Friday, February 28, 2020

COVID-19: Two more passengers test positive in Kolkata airport

By PTI Updated: Feb 13, 2020 11:37 pm

Kolkata, Feb.13 (PTI): Two passengers who arrived at NSCBI Airport from Bangkok have tested positive for the novel coronavirus now known as COVID-19, Airports Authority of India officials said on Thursday.

With this, a total of three passengers have tested positive for the COVID-19 in Kolkata.

A passenger called Himadri Barman tested positive on Tuesday, and Nagendra Singh tested positive on Wednesday, the Director of NSCBI Airport, Kaushik Bhattacharjee, told PTI.

Both of them were sent to Beliaghata ID Hospital, he said.

“Earlier a passenger called Anita Oraon had also tested positive during thermal scanning,” Bhattacharjee said.

Already two airlines which had direct flights between Kolkata and China have suspended their flights.

Low-cost carrier IndiGo has temporarily suspended its flights between Kolkata and Guangzhou from February 6.

“In line with the WHO guideline to contain the spread of coronavirus, IndiGo will be suspending its Kolkata- Guangzhou service from February 6, 2020, to February 25, 2020, and Guangzhou-Kolkata from February 7 till February 26,” the airline had said in a statement.

After IndiGo, China Eastern Airlines suspended its flights between Kolkata and Kunming in China from February 10 to February 29.

Passengers of flights coming to Kolkata from Kunming and Guangzhou in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok were being screened since January 17.

At present, passengers arriving from Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok are being screened as no flights are operating to and from China.

Using all resources to prevent COVID-19 — Union Health minister

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan addresses a press conference at his office in New Delhi on Thursday. (PTI)

Union Health Minister Harshvardhan said that India is preparing to combat the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), through its various timely measures and sturdy systems of surveillance.

On Thursday, briefing the media, Harshvardhan said that so far only three cases have been tested positive for the COVID-19 out of 1,071 samples. He said that a total of 15,991 persons are being followed up for a period of 28 days of which 3,058 have completed 28 days of the observation period. 497 suspected cases have been isolated.

Clinical samples of the 654 evacuees at Manesar and ITBP camps have also been tested and all of them were found to be negative.

Referring to the coronavirus cases which have tested positive in the country, Harshvardhan said that the three positive cases from Kerala are all Indian students from Wuhan in China.

He said that all ministries and states have done commendable work, in particular Kerala, which has put up a sturdy system of surveillance. He also said that outreach is being made to every village in the districts adjoining Nepal border through the Gram Sabhas. Daily situational reports are generated and a 24-hour control room-cum-call centre is also operational.

In his briefing which came after a meeting of the high-level GoM, earlier in the day, Harshvardhan said that regular review meetings are also being held with the ministries and senior officials of textiles, pharmaceuticals, commerce, Panchayati Raj, and other officials including chief secretaries of the states.

“We have good and effective coordination among ministries, robust surveillance system, a network of laboratories to support diagnosis, upgraded medical facilities, trained health workforce and media presence that can reach even remote areas. We have put all these resources at our disposal to prevent/contain an outbreak of novel coronavirus in India,” he said.

Elaborating upon measures taken by the government, Harshvardhan said that advisories/ guidelines have been issued to the states on surveillance, sample collection, packaging and transportation, infection prevention and control, and clinical management.

By PTI Updated: Feb 13, 2020 11:37:22 pm