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Coronavirus outbreak: Union Health Secretary says the situation is under control in India, urges states to keep the vigil high

The Union Health Secretary on Friday declared that India is out of danger of coronavirus epidemic. It was announced after a meeting on preparedness and management on the coronavirus epidemic.

According to an official statement, Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan chaired a video conference meeting with the health secretaries of states and the union territories and senior officials from the ministries of shipping, external affairs, civil aviation, and tourism.

India had so far declared three confirmed cases of Coronavirus from the state of Kerala. One of them has already recovered from the disease.

Around 15,991 people across the country have been kept on community surveillance, 497 have been identified as the symptomatic cases and being monitored while 41 are hospitalised.

“The situation is under control in the country and is being monitored regularly by the Prime Minister’s office Union Health Minister and Cabinet Secretary… In addition, a group of ministers is also reviewing the status”, Preeti Sudan said.

During the video conference meeting, states were informed that despite the fact that number of cases has not increased, the vigil still needs to be kept high. They were urged to keep enhancing the awareness among the masses for prevention through personal hygiene and self-reporting in case of travel to China and other identified countries.

The official statement also advised the states to fill the requisite information accurately and in a timely manner on the portal which has been put into place as a special surveillance web tool to monitor the cases on a real-time basis and to help in national-level monitoring.

States such as Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Sikkim bordering Nepal are asked to strengthen the disease surveillance.

Union Minister of Health Harshvardhan said that India has extended support to Maldives and Bhutan in testing samples and managing the disease respectively.

Dr. Harshavardhan also said, “India has also agreed to support Afghanistan in sample testing. India is also extending support to china by sending essential items for combating nCoV as per the commitment made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a goodwill gesture.”

Besides China and Hong Kong, passengers arriving from Thailand, Singapore are being screened for possible exposure to the respiratory virus at the 21 identified airports.

The Health Ministry has advised people to avoid travelling to China in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak. Integrated Disease Surveillance programme is carrying out community-based surveillance of passengers travelling from China, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea and Japan.

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