At a time when the coronavirus epidemic has spread its tentacles in over 60 countries with 3,000-plus deaths, two fresh cases of the virus have been reported from India. While one of the patients, a Delhi resident who is down with the virus, has travelled from Italy, the other patient belongs to Telangana and had recently visited Dubai.
The Union Health Ministry, which is keeping a close tab on the spread of the virus, clarified that the condition of both the patients is stable and they are being closely monitored. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said people should maintain hygiene around their surroundings, wash their hands properly, and avoid crowded places. He further revealed that the helpline number for the coronavirus epidemic is 011-23978046 and email is [email protected]
Earlier, three confirmed cases of coronavirus were reported from Kerala when three students tested positive for the virus. However, they were later released from hospital after proper treatment.
Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Health Ashwini Choubey said the government has set-up 15 laboratories to tackle the epidemic and 19 other laboratories are underway. Notably, over 80,000 positive cases of the virus have been reported from China till Sunday.
UN releases $15 million to contain coronavirus
The United Nations on Monday released US$15 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to help finance global efforts to contain the spread of the deadly cornonavirus. The announcement came after the World Health Organisation (WHO) upgraded the global risk of the coronavirus outbreak to ‘very high’—its top level of risk assessment. The agency said there is still chance of containing the spread of the virus if its chain of transmission is broken.
Following WHO’s move, UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock said: “We do not yet see evidence that the coronavirus is spreading freely. As long as that’s the case, we still have a chance of containing it. But swift and robust action must be taken to detect cases early, isolate and care for patients, and trace contacts. We must act now to stop this virus from putting more lives at risk”.
Lowcock added, “This grant from the UN’s Emergency Fund will help the countries with fragile health systems boost their detection and response operations. It has the potential to save the lives of millions of vulnerable people”.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “The potential spread of the virus to countries with weaker health systems is one of our biggest concerns. These funds will help support these countries get ready for detecting and isolating positive cases, protecting their health workers, and treating patients with dignity and rendering them appropriate care. This will help us save lives and push back the virus.”
UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said, “At this pivotal moment, every effort must be made to push back against the outbreak, these crucial funds will support our global efforts to bolster weaker health systems and inform children, pregnant women and families about how to protect themselves”.
Some of the symptoms exhibited by the virus affected persons include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. In severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death. The WHO has declared the coronavirus epidemic a global health emergency.