A worker in protective suit uses a thermometer to check the temperature of a man while he enters the Xizhimen subway station, in Beijing, on Monday.(Reuters Photo)
A worker in protective suit uses a thermometer to check the temperature of a man while he enters the Xizhimen subway station, in Beijing, on Monday.(Reuters Photo)

Fourth person quarantined at Mumbai for suspected coronavirus symptoms

The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation has formed an expert team who would help the doctors in case of emergency or outbreak of corona virus.
Hindustan Times, Mumbai | By Rupsa Chakraborty
UPDATED ON JAN 27, 2020 01:46 PM IST

A 36-year-old resident of Tardeo, who had visited China recently, was quarantined at Mumbai’s Kasturba Gandhi Hospital on Sunday after he developed cold and fever, symptoms of the coronavirus. He is the fourth person in Mumbai to be quarantined in the hospital’s isolation ward.

The man had travelled to China on January 3, 2020, and returned on January 11, 2020 through Hong Kong. During his stay, he has visited Shanghai and Guangzhou which is almost 1,000 km away from Wuhan city, which has reported highest number of cases. Though he did not have any symptoms when he returned, he was observed by health workers through the telephone. On Sunday night, when he complained of fever, he was immediately rushed to the isolation ward at the hospital.

“The patient has fever for the last five days and on Sunday night, he also developed fever. So, 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, BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

His medical sample has been sent to National Institute of Virology for analysis. However, the report of the third suspected patient has come negative of the new strain of the coronavirus - nCOV.

A 61-year-old resident of Nalasopara was the third patient to be quarantined at the hospital for observation. He returned from Hong Kong on January 9 and developed cold and fever. Even though, Hong Kong hasn’t reported any confirmed case of coronavirus, the health officials kept him under observation as a precautionary measure.

“We haven’t got the report in hand which requires a series formalities but the institute informed us on Sunday that the third report has also being found negative. These reports would also be submitted to the central health department for their observation,” said Dr Padmaja Keskar, executive health officer, BMC.

BMC has kept another three people on observation through telephonic follow up who landed in Mumbai on Sunday after visiting China. But as they didn’t exhibite any symptoms like the three suspected quatentined patients, they have been kept on telephonic observation.

“Our health officials would follow up with them to check if they develop any symptoms of coronavirus. This is done as a precautionary measures,” added Dr Keskar.

One of the two admitted on Thursday is a 31-year-old marketing professional from Nalasopara, who had complained of body ache and cold two days after returning to Mumbai from Foshan, China, on January 21. Although she did not have any symptoms when she landed, she was in touch with public health officials on the telephone. On January 23, when she developed symptoms, she was moved to the Kasturba Gandhi Hospital.

The other patient at the facility was a 36-year-old man from Kalyan, an information technology professional, who had travelled to Guangzhou in China on January 16, when he already had cold and fever. He had been in contact with Indian public health officials over the phone. After taking medicines, his condition improved, but on January 22, when he landed in Mumbai, his body temperature was still high, so he was quarantined as a precaution.

However, as HT reported earlier, the three quatentined patients would be under observation at the hospital until the state health department formulates a discharge policy. “We are in talks with the experts from the central government in formulating a discharge policy for the suspected patients suffering from the new strain of coronavirus. Until then they would be kept under observation,” said Dr Archana Patil, Dr Archana Patil, additional director of health services, State Family Welfare Bureau.

For those with a weakened immune system, the elderly and the very young, there’s a chance the virus could cause a lower, and much more serious, respiratory tract illness like pneumonia or bronchitis. There are currently no vaccines available to protect one against human coronavirus infection or treatments for illnesses caused by it. On January 9, the World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed the outbreak of a new strain of coronavirus in Wuhan city, China.

In the meantime, BMC has formed an expert team consisting of epidemiologists, microbiologists, medicine, chest specialists who would be stationed at Kasturba hospital to deal with emergency or outbreak of coronavirus.

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