the educational upheaval of nearly 300 million students globally. 

Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Jai Pratap Singh on Thursday said 175 people have been tested so far for coronavirus in the state with 157 of them showing no sign of the infection. Of the remaining 18 tested, six are from Agra and one from Ghaziabad, he said, referring to the seven cases which have tested positive.

Palestinian authorities said the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, built atop the spot where Christians believe Jesus was born, will close indefinitely due to coronavirus concerns. Meanwhile, politicians in India appealed to the Hindu population to scale back on their Holi celebration as the festival of colour can result in unguarded close human contact and exposure to virus.

The coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting 86 countries and territories around the world as the outbreak slows within China but picks up speed across the world.

A pharmacy student from Kerala who was studying in Bengaluru has been quarantined after she showed symptoms similar to that exhibited by Coronavirus cases, reports said.

Manish Sisodia has said that all schools in Delhi up to class 5 will remain shut till 31 March after one more case of coronavirus was reported from NCR region.

One more case of novel coronavirus was reported in Ghaziabad in the national capital region, taking the total number in the country to 30 so far, official sources said on Thursday. The patient is a middle-aged man with a recent travel history to Iran, reports said.

A 16-year-old Indian girl here has tested positive for the deadly coronavirus, bringing the total number of confirmed infection cases in the UAE to 28. The Indian High School in Dubai will be closed from Thursday as a precautionary measure.

Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported on Wednesday that the country’s researchers are studying the use of stem cell technology in the treatment of people critically ill with the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). It quoted a science journal to report that four COVID-19 patients who received stem cell treatment while in a serious condition have recovered.

Amid concerns over the health of over 1,200 Indian nationals stuck in Iran — the second country after China to report highest number of casualties — the government offered some hope for their families. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar informed via Twitter that India was ready to set up its first screening clinic in Iran at Qom by today evening.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, on Thursday, informed the Lok Sabha that the Indian government was closel working with Iranian authorities to bring back Indian nationals stuck in the country. The health minister also said that there was no need to panic.

The trade impact of the coronavirus epidemic for India is estimated to be about 348 million dollars and the country figures among the top 15 economies most affected as slowdown of manufacturing in China disrupts world trade, according to a UN report.

Issuing a travel advisory, health minister Harsh Vardhan said that citizens are advised to refrain from traveling to virus affected-areas of China, Korea, Japan, Italy and Iran. He said directions have also been issued for all international passengers in India.

“As of 4 March, a total of 28,529 persons were brought under community surveillance and are being monitored,” Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said as he detailed the evacuation of of Indians by Air India and IAF.

In a first reported case of human-to-animal transmission of coronavirus, the pet dog of a positive-tested patient in Hong Kong has been confirmed to be infected with a ‘low level” of the virus.

Tests confirmed the virus in the pet’s nasal and oral cavities, “which indicates a low-level of infection,” Hong Kong’s agricultural and fisheries department said in statement late Wednesday.

The impact of the coronavirus epidemic for India on trade is estimated to be about $348 million and the country figures among the top 15 economies most affected as slowdown of manufacturing in China disrupts world trade, according to a UN report.

Estimates published by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on Wednesday said that the slowdown of manufacturing in China due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is disrupting world trade and could result in a $50 billion decrease in exports across global value chains.

The most affected sectors include precision instruments, machinery, automotive and communication equipment.

Among the most affected economies are the European Union ($15.6 billion), the United States ($5.8 billion), Japan ($5.2 billion), South Korea ($3.8 billion), Taiwan Province of China ($2.6 billion) and Vietnam ($2.3 billion).

India is among the 15 most affected economies due to the coronavirus epidemic and slow down in production in China, with a trade impact of $ 348 million. The trade impact for India is less as compared to other economies such as EU, the US, Japan and South Korea.

A Paytm employee in Gurugram has tested positive for novel coronavirus, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

Students appearing for class 10 and 12 board examination will be allowed to carry masks and hand sanitisers in the exam centre in view of coronavirus scare, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) announced on Wednesday.

The Railway ministry issued an advisory stating that material with information about coronavirus should be displayed “prominently” to increase awareness among the public regarding the disease. 25 confirmed cases were reported in India on Wednesday.

“..need for signages and separate counters being set up for fever cases,” The Indian Express reported, adding, “Railway staff would also be trained on prevention of the spread of virus and the statement added that in case any suspicious case is detected, it should be reported to the Railway Hospital.”

Higher Education secretary Amit Khare on Wednesday wrote to all the state chief secretaries and the CBSE board directing them to spread awareness about precautionary measures regarding coronavirus in schools, reports said.

Even as the number of confirmed coronavirus infections in Japan topped the 1,000 mark on Wednesday, mostly from the Diamond Princess cruise liner, the Japanese government reiterated that plans to host the Tokyo Olympics in July remained on track.

“We would steadily proceed with our preparations while closely coordinating with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the organising committee,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a regular news conference, amid speculation that the Games could be postponed because of the coronavirus threat.

The Olympics are scheduled to open in less than five months and IOC head Thomas Bach reiterated his backing for this summer’s Games despite the coronavirus threat, urging athletes to prepare “full steam.”

Home Minister Amit Shah’s public rally in Hyderabad, scheduled for 15 March has been postponed in light of the coronavirus outbreak, reports said. In Hyderabad, a man tested positive for the novel virus on Tuesday, and two other suspected cases were reported on Wednesday.

