Even as no positive case of coronavirus has been found in Gujarat so far, the state government has decided to postpone all the Women's Day events, earlier scheduled to be held in the state on March 8, as a precautionary measure, an official said on Friday.
The postponement of programmes is aimed at ensuring compliance with the Centre's guidelines to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, the official said.
"Out of the 38 samples of suspected cases collected so far in Gujarat, 37 samples tested negative for coronavirus, while the test results of another is pending," Principal Secretary of the state Health Department, Jayanti Ravi, said in Gandhinagar.
In the advisory sent to all the states on March 5, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had said that "mass gatherings may be avoided or possibly be postponed till the disease spread is contained".
"Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has decided to postpone all the Women's Day programmes. The ministry has issued an advisory appealing people to avoid going to crowded places," Jayanti Ravi told reporters, adding that no positive case of coronavirus has been found in the state so far.
The IAS officer said that the government would next week take a call on the visitors coming to Gandhinagar to witness the proceedings of the Legislative Assembly. On an average, around 2,000 persons visit Assembly everyday.
As advised by the Centre, passengers arriving at Ahmedabad and Surat international airports from other countries are being screened using thermal scanners, Jayanti Ravi said.
"Over 16,400 passengers have been scanned at Ahmedabad international airport till now," she added.
"As many as 1,454 crew members and passengers on board 24 ships were also scanned at different ports of Gujarat. We have kept aside 576 isolation beds and 204 ventilators in government hospitals across the state to deal with any emergency," she said.
According to her, experts from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other agencies are in Gujarat to train doctors and medical students in fighting possible outbreak, she said.
Urging the people not to panic, Jayanti Ravi said there is no need to wear masks or use only hand sanitizer as washing hands using soaps was enough.
"There is no such advisory which mandates everyone to wear masks. People should avoid visiting crowded places" she said.
A special homeopathy medicine meant to increase immunity, will be distributed to the people through over 270 homeopathic dispensaries, she added.