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No ban on travel to or from China, says MEA; Another Indian tests positive on Cruise Ship

Prime News, Nation, (New Delhi), February 20:-The Ministry of External Affairs today clarified that there was no ban on travel to or from China in view of coronavirus outbreak.

Meanwhile, China has touted a big drop in new virus cases as proof its epidemic control efforts are working, but the toll grew abroad with deaths in Japan and South Korea. The death tally in China hit 2,118 as 114 more people died, but health officials reported the lowest number of new cases there in nearly a month, including in hardest-hit Hubei province.

One more Indian aboard a quarantined cruise ship off Japan was tested positive for the novel coronavirus and shifted to hospital, taking the number of Indian nationals infected with the virus on the vessel to eight, the Indian embassy said on Thursday.

South Korea reported the first death in the country of a person infected with coronavirus and 22 new cases bringing the total to 104.

In Japan, more than 620 of the passengers on the Diamond Princess liner have been infected on the ship, which has been quarantined since February 3, initially with about 3,700 people on board.

NHK, citing a government source, said the passengers were a man and woman in their 80s.

Meanwhile, two people have died in Iran after testing positive on Wednesday for the new coronavirus, the health ministry said, in the Islamic republic’s first cases of the disease.

According to YJC news agency, a branch of state television, the pair who died were Iranian citizens and residents of the holy city of Qom.

They are also the first deaths from the COVID-19 virus in the Middle East and only the seventh and eighth outside China, where the outbreak has killed more than 2,000 people.

State news agency IRNA quoted Kianoush Jahanpour, a ministry spokesman, as saying the virus was detected in two elderly people with immunity problems in Qom, south of the Iranian capital.

“Following the recent cases of chronic respiratory diseases in Qom, two of the patients tested positive in preliminary tests,” it quoted him as saying.

“Unfortunately both passed away in the intensive care unit due to old age and issues with their immune system.”

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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