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    Health Ministry issues toll-free number 1075 for queries on Covid-19; confirmed cases rise to 114 in India

    Published on March 16, 2020

    The Health Ministry has issued a toll-free number 1075 for the public for inquiry about coronavirus. In the briefing, Rubina Ali, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Anil Malik, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Dammu Ravi, Additional Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs and Raman R, Head Scientist, ICMR were also present.

    Meanwhile, A high-level meeting of the Group of Ministers, GoM on COVID-19 was held in New Delhi today under the chairpersonship of Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan.  Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of External Affairs Dr  S  Jaishankar,  Minister of State for Home Nityananda Rai and Minister of State for  Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey attended the meeting.

    The GoM had detailed deliberation on the prevention and management of COVID-19.

    In its additional Travel Advisory, Government has further tightened restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 from high-risk areas. Expanding compulsory quarantine for a minimum period of 14 days for passengers coming from or transiting through UAE, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait. It will come into effect from 1200 GMT on Wednesday at the port of the first departure.

    Travel of passengers from member countries of the European Union, the European Free Trade Association, Turkey and the United Kingdom to India is prohibited with effect from Wednesday. No airline shall board a passenger from these nations to India with effect from 1200 GMT on Wednesday. The airline shall enforce this at the port of the initial departure. The instructions are temporary measures and will be in force till the 31st of this month and will be reviewed subsequently.

    Other important measures include encouraging private sector organizations or employers to allow employees to work from home wherever feasible. Meetings, as far as feasible, shall be done through video conferences.

    Restaurants must ensure handwashing protocol and proper cleanliness of frequently touched surfaces. They must ensure physical distancing a minimum 1 meter between tables and encourage open-air seating with adequate distancing. Local authorities will have a dialogue with organizers of sporting events and competitions involving large gatherings and they may be advised to postpone such events.