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15 lakh flew to India from abroad, but many still not being monitored for Coronavirus

As India observes a nationwide, lockdown, a serious gap in the fight against preventing Coronavirus spread has been flagged by Rajiv Gauba
New Delhi: As India observes a nationwide, total lockdown, a serious gap in the fight against preventing Coronavirus spread has been flagged by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on Friday — that there is a serious gap between the number of international passengers who have flown into India in the last two months and who need to be monitored and the actual number of passengers being monitored by states. In a letter dated March 26, Gauba told state chief secretaries, “There appears to be a gap between the number of international passengers who need to be monitored by the States/UTs and the actual number of passengers being monitored.” Gauba also said that at least 15 lakh passengers from abroad have entered India between January 18 and March 23. “I have been informed that upto March 23, cumulatively, Bureau of Immigration has shared details of more than 15 lakh incoming international passengers with the States/UTs for monitoring for COVID-19,” the Cabinet Secretary said. Alt="Coronavirus"

‘Gap in Coronavirus monitoring can seriously jeopardise our efforts’

While noting that the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has repeatedly emphasised the same, he warned that not monitoring this section of people seriously jeopardises the country’s efforts to contain the spread of Coronavirus. “This may seriously jeopardise our efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, given that many amongst the persons who have tested positive for COVID-19 so far in India have a history of international travel. It is important that they are put under close surveillance to prevent the spread of the epidemic,” Gauba said.

The backdrop

The news comes as the confirmed number of Coronavirus cases in India rose to 724 in India and over 500,000 globally. So far, 17 deaths have been reported in India. A nationwide lockdown has been placed and social distancing has been advised to contain the spread of the virus. However, sources have said that the 15 lakh people who the government is looking to monitor only comprises air travelers and no count is available so far of the number of people who have entered India from abroad via seaports and international land borders.