More than 100 people have been kept under observation in two Indian states, including Kerala and Maharashtra, following screening for exposure to Wuhan Coronavirus as the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) reviewed the preparedness to deal with any circumstances amid mounting global concern over rising cases in China.
So far, no positive case has been detected in India, confirmed Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan. However, samples of seven passengers have been sent to the ICMR-NIV Pune lab.
A 24x7 call center has been made operational. Meanwhile, samples of four other passengers tested earlier have been confirmed to be negative for nCoV by the lab.
People under home surveillance in Kerala
At least 172 people in Kerala are under home surveillance and seven are kept in various hospitals. "Today, 99 new passengers arrived in the state. This makes a total of 179 persons under surveillance. Only seven people have any kind of symptoms. They have mild symptoms. We have sent their blood and respiratory specimen samples to the National Institute of Virology, Pune," the senior health official of Kerala said.
One person each from Thrissur, Thiruvananthapuram, Pathanamthitta and Malappuram and three from Ernakulam are in the isolation wards of various health centres in the state.
Coronavirus scare in Maharashtra
Two of the three people admitted to a hospital in Mumbai for possible exposure to the coronavirus have tested negative for infection but are still under observation as a precaution, while blood test results of a third person were awaited, officials confirmed.
Health ministry officials presented an update about response measures being undertaken at a meeting in Delhi chaired by PK Mishra, principal secretary to the Prime Minister. The meeting was held on the instructions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Top officials including the cabinet secretary, home secretary, foreign secretary, defence secretary, health secretary, civil aviation secretary and several others attended the meeting.
Health ministry issues advisory
Issuing a fresh advisory, the Union Health Ministry asked the passengers to follow certain dos and don'ts if they are in China or if they are travelling or returning from China.
The advisory stated that during their stay in China, if they feel sick and have fever and cough, then they should cover their mouth while coughing and sneezing, seek medical attention promptly and report to the Indian Embassy in China.
The advisory also said that if they feel sick on the flight, while travelling back to India from China, they should inform the airline crew about their illness, seek mask and self-reporting format from the airline crew, avoid close contact with family members or fellow travellers and follow other directions of crew and airport health officer.
Coronavirus are a large family of viruses that cause illness in people and animals. The coronavirus that circulates in animals rarely can evolve and infect people and then transmit from humans to humans as has been seen with MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) & SARS (Severe acute respiratory symptoms).