A Tardeo resident in Mumbai and a Pune resident have become the latest cases to be admitted in a quarantine ward on suspicion of novel coronavirus (nCoV), a new strain that has reported an outbreak in China. At least five remain in isolation facility and 15 others who visited Wuhan are under observation in Maharashtra till now.
The 36-year-old Tardeo resident complained of cough with a lot of sputum since five days. He developed fever on Saturday. On Sunday, he reached out to civic authorities with suspicion of having contracted the new strain of coronavirus. “We admitted him in Kasturba hospital yesterday (Sunday) night and sent his samples for testing today,” said Dr Padmaja Keskar, executive health officer in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
He had travelled to China between January 3 and January 11. He first stayed in Shanghai for four days and then travelled to Guangzhou for four days. Shanghai is 830 km from Wuhan, where most cases have been reported, and Guangzhou is over 980 km. While health officials said he had no history of contact with an infected person or suffered no illness during his trip, he developed cough after returning to India on January 11. He had taken a connecting flight via Hong Kong.
The Pune resident had visited Shanghai this month, and was moved to a quarantine facility in Naidu hospital, Pune, on Monday with symptoms of cough and cold. Both claimed they paid no visit to the local fish markets. The Huanan sea food market in Wuhan has been linked as the outbreak’s epicentre.
Meanwhile, three other residents admitted in Kasturba hospital tested negative for the novel coronavirus strain, reports from National Institute of Virology, Pune, have shown. Of them one is a UK national aged 65, one is a Kalyan resident aged 36 and third is a Nallasopara resident aged 31. “We will conduct a second confirmatory test on them and then discharge them if it comes negative,” Keskar said.
Until now, no case has tested positive for coronavirus in India. According to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, 33,553 passengers who travelled from China to India have been screened at airports. On Monday itself, 4,359 passengers were screened in 18 flights across India.
The novel coronavirus strain infection causes cough, cold, fever and pneumonia as initial symptoms. More than 2,700 people have contracted the infection with death toll touching 80 in China till Monday. Shanghai also reported a death due to the virus, and Hong Kong has started reporting multiple cases.
In Maharashtra, 3,756 passengers from China have been screened since January 17. On Monday a meeting with NIV experts and state health officials was held to monitor the screening mechanism. The state government now plans to reach out to Civil Aviation ministry to gather records of passengers who travelled from China to India between January 1, when the new viral strain was confirmed by World Health Organisation, till January 17. These passengers will be screened for coronavirus.
“We are majorly concerned about passengers coming from Wuhan as the outbreak has been reported there. If tests for the virus comes negative, we are symptomatically treating the cases and soon they will be discharged. Those who display no symptoms are contacted via telephone for follow up,” said Dr Archana Patil, from Directorate of Health Services.
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