More than 800 quarantined as doctor gets virus

Many of the city's poor rely on its "mohalla" clinicsImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption Many of the city’s poor rely on its “mohalla” clinics

Officials in the Indian capital have quarantined 800 people who came into contact with a doctor at a government clinic after he tested positive for the coronavirus.

His wife and daughter have also tested positive, Delhi’s chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said.

He is believed to have contracted the infection from a woman who returned from Saudi Arabia.

The Indian capital has reported 35 active cases and six deaths.

The doctor was working in a “mohalla” clinic – as the city’s affordable neighbourhood clinics are known – in Maujpur, a crowded neighbourhood in northeast Delhi.

The woman infected with the virus visited the clinic on 12 March, Health Minister Satyendar Jain told reporters.

He added that health officials have asked all 800 people to quarantine themselves at home for 14 days.

They are also monitoring people who live in the woman’s neighbourhood.

News of the doctor’s infection sparked rumours that city officials would close down all neighbourhood clinics.

But Mr Kejriwal said they would stay open, especially to prevent people from travelling longer distances to go to public hospitals, which are already stretched thin.

India has reported 593 active cases of Covid-19, but experts believe the numbers are likely to rise rapidly as the country tests more people, including those with no travel history.

It has already imposed a nationwide lockdown, and suspended all air travel and trains.

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