Published On : Wed, Mar 18th, 2020

Air Asia flight to bring back Indians from Kuala Lumpur; Army jawan tests positive

Coronavirus latest updates: Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar informed that an Air Asia flight would bring back Indian students and other passengers that were waiting in transit at the Kuala Lumpur airport in Malaysia. He added that the Indian government had approved and Air Asia flights to take them to Delhi and Vizag.

The first positive case of COVID-19 was confirmed in an Indian Army jawan (from Ladakh Scouts). The jawan’s father has a travel history to Iran, ANI said. The jawan is being treated while his family including sister and wife have been put in quarantine. Jawan’s father has also tested positive, Army sources told ANI.

Earlier on Tuesday, as per PTI reports quoting health ministry, a coronavirus patient in Maharashtra has died taking the death toll in India to three. Coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc across countries and take a toll on multiple economies. According to the latest data from the Ministry of Health, India has 137 positive cases of which 24 are foreign nationals. Maharashtra has a maximum of 36 cases as per its data, Kerala has 24, while Uttar Pradesh and Delhi have 14 and 8 respectively. States across the country have shut down all schools, colleges, gyms, night clubs and spas until March 31.

In fact, the central government has also announced the shut down of all Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)-protected monuments along with central museums as the COVID-19 infection is piercing deep within the Indian subcontinent. There are more than 3,000 monuments under ASI including one of the world’s seven wonders, Taj Mahal. While the closure will impact the exchequer as the monuments receive a huge footfall but the government finds the closure necessary for preventing the outspread of the novel Coronavirus. Meanwhile, the Health Ministry informed that passengers travelling to India from EU countries, the UK, European Free Trade Association and Turkey will not be allowed from March 18, 2020.

As the number of positive cases increases, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das has said that disease will not only impact the domestic economy but the global economy as well. The statement came at a time when airlines, tourism, hospitality and trade business have already been impacted badly in the last one month.

India is also in a sanitization and disinfection overdrive. While various state governments have announced disinfecting buses and public transport, Delhi Metro and Indian railways are also conducting cleaning and sanitization process. In a bid to further curtail the spread of COVID-19, Indian Railways has decided to remove curtains and sheets from all air-conditioned coaches.