Hyderabad: Anyone in close contact with someone from China is a carrier of the coronavirus named Covid-19 irrespective of whether they have the symptoms or not, according to data analysis of those aboard the Diamond Princess, the cruise ship which had been quarantined off Japan for 14 days and its passengers monitored as a medical experiment for understanding transmission of the deadly virus.
According to data assembled by the Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania (CMAAO) it was found that those who came in close contact with anyone who has been in China recently have already contracted the virus. The quarantine period began in most cases only after symptoms of cough, cold and fever appeared.
Dr K.K. Aggarwal, president, CMAAO said that the fact that the passengers of the quarantined cruise liner contracted the disease shows “that the transmission begins before the quarantine which is an important aspect. This shows that whoever has come in contact with the area where the virus is (active) must be quarantined and that will help stop the transmission of the virus. It was also noted that crew members of the cruise ship interacted with those who provided essential services without proper protection and that has also led to the transmission.”
Collection of respiratory specimens of the passengers collected via Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) was done at regular intervals and that has helped researchers know about the stages of the spread of the virus. Secondary cases have been noted in those who were asymptomatic first and developed the symptoms later. This shows that regular screening within the period of 14 days has helped.
Epidemiologist Dr G. Srinivas, says quarantine has helped in India too “as we have carried out multiple tests. We do not have a single case yet in Telangana but we are alert and checking. Those who are at home too are being checked for strict isolation. Those providing them essentials have to wear masks, observe hand hygiene and not touch surfaces around the isolated room as the virus spreads through touch.”