Health Ministry reviews states' preparedness for prevention, management of novel coronavirus

PTI
New Delhi, India Published: Jan 29, 2020, 10:22 PM(IST)

The medical staff of Union Hospital affiliated to Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University of Science and Technology attended a ceremony to form an "assault team" in the fight against pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus in Wuhan. Photograph:( IANS )

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States and UTs reported that isolation wards have been identified and readied to face any contingency and personal protection equipment are available in adequate quantity, it said.

The Union Health Ministry on Wednesday held a meeting with the health secretaries of the states where the 21 identified airports screening passengers for the novel coronavirus infection are located, along with the Airport Health Organization officers, to review their preparedness for prevention and management of the disease.

During the video-conference, Special Secretary in the Union Health Ministry Sanjeeva Kumar also interacted with health secretaries of the states, including those bordering Nepal (Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Sikkim), an official statement said.

The immigration and other staff members at the airports have been sensitised and dedicated ambulances are placed at the airports. Deployment of medical and para-medical staff is also being done for round-the-clock service, it said.

Self-declaration forms are available and signages are being placed at prominent places at all airports. Seven central teams have visited the respective states and helped to strengthen the preparedness too, the statement added.

States and UTs reported that isolation wards have been identified and readied to face any contingency and personal protection equipment are available in adequate quantity, it said.

The statement said tertiary hospitals have also been identified for these airports and the protocols for contact tracing are followed and timely collection and transportation of samples from suspected cases to NIV, Pune, is being done.

In the meeting, states bordering Nepal reported that adequate steps have been taken at the land check posts, and meetings have been organised in villages in the bordering areas to create awareness.

The special secretary added that states need to take pro-active preventive measures by creating awareness among the people through local media.

He assured states of all support from the ministry, including orientation of medical personnel/staff and other agencies through regular video-conferencing, the statement said. 

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