Coronavirus: Health Ministry Confirms 'no Community Transfer'; Adds Travel Restrictions

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Joint Secretary of Union Health Ministry Lav Agarwal, stated that there was no community transmission of Coronavirus (COVID-19), adds new travel restrictions

Written By Suchitra Karthikeyan | Mumbai | Updated On:

Announcing new set of stringent measures in travel, social distancing and pharmaceutical supplies, the Joint Secretary of Union Health Ministry Lav Agarwal, stated that there was no community transmission of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in India. Measures like barring international aircraft from landing in India, action on exorbitant pricing on essential supplies, public transport restrictions etc. India currently has witnessed 189 positive cases and 4 deaths due to COVID-19.

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Here are the key announcements:

  • No scheduled international commercial passenger aircraft shall be allowed to land in India from March 22, 2020, for one week. Max travel time 20 hours is allowed for any aircraft.
  • State governments shall issue appropriate directions so that all citizens above 65 (other than for medical assistance) except for public representatives /govt servants/medical professionals are advised to remain at home.
  • All children below 10 years advised to remain at home and avoid picnics
  • Ministry of Pharma & dept to take action against those charging exorbitant rates for masks, sanitisers, and logistics and also allow adequate supply to hospitals and people at large.
  • Metros, Railways, buses, and airplanes will consider a reduction in crowds and encourage alternate spacing
  • Youth and citizens are urged to volunteer regarding awareness on COVID 19
  • Concessional tickets except for patients, students, Divyangjan category suspended from March 20 midnight in view of COVID-19
  • On March 21, Air India to send Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Italy to bring back stranded Indian students & other Indians.

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Health Ministry: 'No community transmission'

When asked whether India wide-spread testing for COVID-19, Agrawal denied saying, "There is a particular definition as to how and when a sample has to be taken. We should not take samples because we feel comfortable. The incubation period of the virus could be from 2-14 days. If I am tested today being asymptomatic, I can be tested positive tomorrow. That is why testing might not serve the purpose."

He added, "Experts have sat together and have thought out guidelines that one must have a travel history and one should have symptoms with travel history, or you should have contact with a positive case and your showing symptoms then only your sample will be taken. There is no community transmission in this country."

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Coronavirus crisis in India

As of date, the total number of positive cases in India has risen upto 189 with four deaths throughout the country. India has suspended all visas and barred travel from Afghanistan, Philippines, EU, UK, China, Malaysia and mandatory 14-day quarantine from several other countries.  India has also closed the India-Pakistan border and restricted passenger movement at the border with Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, and Myanmar. The government is monitoring all suspected cases and issued preventive advisories with Bihar, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Assam, Delhi, Kerala, Jammu - Kashmir declaring the disease an epidemic shutting down all educational institutions, monuments, parks, gyms, swimming pools, pubs and banning large gatherings.  - visit the official government here: MINISTRY OF HEALTH & FAMILY WELFARE

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