THE condition of a 59-year-old Philippines national, who tested positive for COVID-19 on March 13, remains critical in Kasturba hospital with the man suffering from septicaemia and on ventilator support.
The Philippines national, part of a group of nine Philippines nationals, came to New Delhi on March 3. The group of 10, including one Indian national, was visiting the country as part of a preaching group, scheduled to travel across the country visiting mosques. They came to a mosque in Navi Mumbai on March 10.
On March 12 afternoon, he developed symptoms of flu and was first taken to a local doctor. He has a history of constructive obstructive pulmonary distress (a respiratory condition) and the doctor referred him to Kasturba hospital. After he tested positive on March 13, all nine close contacts in the group were admitted in the quarantine ward in Kasturba hospital; of them two Philippines nationals, aged 42 and 47, tested positive. The group is in India on a 40-day tourist visa.
The 59-year-old’s condition deteriorated on Tuesday. “He also has diabetes and hypertension, we have kept him on ventilator support,” said Dr Daksha Shah, deputy executive health officer, BMC. Kasturba hospital has four invasive and four non-invasive ventilators which may prove to fall short if demand increases. COVID-19 is known to hit senior citizens with co-morbid diseases the worst.
According to Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation officials, for three days inspection of the mosque was carried out after the Philippines national tested positive. Three low risk contacts have been put under home isolation for 14 days. “The remaining group that tested negative lived in Madanpura after discharge,” an official said.
A member of the Navi Mumbai mosque said the entire group remained in a separate room, and offered their prayers separately as well. “None of them participated in community prayers. He (the 59-year-old) did not participate in any community prayers and remained in a room as he did not feel well,” the member said.
Six in the group have now left for Delhi and will be flying to Philippines this week, a member said.
While the ground floor area of the mosque is not being used, the other floors are open for regular prayers. “We have been informing people after every prayer five times a day regarding the symptoms and precautions to be taken and reporting to medical authorities if any symptoms are seen,” a member said. A press statement issued by the NMMC on March 15 after the 59-year-old tested positive gave details of the mosque as well as the complete address of the remaining group’s location after they had tested negative, which locals said caused a lot of panic. The NMMC later issued another statement saying they will refrain from making details of confirmed cases public in future.
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