Government today clarified that there are no evidence of community transmission of coronavirus in the country and major preventive steps have been taken to restrict the spread of Covid 19. Briefing media in New Delhi, Joint Secretary in Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Lav Aggarwal said, based on the recommendations of Committee of Secretaries, Group of Ministers, GoM consisting Minister of Health, Shipping, Home, Civil Aviation and External Affairs have taken several decisions. He said, GoM has decided that no scheduled International commercial passenger aircraft shall take off from any foreign airport for any airport in India after midnight falling between 21st and 22nd March of this month.
He said, these instruction shall remain in force till midnight falling between 28th and 29th March. He said, no incoming scheduled International commercial passenger aircraft shall be allowed to disembark its passenger on Indian soil including foreigner and Indian from 22nd March. Mr. Aggarwal said, these are the temporary measures and it will be reviewed later.
He said, government has already issued guidelines for social distancing to avoid crowd gathering. He said, in this direction, it has been directed that Buses, Railways, Metros and Airplanes shall consider decrease in frequency of their services and alternative seating arrangements.
He said, in order to protect most vulnerable section of the society, all states shall issue appropriate instruction to all citizen above 65 years and children below 10 years to remain at home to avoid crowd. He said, DOPT has issued an order to reduce the contact in the Government offices by allowing group B and C employees to attend the offices on alternative weeks. He said, States shall issue instructions for regulating hours in the services except for essential services and also direct private sector to consider the option of work from home. He said, government will take necessary action who are found to charge exorbitant prices for masks and other health-related logistics. He said, sufficient N95 masks are available in the country.
Meanwhile, Health Ministry has confirmed that total number of cases of Covid-19 in the country reached to 173 and one more positive case of coronavirus lost his life in Punjab due to co-morbidity. It has also been confirmed by the government that one Indian who was tested positive also lost his life in Iran.
Joint Secretary in Ministry of Civil Aviation, Rubina Ali said, that yesterday, 201 Indians were evacuated from Iran including pilgrims and students and they were sent to Jaislmer. She said, on 21st March, Air India will send its aircraft to Milan to bring back the Indians stranded there.