The results of 56 patients who underwent tests on Thursday turned out negative.

Five new patients suspected to have coronavirus admitted in Hyderabad File photo/PTI
news Coronavirus Saturday, February 08, 2020 - 08:52

Five new patients suspected to have novel coronavirus (nCoV) were admitted in Gandhi Hospital on Friday, taking the total count of patients suspected to have the disease to 123.

New Indian Express reported that among these 123 patients, 73 of them had self-reported while 50 of them were referred by the Government of India. These patients are under observation in the isolation wards. 

Meanwhile, all the 56 patients who were tested on Thursday for the virus were cleared, as the results turned out to be negative, Deccan Chronicle reported.

Due to staff crunch at Gandhi Hospital coronavirus testing lab, medical staff from Niloufer and Osmania were hired to handle the situation. The staff are being offered training for 8 hours daily.

Telangana has also set up a 24-hour telephone helpline, 040-24651119, and so far they have received 268 calls for queries relating to the disease. 

The government on Friday directed all 12 major ports to immediately put in place screening, detection and quarantine system for disembarking seafarers and cruise passengers to prevent the novel coronavirus even as officials said the situation was under control in the country and was being regularly monitored, including by the Prime Minister's Office.

A detailed statement regarding the situation and measures taken to check the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus (nCoV) was made by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan in Rajya Sabha. 

Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar tweeted that many Indian crew and some Indian passengers on-board the cruise ship Diamond Princess were quarantined off Japan due to the coronavirus. 

"None have tested positive, as per the latest information provided by our Embassy (in Tokyo). We are closely following the developments," he said.

As the coronavirus continued to spread at an alarming pace in China with official death toll of 637 and confirmed cases of the infection over 31,000, India stepped up its efforts to detect and check the virus, which originated in Chinese city of Wuhan.

All the 12 major ports in the country were directed by the shipping ministry to "place a screening, detection and quarantine system immediately for disembarking Seafarers or Cruise Passengers", an official release said.

With PTI inputs

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