Coronavirus: Air passengers from Thailand and Singapore will be evaluated

NEW DELHI: Passengers arriving from Thailand & Singapore will be screened at airports in addition to those coming from China & Hong Kong for a possible exposure to novel (nCoV), said the ministry of health of the Union on Saturday.

The decision was taken at a high-level review meeting held by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba here on the preparedness to deal with the virus amid mounting global concern over increasing number of cases in China & several other countries.

"Apart from passengers coming from China & Hong Kong , passengers coming on flights from Singapore & Thailand shall also be universally screened at the airports, henceforth," the ministry said.

The secretaries of Health, , Textiles & Pharmaceutical ministries among others attended the meeting. The cabinet secretary has held five review meetings so far.

As of Saturday, a total of 52,332 passengers from 326 flights have been examined to detect the symptoms of nCoV infection.

"A total of 97 symptomatic travellers picked up by the IDSP have been referred to the isolation facilities. 98 samples have been tested, of which 97 have been found to be negative. The earlier positive case found in Kerala is being monitored & is stable," the Health Ministry said.

India has reported a positive case of Kerala nCoV. A medical student from a university in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, tested positive for the virus that claimed more than 250 lives in China.

The secretary of Union Health also held a videoconference to review the passenger detection process of different countries.

As many as 324 Indians, evacuated from Wuhan, on Saturday reached here on board Air India's jumbo B747 aircraft & were admitted to two quarantine facilities set up by the Army & the ITBP, though none of them have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, officials said.