KATHMANDU, Feb 23: India has announced to take precautionary measures by screening all passengers arriving at its airports from Kathmandu starting from Monday even though Nepal has not reported any confirmed cases of coronavirus at present.
A high-level review meeting on COVID19 chaired by India’s cabinet secretary on Saturday announced to enforce universal screenings of all incoming air passengers from Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Nepal, according to the Press Information Bureau of the Government of India.
The screening of passengers from these countries will come into effect from Monday, the bureau said in a statement.
The meeting organized to review the status of COVID19, as well as actions taken and preparedness of states and union territories regarding the management of the virus was attended by the representatives from Ministries of Health and Family Affairs, Civil Aviation, Defense, Information and Broadcasting, External Affairs, Home Affairs, Bureau Immigrations and the army.
“After a detailed review, universal screening at airports is now planned for flights from Kathmandu, Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia,” added the press statement.
The latest decision of India comes in the wake of Nepal evacuating 175 Nepali nationals from various cities of Hubei province including Wuhan, where the COVID19 outbreak is believed to have originated.
All those evacuated are currently put in quarantine in Kharipati for 14 days.
Medical reports have shown that none of those evacuated are infected by the COVID19. Government officials say all those currently in quarantine shall be released after they stay in isolation for 14 days at the special facility developed by the government at the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) buildings in Kharipati.
India has already started screening passengers coming from China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Japan and South Korea as precautionary measures. In addition to this, India has also advised its citizens to avoid non-essential travels to Singapore.
India had been screening people entering into Indian territories from eastern Nepal at three different border checkpoints including Panitanki, Mirik and Pashupati Market for preventing the spread of coronavirus. Other bordering states such as Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have also set up health desks at major customs points to screen people entering India from Nepal.