Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday reassured that the centre government is taking every precautionary measure to ensure the deadly Coronavirus does not enter India.
Minister also ensured that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was ‘personally monitoring’ the situation. “People coming from six countries namely China, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, and South Korea are being screened at as many as 21 airports across the country,” minister asserted.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare told, “On the directions of Prime Minister, a high-level Group of Ministers (GOM) constituted to review, monitor, and evaluate preparedness and measures taken regarding the management of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.”
According to the ministry, 15,991 people are presently under community surveillance in 34 States/UTs. Till now, a total of 1,671 samples were sent for testing out of which only 3 were found positive.
As of today, total 2,315 flights have been screened covering a total of 2,49,447 passengers, it added.
Claiming to the quick much before the World Health Organisation had termed it as a public health emergency, minister said the government had started putting precautionary measures in place as early as January 17.
Addressing the media at a press conference, Harsh Vardhan told, “In an advisory issued in January, we had instructed states across the country to establish isolation beds, procure masks and put ventilators in place.”
“We even sent out travel advisories in the initial days of the outbreak,” he added.
In China – the epicenter of the deadly virus – 1,310 have died so far. Of the three cases reported in India, one has been discharged while the others are said to be in a stable condition.
“As of reports from February 11, all of them are in a stable condition. But we will continue to keep them under surveillance until there is no room for risk,” Minister informed about the 645 Indians flown in from China’s Wuhan.
He also informed that India is extending aid to China on humanitarian grounds.
Harsh Vardhan during the press conference also told about the conditions of the 160 Indian crew members aboard a British cruise ship quarantined off the Japan coast by saying that the Japanese government is dealing with them as per established protocols.
Yesterday, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had alleged that the government was not treating the coronavirus threat with due importance.
Minister also hit out Gandhi for his allegation by reminding him of his status as a senior leader and the son of an important leader.