Kochi: A central team will assess the measures to prevent coronavirus outbreak in Kerala on Sunday.
The team, comprising a public health expert, a clinician and a microbiologist, will visit Kochi international airport and nearby hospitals.
In Kerala, seven people, who recently returned from China, have been kept under observation at various hospitals. Their blood samples have been sent to National Institute of Virology (NIV) lab in Pune.
No positive coronavirus case has been reported from India so far.
Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry has intensified Coronavirus checks. It has extended travel advisory to 12 more airports, taking the total number to 19. They are: Kochi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kolkata, New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Coimbatore, Guwahati, Gaya, Bagdogra, Jaipur, Lucknow, Trivandrum, Tiruchi, Varanasi and Visakhapatnam.
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has informed that 11 people are under observation – seven in Kerala, two in Mumbai and one each in Bengaluru and Hyderabad – in the country.
Vardhan said that he will write to all chief ministers requesting for their personal intervention to review the states' preparedness for control and management of the virus.
The union health minister has urged the passengers who have a travel history to China since January 1, 2020, to come forward for self-reporting to the nearest health facility if they experience any symptoms such as fever, cough, respiratory distress, etc., and also inform their treating doctor.
The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has opened a round-the-clock call centre (telephone number: +91-11-23978046) to prevent the virus outbreak. “The Call Centre will monitor the list of contacts furnished by Ministry of External Affairs and provide details of district and state surveillance officers. The centre will address clinical queries and will provide contacts of Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) officer,” informed a health ministry official.
Global Coronavirus attack
As on January 25, 2020, 1,287 positive cases and 41 deaths were reported in 29 provinces of China.
As many as 28 cases have been confirmed outside Chinese mainland - 5 in Hong Kong, 2 in Macao, 3 in Taiwan, 4 in Thailand, 2 in Japan, 2 in South Korea, 2 in United States, 2 in Vietnam, 3 in Singapore, 1 in Nepal and 1 in France.
What to do?
On Friday, the Union Health Ministry also issued a fresh advisory asking the passengers to follow certain dos and don'ts if they are in China or if they are travelling or returning from China.
The advisory stated that during their stay in China, if they feel sick and have fever and cough, then they should cover their mouth while coughing and sneezing, seek medical attention promptly and report to the Indian Embassy in China.
The advisory also said that if they feel sick on flight, while travelling back to India from China, they should inform the airline crew about their illness, seek mask and self-reporting format from the airline crew, avoid close contact with family members or fellow travellers and follow other directions of crew and airport health officer.
(With inputs from PTI)