GOVERNMENT ISSUES GUIDELINES IN VIEW OF NOVEL CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK 2020

The Ministry of Health, Government of India (Ministry) has recently undertaken several measures to prevent, control and/or curb the incidents of outbreak of Novel Coronavirus (Disease) in India. The Disease is said to be caused by certain kind of viruses that circulate amongst animals, such as camels, cats and bats, that infect people, thereby causing respiratory and other form of illnesses amongst people. The Disease was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China in December 2019.

According to the Ministry, there is no specific vaccine to cure this Disease, but it has recommended supportive care to treat the said Disease. The Ministry has also issued the following guidelines in view of prevention and treatment of the said Disease:

1- Procurement of stocks of personal protection equipments such as apron, hand gloves, face shield, and masks, etc

2- Screening and surveillance of passengers at airports and sea-ports, etc

3- Creation of awareness amongst the public for prevention of Disease through personal hygiene, food safety, general hygiene, non-slaughter and non-consumption of weak animals, use of protective clothing at slaughterhouses and vet hospitals, etc.

4- Training of concerned medical personnel and health officials

5- Sample testing at hospitals

6- Ongoing deliberations by medical expert committees for formulation of a treatment protocol

So far, India has detected three patients in Kerala who may have contracted the Disease. The tests and treatments are ongoing. All the three patients had earlier travelled to Wuhan and had come back to India. Thus, the Government of India has advised Indian travellers to refrain from travelling to China and has also stopped issuing visas to foreign nationals travelling from China to India. The World Health Organization (WHO) has also recently published guidelines and instructions for general public as well as for healthcare officials.

As per various medical experts, the Government of India is taking adequate measures to prevent and curb the incidents of the Disease in India.

Harini Daliparthy

Senior Legal Associate

The Indian Lawyer

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