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Indian Govt Reviews Preparedness Against Novel Coronavirus In China


The Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Friday stated that the centre is closely monitoring the situation in India after the reports of 41 confirmed cases of novel Coronavirus (nCoV) including one death from Wuhan city of China.

Medical expert says that Coronavirus is a deadly virus which can cause illnesses to people and also circulate in animals including camels, cats and bats. Animal coronaviruses can also evolve and infect people.

According to WHO, the situation is still evolving and preliminary investigations suggest link to the sea food market.

Preeti Sudan, Union Health Secretary said that the health ministry is regularly reviewing the public health preparedness in the country since the news broke out.

“The public health preparedness is being reviewed on day-to-day basis and the core capacities to timely detect and manage importation of the nCoV into the country are being strengthened further. The situation is being monitored in consultation with WHO and keeping in view the limited human to human transmission of the risk at global level is perceived to be low.”

“The Health Ministry has issued necessary directions to all concerned on laboratory diagnosis, surveillance, infection prevention and control (IPC) and risk communication. Integrated Disease Surveillance Program (IDSP) is geared up for community surveillance and contact tracing. The NIV Pune, ICMR Laboratory is coordinating the testing of samples for nCoV in the country,” said health ministry official.

“As a matter of abundant precaution, the health ministry in coordination with Ministry of Civil Aviation is screening international travellers from China at designated airports namely, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata through thermal scanners. In-flight announcements are also being made. A travel advisory has also been issued to the passengers travelling to and from China on the issue,” said Sudan.

The hospital preparedness with regard to management and infection prevention control facilities has been also reviewed during high level meetings and advisories, and IPC Guidelines have been shared with the States.

“Adequate stocks of logistics including PPE are available. State governments have also been advised on the necessary precaution to be taken up on the issue. Ministry of Health is also in touch with Ministry of External Affairs, and the immigration officers and the said airports have been sensitized,” said the official.


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