Quarantine, isolation facilities for Indians returning from Coronavirus-hit Wuhan
A special flight of Air India on Friday left for Wuhan city in China’s central Hubei province to evacuate hundreds of Indians from the epicentre.Updated: Jan 31, 2020 18:59 IST
The government has set up two facilities in Delhi and neighbouring Haryana to screen hundreds of people, who will be evacuated from Wuhan, the epicentre of the rapidly spreading outbreak of the novel coronavirus in China.
HT on Thursday had broken the story on a special facility being created near Haryana’s Manesar by the defence ministry and facilities in other parts of the National Capital Region by the ITBP and labour ministry on the request of the Union health ministry as the country was preparing to deal with the outbreak.
“The students can be monitored for a duration of two weeks by a qualified team of doctors and staff members, to watch for any signs of infection,” a source in the defence ministry in the know of things said.
A special flight of Air India on Friday left for Wuhan city in China’s central Hubei province to evacuate hundreds of Indians from the epicentre.
The flight may return to Delhi from Wuhan at 2am on Saturday and another special flight may leave from Delhi on Saturday, a spokesperson of Air India said.
One of the specially-prepared facilities has been set by the Indian Army in Manesar near Delhi to screen approximately 300 Indian students arriving from Wuhan. And, the other is a 600-bed hospital in west Delhi identified by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) as an isolation area.
“The Indian Army has acted swiftly and created a facility near Manesar where the students can be monitored for a duration of two weeks by a qualified team of doctors and staff members, to watch for any signs of infection,” the force said in a statement.
A joint team of the Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) and Airport Health Authority (APHO) will screen the students in a two-step process at the airport.
“The first one being screening at the airport followed by quarantine at Manesar and if any individual is suspected to be infected, he/she will be shifted to the isolation ward at Base Hospital Delhi Cantonment (BHDC),” it said.
Process of identification
They will be classified into three groups of “suspect case” showing any signs of fever, cough, or respiratory distress, “close contact and non-contact case and will be treated accordingly.
A close contact person, who is without symptoms but may have visited a seafood, animal market or a health facility or come into contact with a Chinese with symptoms in the last 14 days will be “escorted in an earmarked vehicle directly to the quarantine facility”.
A non-contact case, who is without any symptom or contact or “who does not fit into either (a) or (b) will also be clubbed along with the close contact category and sent to the quarantine facility.”
“After 14 days, persons with no symptoms will be allowed to go home with their detailed documentation sent to the District/ State surveillance units for further surveillance. Those found infected will be shifted to BHDC’s isolation ward for further medical exams and recovery,” the army said.
“Samples for viral confirmation will be sent to NCDC, Delhi and patients will be discharged only after clinical recovery and two successive negative samples tested for n-COV,” it said.
The statement said no one—civilians or serving personnel working inside the facility—will be allowed to go outside unless under extreme emergency situation.
ITBP also said a team of doctors will be assigned at the hospital it has ear-marked near Chhawla Camp, 20 minutes from the airport.
“ITBP has created a facility swiftly near ITBP Chhawla Camp for quarantine of approximately 600 Indian families arriving from Wuhan, China. The families will be monitored by a qualified team of doctors to watch for any signs of the infection,” ITBP spokesperson Vivek Pandey said.
“ITBP will be hosting them from the airport to the camp. All basic amenities—fooding, lodging and wifi etc will be provided to the people. ITBP doctors and personnel will be present to look after the people here. An expert team of ITBP and Safdurjang Hospital doctors with sufficient medicines are already placed,” he said.
The WHO early on Friday declared the ongoing outbreak that originated in China but has spread to at least 17 countries as an international public health emergency (PHEIC).
The Geneva-based agency’s declaration came after the death toll from the novel coronavirus outbreak jumped to 213 across China with at least 42 new deaths reported from Hubei province where Wuhan is.
The number of infections in the country has crossed the 9000-mark with more 1200 new infections reported from Hubei.
There are 5806 cases of the epidemic in Hubei alone, provincial health officials said on Friday morning in the first update on the spreading virus.