Coronavirus outbreak: Health ministry issues travel advisory, bans passengers from Afghanistan and Malaysia

Edited By: Sonal Gera WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Mar 17, 2020, 07:08 PM(IST)

Representative Image. Photograph:( IANS )

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The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare put up travel advisories on March 11 and 16, and the land borders of the country have also been being monitored. In continuation with these efforts, the ministry on Tuesday issued another advisory.

India has been taking strict precautionary measures to keep the spread of COVID-19 in the country in check, in the wake of the WHO declaring it as a pandemic.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare put up travel advisories on March 11 and 16, and the land borders of the country have also been being monitored. In continuation with these efforts, the ministry on Tuesday issued another advisory.

A few pointers have been listed below:

Travel of passengers from Afghanistan, Philippines and Malaysia to India is prohibited with immediate effect. No flight shall take off from these countries to India after 3 pm (IST) on Tuesday. The airline shall enforce this at the port of initial departure. This instruction is a temporary measure and shall be in force till March 31, 2020 and will be reviewed subsequently.

ICMR, Delhi will share the SOPs for laboratory testing and provide positive controls for establishing the test as soon as the concerned private laboratory has procured the primers, probes and reagents as per SOPs, adoption of commercial kits for testing should be based on validations conducted by the institute.

Also read: Taj Mahal shut down amid virus concern

Appropriate biosafety and biosecurity precautions should be ensured while collecting samples from a suspect patient. Alternatively, a disease specific separate collection site may be created.

All the private testing laboratories to ensure immediate/real-time reporting to the State officials of IDSP (Integrated Disease Surveillance Program of Govt. of India) and ICMR HQ for timely initiation of contact tracing and research activities.

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In addition to this, ICMR has appealed that private laboratories should offer COVlD-19 diagnosis at no cost.

Meanwhile, the Union Home Secretary also reviewed the level of preparedness to contain the coronavirus threat with states bordering Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Myanmar. He also held a video conference with Chief Secretaries/Additional Chief Secretaries and DsGP/Additional DsGP of States viz., Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur, Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya, besides Secretary Border Management and DsG of BSF, SSB and Assam Rifles.

The states said that regular screening was being done by doctors at various transit points and the community in border areas has been sensitised in respect of precautions to be taken to avoid getting infected by the virus, through gram sabhas.

The Home Secretary urged all the officials to ensure that round the clock deployment of doctors, with requisite testing kits and other medical supplies, be done so that hundred percent screening is done without fail.

Also read: Confirmed coronavirus cases rise to 125 in India


 

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