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    Coronavirus Outbreak: China Locks Down Cities; India Screens Passengers

    The Indian health ministry has screened over 9,150 passengers of 43 flights for the Coronavirus disease at seven airports

    A never-before-seen outbreak of Coronavirus has killed at least 25 people infecting more than 830 people in China so far.

    A total of 1,072 suspected cases have been reported in 20 provincial-level regions. To prevent the spread of the new virus, lockdown measures are increasing across China’s Hubei province.

    As fears of a global pandemic spread, Wuhan, Hubei’s capital of 11 million people where the virus first emerged, has no trains or planes in or out. Public transport have also been suspended in Huanggang, Ezhou, Zhijiang, Qianjiang and Wuhan in Hubei province. Similar confirmed cases have been reported in Singapore and Vietnam.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) is yet to declare it global health emergency and has given its experts more time to gather information. 

    In view of the virus outbreak, India has stepped up its preparedness to prevent the entry of the virus in the country. India is closely monitoring the evolving situation in China following the outbreak of the mysterious Coronavirus.

    The Indian Embassy in Beijing is in touch with relevant Chinese authorities. Till January 23rd, 2020, the Indian health ministry has screened over 9,150 passengers of 43 flights for the Coronavirus disease at seven airports.

    The health and civil aviation ministries have also issued a travel advisory and shared it on their Twitter handle for wider circulation.

    Things to know about Coronavirus:

    • According to WHO the virus feels like a common cold or an upper respiratory tract infection, with fever and cough. Severe cases can turn into pneumonia or kidney failure.
    • They are common in animals and can infect humans. Although there are confirmed reports that the strain can be spread from one person to another, the WHO is yet to confirm if it is contagious.
    • Central China’s Wuhan has frozen transportation in the city.

    WHO has made some general recommendations to be followed:

    • Anyone visiting live animal markets, wet markets or animal product markets, should practice general hygiene measures–regular hand washing after touching animals and animal products, avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with hands, and avoiding contact with sick animals or spoiled animal products. Any contact with other animals possibly living in the market (e.g., stray cats and dogs, rodents, birds, bats) should be strictly avoided.
    • The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided.
    • People with underlying medical conditions are considered at higher risk of severe disease.

    Photo: Twitter

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