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Coronavirus precaution: Tardeo man is fourth to be quarantined

By Rupsa Chakraborty
PUBLISHED ON JAN 27, 2020 11:51 PM IST

A 36-year-old resident of Tardeo was quarantined at Mumbai’s Kasturba Gandhi Hospital on Sunday after he developed cold and fever, symptoms of the new strain of the coronavirus (nCoV) that has so far, led to 81 deaths in China. He is the fourth person to be quarantined in the city. In all, five patients – including one in Pune’s Naidu Hospital – have been quarantined in Maharashtra because they exhibited symptoms linked to nCoV.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) health department said the decision to quarantine was a precautionary measure. The 36-year-old had travelled to Shanghai and Guangzhou, in China, between January 3 and 11. When he returned to India, he did not show any symptoms, but on Sunday night, he complained of fever and was taken to the isolation ward at Kasturba Gandhi Hospital.

“We decided to keep him under observation as a precaution. But he hasn’t travelled to affected provinces so we believe it’s just a case of viral fever,” said Dr Padmaja Keskar, executive health officer, BMC. The patient’s medical sample has been sent to National Institute of Virology (NIV) for analysis.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, NIV confirmed that the third suspected patient from Mumbai had tested as negative for nCoV. The patient, a 61-year-old resident of Nallasopara, had developed cold and fever after a trip to Hong Kong, which has not reported any confirmed case of coronavirus. The patient was quarantined as a precautionary measure.

BMC will conduct another test on the three quarantined patients who have tested negative and if they test negative the second time, they will be discharged.

On Monday, an official from the Union ministry of health said those who have tested negative may be discharged from hospital. “Our guidelines already state that a person who has been isolated on suspicion of having novel coronavirus infection can be discharged when their sample comes back negative. The only reason someone might not have been discharged is if there is a doubt in the sample and a second sample has to be drawn,” said the official on condition of anonymity.

BMC has kept another three people on observation through telephonic follow-up. These three landed in Mumbai on Sunday, after visiting China. Since they are not exhibiting any symptoms, they have not been quarantined and are only under telephonic observation. On Monday, BMC increased the strength of the isolation ward to 28 from 20. In case of emergency, the bed strength may be increased to 200.

After a meeting on Monday with experts from NIV, officials said the state health and aviation departments would track all passengers who flew in from China between January 1-17 to check if they have developed any symptoms of nCoV. From January 18-26 , 3,756 people from Maharashtra, who have travelled recently to China, were inspected for symptoms of nCoV. Of these, 15 in the state have been kept on telephonic observation.

For more information on nCoV, call the state health helpline (104).

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