Novel coronavirus: Health Ministry reviews public health preparedness after outbreak in China

The Central government is reviewing public health preparedness in the country after news of the outbreak of novel coronavirus outbreak in China, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Friday. 

The ministry is closely monitoring the situation after reports of 41 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (nCoV) including one death from Wuhan, China on January 5. 

The clinical signs and symptoms are mainly fever with a few patients having difficulty in breathing. 

“Ms Preeti Sudan, Secretary (HFW), Government of India, is regularly reviewing the public health preparedness in the country since the news broke out. As directed by the Health Ministry, meetings of the Joint Monitoring Group (JMG) were convened under the Chairmanship of Director General of Health Services (DGHS) on 8thand 15th January 2020 with representations from various stakeholders (health and non-health sectors) and WHO,” a press release by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare stated.

Hospital preparedness with regard to management and infection prevention control facilities has been reviewed during the meetings.

“The public health preparedness is being reviewed on a day-to-day basis and the core capacities to timely detect and manage the importation of the nCoV into the country are being strengthened further,” Sudan, Secretary (HFW) said.

She also said that the situation is being monitored in consultation with WHO. As precautionary measures, the Ministry of Health has instructed screening of international travellers from China at airports in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata through thermal scanners.

Ministry of Health apprised the Ministry of External Affairs about the issue, and immigration officers at the airports have been sensitized about the outbreak.    

A travel advisory has also been issued for passengers travelling to and to China.

Moreover, the Health Ministry has issued necessary directions to all concerned on laboratory diagnosis, surveillance, infection prevention and control (IPC) and risk communication.A program called the Integrated Disease Surveillance Program (IDSP) is ready for community surveillance and contact tracing.

Courtesy : DNA

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