Novel coronavirus: Centre steps up vigil in areas bordering Nepal

NEW DELHI, Jan 27:

The Centre has stepped up vigil in areas bordering Nepal in view of a confirmed case of novel coronavirus detected there.
No case of novel coronavirus infection has been detected in the country so far.
The Union Health Ministry on Monday said teams of healthcare professionals have been deployed in West Bengal’s Panitanki and Uttarakhand’s Jhulaghat and Jauljibi in Pithoragarh district, bordering Nepal.
Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan chaired a video-conference meeting with chief secretaries and police chiefs of the five states bordering Nepal — Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Sikkim — to review their preparedness for prevention and management of novel coronavirus.
Principal Secretary (Health) of other states/UTs also participated in the meeting.
Sudan informed the states/UTs that Union Minister of Health Harsh Vardhan is closely and regularly monitoring the status of preparedness.
The Union Health Minister has written to chief ministers of States and UTs, requesting them to personally review preparedness measures in the matter.
“Subsequent to confirmed #coronarvirus case in #Nepal, vigil strengthened at Panitanki (West Bengal) entry point from Nepal,” the Health Ministry said in a tweet on Monday.
“In response to confirmed case of #nCoV2019 in #Nepal, India has stepped up vigil in districts bordering Nepal. Health Teams deployed at BOP with Nepal at Jhulaghat and Jauljibi, Dist Pithoragarh, #Uttarakhand,” it had tweeted on Sunday.
Till Monday, a total 33,552 passengers arriving in India from China in 155 flights have been screened. “4,359 passengers in 18 flights from China screened today (on Monday) for nCoV. No (positive) case has been found in the country so far,” a senior health official said.
As per data last received on January 27, total 17 samples have been received by the ICMR-NIV Pune Lab, out of which 14 have been already been tested and found negative, officials said.
Nearly 450 people have been kept under observation in the country, most of them in Kerala, following screening for possible exposure to the novel coronavirus.
Sudan reviewed the preparedness of the bordering states in terms of orientation of health and other agencies; adherence of various prevention and management protocols, awareness regarding prevention of coronavirus among the people being screened and those transiting the border with Nepal; self-reporting by these people, isolation wards, protective gear etc, a health ministry statement stated.
States have informed that they have made all necessary arrangements for screening of people transiting across the border.
They also informed that travel advisories, other guidelines and protocols issued by the Health Ministry have been also widely disseminated. Orientation of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), the medical personnel, and health officials has also been conducted, the statement stated. (PTI)