Facilitate 'work from home' for employees with travel history to coronavirus-hit countries: Govt to companies
14 days of self-imposed quarantine is mandated for passengers with travel history to China, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Italy, Thailand, Singapore, Iran, Malaysia, France, Spain, Germany.
NEW DELHI: As the number of COVID-19 cases rose to 60 on Wednesday after fresh cases were reported in India, the Health Ministry mandated 14 days of self-imposed quarantine for passengers with travel history to China, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea, Japan, Italy, Thailand, Singapore, Iran, Malaysia, France, Spain and Germany. The Ministry directed such passengers' employers to facilitate work-from-home from the date of their arrival in India.
"Among the new cases, eight were reported on Wednesday from Kerala and one each from Rajasthan and Delhi. The total 60 cases in the country include three Kerala patients who have recovered and have been discharged from the hospital," said the Ministry in a statement.
"The government has undertaken evacuation operations from several countries in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak to bring back Indian citizens as well as nationals from other countries," said the statement.
The government said Indian nationals in Iran include pilgrims, students and fishermen. On March 7, 108 samples were received from Iran. Those samples are being tested at a laboratory in All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
The government also said that six scientists from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) have been stationed in Iran. Equipment and reagents have also been dispatched to enable them to set up a lab. The first batch of 58 evacuees from Iran arrived on Tuesday with 25 men, 31 women and 2 children on board. All evacuees are asymptomatic at present.
So far, the government has evacuated 948 passengers from COVID-19-affected countries. Out of these, 900 are Indian citizens and 48 belong to Maldives, Myanmar, Bangladesh, China, USA, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Nepal, South Africa and Peru.
Earlier, as Wuhan city in Hubei province of China became the epicentre of COVID-19 and there were hundreds of Indians stuck in the city, Air India operated two special flights for the evacuation bringing back 654 passengers, including 647 Indians. The evacuees were housed at Manesar and Chhawla quarantine facilities set up by Indian Army and ITBP for 14 days. They were tested twice and were found negative for COVID-19 and were discharged on February 18.