Health Ministry accelerates efforts to keep nCoV at bay

New Delhi, Jan 27 (IANS): In the wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak in China with Wuhan being the epicentre of the disease, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has accelerated its efforts to prevent the disease from enting India.

Health Secretary Preeti Sudan reviewed preparedness of the concerned ministries, departments and states regarding coronavirus.

Sudan held the meeting via video conferencing with Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, Chief Secretary of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Director General of Police of five states neighbouring Nepal, Health Secretaries of other states and representatives from the Ministry of Shipping.

Earlier, a team led by Sujeet Singh, Director of National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) visited the Ram Manohar Lohia hospital in Delhi to review preparedness for management nCov. They inspected the isolation wards, reviewed biohazard disposal protocols and assessed availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) masks etc.

The Health Ministry also informed that teams have been deployed at the border outposts (BOP) with Nepal at Jhulaghat and Jauljibi in Pithoragarh district in Uttarakhand and Panitanki in West Bengal, an entry point from Nepal.

"Update on #ncov2020 -- Subsequent to confirmed #coronarvirus case in #Nepal, vigil strengthened at Panitanki (West Bengal) entry point from Nepal," the ministry tweeted.

Apart from these, the Health Ministry has also circulated advisories and signage across international ports and airports in India, including Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata. According to the ministry, a total of 29,707 passengers from 137 flights have been screened so far.

Fortunately, no case of coronavirus has been found in the country till date. However, one suspected case was reported from Rajasthan after a man was admitted to SMS Hospital with complains of cough, cold, fever and Rhinitis. His blood samples have been sent to the National Virology Lab in Pune. The report is expected on Monday evening or Tuesday morning.

As per Chinese health authorities, there are over 2,000 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by coronavirus in China, including 461 in critical condition. A total of 5,794 suspected cases have also been reported. So far 80 deaths caused by the deadly virus have been reported in China.

Many Indian students studying in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, are stuck there. The Health Ministry said it is working closely with the Ministry of External Affairs and is in touch with the students.



Title : Health Ministry accelerates efforts to keep nCoV at bay


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