Coronavirus Outbreak: India’s response to the coronavirus outbreak in the month of March
3rd March: Suspension of all visas for Italy, Iran, South Korea, Japan, and China; Compulsory health screening for passengers arriving directly or indirectly from China, South Korea, Japan, Iran, Italy, Hong Kong, Macau, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nepal, Thailand, Singapore, and Taiwan.
4th March: Universal screening of all International Flights. Quarantine or isolation at home or sent to hospital-based on screening and risk profile
5th March: Passengers from Italy or Republic of Korea need to get medical certificate before entry
10th March, Home isolation: incoming international passengers should self-monitor health and follow govt.
11th March: Compulsory Quarantine- Incoming travellers (including Indians) arriving from or having visited China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain and Germany after 15th February 2020 shall be quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days.
16 March- Comprehensive advisory: Expanded compulsory quarantine for travellers from or through UAE, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait for a minimum of 14 days. Travel of passengers from member countries of the European Union, the European Free Trade Association, Turkey and the United Kingdom to India totally prohibited
17 March: Travel of passengers from Afghanistan, Philippines, Malaysia prohibited
19 March: All Incoming international flights suspended, with effect from 22nd March
25th March: extension of suspension of all incoming International Flights to India extended till 14th April 2020. With evolving global spread of disease, not only travel advisories were revised, but airport screening was also expanded to all airports.
After being screened by health authorities at the airports, passengers were quarantined or sent to hospitals, based on risk assessment by health authorities.
Screening of passengers took place at 30 airports, 12 major and 65 minor pots and at land borders. Over 36 lakh passengers have been screened.
The government took swift action to put in a place a comprehensive and robust system of screening, quarantine and surveillance are part of its robust response to the public health crisis right from the beginning.
A meticulous system has enabled states to track down individuals who tried to avoid surveillance or who did not follow quarantine measures.
As many as 20 Video Conferences by Union Health Secretary with State Governments and 6 by the Cabinet Secretary with the State Chief Secretaries have been held to review them and step up the preparedness to deal with the Corona issue.
The integrated disease surveillance system, which includes monitoring of international travellers, is one of the many issues discussed in these Video Conferences.