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Coronavirus watch: Juhu man becomes 5th to be quarantined

By Rupsa Chakraborty
PUBLISHED ON JAN 29, 2020 12:58 AM IST

A 49-year-old Juhu resident, who had returned from Wuhan, China, last week, was quarantined at Kasturba Hospital in Chinchpokli on Tuesday after developing symptoms similar to the new strain of coronavirus – nCOV. The number of suspected coronavirus cases has now reached five in the city.

The samples of the Juhu resident was sent to National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, for analysis. On January 21, the civic body health officials had kept the businessman under observation after he landed from China. On January 24, he developed cough and fever along with hypertension. Currently, he has been administered with medicines for fever and cough. The further course of treatment will be decided on the basis of his medical report the Pune institute.

Four other patients who had been quarantined had tested negative in the first report. BMC had sent the samples of three of the four patients again for testing, but is yet to get them back.

Explaining the delay in getting the reports, a senior health officer from the civic body said, “All the reports across the state are being sent to the Pune laboratory. So it will take time to run secondary tests. The priority of the laboratory is to provide the first test report of suspected patients.”

As per the state government officials, NIV received 20 samples from across the country in the past one week till Monday.

Three other Mumbaiites who visited China but showed no symptoms of coronavirus are kept under telephonic observation by BMC health officials.

BMC has formed a team of epidemiologists, microbiologists, medicine, chest specialists, who would be assigned at Kasturba Hospital in case of an outbreak. BMC health officials along with state public health officials held a meeting with representatives of private hospitals to discuss guidelines on the coronavirus. BMC informed private super-specialty hospitals that if required civic patients would be sent to isolation wards in private hospitals.

Additional civic commissioner (health) Suresh Kakani said, “We have asked Jaslok Hospital, Bombay Hospital and Lilavati Hospital and other private hospitals to inform us if any of their patients show symptoms similar to coronavirus. Also, they have been informed that if required, we might send our patients to their isolation wards.”

Dr Ramesh Bharmal, director of the major civic hospitals said that central government rules do not allow private hospitals to admit patients during such outbreaks and the state and BMC are responsible for the patients. “Patients can be sent to private hospitals only if we run out of isolation beds in case of an outbreak,” he said.

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