Over 100 people have been kept under observation in Kerala and Maharashtra (Photo Credit: Pixabay)
Over 29,700 passengers from 137 flights were screened for novel coronavirus (nCov) infection at seven identified airports in the country till Sunday but no positive case was detected, the Union Health Ministry said. Over 100 people have been kept under observation in Kerala and Maharashtra following screening for a possible exposure to novel coronavirus. Prime Minister's Office on Saturday reviewed India's preparedness to deal with any situation amid mounting global concern over rising cases in China.
Meanwhile, The External Affairs Ministry said that as of now no Indian in China has been affected by the coronavirus outbreak and the embassy in Beijing is in close touch with all Indians, including university students, in Wuhan and elsewhere in Hubei province. The death toll in the deadly new coronavirus in China rose to 56 on Sunday with confirmed cases of viral affliction reaching 2,008, including 23 from aborad.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar is closely monitoring the situation, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said. "We are also closely coordinating with Chinese authorities. As of now, we understand that no Indian citizens have been affected by the outbreak and that food and water supplies are available to them," Kumar tweeted.
One person each from Thrissur, Thiruvananthapuram, Pathanamthitta and Malappuram and three from Ernakulam are in isolation wards of various health centres in Kerala. In Jaipur, a man has been admitted to the SMS Hospital for suspected coronavirus infection.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Saturday said samples of seven passengers have been sent to the ICMR-NIV laboratory in Pune. The Union Health Minister has directed multidisciplinary central teams to go to the designated airports in New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kochi where thermal screening is being done. Governement has urged the passengers who have a travel history to China since January 1, 2020 to report to their nearest health facility if they experience any symptoms such as fever, cough, respiratory distress, etc.
On Saturday, the Union Health Ministry also issued a fresh advisory asking the passengers to follow certain dos and don'ts if they are in China or travelling or returning from China.
The advisory stated that during their stay in China, if they feel sick and have fever and cough, they should cover their mouth while coughing and sneezing, seek medical attention promptly and report to the Indian Embassy in China.
The advisory also said that if they feel sick on flight while travelling back to India from China, they should inform the airline crew about their illness, seek mask and self-reporting format from the airline crew.
In such a case, the advisory said, avoid close contact with family members or fellow travellers and follow other directions of crew and airport health officer.
According to the advisory, 28 cases have been confirmed outside Chinese mainland -- 5 in Hong Kong, 4 in Thailand, 3 each in Taiwan and Singapore, 2 each in Macao, Japan, South Korea, United States and Vietnam, and 1 each in Nepal and France.
Novel coronavirus is a large family of viruses that causes illnesses ranging from common cold to acute respiratory syndromes. The virus, which has so far killed 56 people and affected 1,975 in China, is a novel strain and not seen before.
The pneumonia outbreak was first reported in Wuhan City, central China's Hubei Province, in December 2019. The city of 11 million has been in quarantine since Thursday -- with nobody allowed to leave as the government tries to contain its spread. Apart from Wuhan, 12 other cities have been completely sealed by the Chinese authorities to stop the virus from spreading.