GR News Desk | New Delhi
India on Tuesday began screening of passengers coming from China amid the outbreak of Coronavirus in Wuhan. The move comes on directives from the Civil Aviation Ministry had received an advisory from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
The Civil Aviation Ministry has directed seven airports including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata to make arrangements for the screening of passengers. The MEA has also been requested to disseminate travel advisory to Indian embassies in China and adjoining countries in local languages for wider circulation and passenger information, the health ministry said in a statement.
The mysterious respiratory virus has caused six deaths and infected a number of medical workers in the Chinese province. The fears of the outbreak spreading outside the containment grows as hundreds of millions of people traveling for the Lunar New Year holiday are likely to accelerate the infection rate.
According to Reuters, Officials confirmed that the new mystery virus can spread between humans and said 15 medical staff have now been infected, stoking fears about an international pandemic and prompting airport authorities around the world to step up screening of travelers arriving from China.
The discovery of a novel strain of the virus in China has compelled nations to quarantine passengers from the country and issue travel advisories while prompting the WHO to convene an emergency meeting on the matter.
Countries around the world have sounded an alert following the confirmation of the first case of human-to-human transmission of the deadly infectious disease.
Cases have been detected in Thailand, Japan, and South Korea.
“The Emergency Committee on the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) will ascertain whether the outbreak constitutes a public health emergency of international concern, and what recommendations should be made to manage it,” WHO tweeted.
What is Coronavirus?
The coronavirus (CoV) is a large family of viruses that causes illnesses ranging from the common cold to acute respiratory syndromes. Common symptoms of the novel coronavirus (nCoV) strain include respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said.
According to the WHO. the virus can cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).
Apart from India, Russia, Taiwan, South Korea, and other countries have also launched wide screenings of passengers coming from China. In Russia, at least four airports – Sheremetyevo and Vnukovo in Moscow, as well as airports in Yekaterinburg and Irkutsk – have introduced screening measures to try to identify infected passengers, Reuters reported.