Coronavirus: Govt issues travel advisory on China

New Delhi (IANS) The Health Ministry on Saturday issued a travel advisory to those visiting China from India or coming back from there in the wake of the outbreak of the contagious novel coronavirus.

The ministry urged the travellers to cut their further travelling plans in case they felt sick and had fever, cough and cold. It also gave various helpline numbers in case of sickness or help required.

The advisory, posted on the Twitter handle of the Health Ministry, said travellers to China are advised to avoid all "no-essential travel to China" and to "avoid close contact with people showing symptoms of illness such as cough, running nose etc".

"The travellers to China should follow simple public health measures all the time." The advisory suggested observing good personal hygiene, practice frequent hand washing with soap. Follow respiratory etiquette - cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing.

The ministry also urged all travellers to China to monitor their health closely and said "during your stay in China, if you feel sick and have a fever and cough seek medical attention immediately. Report to Indian Embassy in China (+8618612083629 and +8618612083617)"

The advisory said that if a traveller was feeling sick on the flight while coming back to India they must "inform the airlines crew about the illness".

It also stated "immediately report facts to the airport health office or immigration office on helpline number (01123978046)." It also asked the traveller to inform the airline crew about illness.

"If you feel sick within the span of one month after return from China immediately call the helpline (011-23978046) and follow the direction issued," the notification read.

The advisory stated that one should maintain effective isolation at home and with others in case of symptoms. It asked the people to report the illness to the nearest health facility and also inform the treating doctor regarding their travel history.

According to the notification, a total of 1,287 cases and 41 deaths have been reported so far in 29 provinces of China including districts and cities. In addition to it, 28 cases had been confirmed outside China mainland that constituted 5 cases in Hong Kong, 2 cases in Macao, Vietnam and France, 3 cases in Taiwan, 4 cases in Thailand out of which, two were cured. One out of two cases in Japan had also been cured, the ministry said.

There had been two cases in South Korea as well as in the US, 3 cases in Singapore and one in Nepal.

"The mode of transmission is yet unclear but the evidence points to human to human transmission occurring between close contacts through respiratory route," said the ministry, adding "the clinical signs and symptoms are mainly fever with a few patients having difficulty in breathing".

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