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Govt taking adequate measures to curb spread of Covid-19: Health Minister


New Delhi, Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday assured the country that the government is taking adequate measures to prevent the spread of the novel Coronavirus disease and constantly reviewing the evolving scenario.Making a suo motu statement in the Lok Sabha, Dr Vardhan said the government has initiated a series of actions to prevent entry of the disease and to contain it and he was reviewing the situation daily.He said Indian citizens were advised to refrain from travelling to China, Iran, Republic of Korea, Italy and Japan besides avoiding non-essential travel to other COVID-19 affected countries.Another major area of concern is Indian pilgrims and students stranded in Tehran and Quam, Iran, epicentres of the Iran Covid-19 outbreak. Government of India is following up with Iran authorities for their well-being and to tie up evacuation as per need,' Dr Vardhan said.Till March 4, a total of 29 positive cases have come to light so far in India, he said, adding that 'Of these, three cases were reported in Kerala earlier, who have since recovered and discharged. Since last three days, new travel related cases have tested positive. These include one in Delhi (having travel history of Italy) and Telangana (having travel history from Dubai and contact history from person from Singapore).'

The Minister said both are clinically stable, adding that six more cases have tested positive in Agra, Uttar Pradesh having contact history with case in Delhi.Required action as per Cluster Management plan has been initiated, he maintained.'An Italian tourist and his wife have tested positive in Rajasthan. As many as14 other accompanying tourists in this group and their Indian bus driver tested positive on their return to Delhi. All of them are reported to be stable. A recent positive case has also been reported in Delhi yesterday (having travel history from Italy) and is stable,' he said.Dr Vardhan emphasised that the ever increasing magnitude of this outbreak globally calls for a concerted effort by not only health but all sectors of Government.He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is is personally monitoring the preparedness and response on a regular basis .

Dr Vardhan said the government has initiated a series of action to prevent entry of the disease and to contain it and he was daily reviewing the situation.A Group of Ministers consisting of Minister of External Affairs, Minister of Civil Aviation and Minister of State for Home Affairs, Minister of State for Shipping and Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare chaired by Dr Vardhan have been constituted to monitor the situation.The Group of Ministers has met four times since its inception on February 3.Cabinet Secretary is taking regular reviews with all related Ministries of Health, Defence, Ministry of External Affairs, Civil Aviation, Home, Textiles, Pharma, Commerce and other officials including with State Chief Secretaries.Video conferences are being held with states every other day, the Minister said.The first travel advisory was issued on January 17 and as situation is evolving, the travel advisories are accordingly getting revised, the Minister said.

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