The Government of India provided masks, gloves and emergency medical equipment to China on February 26 to combat the novel coronavirus. While answering an unstarred question related to relief material to China, Union Minister V Muraleedharan said that the government provided assistance as a mark of friendship and solidarity from the people of India towards the people of China.
The Union Minister highlighted that the two countries are celebrating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. Around 15 tonnes of supplies were delivered by an Indian Air Force C-17 special flight, which landed in Wuhan, and were handed over to the Hubei Charity Federation. The medical supplies include one lakh pieces of surgical masks, five lakh pairs of surgical gloves, 75 infusion pumps, 30 enteral feeding pumps, 21 defibrillators, and 4000 pieces of N-95 masks.
While China has registered a significant decline in the number of coronavirus cases, India has issued several advisories to contain the coronavirus as the threat of community transmission looms large. According to the latest report, 152 people have been tested positive for COVID-19 and three people have succumbed to the infection.
Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said on March 17 that India is currently in Stage 2 of the coronavirus pandemic but didn’t deny the possibility of Stage 3. ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava said that the third stage is community transmission and hoped that India should not enter the stage.
“It would depend on how strongly we close our international borders, in which the government has taken very proactive steps. But we can't say that community transmission won't happen,” said Bhargava on the possibility of India entering in Stage 3.
In a series of measures, the Health Ministry has suggested the closure of all educational establishments including schools and universities, gyms, museums, cultural and social centres, swimming pools and theatres. The ministry has advised the students to stay at home and avail online education. It has also encouraged private sector organizations and employers to allow employees to work from home wherever feasible.