Final batch of Wuhan evacuees discharged from ITBP facility
The last batch of inmates who were quarantined at the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) facility at Chhawla in Delhi after they were evacuated from Wuhan in China, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, were discharged on Wednesday.
An ITBP spokesperson said that the evacuees were being discharged in batches since February 17 and the last batch, a family of six, were discharged on Wednesday morning.
A total of 645 people were evacuated from Wuhan on February 1 and 2, and were housed at two quarantine facilities created by an Indian Army-run camp in Manesar, Haryana, and ITBP-run Chhawla camp.
The development has come even as the staff at the ITBP facility is preparing to house another set of evacuees that India plans to air-lift from Wuhan. The fresh batch, of about 125 Indians, is expected to land in India by Friday.
As part of the preparations, the staff has started disinfecting and fumigating the premises.
On Wednesday, health secretary Preeti Sudan met Chinese ambassador to India urging him to look into the reports of Chinese universities asking students, among the first set of evacuees, to join their classes or forfeit their admissions.
“This request has been responded to favourably. The Chinese embassy has written that the State Council of China has decided to postpone the new semester of the universities including Southwest University… The students will be notified by their respective universities accordingly,” a Union health ministry statement said.
Meanwhile, the government has banned the export of certain active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), raw materials used in making drugs, amid rising fears of India facing a drug shortage in the future.
A government committee, formed to monitor the supply of raw materials for drugs from China, has recommended restrictions on exports of 12 APIs and formulations. The APIs and formulations include common antibiotics and vitamins.
The Department of Pharmaceuticals had formed a committee under the chairmanship of joint drug controller, Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), which has been closely monitoring the supply of APIs and intermediates which are imported from China and the effect of the coronavirus epidemic in the country on their supply to India.
“There is absolutely nothing to worry about at the moment, as we have stocks for at least next three-four months. The government has assessed the situation and India is pretty comfortable as far as drugs are concerned including antibiotics and vitamins,” said an official at CDSCO.