New Delhi, Jan 28 (IANS) Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Tuesday said that four more sample test laboratories for testing samples of suspected cases of novel Coronavirus have been designated, besides NIV Pune.
“The facilities of testing sample will be extended to ten more places very soon,” he said.
Addressing the media here, he said that thermal screening of passengers for possible exposure to the deadly infection will be extended to 20 airports in a day or two.
“India is the first country in the world to have taken all precautionary measures at war footage to keep the novel Coronavirus out of the country,” he said.
About the Health Ministry’s readiness against the disease, he said: “At least 35,000 people coming to India from abroad have been thermally screened at various airports including, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai.”
“We have even tested samples of those people who had already come back from China and showed symptoms of the disease before the thermal screening started at the airports. They all have tested negative.”
Harsh Vardhan also said that special wards to accommodate the suspected as well as confirmed cases, if any, have been created with sufficient beds and isolation centres.
The minister said that the ministry has established helpline number also 23978046.
“I appeal to all citizens of the country that if they or someone from their family and friends have a history of being in China within one month or in contact with the person who has come from China, if they are showing symptoms such as sore throat, cough or cold, they should call us on the Helpline number. We will take the mobile number with the help of the surveillance team and will get you checked up, guide you correctly and refer you to the correct place.”
He said that even Prime Minister Narendra Modi has constantly been taking stock of the situation closely. “Even the Prime Minister had been monitoring the preparedness closely despite being busy in Republic Day celebration. Our Health and Special Secretaries are in contact with Ministries of Home, External Affairs, Aviation and Shipping. I have personally written to the Chief Ministers of all states to stay alert. Various advisories have been issued to the authorities concerned of all states and union territories,” he said.