In a bid to support the neighbouring countries battling against the deadly Coronavirus, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has offered to test samples of the virus (nCoV) for other Southeast Asian countries.
"We are providing support to other countries in tackling the challenge posed by the coronavirus. The Indian Council of Medical Research has offered to test samples for other Southeast Asian countries," Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan informed the Rajya Sabha on Friday.
Besides this, Harsh Vardhan also informed the Upper House that the government has extended technical assistance to Bhutan in fighting the danger posed due to coronavirus outbreak.
"Testing of samples from the Maldives has already been undertaken. Request from Afghanistan for sample testing has been agreed too.
We've agreed to provide technical assistance to Bhutan in managing this infectious disease and screening of passengers," said Harsh Vardhan.
India has confirmed three positive cases of coronavirus from Kerala while the virus has infected nearly 20,000 people globally.
Coronavirus, which originated in China's Wuhan city in December, last year, has since then killed over 636 people in China alone, while there have been confirmed cases of the epidemic in several countries across the world.
Health Minister of Kerala KK Shailaja announced that on Friday, February 7, the government has withdrawn 'state disaster' status given to novel Coronavirus. She, however, informed that the statewide alert will continue, and health guidelines have to be followed. This decision was taken after 67 out of the 72 restress have tested negative for the disease.
Speaking to the media KK Shailaja said, “The state disaster status was declared after 72 returnees were in Kerala from Wuhan in China of which three tested positive. About 67 have tested negative. The test results show that the close contacts of all those three confirmed cases are negative.”
She further informed that the second case of n-coronavirus has been tested negative in the second round of tests, however, the National Institute of Virology in Pune has to confirm the report.
(With ANI inputs)