China has allowed India to airlift its citizens from Wuhan. A Boeing 747VT-ESO will leave Mumbai at midnight today to lift 250 Indians. On evacuation, the individuals will be kept in quarantine for 14 days, according to government.
On January 27, cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba convened a meeting with secretaries on the Ministries of Heath, External Affairs, Civil Aviation, Shipping, I&B, Defence and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) made a formal request to China to facilitate evacuation of 250 Indians from Wuhan, which is the epicentre of the deadly virus.
The Indian government has stepped up its preparation to fight against coronavirus in last few days. The centre has expanded the thermal screening to 20 airports on Tuesday, along with adding 10 new laboratories to test the virus, as a precautionary measure. At present, the thermal screening is being done at Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kochi airports. Till January 27, as many as 155 flights were screened with a total of 33,552 passengers.
The government has activated four new laboratories--the Indian Council of Medical Research's viral research and diagnostics lab network - at Alleppey, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Mumbai for testing samples. So far, Pune's National Institute of Virology was conducting the tests. A total of 20 samples have so far been tested by NIV Pune and all were found negative.
Meanwhile, Mumbai Port Trust has been instructed to not to give shore permit to any vessel coming from China. Civil aviation ministry has been told to ask airlines to make in-flight announcement and distribute "health cards" to all flights with direct or indirect connectivity to China. Home ministry has to ensure integrated check posts initiate screening of visitors across Nepal border.
The Union health ministry has also urged passengers who have a travel history to China since January 1 to come forward for self-reporting at the nearest health facility if they experience any symptoms such as fever, cough, respiratory distress etc. The ministry has issued a 24X7 helpline number for any query on coronavirus, which is 91-11-23978046.
The deadly coronavirus continues to wreak havoc in China, taking the death toll to 132 and the confirmed infection cases to nearly 6,000.
The coronavirus was first discovered in the city of Wuhan in December. It is thought to have originated in the food market of the central China metropolis and has since infected thousands of people.