A Group of Ministers met in New Delhi yesterday to review the preparedness and steps taken by the Ministries of Health, Shipping, External Affairs, Civil Aviation and Home Affairs regarding management of Novel Coronavirus in the country.
The meeting was chaired by the Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan.
The group, which has been constituted on the directions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, comprises of Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy, Minister of State for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey and Shipping Minister Mansukh Lal Mandaviya.
A presentation of the status of the NCOV-2019 was made to the GoM.
The members were also apprised of the three cases reported from Kerala, one of which was confirmed yesterday.
The preventive steps and measures taken for management of spread of Novel Coronavirus in India were presented, which included information about the revised travel advisories issued on Sunday regarding the temporary suspension of the e-visa facilities.
The Advisory has been revised informing the public to refrain from travel to China and that anyone with travel history to China since the 15th of last month and from now on could be quarantined.
Further, e-Visa facility for Chinese passport holders has been temporarily suspended, e-Visa already issued to Chinese nationals is also not valid temporarily and the facility for submitting the application online for the physical visa from China is suspended.
It has also been advised that people having compelling reasons to visit India should contact the Indian embassy in Beijing or consulate in Shanghai or Guangzhou. Instructions to comply with above travel advisory have also been issued to all national and international airlines operating from China by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
The GoM was also briefed that a total of 593 flights have been screened covering a total of 72,353 passengers. Screening of passengers is ongoing in 21 airports, international seaports and border crossings particularly with Nepal.
Universal screening in all flights from Singapore and Thailand besides Hong Kong and China is being done.
Further, 2,815 people are presently under community surveillance in 29 States and Union Territories. Out of a total of 338 samples sent for testing, 335 have been found to be negative, three are positive, while 70 others are being processed.
Principal Secretary to Prime Minister PK Mishra also reviewed the situation relating to Novel Corona Virus in the country and the arrangements for approximately 600 evacuees.
National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, Principal Adviser to Prime Minister PK Sinha, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and secretaries of other relevant ministries were also present.