Even as the Centre has constituted a task force to monitor emerging coronavirus situation, a high alert has been sounded in all the Uttar Pradesh districts situated on the porous Indo-Nepal border.
Seven UP districts are adjacent to the nearly 580 km Nepal border viz. Maharajganj, Sidharthanagar, Balrampur, Shravasti, Bahraich, Lakhimpur, and Pilibhit.
While, the Sashatra Seema Bal (SSB) manning the international border are now wearing surgical masks as a precautionary step while checking people coming from Nepal, the state health department has deployed its teams in the respective districts.
On the directives of the state government, the health department has also deployed rapid response teams. According to the state communicable disease directorate, special health department teams are staying put at 19 check posts along the Indo-Nepal border.
Besides, two helpline numbers have also been issued with regards to coronavirus, so that any suspect cases could immediately be reported to the state health authorities.
Meanwhile, the places which do not have a dedicated SSB check post on the Indo-Nepal border in UP, the local village heads and the locals are being sensitised on the issue while the government paramedic staff has also been alerted.
Special attention is being paid at the airports in addition to the border areas. However, so far none arriving to UP from China has been found to be infected with coronovirus. Recently, two suspect cases were found to be negative in medical tests.
Last month, chief minister Yogi Adityanath, while chairing a review meeting of health department officials, had directed to keep a tight vigil on the state’s border with Nepal after reports of a coronavirus detected in the Himalayan kingdom had surfaced. He had also instructed for keeping vigil at the airports in Varanasi and Lucknow.
The state had also announced to set up isolation wards of 10 beds in each of the state’s district hospitals and medical colleges.
Earlier today, union minister G Kishan Redday told newspersons in New Delhi the Centre had set up a task force to monitor the situation arising out of coronavirus with representatives from the ministries of health, home, civil aviation and women and child development.
The decision comes in the backdrop of reports that a third case of coronavirus had been detected in Kerala. The suspected person had recently returned from China.
“A task force has been set up to monitor novel coronavirus situation. The first meeting of the task force will be held today. We will discuss what all precautions need to be taken to prevent the spread of the virus,” Reddy said adding Indians, who wanted to return, would be evacuated from China.
Meanwhile, the union health ministry has advised people to refrain from travelling to China in view of coronavirus outbreak in its Hubei province.