Tne Novel Coronavirus scare spreads in India as more cases are confirmed with the infection.

NEW DELHI: A school in India’s capital sent a mobile text message to parents that it would not let in children if they were unwell in view of the novel coronavirus scare.

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), one of the country’s leading trade associations, advised its members not to attend meetings and events if they have travelled to a country affected by a large number of coronavirus infections.

People in India are responding to the outbreak in different ways, including some promoting fake cures on social media. 

The country has gone on heightened alert against the coronavirus risks after 16 Italian tourists tested positive, taking the number of reported infections to 29.

Measures are being taken across India to raise awareness about the virus and to contain the threat.

Airports and border posts have boosted surveillance and screening of travellers for possible symptoms such as fever, coughing and shortness of breath.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) reviewed India’s preparedness for dealing with suspected cases.

It said all government departments and ministers will consult the Ministry of Health before organising conferences and international meetings in the country.

“Decisions were also taken to rapidly implement opening of proper testing, isolation and quarantine facilities in various parts of the country, down to the district level, in partnership with the state governments,” it said in a statement on Wednesday.

Authorities in the coastal state of Goa, a tourist destination, have set up special facilities to handle coronavirus cases.

Digital payments company Paytm advised its employees to work from home for the next two days while it got its offices sanitised after an employee who had visited Italy tested positive on Wednesday.

Sales of anti-pollution and surgical masks have risen sharply in recent days, according to pharmacies.

“We do not have enough supplies of masks. Prices have shot up as well,” a salesman at a pharmacy in Delhi said.

India’s first three coronavirus cases were reported from the southern state of Kerala.

All three infected persons, who were students in China’s coronavirus epicentre Wuhan, have recovered.

The Indian government has issued an advisory for avoiding non-essential travel to China, Iran, South Korea, Italy and Japan and other affected countries. – Bernama