An Italian tourist in Jaipur tested positive on Tuesday taking the total number of confirmed cases in India to six so far. The 69-year-old tourist’s wife is also suspected to be have been infected with the virus and her samples are being sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune for another test, said an official from the Union Health Ministry.
The couple has been kept in isolation at Jaipur’s Sawai Man Singh (SMS) Hospital.
India had earlier reported three cases from Kerala, including two medical students from Wuhan in China, the epicentre of the deadly novel coronavirus. They have now recovered.
Twenty-one Italian tourists and three Indian tour operators, who were in the same group as the couple, have been sent to an Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) quarantine facility in Delhi for suspected exposure, said official sources.
Meanwhile, two private schools in Noida were shut on Tuesday for the next few days after the father of one of their students tested positive for Coronavirus. Several people, including his family members, were quarantined or kept in isolation as authorities stepped up prevention efforts, including suspending existing regular and e-visas to nationals of four other affected countries. These include Italy, Iran, South Korea and Japan.
As concerns over the spread of the virus mounted after two more persons tested positive on Monday – one in Delhi and another in Telangana — Prime Minister Narendra Modi held an extensive review on the preparedness. He also urged the people not to panic and instead take basic protective measures.
Amid the scare in Delhi-NCR, the demand for surgical and N95 masks increased manifold in Noida, with some people claiming they were being sold at rates much higher than the actual cost.
The World Health Organization warned that protective gear such as masks and goggles used by health workers fighting the new coronavirus were running out, warning against “hoarding and misuse”.