PGIMER, Chandigarh, reports first suspected case of coronavirus
The patient had returned from China recently and has a history of travelling to the neighbouring country
Chandigarh: In the first suspected case of coronavirus infection in the tricity, a 28-year-old banker from Mohali has been quarantined at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh.
The patient with symptoms of coronavirus infection reported at the emergency unit of the institute on Monday morning. He had returned from China recently, and has a history of travelling to the neighbouring country in the past too, said doctors.
Kept in isolation in the communicable disease ward, he is under observation, said PGIMER director Dr Jagat Ram. “Higher-ups in the ministry of health and family welfare have been alerted about the suspected case,” he said.
According to hospital sources, the patient’s blood samples have been sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune.
“Test reports are expected in the next 24 hours. The line of treatment will be provided as per reports. We are prepared to deal with any kind of situation,” said a PGIMER spokesperson.
Earlier, the institute had called a meeting with department heads and hospital administration to take stock of the situation and preparedness on receiving such cases. The PGIMER has also advised doctors to postpone their visit to countries from where such cases are being reported.
Even the health administration of Chandigarh has issued an advisory to city hotels, asking them to immediately report about visitors from China, Thailand, Japan and South Korea and maintain their records.
Dr Gajinder Dewan, director health services, Chandigarh, said: “Arrangements for screening and isolation wards are in place. We are in a constant touch with the ministry of health and family welfare for the future line of action.”
The infection is being caused by a new type of coronavirus (novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV). Coronavirus is a large family of viruses with some causing common ailments such as cold and others leading to chronic diseases such as Middle East respiratory syndrome and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The main symptoms of the virus infection include severe fever, cough, shortness of breath, diarrhoea, congestion in nose and throat.
The deadly virus has claimed 80 lives with 2,744 confirmed cases in China so far. China on Monday announced an unprecedented extension of the Lunar New Year holidays in the latest attempt to contain the spread of the rapidly spreading coronavirus. As many as 43 cases have been reported from other countries with the US confirming the fifth case on Sunday. The highest number of cases, eight, have been reported from Thailand.
In India, at least a dozen people, including two Bengaluru residents, a Chinese national in Kolkata, a 19-year old MBBS student in Jaipur, a 36-year-old Mumbai resident, and a 29-year-old woman research scholar in Patna, have been kept under medical observation.