No case of suspected Novel Coronavirus infection has been detected in India, a statement from Union Health Ministry says.
As on January 22, 12,828 passengers from 60 flights have been screened for Novel Coronavirus symptoms at the International airports of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Cochin, it states.
Briefing the preparedness of the government, the statement said Ministry of Civil Aviation has asked airlines to follow International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) guidelines for managing and notifying anybody reporting illness on flights originating from China and disembarking in India. Instructions for in-flight announcements for India bound flights have also been given.
"National Institute of Virology, Pune is fully geared up to test samples of nCoV. Ten other laboratories under Indian Council of Medical Research's Viral Research and Diagnostics Laboratories network are also equipped to test such samples, if need arises. Adequate stock of Personal Protection Equipment is being maintained by Medical Stores Organisation," the statement said.
The health ministry also said that through its Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme issued advisory to all States/UTs for SARI surveillance, it has to pick up any travel-related case reported in the community and follow up contacts of suspect/confirmed cases.
Immigration officers manning the counters have been sensitised across these airports. The government has also asked the state governments of Maharashtra, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Kerala and Karnataka to review and strengthen preparedness measures at designated airports for provision of isolation and critical care facilities, linkages with VRDL network laboratories and adherence to infection prevention and control guidelines.
"Ministry of External Affairs has also been requested to disseminate travel advisory (in local languages) to Indian Embassies in China and adjoining countries for wider circulation and passenger information. In view of significant population of Indian students in China, MEA has been requested to provide details of such students. Ministry of Home Affairs has been requested to share details of travellers from China who have been issued e-Visa since December 31, 2019," it said.
The health secretary has also written to the States/UTs to review their preparedness, identify gaps and strengthen core capacities in the area of surveillance, laboratory support infection prevention and control, logistics, risk communication etc.
India had issued a travel advisory against citizens visiting China on January 17. The situation is being closely monitored by the top officials of the Ministry in close coordination with other concerned Ministries & Departments and States/UTs, the health ministry said.
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