New Delhi, Jan 30: As India on Thursday confirmed its first case of the deadly new strain of coronavirus on its soil with a student from Wuhan University testing positive, the Union Government announced that all travellers from China since January 15 last shall be tested for the virus.
At a high-level review meeting on preparedness for Novel Coronavirus (nCoV) held by the Union Health Minister, Cabinet Secretary and Health Secretary, the Cabinet Secretary reviewed the preparedness with the concerned Ministries of Health & Family Welfare, External Affairs, Defence, Home Affairs, Civil Aviation, Information & Broadcasting, Labour & Employment, and Shipping, an official release here said. Through video conferencing with the Chief Secretaries of the States and UTs taken by the Cabinet Secretary, it was decided that all those who have come from China after January 15 shall be tested as there in an incubation period for the virus.
Following today’s meeting, the Cabinet Secretary also stressed upon the need for 14 days’ home isolation for all those who have returned from China. To augment the lab facilities, six more labs started functioning from today and six more labs will start functioning by tomorrow: ICMR – NICED, Kolkata (2) GMC, Secunderabad (3) KGMU, Lucknow (4) SMS, Jaipur (5) IGGMC, Nagpur (6) KIPMR, Chennai. The Government has also advised that a trip to China should be avoided. The meeting was informed that a discharge portal for patients had been prepared by DGHS which is being disseminated. It was decided to put up check-posts in relevant tourist locations for better surveillance.
Gram panchayats are being organised to make people more aware regarding the symptoms, precautions and measures taken by the State Governments regarding prevention and management for Novel Coronavirus in villages bordering Nepal. As part of the steps to curb spread of the virus, States have also been advised to open control rooms, appoint a nodal officer and popularise the control room number. IEC material will be prepared in local language by the concerned States. UNI