Hospitals in India are now on high alert as patients suspecting coronavirus are being admitted. Two city residents who returned from China recently have been admitted to the isolation ward of the Civil hospital with novel coronavirus-like symptoms, prompting the district health department to issue an alert on Friday.
Civil hospital’s epidemic in-charge Dr Ram Prakash Rai said, “Both the male patients, 31 yr old and 35 yr old respectively self reported to government hospital, are under observation in isolation ward, being suspected of being affected by the coronavirus. Their fluid samples have been sent to Pune’s National Institute of Virology NIV. Fortunately, their family members have not shown any viral symptoms. However, we are monitoring them as well.”
As there is no apt cure for the novel coronavirus yet, Dr Rai said that doctors are giving medication to patients to boost their immunity to fight the infection. “In the wake of the two suspected cases, the health department has sent an alert to all the hospitals in the district,” he added.
Novel coronavirus is an umbrella term for viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to acute respiratory syndromes. The lethal disease has claimed the lives of over 200 people in China, while India reported its first case of the coronavirus in Kerala on Thursday.
Doctors are of the opinion that humans can contract coronavirus by coming into contact with the secretions of an infected persons via sneezing, handshake or cough. “So we are advising people to stay indoors in isolation if they are suffering from a cold or fever,” said Dr Jaswant Singh Punia, chief medical officer.
Doctors at private hospitals say they are screening all patients complaining of cold and flu.
“We have initiated screening protocol at out-patient departments (OPD) and emergency rooms. Any patient complaining of cough and fever after returning from the affected countries in the past three weeks are being screened,” said Dr Ritu Garg, zonal director, Fortis Memorial Research Institute (FMRI).
“We have set up isolation rooms at the hospital. Prominent display boards have been put in place for information about the virus. Our staff are also being trained to identify potential patients. We are reporting all acute respiratory illness cases to the authorities as per the guidelines from the Gurugram civil surgeon’s office,” she added.