Hyderabad: Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has asked 15 other ministries and departments to work in close coordination to tackle the growing threat of coronavirus.
The Health Ministry has asked most of the ministries to find possible places that can be used as quarantine centers. Ministries have also been asked to create awareness among the police and army personnel.
The External Affairs Ministry will keep a check on Indians citizens in foreign countries and ensure that no country imposes unnecessary travel and trade restrictions against India.
“All existing visas, except diplomatic, official, UN/International Organizations, employment, project visas, stand suspended till April 15, 2020. This decision will come into effect from March 13, 2020,” said Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan.
The tourism ministry has been asked to maintain vigil in tourist spots and disseminate public health messages at hotels.
Health ministry will closely work with, Department of Pharmaceuticals, Department of Science and Biotechnology, and Indian Council of Medical Research to ensure that drugs required to treat the virus are available and the diagnosis and lab facilities run properly.
“Following decisions have been taken by a high-level group of ministers constituted to contain the spread of coronavirus in India. In addition to these measures, we are using all speed, scale, and determination coupled with best practices to push back COVID19,” Dr Harsh Vardhan said.
Other ministries that will be working in close coordination include Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, Ministry of Information and Broadcast, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Textiles and Ministry of Minority Affairs.
Till March 12, 73 cases of coronavirus have been reported, of which 16 are Italian citizens. Indian Air Force evacuated 58 Indian pilgrims for Iran on March 9. Still many are stuck in countries like Italy and Rome.