So far, no positive case of coronavirus has been detected in India. (Photo Credit: Representational Image)
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Saturday said that seven more people who returned from mainland China have been kept under observation at special health facilities in Kerala after screen for possible exposure to the deadly coronavirus. The health minister also said that so far no positive case of coronavirus has been detected in the country.
Samples of these seven people, who are suspected to have contracted coronavirus, have been sent to ICMR-NIV Pune lab. The samples of four people sent earlier have been tested negative for the Chinese coronavirus. India had last week started thermal screening of the passengers returning from China at Mumbai, Kolkata and Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kochi airports.
The Union Health Ministry has also opened a 27x7 NCDC call centre (+91-11-23978046) to direct those seeking clinical inquiry to the relevant Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) officer. The call centre will also monitor the data provided by the External Affairs Ministry and alert state and district surveillance officers.
"The Call Centre will monitor the list of contacts furnished by Ministry of External Affairs; provide details of district and state surveillance officers to those who seek them and in case of any clinical query, direct the concerned to the relevant Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) officer," the ministry said.
The Union Health Minister has directed for multidisciplinary central teams to be sent to the seven states where thermal screening is being done at the seven designated airports—New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kochi. Each central team will consist of a public health expert, a clinician and a microbiologist. These teams would reach the respective states on Sunday.
Vardhan, who held a review meeting to analyse the preparedness for prevention and management of nCoV in India, also spoke to the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand on Saturday and assured him of all support for screening at the border with Nepal, where a confirmed case has been reported.
The health minister has also urged the passengers who have a travel history to China since January 1, 2020, to come forward for self-reporting to the nearest health facility if they experience any symptoms such as fever, cough, respiratory distress, etc., and also inform their treating doctor.