HYDERABAD/ BENGALURU: At least 36 of the 88 people that the 24-year-old software professional from Hyderabad came in contact with after returning from Dubai are showing “some symptoms” of Covid-19, Telangana government officials said on Tuesday.
While 45 of his contacts were taken to the state-run Gandhi Hospital since Monday night, the remaining, who were not symptomatic, have been kept in isolation at their homes. The results for the 36 symptomatic patients are expected on Wednesday, said health authorities. “The 36 include his co-passengers in the bus that he took from Bengaluru to Hyderabad and family members,” said Vijay Kumar, state nodal officer for Coronavirus detection. Sources, however, said that showing symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean that they have been infected and their samples may still test negative for the virus.
The IT professional works at a tech park in the outskirts of Bengaluru and stays in a PG accommodation. He travelled to Dubai on an assignment on February 15 and returned to Bengaluru on February 20. He attended office for two days — February 20 and 21 — before taking the bus to Hyderabad. His samples had tested positive on Monday.
The Telangana government, for its part, has allocated Rs 100 crore for preventing and containing a possible virus outbreak. The fund will be used for extensive awareness activities. Besides, private hospitals have been given a directive not to delay reporting cases when they have symptoms of the virus.
State health minister Eatala Rajender has sought 50,000 additional masks from the Centre given the shortage in Hyderabad. He has also sought help to enhance testing capacity in the state. Also, 104 helpline has been established exclusively for Coronavirus-related queries.
The decisions were taken after Rajender, municipal administration minister KT Rama Rao and Panchayat Raj minister Errabelli Dayakar Rao met officials of various departments on Tuesday.
“There is no local transmission so far. The only positive case is with a travel history of Dubai but all precautionary measures have been put in place. We are constantly in touch with the Centre over preparatory measures to be taken. A 15-member team will visit Kerala on Wednesday to study the measures taken there,” said Rajender.
The health department will run awareness campaigns and put up hoardings, notice boards at parks, courts, bus stands, in flights, rail, cinema halls, schools and hospitals.
In addition to three designated hospitals for isolating patients, military hospital, TB sanitorium Vikarabad and all teaching hospitals around Hyderabad have been asked to prepare isolation wards. With state and government hospitals put together, the government has identified 3,000 beds for isolation.
“Since Covid-19 affects lungs, pulmonologists are required for the treatment. Currently 24, pulmonologists have been allocated to deal with cases, 20 more have been identified and kept on standby. We are also contacting retired doctors, professors and nurses to have a pool of workforce to press into action, if the need arises,” said Rajender.
Rajender added that he had spoken with the Union minister of health Dr Harsh Vardhan and urged him to sanction an additional laboratory at the Institute of Preventive Medicine (IPM). “As of now, we have only one laboratory at Gandhi Hospital which can test 120 samples a day,” he said.
The minister asked people not ‘shake hands’ and only say ‘namaskaram’ with folded hands at least for some time. Also, he asked the people to postpone their travel abroad if it is not important.
Courtesy The Times of india