Some Indian states shut down schools and cinemas and seal borders as Covid-19 cases cross 60

Fighting the tough fight.
Fighting the tough fight.
Image: AP Photo/Prakash Elamakkara
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This post has been updated.

India has stepped up efforts to fight Covid-19 as the number of confirmed cases in the country hit 62.

Last night (March 10), the health ministry “strongly advised” citizens to refrain from travelling to China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, Japan, France, Spain, and Germany.

It said passengers travelling to India from Italy or Republic of Korea will need a medical certificate from those countries stating they have tested negative for Covid-19, ANI reported late last night.

The state governments are also taking preventive measures. Yesterday, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan ordered a total shutdown after the number of confirmed cases hit 15 in the state. Educational institutions and cinema halls in Kerala will remain shut till March 31. People have been advised against being part of mass gatherings.

A religious leader in the state, Amritanandamayi, has asked followers not to congregate till the coronavirus scare fades away. 

Vijayan also wrote to prime minister Narendra Modi to evacuate stranded Indians from Italy.

The Arunachal Pradesh government in the northeast has temporarily suspended issuing protected area permits (PAPs) to foreigners to check the spread of coronavirus. Citizens from other nations require PAPs to enter the state in India that shares a border with China. Mizoram has sealed its border with Myanmar.

Fighting the enemy

On March 10, India, for the first time, tried a combination of two anti-HIV drugs on a couple of elderly Italian coronavirus patients in Jaipur who had difficulty in breathing. The drug controller general of India (DCGI) approved the “restricted” use of second-line HIV drugs.

Meanwhile, Indian health minister Harsh Vardhan has said all coronavirus patients in the country are stable and recovering.

Double trouble

The situation got difficult in Karnataka which reported a possible cholera outbreak

Hospitals in Bengaluru have reported 17 cases over the past three days with symptoms like diarrhoea, dehydration, vomiting, and exhaustion—all associated with cholera. Authorities have cut water supply to some affected areas until the source of the infection is found.