Two non-resident Keralites tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday.
A Keralite nurse in England's Newcastle and a Kannur native in Oman's Salalah were tested positive for the COVID-19. The latter reached Oman on March 12 in a Go Air flight, G855, from Kannur.
In a written reply in Lok Sabha, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan had said on Thursday that the total number of Indians infected by coronavirus abroad was 276 -- 255 in Iran, 12 in UAE, five in Italy, and one each in Hong Kong, Kuwait, Rwanda and Sri Lanka. With the two new cases in England and Oman, the tally has risen to 278.
The total number of coronavirus-infected people crossed 3,200 in UK and 42 in Oman.
16 Indians from Diamond Princess discharged
Meanwhile, sixteen Indian nationals, who were among those who tested positive for coronavirus on board a cruise ship docked off Japan, were discharged after receiving treatment at onshore medical facilities in that country and subsequently returned to India.
A total of 138 Indians, including 132 crew members, were on-board the Diamond Princess Cruise ship.
Of these, 119 Indian nationals were brought back to India on a special Air India flight on February 27, 2020.
Upon their return, they were quarantined at an Indian Army facility at Manesar, Haryana.
Indians stranded in Iran
The Indian nationals stranded in Iran include about 1,100 pilgrims mainly from Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir and Maharashtra.
There are also nearly 300 students primarily from J&K, about 1,000 fishermen, including from Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, and others who are on a long-term stay in Iran for pursuing their livelihood and religious studies.
A team of six Indian health officials has been deputed to Iran in order to set up testing and sampling facilities there.
Muraleedharan said 1,706 samples have been taken, including from pilgrims, students and other Indians stranded in Iran.
These are tested at medical facilities including the National Institute of Virology, Pune, he said.
As of March 16, 389 Indians, including 205 pilgrims and 183 students, have been repatriated in four batches on board special flights of the Indian Air Force and Iranian airlines, he said.
The government on Tuesday banned the entry of passengers from Afghanistan, Philippines and Malaysia to India with immediate effect, according to an additional travel advisory.
This instruction is a temporary measure and shall be in force till March 31 and will be reviewed subsequently.
The government has also banned the entry of passengers from the European Union countries, Turkey and the UK from March 18 till March 31.
COVID-19, which stands for Coronavirus Disease 2019, is the name of the disease caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2. SARS-CoV-2 belongs to the Coronavirus family with crown-shaped spikes on its surfaces. The name of the disease was given by the World Health Organisation.
(With inputs from PTI.)