Coronavirus:  Special wards inaugurated in TN hospitals, 1500 screened

Eight people who reached Coimbatore from the coronavirus-hit China have shown no symptoms of the deadly virus but have been advised against mingling with public for another 28 days, officials said.

A government hospital in Madurai on Wednesday inaugurated a new “coronavirus ward” with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. “No case for coronavirus has been reported so far. We have opened this ward as a precautionary measure and for the welfare of patients,” Dr Sangumani, Madurai Rajaji Government Hospital Dean told reporters in Madurai. A similar ward has been set up at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital in Chennai as precautionary measure.

The Directorate of Public Health has so far screened over 1,500 people for coronavirus at three airports over a period of one week. Dr K Koladaswamy, Director of Public Health said, “We have been screening passengers at Chennai, Tiruchy and Coimbatore airports. No cases have been detected so far.”

Minister for Health and Family Welfare in Government of Tamil Nadu, Dr C Vijayabaskar spoke on coronavirus. He said, “We are well prepared and taking all precautionary and preventive steps. So far, no case has been identified in the state as well as the country.” “I appeal to the public to not panic,” Dr C Vijayabaskar added.

Passengers arriving from China or from other affected countries, will have to fill a self-declaration form in the aircraft, if they have any symptoms of coronavirus, said Health Secretary Beela Rajesh.

Speaking to reporters at the Chennai International Airport after inspecting the coronavirus screening facilities along with airport, port trust and Union health ministry officials on Wednesday, Beela Rajesh said, “Aircraft authorities have been informed about the said form.”

The Health Department officials in Chennai and Dindigul have also been alerted about the arrival of the passengers. A team from the Health department is camping at the airport to examine those coming from China.

Coronaviruses (nCoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV)