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6th person quarantined in city had travelled to different parts of China

By Rupsa Chakraborty, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON JAN 30, 2020 12:19 AM IST

A 19-year-old was admitted to the isolation ward at Kasturba Gandhi Hospital on Wednesday after complaining of a running nose and other symptoms of a common cold, similar to those of the new strain of coronavirus (nCOV). The total number of quarantined patients in Mumbai has now risen to six. No one has tested positive for nCoV in Maharashtra so far.

The sixth patient is a 19-year-old resident of Dahisar. He has been living in Shanghai since August 2019 and returned to Mumbai on January 16. Prior to his return, he had travelled to different parts of China, including Changsha city, which is approximately 350 kilometres from Wuhan, where the epidemic originated. The teenager was admitted to the isolation ward on January 28 after he complained of a cold. His samples have been sent for testing to National Institute of Virology (NIV), in Pune.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said it expected to discharge three of quarantined patients who have tested negative for nCoV. “We will discharge the first three quarantined patients but keep track over telephone as per instructions provided by the Central government,” said Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner health, BMC.

The fourth and fifth quarantined patients have also tested negative for nCoV in the first round and the BMC is waiting for a second set of reports from NIV. The fifth patient, who was admitted on Tuesday, is the first to have returned from Wuhan.

Aside from the six in Mumbai, three patients have been quarantined at Pune’s Naidu Hospital and two are under observation in Nanded’s district government hospital.

All state district hospitals and government-run medical colleges have been instructed to set up isolation rooms.

“We have sent letters to all super-specialty hospitals across the state. If they give us written consent, patients would be referred to them according to their demand,” said Dr Archana Patil, additional director of health services, state family welfare bureau. Dr Gautam Bhansali, consultant senior physician at Bombay Hospital said all private hospitals have been instructed to keep their isolation wards ready in case of an outbreak.

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