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Mysterious virus in China: Health Ministry seeks info on Indian visa applicants

Mysterious virus in China

In the wake of mysterious novel coronavirus (nCoV) which was first reported in the central Chinese city of Wuhan and has since spread to two other domestic cities and three countries, the health ministry has sought from the Ministry of External Affairs details of those who have applied for Indian visa since December 31 so that they can be counselled.

The MEA has also been requested to disseminate travel advisory to Indian Embassies in China and adjoining countries in local languages for wider circulation and passenger information, the health ministry said in a statement.

As per a PTI report, the Union health secretary has also written to states and Union Territories to review their preparedness, identify gaps and strengthen core capacities in the area of surveillance, laboratory support and in particular, hospital preparedness in terms of isolation and ventilator management of patients with severe respiratory illness.

Special secretary, health, on Monday reviewed the public health measures that need to be scaled in the context of sport in cases reported by China.

Coronavirus has infected more than 220 in China

According to chinese authorities, the virus has infected more than 220 people and resulted in the death of three persons in the country. WHO, in its risk assessment, said that the risk for a global spread of the infection remains low.

Know all about the virus

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.

Symptoms

As per WHO, common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

Which countries have been affected?

One confirmed case has been reported each from Japan and South Korea, and two from Thailand two. In each of the four cases detected outside China so far, the patients had travelled from Wuhan.

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