Monday, 30th October 2017

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Coronavirus comes to Jharkhand

Malaysian woman tests positive

By TT Bureau in Ranchi
  • Published 1.04.20, 12:22 AM
  • Updated 1.04.20, 12:22 AM
  • 2 mins read
Doctors with protective gear attend to patients at the RIMS trauma centre in Ranchi on Tuesday. Picture by Prashant Mitra

Jharkhand reported its first confirmed novel coronavirus positive case on Tuesday, a woman in her twenties from Malaysia.

Both state health secretary Nitin Madan Kulkarni and Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) director Dr D.K. Singh confirmed the development.

“She is among the 17 foreign nationals who were evacuated from a religious place under Hindpiri police station of Ranchi on Monday,” Kulkarni said. “Right after, they were taken for quarantine and made to undergo necessary tests. Her result came positive.”

RIMS director Dr Singh said: “Yes, a case of novel coronavirus has been confirmed.”

RIMS microbiology department head Dr Manoj Kumar said the woman had no symptoms of Covid-19 and the other 23 — including seven Indians — brought to the isolation centre from Hindpiri along with the 17 foreigners had tested negative.

“The other 23 will be tested again after two or three days or development of any symptoms. Those who came in contact with the lady will also be required to be detected and tested,” Dr Kumar said.

The woman’s test report came around 1.30am on Tuesday.

“Before the report was opened, it was verified by the National Institute of Virology, Pune, also,” Dr Kumar said. “This proves that we need to take care of even those who do not have symptoms but have a history of foreign travel in the recent past. People should also respect the lockdown.”

The woman was kept with the others at Birsa Munda Athletics Stadium in Hotwar where the government has set up an isolation ward. After her test result came positive she was shifted to the trauma centre of RIMS, which has been converted into a coronavirus centre.

Kulkarni said he was not sure whether the 17 foreigners had participated in the religious gathering in Delhi’s Nizamuddin earlier this month before the lockdown where six participants died in Telangana.

“I am not in a position to confirm this (whether they had attended the congregation) at this moment. Their travel history is being examined,” said Kulkarni.

According to a PTI report, 46 persons from Jharkhand had attended the congregation in Delhi.

Ranchi senior superintendent of police Anish Gupta said those from Jharkhand who had attended the gathering “are being identified and tracked”.

Ranchi sadar sub-divisional officer Lokesh Kumar Mishra said the woman who tested positive had been to Delhi.

“We came to know that she reached the city by train number 20840 New Delhi-Rajdhani Express that originated on March 16 from New Delhi and was sitting in the B1 coach. Thus we have asked the passengers who had travelled in that coach to report for tests. We are also locating who came in contact with the lady, and are sanitizing the Hindpiri area. The task is tough,” Mishra said.

The South Eastern Railway has provided to the administration a list of passengers on the train and has asked its employees who were at work in the coach to remain in quarantine.

Ranchi deputy commissioner Rai Mahimapat Ray has appealed those who had travelled by that coach that day to come for testing.

Around 300 police personnel were deployed to ensure a complete lockdown of the Hindpiri locality where around 50,000 people live.

East Singhbhum district epidemiologist Dr M. Asad said the samples of 11 other foreign nationals who were isolated from a religious place in Rargaon in Tamar block of Ranchi district and kept under quarantine in Mosaboni, Ghatshila, were taken again on Tuesday. “They are still asymptomatic but after the detection of a Covid-19 positive case we did not want to take chance,” said Dr Asad.

As per Indian Council of Medical Research guidelines, those not having symptoms should be under quarantine for 14 days and if they develop symptoms samples should be taken for confirmatory test.