Coronavirus: Centre asks states to increase hygiene in public transport vehicles

With the number of cases of the deadly coronavirus rising in the country, road transport and highways ministry on Monday asked all states and union territories to step up hygiene and sanitation in public transport vehicles, according to a letter seen by Mint. “It requested that all necessary steps may be taken in public transport vehicles to ensure sanitation of seats, handles and bars,” the ministry said in an advisory to principal secretaries of all states and transport commissioners. The Centre also asked to take care of the hygiene at bus terminals and asked states to ensure public health messages at bus terminals, stops and public transport vehicles.

“You are requested to take expeditious action and mobilize all necessary support in this regard,” the ministry said. As many as 45 individuals in India have been detected with the virus that has claimed 3,892 lives across the globe. Out of the 45 patients, 16 are Italians and the rest Indians.

Nine cases have been reported in Kerala, and three confirmed last month have recovered. Rest of the cases in Kerala were confirmed over the last two days. There are seven coronavirus cases from Uttar Pradesh, five from the National Capital Region of Delhi, two from Ladakh and one each from Tamil Nadu, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Jaipur and Jammu.

Since it was first reported in China’s Wuhan in December, the virus has affected 111,354 globally, with death toll at 3,892, according to Johns Hopkins University’s live tracker of the disease.

India has stepped up surveillance to contain the spread of the disease, screening all international passengers at major airports across the country.

The government has so far screened nearly 900,000 international passengers from over 8,000 flights, the health ministry said.

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