Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, addressing the issue of coronavirus in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, said anti-retroviral drugs are being used on patients and the best possible treatment is being provided to those infected with the COVID-19 coronavirus.

He said scientists at Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) are in touch with everything happening on this front all over the world.

The health minister added that the Government is trying its best to deliver the best possible treatment to the patients.

Harsh Vardhan also appreciated the work of doctors, paramedical staff, pilots, airlines’ staff and especially those Indians who braved such a critical situation and brought back Indian nationals from other parts of the world.

Meanwhile, Harsh Vardhan will meet President Ram Nath Kovind at 6 pm today to discuss the ongoing measures and preparations to prevent the spread of novel Coronavirus in the country.

The cases of novel Coronavirus in India have jumped to 126 with three fatalities, the latest being reported from Maharashtra, the worst-affected state so far.

Amid a rise in the number of Coronavirus cases, the Indian Council of Medical Research is mulling to involve private labs to conduct COVID-19 tests.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry has informed expanding compulsory quarantine for a minimum period of 14 days for passengers coming from/transiting through UAE, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on March 18 at the port of first departure. This will be in force till March 31.

The Government after a meeting of a group of ministers (GoM) on Monday had proposed a set of social distancing measures to be in force till March 31. The Government has advised people to maintain 1-meter distance between people till March 31, as a precautionary measure.

The number of deaths around the world linked to the new Coronavirus has crossed 7,000 after Italy announced a new surge in fatalities. A total of 7,007 people have died, with 175,536 infections recorded globally.