No need to panic: Health Minister Harsh Vardhan says PM Modi personally monitoring situation

No need to panic: Health Minister Harsh Vardhan says PM Modi personally monitoring situation

Amid coronavirus scare in India with confirmed cases of infections rising to 29, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said there was no need to panic while adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is personally monitoring the situation.

Briefing the Rajya Sabha on coronavirus outbreak and how it has impacted India, Union minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday said the situation is being monitored by the ministry and the PM on a daily basis. "I am daily reviewing the situation. A Group of Ministers is also monitoring the situation," Union Health Minister said.

"Total 29 cases reported... of them, three are from Kerala who have been released. One more has tested positive in Delhi, who has a travel history to Italy," the minister added.

The Health Minister said India initiated required preparedness and action since January 17, much before advice of the World Health Organisation.

Union minister Harsh Vardhan informed the Rajya Sabha that till March 4, around 6, 11,176 passengers have been screened at different points.

The health minister Harsh Vardhan on Wednesday had announced that all international flights and passengers will now have to undergo screening, and not just the 12 countries listed earlier.

Addressing the media on Wednesday, Vardhan had said that he met the Delhi health minister and civic body officials, and urged them to augment facilities of isolation wards in city hospitals.

As India reported 29 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus, the Union Health Ministry on Wednesday issued an advisory to all schools asking them to avoid any large gathering of students in premises.

The ministry advised that any student or staff with travel history to any COVID-19 affected country or in contact with such persons in the last 28 days should be monitored and quarantined at home for 14 days.