Over 9,000 passengers from screened for coronavirus, no cases found — Govt
New Delhi, Jan. 22 (PTI): A total 9,156 passengers from 43 flights were screened for novel coronavirus infection till Tuesday at the seven identified airports including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, the Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday.
Till now, no cases have been detected through these screening efforts, Health Secretary Preeti Sudan said.
“As on January 21, a total of 43 flights and 9156 passengers have been screened for novel coronavirus illness. Till now, no case has been detected through these screening efforts. We are on alert and our preparedness is sturdy,” Sudan told PTI, while updating on the measures taken by the government for community surveillance and contact tracing.
Sudan further said the Indian Embassy in China has been regularly providing the health ministry with updates on the status of the infected cases in that country.
“The Embassy has informed that a total of 440 cases of pneumonia with novel coronavirus were confirmed in China and nine people have died till Wednesday. Cases have been reported in 14 provinces (including Taiwan) and municiplalities as well,” the health secretary said.
She also stated that passengers travelling from China are being requested to report to the nearest public health facility in case they develop any symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, runny nose, sore throat.
The Health Ministry has instructed Airport Health Organizations at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Cochin for screening of passengers coming from mainland China.
The Health ministry also has issued a travel advisory asking citizens to follow certain precautionary measures while visiting China. It is put up on the ministry’s official website and has been shared on Twitter handle for wider circulation.
Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Ministry has directed for all logistics support and arrangements to be made immediately with regard to screening of passengers arriving from China including Hong Kong at the seven identified airports.
The coronavirus (CoV) is a large family of viruses that causes illnesses ranging from the common cold to acute respiratory syndromes, but the virus that has killed people in China is a novel strain not seen before.
Common symptoms of the novel coronavirus (nCoV) strain include respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said.
In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.