Coronavirus in India? Two who returned from China under watch in Mumbai; isolation ward set up

Simran Kashyap

Mumbai, Jan 24: Two persons who returned from China were kept under medical observation here for possible exposure to the novel coronavirus which has infected a large number of people in the neighbouring country, a BMC health officer said on Friday.

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak in China, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has created an isolation ward at its Kasturba hospital in Chinchpokali.

"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. Keskar said civic health authorities have been kept two persons, who returned from China, under observation for mild cough and exhibiting cold-related symptoms.

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Further details about the persons kept under surveillance were awaited. She said doctors at the Mumbai International Airport have been asked to send travellers returning from China to the isolation ward if they show any symptoms of the coronavirus.

"All private doctors in the city have been asked to alert us (the BMC) if they observe symptoms of the coronavirus in anyone who has returned from China," she said.

According to Kasturba Hospital sources, they have received detailed instructions from the Maharashtra government about the coronavirus and how to deal with the illness and they have been instructed to strictly follow those.

The coronavirus is a large family of viruses that causes illnesses ranging from the common cold to acute respiratory syndromes, but the virus that has killed people in China is a novel strain and not seen before. Common symptoms of the novel coronavirus strain include respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties, according to the WHO.

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