The world is on high alert now after the reported incidents on the outbreak of the virus in China’s Wuhan district.
As the reports say, the virus has so far claimed the lives of 17 Chinese, while 520 people are suffering the impact. People tested with coronavirus-positive are being isolated in hospitals.
With the intensity of the situation, the Chinese Government has announced a virtual lockdown of the district stopping all means of public transport from there.
With this, other nations have announced their public and authorities to be on high alert and perform a close monitor (across airports) on tourists coming from China.
The Indian government has set up a toll-free number 24/7 helpline number for reporting #Coronavirus: Toll-free 011-23978046
An Indian nurse (of Kerala origin) and three other nurses were detected Corona-positive in Saudi Arabia on January 23, 2020, and were placed in the isolation ward in a hospital there.
As the reports say, the Kerala nurse got infected while treating a corona patient from the Philippines.
Besides, 25 Indian students (20 from Kerala) were held in Wuhan, while 14 others from neighboring Yichang planning to return via Kolkata.
Singapore, Thailand, United States, Vietnam, Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand have also reported coronavirus cases.
“A novel coronavirus is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. We encourage all countries to continue preparedness activities on the novel coronavirus,” WHO said in a statement.
Coronavirus – Indian Govt. on High Alert!
“People coming from China will have to go through screening process (at airports),” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Praveen Kumar said in a statement.
Praveen informed that the Ministries of Health and Civil Aviation have issued directives and across Indian consulates in China.
- So far, the Indian Government has screened 12,828 passengers from 60 flights and confirmed a single detected case
- Thermal screening facilities have been set up across Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Cochin.
- The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) urged airlines to follow the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) guidelines to monitor illness among air passengers
- MoCA has also issued a travel advisory and circulated across social media channels
- Even the health authorities at the ports were directed to be on high alert
- Research bodies like the National Institute of Virology in Pune, Indian Council of Medical Research’s Viral Research and Diagnostics Laboratories network have been alerted and prepared with the necessary equipment to conduct tests
- The Union Health Secretary has issued directives to the states and UTs to regularly monitor the scenario and also review preparedness in terms of infection control, laboratory support, hospital care, logistics and more.
- “We are in touch with WHO to understand if India needs to issue advisory. We will go by their technical advice,” a Health Ministry official said in a statement
India Makes Evacuation Plans, China Disagree
Amid the growing concerns over the spread of coronavirus, the Indian Government is awaiting China’s approval for evacuating 250-300 of its students from Wuhan.
The government has reportedly assigned Air India Boeing 747 with 420 seating capacity for this task.
“Our embassy is in contact with the Chinese government. We are trying to evacuate people, most of whom are students, from Wuhan city by sending a plane. Efforts are on. I can assure you that the government of India is working on it and very soon some solution will be found,” the External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong tweeted, “WHO does not recommend evacuation of nationals, and called on the international community to remain calm and not overreact. WHO is confident in China’s epidemic prevention and control ability.”
According to the Indian Government, every repatriate will first be isolated for 14 days in a dedicated zone. Five people are already under observation in isolation wards in Kerala.
Amid the growing concerns, the screening of new arrivals has been extended to 13 other airports, taking the total to 20.
So far, 155 flights and 33,552 passengers were screened and the studied samples of 20 people in NIV Pune were found negative.
“Last year, we stopped the Ebola virus from entering India. Similarly, this year, with all precautionary measures taken, we will stop this new disease from entering the country,” Health Minister Dr Harsha Vardhan said in a statement.
The New Virus, Origin Unknown: WHO
WHO defines coronavirus as a:
“Large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV)”.
On finding the solution to the spreading virus, the international health body said “Not enough is known about the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) to draw definitive conclusions about how it is transmitted, clinical features of the disease, or the extent to which it has spread. The source also remains unknown.”
“Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans,” it added.
It recommends washing hands regularly, thorough cooking of meat and eggs, covering mouth while sneezing as some standard precautions to avoid the coronavirus spread.
What is Coronavirus, Symptoms and Transmit?
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