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Number of coronavirus cases rises to 43, three-year-old from Kerala among those infected

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New Delhi, Mar 9 :  The number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 43 on Monday with four people, including a three-year-old child in Kerala who had returned from Italy, testing positive, Health Ministry officials said on Monday.

Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu reported one case each, officials said.

The ministry in a statement also clarified that the patient from Murshidabad, West Bengal, who died on Sunday had tested negative for COVID-19 and “hence so far no death has been reported due to the disease in the country”.

Giving details, officials said the patient in Jammu, the first case in Jammu and Kashmir, is learnt to have a travel history to Iran while the patient from Uttar Pradesh had come in contact with the six people from Agra who had tested positive for coronavirus.

The Delhi patient has no travel history and had come in contact with a positive patient from the city, Delhi Health Department officials added. Earlier, some officials had said the patient had travelled to Italy.

With Delhi recording its fourth coronavirus case, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan chaired a meeting with Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal as well as senior officials.

“We are sending detailed guidelines to all states on ways to contain the coronavirus. We have asked states to strengthen laboratories and manpower to effectively deal with the coronavirus and form early rapid action teams,” Vardhan told reporters.

Asserting that the government is prepared to deal with the outbreak, he stressed on the need for coordinated action between departments and agencies for activities such as contact tracing, community surveillance, hospital management, identification of isolation wards, ensuring adequate personal protection equipment and masks and risk communication for mass awareness.

A total of 8,74,708 international passengers from 8,255 flights have been screened at airports till now with 1,921 passengers identified as symptomatic, the ministry said. Of these, 177 have been hospitalised, 33,599 passengers are under observation and 21,867 passengers have completed their observation period.

Of the 3,003 samples tested for COVID-19, 43 were positive and 2,694 samples returned negative results. The results of the other tests are awaited.

The ministry appealed to people to clearly reveal their travel history and fill the details in self-declaration forms properly.