Coronavirus update: 1,169 contacts of Covid-19 infected doctor at Delhi mohalla clinic traced
Covid-19 update: The authorities have put out notices asking people to report to them in case they had visited the clinic of the doctor.Updated: Mar 27, 2020 16:03 IST
The Delhi government’s health department has asked over 1,169 people, who had come in contact with a Mohalla Clinic doctor in east Delhi, to remain in home quarantine for 14 days. Of these, most were patients who visited the clinic between March 12 and 18. Around 30 to 40 patients were those who visited the doctor’s private clinic in Old Seemapuri.
The 49-year-old doctor who worked at a Mohalla Clinic in north-east Delhi’s Maujpur had tested positive for Covid-19 on March 21. On Wednesday, his wife (48) and daughter (17) also tested positive for the infection. The doctor contracted the infection from a 38-year-old woman from Dilshad Garden, who had visited the doctor’s private clinic on March 12, with symptoms such as cough and fever.
The authorities have put out notices asking people to report to them in case they had visited the clinic of the doctor. The woman had also passed on the infection to her 65-year-old mother and 35-year-old brother living in Jahangirpuri. Two of her other relatives – sisters aged 24 and 26 – living in Dilshad Garden also got the infection from her. They tested positive on March 20 and 21.
In Jahangirpuri, a 35-year-old friend of the woman, who came in contact with her, has also tested positive.
These cases came to light after the Delhi government health workers started tracing the people the initial patient had come in contact with after her test came back positive on March 18. She had returned from Saudi Arabia on March 10. The health workers also traced over 1,200 people living in almost 470 houses in the area where she lived. All these people have been asked to remain home quarantine and call the surveillance officer in case they start developing symptoms.
“Since the woman was diagnosed on March 18, the health workers have gone door to door in the area to check whether anyone was symptomatic. They visited 450 to 500 houses – roughly 1,200 people – in the neighbourhood and all of them have been asked to remain in quarantine. Regular updates will be taken to check whether they develop any symptoms,” said an official from Delhi government’s health department.
As on Thursday, the Delhi government is monitoring 2,920 persons who came in contact with the 39 positive patients from Delhi, most of them are contacts of the 38-year-old woman and the Mohalla Clinic doctor.
Scotching apprehensions over availability of doctors at Mohalla Clinics, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday assured that the clinics will remain open.
“One of our doctors from Mohalla Clinic and his wife and daughter tested positive for Covid-19. This is sad. But, there is a misconception that the clinics will be shut. If we shut Mohalla Clinics, then people will have to go to hospitals,” Kejriwal said. There are 450 mohalla clinics in Delhi that provide free consultation, medicines, and 212 tests.
Four more cases reported
With four new cases on Thursday, the total number of cases in Delhi reached 39, according to the health department. Of these, only one person – a 32-year-old man from Jamia Nagar – is a Delhi resident. He had travelled to Dubai.
A 42-year-old man from Jammu and Kashmir, a 59-year-old man from Haryana and a 34-year old man from Bangaluru were the other who tested positive on Thursday. All of them are in government quarantine facilities. They had travel history to Iran, Spain and France, and Canada respectively.
So far, only one person has died in Delhi – the mother of a 46-year-old man from Janakpuri who had travelled to Japan, Switzerland and Italy.
Outbreak stage 2
There are four stages of an outbreak. Stage I is when cases are imported by travellers from other countries, Stage II is when these travellers then pass on the infection locally to people living or working around them, Stage III is when community transmission happens and the health care workers are unable to trace the source of infections, and the last Stage IV is when the disease is widespread in a population.
India is currently in the Stage II of the outbreak, according to the health ministry.
Knowing whether there is community transmission is important as people with undetected infection could lead to an explosion in cases like in Italy, where Covid-19 cases and related fatalities shot up suddenly when community transmission began. To detect community transmission, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the country’s apex health research body, has been conducting surveillance testing by lifting random samples of patients suffering from severe acute respiratory infections (SARI), including severe pneumonia.