TN gets ready to fight coronavirus

While the number of coronavirus suspect cases is increasing across the globe, State Health Minister C Vijayabaskar stated that there are no cases reported in Tamil Nadu and that the government is prepared to tackle the virus.

The assurance has come in the wake of reports of suspected cases in neighbouring States. He said health department officials are screening all passengers who arrive at the airport here from China and there is no need to panic about coronavirus.

“There has been no case detected in India so far and one person was reported with the microorganism in Nepal. Following which, the neighbouring countries are alerted to contain the risk of infection,” he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi directed government machineries to take up the issue on a war footing. According to a government statement, the civil aviation ministry is distributing health cards to all flights with direct or indirect connectivity in China, while instructing airlines to manage and notify anybody reporting illness on those routes.

The Home Ministry has initiated the monitoring of check posts on the Nepal border and screening of visitors. States and immigration officers have been kept on alert too for this exercise. The shipping ministry has initiated screening at international ports with traffic from China.

Meanwhile, oil fell to the lowest since October as China’s deadly coronavirus crippled the world’s second-largest economy and threatened worldwide energy demand. Futures shed 1.9 per cent on Monday in New York. The coronavirus’s death toll climbed to at least 80 people and additional cases of infections underscored concerns that China has failed to contain the deadly virus despite its efforts to control the outbreak.

China extended the Lunar New Year holiday by three days until 2 February, while companies in Shanghai have been asked not to start work until at least 9 February. The virus is the latest upheaval for the oil market, which has been struggling with demand concerns for months.