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Tripura places order for N95 masks to combat novel coronavirus

N95 masks are special kind of breathing masks that help filter out virus or pathogens. The first batch of masks purchased through the National Health Mission (NHM) is expected to arrive on Monday.

Written by Debraj Deb | Agartala | Published: February 1, 2020 10:40:41 pm
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As the first batch of Indians stranded in China amid novel coronavirus outbreak were brought back home on Saturday, Tripura has placed an order for a thousand N95 masks as protective gear to ward off the virus from spreading in the state.

N95 masks are special kind of breathing masks that help filter out virus or pathogens. The first batch of masks purchased through the National Health Mission (NHM) is expected to arrive on Monday. These would be provided to healthcare professionals and any individual suspected of carrying the virus during a preliminary check at this stage.

Family Welfare and Preventive Medicine Director Dr. Radha Debbarma told indianexpress.com that a high-level meeting of the state’s healthcare executives and medical professionals was convened this afternoon.

“We took a few decisions at the meeting, the first of them an order to purchase 1,000 N95 masks. We have appointed Dr. Anjan Das of the Respiratory Medicine department at Agartala Government Medical College as Nodal Officer for corona-virus related issues. An isolation ward has been prepared at the medical college for treating anyone that might have been afflicted by the pathogen,” Dr. Debbarma informed.

She added that Dr. Satyajit Sen, an expert from the World Health Organization (WHO), is scheduled to land at Agartala on Sunday to commence thermal screening of people coming in the state via land custom stations and check posts from neighbouring Bangladesh.

“Dr. Sen is scheduled to land at Agartala tomorrow. Our target is to cover screening at two places, Akhaura ICP and MBB Airport. The WHO expert would meet the Airport Authority of India (AAI) officials on screening procedures at the airport tomorrow,” Family Welfare Director Dr. Radha Debbarma said.

Meanwhile, medical teams of the Department of Health Services are screening individuals having a history of the recent visits to China or a recent encounter with Chinese nationals. Few such persons were traced down and screened for any sign of the pathogen today at Agartala city though no positive reports were found.

According to the latest reports, over 2,000 persons were screened in the last three days at Akhaura International Check Post (ICP) and Maharaja Bir Bikram (MBB) Airport for signs of coronavirus. Screening is being held in all eight districts as well, especially in areas sharing an international border with Bangladesh.

Tripura shares an 856 kmlong international border with Bangladesh, 67 Km of which is still unfenced in different patches.

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