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Refrain from China travel: Health Ministry

Passengers from China wearing masks to prevent a new coronavirus get fever check upon their arrival at Incheon International Airport in Incheon, South Korea.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

The Union Health Ministry on Wednesday advised people to refrain from travelling to China in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, as the death toll there rose to 132 with nearly 1,500 new cases.

The fresh advisory came hours after a communication from the Ministry said “All non-essential travel to China should be avoided.”

The Government of India has sought the Chinese authorities’ permission to operate two flights to bring back Indians from Hubei Province.

IndiGo on Wednesday announced that it was suspending its Delhi - Chengdu and Bengaluru- Hong Kong flights with effect from February 1. However, it will continue to operate the Kolkata -Guangzhou flight. The airline said it was taking precautions for its crew to ensure that they don't have a layover in China and can return on the same flight to India.

Air India too cancelled its Mumbai-Delhi-Shanghai flights with effect from January 31, though it will continue to fly to Hong Kong.

SpiceJet has so far made no announcement on its flights from Mumbai and Delhi to Hong Kong.

Earlier this week New Delhi began preparations for the evacuation of Indian nationals affected by the situation arising out of the nCorona-2019 virus outbreak in Hubei Province.

 

Amid the developments, Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong tweeted, “The World Health Organisation (WHO) does not recommend the evacuation of nationals, and called on the international community to remain calm and not overreact. The WHO is confident in China’s epidemic prevention and control ability.”

India is yet to report any positive case of coronavirus, according to the Health Ministry. 

Special Secretary in the Health Ministry Sanjeeva Kumar on Wednesday chaired a video conference with the Health Secretaries of the States with 21 identified airports along with the Airport Health Organization Officers (APHOs), Health Secretaries of the States bordering Nepal (Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Sikkim) and other States/UTs.

“States/UTs reported that isolation wards have been identified and readied to face any contingency. Tertiary hospitals are also identified and the protocols for contact tracing are followed and timely collection and transportation of samples from suspected cases to NIV, Pune is being done,” said a release issue by the Ministry.

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Printable version | Oct 30, 2020 2:24:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-refrain-from-travelling-to-china-says-health-ministry/article30683170.ece

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