Millennium Post

Govt asks states to form rapid response teams

New Delhi: Amid rise in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in India, the Union Health Ministry asked states on Thursday to set up rapid response teams at district, block and village levels stating that cases of community transmission of the disease have been observed.

This is a cluster containment approach. Rapid response teams, which would include health officials, will promptly check and sensitise every household within 3 km-radius of the house of an infected person and also those who have come in contact with the affected, to prevent community spread of the virus, a health ministry official explained.

"These health officials will urge those having symptoms of cough, fever and breathing difficulty to get themselves tested and stay home quarantined, besides sensitising them to stay alert and look for symptoms and report if any," the official said.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan held a meeting with the private hospitals in Delhi regarding their preparedness to deal with coronavirus. He had met Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain and civic body officials on Wednesday and urged them to augment facilities of isolation wards in city hospitals if more cases of coronavirus get recorded.

The 30 positive cases include a 45-year-old man from Delhi's Mayur Vihar and six of his relatives from Agra whom he recently visited. Another is a Paytm employee who works in Gurgaon and lives in west Delhi. They are all being treated at the Safdarjung hospital.

A middle-aged man from Ghaziabad, who tested positive for the virus, is being treated at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in the national capital. A 24-year-old man from Hyderabad has also tested positive for coronavirus has been isolated. Besides them, 16 members of a tourist group from Italy and their Indian guide have been found infected with the virus.

While an Italian man and his wife are being treated at Jaipur's SMS Hospital, 14 members of the group and their Indian guide who were quarantined at the ITBP camp in Chhawla have been admitted to Medanta hospital.

The total figure includes the first three cases reported from Kerala last month who have already been discharged following recovery.

Meanwhile, in a suspected case of coronavirus, a man from Raipur, who returned to India from Kenya through Dubai, has been put under home isolation. "At the airport, he insisted on getting tested. His samples have been sent for testing and results are awaited," a health ministry official said.

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