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    WHO Declares Coronavirus A Global Pandemic; 68 Cases In India

    2 cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Mumbai, marking the first cases for Maharashtra

    The spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is now a pandemic, officials at the World Health Organization (WHO) said on March 11th, 2020

    “We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO’s director-general. Dr Tedros called for countries to learn from one another’s successes, act in unison and help protect one another against a common threat.

    “We have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a coronavirus. And we have never before seen a pandemic that can be controlled at the same time. WHO has been in full response mode since we were notified of the first cases,” Dr Tedros said.

    “Find, isolate, test and treat every case, and trace every contact,” Dr Tedros added. “Ready your hospitals. Protect and train your health care workers.”

    “Let’s all look out for each other, because we’re in this together to do the right things with calm and to protect the citizens of the world. All countries must strike a fine balance between protecting health, minimizing economic & social disruption & respecting human rights. This is not just a public health crisis, it is a crisis that will touch every sector – so every sector and every individual must be involved in the fight,” Dr Tedros further said.

    Although this is the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus, “we also believe that this is the first pandemic that is able to be controlled,” Dr Tedros added.

    The coronavirus first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan last December. The deadly virus has infected more than 110,000 people in at least 110 countries and territories globally, according to the WHO.

    Meanwhile, the first two people from Mumbai tested positive for coronavirus, taking the number of such cases in Maharashtra to 10. India has now registered 68 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

    The elderly couple had come in close contact with two Pune residents who had returned from Dubai recently and tested positive for coronavirus.

    “People travelling back to India are being tested for COVID-19 and are advised to stay separately at their homes. We are taking full precautions, I appeal to the people to not panic,” said Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

    India on March 11th, 2020 said it will suspend nearly all ordinary travel visas till April 15th, 2020 to prevent further spread of the coronavirus. The order will come into force from 1200 GMT, March 13th, 2020. 

    Kerala, the first state in the country, has announced a major clampdown on public functions in the state. The worst-affected districts include Pathanamthitta, Ernakulam and Kottayam.

    404 Indian contacts of the US citizen tested positive in Bhutan have been identified and put under surveillance in Assam. 

    The virus outbreak has become one of the biggest threats to the global economy and financial markets. Benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty crashed nearly 5.6% on March 12th, 2020, tracking global equities that dropped drastically after the WHO declared the new coronavirus a pandemic, the Business Today reported.

    Photo credit: lokmat.com

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