Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
17-February-2020 17:28 IST
Hon’ble Prime Minister appreciates efforts beyond call of duty: Dr. Harsh Vardhan said while handing over the letters of appreciation to 10 Doctors & Nursing Officers, part of Wuhan evacuation team

“ ‘Strength through diversity’ gets expression in the collective effort. This is how the bravery and commendable feat of the ten doctors and paramedic staff has been appreciated by our Hon. Prime MinisterSh. Narendra Modiji”, said Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare during the felicitation ceremony of handing over the appreciation letters from Hon’ble Prime Minister to the team of Doctors & Nursing Officers from Dr RML Hospital and Safdurjung Hospital who were part of the team that was successful in evacuating 645 India citizens and 7 Maldivan citizens from Wuhan in China, which has been the epicentre of COVID19, here today.

The Hon. Prime Minister commends the “grit, determination and compassion displayed by the rescue team” and states that “it proves that the true test of character lies in adversity”. The appreciation letter further states that “In such a scenario, the evacuation of Indian citizens in distress has not only given relief to those rescued but has also reassured the Indian diaspora settled across the globe that in time of crisis, the entire nation stands firmly united. Your indefatigable effort inspires every citizen to serve the nation with dedication and commitment”.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan congratulated each and every member of the two teams who had gone out to Wuhan, China as part  ofthe evacuation mission on 1st and 2nd February, 2020. He also appreciated their efforts by stating that for a medical professional it’s just not a duty but it is a responsibility to help our fellow citizens in times of distress and this has been displayed very gracefully by our team.

He handed over the appreciation letters to the following medical team members:


  1. DrAnand Vishal, Associated Professor of Medicine, Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital
  2. DrPulin Gupta, Professor of Internal Medicine, Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital
  3. DrYogesh Chandra Porwal, Professor and Consultant,  Internal Medicine, Safdarjung Hospital
  4. DrRupali Malik, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, Safdarjung Hospital
  5. Dr Sujata Arya, Public Health Specialist, Airport Health Organization, New Delhi
  6. DrSanjeetPanesar, Assistant Professor, Community Medicine, Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital
  7. Sh Manu Joseph, Nursing Officer, Safdarjung Hospital
  8. ShRajnish Kumar, Nursing Officer Safdarjung Hospital
  9. ShAjo Jose, Nursing Officer, Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital
  10. ShSarathPrem, Nursing Officer, Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital

Dr Harsh Vardhan also interacted with the evacuees from Wuhan who have been housed at ITBP camp, and many of whom are being discharged to leave for their homes. These have all been found to be negative of COVID19and will be going back to their homes in phases.  “It is indeed a proud and satisfying moment for all of us, that our fellow citizens who have returned from Wuhan have been found to be healthy”, Dr Harsh Vardhan stated.

Dr Harsh Vardhan also informed that as on date 3,21,375 passengers from 2996 flights and 6,387 passengers from 125 ships were screened. 2,571 samples across 15 laboratories across India have been tested and only 3 samples have been found positive. He also said that 2 patients among the 3 positive cases found in Kerala have been discharged and condition of the third one is stable. The call centre established at the central level has got 4,400 calls among which 390 international calls have been received so far. More than 360 emails have been received and responded on COVID19.

Ms. Preeti Sudan, Secretary (HFW), Sh. Sanjeeva Kumar, Special Secretary (Health), Sh. Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary along with other officials from Ministry of Health & Family Welfare were present during the felicitation ceremony.Sh. Sanjeeva Kumar, Special Secretary (Health), and Dr T N Mishra, Director (Medical), ITBP were also present during the visit of the Union Health Minister at the ITBP camp.