Coronavirus: India goes into high alert, puts 12 under medical surveillance

As per data received on Jan 14, total 17 samples have been received by the ICMR-NIV Pune Lab, out of which 14 have been already been tested and found negative.

Published: 28th January 2020 11:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th January 2020 01:21 PM   |  A+A-

Isolation ward to treat Coronavirus cases has been set up at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital in Chennai. (Photo | Martin Louis/EPS)


NEW DELHI: Three persons with a travel history to China have been kept under observation at an isolation ward of the RML Hospital here for a possible exposure to novel coronavirus, officials said on Tuesday.

The three -- all men aged between 24 and 48 -- were admitted on Monday and their samples have been sent for testing to ICMR-NIV Pune laboratory, Dr Minakshi Bhardwaj, Medical Superintendent of RML Hospital, said.

While two of the men are residents of Delhi, one hails from NCR.

All the three patients have respiratory problems like cold and cough along with fever and they self-reported at the designated health facility to deal with such cases.

According to Bhardwaj, two of the patients had returned from China about a week ago while the other about a month back.

Till Monday, a total of 33,552 passengers arriving in India from China in 155 flights have been screened.

As per data received on Jan 14, a total of 17 samples have been received by the ICMR-NIV Pune Lab, out of which 14 have been already been tested and found negative.

Several people have been kept under observation in several states including Kerala, Kolkata and Maharashtra following screening for a possible exposure to respiratory virus, which has spread in China.

The Centre has stepped up vigil in areas bordering Nepal in view of a confirmed case of nCoV detected there.

The Prime Minister's Office on Saturday reviewed India's preparedness to deal with any situation amid mounting global concerns over rising cases in China.

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A 24x7 NCDC Call Centre (+91-11-23978046) has been made operational to monitor the list of contacts furnished by the Ministry of External Affairs, provide details of district and state surveillance officers to those who seek them, and in case of any clinical query, direct the concerned to the relevant Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) officer.

Thermal screening is being done at seven designated airports -- New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kochi.

Vardhan, who held a review meeting to analyse the preparedness for prevention and management of nCoV in India, also spoke to the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand on Saturday and assured him of all support for screening at the border with Nepal.

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The health ministry has urged passengers, who have a travel history to China since January 1, 2020, to come forward for self-reporting to the nearest health facility if they experience any symptoms such as fever, cough, respiratory distress, etc, and also inform the doctor treating them.

On Saturday, the Union Health Ministry also issued a fresh advisory asking passengers to follow certain dos and don'ts if they are in China or if they are travelling or returning from China.

The advisory stated that during their stay in China, if they feel sick and have fever and cough, then they should cover their mouth while coughing and sneezing, seek medical attention promptly and report to the Indian Embassy in China.

The advisory also said that if they feel sick on flight, while travelling back to India from China, they should inform the airline crew about their illness, seek mask and self-reporting format from the airline crew, avoid close contact with family members or fellow travellers and follow other directions of crew and airport health officer.

Six persons under observation in Mumbai and Pune

A man was hospitalised in Pune on suspicion of possible exposure to the novel coronavirus during his recent visit to China, taking the total number of such admissions to six in Maharashtra so far, a senior official said on Tuesday.

The man was admitted in the isolation ward of the Naidu Hospital on Monday night for the symptoms similar to the novel coronavirus infection, Dr Pradeep Awate, Maharashtra state Disease Surveillance Officer, told PTI.

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"The number of the persons under observation in hospitals in Maharashtra has now gone up to six," he said.

Four of the six persons are currently under observation in Mumbai while two in Pune, Dr Awate said.

He said blood samples of none of them has tested positive to the virus so far.

ALSO READ | Coronavirus outbreak: Death toll jumps to 106, nearly 1,300 new cases, says China government

No case of coronavirus infection has been found in Maharashtra yet.

A Health department official had said on Monday that the Maharashtra government will prepare a list of passengers who have returned to Mumbai from China, especially from the Wuhan region, since January 1 this year, and will enquire about their health condition.

As many as 3,756 passengers arriving from China were screened for the coronavirus at the Mumbai international airport between January 18 and 26, but no confirmed case of the deadly disease has been found so far in Mumbai.

First suspected case in Punjab, Haryana region

A 28-year-old Mohali resident, who returned from China recently, has been admitted to the isolation ward of PGIMER here after showing novel coronavirus-like symptoms, an official said on Tuesday.

This is the first suspected case of novel coronavirus in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh region.

The patient, who hails from Uttar Pradesh but lives in Punjab's Mohali, had returned from China last week.

The patient complained of fever and respiratory discomfort, said Dr Gagandeep Singh, State programme officer, Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme, Punjab, on Tuesday.

The patient, who is said to be a banker, himself went to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), for treatment in Chandigarh, official said.

The patient has been kept in an isolation ward and is under observation, the official said, adding his samples have been sent to the National Institute of Virology Pune.

The family of the patient has been contacted by Mohali heath authorities, the official said, adding they have not shown any such symptoms.

Indian student from Wuhan, mother admitted in Ujjain hospital

A woman and her son, who recently returned from Wuhan in China, were admitted in a hospital in Madhya Pradesh's Ujjain for possible exposure to novel Coronavirus, prompting the state government to step up vigil.

According to officials of the Health Department, the duo included the medical student who had returned to India from Wuhan, suspected to be the epicentre of the virus and his mother who lives in Ujjain.

"I have instructed all top officials of my department, including the Principal Secretary and Commissioner, Health Department, to monitor the situation in the entire state and step up the vigil after two persons with suspected Coronavirus infection are found in Ujjain," Madhya Pradesh Health Minister Tulsi Silawat said here on Tuesday.

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