The National Institute of Virology (NIV) has ruled out the presence of novel coronavirus in all 22 samples that have been sent to the apex Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) institute. According to highly-placed sources at ICMR, all 22 samples have tested negative. Results will be declared accordingly by state health authorities, sources said.
According to reports, the death toll due to the coronavirus outbreak has gone past 100 with the number of confirmed cases having jumped to over 4,500 so far. While India is yet to report a case of the deadly virus, state health authorities said till January 27, a total of 3,997 passengers have been screened at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai.
Of these, 18 are from Maharashtra. Five people who had returned from China and had mild cough with fever, were quarantined at Kasturba hospital. Of those, three samples have tested negative for coronavirus. While two persons from Pune were kept under observation at Naidu hospital, one more has been kept under observation at government medical college at Nanded. The sample of the Nanded resident was sent to NIV for further tests on Tuesday.
The NIV has ruled out presence of coronavirus in one sample of a Pune resident, who returned from China and was quarantined at Naidu hospital since Monday. “We are awaiting the result of the second sample of the Pune resident, who has been quarantined following mild symptoms of cough and fever post his return from China,” said Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) health chief Ramchandra Hankare. He added that the second patient too was out of danger, but an official report was awaited.
“We have got the official report from NIV of the first sample, which has tested negative. The patient will be discharged on Wednesday morning after a medical check up,” Hankare said. Both persons were kept under observation at the isolation ward in Naidu hospital. “There are four special rooms in the isolation ward,” Hankare said, adding that so far, both patients looked stable and were able to move around in their room. “Our doctors and nurses are checking on them. The situation is under control,” Hankare added.
The two Pune residents — one a man in his 50s and another in his 30s — after they had returned from Shanghai and a city near Wuhan, respectively, on January 10 and January 13 had decided to report to health authorities after suffering from mild cough and fever.
Late on Tuesday night, a 29-year-old employee with a Pune firm, who arrived in Mumbai on January 18 after a week-long stay in China, was kept at the isolation ward at Naidu hospital.
He had visited Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, during his stay. “He showed symptoms of cough, cold, fever and bodyache and has been kept under observation at the isolation ward at Naidu Hospital. His throat swab will be sent to NIV on Wednesday,” Hankare said.
Meanwhile, the state Health department has stepped up its vigil. “To raise the awareness among surveillance officers, doctors and nurses have been issued guidelines on case definitions, basic infection prevention control measures and standard precautions to be followed during the care and treatment of suspected patients with novel coronavirus,” state surveillance officer Dr Pradeep Awate said.
A series of meetings were also held at B J Medical College and Sassoon General hospital and a workshop will be held for students and doctors on the preventive measures to be taken, said Dr Murlidhar Tambe, acting dean of the college.
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