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Health ministry takes action for the recent novel coronavirus outbreak in China

On January 20, 2020 the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare(MoHFW) of govt. of India has initiated various measures as a precaution for the recent outbreak of the 2019 Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in China. Some of the measures taken are as follows:Measures taken by  MoHFW:

  • Screening at airports: The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has been asked to facilitate thermal screening at the international airports of Delhi, Mumbai(Maharashtra), Kolkata (West Bengal), Chennai(Tamil Nadu), Bengaluru (Karnataka), Hyderabad(Telangana) and Cochin (Kerala) under the guidelines of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
  • Travellers list: Details of travellers from the Wuhan city of China who have travelled to India since December 31, 2019 will have to be produced by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and also needed to counsel the applicants while issuing visa.
  • JMG meeting: The Joint Monitoring Group (JMG) under the Chairmanship of DGHS has also met twice in January 2020 in assessing the risk and also to review the preparedness in combating the virus. The World Health Organisation (WHO) which is being represented in JMG provides regular updates and technical information.
  • Testing samples: National Institute of Virology, Pune (Maharashta) will test samples of nCoV. Ten other laboratories under Indian Council of Medical Research’s Viral Research and Diagnostics Laboratories network will also test the samples.
  • Stock of personal protection equipment will be maintained by the Medical Stores Organisation(MSO).

WHO conducts emergency meeting:
The WHO on January 15, 2020 has held  a meeting with its Emergency Committee and analysed whether the outbreak should have to be declared an international health emergency or not. Apart from China, Japan, Thailand and South Korea have reported cases of coronavirus and there are some suspected cases in Vietnam and Singapore also.

Coronavirus:

  • WHO definition of coronavirus: A large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases.
  • The outbreak of the mysterious 2019- novel coronavirus was reported in China and is expected to have been originated in its Wuhan city.
  • 6 people have died while 291 people have been infected with the virus so far. This virus will transmit between humans and spread more rapidly leading to death. Previously this virus was reported in animals alone.
  • Symptoms: Coronaviruses symptoms range from common cold to more severe diseases such as the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

About China:
Capital- Beijing.
Currency- Renminbi.
President- Xi Jinping.