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Coronavirus in India: What is happening and what you should know

Most of the deaths have been in central Hubei province of China, where illnesses from the new type of coronavirus were first detected in December.

ET Online|
Last Updated: Feb 14, 2020, 09.50 AM IST
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The death toll from a new coronavirus outbreak surged past 1,000 on Tuesday as the World Health Organization warned infected people who have not travelled to China could be the spark for a "bigger fire". More than 42,000 have been infected by the virus globally.

First things first:
  • Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Monday said that the Centre is taking full-fledged preventive measures with respect to the coronavirus outbreak.
  • India has screened 1,118 flights so far, said government on February 10.
  • DGCA has exempted flight crews from Breath Analyser (BA) tests for 15 days at Kerala's Calicut, Kannur, Trivandrum and Cochin airports in the wake of novel coronavirus outbreak.
  • 3252 people under observation in Kerala for Coronavirus
  • Over 1.9 lakh passengers screened for Coronavirus at airports, 9,452 persons under surveillance: MoH
  • The Ministry of Health (MoH) on Wednesday issued a revised travel advisory in wake of novel Coronavirus outbreak and said extending visas, including already issued eVisa, are no longer valid for any foreign national travelling from China.
  • Existing visas, including already issued eVisa, no longer valid for any foreign national travelling from China.
  • DGCA okays "restricted use" of a combination of drugs used widely for controlling HIV infection for treating the virus.
5 questions answered:
How many under surveillance?
As of February 10, 1818 flights and 1,97,192 passengers were screened so far at 21 Airports. 9,452 persons are presently under community surveillance in 32 states and UTs. 1,510 samples have been tested and 1,507 of them were found negative except for 3 samples which had tested positive already from Kerala.

What's new in Kerala?
The three students who tested positive are stable. A total of 1,999 people, who have a travel history from China and other affected countries, are under observation in Kerala, of whom 75 are in isolation wards of various hospitals. The remaining 1,924 are under home quarantine and have been asked to not go out in public until the end of the 28-day incubation period.

Any cases of isolation?
A 28-year-old man from UP's Utraula has been kept in isolation ward. The man is a medical student in China and had returned to India 15 days ago. His sample has been sent to King George's Medical University in Lucknow.

What is Centre doing?
A fresh travel advisory has been issued urging everyone to refrain from travelling to China, saying intended visitors from China might apply afresh for an Indian visa. Besides, from now on, anyone with a history of travel to China since January 15, 2020, could be quarantined.

Any Indians left in Wuhan?
India evacuated around 647 Indians from Wuhan, the Chinese city from where the virus started spreading.

Are airlines still flying to China?
Air India, other Indian airlines suspend flights to China Air India, IndiGo and other Indian airlines have said they will suspend flights to China over the coronavirus risks. Air India said it is suspending its Delhi-Hong Kong flight from February 8, hours after the authorities there confirmed the death of a patient with the new coronavirus. Earlier, IndiGo suspended all three flights between India and China. Air India suspended its Delhi-Shanghai flight and curtailed the flight operations on the Delhi-Hong Kong route. From February 8, it will be suspending operations on Delhi-Hong Kong route too.

Screening wards in India
  • In Delhi: Manesar camp is already monitoring those who have come from China. Ram Manohar Lohia, AIIMS and Safdarjung hospitals in the capital have also readied isolation facilities. *
  • In Mumbai: Two Mumbai hospitals namely, Kasturba hospital and Pune's Naidu hospital- have been dedicated for suspected patients in the state.
  • In Karnataka: The state government has placed border districts of Dakshina Kannada, Kodagu, Chamarajnagar and Mysuru under novel coronavirus surveillance following three positive cases in neighbouring Kerala. At Mangaluru International Airport, a health unit comprising doctors and assistants have been formed to screen passengers. An isolation ward with ten beds has been set up at the Government Wenlock Hospital to treat patients with the symptoms.
  • In Manipur: Five centres have been opened in different border towns of the state and at the Imphal International Airport to screen people for coronavirus.
  • In Mizoram: Facility opened in Mizoram where people entering through India-Myanmar border are being tested at Zokhawthar.

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