Amid growing concerns over the novel coronavirus disease, Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan Wednesday assured that the government is monitoring the situation at the highest level possible. Follow LIVE updates
Addressing a press conference in the national capital, the minister said, “There is monitoring at the highest level, the Prime Minister’s Office, cabinet secretary and all involved ministries are coordinating.”
There is monitoring at the highest level, @PMOIndia, cabinet secretary and all involved ministries are coordinating, I’ve written to states, issued an advisory on isolation beds, procuring masks etc: @drharshvardhan #CoronavirusOutbreak @IndianExpress
— abantika ghosh (@abantika77) February 13, 2020
Confirming the three cases of coronavirus in Kerala, the minister said that two of them have been cured while the third person has been discharged from the hospital. “All three had links to Wuhan,” he said, and added that the government has revised the travel advisory with the change of situation.
The fast-spreading virus has killed more than 1,000 people in China, where there have been nearly 43,000 cases. There have been another 319 confirmed cases in 24 other countries, including 13 in the United States.
“I’ve written to states, issued an advisory on isolation beds, procuring masks, etc,” he said, adding that the government has set up thermal screening at 21 airports and in every airport, teams have been sent for supervision.
“2,51,447 passengers from 2315 flights screened so far,” Harsh Vardhan added. “After first case in Nepal we started screening at the borders. We have buffet stock of N95.”
Meanwhile, Japan on Wednesday confirmed 44 fresh cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) onboard a luxury cruise Diamond Princess currently quarantined near Yokohama port, where two Indian nationals, among others, have tested positive.
Speaking on the quarantined Japanese cruise ship Diamond Princess, Harsh Vardhan said, “We are all in touch with each other. Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke about the disease in the Cabinet. On the Japan cruise ship, however, it’s up to the Japan government’s quarantine protocol,” he said.
“The positive cases on the ship have already been hospitalised by Japanese authorities, the ship’s quarantine gets over on February 19,” added the health minister.
The Diamond Princess cruise ship, currently docked off the coast of Yokohama, Japan, has 3,711 people on board, including 132 crew members and six passengers who are Indian nationals. Out of the 3,711, at least 174 people have tested positive for the coronavirus.
He also said that India will be sending medical supplies to China as a goodwill measure, and added that at least 645 Indians, along with seven Maldives nationals, were evacuated from the country.
Commenting on precautions being taken by China, the minister said that Beijing has revised its strategy and they have started to treat even “symptomatic patients as positive”. “China revised strategy they are taking extreme precaution, they are starting to treat even symptomatic patients as positive not just those that have actually tested positive; of the 14840 new cases, 1508 are actually positive,” he said.
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