A patient suspected of fatal coronavirus has been kept in a quarantine ward at the Goa Medical College and Hospital on Tuesday, and his samples have been sent to the Pune-based National Institute of Virology.
The patient and his wife had recently travelled to a place, which is 750 km from the Chinese city of Kunshan, which is suspected to be the outbreak spot of the coronavirus-related epidemic.
Identified as a tourist, he had travelled from China to Delhi a week ago, and subsequently arrived in Goa.
Secretary for health Sanjay Kumar, in the presence of the GMC dean S M Bandekar and director of health services Jose D’Sa, told media persons that the patient had developed influenza-like symptom, with sore throat.
“We have set up a more than 30-bedded quarantined ward at the hospital, with a two-bed intensive care unit for very serious patients,” he added, pointing out that the people arriving at the Dabolim airport and suspected of the contraction would be initially quarantined at the sub-district hospital at Chicalim.
Earlier, a meeting of the state taskforce constituted by the government to tackle novel Coronavirus (nCoV) was chaired by the health secretary.
It discussed prevention and control of Coronavirus in the state.
Maintaining that the situation in Goa is totally under control and no panic needs to be created on this issue, the secretary for health stated that the central government has provided thermal scanners to tier-I airports, which receive direct flights from China, and tier-II airports, which have connecting flights from that country.
“However, the Dabolim airport does not come under such categories,” he observed, informing that however, the Union ministry of civil aviation has been requested to provide a thermal scanner to the Dabolim airport since Goa is a tourist destination.
Kumar said the government is all set to issue advertisements related to the coronavirus for spreading awareness.
“We have also directed the hotels as well as casinos to inform the directorate of health services, if they observe any visitor to them with symptoms of the contraction,” he added.
The GMC dean said the persons contracting the particular virus display symptoms similar to influenza, followed by breathlessness and then speedily suffer from pneumonia.
“Subsequently their kidneys get affected, followed by multi-organ failure,” he added, stating that since no treatment is available for the coronavirus infection, the patients can be treated on symptomatic basis.
Health Minister Vishwajit Rane has tweeted, “We have come across a suspected case of #coronavirus, who is a foreigner travelling from China. The patient has been shifted to the isolation ward at the GMC.
The medical sample of the patient has been sent for further investigation to Pune, confirmation reports are awaited.
I would like to assure our citizens that the taskforce is reviewing the preparedness of the situation and are on vigil to tackle the virus.”
It was also informed that no paediatric cases of the coronavirus infection have been found, while low immunity adults including those having diabetes are found to be affected by the particular virus at a great speed.
The coronavirus is a large family of viruses that causes illness ranging from the common cold to acute respiratory syndromes. The coronavirus observed in China, however, is a novel strain, and not identified before. It has claimed more than 100 lives so far.
The virus is said to be transmitted from animals to humans.