NEW DELHI, March 15 - The number of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the country rose to 107 on Sunday, with Maharashtra reporting the highest, followed by Kerala, while over 450 stranded Indians were flown back from Italy and Iran, the two worst-affected countries after China, and quarantined.
Extending the border restrictions in view of the coronavirus outbreak, the government has suspended travel and registration of pilgrims to Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara through the corridor from Sunday midnight, besides movement of all types of passengers to Pakistan through international border points.
Earlier, the government had announced suspension of all types of passenger movement from 00:00 hours on March 15 through the Indo-Bangla, Indo-Nepal, Indo-Bhutan and Indo-Myanmar borders barring a few specified border checkposts.
According to the Union Health Ministry, there are 107 cases in India so far, including the two persons who died in Delhi and Karnataka and 17 foreigners. Twelve more people have tested positive in Maharashtra, taking the number of cases to 31, it said.
Delhi has so far reported seven positive cases, Kerala 22 and Uttar Pradesh 11. Karnataka has six coronavirus patients while Ladakh three and Jammu and Kashmir had two. Telangana reported three cases. Rajasthan also reported two cases. Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Punjab have reported one case each.
In Kerala, 20 Dubai-bound passengers were detained at the Kochi airport after a UK national, who was under surveillance but sneaked out and joined the group, tested positive for novel coronavirus, official sources said. The over 280 passengers of the Dubai-bound Emirates flight were offloaded at the airport. The flight left for Dubai in the afternoon after the 20 passengers were detained. The UK national has been taken to an isolation facility at a nearby government hospital, a Cochin International Airport Limited spokesman said.
Mumbai police on Sunday clamped prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC to stop tour operators from conducting any kind of group tours to foreign or domestic destinations till March 31.
More states, including Tamil Nadu, Assam and Uttarakhand, ordered closure of schools and public places like cinema halls and malls where people gather in large numbers.
The government continued to evacuate Indians stranded in coronavirus-hit Iran and Italy. A total of 218 Indians, mostly students, from Milan landed at 9.45 am at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) in Delhi and were taken to an ITBP quarantine facility in southwest Delhi�s Chhawla area.
More than 230 Indians brought back from Iran reached New Delhi at 3:15 am and were quarantined at the Indian Army Wellness Centre in Jaisalmer, the third batch to be evacuated from that country.
India-Bangladesh passenger train services between Kolkata and cities in the neighbouring country were also suspended from Sunday as a precaution against COVID-19. � PTI