Coronavirus cases in India rise to 30; states asked to form RRTs

NEW DELHI, MAR 5 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 3/5/2020 12:18:53 PM IST

India’s coronavirus (COVID-19) cases rose to 30 after a man from Ghaziabad, with a recent travel history to Iran, tested positive.

This number includes the first three cases reported from Kerala where students were diagnosed with the infection, treated and discharged. This means that there are only 27 active cases of the virus in India at the moment.

The three cases reported from Delhi-NCR, two being that of males who recently travelled to Italy and another who returned from Iran, have also been included in this list of 30 patients. 

In addition, six acquaintances of the Delhi-based man with a travel history of Italy have tested positive for Covid-19. One positive case has also been reported from Telangana of an individual who recently travelled to Dubai.  Officials have maintained that all of the infected individuals are stable and under constant observation. Authorities are also running against time to establish a thread of people the infected individuals might have come in contact with.

Meanwhile, in a suspected case of coronavirus, a man from Raipur, who returned to India from Kenya through Dubai, has been put under home isolation. “At the airport, he insisted on getting tested. His samples have been sent for testing and results are awaited,” a health ministry official said.

A total of 6,49,452 passengers have been screened at airports across the country from 6,550 flights as of March 5. In addition to this, 29,607 people have been kept under the Integrated Disease Surveillance Program (IDSP).

States asked to form RRTs: Amid rise in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in India, the Union Health Ministry asked states on Thursday to set up rapid response teams (RRTs) at district, block and village levels stating that cases of community transmission of the disease have been observed.

This is a cluster containment approach. The RRTs, which would include health officials, would promptly check and sensitise every household within 3 km-radius of the house of an infected person and also those who have come in contact with the affected, to prevent community spread of the virus, a health ministry official explained.

“These health officials will urge those having symptoms of cough, fever and breathing difficulty to get themselves tested and stay home quarantined, besides sensitising them to stay alert and look for symptoms and report if any,” the official said.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan held a meeting with the private hospitals in Delhi regarding their preparedness to deal with coronavirus. He had met Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain and civic body officials on Wednesday and urged them to augment facilities of isolation wards in city hospitals if more cases of coronavirus get recorded.

13 Virus Research and Diagnostic Laboratories (VRDLs) and National Centre for Disease Control, New Delhi, are performing tests for novel coronavirus in addition to ICMR-National Institute of Virology in Pune. Eighteen more laboratories will become functional from March 6.

DC Dimapur reviews preparedness: To review the preventive measures being taken and preparedness for tackling possible coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the district, the deputy commissioner (DC) Dimapur Anoop Khinchi held a meeting with health officials, District Task Force, Airports Authority of India (AAI) and police at DC conference hall here on Thursday. 

Health officials briefed the gathering about the various steps being taken up in the district for tackling possible outbreak of COVID 19 in Dimapur district. 

Mentioning about the availability of N95 masks for frontline workers, Dimapur chief medical officer Pangjung Sangtam explained that the virus was large in size with a cell diameter of 400-500 micro, adding any three-layered mask available in the market could protect an individual from the virus. 

On their part, the AAI officials highlighted the procedures being followed at Dimapur airport.

DC urged the citizens not to panic and stay away from spreading false and fabricated information while following good personal hygiene. This was stated in a DIPR release.


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