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Coronavirus Alert: Union Health Minister Holds High-Level Review

Coronavirus Alert: Union Health Minister Holds High-Level Review
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Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare held a high-level review meeting with senior officers of the Health Ministry, ICMR and...

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare held a high-level review meeting with senior officers of the Health Ministry, ICMR and NCDC, on Saturday, to oversee the current situation, preparedness and steps being taken for prevention and management of Novel Coronavirus (nCoV) in India. A Press Information Bureau (PIB) release said that the situation is being closely monitored at the highest level for adequate preparedness.

Dr Harsh Vardhan clarified that no nCoV case has been detected in the country so far. However, eleven (11) persons have been put under observation out of whom four passengers have been confirmed to be negative for nCoV by the ICMR-NIV Pune lab.

The Union Health Minister has directed for multidisciplinary central teams to be formed and sent to the seven states where thermal screening is being done at the seven designated airports (New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kochi). The central team shall consist of a public health expert, a clinician and a microbiologist and will reach the designated states tomorrow.

These teams are mandated with the task of reviewing the end-to-end preparedness for management and control of nCoV in the states including that at the airports, for thermal screening and transferring of patients to hospitals for isolation, according to the press note. They will also visit the tertiary hospitals attached to the airports for reviewing the isolation wards and availability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and masks among other things.

A 24x7 NCDC Call Centre (+91-11-23978046) has also been made operational. The Union Health Minister has urged passengers who have a travel history to China since 1st January 2020 to come forward for self-reporting to the nearest health facility if they experience any symptoms such as fever, cough, respiratory distress etc., and also inform their treating doctor.

Dr Harsh Vardhan also commended the media for creating awareness among the people.

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