Coronavirus Scare: Health Minister Vardhan Calls On PMO To Discuss Preventive Measures

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Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan held a discussion with officials at PM's office to address the country's preventive management system to tackle coronavirus.

Written By Ananya Varma | Mumbai | Updated On:
Health minister

Amidst the deadly outbreak of coronavirus, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Saturday held a meeting with the officials at the Prime Minister's office to discuss the country's preventive management system to tackle a possible outbreak in India. The Health Ministry revealed that nobody in India has been tested positive for the infectious disease so far. Eleven people, seven in Kerala, two in Mumbai and one each in Bengaluru and Hyderabad who had come from China in the recent days were kept under observation in hospitals to check for possible exposure to the deadly novel coronavirus. Amongst the 11, four have been tested negative.

Read: Coronavirus: India on alert, 11 under observation over fear of infection

"As on January 24, as many as 20,844 passengers from 96 flights have been screened for Novel Coronavirus symptoms. Today, 4,082 passengers were screened in 19 flights. No nCoV case has been detected in the country so far. However, three persons have been put under observation," the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Friday.

Read: Coronavirus: 10 people who returned from China under watch in hospitals in Kerala, Mumbai and Hyderabad

Samples ready to be tested

The Health Ministry also revealed that the National Institute of Virology along with other leading laboratories in the country were ready to test nCoV samples if such a situation was to occur. "National Institute of Virology, Pune, is fully geared up to test samples of nCoV and ten other laboratories under the Indian Council of Medical Research's Viral Research and Diagnostics Laboratories network are also equipped to test such samples if a need arises," said a statement of the Health Ministry. 

Read: Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Death toll rises to 41, 1300 cases in China; 13 cities shutdown

Over 20,000 passengers screened

India has intensified measures to check passengers for coronavirus. The Civil Aviation Ministry has directed seven international airports including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata to make arrangements for the screening of passengers arriving from China in the wake of the outbreak. The Government of India informed that as of January 24, 20,844 passengers from 96 flights have been screened for coronavirus symptoms including 4,082 screened in 19 flights on Friday.

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(With Agency Inputs)

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