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India quarantines seventy foreigners

Two visiting Australians developed SARS-like symptoms in Hyderabad while 70 other foreigners were quarantined.

india Updated: May 05, 2003 13:35 IST

Two Australians, who came to India via Thailand, developed suspected SARS symptoms in Hyderabad while 70 other foreigners were quarantined in a hostel in Secunderabad even as Union Health Minister Sushma Swaraj reviewed arrangements for screening for possible carriers of the disease at the international airport in New Delhi here.

Wilcox Look Charles (19) and Robert Jsongudall (18) were admitted to Chest and Tuberculosis Hospital in Hyderabad following complaints of fever and cough, hospital sources said.

Blood samples of both SARS suspects were sent to National Institute of Virology to test the presence of SARS virus, they said adding X-ray reports of both the patients showed that their lungs were clear.

Seventy other foreign nationals were quarantined at Young Men's Christian Association in Secunderabad as a measure of abundant caution even though preliminary investigations showed they were free of SARS virus, the sources said.

Both the Australians are members of the 19-member cultural troupe that arrived in Hyderabad on May 1 from Thailand via Mumbai.

Meanwhile, the Maharashtra government declared the state totally free from SARS and said the only patient, who is suspected to have contracted the disease, is likely to be discharged on Monday.

The patient, a software professional, who had returned from China, has not shown any symptoms even though he had tested positive for the corona virus, Deputy Director of Health Pune circle, Dr BP Gaikwad said.

The decision to dequarantine them was taken after a high- power committee meeting, held under the chairmanship of the state minister Digvijay Khanvilkar, he said.

As on May 3, a total of 6234 probable cases and 435 deaths have been reported from 27 countries, a Health Ministry release said here on Sunday.

First Published: May 05, 2003 00:00 IST