The World Health Organization (WHO) recently gave a warning that the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, is spreading 17 times faster outside China. As a result, many countries are now having to increase screenings and testings of tourists and travelers.

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Passengers coming into India will go through thermal screening and testing

In India, the total number of cases currently sits at 30, and 16 of them are Italian tourists in Rajasthan. Indian airports will now be screening all arriving passengers. This is because many cases of transmission have been coming via air travel. The WHO also said that some countries, without naming any, are not taking necessary steps to fight coronavirus.

Head of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu, confirmed to reporters at a WHO meeting in Switzerland the slowness of some countries' responses. He said that these countries are not showing "the level of political match the level of the threat we all face".

How is India responding to the coronavirus crisis?

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has said that no cases of COVID-19 are in the state, and people should not panic. He says that people should be cautious over the next 7-8 days. "Extra precaution [is necessary] during the next eight to ten days...People should celebrate the Holi festival in a restrained way," Thackeray said.

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Maha CM says there are no cases in the state and people shouldn't panic

However, Thackeray assured that there will be more medical staff at the airports to conduct thermal screening. Nagpur and Pune airports will also receive extra thermal screening. "We need to tackle the crisis effectively without getting scared and panicky," said the CM. "If we get scared, we may end up committing avoidable mistakes".

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Indian officials say normal people don't need to wear masks as they are for medical personnel only

Mumbai municipal commissioner Pravin Pardeshi was with Thackeray. He agreed that the necessary steps are in place. He said that additional quarantine beds are available and at the ready for private hospitals in the city. Also, Pardeshi said regular people don't need to wear masks as these should be reserved for medical staff treating the coronavirus.

To keep up with news and updates on the complex developments of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, check out our coronavirus section on