Coronavirus: India urges citizens not to panic as infected toll jumps over 70

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Mar 12, 2020, 10:35 PM IST
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File photo Photograph:(PTI)

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The health ministry officials said at least one-and-a-half to two years will be needed to develop the vaccine

The Indian health ministry on Thursday urged people not to panic amid the rising coronavirus cases in the country as it confirmed 1,500 people placed under observation for coming in contact with 73 positive cases. 

Later, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan confirmed two more positive cases in the state. Another two COVID-19 cases were confirmed in Maharashtra too.      

The health ministry officials also said COVID-19 is difficult to isolate and at least one-and-a-half to two years will be needed to develop the vaccine. 

They further said that three planes would also be sent to Iran over the next three days to evacuate Indians stranded in coronavirus-hit Iran. 

Indian Premier League (IPL), a major T20 tournament is also facing the threat of a cancellation or postponement after the foreign ministry said that the government advised BCCI either not to organise IPL this year or conduct it behind closed doors. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a tweet, urged citizens not to panic but taking precautions. He also said that no union minister will travel abroad in the coming days and urged Indians to avoid non-essential travel. 

"We can break the chain of spread and ensure safety of all by avoiding large gatherings," PM Modi tweeted. 


On Wednesday, India suspended all visas issued to other countries till April 15 which will be enforced from 1200 GMT on March 13. However, diplomats, UN and international organisations officials were given relief from this suspension. 

The Delhi government today declared the outbreak as an "epidemic" and ordered the closure of schools, universities and cinema halls till March 31.