CHANDIGARH: Fifteen people who were recently in China have been quarantined in Punjab and are being monitored for the coronavirus. Of them, a 28-year-old banker from Mohali has been admitted at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) here, while the others have been quarantined at their homes. No positive case has been confirmed in the state so far. Two suspected cases of the virus have also been reported from the neighbouring state of Haryana.
Dr Gagandeep Grover, Punjab state programme officer, integrated disease surveillance programme said, "Four cases are from Amritsar. Of these, one is a medical student and two other people who came from Canada had a halt in China for a few hours only. But they were found to have no symptoms and have been quarantined at their houses. We are keeping a close watch on them. Four others who came to Mohali from Canada also had a halt in China. All the travellers who came from Canada are settled there and were visiting their families here," he said.
"People from Patiala, Ropar and Hoshiarpur who came from China are also being monitored," he said.
Sources said the banker had returned from China on January 22. He had gone to a province near Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus. After coming back, he went to Delhi where he developed uneasiness. He was rushed to the PGIMER on Monday after he suffered from high fever and headache. His family has also been quarantined at their house in Mohali. His blood samples have been sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune.
PRIMER Director Dr Jagat Ram said, "The patient has been kept under observation in isolation at the communicable disease ward. The ministry of health and family welfare has been alerted about the suspected case."
Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said, "The health department has alerted airports at Amritsar and Mohali to display an advisory for passengers of international flights for self-declaration regarding visits to China and other countries from where cases of coronavirus have been reported. Passengers having fever and breathing problems would be further supervised," he said.
Thermal sensors have also been installed at both the Amritsar and Mohali airports. Similar measures are to be implemented at the Attari-Wagah Joint Check Post.
The state health department has urged that anyone who has travelled to China in the last 28 days should report this to the nearest district hospital or dial the helpline number 104 for further assistance.
The health department of the Chandigarh administration had also issued an advisory to hotels, asking them to immediately report about visitors from China, Thailand, Japan and South Korea and maintain their records.
The Haryana and Himachal Pradesh governments have also issued alerts in their respective states in this regard and hospitals have been told to take adequate measures besides setting up isolation wards.