The health department has alerted major hospitals in the state to gear up by putting in place infection control measures.
Mumbai: The state has set up a team of specialist doctors to tackle the corona virus threat. The health department has alerted major civic and state-run hospitals and clinics even as travel bookings for China have shown a considerable drop.
In China, the death toll from the outbreak of the new pathogen - 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has risen to 17. The health department has alerted major hospitals in the state to gear up by putting in place infection control measures.
New cases of coronavirus have caused alarm. The symptoms of this virus are similar to the acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) which killed nearly 650 people across Mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003.
The Mumbai international airport began thermal screening of travellers from China on January 18. Last week, health authorities in the state held a meeting at the National Institute of Virology in Pune, which is one of the 11 laboratories in the country under the Indian Council of Medical Research that is equipped with testing samples of 2019-nCoV.
Dr Pradeep Awate, the state’s epidemiologist, said, “After the outbreak, we have started our preparedness; we have set up isolation wards from the time of the H1N1 outbreak. With news of the 2019-nCoV, we are ramping up our infection control measures whatever is needed and assessing and enhancing overall preparedness.”
Till now, no case of novel coronavirus has been reported in India. The health ministry has asked travellers from China to report to the nearest health facility in case they do not feel well.