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IndiaConstantly reviewing evolving scenario on Coronavirus, says Govt

Constantly reviewing evolving scenario on Coronavirus, says Govt

Date:

NEW DELHI, Feb 10

and Family Welfare Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Monday informed the Lok Sabha that three positive cases have been reported so far from Kerala and the government was constantly monitoring the situation and taking all the necessary steps to avoid the spread of the novel Coronavirus.
The Indian Embassy and Consulates are also in regular contact with the Indian community in other parts of China and is keeping a constant track of their well-being, he said.
”In our country, three positive cases have been reported so far from Kerala. All these cases have travel history from Wuhan, China. They have been isolated and are reported to be clinically stable,” he said making a statement regarding the response of the government to Novel Coronavirus outbreak in China.
The ever increasing magnitude of this outbreak calls for a concerted effort by not only health but all sectors of Government, he said, adding that the government has initiated a series of action to prevent entry of the disease and to contain it.
In a coordinated operation with Ministry of Civil Aviation, Air India, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, two Special Air India flights were operated between Delhi and Wuhan on January 31 and 1 February that brought back a total of 654 passengers that included 647 Indian citizens (including two Indian Embassy officials who were on the ground in Wuhan to coordinate the evacuation operation) and seven Maldivian nationals. As many as 369 symptomatic travellers have been referred to isolation facility and are being monitored.
”To ensure availability of critical items like Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and N95 masks, the exports of the same was also prohibited by Director General of Foreign Trade. A buffer stock of personal protective equipment & N95 masks is maintained by states as well as Union Government,” he stated.
Dr Vardhan said he was daily reviewing the situation, adding that a Group of Ministers consisting of Ministers of External Affairs, Civil Aviation and Ministers of State for Home Affairs, Shipping and Health & Family Welfare chaired by himself has been constituted to monitor the situation.

Cabinet Secretary has taken daily reviews with all related Ministries of Health, Defence, Ministry of External Affairs, Civil Aviation, Home, Textiles, Pharma, Commerce and other officials including with State Chief Secretaries. ”My own Ministry is constantly reviewing the evolving scenario. Video Conferences are being held with states every other day,” he said.

Government of India has also taken several other measures to control the risk of novel virus infection spreading to India.

As on February 9, a total of 37,198 confirmed cases and 811 deaths have been reported in China.

A total of 354 confirmed cases have been reported outside China from 27 countries (including HK, Macao and Taiwan). The number of cases and deaths reported from China is showing an upward trend.

In view of a confirmed case in Nepal, Government has initiated screening in all integrated check posts from Nepal in collaboration with Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Sikkim and Bihar and Seema Shastra Bal (SSB) and Land Port Authorities.

Health Organization has declared this outbreak as a ‘Public Health Emergency of Concern' (PHEIC) on January 30.

The main symptoms of coronavirus disease are fever, cough, and difficulty in breathing. There will be radiological evidence indicative of pneumonia. In 10 per cent to 20 per cent of cases, disease may become severe enough to require ventilatory support, he said.

The case fatality is around 2 per cent.The Minister said all suspected or probable cases of nCoV must be treated in isolation with barrier nursing and universal precautions to prevent the further spread of disease.

”First Advisory was issued on January 17 and as situation is evolving, the travel advisories are accordingly getting revised. Presently, existing visas (including eVisa already issued) are no longer valid for any foreign travelling from China,” he said.

People having compelling reasons to visit India are asked to contact the India embassy in Beijing or consulate in Shanghai or Guangzhou, Dr Vardhan added.

”People have already been advised to refrain from travel to China through an earlier advisory. People traveling to China henceforth will be quarantined on return,” he informed.

Screening of passengers was initiated since January 18. Initially airports at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kochi were covered and subsequently expanded in a total of 21 airports. As of now 1510 samples have been tested and 1507 samples were found negative, three samples have tested positive and 27 samples are under process.

Universal thermal screening has been made mandatory for all flights from Singapore and Thailand besides Hong Kong and China and these flights will park at earmarked aero-bridges to facilitate screening.

”Signages have been displayed at prominent places in airports and ports, In-flight announcements are being made and self -declaration forms are being filled up by all passengers. As of today, a total of 1,818 flights have been screened covering a total of 1,97,192 passengers. Teams of Specialist doctors were sent to all the airports to ensure effective screening and arrangement for isolation in the attached hospitals,” he said.

Screening of passengers has also been initiated in 12 major seaports and all minor ports in the country to identify passengers and crew coming from China and to isolate them in case they are found symptomatic.

Gram Sabhas have been conducted in villages adjoining the borders with Nepal to create awareness amongst people about the disease and precautions to be taken in collaboration with Panchayati Raj Ministry.

In view of the continuing lock down of the Hubei Province in China, the Government of India decided to evacuate the Indian students and other professionals working in Wuhan and neighbouring cities in the Hubei Province.

Dr Vardhan thanked Air India, its crew and the team of doctors and para medical staff who executed this challenging operation and place on record the appreciation on behalf of this august house for their contribution.

After evacuation, the people are presently undergoing quarantine at special facilities created by Indian Army in Manesar and by Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) in Chawla Camp, adding that 10 of the evacuees who were symptomatic have been shifted to isolation.

”All of them have tested negative for this disease and are stable. All other evacuees are being medically examined on daily basis and are healthy,” he informed.

Regular surveillance has been initiated across the country for all cases having travel history from China and for people having contact with such persons and having fever, cough or breathlessness.

”Through Integrated Disease Surveillance network all such persons are tracked and presently we are following 9,452 passengers across 29 States and UTs in the community.

He assured that sufficient isolation beds have been made available in the tertiary facilities across the country to manage any outbreak.

The government in regular touch with WHO headquarters, regional office and country office to get updates on evolving scenario, the Minister said.

The government has also provided support to other countries in tackling the challenge posed by the nCOV disease, he said. (AGENCIES)

Northlines
Northlines
The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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