New Delhi, Feb 7 (IANS) The government is constantly monitoring the coronavirus situation and is taking all necessary steps to avoid the spread of the virus, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan told Rajya Sabha on Friday.

As of Friday, 1,275 flights have been screened covering 1,39,539 passengers. As many as 150 passengers identified with symptoms have been referred to isolation facilities, the Minister said.

He also said that Universal thermal screening has been made mandatory for all flights from Singapore and Thailand besides Hong Kong and China and these flights will park at earmarked aero-bridges to facilitate screening.

Giving stock of preparedness, he said, “I am daily reviewing the situation. A Group of Ministers consisting of Minister of External Affairs, Minister of Civil Aviation and Minister of State for Home Affairs, Minister of State for Shipping and Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare chaired by me has been constituted to monitor the situation.”

He said video conferences are being held with states regularly to keep a tab on the situation.

Screening of passengers has been on January 18. Initially, airports at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kochi were covered. Later it was expanded to 21 other airports.

The Minister said that in view of a confirmed case in Nepal, the government has initiated screening at all integrated check posts from Nepal in collaboration with UP, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Sikkim and Bihar governments along wih the Seema Shastra Bal (SSB) and the Land Port Authority.

Meanwhile, 647 Indian citizens (including two Indian embassy officials who were on the ground in Wuhan to coordinate the evacuation process) have been evacuated from China’s Wuhan where the deadly virus broke out.




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