New Delhi, March 9: Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Monday said that close to 9 lakh passengers coming from other countries have been screened in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak. "On 18 January we started universal screening on 7 airports and now 30 airports have been put under screening. All passengers coming from other countries are being screened on airports. So far, 8,74,708 passengers have been screened," Vardhan told reporters at a press conference here.

"We have discussed with Delhi Government to prepare for isolation wards, quarantine facilities, availability of doctors, contact tracing and other precautions, if the cases increase," he added. Four new cases of COVID-19 have been reported since Sunday - one each from Kerala, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu. Coronavirus Outbreak in India: Thane Municipal Corporation Sets Up Isolation Ward at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Hospital in Kalwa.

According to official estimates, till Monday 43 samples have tested positive out of the 3,003 samples tested for COVID-19 with 2,694 samples having returned negative results. 177 of them have been hospitalised and 33,599 passengers are under observation. 21,867 passengers have completed their observation period.

As many as 52 laboratories are now operational across the country for testing the COVID-19 virus. An additional 57 laboratories have been provided with Viral Transport Media and swabs for sample collection.In order to spread awareness, a special COVID-19 mobile phone caller tune was launched by all telecom operators with basic infection prevention messages played when a caller dials-out.

Over 117.2 crore subscribers of BSNL, MTNL Reliance Jio, Airtel and Vodafone-Idea are being progressively reached out to through SMSs and Call Backs.