Hyderabad: As China suffers from a new coronavirus outbreak, that has already killed at least 56 people, airports in India are on high alert to prevent the virus from spreading further.

As a precautionary measure, a three-member team from the Central government is arriving in Hyderabad on January 27. The team plans to review the “preparedness” of the state health authorities in dealing with a possible outbreak of the coronavirus. The team includes an official from Nation Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), an infectious disease medicine expert and an epidemiologist. The medical team, along with the Anuradha Reddy, Airport Health Officer for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, will examine the thermal screening procedure undertaken at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) on Monday.

Speaking to NewsMeter, Anuradha Reddy, the Airport Health Officer said, “There is nothing to panic. We are just taking the necessary steps to review how prepared state health authorities are, in case an outbreak occurs. There will be meetings with senior health officials to consider measures being taken. The quarantine centres in the state will also be visited by the medical officials.”

Earlier, the state health authorities had kept seven people on watch for the deadly virus. Their health status is being routinely assessed, according to sources.

According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, a total number of 29,707 passengers from 137 flights were screened for possible cases of coronavirus in the country. “However, no case of coronavirus found till date,” read the tweet from the Ministry.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union minister for health had also tweeted about the 24 x 7 helpline number, which will be active for any queries regarding the disease and its prevention. 

The virus, which originated in China, has infected at least 1,975 people in the country. The respiratory illness had killed nearly 650 people across mainland China and Hong Kong in the years 2002-2003.

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