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45 who came in contact with techie isolated

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Hyderabad, March 3, 2020-

Out of 88 persons who came into contact with the techie tested positive for COVID-19, as many as 45 were admitted to government-run Gandhi Hospital here, Telangana Health Minister Etela Rajender said on Tuesday.

He said samples from these people were collected and the results were awaited. The authorities have identified 85 people who came into contact with the techie.

They will be kept in isolation for 14 days. “The remaining people will also be brought to the hospital and subjected to the coronavirus test,” he said.

Those brought to hospital and screened include the techie’s family members, those who travelled with him in the bus from Bengaluru to Hyderabad and the staff at a private hospital where he was treated for few days before he approached the Gandhi Hospital.

Rajender said the condition of the techie was stable and had improved since Monday.

The man, hailing from Hyderabad and working for a Bengaluru-based IT firm, is suspected to have picked up virus in Dubai, where he came in contact with some company representatives from Hong Kong. After returning from Dubai, he spent two days in Bengaluru, meeting company employees and others.

After reaching Hyderabad by bus, he approached a private hospital with fever and flu-like symptoms. He continued his treatment as an outpatient for five days and was subsequently admitted there. As there was no improvement in his condition, he came to Gandhi Hospital on March 1.

His samples were sent to National Institute of Virology, Pune and they tested positive for COVID-19.

A day after the state posted first COVID-19 positive case, the authorities swung into action to beef up the preparatory mechanism. Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao announced Rs 100 crore for necessary infrastructure and other measures to contain the spread of coronavirus.

A three-member ministerial committee held a meeting with top officials to review the situation and discuss necessary measures to deal with any situation.

The Health Minister told reporters after the meeting that over 3,000 beds would be ready for isolation of patients with suspected symptoms of coronavirus while 250 to 300 beds would be arranged for treatment of positive cases, if necessary.

The beds would be arranged at the Military Hospital, Chest Hospital, Gandhi Hospital, Fever Hospital and Vikarabad Hospital, all government-run facilities. In addition to these hospitals, the infrastructure at private medical colleges in and around Hyderabad would also be used.

The Health Department has deployed 24 pulmonologists to cater to the people under observation at various hospitals. An equal number of serving pulmonologists are kept stand-by. A large number of retired doctors were also contacted and their willingness was obtained to serve in case of need.

The Minister said he spoke to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan over phone and requested him to make the masks available to the state.

The meeting also decided to take up awareness campaign on large scale to allay fears and clear the myths about coronavirus. The minister said there was no need for panic.

He appealed to people not to believe rumours or false information about coronavirus. He pointed out that the mortality rate of coronavirus is only 3 per cent, which is far less compared to other viruses like swine flu and SARS.

He, however, called up on people to take the precautions while going into public places. He said they should use kerchiefs while sneezing and coughing.

He hoped that the state would not witness high incidence of coronavirus as there would be less chances of the virus surviving due to increasing temperature.  (Agency)

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