The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Wednesday issued a fresh advisory in the wake of the outbreak of the deadly novel Coronavirus advising Indian citizens to refrain from travelling to China.
“New travel advisory on Novel #Coronavirus: Please refrain from travelling to #China,” the ministry said in a tweet.
The ministry also informed that the list of airports for screening passengers for symptoms of 2019-nCoV has been increased from seven to 21. This includes airports of Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Cochin, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Kolkata, Coimbatore, Guwahati, Gaya, Bagdogra, Jaipur, Lucknow, Chennai, Trivandrum, Trichy, Varanasi, Vizag, Bhubaneswar and Goa.
The death toll in China due to the novel coronavirus increased to 132 on Wednesday, with 5,974 confirmed cases, as foreign governments started to evacuate their citizens from Wuhan city, the epicentre of the outbreak.
Meanwhile, IndiGo on Wednesday informed that it will suspend two of its flight services to China, including Hong Kong, from February 1 owing to the outbreak of Coronavirus.
“We are suspending flights b/w Delhi-Chengdu (China) from Feb1 until Feb 20. We are also suspending our Bengaluru-Hong Kong flight from Feb1. For now, we will continue to operate our Kolkata-Guangzhou flight, which we are monitoring on a daily basis,” the airlines said in a statement.
Air India has cancelled AI 348/349 Mumbai-Delhi- Shanghai flight from January 31 to February 14.
The national carrier has also advised all its cockpit and cabin crew, who travel to South East Asian cities, to wear N95 masks in the light of deadly virus outbreak.
As per reports, Air India is likely to operate a flight service to Wuhan in Central China to evacuate Indians stuck in the city due to the outbreak of Coronavirus. It is understood that flag carrier has kept one of its 423-seater jumbo planes ready in Mumbai for the evacuation.
India has begun the process to prepare for the evacuation of Indian nationals affected by the situation arising from the deadly virus in Hubei Province of China, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said on Tuesday.
The Embassy of India in Beijing was working out the logistics and was in touch with the Chinese government authorities and Indian nationals on the matter, he tweeted.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said the government was trying to evacuate Indians, most of whom were students, from Wuhan city by sending a plane. “I can assure you that the Government of India is working on it and very soon some solution will be found,” he said.
A total of eight patients, five of them in Mumbai, are under observation in Maharashtra for suspected Coronavirus infection.
Six patients were already under observation and two more people, who complained of cough and mild fever, symptoms similar to the coronavirus, were put under medical watch on Tuesday evening.
Meanwhile, a total of 633 people, who returned to Kerala from China in recent days, are under observation for possible exposure to the novel coronavirus, state Health Minister KK Shylaja said on Tuesday.
Of the 633, seven are under observation in isolation wards at different hospitals — two in Kochi, four in Thrissur and one in Malappuram district — according to officials.
Sixteen patients in Punjab and five in Haryana have been quarantined on suspicion of having Coronavirus, ministers in both the states said on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, at least 100 students from Gujarat staying in China had expressed their desire to return home due to the outbreak of novel Coronavirus in Wuhan and some of them are coming back from Beijing on Tuesday and Wednesday, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has said.
“Around 100 students from Gujarat had expressed their desire to come back from China. Some of them are coming back from Beijing today while remaining students would return tomorrow. We are working in coordination with Indian as well as Chinese government over the issue,” the CM told reporters in Gandhinagar.
He said the students will be screened upon their arrival in Gujarat.
In the wake of the novel Coronavirus outbreak in China with Wuhan being the epicentre of the disease, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has accelerated its efforts to prevent the disease from entering India.
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has urged passengers who have a travel history to China since January 1, 2020, to come forward for self-reporting to the nearest health facility if they experience any symptoms such as fever, cough, respiratory distress, etc., and also inform their treating doctor.
The Prime Minister’s Office on Saturday reviewed India’s preparedness to deal with any situation amid mounting global concerns over rising cases in China
A 24×7 NCDC Call Centre (+91-11-23978046) has been made operational to monitor the list of contacts furnished by the Ministry of External Affairs, provide details of district and state surveillance officers to those who seek them, and in case of any clinical query, direct the concerned to the relevant Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) officer.
Novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a large family of viruses that causes illnesses ranging from common cold to acute respiratory syndromes, but the current deadly strain of virus was not seen before.
It has emerged from a seafood and animal market in China’s Wuhan and is suspected to have spread to as far as the United States.