Hyderabad: A team of officials from the Central government is expected to arrive in the city on Monday to study the preparedness of the Telangana state government to tackle and treat any possible cases of coronavirus and its readiness for possible containment of the disease, if such a situation arose.
The team comprises an epidemiologist, an infectious diseases specialist and an official from the Nation Centre for Disease Control.
While here in the city, the Central team would visit the designated treatment centre for the disease — Gandhi Hospital — and also meet with officials of the state health department to discuss measures put in place for treating possible coronavirus cases and disease containment.
It may be recalled that Union health and family welfare minister Dr Harsh Vardhan had on Saturday announced that multidisciplinary teams from the Centre, which would inspect ongoing screening of passengers arriving from China as well as from Hong Kong at international airports in seven cities, including Hyderabad.
On the ground, while one person, who had previously voluntarily checked into a government hospital in the city has tested negative, another person who had visited China and returned to the city in December, is learnt to have reported to the hospital for checks and was admitted and kept under observation. His blood and cheek swab samples were sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune for testing for any possible infection from coronavirus.
Meanwhile, state government officials have become tight-lipped about surveillance of those who returned to the city in the past few weeks since the outbreak of the disease in Wuhan in China. It is learnt that strict instructions have been issued ‘from the top’ in the government to keep a lid on information relating to testing of people and number of people under surveillance ‘in order not to create a panic’.
Dr Anuradha Medoju, senior regional director for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Union ministry of health and family welfare told Deccan Chronicle that on day two of the visit, the team would visit the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport where the health screening of incoming passengers from Hong Kong was now in place.
Hyderabad does not receive flights from any of the Chinese cities but airlines flying into India from China as well as Hong Kong, land in New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kochi and Chennai, in addition to Hyderabad.
Health screening of incoming passengers from China and Hong Kong are now on at all these airports.