The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi and Kasturba hospital in Mumbai have set up isolation wards to deal with any cases of coronavirus landing on Indian shores. The move comes after reports that two passengers returning from China and showing signs of the viral infection were put under observation in Mumbai. Health department officials were reported by the PTI as saying that of the 1,789 screened for coronavirus since January 19 at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, only two individuals returning from China had shown signs of the suspected virus. No passenger returning from China or Wuhan had tested positive in the past 14 days, PTI quoted health officials as saying.
The isolation ward at Kasturba hospital was set up by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak in China, and this is where the two passengers who complained of mild cold and cough after returning from China were admitted, PTI reported Dr Padmaja Keskar, executive health officer of the BMC, as saying. Other than that, the Maharashtra government has asked private doctors also to flag and report to authorities any individual exhibiting symptoms similar to coronavirus. In Pune, a quarantine facility has been prepared at Naidu hospital, the report said.
Ward in AIIMS, Delhi
In the capital, AIIMS has set up a quarantine ward in anticipation of any suspected coronavirus case. The Director of AIIMS, Dr Randeep Guleria was quoted by ANI as saying that the institution was well-prepared to take care of patients infected by the coronavirus. Apart from an isolation ward, the hospital has kept ready stocks of surgical masks and hand sanitizers for caregivers and healthcare workers, and all measures were in place to ensure that the infection did not spread, Dr Guleria told ANI.
As per the World Health Organisation, coronavirus leads to symptoms ranging from fever, cough, breathing difficulties to shortness of breath. The virus is a part of a family of a large group of viruses that lead to common cold, flu to acute respiratory syndrome in certain cases, but the strain that has lead to deaths in China is a rare virus, PTI reported.
Maharashtra health department’s surveillance officer, Dr Pradeep Awate, was quoted in the report as saying that apart from China, cases of coronavirus have also been reported from Thailand, Japan, South Korea and from the United States. He added that in the next 28 days authorities will follow-up with all passengers returning from the countries that have reported coronavirus cases to check whether they have developed any symptoms connected with coronavirus. There is no cause for panic, Dr Awate told PTI, as no case of the coronavirus has yet been reported in the country.