New Delhi: A 600-bedded facility has been set up by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) camp in South Delhi on Friday to quarantine and provide basic medical care to all those suspected to be infected by the deadly novel coronavirus. Meanwhile, the Indian Army created a special medical facility in Manesar, Haryana, for the 300 students returning from the epidemic-affected Wuhan city in China.
The students, as well as other passengers, will be thoroughly screened upon their arrival at the Indira Gandhi International airport in Delhi by a joint team of the Airport Health Authority (AHO) and Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS). Suspected individuals with the infection will be then shifted to an isolation ward set up at Base Hospital Delhi Cantonment (BHDC).
The ITBP facility created in south-west Delhi’s Chhawla area, which has about 600 beds and has been prepared in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, will be constantly rounded by a team of doctors, border force spokesperson Vivek Kumar Pandey told news agency PTI.
Special arrangements have been made to host children and women at this quarantine facility and those kept at the centre will be provided with food, water and other basic amenities, he added.
The 90,000-personnel strong border force, ITBP, is primarily tasked to guard the 3,488-km Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China under the command of the Union Home Ministry.
Earlier today, Japan and the United States became the first countries to organise airlifts from Wuhan for their citizens. A second US flight is planned in the coming days. At the same time, Britain was planning an evacuation of around 200 of its citizens early Friday. A French plane was also due to leave Wuhan on Friday.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) had declared a global emergency over coronavirus, as the death toll in China mounted to 212 on Friday, from 170 till last evening. It has also said that there is no reason to restrict international travel. However, major airlines continue to suspend or reduce service to China including British Airways, German flag carrier Lufthansa, American Airlines, KLM and United.
The developments come a day after the first case in India was confirmed from Kerala. The patient, a student of Wuhan University, is stable and is likely to be shifted to Thrissur Medical College, Kerala health minister KK Shailaja has said.