Union Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday spoke at length over the preventive measures taken by the government to curb Coronavirus and clarified misconceptions over Coronavirus to dismiss opposition's remarks alleging that government is not doing enough to contain the virus.
While speaking in Parliamentary session of Lok Sabha, Harsh Vardhan clarified the misconceived notion that there is a lapse in thermal screening centres at airports because of which people are detected with the virus later despite screening at airports.
"A passenger undergoes thermal screening at the airport. Some are detected at the screening and quarantined. If a person is later detected with virus despite passing the thermal screening then chances are that the symptoms have developed in the 14 days incubation period. The Ministry has deployed around 30,000 - 35,000 personnel on community surveillance keeping a close watch. So if a case if found after somebody has passed the screening doesn't mean the screening failed, it means that our community surveillance is strong enough to track and isolate such cases. While the screening first started in January only on seven airports which are Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai and Cochin, there are altogether 30 airports now where thermal screening has started," the health minister said.
Speaking about the availability of virus testing labs across the nation, the Health Minister elaborated on how the government has increased the number of labs in the nation in order to detect the virus in a timely manner.
"We have a central reference lab which is Virology lab in Pune (National Institute of Virology), after which we started with 15 labs as this is not a routine test and tests cannot be conducted in any normal test lab. Despite this being such a big task, we have now about 51 laboratories and 56 collection centres which means we have coordinated activities at more than 100 locations," the health minister added.
Over the Opposition's remark on Indians stranded in Italy, the Health Minister elaborated on how the government is working towards facilitating them. While elaborating, he also spoke about how the government evacuated Indian national from foreign countries citing the example of Iran which was the latest rescue operation. "Indians in Iran said they don't have any test mechanism there. We sent our team of doctors along with the whole lab, it's not a small thing. We tried to get the lab cleared from the customs there and establish the lab there though it is getting delayed, meanwhile we are bringing the samples of those stranded there to India and getting it tested here," said Vardhan.
The Health Minister also spoke of the multiple rescue operations from Wuhan, the epicentre of the deadly Coronavirus and the rescue of Indians from stranded ship Diamond princess in Japan adding that government is in process of facilitating the evacuation of Indians stranded in Italy. He further assured that the government will do all that is necessary to help stranded Indians across the world.