As of March 8, India has reported 39 cases of coronavirus (File)
With India reporting 39 cases of coronavirus, the cabinet secretary on Sunday held a review meeting where it was decided that in view of rising cases in France, the US, Spain, dedicated aerobridges of flights from these countries should be put in place at airports.
Dedicated aerobridges are in place for flights from China, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Iran, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Nepal and Indonesia.
The cabinet secretary held the 16th review meeting and elaborately discussed the preparations, which are at an advanced stage, to bring Indian citizens from Iran, an official statement said.
Since the disease has spread over more than 90 countries with over 1 lakh cases worldwide, states/ UTs have been asked to enhance community surveillance as per the list of passengers provided to them, the Health Ministry said.
"In view of rising cases from France, US, Spain, it was decided to have dedicated aerobridges of these countries, in addition to the 12 countries," it said.
As of Sunday, there are 39 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Five new cases were confirmed on Sunday in Kerala and three of them had a recent travel history to Italy, the ministry said.
During the review meeting, it was also stressed that people need to be made aware about the use of masks.
The ministry said that if a person is healthy, they only need to wear a mask they are taking care of a person with suspected infection. People should also wear masks if they are coughing or sneezing, it said.
Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water, the statement said.
If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly. Before putting on a mask, clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water, the statement said.
The ministry asked people to cover their mouth and nose with masks and make sure there are no gaps between in between.
It also advised people to avoid touching the mask while using it, if they do, clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp and do not re-use single-use masks, it said.
Remove the mask from behind and do not touch the front of mask. Discard it immediately in a closed bin and clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water, the statement said.
Union Minister of Health Harsh Vardhan is continuously monitoring and reviewing the status, actions taken and future preparedness of states, it said.