Novel coronavirus: A high-level Group of Ministers (GOM) has been constituted on the directions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review, monitor and evaluate the preparedness to tackle the spread of coronavirus. The second meeting of the GOM was held on Thursday. It was chaired by Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan. The first meeting of the GOM, chaired by the minister, was held on February 3 at the Nirman Bhawan.
The GOM also included Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of Civil Aviation, Dr S Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister, Nityananda Rai, Minister of State for Home, Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State (I/c) for Ministry of Shipping, Chemicals and Fertilisers and Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare
A presentation on the status of the novel coronavirus was made to the GOM. The ministers were informed about the status of the three cases in Kerala. The presentation documented the preventive steps, including travel advisories and temporary suspension of visa for travellers from China that were taken for the management of the coronavirus.
The status of the two quarantine centres with 645 individuals evacuated from Wuhan was also included in the presentation. The camps are maintained by the armed forces and the ITBP and all the inhabitants are medically examined on a daily basis. The GOM was informed that all the individuals in these camps have been tested negative for coronavirus.
It was stated in the presentation that as of Thursday, a total of 2,315 flights have been screened covering more than 2.49 lakh passengers. Screening of passengers is undergoing in 21 airports, international seaports and border crossings especially with Nepal.
The GOM was informed that 15,991 people are presently under community surveillance across the country. Out of a total 1,671 samples that were sent for testing, only 3 were found positive.
The GOM also looked into whether adequate material like Personal Protection Equipment and N95 masks were available. There is a 24X7 control room operational.
The meeting was attended by Secretary (HFW) Preeti Sudan, Foreign Secretary H Vardhan Shringla, Secretary (Civil Aviation) Pradeep Singh Kharola, Special Secretary (Health) Sanjeeva Kumar, DGFT Amit Yadav, Additional Secretary (Shipping) Sanjay Bandopadhyay, Additional Secretary (MHA) Anil Malik, and JS (MoHFW) Lav Agarwal, along with other officials.