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Coronavirus: India reports third case, task force set up

India’s third case of Novel Coronavirus was reported on Monday morning after the southern state confirmed the country’s first two cases of the deadly virus that has killed over 360 people in China in the last four days.
All three patients are students who returned from China’s Wuhan city, the epicenter of the epidemic.
The latest third case, a medical student, is in an isolation ward at Kanhangad district hospital in Kasargod, Kerala’s Health Minister KK Shailaja informed the state Assembly Monday. 
“Third positive case of Novel Coronavirus patient has been reported in Kerala. The patient has travel history from Wuhan in China. The patient has tested positive for Novel Coronavirus and is in isolation ward in the hospital.
The patient is stable and is being closely monitored,” Union Health Ministry said in a statement Monday.
Shilaja said that to speed up the process of testing, all arrangements have been made in the state laboratory. The virology lab in Alappuzha district now has the facility and that would save time. Currently, all samples are being sent to the National Institute of Virology, Pune.
A total of 1,999 people, who have a travel history from China and other affected countries, are under close observation in Kerala, of whom 75 are in isolation wards of various hospitals in the state.
The remaining 1,924 are under home quarantine as per a medical bulletin issued on Sunday night.
Kerala’s Health Minister made it clear that those under observation at home should keep away from public functions and should not participate in any events or go out of their homes during the 28-day incubation period.
India’s first case of Coronavirus was reported from Thrissur on January 30 with a women medical student who returned from Wuhan testing positive from the infection.
Over 360 people have died in China’s Wuhan city so far and Coronavirus has already affected 15,000 people in the country.
The disease has spread to around 25 countries so far, including India and the United States. The Union Health Ministry has also asked people who have a travel history to China, since January 1, to report to the nearest health facility if they experienced any symptoms such as fever, cough and breathing trouble.
Over 52,000 passengers from 326 flights have been screened for Novel Coronavirus at various hospitals across India till Saturday, according to the Government. Ninety-seven symptomatic travelers have been referred to isolation facilities, officials said.
In the wake of the rise of a global epidemic, India issued a fresh travel advisory on Sunday. People are asked to avoid traveling to China. Anyone with travel history in China since 15th January 2020, and now on could be quarantined, Health Ministry said in a statement Monday.
The Central Government also suspended issuing electronic visas, or e-visas to Chinese passport holders and applicants of other nationals residing in China. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has also set up screening and testing counters in most of North East India.
The Central Government has set up a task force to monitor the situation arising out of the Novel Coronavirus with a representative from Ministries of Health, Home, Civil Aviation and Women, and Child Development, Union Minister Gangapuram Kishan Reddy said Monday.
Meanwhile, the West Bengal government has provided two thermal scanners to the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport at Kolkata to help the authorities conduct surveillance on passengers to contain the attack of Coronavirus.
In another development, a software engineer and TLC employee from Andhra Pradesh, who was allegedly not allowed to board the two special Air India flights that brought back many Indians from the Coronavirus-hit Wuhan as she was running high body temperature, is now seeking help for her early evacuation. 
Annem Jyothi, a software engineer from Kurnool claims that she was not allowed to board the two special Air India flights from Wuhan, because of high body temperature.
A total of 406 people from Wuhan are being looked after by a team of expert doctors at Chhawla isolation facility of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and all tests are negative till now, officials said, The World Health Organisation said Monday it was working round the clock with internet and social media giants to combat the widespread misinformation surrounding the deadly Novel Coronavirus outbreak.
The UK pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)  on Monday it was joining a global race to develop a vaccine for a new strain of the deadly Coronavirus. At least another 171 cases have been reported in Australia, Britain, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Russia, Spain Thailand, the United States, and 14 other countries and regions outside mainland China.
The United States, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, and Vietnam are among the countries that have denied entry to foreign nationals who have recently been in China. Global airlines have suspended or scaled back direct flights to China’s major cities.

By TIS Staffer
the authorBy TIS Staffer

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