HYDERABAD: During a discussion with the State Human Rights Commission, the Director of Medical Education revealed that the Coronavirus isolation ward at Gandhi Hospital will be split into two units - one for people with foreign travel history and symptoms, and one for asymptomatic people.
Dr K Ramesh Reddy said, "We are taking the utmost amount of precaution in the State to tackle and prevent Coronavirus from spreading. Gandhi Hospital currently has one completely separate entry for the Coronavirus Isolation ward. However, we will making a separate unit inside the isolation ward as well to keep symptomatic patients with history of foreign travel away from asymptomatic people."
When Justice G Chandraiah enquired about the need to shut down schools and colleges, Dr K Shankar, Director of Institute of Preventive Medicine said, "People need to be educated about the spread of the disease. It is not an air-borne disease. It spreads through touch. Schools, therefore, do not need to be shut down. We only have to worry about people arriving from other countries. The virus has not spread locally, so shutting down schools will only aggravate panic."
Dr Murali Krishna, superintendent of Niloufer Hospital said, “It would be better if parents can just refrain from sending kids who have flu-like symptoms to schools.”
No need for masks
Dr Shankar also said, “There is no need for general public to wear masks. Sanitisers should also be used only when you do not have access to soap and water. Otherwise simple hand washing and sneezing/coughing etiquette are sufficient precautions. Only people who are infected, or attendants of these infected people need to wear masks. Moreover, surgical masks that everyone is buying are useless. They will not help keep out any kind of virus.
Sixteen pharmacies on Saturday were seized and shut after the State Health department drug inspectors found these shops over-charging for sanitisers and face masks.