On Monday, February 3, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan tweeted to announce that under the directions of PM Modi, a high-level Group of Ministers (GoM) had been formed to review and monitor the situation around the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus. This comes days after India reported its first case of the pandemic in Kerala. The GoM includes Union Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of External Affairs, Dr S Jaishankar, MoS Home G Kishan Reddy, MoS Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey, and MoS (I/c) Shipping Mansukh Lal Mandaviya.
On the directions of Hon’ble PM, a high level Group of Ministers has been constituted to review, monitor & evaluate the preparedness regarding management of Novel #Coronavirus in India. I chaired the first meeting today & reviewed the preparedness & steps taken so far. #nCoV2020— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) February 3, 2020
The Health Minister tweeted that a travel advisory has been issued that warns against travel to China. He also stated that after the status report on nCoV 2020 was presented, preventive measures taken for Coronavirus management were detailed. These mainly included a revision of the travel advisories issued including the regulation of temporary suspension of e-visa facilities.
"Anyone with travel history of China since Jan 15,2020 can be quarantined. E-Visa facility for #Chinese passports has been temporarily suspended, e-Visa issued to Chinese is now invalid. Online application for physical visa suspended," read his tweet.
He also tweeted that people who had "compelling reasons" to visit India should contact the Indian embassy in Beijing or consulate in Shanghai or Guangzhou. 'Instructions to comply with above travel advisory have been issued to all national & international airlines operating from China. Adequate materials like Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) & N95 masks are available. The situation is being monitored in all States/UTs.A 24x7 Control Room is operational (011-23978046). IEC material is prepared & widely disseminated through print, electronic & social media,' read his follow up tweet.