We Initiated Action Before WHO’s Advice: Health Min on Coronavirus

“There are calls for concerted efforts from all wings of the government. I’m reviewing the situation daily,” he said

Updated
India
2 min read

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan in his statement in the Parliament said that India initiated required preparedness to contain coronavirus outbreak and action since 17 January, much before advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

"As on 4 March, a total of 29 positive cases of coronavirus have been reported in India. Of these 29 cases, 3 in Kerala have recovered and been discharged already," he said in Rajya Sabha.

“There are calls for concerted efforts from all wings of the government... I am reviewing the situation daily,” he added.

India is also in touch with Iran on the possible evacuation of Indian pilgrims and students stuck in the coronavirus-hit nation, Harsh Vardhan said, according to PTI.

The government has carried out two evacuation missions, bringing back a total of 767 from China. All of them have been kept in quarantine and have so far tested negative for the virus, he said.

"The government is taking all necessary measures to prevent spread of COVID-19 in India," he said.

Health Ministry Asks States to Form Rapid Response Teams

The Union Health Ministry on Thursday also asked states to form rapid response teams at the district, block and village levels, stating cases of community transmission have been observed.

Screening of all foreign nationals has been mandated since 4 March and has started in most airports from Wednesday evening. The process should stabilise by Thursday with additional staff being provided by the states, the ministry said in a statement, according to PTI.

“Since, in addition to COVID 19 cases related to travel, some cases of community transmission have also been observed, it has been decided to involve district collectors and states have been asked to form rapid response teams as the district, block and village levels,” the ministry said.

A total of 3,542 samples have been sent for testing, of which 29 have been found to be positive for COVID-19 till now. Testing of 92 samples is in process and 23 samples are being reconfirmed, the statement added

(With inputs from PTI.)

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