New Delhi: COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc in several countries as the total death toll crosses 3345 globally. The World Health Organisation (WHO), on the other hand, has warned that coronavirus was spreading 17 times faster outside China. It has urged governments around the world to pull out “all the stops” in the fight against the deadly outbreak of the epidemic. Also Read - Coronavirus: India-EU Summit Rescheduled, Schools Closed Till March 31, Cases Rise to 30 | Top 10 Points
“This is not a drill. This is not the time to give up. This is not a time for excuses. This is a time for pulling out all the stops,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Thursday. “Countries have been planning for scenarios like this for decades,” he said, adding, now is the time to act on those plans. Also Read - Coronavirus Impact: Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju Advises India's Athletes to Not Shake Hands With People
Meanwhile, in India, the Union Health Ministry has asked states to form rapid response teams at district, block and village levels as one more case of novel coronavirus was reported in Ghaziabad in the national capital region (NCR) yesterday, taking the total number in the country to 30 so far. The patient is a middle-aged man with a recent travel history to Iran, one of the worst-hit countries by the deadly virus after China and South Korea. In recent days, it has seen several hundred new cases of infections.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan also took stock of the preparedness at Indira Gandhi International airport in New Delhi. He will also visit the Chennai airport for inspection. “This (COVID19) has spread in around 78 countries but in a large country like India, we are smoothly working towards ensuring that coronavirus does not affect people on a mass level. I will also go to Chennai Airport for inspection, in a day or two,” said Vardhan.
“We had started screening at seven airports from January 17, it then extended to 21 airports and now thermal screening of all passengers coming on all international flights is being done. Several flights come at a time, screening of over 6 Lakh people has been done,” he added.
The Union Health Minister asserted that after visiting the IGI Airport he witnessed that everything was carried out very smoothly there.
He also stated that India was in touch with Iran on possible evacuation of Indian pilgrims and students stranded in Iran. Over 2,000 Indians are stranded in Iran and would be brought back after screening them properly by the medical team. After a spike in Coronavirus cases in Iran, India has suspended regular commercial flights with the Islamic country.