After the threat of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) sparked fears in the country,the BMC received a circular from the Central government warning it to stay vigilant.
MERS belongs to the same family as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and has so far spread in Saudi Arabia,Jordan,Qatar,Tunisia,and the United Arab Emirates,as well as several European countries.
According to Additional Municipal Commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar,the civic body has already notified all public and private hospitals to stay alert. We have asked hospitals and dispensaries to stay vigilant and take cases of common cold,flu,shortness of breath and respiratory problems seriously. In case the patient has travel history to Saudi,he is immediately supposed to be isolated.
The samples of H1N1 or suspected unusual cases will be sent to National Institute of Virology,Pune,for testing.
According to BMCs epidemiology cell chief Dr Mangala Gomare,so far no guidelines for treatment of the disease have been sent by the government. Mhaiskar said they will receive the treatment guidelines shortly. There is no reason to worry as of now but we will take all precautionary measures, she said.
According to Dr Sagar Sakle,spokesperson at Bombay Hospital,chances of Haj pilgrims contracting the virus are higher since hordes reach India from Saudi,which is the epicenter of the virus.