Northeast put on high alert over Coronavirus


GUWAHATI: A coronavirus alert has been issued in two Northeastern states of Manipur and Sikkim.

The Manipur health department on Tuesday issued a high alert in the state, over the possible outbreak of coronavirus.

The department is taking up preventive measures on a war footing and has set up 5 checkpoints equipped with ‘Thermal detectors’ to detect individuals infected by the lethal virus. Besides this, two separate isolation wards have also been set up, one each at RIMS and JNIMS.

Speaking to media, Additional Director of State Public Health, Dr Leisangthem Arke Singh said that all entry points including Border town Moreh, Tengnoupal district, Mao, Churachandpur district and Ziribam district have been put on high alert and medical staff are being stationed in each entry point to detect anybody carrying the virus.

Those detected will be immediately quarantined, Singh said. He further added that RIMS is ready with necessary medical equipment to provide any assistance to people detected with the virus.

Meanwhile, Sikkim called an emergency meeting of all line departments and stakeholders on the coronavirus threat. The meeting chaired by Chief Secretary, SC Gupta discussed at length the protective measures to be taken to prevent the spread of the virus in the Himalayan state.

The meeting was called after three ministries directed immediate precautionary measures. Chiefs of Health, Information and Transport departments and stakeholders attended the meeting wherein it was decided that screening will be intensified at the Rangpo Singtam and Melli Checkposts which is the entry point for tourists including those from Nepal.

The authorities however urged the people of the state not to panic as all possible precautionary measures will be put in place.

The Nagaland health department has also issued an advisory on the outbreak of coronavirus. The department has opened helpline numbers for persons having any travel history to China or any other affected countries.

Cases of the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has been reported from most of the South East Asian countries, Australia, United State, France and suspected cases from five states of Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Bihar in India.

Preventive measures were taken after the Union Health Ministry issued directives to all states to prevent the spread of the virus. The World Health Organization has already announced that the outbreak is not global but chances are high for a global outbreak.

As per WHO data, till Jan 27, the total number of confirmed cases rose to 2,798, in which 2,741 are from China. In India, the total number of suspected cases stands at 300.