Samples of China-returnees post Jan. 15 to be collected

Health officials to collect info of all of them to detect nCov

Telangana Health department officials have a major task ahead.

Now, they have to gather information of all those who have come back from China after January 15, and collect their samples to test for Novel Coronavirus (nCoV).

Health meet

Following a meeting on Thursday, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare stated that all those who have come back from China after January 15, shall be tested for nCoV.

Sources said that senior officials would also hold discussions on it. It is a very difficult task. We need to find out ways to go ahead, sources said, and added that the number of travellers may cross several hundreds.

Earlier, senior officials said that they were instructed to collect samples of only people who have a travel history to China and experience symptoms such as cold, cough, and breathlessness. Besides, if anybody was in close contact with that person who has returned from China, and experiences similar symptoms, their samples too would be collected.

“If somebody has only a travel history but do not show symptoms, they will be closely monitored even if they are at home,” superintendent of Fever Hospital K. Shankar said. Following the instructions, a few people admitted to the hospital’s isolation ward were discharged without collecting samples in the past few days. Now, this process might change.

Testing kits by today

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) lab at Gandhi Hospital would receive nCoV testing kits by Friday afternoon.

The tests would be initiated in a day or two. Till Thursday, samples collected from people suspected to be carrying the coronavirus were sent to National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune.

After receiving the kits, the standardisation cycle would be conducted, where in a sample would be tested and results sent to the NIV. If they approve the results, regular tests will be initiated.

Central feedback

Following feedback from the multidisciplinary central team, which reviewed measures taken at the isolation wards of Fever Hospital and Gandhi Hospital, special chief secretary of Health department A. Santhi Kumari directed the Director of Medical Education to critically review beds in the isolation wards and take action as per feedback given by the central team.

In addition to 100 beds in isolation wards at the two hospitals and Government General and Chest Hospital put together, 200 more beds at Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital are added. Director of Public Health G. Srinivas said that all those suspected of nCoV would be isolated at the Eye Hospital.

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