Number of Coronavirus patients in India jumps to 28 from 6


New Delhi, With the number of positive cases of Coronavirus jumping to 28 from six, the Government on Wednesday announced that all incoming flights and passengers would be part of universal screening, and not just the nationals of 12 countries as listed earlier.Among the 28 confirmed cases of Coronavirus so far, were 14 Italian nationals, and all are being kept under isolation at various hospitals and facilities across the country. Speaking at a press conference in Delhi on Wednesday, Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Harsh Vardhan said the government is working to trace people who may have come in contact with those infected by Coronavirus. Briefing reporters here, Dr Vardhan said to stem the spread of the dreaded virus disease, the Union Government has decided to subject all flights and passengers as part of universal screening, not just the 12 countries which had been listed earlier.Giving an update of the evolving situation at a press conference here, he said "14 of 21 Italian nationals have been found positive for Coronavirus. They have been sent to an Indo-Tibetan Border Police's (ITBP) quarantine facility in Chhawla."Of the two recent cases which tested positive in the national capital, he informed that on conducting contact tracing of the person who tested positive in Delhi, "we came to know that he infected six members of his family who are in Agra. All six members tested positive for Coronavirus." So far, about 5,89,000 people had been screened at the airports and more than 15,000 at minor and major seaports besides over 10 lakh at the Indo-Nepal border till yesterday, Mr Vardhan said.Referring to the outbreak of COVID-19 in Iran and demands for evacuation of Indian nationals stuck in that country, the health minister said "if the Iran Government supports our efforts, then we have an intention to establish a test lab there as well. This will let us bring back our citizens from Iran after a thorough screening."A meeting of a group of Union Ministers on Coronavirus will meet shortly at Nirman Bhavan here to take stock of the preparedness to combat the public health situation. The Health Minister said all hospitals have been requested in Delhi to develop good quality isolation wards, in order to stay prepared if more cases of Coronavirus were suspected in the national capital.Reacting to reports of a sharp hike in the price of N95 masks, he said "If people are taking advantage and misusing this time, then they should be labeled as black sheep and a mechanism to punish them should be implemented."