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Coronavirus outbreak: 366 Indian citizens to be evacuated from Wuhan

New Delhi | Updated on January 31, 2020 Published on January 31, 2020

A view of the quarantine facility which has been set up by the Army for the 300 students, at Manesar, Haryana, on Friday   -  PTI

Over 366 Indians are being evacuated from China by plane, according to an official statement.

Indian Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) are readying up to 900 quarantine beds for students and families travelling back from China to places in and around Delhi, in the light of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019 nCoV) outbreak.

According to a press statement issued by the Health Ministry, 366 Indian citizens are being evacuated from China, and all male passengers (approximately 280) to be sent to Manesar Camp, while families and females (approximately 90) will be housed in an ITBP camp. In addition, a 50-bedded critical care facility has been set up at Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi for patients.

Globally, over 7,818 patients have been confirmed to be positive for the air-borne virus, of which 7,736 patients are from China. The virus has claimed 170 lives till now.

Sources said that the airlifted Indians are slated to arrive in New Delhi on Saturday early morning and that they will directly be escorted to the quarantine facility. India had earlier written to the Chinese authorities and was preparing to send an airplane to evacuate them from China.

In a press statement the Indian Army said that responding to an emergency requirement to create and manage a facility to quarantine the Indian students arriving from Wuhan, China. It has created the facility near Manesar, Haryana where the students can be monitored for two weeks by a qualified team of doctors and staff for any signs of infection.

Also, Indo-Tibetan Border Police has created a 600-bed quarantine facility at its Chhawla Camp, West Delhi for families coming from China.

The Army’s statement explains that the procedure of screening and quarantine will comprise two steps, the first, a screening at the airport followed by quarantine at Manesar and if any individual is suspected to be infected, they will be shifted to the isolation ward at Base Hospital Delhi Cantonment (BHDC).

On arrival at airport

Screening at the airport will be done by a joint team of Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) and Airport Health Authority (APHO). During the screening the passengers will be classified into three groups -

Suspect Case – Individuals with any signs of fever and/or cough and/or respiratory distress will be directly transferred to BHDC.

Close Contact – Any individual without symptoms but having visited a seafood/animal market or a health facility or having come into contact with a Chinese person with symptoms in the last 14 days will be escorted in an earmarked vehicle directly to the quarantine facility.

Non Contact Case – Any individual without any symptom(s) or contact or who does not fit into either two of the above will also be clubbed along with the close contact category and sent to the quarantine facility.

Layout of facility

The facility consists of accommodation barracks for the students, administrative and medical facility areas. To prevent mass outbreak, it has been divided into sectors, each with a maximum capacity of 50 students. Each barrack has been further subdivided. The people in various sectors will not be allowed to intermingle.

Routine

Daily medical examination of all students will be done and all the staff, healthcare workers and housekeeping staff must wear personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times. PPE consists of mask, eye shield, shoe cover, gown and gloves. Visitors and all students will wear a three-layered mask at all times. After 14 days, persons who do not show any symptoms will be allowed to go home. Their detailed documentation will be sent to the District State surveillance units for further surveillance. Those found infected will be shifted to BHDC’s isolation ward for further medical exams and recovery. Samples for viral confirmation will be sent to NCDC, Delhi and patients will be discharged only after clinical recovery and two successive negative samples tested for n-COV.

Apart from playing games, watching TV and having meals together within a barrack, no one will be allowed to interact with the members of another barrack and definitely not another sector.

Manpower

The facility will be administered by a nominated Officer In Charge (OIC) whose team will includea Community Medicine Specialist, two Nursing Officers, a Lady Medical Officer and one Nursing Assistant. No civilian or serving personnel detailed to work inside the facility will be allowed to go outside unless compelled by extreme emergency situation.

Published on January 31, 2020
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