Over 400 Indians detected Coronavirus positive, 3 dead till now

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New Delhi, March 18, 2020: A total of 418 Indians are detected positve with Coronavirus including 276 abroad and 142 in India, V Murlidharan, Minister of State for External Affairs, informed Lok Sabha today.

He said that 255 Indians are found positive in Iran, 12 in UAE, 5 in Italy, and one each in Hong Kong, Rwanda, Kuwait and Sri Lanka. It is expected that about 4000 Indians might have come in contact with positive patients.

Meanwhile, Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare chaired a high level review meeting with senior officials of the Ministry, MS/Director of Central Government Hospitals such as Safdurjung, Dr RML Hospital and AIIMS, today.

At the outset, the Union Health Minister appreciated the various actions being undertaken in close coordination with various ministries at the central level, States as well as Indian embassies abroad. He also lauded the States for active surveillance, effective contact tracing and their preparedness for containment and management of COVID-19.

He reviewed the preparedness regarding hospital management such as OPD blocks, availability of testing kits, personal protective equipment (PPEs), medicines, and adequate isolation wards. He directed hospitals to ensure adequate availability of protective gear for all healthcare workers. He was informed that adequate quantity of Personal Protections Equipments (PPE), masks, sanitizers, handheld thermometers etc., are being procured and provided to the designated places as per demand along with maintaining the stock to address any future demand.

Dr Harsh Vardhan reviewed in great detail the quarantine facilities for the evacuees including the ones at the airports/other key transit points, in terms of segregation of passengers, transportation to the quarantine facilities, health checks-ups etc. The Health Minister has directed for teams to be deputed to regularly inspect and monitor the quarantine facilities to ensure that the necessary amenities and facilities are being provided. The Minister stated that he shall be reviewing the same everyday with the aim of improving them. He further added that he is reviewing the situation with the respective States/UTs.

Highlighting the critical important of effective communication as a tool of crisis management, Dr. Harsh Vardhan advised for multi-media communication campaigns that would focus on different aspects such as preventive measures, busting myths, equipping the masses with information on guidelines, advisories, testing labs, etc.