Coronavirus outbreak: India readies to fly back 250 citizens, issues new travel advisories

29 January, 2020 | Priyanka Sharma

coronovirus 599954 National

Coronavirus outbreak: A Boeing 747 will leave from Mumbai at midnight to evaluate 250 Indian nationals, who have found themselves at the epicentre of Coronavirus outbreak. The Ministry Of Health an...

India is ready to tackle the biggest health epidemic facing the world today, i.e Coronavirus. What started in Wuhan, China, is now endangering the lives of 250 Indians stuck in the affected area. After receiving Beijing’s approval on January 28, India has flexed its arms to speed up the evacuation process. To facilitate the process, the concerned officials have organised a Boeing 747 that will take flight from Mumbai at midnight.

An Air India official has said in a statement that their crew is ready to leave for Wuhan, China. The wait for Beijing’s approval and additional permissions took time. While embassies work on finalising the time, date and other logistics, Indians nationals in China have been asked to submit a written consent form by 4 pm in Chinese local time. After submitting the consent form, they will receive a confirmation mail with a unique token number along with other important details regarding the evacuation.

Airports are also being equipped with thermal passenger screening facilities, especially for scanning the passengers coming from China. The scanning systems have been installed at 21 state airports including New Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Cochin, Bangalore, Amritsar and Kolkata among many others. Naval ports are also on high alert until further notice.

Minister of Health and Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan has confirmed that all the Indian nationals coming from China will be kept under mandatory medical observation for 2 weeks. The ministry has also set up a special helpline number for Indian nationals.

The first case of Coronavirus in India was reported from Punjab where a 28-year-old resident of Mohali, who recently returned from China, displayed the symptoms of Coronavirus and was kept under medical observation. Several suspected cases have also come to light from Madhya Pradesh, Mumbai, Pune and Gurugram.

According to Chinese statistics, there are nearly 6000 confirmed cases of Coronaviruses, causing death of more than 130 people. This count is on a constant rise and has spread to Hong Kong, United States, Macau, Taiwan, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Nepal, Vietnam and Cambodia among many others. However, no deaths have been reported outside China till now.

As health officials across the world jointly work towards finding a solution against the epidemic, there are some precautions that the global community can take to safeguard and monitor their health. These include

    1. Avoid contact with live animals, poultry and birds.
    2. Avoid consumption of raw and undercooked meat.
    3. Avoid crowded places and close proximity with unwell people.
    4. Observe good personal hygiene.
    5. Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently with soap.
    6. Wear a mask at all time, especially if you have cough and a runny nose
    7. Ensure that your mouth is covered with a cloth or tissue paper before coughing
    8. Consult a doctor if you observe these common signs and symptoms- runny nose, headache, cough and cold, fever