Sunday, February 09, 2020

6,599 passengers from China under surveillance for coronavirus: Health Minister Vardhan

New Delhi: Addressing Rajya Sabha on the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) disease in China and some other countries, and outlining the actions taken by the Government of India in combating the epidemic, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Harsh Vardhan, stated on 7 February that existing visas (including eVisa already issued) are no longer valid for any foreign national travelling from China. People have been advised to refrain from travel to China through an earlier advisory.

In view of the continuing lockdown of the Hubei Province in China, Harsh Vardhan said the Government of India decided to evacuate Indian students and other professionals working in Wuhan and neighbouring cities in the Hubei Province.

In a coordinated operation with the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Air India, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, two Special Air India flights were operated between Delhi and Wuhan on 31 January and 1 February that brought back a total of 654 passengers that included 647 Indian citizens (including two Indian Embassy officials who were on the ground in Wuhan to coordinate the evacuation operation) and 7 Maldivian nationals. The Minister thanked Air India, its crew and the team of doctors and paramedical staff who executed this operation.

After the evacuation, the people are presently undergoing quarantine at special facilities created by the Indian Army in Manesar and by Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) in Chawla Camp. 10 of the evacuees who were symptomatic have been shifted to isolation. All of them have tested negative for the coronavirus and are stable. All other evacuees are being medically examined on a daily basis and are healthy, the Minister shared.

The Indian Embassy and Consulates are also in regular contact with the Indian Community in other parts of China and are keeping a track of their well-being.
09/02/20 Indus Dictum
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