India’s Punjab reports COVID-19 cases; PM urges to “stay away from rumours”


Passengers wearing facemasks as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, enter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata on March 7, 2020. (Photo by DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP via Getty Images)
Passengers wearing facemasks as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, enter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata on March 7, 2020. (Photo by DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP via Getty Images)

Northern Indian state of Punjab has reported first two positive cases of coronavirus on Saturday (7). The patients have a travel history to virus-hit Italy.

With this, the total number of confirmed cases in India has reached 33.

The COVID-19 cases in India have been reported from Kerala (all three patients recovered), Telangana, Delhi, Agra and Jaipur so far.

The two patients in Punjab were admitted to the isolation ward of a hospital after they showed symptoms of the disease on their arrival at Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport in Amritsar, through Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi.

“Their samples have already been sent for the second confirmation examination, the results of which will be out by Saturday evening or Sunday morning. This is done to cross-check the preliminary findings, “said the city’s civil surgeon Dr Prabhdeep Kaur Johal.

Meanwhile, prime minister Narendra Modi on Saturday asked people to stay away from rumours regarding coronavirus and emphasised on the need to follow the advice of doctors in this regard.

He also asked people to avoid handshakes and start greeting others with ‘namaste’ once again.

In a major relief, all suspected coronavirus cases show negative test results in Rajasthan’s Jaipur.

Earlier, an Italian couple had tested positive for the virus.

“The total number of samples tested so far is 282. Of those, 280 have tested negative and two positive (of the Italian couple),” Additional Chief Secretary, Medical and Health, Rohit Kumar Singh said.

After the confirmation of coronavirus in the elderly Italian couple, who was part of a group of tourists that visited Jhunjhunu, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Udaipur and Jaipur from February 21 to 28, samples of those who came in contact with them were taken.

These samples tested negative at the laboratory of SMS Medical College.