According to reports, 12 more people have tested positive for coronavirus in the country including 6 in Kerala and 3 each in Karnataka and Pune.
Amid COVID-19 or coronavirus scare, a combination of two anti-HIV drugs has been used for the first time in India in the treatment of two patients.
A media report quoted the union health ministry as saying that the total number of confirmed cases has risen to 50, adding the rest are being retested for confirmation.
Once the fresh cases declared by the state governments are taken into account, the figure will go up to 59.
Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa said with three new cases, a total of four persons have been confirmed for coronavirus.
At Pune in Maharashtra, three persons have been tested positive for the deadly virus, a day after two cases were reported.
In Jaipur, the combination of lopinavir and ritonavir, both second-line HIV drugs, was administered on an elderly Italian couple undergoing treatment for coronavirus at the SMS Hospital, says a report.
The ‘restricted use’ of these medications was approved by the Drug Controller General of India for treating those affected by novel coronavirus after the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) sought their emergency approval.
The report quoted SMS Hospital medical superintendent Dr DS Meena as saying that the Italian man and his wife had developed severe respiratory problems following which a decision was taken to put them on the combination of lopinavir and ritonavir.
Consent of the patients was taken before the drugs were administered, said officials.
In Karnataka, a software engineer, who returned from the US March 1 tested positive on Monday.
The infected software engineer is the first coronavirus patient in Karnataka.
According to health department officials, the patient’s wife and daughter too tested positive for the virus on Tuesday.
Officials said, another person, who had travelled from America via London and arrived March 8 in Bangalore, also tested positive.
A day after two persons related to each other tested positive for novel coronavirus in Pune, the Maharashtra health department said that the total number of cases has gone up to five.
Meanwhile, India has temporarily suspended all the visas and e-visas granted on or before March 11 to nationals of three more coronavirus-affected countries – France, Germany and Spain.
The suspension has been made effective immediately as part of the measure to contain the spread of the deadly virus.
It has been reported that two more persons were on Tuesday admitted to an isolation ward in a state-run hospital at Murshidabad district in West Bengal with fever and cough – symptoms associated with the novel coronavirus – a senior health department official said.