Coronavirus Updates: 7th Indian tests positive on cruise ship; 2 dead in Iran
The number of people infected with coronavirus has risen to over 74,000 and the death toll in mainland China climbed above 2,000 on Wednesday.
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The death toll from China's new coronavirus epidemic climbed above 2,000 on Wednesday but the number of newly reported cases fell for the second consecutive day, according to the National Health Commission. Globally, more than 74,000 people have been infected with the virus, officially named Covid-19 by the WHO, even as the rate of new cases continued to slow.
One more Indian on board a cruise ship quarantined off the Japanese coast tested positive for the virus on Wednesday, the Indian embassy in Tokyo said.
With the latest case, the number of infected Indians on board the Diamond Princess has gone up to seven even as hundreds of people began disembarking the vessel after being held on board for more than two weeks under quarantine. The Japanese authorities announced 79 new cases had been discovered on board, bringing the total above 620, well over half the known cases outside mainland China.
Here are the live updates:
India's third coronavirus patient tests negative
A woman medico treated for novel coronavirus tested negative for the second time, marking the recovery all three cases of the infection in India reported from Kerala, the state government said on Wednesday, reports PTI.
Two other students -- one from Alappuzha and another Kasaragod -- had been discharged recently after they too tested negative for the virus in fresh tests days after being infected by it.
A decision on discharge of the woman, India's first coronavirus patient and undergoing treatment in the isolation ward of the Thrissur Medical College Hospital since her return from Wuhan in China last month, would be taken by the Medical Board which will meet on Thursday, the officials said.
All the three Keralites had earlier tested positive for the coronavirus on their return from Wuhan, triggering a scare in the state.
Chinese universities to postpone new semester for Indian students amid coronavirus outbreak
The State Council of China has decided to postpone the new semester of universities in the wake of the deadly coronavirus outbreak, the Chinese Embassy has informed the Union Health ministry, reports PTI. The students will be notified by their respective universities.
According to an official, several students who had returned from China after the epidemic had approached the health ministry saying their respective universities were asking them to join back or they would lose their admission status.
"The issue was taken up by Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan during her meeting with the Chinese Ambassador recently," an official statement said.
Iran reports first deaths from coronavirus
Iran's state-run IRNA news agency reported Wednesday that the new virus has killed two elderly Iranian citizens.
IRNA quoted Alireza Vahabzadeh, an adviser to the country's health minister, as saying both of the victims had been carrying the coronavirus and were located in Qom, about 140 kilometers (86 miles) south of the capital Tehran.
Earlier on Wednesday, Iranian authorities confirmed two cases of the new virus, the first in the country,
Man with coronavirus in Egypt is recovering, no longer a carrier: WHO
The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday that the person previously confirmed to have the COVID-19 coronavirus in Egypt is on his way to recovery, after latest tests showed he was "no longer carrying the virus", reports Reuters.
"He will remain in quarantine until the full 14-day period is over and will be undergoing further required tests to ensure he was fully recovered," WHO spokeswoman Inas Hamam said in an email.
Egypt confirmed the case, its first, last week. It remains the only known instance of the new coronavirus in Africa.
Not a single coronavirus case despite being China's neighbour: Mongolian Envoy
Mongolian Ambassador to India Gonchig Ganbold on Wednesday said that despite being an immediate neighbour of China, not a single case of coronavirus has been reported from the country.
"Mongolia is next to China and fortunately we do not have a single case of coronavirus. We are very conscious and we are reducing the movement of people," Ganbold told ANI in New Delhi.
WHO declares 'progress' in fight against coronavirus
The World Health Organization on Wednesday hailed "tremendous progress" in the fight against the deadly new coronavirus since it emerged in China in December.
"We are making tremendous progress in a short period of time ... trends are very encouraging but we are not at a turning point yet," said Richard Brennan, WHO's regional emergency director, at a press conference in Cairo.
36 return to Maharashtra from quarantine camps in Delhi-NCR
Thirty-six people from Maharashtra, who were airlifted from the novel coronavirus-hit Wuhan city of China and quarantined for 14 days at facilities in the National Capital Region, returned to the state on Wednesday, state health minister Rajesh Tope said, reports PTI.
