Indian government on high alert amid looming coronavirus threat

WION Web Team New Delhi Jan 26, 2020, 10.48 AM(IST)

A police officers and security guards stand outside the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market where the coronavirus was detected in Wuhan on January 24, 2020 Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

19 Indian airports are now thermal screening all those coming from China, reports said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday held a high-level meeting with the health ministry officials over the deadly coronavirus which has claimed 56 lives so far. 

The Indian authorities have stepped up vigilance to control the spread and the Health Ministry has also set up a 24*7 call centre under the National entre for Disease Control (NCDC ). People can call + 91 - 11 - 23978046 to get any information about the mysterious virus and its symptoms.

The Health Ministry has extended its travel advisory to 12 more airports in addition to the 7 airports. 

19 Indian airports are now thermal screening all those coming from China, reports said.

Private doctors have been asked to alert authorities if they observe symptoms of coronavirus in any of their patients.

And all India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) in Delhi has prepared an isolation ward and separate beds for possible patients.

The Indian embassy in China has set up a hotline for Indians in China. An airport health office number has also been put out for those feeling sick on the return flight.

Meanwhile,  in India, seven people have been placed under observation in hospitals in Kerala. Two persons in Mumbai and one person in Hyderabad and Bengaluru are being observed for possible exposure.

These 11 people under observation are among the passengers who returned from China recently and are hospital to check for possible exposure to the virus.

Officials have said that 20,844 passengers from 96 flights have been screened so far.

Meanwhile, India has requested China to permit Indians to leave from the city of Wuhan

More than 250 Indian students have been stuck in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak. The families of the students said that they were stranded with food supplies running out.

Most of the students did not manage to get out before the travel restrictions were put in place. The Indian embassy in Beijing has responded to the queries saying that they are in constant contact with the student community in Wuhan city.

There have been no cases of coronavirus reported in India till now.