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India prepares for large coronavirus outbreaks as citizens return home – News

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21-page plan released which details a ‘strategic approach for the scenario of travel-related cases’

India has updated its “Containment Plan for Large Outbreaks of Covid-19” infections, taking into account the growing possibility that its citizens, currently abroad, may soon return home in large numbers to be with their families at the time of the pandemic.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare here today released the updated, 21-page plan which details its “strategic approach for the scenario of travel-related cases.”

Since travel-related infections have been declining after India completely shut down international arrivals and stopped domestic flights, trains and inter-state bus transport about three weeks ago, the strategic approach for travel-related infections is solely meant to meet the challenge of new arrivals of passengers from abroad.

The objective of this approach is to prepare health services in states which have a large number of Indians abroad who may wish to return home when the second phase of a comprehensive, country-wide lockdown ends on May 3.

It says inter-ministerial coordination through Group of Ministers, Committee of Secretaries at the national level and mechanisms for Centre-State co-ordination have been established. The strategy envisages “early detection of positive cases through universal screening of all international passengers at their points of entry.”

A third element in the strategy is surveillance and contact tracing through an “Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme” for continuous tracking of travellers within the community who have arrived from affected countries.

This will be followed up through steps for early diagnosis through testing samples of suspect cases. As part of the strategy, buffer stocks of Personal Protective Equipment, PPE, will be maintained.

A key element in the strategy is “risk communication for creating awareness in communities to follow preventive public health measures.”

The revised containment plan was released along with the latest statistics today for coronavirus infections across India. India’s COVID-19 cases hacw topped 14,000, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

With 11,616 cases under treatment, 1,767 recoveries and 452 deaths, India’s coronavirus infections now stand at 13,835.





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