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Coronavirus close contact: What you need to know

One of the primary factors to determine a coronavirus suspect is the individual’s travel history to any of the virus-affected hotspots or having close contact with a Covid-19 patient. But it isn’t clear what qualifies as “close contact” in context of coronavirus.

The Ministry of Health and Family Affairs in its release on coronavirus guidelines has defined what being in “contact” with a coronavirus person means.

“A contact is defined as a healthy person that has been in such association with an infected person or a contaminated environment as to have exposed and is therefore at a higher risk of developing the disease,” the release stated.

As stated by the health ministry, a “contact” in context of COVID-19 is:

– A person living in the same household as a coronaviorus infected individual

– An individual having had direct physical contact with a patient of coronavirus

– Someone having had direct physical contact with the patient’s infectious secretions without recommended personal protective equipment (PPE) or with a possible breach of PPE

– A person who was in a closed environment or had face-to-face contact with an infected person at a distance of within or less than a metre including air travel.

The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases across India, including foreign nationals, has gone up to 73. Out of these 73 people, 56 are Indian citizens. With 17 coronavirus positive cases, the maximum number of cases in the country has been reported from Kerala.

Maharashtra reported 11 cases while in Uttar Pradesh there were 10 positive cases including a foreigner, according to the latest data provided by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Senior health ministry officials have said that it will take one-and-a-half years to two years to develop a vaccine for coronavirus. The officials also said that the government has around one lakh testing kits available.

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