New Delhi: At a time when the confirmed cases of coronavirus have climbed to 73 across the country with fresh cases from Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Ladakh, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare officials on Thursday said over 10.5 lakh people have been screened so far at 30 designated airports in the country. Also Read - Coronavirus Scare: Twitter Makes Work From Home Mandatory for All of Its 4,900 Global Employees
Addressing a press conference, Lav Aggarwal, Joint Secretary at the Union Health Ministry said that India’s efforts to deal with coronavirus is in consonance with WHO and the focus is on preventive approach. Also Read - Coronavirus Outbreak: Spectators Unfazed as They Pour in For 1st ODI Between India and South Africa in Dharamsala
“Mask is not always necessary, if a person maintains effective social distance, the mask is not needed. There is no need to panic,” Aggarwal said. Also Read - E3 2020, World's Largest Gaming Conference, Cancelled Over Coronavirus Concerns
Talking about evacuating Indians from coronavirus-affected countries, he said so far, the Central government has evacuated 900 Indian citizens along with 48 belonging to other nations like Maldives, Myanmar, Bangladesh, China, US, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Nepal, South Africa, and Peru.
He also added that three planes will be sent to Iran over the next three days to bring back Indians stranded in the coronavirus-hit country.
However, he said that right now, luckily for India, there is no community transmission. “We have only a few cases that have come from outside and they have primarily affected their close family members,” he said.
He further added that the ministry has around 1 lakh testing kits available, additional testing kits have already been ordered and they are also in procurement.
Saying that over 52 testing facilities are located across the country, he said that there are a total of 56 sample collection centres.
“Over 1,500 people under observation for coming in contact with 73 positive cases of coronavirus,” he added.
He then said that the visa-free travel facility granted to Overseas Citizen Of India (OCI) cardholders are kept in abeyance till April 15, 2020. “This will come into effect from March 13 at the port of departure,” he added.