Coronavirus: Karnataka steps up precautionary measures after techie tests positive

After a 24-year-old man, who works in Bengaluru as a software professional, was found positive for coronavirus in Hyderabad, the state health department is on a high alert.

On Tuesday, the health as well as medical education ministers held an emergency meeting to take stock of the prevailing situation.

Dr Sudhakar, medical education minister told India Today that the state is all geared up to tackle any emergency that might arise.

The National Institute of Virology, in the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases, have a 15-bed isolation ward ready.

Likewise, there are 30 beds in government-run hospitals and more than 1,639 beds in private hospitals.

“Though we do not have any case that is positive for coronavirus in Karnataka, we already have 2,500 beds and if the situation demands, we will be ready with much more. Our Honourable Chief Minister [BS Yediyurappa] gave a blanket permission to the health and family and medical education ministers. Spending is not the issue, money is not the issue,” Dr Sudhakar said.

As of today, the government is strictly testing passengers at the airports but wherever they have doubts, they will go ahead and quarantine the suspected passengers.

Dr Sudhakar said that with no medical protocol yet in the world, it is all about learning new things every day.

The state government is now planning on increasing the surveillance that is presently on at airports and port to even the railway stations.

Regarding the techie who was tested positive, the state apparatus has kicked in.

Twenty-four people whom he worked with have been contacted by the health department and are now home quarantined. There were 23 passengers in the bus, who were from Karnataka, and they too have been home quarantined.

The techie stayed with his friend in an apartment on Sarjapur road. His friend was taken the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases (RGICD) for a check-up and then sent back home and is now being monitored.

Dr Sudhakar added that those People who came in close contact with the infected techie are now being isolated and monitored. The health department doctors also visited the apartment complex and briefed the flat owners about coronavirus and what precautions need to be taken.

Pankaj Kumar Pandey, commissioner of health, family welfare and AYUSH services in Karnataka said that some 40,000 people have been screened at the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA), 20,000 at Mangaluru airport and about 4,500 at the two main ports — Karwar and New Mangaluru –so far.

Pankaj Kumar Pandey advised people with fever, persistent cough, and breathlessness to immediately contact helpline number 104 and ask for assistance. “We will immediately send our team or tell what has to be done. So we depend more on the information from the public, so public has to be aware,” Pankaj Kumar Pandey added.

The RDICD has one patient whom they are waiting to be discharged.

Dr Nagaraj, one the directors at RDICD, told India Today that the Iranian student, who is doing his final year dental course, was admitted three days ago. “He suffered from some of the symptoms and admitted himself out of caution. After arriving in Bengaluru, he came to know that his mother is coronavirus positive. He developed symptoms of fever and cough but he is stable now. We were only waiting for the guidelines from the government of India regarding the patient discharge policy,” Dr Nagaraj said.

Schools in Karnataka have also been directed to grant leave to students and staff suffering from cold or fever.

“If any student, teacher of staffer is suffering from respiratory infections, they should be granted leave. They should be allowed to come back to school only after confirming from the doctor that they are cured. In case of a student or staffer staying at hostels developing any symptoms, they should be kept in a separate room,” the government circular read.

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