With countries imposing unprecedented travel restrictions to contain the deadly coronavirus, over 1.86 lakh passengers who have returned from the virus-affected countries have been screened at the Delhi airport till date and placed under surveillance, Delhi Health Department authorities said on Tuesday.
The total coronavirus cases in Delhi now stands at eight. As many as 4,458 passengers from the coronavirus-hit countries were screened on Tuesday, according to a statement released by the Delhi Health Department. India had reported its second casualty due to coronavirus on Friday with the death of a 68-year-old woman in Delhi.
The chief secretary has reviewed the status of quarantine facilities through video conferencing with deputy commissioners, and intimated the procedures of the screening of passengers at the airport who have returned from the COVID-19-affected countries, the statement said.
“A field meeting with DGHS and nodal officer for quarantine is convened at the Terminal 3 of Delhi Airport, with special secretary in the Union government to further discuss the decisions taken regarding screening and quarantine of passengers at airport. A total of 127 passengers are under quarantine at government facilities,” it said.
Many countries including India have rescued their citizens stuck abroad. On Tuesday, Australia warned that overseas travel was becoming “more complex and difficult” and joined Canada, New Zealand, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates in calling back its citizens.
On Tuesday, the European Union locked down its borders, imposing a 30-day entry ban on nonessential travel for non-EU citizens to slow the spread of the coronavirus. German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the measure Tuesday night, saying people in the member nations can still move freely between those countries. The ban went into effect immediately.
— European Commission 🇪🇺 (@EU_Commission) March 17, 2020
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has stepped up the country’s response to the crisis by announcing a ban on indoor gatherings of more than 100 people, a global do-not-travel order, and strict new rules for visiting aged care homes. With videos of panic-buying at supermarkets surfacing the internet, he pleaded with people to stop hoarding, calling it “un-Australian”. Thousands of Australians have been left stranded overseas, as airlines cancel flights, and countries across the globe shut their borders entirely in an effort to contain the spread of Covid-19.
Taiwan, which is a country not recognised by World Health Organisation, has said non-residents will be banned from entering the country from midnight. The restrictions exclude diplomats and holders of alien resident certificates. The country has reported 77 cases of the virus.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan urged calm after country’s tally of coronavirus cases rose to 245. Sri Lanka sealed itself off and shut its stock market on Wednesday as World Health Organisation urged the South Asian countries to take ‘aggressive’action against the pandemic.
In New Zealand where twenty cases of the coronavirus have now been recorded, all of them originating from overseas arrivals into the country, Jacinda Ardern’s government has imposed strict self-quarantine measures on all arrivals into the country, including New Zealanders, and also asked anyone arriving before the announcement to abide by the same guidelines.