COVID-19: Health Min new toll-free no., email ID active

Health Ministry launches new toll-free number, email ID for queries on COVID-19

The government has also suspended all visas, barring a few categories like diplomatic and employment, in an attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Credit: PTI Photo

As India sees a surge in novel coronavirus cases, the Union Health Ministry on Monday activated a toll-free 24x7 national helpline number, 1075, to address queries related to the infection.

The previous helpline number, 011-239 78046, will also remain operational, the ministry officials said.

Besides the toll-free numbers, the ministry also issued a helpline email ID ncov2019@gmail.com.

The number of coronavirus cases in India has risen to 114 with one new case each reported in Ladakh, Odisha, Jammu and Kashmir, and Kerala, the officials said on Monday.

This number includes 13 people who have been discharged after they recovered and two fatalities, they said.  

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The 114 figure also includes 17 foreigner nationals.

Meanwhile, the eastern state of Odisha has reported its first case.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had on Sunday reviewed the status of actions taken by states and union territories for prevention and containment of the disease and directed officials to scale up the capacity of the round-the-clock control room helpline in view of increased volume of queries.

He reviewed in great detail the steps taken by the states to foster 'social distancing' in great detail and advised them to maintain hygiene and cleanliness in hospitals, and adhere to all laid down protocols for containment and management of the disease, the ministry said.

The Centre as part of its measures to contain the spread of the disease has announced that people will be allowed to travel only through 19 of 37 land border checkposts from Saturday midnight and services of the Indo-Bangladesh cross border passenger trains and buses will continue to remain suspended till April 15.

Pilgrimage and registration for Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara in Pakistan has also been suspended since Sunday midnight.

The government has also suspended movement of all types of passengers through international border points with Pakistan from 00:00 hours of March 16 in view of the threat from coronavirus.

"In wake of COVID19 India outbreak, as a precautionary measure to contain and control spread of the disease, the travel and registration for Sri Kartarpur Sahib is temporarily suspended from 00:00 hours on March 16, 2020, till further orders," a home ministry spokesperson said.

On Saturday, the government had announced suspension of all types of passenger movement from 00:00 hours on March 15 through the Indo-Bangla, Indo-Nepal, Indo-Bhutan and Indo-Myanmar borders barring a few specified border checkposts.

The government has also suspended all visas, barring a few categories like diplomatic and employment, in an attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

It has asked Indian nationals to avoid all non-essential travel abroad.

All international passengers returning to India should self-monitor their health and follow the required do's and dont's as detailed by the government, the ministry added.

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