NEW DELHI: The Centre on Monday asked five states sharing borders with Nepal to tie up with hotel associations and get travelers from the neighboring country to self-report any flu-like symptoms amidst the Novel Corona Virus scare.
One confirmed case of little-understood nCoV in a 31-year old MBBS student, who has returned from China, has been reported from the Himalayan country so far — forcing the Indian government to increase vigil on its border with Nepal.
Union health secretary Preeti Sudan held a video conference with the health secretaries of the five states (Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, and Sikkim ) and asked them to identify tertiary healthcare centres where patients suspected with nCoV can be kept for observation, diagnosis and possible treatment.
The development comes as nearly 3,000 people have been diagnosed with nCoV in China and 81 have died of the deadly infection which causes common cold-like symptoms, pneumonia, kidney failure and even death.
Sudan, along with home secretary Ajay Bhalla and head of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Balram Bhargava, reviewed the preparedness of these bordering states in terms of orientation of health and other agencies, adherence of various prevention & management protocols, awareness regarding prevention among the people being screened and those transiting the border with Nepal, self-reporting by these people and isolation wards ad availability of protective gear.
In the meeting, states maintained that they have made all necessary arrangements for the screening of people transiting across the border.
Sudan also asked the states to organise special Gram Sabhas in coordination with the department of Panchayati Raj this week for enhancing awareness regarding the coronavirus diseases, its symptoms, preventive measures and reporting in the border villages.
A statement from the ministry said the states were advised to ensure that protocols for contact tracing and timely collection and transportation of samples from suspected cases to the National Institute of Virology, Pune is followed.