Maharashtra: 63-yr-old had visited Surat, apartment in quarantine

Tabassum Barnagarwala, Laxman Singh
coronavirus, coronavirus infection, coronavirus outbreak, coronavirus cases in mumbai, coronavirus new cases in mumbai, coronavirus news, indian express

Since January 17, 1876 people in Maharashtra have been admitted with suspected coronavirus symptoms. Of them 1,592 have tested negative so far. (File)


As Maharashtra’s positive cases jumped to 76, with 12 new cases detected on Sunday, six surfaced in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. One of these was the wife of the 63-year-old businessman. She was shifted from Kasturba hospital to HN Reliance hospital on Sunday. A 32-year-old man and his wife, aged 30, who had returned from the US, tested positive in Kasturba hospital. A 21-year-old youngster, who travelled from Edinburgh, also tested positive on Sunday.

A 60-year-old woman, who had travelled to Saudi Arabia, tested positive. And a 35-year-old man from Navi Mumbai tested positive after visiting Istanbul. The man who died had travelled to Surat and returned by train earlier this March. He developed symptoms of fever about 13 days ago. On March 19, he was rushed to HN Reliance hospital in a breathless condition. He was immediately admitted as an emergency case, his nasal swab was taken and sent to Kasturba hospital after doctors found he suffered from acute respiratory distress, a classic symptom of Covid-19.

His nasal swab tested positive on Saturday. His wife, aged 64, also tested positive and remains admitted in Kasturba hospital.

His condition remained critical since hospitalisation. He also had high blood pressure, ischemic heart disease and diabetes. He was put on ventilator support. On March 21 night he developed acute respiratory distress syndrome and passed away by 11 pm.

A spokesperson of HN Reliance hospital said, "The patient was moved to negative pressure isolation ICU the moment we suspected him for COVID- 19. All our healthcare staff were tested and taken care of by hospital providing them immediate quarantine . All of them have tested negative as of now."

Following this case and a spike in coronavirus infections in city, doctors in the hospital will begin to do video conferencing with patients in three-four days. “This is to ensure lesser number of patients visit hospital. We are using technology to reach a larger pool of patients in a shorter time,” said Dr Tarang Gianchandani, CEO, HN Reliance hospital. The hospital intensive care unit was also disinfected. Confirming the death, Dr Daksha Shah, deputy executive health officer, BMC, said, "He tested positive for Covid-19 yesterday. His sample had come from private hospital."

On Saturday civic officials took a detailed statement from family to understand the businessman’s movements of last 14 days but found nothing. They suspect he came in contact of an infected person either in Surat, in train or in Mumbai. “So far we have not managed to find a confirmed case who came in contact,” said a civic official. "Since the man did not have any foreign travel history his family thought it could be normal flu. After he tested positive all of them taken by surprise,” said another official. Officials said that they are facing difficulty in getting more details of the businessman as the family members are not in a state to speak after his demise.

"We are checking whether any other person from his family or his office had international travel history,” a civic official said. The businessman’s office in H East ward (Santacruz and Khar) has been sealed and ward officers have been asked to inquire with his staff members on Monday. “Since offices are shut today, by Monday we will start tracking,” said an official from the BMC.

The BMC has advised all residents of the Malabar Hill building in which the man lived to remain at home for 14 days and immediately inform if anyone develops symptoms.

A team of BMC officials visited the locality on Saturday as well as on Sunday and disinfected the premises using sodium hypochlorite. Officials said that nasal swab of three close contacts of the couple have been taken for testing Covid-19 infection. The close contacts include their daughter, grand daughter and businessman’s father who used to visit the family frequently. “He did not stay with them. But his father is in high risk as he is into his nineties,” said a civic official.

The state officials suspect this could be a case of community transmission but have not labelled it so. “We are not calling it community transmission yet. We will first investigate to find a close contact that may have transferred the virus,” said Anup Kumar Yadav, director National Health Mission, Maharashtra. “In a community transmission, there will be exponential spike in number of cases. That has not happened yet,” he added. With Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation starting isolation facilities in multiple hospitals, at least 471 people with cough, cold and fever visited these facilities for screening on Sunday. Currently Rajawadi, Kurla Bhabha, Bandra Bhabha, Jogeshwari Trauma Centre, and Kasturba have opened isolation wards for patients.

On Sunday 156 people with suspected symptoms of coronavirus were admitted in Mumbai hospitals.

In Maharashtra, Pune recorded six new Covid-19 cases. Six contacts of a 41-year-old anganwadi worker who had tested positive for Coronavirus two days ago were, on Sunday, found to have been infected with the virus. Five of them were her close family members, while the sixth was a woman employee of IT major Infosys working at the company’s Pune office.

Since January 17, 1876 people in Maharashtra have been admitted with suspected coronavirus symptoms. Of them 1,592 have tested negative so far.

State epidemiologist Dr Pradeep Awate said each district hospital and medical college has set up an isolation facility to treat Covid-19 cases. “Till now, 791 people have visited quarantine centres in various hospitals. Of them 273 were advised home quarantine,” Awate said. The remaining 518 people were admitted to hospital quarantine till date.