Punjab: Suspected coronavirus patient refuses isolation ward, cops step in
Amid the deadly coronavirus scare, a suspected patient in Punjab refused to get admitted to the isolation ward, prompting hospital authorities to seek police's help. The patient was shifted to the ward under the police's watch, officials said on Tuesday. To ensure he stays put, a couple of officers were deployed outside the ward as well. Here's more on what went down.
From epicenter China, coronavirus spread to several countries
The coronavirus originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, apparently at a market where wildlife was being sold illegally. In the initial stages, the infected patients catch flu, but in severe cases, the disease leads to pneumonia, multiple organ failure, and sometimes even death. As per reports, the coronavirus has taken the lives of 490 people in China and affected thousands.
Man returned to Punjab from Canada via China, developed symptoms
The 38-year-old suspected patient is a resident of Kotakpura. Having started his journey from Canada to Punjab, the man had a nine-hour stopover at the Shanghai Airport. Upon landing at Delhi Airport, he went through mandatory checks but on Monday called the helpline number complaining that he was feeling feverish and had a cough. Authorities at Faridkot advised him to get admitted.
After patient showed reluctance, DC wrote to SP
The man was advised to get admitted to Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital, as per the guidelines issued by the Union Government. But he showed resistance in living in the isolation ward, prompting Faridkot District Commissioner Kumar Saurabh to write a letter to SP. In the letter, dated Monday, Saurabh pleaded SP to issue a direction to police officers.
DC mulled the idea of arresting the patient too
"Please issue directions to police officers to assist medical officers of the health department to keep the patient under isolation. In case there is any resistance, the person shall be arrested immediately and kept in isolation guarded by police," DC wrote.
The patient is stable, don't want to take chances: Hospital
However, the police didn't arrest him but got him admitted to the ward in their presence. "Blood sample has been taken and sent to a Pune lab. The report will come in 72 hours. He has a cough, but he is stable. Since he had a 9-hour stay in China, we cannot take any chances," the hospital's medical superintended Dr. Rajiv Joshi said.
India airlifted citizens, formed GoM to tackle problem
As is known, India isn't immune to the disease either. Last week, the Centre launched a massive program to airlift Indians stuck in China. By Sunday, 647 people were brought home and shifted to camps in Manesar or ITBP's Chhawla camp for a mandatory 14-day quarantine. A Group of Ministers (GoM) has also been constituted to deal with the menace.
Kerala has declared coronavirus outbreak a state calamity
The state where the most number of cases have been reported from is Kerala. Till Tuesday, three people tested positive for the virus prompting the government to declare it a "state calamity". This will help district authorities take action quickly. Notably, state health minister KK Shailaja expressed confidence that just like the Nipah virus outbreak was defeated in 2018, coronavirus too will be.