Travellers From EU, Turkey, UK Banned: Health Ministry on COVID-19

There are now a total of 114 confirmed cases in India, including 13 cured and 2 reported deaths, MEA secretary said.

2 min read

As the total number of coronavirus cases in India steadily increase, the Health Ministry on Monday, 16 March, held a media briefing, giving updates on the cases, the measures enforced by the government including more travel restrictions, and Prime Minister Modi's virtual meeting with SAARC leaders about the pandemic.

Travellers From EU, Turkey and UK Banned; COVID-19 Control Room Set Up

Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Union Health Ministry gave updates on the international travel situation, saying that travellers from the European Union, Turkey and the United Kingdom are prohibited from 18 March 2020, ANI reported. He also said that a compulsory quarantine of 14 days has been put in place for passengers coming from UAE, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait.

Among the various updates given in the briefing, the Ministry of External Affairs outlined the outcomes of Modi's much-hyped virtual meeting with leaders of the other SAARC nations.

“Prime Minister undertook extraordinary initiative with SAARC leaders and they responded positively. The MEA COVID-19 control room has now become operational 24x7.”
Dammu Ravi, MEA’s Additional Secretary (COVID Coordinator)

According to Ravi, Modi had stressed on the importance of not letting the low number of cases in the region lead to complacency.

India: 114 Confirmed Cases, Including 13 Cured and 2 Deaths

Agarwal also answered questions on testing protocol, as well as the policy of disposal of dead bodies. He once again emphasised on the importance of not having unnecessary panic, or even unnecessary testing.

He also gave details about the fourth batch of 53 evacuees from Iran who are being quarantined at the army facility in Jaisalmer. Four new cases, one each from Odisha, Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh and Kerala have been confirmed, he said. There are now a total of 114 confirmed cases in India as of today, including 13 cured and two reported deaths.

Contact tracing activity of these positive cases has led to the identification of more than 5,200 contacts, who are being kept under surveillance, he said.

The Health Ministry secretary reiterated important measures, including closing of schools, swimming pools, malls, work from home, less use of public transport, and social distancing.

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