India

Coronavirus bad news spreads

On Sunday, India reported its second case of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) with a person from Kerala with a travel history to China testing positive, officials said. “The patient has tested positive for novel coronavirus and is in isolation,” the Union Ministry for Health and Family Welfare said. The patient is stable and is being closely monitored, it added.

FYI: The first case in the country was also reported from Kerala with a medical student testing positive. And the New Indian Express reported that  the second patient was also studying medicine and had been admitted to the isolation ward of Alappuzha Government Medical College. In fact, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan elaborated that the second patient had sat next to the person who was diagnosed with the first case of the virus.

In another development, India also temporarily suspended e-visa facilities for Chinese travellers and foreigners residing in China. “Due to certain current developments, travel to India on e-visas stands temporarily suspended with immediate effect,” the Indian Embassy announced here.“This applies to holders of Chinese passports and applicants of other nationalities residing in the People’s Republic of China. Holders of already issued e-visas may note that these are no longer valid.”

Meanwhile, the Philippines reported the first death on Sunday outside of China from 2019-nCoV. The first foreign fatality came as an escalating number of governments around the world closed their borders to people from China in a bid to stop it spreading. The 44-year-old man was the second confirmed case in the Philippines. Officials from the country’s Department of Health said he was the companion of the person in the first confirmed case, a 38-year-old woman.

Also, on Sunday morning, the second special Air India flight (in pic) evacuating Indian nationals from Wuhan — the epicentre of outbreak of 2019-nCoV — landed at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport. On board, were 323 Indians and seven Maldives evacuated from Wuhan in China in its second special flight, which landed. The first Air India flight carrying 324 Indians landed in the Capital on Saturday.

In a tweet, Maldives foreign minister Abdulla Shahid expressed his gratitude to PM Narendra Modi and external affairs minister S Jaishankar for the evacuation of the Maldivians. He added that all seven passengers will be housed in Delhi for a quarantine period.

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