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    Coronavirus Outbreak: 11 Under Watch, Over 20,000 Screened In India

    A travel advisory has been extended to 12 more airports in addition to the current seven

    After the outbreak of the never-seen-before virus in China, India has stepped up its precautionary measures to combat the spread of novel coronavirus.

    A total of eleven people have been kept under observation for possible exposure to novel coronavirus infection – three in Mumbai, seven in Kerala and one in Hyderabad.

    On the other hand, 20,844 passengers from 96 flights have been screened for the virus symptoms in India as of January 24th, 2020, a statement from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said. A travel advisory has been extended to 12 more airports in addition to the current seven.

    “No novel coronavirus case has been detected in the country so far. 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 Ministry said in a statement. The health ministry said 4,082 passengers were screened in 19 flights on January 24th, 2020.

    Unfortunately, there is no vaccine for the new virus and the symptoms include fever, cough and difficulty in breathing. The World Health Organization has declared the new coronavirus an ’emergency in China’ but is yet to declare it global health emergency and has given its experts more time to gather information. 

    The statement also said the National Institute of Virology, Pune is fully geared up to test samples of the virus. Ten other laboratories under Indian Council of Medical Research’s Viral Research and Diagnostics Laboratories network are also equipped to test such the samples, if a need arises.

    The Ministry said that thermal screening is being done at the International airports of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Cochin. The Ministry has asked airlines to follow International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) guidelines for managing and notifying anybody reporting illness on flights originating from China and disembarking in India. The Ministry has also instructed for in-flight announcements for India bound flights.

    China Status Report

    A total of 1,287 confirmed cases have been reported in China, of which 41 have died as of January 24th, 2020. The outbreak comes as China begins celebrations of the Lunar New Year, one of the most important dates in its calendar.

    Mass migration takes place during this time of the year with millions of Chinese travelling home and abroad for the Chinese New Year and Spring Festival holidays starting from January 24th, 2020.

    To prevent the spread of the new virus, lockdown measures are increasing across China’s Hubei province. All bus, metro and ferry services have been suspended, and all outbound planes and trains cancelled in Wuhan – the epicentre of the outbreak.

    All the resident doctors and health officials of China have been advised not to leave. Bus and railway services have been suspended in Ezhou and Enshi. The officials have asked the residents who return from affected areas to stay at home for 14 days to prevent the spread of the virus.

    Photo credit: weather.com

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