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Coronavirus Updates, March 12: India’s First Death Confirmed in Karnataka

Coronavirus Updates, March 12: India’s First Death Confirmed in Karnataka

According to the WHO’s latest situation report, as of March 11:

Global cases: 118,326
Deaths: 4,292
Cases in China: 80,955
Deaths in China: 3,162
Cases outside China: 37,371
Deaths outside China: 1,130
Total countries affected: 114

India’s first COVID-19 death confirmed in Karnataka

A 76-year-old man who died two days ago in Karnataka while being treated for suspected coronavirus has become India’s first COVID-19 fatality with his samples taken earlier confirming the infection, the state government said on Thursday.

Karnataka health minister B. Sriramulu in a tweet said the necessary contact tracing, isolation and other measures as per protocol were being taken.

The man, who recently returned from Saudi Arabia, had died on Tuesday night.

The Ministry of Health said the patient had severe co-morbidities such as history of hypertension, diabetes and asthma and appendicitis.

State Joint Director (Communicable Diseases) B.G. Prakash Kumar said all protocols were followed for disposal of the body.

Delhi govt declares epidemic: Educational institutions, cinema halls closed

The Delhi government on Thursday declared coronavirus an epidemic and announced that all schools, colleges and cinema halls in the national capital will remain shut till March 31.

The decision was taken at a high-level meeting attended by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, LG Anil Baijal and top government officials. “The city government has declared coronavirus an epidemic,” Kejriwal said.

He said disinfecting all public places, including government and private offices and shopping malls has been made compulsory. The national capital has so far recorded six cases of coronavirus.

China suspends foreign expeditions on north side of Everest

China has suspended foreign expeditions on the north side of Mount Everest in Tibet during the spring climbing season of 2020 due to the coronavirus that has spread to more than 100 countries and region.

The Tibet Mountaineering Association (TMA) announced on Thursday that while China has made great progress in containing the coronavirus disease, its rapid global spread still brings uncertainty and danger.

If a climber were infected, the high altitude and rough terrain on Mt Everest knowns as Mt Qomolangma in Tibetan languages would make it difficult to provide appropriate treatment.

High court tells Centre to contact Indian students in Iran

  • The Delhi high court directed the Centre to ensure that the Indian embassy in Iran gets in touch with the Indian students stranded there
  • The next date of hearing is March 17. The court is hearing a plea moved by the parents of the Indian students who are stranded in Iran due to the coronavirus outbreak, seeking directions to the Centre to evacuate them
  • On Monday, external affairs minister S. Jaishankar had met some of the students’ parents in Srinagar

Haryana declares epidemic

  • The Haryana government on Thursday declared the contagious coronavirus infection an epidemic
  • According to the state health department, 44 samples of suspected cases were sent for tests till Wednesday. Out of these, 38 were found negative for coronavirus while reports of six people are awaited

Foreign players out of IPL for now

  • No foreign player will be available for this year’s IPL till April 15 due to visa restrictions imposed by the government
  • The fate of the IPL itself will be decided on March 14 at the event’s Governing Council meeting in Mumbai, PTI reported. The event is currently supposed to begin on March 29, and a postponement cannot be ruled out
  • The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to accord urgent hearing on a plea seeking postponement of the IIPL-2020 amid the coronavirus scare

Zuari bridge construction delayed by visa cancellations

  • The construction of the widest cable-stayed bridge in India, in Goa, has been stalled thanks to the coronavirus outbreak, Times of India reported
  • Suppliers of steel cables from China and designers from Shanghai and Paris had to cancel their travel to India after the Indian government cancelled the visas of travellers from China and France
  • Atul Joshi, a vice-president of Dilip Buildcon, the contractor, told the newspaper, “There are no experts in the field in India”
  • The bridge is currently scheduled to open for public use in December 2021
  • Once completed, the bridge will connect parts of north and south Goa

Member of Arctic expedition tests positive

  • A member of an expedition to the Arctic has tested positive for COVID-19, delaying the mission that experts consider an important effort to understand how the Arctic has been affected by climate change
  • According to Nature, the member – of the MOSAiC expedition – has been quarantined along with 20 others in their homes, and their flights to the ship delayed
  • As Earther wrote, “The goal of the expedition is to study the effects of global warming on the Arctic. … MOSAiC involves a large German icebreaker, named Polarstern, which has been locked in ice since October of last year.”
  • All 20 are part of the expedition’s aerial survey team, comprising for the moment the expedition’s ability to collect atmospheric data

Greece declares first death

  • Greece reported its first fatality from a coronavirus infection on Thursday, a 66-year-old man who had returned from a religious pilgrimage to Israel and Egypt at the end of February
  • There were 99 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Greece by late Wednesday

Japan’s Kurabo to sell 15-minute coronavirus test kit

  • Japan’s Kurabo Industries Ltd said on Thursday it would start selling a coronavirus test kit that would give results in 15 minutes
  • This news sent the companies shares soaring 23% higher to a daily-limit high
  • Kurabo, a maker of textiles and chemicals, said in a statement it would import the kit from a Chinese partner and begin selling it from March 16.

(With agency inputs)

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