Delhi shuts all primary schools amidst COVID-19 scare

All primary schools in the national capital and neighbouring Noida have been ordered closed while the centre announced that the India-EU summit, which was supposed to be held this month, has been rescheduled in view of the coronavirus outbreak.

Delhi government has directed immediate closure of all primary schools (government aided/ private/MCD/NDMC) till 31 March as a precautionary measure to prevent the possibility of spread of COVID-19 amongst school children, Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia said today. 
Meanwhile, one more confirmed case of coronavirus was reported in the country, in Ghaziabad, taking the total number in the country to 30. The person had travelled to Iran, accordingto a PTI report.
Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan in his statement in the Parliament said that India had initiated required preparedness and action from 17 January, before WHO’s advisory.
A Paytm employee in Gurgaon has tested positive for novel coronavirus, the company said in a statement on Wednesday. In light of this, the company's Gurugram and Noida offices will remain shut for at least two days.
The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has formed two rapid response teams for screening of residents who had visited coronavirus-affected countries after 15 January and has already screened 56 houses.
"Two rapid response teams consisting of doctor, paramedical staff and public health specialist have been formed for awareness generation and screening of persons who visited coronavirus-affected countries after 15 January belonging to NDMC area," a senior official of NDMC''s Health Department said.
The Maharashtra government on Thursday launched a dedicated helpline number 020-26127394-for any queries over the coronavirus outbreak in the state, reported ANI.
In a press conference on Thursday, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray said that people need to be cautious during next 10 to 15 day and urged people to avoid crowded spaces.
Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Jai Pratap Singh on Thursday said 175 people have been tested so far for coronavirus in the state with 157 of them showing no sign of the infection, reported PTI.
"The situation is under control. As many as 820 isolation beds have been prepared at various hospitals. Seven medical colleges have been alerted,” he added.
“Of the remaining 18 tested, six are from Agra and one from Ghaziabad,” he said, referring to the seven cases which have tested positive.
“The reports of the remaining 11 are yet to be received from National Institute of Virology in Pune,” he added
The National Institute of Communicable Disesaes in South Africa on Thursday released a statement, which said that a suspected case of coronavirus has tested positive.
"The patient is 38-year-old male who travelled to Italy with his wife. They were part of a group of 10 people and they arrived back in South Africa on 1 March," the statement said.
The department of health has confirmed the first case of #covid19 coronavirus in South Africa. pic.twitter.com/J9wnEYQnNd
The Karnataka government has advised city-based companies to allow their employees to work from home if they have flu-like symptoms.
"Those employees having flu like symptoms may be allowed to work from home with advice of standard hand hygiene and cough etiquette," the Health Department said in its advisory.
The advisory asked people to avoid non-essential travel to COVID-19 affected countries and refrain from travel to China, Iran, Republic of Korea, Italy and Japan.
"Employees other than those restricted countries arriving directly or indirectly from China, South Korea, Japan, Iran, Italy, Hong Kong, Maccau, Veitnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nepal, Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan, the UAE and Qatar must undergo medical screening at airport entry," the advisory read.
The fourteen Italians, who tested positive for coronavirus, have been shifted to the Medanta Hospital in Gurugram from an ITBP quarantine centre, reports PTI.
The hospital issued a statement on Thursday, 5 March, morning, saying these patients are housed on a completely separate floor, which has been quarantined and has no contact with the rest of the hospital.
There is a dedicated medical team wearing protective gear looking after these patients. All items used on the floor are isolated to that floor.  The isolated floor will completely contain the disease even with these asymptomatic persons.
Meanwhile, a UN Report on the trade impact of the coronavirus epidemic for India estimated it to be about 348 million dollars and the country figures among the top 15 economies most affected as slowdown of manufacturing in China disrupts world trade, according to a UN report.
Estimates published by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on Wednesday, 4 March, said that the slowdown of manufacturing in China due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is disrupting world trade and could result in a 50 billion dollar decrease in exports across global value chains.
He said people should keep track of updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and stay home if they are sick.