Telangana BJP chief K Krishna Saagar Rao was quoted by The Indian Express as saying that the decision was taken with the aim of reducing mass physical contact of people. On Wednesday, Shah also announced that he wouldn’t participate in ‘Holi milan’ on 10 March as a way to take precautions against the virus. “I also appeal everyone to avoid public gatherings and take a good care of yourself and your family,” he said.

Six cases with “high viral load” have been found while sample testing in Uttar Pradesh’s Agra, The Indian Express reported. The report said that the suspected patients came in contact with the Delhi man who tested positive for coronavirus in Delhi. Their samples have been sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune.

Extending the morning losses, equity indices crashed by afternoon after 28 new suspected coronavirus cases were tested positive in the country on Wednesday. Benchmark Sensex tanked over 650 points while the broader Nifty was down 188 points at around 1.30 pm.​ Sensex was trading 659.38 points or 1.71 percent, lower at 37,964.32 while Nifty slipped 188.45 points or 1.67 percent to 11,114.85.

After Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday said that the country was well prepared to contain the spread of COVID-19 novel coronavirus and that he would not participate in ‘Holi Milan’ function in the wake of the reports of the outbreak of the virus in different places.’ From now on, all flights and passengers will be part of universal screening, not just the 12 countries which we had listed earlier,’ said Dr Health Minister Harsh Vardhan during media presser today.

Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan told media reporters that on conducting contact tracing of the person tested positive in Delhi, it was found out that the patient infected six members of his family who are in Agra. All six members have tested positive for the virus, taking the total number of confirmed cases in India to 28. where 3 have already recovered.

Tech giant Intel has said one of its employees in Bengaluru has “potentially been exposed” to coronavirus and is currently under quarantine. The company also said it has implemented precautionary measures like travel restrictions, increased frequency of office sanitisation, and work-from-home provisions in India. Seeking to allay fear among the citizens in the wake of coronavirus scare, Karnataka Health Minister B Srirumulu on Wednesday made an appeal to the people not to pay heed to rumours spreading on social media.

As more cases of coronavirus are confirmed in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that he will not be participating this year in the Holi Milan programme. He said, ‘world experts have been issuing warnings against unnecessary social contact, to prevent the spread of coronavirus.’

As many as 15 tourists from Italy were tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday, taking the total positive cases in India to 21. The development was confirmed after 21 Italian nationals reached ITBP quarantine centre in Delhi. The Rajasthan Health Department has issued directives to the districts where the Italian group of tourists, 15 of whom have tested positive for coronavirus had travelled.

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan will brief the media on the coronavirus outbreak in India at 3 pm. He will also take a meeting with senior officials from the Delhi government to discuss the management and preparedness in light of the virus’ spread in India.

The total confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in India stood at six on Tuesday after an Italian tourist tested positive for the novel virus in Jaipur, and authorities like Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several state governments doubled down on facilities to treat patients and precautionary measures. The disease has now spread to over 60 countries and has claimed over 3,100 lives worldwide, PTI reported.

The report said that the sample of the Italian tourist, which was sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune, was found to be positive after the first two tests gave contradictory results. The 69-year-old man, part of a group of 20 tourists, is admitted at an isolation ward of the SMS Hospital. His wife also tested positive for the virus, PTI reported, however, the Rajasthan government said that her sample is being sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune for another test.

Rajasthan health minister Dr Raghu Sharma on Tuesday instructed health officials to screen all those people who had come in contact with the Italian tourist who tested positive for coronavirus.

Asking to step up vigil, the minister also asked officials to send a rapid response team of the Medical Education and Health Department to the places visited by the patient, along with 19 others from Italy. The team, including senior professors and epidemiologists, will inspect hotels and excursions in Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Mandawa (Jhunjhunu) and Jaisalmer.

The Centre on Tuesday also extended the suspension of existing visas given to nationals from Italy, Iran, South Korea, and Japan on or before 3 March and who have not yet arrived in India. The move came a month after India cancelled the visas for Chinese nationals and those who had visited China in January, after the outbreak of the disease in December. Over 90,000 have been infected globally so far.

Meanwhile, the coronavirus epidemic shifted increasingly westward toward West Asia, Europe and the United States on Tuesday, with governments taking emergency steps to ease shortages of masks and other supplies for front-line doctors and nurses.

Washington state has reported a seventh death from coronavirus. All of the COVID-19 deaths in the United States so far have been in the Seattle area. A spokeswoman for Harborview Medical Center in Seattle said the patient died on 26 February. She said the person had been a resident at a suburban Seattle care facility that has reported multiple virus cases and deaths.

The spokeswoman said some hospital staff may have been exposed while treating the patient but officials don’t believe other patients were. The hospital staff are being monitored and screened daily.

Deaths in Italy surged to 79, making it the deadliest reported outbreak outside China. Twenty-three members of Iran’s Parliament and the head of the country’s emergency services were reported infected. South Korea expanded drive-thru testing and confirmed hundreds of new cases. And in Spain’s Basque region, at least five doctors and nurses were infected and nearly 100 health care workers were being held in isolation.

The mushrooming outbreaks contrasted with optimism in China, where thousands of recovered patients were going home and the number of new infections has been dropping.

Worldwide, more than 93,000 people have been infected and over 3,100 have died, the vast majority of them in China. The number of countries hit by the virus exceeded 70, with Ukraine and Morocco reporting their first cases.

Updated Date: Mar 06, 2020 12:00:17 IST

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