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Two Iran-returned test positive in Ladakh

Srinagar, Mar 7: Two persons from Ladakh with recent travel history to Iran tested positive for novel coronavirus on Saturday, taking the number of confirmed cases in India to 34.

The two patients have been admitted to Sonam Norboo Memorial Hospital (SNM) hospital Leh, officials said. 


Medical Superintendent of the SNM hospital, Dr Tsering Samphel said that two individuals have tested positive for novel coronavirus on Saturday. 

In a presser, Medical Superintendent Dr Samphel said that the two patients who have tested positive had travelled to Iran for pilgrimage for several days.  

Dr Samphel said that one of the patients admitted to SNM hospital here had reached Delhi from Tehran on February 26 after which he landed in Ladakh on February 28.

The other patient, the MS said, had landed in Delhi on February 22 and arrived in Ladakh on February 27, and showed some early symptoms due to which he was admitted to SNM hospital on February 29. 

After conducting the tests of suspects the samples were sent to Pune for final confirmation, the results received Saturday afternoon showed them as ‘positive for coronavirus’, Dr Tsering said. 

Dr Samphel added that both the patients have been kept in isolation at SNM hospital Leh and the necessary treatment is being given to them.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to people to stay away from rumours, and greet people with a “namaste” instead of a handshake. He held a meeting with officials of various ministries in the evening to take stock of the situation.

During an interaction with owners of Jan Aushadhi Kendras and beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojna (PMBJP) through video conference, PM Modi also asked people to avoid handshakes and start greeting others with ‘namaste’ once again.

“I appeal to my fellow countrymen to stay away from rumours regarding coronavirus,” Modi said.

Meanwhile, the number of coronavirus-related deaths in China rose to 3,070 on Saturday, with the country reporting 28 new deaths due to the outbreak. 

The country’s health authorities reported 99 fresh cases of infection as the number of new cases rose outside the virus epicentre of Hubei province for a third consecutive day.

Twenty-five new cases were reported outside the central province, which remains under lockdown in a bid to control the spread of the virus.

While new infections reported from Hubei have been on a downward trend for several weeks and at 74, the number of new cases is the lowest since quarantine measures were placed on the province in late January, health officials also reported 24 confirmed imported cases — fuelling fears in China that infections could swell again as people get infected overseas.