Coronavirus: Two under watch in Mumbai

Henrietta Strickland
January 26, 2020

The Government of India informed that as of January 24, 20,844 passengers from 96 flights have been screened for coronavirus symptoms including 4,082 screened in 19 flights on Friday.

A statement from the Union Health Ministry said that one of the Mumbai patients had tested positive for Rhinovirus, while the other had a common cold.

Mumbai: Two persons, who were admitted to a civic hospital in Mumbai for possible exposure to novel coronavirus, have tested negative for the infection, while the blood sample of another person will be sent for testing to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune on Saturday, officials said.

A person from Ernakulam and another from Thiruvananthapuram district, both of whom who recently returned from China, has been kept under isolation in Kalamassery Medical College and at a government hospital in Thiruvananthapuram.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the new coronavirus an emergency for China but stopped short of declaring the epidemic of global concern.

The coronavirus has caused alarm because of its similarity to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which killed almost 650 people across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003. In more severe cases, it may lead to pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

Till now, no cases of the deadly infection have been detected through these screening efforts, a health department official said.

These are all people who have recently returned from China where the mystery virus has claimed more than 25 lives. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has created an isolation ward at the Kasturba hospital in Chinchpokli in South Mumbai.

Keskar said doctors at the Mumbai International Airport had been asked to send travellers returning from China to the isolation ward if they show any symptoms of the coronavirus.

Health minister K K Shylaja said instructions have been given to set up isolation wards in medical colleges, district hospitals and general hospitals in all districts.

"The isolation ward has been created for diagnosis and treatment of persons suspected to have the coronavirus infection", said Dr Padmaja Keskar, executive health officer of the BMC.

Though the World Health Organization (WHO) has not yet classified the virus as an global emergency considering the low number of overseas cases, however, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has called it "an emergency in China".

Doctors at the Mumbai global airport have been asked to send travelers returning from China to the isolation ward if they show any symptoms of the novel coronavirus, she said.

The two persons, who tested negative, had travelled to China.

India on Tuesday expanded thermal screening of passengers arriving from China including Hong Kong to seven airports for preventing any entry of 'Novel Corona Virus Disease (nCoV) in the country.

While most of the cases and all of the deaths have been in China, the virus has been detected in Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the United States.

"Four of them were found to be perfectly alright. As a precaution, two others who were suffering from a minor cold and cough have been admitted to the Kasturba Hospital in Mumbai and kept under monitoring", he said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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