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Coronavirus in Mumbai: All you need to know

Coronavirus in Mumbai: All you need to know

Neighbouring country China recently witnessed outbreak of a new coronavirus that began in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. As per BBC, the virus has killed 41 and infected nearly 1,287 people globally till now.

As a result, China has suspended all public transport, including flights in and out of Wuhan. The city is said to be the epicentre of the virus after number of confirmed cases climbed to 571, mostly from Wuhan. The authorities are concerned that the transmission rate might accelerate as hundreds of millions of Chinese travel at home and abroad for the Lunar New Year holiday.

While China continues to battle with this coronavirus, India is not completely unaffected by it. Two individuals who returned from China have been kept under medical observation in Mumbai owing to possible exposure.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has created an isolation ward at its Kasturba hospital in Chinchpokali and two people who had exposure have been quarantined here. The BMC executive health officer, Dr. Padmaja Keskar said that the isolation ward will function as a centre for diagnosis and treatment of persons suspected to have the coronavirus infection.

She said that the two people have been kept under observation after they were returning from China and had mild cough and were exhibiting cold-related symptoms. Meanwhile, she added that the doctors at the Mumbai International Airport have been asked to send the travellers from China to the Kasturba Hospital isolation ward if they display any symptoms of the coronavirus.

The two patients have tested negative for the Coronavirus but they will be kept under observation for a little longer duration and fresh tests will be done soon. 

Currently, all the private doctors in Mumbai have been asked to alert BMC in case they observe symptoms of the virus in anyone who has returned from China. According to reports, the doctors at Kasturba Hospital have received detailed instructions from the Maharashtra government about the coronavirus and how to deal with the illness.

What is Coronavirus?

The coronavirus  has received its name from the Latin word, 'corona' as when viewed under a microscope, coronaviruses appear to have a crown-like structure. Previously, the coronaviruses would spread from animals, originating in bats, camels and other animals. However, the novel coronavirus which is spread in Wuhan, is said to spread through humans. The previous coronaviruses have resulted in severe illnesses such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) or Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

What are the symptoms?

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), common symptoms of the novel coronavirus include:

  • fever
  • cough
  • shortness of breath
  • breathing difficulties

How is Mumbai preparing?

Thermal cameras have been installed at the airport to detect the affected and the people suffering. According to the authorities, as many as 1,789 passengers underwent thermal screening at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport for the coronavirus since 19 January.

People who recently traveled to China have been asked to provide a self-declaration.

There is quarantine unit set up at a BMC run hospital in Mumbai and there is another back up being readied in Pune. 

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