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Regular surveillance has been initiated across the country : Harsh Vardhan

IN A Suo-Moto statement Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister for Health in Rajya Sabha said a total of 29 positive cases have been reported so far. Of these 3 cases were reported in Kerala earlier, who have since recovered and have been discharged already. Since last 3 days, new travel related cases have tested positive. These include one in Delhi (having travel history of Italy) and Telangana (having travel history from Dubai and contact history from person from Singapore). Both are clinically stable.

Six more cases have tested positive in Agra, Uttar Pradesh having contact history with case in Delhi. Required action as per Cluster Management plan has been initiated. Further, an Italian Tourist & his wife have tested positive in Rajasthan. 14 other accompanying tourists in this group and their Indian bus driver tested positive on their return to Delhi. All of them are reported to be stable. A recent positive case has also been reported in Delhi yesterday (having travel history from Italy) and is stable.

The ever increasing magnitude of this outbreak globally calls for a concerted effort by not only health but all sectors of Government. Honourable Prime Minister is personally monitoring the preparedness and response on a regular basis .Government of India has initiated a series of action to prevent entry of the disease and to contain it. I am daily reviewing the situation. A Group of Ministers consisting of Minister of External Affairs, Minister of Civil Aviation and Minister of State for Home Affairs, Minister of State for Shipping and Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare chaired by me have been constituted to monitor the situation.

The Group of Ministers has met four times since its inception on 3rd February, 2020. Cabinet Secretary is taking regular reviews with all related Ministries of Health, Defence, Ministry of External Affairs, Civil Aviation, Home, Textiles, Pharma, Commerce and other officials including with State Chief Secretaries. My own Ministry is constantly reviewing the evolving scenario. Video Conferences are being held with States every other day.

Government of India has also taken several measures to control the risk of novel Corona virus infection spreading to India. Our First Travel Advisory was issued on 17th January 2020 and as situation is evolving, the travel advisories are accordingly getting revised.

Presently it prescribes, All regular (sticker) Visas/e-Visa (including Visa on Arrival for Japan and South Korea) granted to nationals of Italy, Iran, South Korea, Japan and issued on or before 03.03.2020 and who have not yet entered India, stand suspended with immediate effect.

Regular (sticker) visa / e-Visa granted to nationals of Peoples Republic of China, issued on or before 05.02.2020 were suspended earlier. It shall remain in force.

Regular (sticker) visas/e-Visas granted to all foreign nationals who have travelled to Peoples Republic of China, Iran, Italy, South Korea and Japan on or after 01.02.2020, and who have not yet entered India stand suspended with immediate effect.

Diplomats, officials of UN and other International bodies, OCI cardholders and Aircrew from above countries are exempted from such restriction on entry. However, their screening at point of entry is compulsory.

Passengers of all international flights entering into India from any port are required to furnish duly filled self-declaration form (including personal particulars i.e. phone no. and address in India) and travel history, to Health Officials and Immigration officials at all ports.

Indian citizens are advised to refrain from travel to China, Iran, Republic of Korea, Italy & Japan and advised to avoid non-essential travel to other COVID-19 affected countries.

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