Two more isolated to rule out coronavirus infection

PUNE: Two more travellers, who recently returned from the novel coronavirus-hit China, were isolated at the civic-run Naidu Hospital on Wednesday after they complained of flu-like symptoms. With this, the number of individuals currently under the isolation facility in Pune has gone up to five. “Of these, two have tested negative for the novel coronavirus infection. The throat swab samples of the other three have been sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) and their reports are awaited,” Ramchandra Hankare, chief of the health department at Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) said. Of the two newly isolated travellers, one is a 38-year-old businessman who had been to China on a business visit between January 15 and 21. Another person is a 33-year-old man who had been working in China for last eight months and came down to Pune on vacation on January 22. Three others from Pimpri Chinchwad, who travelled to China recently, have been under surveillance for 28 days. “These travellers are showing no symptoms and they have not been isolated. Their samples have also not been sent for testing to NIV. We will only keep track of their health status over the telephone,” a state health official said. A total of 4,596 passengers returning from China and other affected countries have so far been screened at the Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport since January 18. “Barring 10 isolated travellers, none of the others have developed any illness. Hence, we are keeping track of their health status over the telephone. We have also asked them to self-report to us if they develop the symptoms,” state surveillance officer Pradip Awate said. Usually, any airborne virus has the incubation period of 7-14 days. “But since this is the new variant of the coronavirus, we don’t have conclusive information about its incubation period. We have doubled up the passenger tracking period just to be on a safer side,” he added.

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