(Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP)

New Delhi/Mumbai: India was smug in the belief that it is relatively untouched by the coronavirus outbreak. But it is time for a reality check.

Three more cases of coronavirus -- one in Delhi, the second in Telangana and another, an Italian national, in Jaipur - have been detected. These detections take the total coronavirus cases in India to six, weeks after the first case was reported in Kerala.

The government insists that the patients in Delhi and Jaipur are stable and are being closely monitored. While the person from Delhi has a travel history to Italy, the one from Telangana has a travel history to Dubai, the Union Health Ministry said.

There was some confusion in the case of the Italian tourist as the first sample came negative and the second positive; now, the result of a third sample is awaited.

Galvanised into action, the Health Ministry on Monday issued a comprehensive travel advisory. Under this, citizens are advised to refrain from travel to China. Those doing so will be quarantined on return.

Further, they are advised to refrain from non- essential travel to Singapore, Korea, Iran and Italy. People coming from these four countries or those having history of travel to these countries may be quarantined for 14 days on arrival.

The Centre clarified that existing visas are no longer valid for any foreign national travelling from China and intending visitors will have to contact the embassy in Beijing or the consulates in Shanghai and Guangzhou to apply afresh.

Those having compelling reasons to travel should observe good personal hygiene, follow respiratory etiquette, avoid contact with live animals and wear a mask.

They should avoid close contact with people who are unwell or showing symptoms of illness such as cough and runny nose. They should avoid travel to farms, live animal markets or where animals are slaughtered.

If you feel sick on flight while travelling back to India, you will have to inform the airline crew, avoid close contact with family members or fellow travellers. 

If sick within a span 28 days after return from COVID 19 affected areas, the traveller should maintain effective self-isolation and report to the nearest health facility.

The helpline number for coronavirus is 011-23978046 and the email is

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal