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Monday, 09 March, 2020, 18 : 16 PM [IST]

649,452 passengers screened at Indian airports; evacuation planned for citizens from Iran: Puri

The Government of India had started taking measures, including screening of passengers, much before the WHO termed coronavirus as Public Health Emergency, said Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister(I/C), Civil Aviation. Addressing a press conference in the national capital, Puri said that universal screening of passengers is currently being carried on at 30 Indian airports, and 649,452 passengers have been screened already.

Puri stated that universal screening of all incoming passengers has begun at Indian airports.After thermal screening, the passengers who show initial signs of fever are subjected to full testing, and further detailed process is carried out. He said that around 70,000 passengers coming to India on a daily basis through airports from different parts of the world, are being screened.

Moreover, the Minister added that the evacuation of Indians from Iran is being planned in consultation with the Ministry of Health and Government of Iran.

The Minister said that number of people brought back by Air India from Wuhan is 654. Air India also brought back 124 people, including 5 foreign nationals, who were on board the COVID-19 infected cruise ship Diamond Princess from Yokohoma, Japan. Indian Air Force also evacuated 112 people from Wuhan that included 35 nationals of Myanmar, Bangladesh, Maldives, China South Africa, USA and Madagascar.

He added that meetings of Group of Ministers are held at regular intervals and four such meetings have taken place. The Cabinet Secretary is also taking regular review meetings with all related Ministries including Health, Defense, External Affairs, Civil Aviation, Home, Textiles, Commerce, Pharmaceuticals and other officials including with State Chief Secretaries.
The Minister further added that Government of India is in regular touch with WHO headquarters, regional office and country office to get updates on evolving scenario.  The Minister said that the Government, industry, tourism sector are all working in cooperation. He said that all the concerned agencies are in contact with each other round the clock.

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