Coronavirus: States on Nepal border to ask travellers to report flu symptoms

One confirmed case of Novel Coronavirus (nCoV) in a 31-year-old MBBS student in Nepal has forced the Indian government to increase vigil on its border.

Published: 28th January 2020 02:18 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th January 2020 12:23 PM   |  A+A-

Ekta Kumari (L), who has been admitted at the Patna Medical College and Hospital on Monday and is suspected to be suffering from coronavirus. (Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  The Centre on Monday asked five states sharing borders with Nepal to tie up with hotel associations and get travellers from the neighbouring country to self-report any flu-like symptoms amidst the Novel Coronavirus scare.

One confirmed case of Novel Coronavirus (nCoV) in a 31-year-old MBBS student in Nepal has forced the Indian government to increase vigil on its border.

In a video conference, Union health secretary Preeti Sudan asked health secretaries of states to identify tertiary healthcare centres, where patients suspected with nCoV, can be kept for observation, diagnosis and possible treatment.

Later, Cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba too held a meeting with secretaries of different ministries over the preparedness where he was informed that 29,707 passengers from 137 flights have been screened at seven airports for infection.

Also, 12 samples have been tested at the National Institute of Virology for the virus but none have tested positive. The development comes even as nearly 3,000 people have been diagnosed with nCoV in China and 81 have died of the infection.

During the video conference, Sudan along with home secretary Ajay Bhalla and Indian Council of Medical Research head Balram Bhargava reviewed the preparedness of these bordering states in terms of orientation of health and other agencies; adherence of various prevention and management protocols; awareness regarding prevention among the people being screened and those transiting the border with Nepal; self-reporting by these people; isolation wards and availability of protective gear.

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