Thiruvananthapuram: Even as 288 people in Kerala have been kept under medical observation in the wake of the coronavirus scare, state Health Minister K.K. Shailaja asserted there was no reason for any concern.

Of these, seven are admitted in various hospitals in the state while the others have been advised rest at home and to report to health authorities in case their condition worsens.

The authorities are also closely monitoring about 60 people in Kozhikode who have returned from China.

On Monday, Chief Secretary Tom Jose got in touch with the federal government for taking steps to bring back mostly Kerala medical students from Wuhan in China, which is the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak.

Shailaja last week called a meeting of top health officials to take stock of the situation and stressed requisite arrangements at state-run hospitals to meet any eventuality and setting up of isolation wards.

Screening at the Cochin international airport has been strengthened since Sunday with the setting up a full-fledged health desk there.

Aircraft on standby

An Air Indian Boeing 747 has been kept on standby for the evacuation of Indian citizens from Wuhan, according to the official of the national carrier.

The aircraft is waiting for the Centre’s decision regarding the evacuation.

“Air India Boeing 747 is on standby for the evacuation of Indians from Wuhan (China) due to scare of coronavirus. Carrier is waiting for the government the decision,” an Air Indian official told ANI on Monday.

Many countries are screening travellers from certain parts of China for symptoms of the virus at airports.

Vigil on border

The federal health ministry has strengthened its vigil in the areas bordering Nepal.

The recent deployment of a health team has taken place at Panitanki in West Bengal, entry point from Nepal, said the health ministry on Monday.

“Update on #ncov2020 — Subsequent to confirmed #coronarvirus case in #Nepal, vigil strengthened at Panitanki (West Bengal) entry point from Nepal,” the ministry tweeted.

Earlier on Sunday the ministry had informed that in response to confirmed case of the new virus in neighbour country Nepal, India stepped up vigil in districts bordering Nepal. The health ministry said that teams of medical experts were also deployed at border outpost with Nepal at Jhulaghat and Jauljibi in Pithoragarh district in Uttarakhand.

Further, the ministry has also displayed signage advising passengers for self reporting and other precautions at the Mumbai airport.

According to the health ministry, a total of 29,707 passengers from 137 flights have been screened. Fortunately, no case of coronavirus has been found till date.

Many Indian students studying in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak have been stuck there. The health ministry said it is working closely with the Ministry of External Affairs and is in touch with the students.