BHUBANESHWAR: An Indian couple, working in a Singaporean cargo ship, was on Tuesday admitted to a hospital in Odisha after the man developed mild fever on its arrival at Paradip port here from China where the coronavirus death toll has reached 2,943, official sources said.
The authorities of the Paradip port referred the couple hailing from Uttar Pradesh to the SCB Medical College Hospital (SCBMCH) in Cuttack after their screening.
The cargo ship with 23 crew members, including the couple, started their voyage from China on February 15 and arrived at Paradip Port on March 1.
The ship also travelled to South Korea and Singapore en route. It was found during a medical checkup that the man had developed mild fever, said Port Hospital's chief medical officer Prahallad Panda.
Since the ship travelled through some countries hit by the deadly novel coronavirus, the couple has been referred to the SCBMCH, he said.
"Before shifting them to the SCBMCH, the man and his wife had been quarantined in the ship itself," he said.
Though none of the other 21 crew members showed any symptoms of the disease during tests, they have been told not to disembark from the ship, Panda said.
Replying to a question, the chief medical officer said the port authorities have also decided to suspend loading and unloading from the ship and keep it anchored in sea till the blood and swab sample reports of the patient is available.
"Nobody from the land will go to the ship nor anyone will come out of it. If required, doctors will visit the anchored ship," Panda said.
SCBMCH emergency officer B N Maharana said the couple has been admitted to the isolation ward meant for suspected coronavirus patients. Their blood and swab samples will be collected, he said.
Meanwhile, Health and Family Welfare Minister N K Das said, "The state is fully prepared to face any situation. Special wards have been opened in all the district hospitals. Though eight samples were sent for examination from the state, all of them tested negative."
The Odisha government has asked the authorities of both Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar and Veer Surendra Sai Airport at Jharsuguda to undertake thorough screening of all the travellers coming to Odisha, he said.
The Airports Authority of India has also issued a similar direction, said B V Rao, director of the airport in Bhubaneswar.
Till Monday, 115 travellers who returned from coronavirus affected countries after January 15, have been identified by the State Surveillance System and kept under home quarantine, an official in the health department said.