No confirmed case of coronavirus in India so far, but over 100 currently under observation
No confirmed case of the novel coronavirus has been reported yet in India so far, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Sunday.
Last week, the Civil Aviation Ministry had initiated the thermal health screening of passengers arriving from China including Hong Kong at seven Indian airports under the directions of the Union Health Ministry.
These airports include Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Cochin, Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata.
This is being done as a preventive measure against the outbreak of the deadly Novel Corona Virus Disease (nCoV) outbreak in Wuhan, Hubei province of China. All seven identified airports have airport signage displayed boldly at the strategic locations.
The Union Health Ministry also confirmed that 29,707 passengers from 137 flights have been screened so far.
Per the latest update, the novel virus has killed nearly 80 people in China so far and has infected at least 2,750 globally. Meanwhile, in India, over 100 people have been kept under observation in Kerala and Maharashtra following screening for possible exposure.
The Union Health Ministry has directed travellers to China, in particular, Wuhan city, to monitor their health closely. Travellers have been asked to follow simple public health measures and a good standard of hygiene.
According to WHO, the situation is still evolving and preliminary investigations suggest a link to the seafood market.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, which cause illnesses to people and also circulate in animals including camels, cats, and bats. Although rare, it is possible for animal coronaviruses to also evolve and infect people.
The new virus has raised alarms because of its similarity to SARS, which killed nearly 800 people in mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-03.