Coronavirus Outbreak: No new cases in city, two more testing facilities, says health minister Rajesh Tope

Updated: Mar 16, 2020, 07:34 IST | Arita Sarkar | Mumbai

One new case each on Sunday in Aurangabad, Pune takes state count to 33; 43 samples tested at Kasturba return negative for novel Coronavirus.

State Health Minister Rajesh Tope visited the facilities for Coronavirus patients at SevenHills Hospital and Kasturba Hospital on Sunday. Pic/Ashish Raje
State Health Minister Rajesh Tope visited the facilities for Coronavirus patients at SevenHills Hospital and Kasturba Hospital on Sunday. Pic/Ashish Raje

The city will soon have two more laboratories where samples for Coronavirus will be tested. mid-day had reported that a testing facility will be started at KEM Hospital by next week. Currently, testing of samples is only on at Kasturba Hospital. State health minister Rajesh Tope announced two more testing facilities in the city on Sunday.

With these labs at Haffkine Institute in Parel and at JJ Hospital in Byculla soon, the number of testing facilities for Coronavirus in Mumbai will go up to four.

While there were no new positive cases in the city on Sunday, one new case each was reported in Aurangabad, and Pune, taking Maharashtra's count to 33 positive cases.

State health minister Rajesh Tope met patients at Kasturba Hospital and assured them that they will have access to Internet connection, TV, newspapers and hygienic food. Pic/Ashish Raje
State health minister Rajesh Tope met patients at Kasturba Hospital and assured them that they will have access to Internet connection, TV, newspapers and hygienic food. Pic/Ashish Raje

Civic officials said that 43 samples were tested at Kasturba Hospital and they were all negative. "Currently, 93 people are admitted to Kasturba Hospital. We have admitted 458 patients since January 18 and 380 of them have tested negative. The remaining tests are in process," said Dr Daksha Shah, deputy executive health officer of the civic health department.

Kasturba Hospital can accommodate 100 people and after it is filled, suspected patients will be admitted at four municipal hospitals where arrangements have been made.

Two more cases in state
The only positive case reported on Sunday was a 59-year-old woman in Aurangabad who had travelled to Russia and Kazakhastan. State health officials said that she has been admitted to a hospital. The patient from Pimpri-Chinchwad, Pune is a 31-year-old man who had travelled to Japan and Dubai.

Haffkine and JJ
State Health Minister Rajesh Tope visited the facilities for patients for Coronavirus at SevenHills Hospital and Kasturba Hospital on Sunday. He announced that two more testing facilities for Coronavirus will be set up in the city. Tope stated that samples will be tested at the Haffkine Institute at Parel and at JJ Hospital in Byculla in the next 15-20 days. He also said that new equipment will be set up at Kasturba Hospital, to increase the capacity to testing 350 samples a day.

Tope also met patients at Kasturba Hospital and assured them that they will have access to Internet connection, TV, newspapers and hygienic food. When asked about the growing number of cases in the city, Tope attributed the reason to the group that had travelled to Dubai, many of whom tested positive.

'Preventive steps'
Emphasising the need to avoid crowded places, Dr Shah said that the next two weeks are crucial in arresting the spread of the disease. "We are in stage II of an epidemic which means local transmission (to people who are in close contact with a patient). We have to take preventive steps at least for the next 14 days which is why places like malls, theatres have been shut down," she said.

Mostly older patients
On the nine positive patients admitted at Kasturba Hospital (two women and seven men), Dr Shah said, "Six patients are over the age of 60 and the remaining three patients are between 30-40 years. All the patients who are above 60 years have co-morbid conditions like diabetes and hypertension." She added that they are all in a stable condition and 8 out of the 9 patients have a history of travel. Dr Shah also added that seven more suspected Coronavirus patients were admitted to SevenHills hospital, taking the total there to 10. BMC teams comprising medical and paramedical staff continued to spread awareness about the precautions against Coronavirus on Sunday. "Around 10,000 housing societies have been visited by 1,067 teams of medical officers. They have distributed posters about Coronavirus, conducted meetings with the society's chairman or secretary and inquired about people who have travelled abroad in the past 14 days," Dr Shah said.

More than 500 people in the city who came in contact with someone who tested positive, have been placed in self-quarantine at home and the civic body is monitoring them.

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