The Karnataka government is on alert and has started isolating people who came in direct contact with the software engineer who travelled from Bengaluru to Hyderabad in February and was later tested positive for coronavirus in Telangana. An Intel employee, who was the patient’s roommate, has been quarantined.
“An Intel employee in Bengaluru has potentially been exposed and is currently under quarantine in accordance with government requirements. We’re monitoring the coronavirus situation closely,” said the company in a statement.
In India, the company said it has implemented precautionary measures such as travel and event restrictions, visitor screenings at its our offices, increased frequency of office sanitisation, and work-from-home provisions.
The Karnataka health department, which held an emergency meeting on Tuesday, is reaching out to those who came in primary contact with the patient. "They will be isolated in their homes for 14 days," said a health department officer. It has so far identified over 50 people who came in touch with the patient.
The techie had returned from Dubai to Bengaluru on February 20 and had stayed in the city for a day before taking a bus to Hyderabad where he developed symptoms of the virus. He was treated at Apollo Hospitals in Hyderabad before being referred to the government-run Gandhi Hospital where he was tested positive.
"All people in contact with the patient have been isolated and he was transferred to the government facility as per protocol," said Sangita Reddy, joint managing director of Apollo Hospitals.
The Bengaluru unit of the National Institute of Virology and the Bangalore Medical College & Research Institute have been activated for the testing of the virus.
"We have strengthened our surveillance and education campaign and are monitoring the availability of medicines. Everything is in order for now," said the officer quoted above.
Apart from 31 government hospitals, around 19 private ones have earmarked beds for isolation wards, including Manipal Hospital, Apollo Hospital, and Fortis Hospital, to intake patients who test positive. Around 1,300 isolation beds are currently available for patients.
"There is no set limit for emergency room and outpatient visits but the number of inpatients would depend on the situation prevailing. Currently, we have the facility to intake up to 10 patients in the isolation ward," said Sudarshan Ballal, chairman of Manipal Hospitals.