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Coronavirus: Hospitals told to keep isolation ward on standby

PUBLISHED ON JAN 30, 2020 08:15 PM IST

The district health department has asked major private hospitals in the city to create isolation wards for patients suspected to be suffering from the coronavirus infection, said officials.

According to the health department, an eight-bed ward has been kept on the standby at the district government hospital in Sector 10. “Hospitals that see high footfall daily have been asked to keep a close watch and keep a section on standby for suspected cases. If any patient is admitted with symptoms of the infection, hospitals are required to inform the health department,” said Dr Ram Prakash Rai, district epidemiologist.

He added that blood and throat swab samples of suspected patients from Gurugram will be sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune for testing.

Earlier, private hospitals were asked to report instances of severe acute respiratory infections and influenza-like illnesses to the health department. Hospitals were also asked to make staff aware of the symptoms and to follow the infection prevention control measures.

Coronavirus can cause pneumonia, with symptoms including fever and difficulty in breathing. Cases of coronavirus were initially reported from Wuhan, a Chinese city having a population more than 11 million. Since then, at least 170 people have died of the virus in China in less than a month and over 1,700 cases have been reported there.

Meanwhile, two Gurugram residents were kept under close observation earlier this week for exhibiting symptoms of the infection.

Officials of the health department said the two men — residents of DLF area and Sushant Lok — had returned from China last week and had cold, cough and wheezing. They were screened by airport authorities in Delhi and later released, said officials.

However, the residents are being monitored closely by the department, said officials.

Representatives of private hospitals said that patients with influenza-like symptoms are being screened multiple times and being categorised on the basis of severity. Patients with similar symptoms are also being asked about their travel history and about contact with suspected coronavirus patients.

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