Coronavirus in India: As the number of COVID-19 positive cases in India touched 110 on Monday, the Health Ministry released a list of precautionary directives for people arriving in India from abroad. In view of the coronavirus threat, the Health Ministry has left no stone unturned to keep a check on the number of COVID-19 patients in the country, and the instructions released in Hindi on Health Ministry’s Twitter handle, MoHFW_India, roughly translate to: "All travelers coming to India should follow these necessary protective measures to prevent the spread. Help us to protect you."
As per the Health Ministry directive, here are the 6 instructions suggested for passengers arriving from abroad:
- Please report to the airline and crew members if you have a cough, fever or high temperature or are experiencing some trouble in breathing.
- In case you are experiencing the above symptoms immediately ask the airline crew for a protective mask and wear it at all times.
- Do not come in close proximity or contact with your family members or co-passengers - maintain a safe distance.
- While disembarking from flights, please follow the instructions given by airline crew and flight personnel.
- At the airport, fill the self-reporting form, declare your symptoms to the airport’s medical staff or health personnel, and share with them your complete travel itinerary in detail.
- If you have returned from any COVID-19 or coronavirus-affected country in the past 14 days and are experiencing fever, cough and breathing troubles, then call the Helpline number immediately and follow the instructions.
The Health Ministry advisory lists 24*7 COVID-19 Helplines as +91-11-23978046 and email@example.com
When it comes to the countries that are earmarked as "coronavirus-affected countries", the Ministry of Health website states that there will be intensified health inspection at all entry points and any traveler, be it Indian, Bhutanese or Nepalese or from any country showing COVID-19 outbreak or with a recent travel history to one of the seven coronavirus-affected countries - namely, Italy, Iran, China, Spain, France, Germany, and Republic of Korea - will be quarantined at an appropriate facility of the state or the Central government of India.
Regarding travel restrictions, the Health Ministry in its advisory states that, barring exceptions, all types of passenger movement via the land check posts located at India-Bangladesh Border, India-Nepal Border, India-Bhutan Border, India-Myanmar Border, has been suspended from midnight (00:00 hours) of March 15, 2020, and at the India-Pakistan Border, the ban has come into effect at midnight (00:00 hours) of March 16, 2020.
Earlier on Monday, an Air India flight with 53 Indians - 52 students and a teacher - evacuated from coronavirus-hit Iran’s Tehran and Shiraz cities, landed in New Delhi and a PTI report mentioned that the passengers were flown to Jaisalmer where they will be under quarantine at the Indian Army’s Well Centre. Before this, three batches of Indians evacuated from Iran have landed in India, taking the total number of those evacuated from the coronavirus-hit country to 389. On Sunday, the third batch of 230 Indians was brought back from Iran and quarantined at the same Jaisalmer facility of the Indian Army. The first batch of 58 Indian pilgrims arrived from Iran on Tuesday, and a group of 44 pilgrims arrived on Friday.