Coronavirus: Nagaland begins screening travellers
Dimapur, Jan. 29 (EMN): The office of the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) in Dimapur has deployed health officers at the Dimapur airport and the city’s railway station to screen visitors for symptoms of the novel Coronavirus, the deputy CMO informed Eastern Mirror on Wednesday.
Data manager of Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP), Aomar, said that the Nagaland government is taking protective measures against the Coronavirus. He added that self-declaration forms are in circulation for four-five days in accordance with directives of the Centre and the WHO, but official screening for travellers at the railway station and the airport began only on Wednesday.
“The screening will continue till WHO clears any threat of the virus and as per the directives of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare,” Aomar informed. No positive result or symptom has been detected so far, he added.
A Coronavirus alert signage containing advisory for travellers has been displayed at the Dimapur Airport. It advises such travellers to report to the airport health unit/immigration or to the Dimapur CMO officers. Contact details are provided in the advisory. The advisory is also for those who have visited china particularly through Wuhan City, Hubei province, during the past 14 days and have one or more symptoms such as the acute onset of fever, cough and shortness of breath
It advised travellers who are without any symptoms, on arrival but have visited the affected city and developed the symptoms within 28 days of arrival in India, to report to the state/district health authorities and airport health officer in concern.
Centre issues fresh travel advisory, reviews preparedness
Amid growing global concerns over the novel Coronavirus that has killed more than 100 people in China since it was first discovered in the country the previous month, India has issued a fresh travel advisory asking the people to refrain from travelling to China.
The Centre has urged people travelling to China to monitor their health closely and use 24×7 helpline (011-23978046) for queries related to respiratory infections. “In the view of the spurt of cases being reported in China and travel-related cases appearing in many countries….all non-essential travel to China to be avoided,” it said.
As part of the preparedness, India has increased the number of airports to conduct thermal screening of passengers from seven to 21 and four more laboratories — Alleppey, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Mumbai – have been set up besides the NIV-Pune for testing samples. Dozens of people with Coronavirus-like symptoms have been kept under observation in several states but no confirmed case found so far.
Meanwhile, ministry of Health and Family Welfare (HFW) informed through a statement issued on Wednesday that its special secretary Sanjeeva Kumar has conducted a video conference with health secretaries of states with 21 identified airports along with the Airport Health Organisation Officers and health secretaries of states bordering Nepal (Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Sikkim) and other states/UTs to review their preparedness for prevention and management of Coronavirus.
The special secretary has informed that the Health Ministry has issued advisories and guidelines to all the states/UTs and regular monitoring on preparedness status is being done at the highest level. While stating that the states should take pro-active preventive measures by creating awareness among the people through various mediums of communication, he assured states of all support from the ministry, including orientation of medical personnel and other agencies through regular video conferencing.
According to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Southampton in the UK, India is among the top 30 countries at “high-risk” from the spread of the Coronavirus. It said the most “at-risk” countries or regions worldwide are Thailand ranked first, Japan at second, and Hong Kong at third. India stood at the 23rd spot in the list.
(With inputs from PTI)
Findings during the review conference
- States/UTs reported that the thermal and symptomatic screening has been set up at all identified airports.
- Thermal screening sensors are operational and few more such equipment is being procured.
- Immigration and other staff members at the airports have been sensitised and dedicated ambulances in place.
- Medical and para-medical staff deployed for round-the-clock service.
- Self-declaration forms are available and signage is placed at prominent places at all airports.
- Seven central teams have visited the respective states and helped to strengthen the preparedness.
- Isolation wards in hospitals to face any contingency.
- Personal protection equipment and masks available in adequate quantity and states to regularly assess the requirement of such kits.
- Tertiary hospitals identified for 21 airports; protocols framed for contact tracing, timely collection and transportation of samples from suspected cases.
- States bordering Nepal reported that adequate steps have been taken at check posts, and awareness programmes conducted at villages.
No Coronavirus patient in Manipur
The medical superintendent of Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) Hospital on Wednesday rubbished a message doing rounds on social media, including WhatsApp and Facebook that a Coronavirus-infected patient has been admitted in the facility.
In a letter addressed to the SP of Imphal West, the medical officer clarified that there is no such case in Manipur or in India, and has directed the cybercrime branch to delete those social media pages that reported the presence of the virus in the hospital.