These 36 people were among the 645 Indians who were airlifted from Wuhan about a fortnight back due to the coronavirus outbreak in China. They were kept under observation at two special facilities - an ITBP camp in Delhi and an Army camp at Manesar near Gurugram - for two weeks.
Tope said the 36 travellers from Maharashtra were allowed to return home as they had completed 14-day-long follow-up period.
Coronavirus poses risks to fragile recovery in global economy : IMF
The coronavirus epidemic has already disrupted economic growth in China and a further spread to other countries could derail a "highly fragile" projected recovery in the global economy in 2020, the International Monetary Fund warned on Wednesday.
In a note for G20 finance ministers and central bankers, the global lender mapped out many risks facing the global economy, including the disease and a renewed spike in U.S.-China trade tensions, as well as climate-related disasters.
Coronavirus outbreak to have limited impact on India: RBI Governor
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das has said that the coronavirus outbreak will have limited impact on India, but global growth will be hit. India’s pharmaceutical and electronic manufacturing sectors are dependent on China for inputs and they may be impacted, Das said on Wednesday.
“Most of the large pharma companies, according to information that we have, always keep stock for three-four months. Therefore, they should be able to manage and also those provinces from where these pharma intermediates are sourced have not been impacted by the virus outbreak. Therefore, there is an expectation that the supply of pharma raw materials will be maintained,” he said.
Govt panel recommends ban on export of 12 drug formulations, ingredients
A government committee formed to monitor supply of raw materials for drugs from China has recommended restrictions on exports of 12 active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and formulations in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, according to an official communication.
In a letter sent to the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Deputy Secretary at Chemicals and Fertilisers Ministry M K Bhardwaj sought restricting exports of the 12 APIs and formulations.
The 12 APIs and formulations include antibiotics such as Choramphenicol, Neomycin, Metronidazole and Vitamins B1, B12, B6 along with progesterone, among others.
Chinese president Xi calls for greater protection of medical staff
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater protection of medical workers fighting the coronavirus after causalities among them showed an upward trend.
The president called for great attention to their protection to make sure they are healthy and stay focused on winning the battle against the coronavirus. He said medical workers are the backbone force in defeating the epidemic and stressed on providing comprehensive support for them to ensure their strength, morale and energy.
2 crew members of Chinese vessel off Chennai test negative for coronavirus
Two Chinese crew members of a ship, which arrived in Chennai from coronavirus-hit China, tested negative for the disease, the Chennai Port Trust said on Wednesday. The port authority's statement came hours after it announced their isolation due to fever.
The isolated persons' blood samples had been collected on Wednesday morning and sent for testing at city-based King's Institute for Preventive Medicine.
"The laboratory test reports of the two Chinese crew on board the ship MV MAGNATE has been reported negative for COVID-19 by King's Institute for Preventive Medicine, Guindy," the Chennai Port Trust said in a release.
Hong Kong reports second coronavirus death
On Wednesday, Hong Kong reported its second death from the virus. The deceased was a 70-year-old male who was diagnosed on February 14.
7th Indian on board cruise ship infected with coronavirus
One more Indian aboard a quarantined cruise ship off Japan’s coast has been found to be infected by the new strain of coronavirus on Wednesday, taking the total number of affected Indians on the ship to seven, said the Indian Embassy.
A total of 138 Indians are on the Diamond Princess ship, including 132 crew and 6 passengers.
The mission said that infected Indians were responding well to the treatment.
As of 2100 JST, altogether 7 Indian nationals (crew members on board #DiamondPrincess) are receiving treatment in hospitals in Japan, after testing positive for #COVID19 over last few days. Their health conditions are improving. @MEAIndia— India in Japanインド大使館 (@IndianEmbTokyo) February 19, 2020
Final batch of Wuhan-returned Indians at ITBP facility discharged
The third and final batch of people quarantined at an ITBP facility in New Delhi after being evacuated from the coronavirus-hit Chinese city of Wuhan was discharged on Wednesday, said a senior official.
With the latest release, all 406 people at the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) facility have been discharged after being declared free of coronavirus by the doctors.
The release of inmates began on February 17 and the last batch to be discharged was a family of six people, ITBP spokesperson Vivek Kumar Pandey said.
The discharge process was initiated after the final coronavirus reports of all the 406 people living at the facility tested negative.
First published: Feb 19, 2020 18:39 IST