New Delhi: The World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus or COVID-19 as global pandemic on March 11. The death toll of COVID-19 has crossed the 4,000 mark and confirmed cases globally have crossed 1 lakh as per the reports. India on Thursday (March 12) confirmed it’s 73rd case of novel coronavirus or CCOVID-19, with Kerala reporting the most number of cases, as per the data from Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Of these, 56 are Indian nationals and 17 are foreigners. The Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan in January asserted that the country is well-equipped to tackle the Corona outbreak and that a group of ministers is monitoring the Coronavirus cases in India.
He had also said that the government is in direct contact with the WHO and taking all steps needed to curb the spread of the fatal virus. As of today, following steps have been taken by the government at state as well as central level to tackle the global pandemic of COVID-19.
- All existing visas, except diplomatic, official, UN/International Organizations, employment, project visas, stand suspended till April 15, while Indian nationals are strongly advised to avoid all non-essential travel abroad. On their return, they can be subjected to quarantine for a minimum of 14 days.
- The Delhi government declared coronavirus as an epidemic in the state with 6 confirmed cases. All schools, colleges and cinema halls in Delhi will remain shut till March 31 as a measure to counter the coronavirus, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Thursday, March 12. The Delhi government had shut the primary schools earlier this month, the secondary classes were left open in view of the exams. The Chief Minister also declared that all cinema halls will remain shut in Delhi till 31st March. Schools and colleges where exams are not being held will also remain closed. Delhi government has also made disinfecting all public places, including government, private offices and shopping malls compulsory. Furthermore, vacant flats owned by Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board will be used for quarantine, says CM Kejriwal.
- Over 1,500 people under observation for coming in contact with 73 positive cases of coronavirus, as revealed by the Union Health Ministry. 10.5 lakh people screened so far at 30 designated airports in India, says the ministry.
- Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways advised states and Union Territories to take all steps for sanitisation of public transport vehicles and terminals. This is to ensure sanitation of seats, handles and bars at all bus terminals are disinfected. The ministry also suggested that the public transport should display public health messages in vehicles, bus terminals and bus stops and asked states and UTs to take expeditious action and mobilise all necessary support in this regard.
- All educational institutions, stadiums and sports clubs in Srinagar are closed from till further orders amid the coronavirus scare as a precautionary step, the city administration has said. Srinagar Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu said that its “an unavoidable decision” to allow the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) to plan, sterilize and sanitize schools and colleges. Under a special set of statutory provisions, SMC has also ordered closure of all educational institutions, public clubs, sports clubs, indoor and open stadiums, coaching centres within Srinagar city limits till further orders. The mayor said the Corporation will procure 1,000 full quarantine body kits and spraying machines and all public as well as private hospitals will go into heightened sanitation mode. The Corporation also ordered cancellation of all sports events within its limits and phased segregation of flea markets, including weekly markets, with an immediate effect. It has also issued an advisory asking people to desist shopping, especially eatables and garments, from roadside vendors.
- The Haryana government has declared a coronavirus epidemic, State Health Minister Anil Vij said that an appeal has also been issued to persons who have travelled abroad in the last 14 days to self-isolate for at least two weeks. He also said that a campaign has been launched across the state to identify such persons across educational institutions, nursing homes and hospitals in Haryana. New regulations called ‘Haryana Epidemic COVID-19 Regulations 2020’ have also been issued and district magistrates/deputy district magistrates/civil surgeons and other health officials in each district directed to take preventive steps against coronavirus in their respective areas. All hospitals in Haryana have been directed to create and maintain a data on all suspected cases and of those who have come in contact with such patients.
- Kerala continues to be on a high alert with more test results of COVID-19 suspects expected soon as the state reports the most number of cases (17) in the country. The total number of people under observation is 3,020, while 293 are admitted to various hospitals in the state, said state Health Minister K.K. Shailaja. She also informed that out of the 1,179 samples sent for testing, 889 samples reports have come back and are all negative. The Kerala government has closed all educational institutions in the state till March 31.