Latest coronavirus update in India: 'No Union Minister will travel abroad', says PM Modi; 74 positive cases in the country
Photo: ANI

Prime Minister Narend Modi on Thursday said that no minister of the Central Government would be travelling abroad "in the upcoming days".

Modi also urged citizens to "avoid non-essential travel" and eschew large gatherings.

"The Government is fully vigilant about the situation due to COVID-19 novel coronavirus. Across ministries and states, multiple steps have been proactively taken to ensure safety of all. These steps are wide-ranging, from suspension of Visas to augmenting healthcare capacities," the Prime Minister tweeted, urging people to "say no to panic" and "yes to precautions".

The Prime Minister's announcement comes even as the number of positive cases in India reached 74. Globally over 4,500 people have died and more than 125,000 people have tested positive for the virus across 115 countries and territories.

On Thursday another person in Delhi tested positive for the virus. The 69-year-old woman was admitted to RML Hospital in the national capital. Her son has a history of travel to Japan, Geneva and Italy. They are residents of West Delhi's Janakpuri. Eight other members of their family were reportedly asymptomatic.

Earlier in the day, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said in the Lok Sabha that the coronavirus outbreak in India was a "matter of concern", adding that about 6,000 Indians were at present stranded in Iran.

Rescuing them, he added was the government's initial focus.

On Thursday, amid coronavirus fears, Indian equity benchmarks entered bear territory, suffering their biggest ever one-day plunge.

After nosediving over 3,204.30 points on across-the-board selling, the 30-share BSE Sensex closed 2,919.26 points or 8.18% lower at 32,778.14.

Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty gave up the 9,600 level, slumping 868.25 points or 8.30% to close at 9,590.15.

(With inputs from agencies)

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