Dr Harsh Vardhan chaired a meeting with Arvind Kejriwal, Anil Baijal and other top officials
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan today chaired a meeting with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and top officials to take stock of the preparedness to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.
43 people in India have tested positive for coronavirus that has infected over a lakh people in over 100 countries and killed over 3,800. In the national capital, six cases have been reported so far.
At the meeting, the Health Minister stressed upon "coordinated action between all concerned departments, agencies for activities such as identification of isolation wards, and risk communication for mass awareness".
"We have to make preparations if the disease spreads to a larger extent and have requested the Delhi Chief Minister to regularly monitor efforts. Over 8 lakh have been screen at the airports with over 3,000 under surveillance," Dr Harsh Vardhan said at a press conference after the meeting.
"We are sending detailed guidelines to all states on ways to contain coronavirus. We have asked states to strengthen laboratories and manpower to effectively deal with coronavirus and form early rapid action teams," the minister added.
The meeting was also attended by mayors of Delhi, representatives of hospitals and medical colleges.
"Both governments are working in a coordinated manner. People with good health don't need masks," Mr Kejriwal told reporters. On shopkeepers selling hand sanitisers and masks at a higher rate, the Chief Minister said, "We will take necessary steps on them. But people need to stop buying sanitisers in bulk and soap instead."
A three-year-old in Kerala is among the 43 cases in India. Other fresh cases reported today include one each in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu.
Out of the 3,003 samples tested for coronavirus or COVID-19, 2,694 samples having returned negative. A total of 8,74,708 international passengers from 8,255 flights have been screened at airports till now with 1,921 passengers identified as symptomatic. 177 of them have been hospitalised. 33,599 passengers are under observation. 21,867 passengers have completed their observation period.
(With inputs from PTI)