As many as 1.21 lakh passengers have been screened for coronavirus at the Delhi airport between January 15 and March 3, as per data collated by the Delhi government’s health department.
These include passengers from China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Nepal, Indonesia, Malaysia, Iran and Italy. On Tuesday, 4,735 passengers were screened at the airport.
Data also showed that 30 symptomatic passengers have been hospitalised at two Centre-run hospitals as of March 3 — six in RML and 24 in Safdarjung. A total of 116 people who tested negative for the virus have been advised isolation at home.
The two hospitals have been made the nodal centres for offering treatment to patients suspected to have coronavirus.
Meanwhile, health authorities have swung into action after a 46-year-old man, with a travel history to Italy, tested positive for the virus.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Tuesday said: “The rising problem of coronavirus was also discussed in the meeting with the Prime Minister. There is an outbreak of the disease in India as well, with one case being reported in Delhi and one in Telangana. The Centre and Delhi government will work together to prevent an outbreak of the deadly disease. We have to work together.”
Kejriwal also called an emergency meeting to take stock of preparations at hospitals in the capital.
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said 3.5 lakh N95 masks were being arranged and that the government has 8,000 separation kits for staff treating coronavirus patients.
“Over 10,000 people have been quarantined so far. This is a new infection but there is no need to panic. We are taking all possible steps to keep Delhi safe. Isolation wards are being readied in 25 hospitals, including 19 government and six private hospitals. Around 230 beds have been earmarked for coronavirus patients,” said Jain.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said the Delhi government was trying to get in touch with people who could be infected or were in contact with the man who tested positive.
At Safdarjung, the administration has earmarked over 100 beds for patients, while 30 bed have been set aside at RML hospital. The Delhi government-run Lok Nayak Hospital said it has all the facilities to deal with the patient load.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). The new strain, COVID-19, originated in Wuhan, China, in December and has led to 2,943 deaths in the country.
Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, it can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.
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