The Government of Kerala has declared the coronavirus outbreak as a “state calamity”. This comes after three persons from the state tested positive for the lethal disease.
All the three patients have travel history from Wuhan in China, the epicentre of the never-seen-before deadly virus. Two out of three patients are medical students at a university in Wuhan.
Two patients are being monitored in an isolation ward in Alappuzha Medical College. The patient who first tested positive is currently hospitalised in Thrissur Medical College and her condition is stable.
The novel coronavirus infection first broke out in Wuhan, China and as of February 4th, 2020, it has spread to 25 countries. The death toll climbed to 361 and 17,205 cases of the virus have been reported in China.
The World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus as a public health emergency of international concern. There is no specific cure or vaccine.
On the other hand, five of the evacuees brought back from Wuhan in China and kept at a quarantine centre in Haryana’s Manesar were shifted to the Army’s Base in Delhi after they showed symptoms of cough and cold.
In two batches, Air India evacuated 654 Indians from Wuhan on February 1st-2nd, 2020. Indian Army has set up a quarantine facility near in Manesar for all those who have been evacuated from China’s Hubei province. People will be monitored for signs of any infection for two weeks by qualified medical professionals.
Lockdown measures and restricts of travel continue in China to curb its spread. Travel restrictions have been tightened across the country and wearing masks in public is now been made mandatory in some cities. Total lockdown have been imposed in Wuhan, and the Hubei province it is located in.
High-level Group of Ministers constituted
K Mishra, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister reviewed the situation relating to the coronavirus in the country and the arrangements for the approximately 600 evacuees.
On the directions of Prime Minister, a high-level Group of Ministers is constituted comprising of Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Hardeep S Puri, Minister of Civil Aviation, S Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister, G Kishan Reddy, Minister of State for Home, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State, Health & Family Welfare and Mansukh Lal Mandaviya, Minister of State (I/c), Shipping to review, monitor and evaluate the preparedness regarding management of coronavirus in the country.
Travel Advisory has been revised informing the public to refrain from travel to China and that anyone with travel history in China since January 15th, 2020 and from now on could be quarantined.
Further, e-Visa facility for Chinese passport holders has been temporarily suspended, e-Visa already issued to Chinese nationals is also not valid temporarily and the facility for submitting the application online for the physical visa from China is suspended.
It has been advised that people having compelling reasons to visit India should contact the Indian embassy in Beijing or consulate in Shanghai or Guangzhou. Instructions to comply with above travel advisory have also been issued to all national and international airlines operating from China by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
A total of 593 flights have been screened covering a total of 72353 passengers as of February 3rd, 2020. Screening of passengers is ongoing in 21 airports, international seaports and border crossings, particularly with Nepal. Universal screening in all flights from Singapore and Thailand besides Hong Kong and China is being done.
Further, 2,815 people are presently under community surveillance in 29 States/UTs. Out of a total of 338 samples sent for testing, 335 have been found to be negative, 3 are positive, while 70 are being processed.
The ICMR National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune has been made a nodal centre for coordinating diagnostics for Novel Coronavirus. 12 Regional Labs have been activated, standardized, and are testing the samples.