Coronavirus: Delhi civic bodies step up watch on hotels

Ananya Tiwari

Officials are keeping a watch on visitors from China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan. (Photo: ANI)

In a bid to ensure coronavirus does not spread in the capital, medical rapid response teams have been visiting hotels and guesthouses in Central Delhi and reviewing visitors arriving from China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand over the past week, said Dr Ramesh Kumar, director of the public health department of the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC).

Two rapid response teams comprising a doctor, a nurse and a paramedic, have been visiting guesthouses and reviewing if visitors are showing flu-like symptoms, such as mild fever, headache, cough and cold.

Hotels and guesthouses have also been directed to inform the NDMC if they get visitors from these countries. Similar instructions have been issued by the North, South and East MCDs.

In NDMC areas, reports are being sent to the Delhi government’s health department daily. “Guests are being given a form to fill. No positive case has come up so far,” said Kumar.

Samples of visitors exhibiting symptoms are sent to the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme — an IT-enabled disease surveillance system instituted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for handling initial stages of epidemic-prone diseases, such as coronavirus.

Awareness has been spread in hotels and guesthouses since the outbreak began in December, said Kumar. Pre-emptive measures such as washing of hands, covering nose while coughing or sneezing, avoiding contact with those exhibiting flu-like symptoms, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs, and avoiding contact with live wild and farm animals are being highlighted in the NDMC’s awareness campaigns.

Meanwhile, North, South and East municipal corporations too have issued instructions to all registered hotels, motels and guest houses to give information about visitors from flagged countries. Whether they are foreign nationals or Indians, the information has to be provided, said an official.