February 2, 2020 2:43:43 am
None of the 324 Indian nationals who reached the capital on Saturday after being evacuated from China’s Wuhan— the epicentre of a coronavirus outbreak — have tested positive for the virus. Over half of them were taken to the 300-bed isolation centre set up by the Indian Army at Manesar, while the remaining were taken to a quarantine facility in Chhawla Camp on Saturday.
“None of the evacuees brought to India tested positive for coronavirus. A total of 220 people were sent to Manesar, and the remaining to the quarantine centre set up at Chhawla camp in Delhi by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police,” said an army officer.
Officials said the evacuees sent to Manesar will be kept there for a fortnight and monitored daily for signs of the virus. The facility is being administered by an officer-in-charge, who heads a team comprising a community medicine specialist, a woman medical officer, two nursing officers and a nursing assistant. All of them, with the rest of the healthcare and housekeeping staff at the facility, have been given personal protective equipment like masks, shoe covers, gowns, gloves, and eye shields, which they are expected to wear at all times.
The residents and any visitors, will have to wear a “three layered mask”. At the end of 14 days, evacuees who don’t display any symptom will be allowed to return home. Their detailed documentation will be forwarded to the district and state surveillance units for further scrutiny.
If anyone appears infected, he or she will be moved to the isolation ward at the Base Hospital Delhi Cantonment, from where they will be discharged only after “clinical recovery” and when two successive samples test negative.
Meanwhile, a second Air India flight departed from Delhi Saturday to bring back more evacuees. “Another flight will depart from Delhi at 12.50 pm Saturday with a different set of crew and the same team of doctors. The rescue team is again headed by Captain Amitabh Singh, Director Operation, Air India,” the airline’s spokesperson Dhananjay Kumar said.
Crew in the flights to Wuhan will be isolated for a week in their respective homes, provided they show no symptoms. In the flight, they have been instructed to ensure minimum contact with passengers and use personal protective gear.
Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat reviewed the Manesar facility, and Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan also reviewed the state of preparedness to prevent an outbreak. The ITBP campus houses 87 women, 10 men and seven children under the age of 10. A team of 25 doctors — 15 from Safdarjung Hospital and 10 from ITBP —have been stationed at the premises. So far, no person has been admitted to the isolation ward.
“Initial investigations found all tests to be negative. Periodic check-ups are being done. Food, bed and basic requirements are being catered to. All passengers were screened at IGI Airport and a second screening was done by doctors at Chhawla facility,” said Vivek Kumar Pandey, ITBP spokesperson. Meanwhile, two new suspected patients were admitted to RML hospital — two men aged 23 and 46.
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