In wake of the threat posed by the coronavirus outbreak, defence personnel have been asked to avoid non-essential travel to foreign countries and to follow the Health Ministry advisories, said Defence officials. A total of 12,857 confirmed cases and 220 deaths have been reported from outside China from 78 different countries including Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. Among these 30 countries have also reported local transmission.
According to a defense official, Indian Army and Indian Air Force have issued extensive directions to deal with the coronavirus threat. Furthermore, personnel have also been asked to not visit crowded places such as movie theatres and shopping malls
"All troops to be screened during morning roll call/parade and those with cough or cold to be checked further," said Defence officials.
"Restrictions have been imposed on the organisation of mass gatherings, welfare activities and non-essential function till the situation improves," Defence officials added.
Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan on Thursday presented a statement on the novel coronavirus outbreak in the Rajya Sabha. Vardhan said that India has reported a total of 30 positive cases of the Coronavirus. He also mentioned that our country initiated required preparedness and action since January 17, much before the advice of the World Health Organisation.
During his address, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, "On the present situation on the novel coronavirus disease and the actions taken by the government of India. As mentioned earlier, coronavirus is a large group of viruses that cause illness in humans and animals. Rarely animal coronaviruses can also evolve and infect people and spread between people as seen in severe acute respiratory syndrome in 2003 and middle east respiratory syndrome in 2014."
The new coronavirus also known as COVID-19 has claimed more than 3,300 lives across the globe of which 3,000 deaths were reported from China alone. The virus has infected over 97,000 people all across the world since it first broke out in December 2019. According to reports, at least 280 people have died outside mainland China, which makes it the worst disease outbreak of the 21st century. Italy, Iran and South Korea are the most affected countries apart from China, where 148, 107 and 40 people have died respectively.
It is being said that the virus originated from a seafood market in Wuhan city, where animals were being traded illegally. Hubei province in China has been most affected by the contagious disease, which is also the epicentre of the virus.