A total of 324 individuals had been airlifted from Wuhan to India on Friday.

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Health Coronavirus Saturday, February 01, 2020 - 19:41

All 324 Indians who were airlifted from Wuhan city in China and arrived in New Delhi on Saturday morning have been quarantined in two facilities.

While 220 passengers were taken to the facility managed by the Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) in Manesar, the remaining 104 Indians were quarantined at an Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) camp in Delhi for observation. A 600-bed facility has been set up in Chhawla Camp by the ITBP to quarantine and care for the individuals who will be kept there under isolation for a period of two weeks.

Out of the 104 quarantined in Chhawla area, 88 women, 10 men and six children were brought to the special quarantine facility in Chhawla area, ITBP spokesperson Vivek Kumar Pandey said.

"All the passengers were first screened at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport and now a second screening is being done by doctors at the Chhawla facility," he said, adding that doctors and other specialists will work at the centre round-the-clock.

A team of 25 doctors — 15 from Safdarjung Hospital and 10 from ITBP — have been stationed at the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) premises that houses its sector headquarters for logistics and communication.

“All basic amenities - food, lodging, and WiFi will be provided to the people. ITBP Doctors and personnel are present to look after them. An expert team of ITBP and Safdarjung Hospital and Doctors with sufficient medicines are already placed,” said Vivek.

Those evacuated were subject to a series of screening and examination upon landing in Delhi airport. A team of medical professionals examining them categorised individuals as either a suspected case, a close contact, or a non-contact case.

The quarantine centres have been divided into the above categories and individuals will be staying in close quarters of others who are deemed to be at the same risk level of transmitting the virus. They will be monitored for a period of two weeks during which they will be routinely monitored by doctors and medical staff.

Depending on how their health is faring, authorities will take further steps at the end of two weeks.

The Indians were airlifted from Wuhan city in China’s Hubei province, which has been the epicentre of the Coronavirus outbreak. The Air India flight took off at 1.17 pm from Delhi airport on Friday and returned at around 7.30am on Saturday. Another special flight will reportedly be sent to Wuhan on Saturday evening to evacuate other Indians who are still in stranded at the epicenter of the Coronavirus outbreak.

On Thursday, the Union Health Ministry confirmed India’s first case of Coronavirus in a female student from Kerala who had returned from China, where she had been studying in university. The state government immediately began ‘contact tracing’ to identify any others who may have been exposed to the virus and are working to contain the situation.

At present treatment largely consists of supportive measures involving controlling symptoms. The most common symptoms are cough, cold, fever and runny nose. Difficulty breathing can occur in a more severe case. Research to formulate a vaccine is currently underway, but one is not available at the moment.

Officials have stressed that the public should maintain personal hygiene. This includes frequently washing one’s hands with soap and water and using alcohol-based sanitizers. Avoid contact with others if ill and cover your face and mouth.

The death toll from the novel Coronavirus outbreak in China has risen to 259 with total confirmed cases surging to 11,791. A number of countries are evacuating their nationals from Hubei province, the epicentre of the virus.

(With PTI inputs)