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Bhilwara undertakes massive screening exercise for suspected coronavirus carriers: Authorities

Press Trust of India  |  Bhilwara 

Rajasthan's textile town Bhilwara has taken a massive screening exercise for suspected coronavirus carriers after 13 people, including three doctors and nine nursing staffers of a hospital, tested positive over the past few days in the state.

The thirteenth person who tested positive for Covid-19 infection was a family member of a doctor. The total number of corona positive patients in the state as on Tuesday was 32.

Amid Covid-19 scare in the city, the district administration has imposed curfew and sealed city's borders to trace the source of contagion.

Survey of about 70,000 households has been done between March 19 to 24 by 1,075 official teams. Screening of 3.5 lakh people living in the city and rural areas has been done," said Health Minister Raghu Sharma on Tuesday.

"Entry and exit without screening is prohibited in Bhilwara. We have controlled the community spread threat, the minister added.

Comparing Bhilwara with Italy is incorrect, said the minister, seeking to stem fears, triggered after a foreign organisation drew the ominous parallel. The advised minister advised people to shun any misleading information.

Dwelling on government's preparedness to curb the virus spread, the minister said there is no dearth of ventilator, masks and sanitisers to deal with any situation.

Sharma said the staffers of a private hospital were mostly infected with the virus due to the fault of the hospital.

The Health Department has made a massive arrangement to deal with the situation and there is nothing to worry about as the department is maintaining a close watch, the minister said, seeking to reassure people.

So far, 32 positive coronavirus cases have been detected in the state and their condition is stable, said the minister, pointing out that there has been no death in the state till now due to the corona affliction.

According to Health Department officials, a total of 124 people came in direct contact of the 13 positive patients in Bhilwara, while some others came in contact with other positive patients in the state, but all of them have been kept either in home-quarantine or isolation in various hospitals.

A total of 2,507 people, including 95 foreign returnees, were diagnosed with Influeza like illness, the department figures disclosed.

Among quarantined or isolated persons, 123 people are under home quarantine, 38 in hospital isolation wards while 130 others have been kept in quarantine facilities developed by the state's Health Department, the figures disclosed.

Bhilwara's Chief Medical and Health Officer Dr Mushtaq Khan said out of the three rounds of screening, first round will be completed in a couple of days.

The local administration has identified the areas conducting screening in the second phase.

Between February 20 and before going into isolation last week, a doctor of the internal medicine department of the Bhilwara private hospital, who was first to be found Covid-19-positive, and other staffers the hospital had seen thousands of patients coming from neighbouring districts and states.

This has allegedly triggered a threat of community spread of coronavirus, said authorities.

Meanwhile, neighbouring districts have also starting contact tracing of those who visited Bhilwara during the period.

Ajmer District Collector Vishwa Mohan Sharma has appealed to the people to inform authorities if anyone has visited Bhilwara recently and get themselves tested at nearby government health facility.

Among the 32 corona-positive patients, 13 are in Bhilwara, six in Jaipur, four in Jhunjhunu, three in Jodhpur, two in Pratapgarh and one each in Pali and Sikar besides an Italian tourist couple.

As per official figures, test reports for 89 corona suspects are pending.

The Rajasthan government has ordered lockdown in the entire state till March 31 and has imposed prohibitory orders to curb the infection spread at community level.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, March 24 2020. 16:50 IST