In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak in China which has left 17 dead, hospitals in Delhi are gearing up to deal with any suspected cases. The Union Health Ministry had directed all state governments to review preparedness and plug loopholes in surveillance.
Called “2019-nCoV”, coronavirus is a family of viruses that can cause illnesses ranging from common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome which killed 349 people in mainland China and 299 in Hong Kong between 2002 and 2003. Those infected could experience flu-like symptoms, including fever, cough, shortness of breath, or a sore throat.
Dr Minakshi Bharadwaj, medical superintendent of RML Hospital, said: “We are the nodal hospital for treating any patient infected with the virus. A separate isolation ward has been created for patients.”
“We are collecting samples of anyone coming in with cough and cold. The samples, as per guidelines, are either sent to the ICMR lab or NIV-Pune. We have trained doctors and nurses to ensure there is no delay in providing the tests. We are following all WHO guidelines,” said Dr Kishore Singh, medical director of Lok Nayak Hospital. According to the WHO, there is no clear evidence of human to human contact. However, epidemiological parameters like source of infection, modes of transmission, are being investigated.
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