India begins medical check of Chinese passengers in 4 more airports | The Daily Star
12:29 PM, January 21, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:42 PM, January 21, 2020


India begins medical check of Chinese passengers in 4 more airports

India has ordered medical check of passengers coming from China to four more airports after Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata as measure to prevent the new coronavirus from spreading.

As of today, there are no cases detected on community surveillance or contact tracing in India, reports our New Delhi correspondent quoting the Indian Health Ministry.

Thermal screening was initiated at international airports of Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata last week and the exercise started at Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Cochin airports yesterday.

The health organisations at airports in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata have put up signages at prominent locations informing the public about self-reporting of illness. The hospitals attached to these airports have been reviewed for provision of isolation and critical care facilities.

All states have been asked to mount surveillance to pick up any travel-related case reported in the community and follow up contacts of suspect/confirmed cases, our correspondent reports quoting a statement by the health ministry.

National Institute of Virology in the western city of Pune is geared up to test samples of new coronavirus and ten other laboratories under Indian Council of Medical Research’s viral research and diagnostics laboratories network are also equipped to test such samples of the virus.

Adequate stock of personal protection equipment is being maintained by medical stores while rapid response teams of states have been trained in management of MERS-CoV outbreak (a similarly placed virus, reported from Middle East) in the year 2014.

The Health Ministry has written to the Foreign Ministry to provide details of travelers from Wuhan city of China, where the virus outbreak has taken place, who have sought visa to travel to India, since December 31 last year and to counsel the applicants while issuing visa.

The Health Ministry has also written to states to review their preparedness, identify gaps and strengthen core capacities in the area of surveillance, laboratory support infection prevention and control, logistics, risk communication and in particular, hospital preparedness in terms of isolation and ventilator management of critically ill patients of severe acute respiratory illness (SARI).

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