New Delhi [India], Mar 18 (ANI): Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Wednesday said that India initiated its response to the coronavirus threat on January 8 while the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 as a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) on January 30.
"The states were addressed for initiating health sector preparedness on January 17. Point of entry -- ports, airports, and international border -- surveillance was initiated from January 17," the ministry said in a release.
The ministry said that as on March 17, a total of 12,726 flights have been screened covering 13,54,858 passengers. By the same date, 829 vessels and 29,058 passengers/crew have been screened at 12 major and 65 non-major seaports.
The travel advisories have been issued from January 30 onwards in view of COVID-19.
As of March 17, the number of passengers under screening is 69,436. 5,596 symptomatic cases have been identified amongst them. 652 passengers have been hospitalised with the maximum being from Kerala at 289.
Seventy-two laboratories are operational for COVID-19 testing. A total of 15,980 isolation beds have been operationalised.
The ministry on Wednesday said the number of positive cases of coronavirus has climbed to 151, including 25 foreign nationals. Three persons have died due to the infection so far in India.
Globally, the virus has infected nearly 1,85,000 people and killed more than 7500, as per the latest data available on the World Health Organisation website. (ANI)