NEW DELHI, March 12 - The number of coronavirus patients in the country has risen to 74 with 14 fresh cases, including nine from Maharashtra and one each from Delhi, Ladakh, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh as well as one foreign national, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday.
Giving a state-wise breakup, the ministry said Delhi reported six positive cases and Uttar Pradesh 10. Karnataka has four cases, Maharashtra 11 and Ladakh three.
Besides, Rajasthan, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh and Punjab have reported one case each. Kerala has recorded 17 cases, including three patients who were discharged last month after they recovered from the infection declared a global pandemic.
The total number of 74 confirmed cases includes 17 foreigners � 16 Italian tourists and a Canadian, the ministry officials said.
As the contagious disease with flu-like symptoms spreads across the globe and was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, the cabinet secretary has said states and Union Territories should invoke provisions of Section 2 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 so all advisories issued by the Union Health Ministry and state governments are enforceable.
An Indian team of doctors will leave for Italy on Thursday night to collect and bring swab samples of Indian students stranded there so that they can be tested before being brought back to the country, a health ministry official said.
Eighty-three evacuees from Italy who arrived in India on Wednesday have been housed at a quarantine facility in Manesar. All patients being treated in hospitals are reported to be stable, the officials said.
The ministry said the government is undertaking measures to ensure safety and security of its citizens in Iran after it became clear that the country was facing a COVID-19 outbreak.
Indian nationals in Iran include pilgrims, students and fishermen, it added.
On March 7, 108 samples were received from Iran. These samples are being tested at the AIIMS laboratory. Also, six scientists from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) are stationed in Iran and have so far collected swab samples of over 400 Indians stranded there.
�The first batch of 58 evacuees from Iran has arrived on March 10 with 25 men, 31 women and 2 children on board. All evacuees are asymptomatic at present,� the ministry said.
India has evacuated 948 passengers from COVID-19 affected countries. Of these, 900 are Indian citizens and 48 from different countries, including Maldives, Myanmar, Bangladesh, China, USA, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Nepal, South Africa and Peru, it said.
India has also suspended all visas, except a few categories such as diplomatic and employment, till April 15 in a bid to contain the coronavirus spread, according to a revised travel advisory. � PTI