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COVID-19: Government starts inspection of border villages

Discharges another patient from Kerala, first batch of persons quarantined at ITBP facility also discharged

Heightening its surveillance against the novel coronavirus COVID-19, the Union Health Ministry has now directed inspection of border villages in U.P., Bihar, Sikkim, West Bengal and villages bordering Nepal by a Central team from the Ministry.

Doctors selected

“The entire exercise is aimed at ensuring that no case of COVID-19 remains undetected or untreated. We have already contacted hospital authorities from where medical personnel have been selected to ensure that they are relieved by the head of their Department/Organisation and that coordination is made possible with the State governments. Doctors have been selected from the All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Kolkata, and Lady Hardinge Medical College Hospital and Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, Delhi,” said a senior health official.

He added that this was an important move as the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared COVID-19 as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Till date, the coronavirus has affected 27 countries, with the majority of the reported cases in China, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong. Worldwide, a total of 50,580 cases have been reported.

Patient discharged

Meanwhile another patient in Kerala, who was earlier found COVID-19 positive, has been discharged from hospital on Monday and is now in home isolation. The Ministry noted that, earlier, one patient had already been discharged, and that this was the second patient to be discharged.

“Also, a batch of about 200 people, who were among over 400 persons quarantined at an Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) facility in Delhi, after being evacuated earlier this month from coronavirus-hit Wuhan, were discharged on Monday,” a senior official said. The facility housed a total of 406 people, including seven Maldivians.

First batch

“After the final coronavirus test reports of all 406 people living at our facility were found negative, the first batch was discharged today. We expect about 200 people will leave by tonight. The rest will be sent on Tuesday and in the subsequent days as per the travel plans of the inmates,” ITBP spokesperson Vivek Kumar Pandey said. The first batch of discharged persons includes the Maldivian nationals, he added.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan visited the ITBP facility in Chhawla and interacted with the evacuees. The Minister took a quick review of the measures taken over the last fortnight from the doctors supervising the campus.

A total of 650 people were brought back from Wuhan in China on February 1 and 2 in two 747 Boeing Air India aircraft after the outbreak of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in China. While 406 of them were sent to the ITBP facility, the rest were quarantined at an Army centre in Haryana’s Manesar.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 12:49:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/covid-19-government-starts-inspection-of-border-villages/article30845343.ece

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