Four test negative for Coronavirus, confirms health ministry

Ten persons in Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad under surveillance

By Banjot Kaur
Published: Friday 24 January 2020

At least 10 persons in India are under surveillance for novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection, a senior official of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), New Delhi, confirmed to Down To Earth on January 24, 2020.

At least two of them in Mumbai and one in Bengaluru had been kept in isolation as they had displayed mild symptoms for the virus. 

Pune-based National Institute of Virology tested four samples — two from Mumbai and one each from Bengaluru and Hyderabad. All tested negative for the novel coronavirus. One of the Mumbai patients has tested positive for Rhinovirus, a routine common cold virus, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said. 

All 10 persons had visited China in the last 14 days and will be kept under watch for some time, he added. The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is convening a meeting on the same and a bigger picture would emerge after that, the official said. 

A total of seven persons in Karanataka are under observation. “Four people who arrived from Wuhan, China are under observation. They are asymptomatic at the moment. We will observe them for 28 days. Two of them are Chinese and the other two are Indians,” a Karnataka state health department official, said.

Yet another official of the state health department said they are staying at a private hotel at the moment. “We have quarantined them and we are going to watch them for 28 days. Wherever they go, a tracking will be done. If they display symptoms, they will be shifted to hospital,” he said. 

On January 22 and 23, one person each landed in Bangalore.

“The one who landed on January 22 has developed mild symptoms like cough and fever. We have shifted him to a hospital. He is a Bengaluru resident. He had gone to Beijing and Wuhan,” the official said.

He added that the one who arrived a day later, also from Wuhan, is asymptomatic and is under surveillance. He is a Hyderabad resident and is being shifted there.

Similarly, the one who arrived on January 24 is healthy but is under surveillance. According to protocol, anybody who arrives from affected parts of China, will be kept under observation for 28 days, the official said. 

In Maharashtra, six people are under surveillance. Two of them who hail from Mumbai, have developed mild symptoms of the virus and have been admitted to the city’s Kasturba Hospital, state epidemiologist Pradip Awate said. He said he did not have further details of the patients. 

These six persons had travelled to Wuhan, Guangzhou and Foshan cities of China, according to media reports.

Till January 23, 2020, as many as 12,828 passengers have been screened from 60 flights in India, according to the health ministry. The statement for January 24 is awaited. 

Common symptoms of the virus according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) include a running nose, headache, cough, sore throat, fever and a general feeling of being unwell.

The government on January 24 announced that screening would be done at 12 more airports including Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Coimbatore, Guwahati, Gaya, Bagdogra, Jaipur, Lucknow, Thiruvananthapuram, Tiruchirapally, Varanasi and Vizag. The screening is already going on at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kochi airports.

Meanwhile, 881 confirmed cases have been reported in China till January 24. The death toll stands at 26. Of these, 20 have taken taken place in Wuhan.

Four cities of China — Wuhan, Xiantao, Huanggang and Ezhou — have been locked down by the authorities to prevent the spread of infection. Coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam. Four people are suspected in the UK. 

Even as the virus continued its march across Asia and the world, the World Health Organization, meanwhile, has decided not to declare the outbreak as global health emergency at the moment. 

The story has been updated to add the results of NIV, Pune

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