Mangaluru: With the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) virus spreading to more countries and two more confirmed cases reported in India, the seaport and airport here have been put under high alert, officials said on Tuesday.
Dakshina Kannada district is particularly under surveillance as three confirmed cases of coronavirus were reported from neighbouring Kerala earlier.
All the three were discharged from hospitals last month following recovery. Besides DK, alert has been sounded in Udupi, Kodagu, Chamarajanagar and Mysuru.
As part of the nationwide alert sounded in 21 airports and 77 ports in the country, authorities here also have taken maximum precautionary measures and passengers to the city are undergoing scrutiny both at the airport and the New Mangalore port.
Those coming from 12 countries, including China and Singapore, are being closely examined.
An isolation ward has been set up at the government Wenlock Hospital here for treating suspected cases of COVID-19 infection, Health department sources said.
The state government said it has taken all required precautionary measures to control the spread of novel coronavirus and requested people not to panic.
Health Minister B Sriramulu convened a meeting of top officials of his department following information that the man, who tested positive for the virus in Telangana, had travelled from the city.
A Health department official said the man, who was working in Bengaluru, had travelled to Secunderabad on the night of February 21 in a private bus.
"All the passengers (of the bus) and (his) colleagues have been contacted and are under house-quarantine," the official said, adding, passengers who were with him on the flight from Dubai are also being contacted.
Also, people who worked with the techie have been asked to work from home. "I appeal to people not to fear or panic. The government, the health and family welfare department and medical education department has taken all precautionary measures," Sriramulu told reporters here.
"We have taken precautionary measures at ports, airports and also conducting blood, required tests on people and tourists coming from other places," he said.
According to the minister, till now 39,391 foreign travellers have been screened and blood samples of 245 people collected.
Tests were conducted on 240 people and their result has come out as negative, he said, adding that report of two more was awaited, and "unofficially we have come to know they are also negative."
The condition of the 24-year-old man, who tested positive for the virus, was stable and he was being treated in an isolated ward at the state-run Gandhi hospital in Hyderabad, the Telangana government had said on Monday.
Stating that two labs have been set up by the department for blood and other related tests, Sriramulu asserted that the health and family welfare and medical education departments have taken precautionary measures.
The minister said 630 beds have been kept ready in government hospitals while 1,689 in private hospitals to serve the purpose of isolation wards.
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Citing five confirmed cases of the virus in the country so far, three from Kerala and the latest-one each in Delhi and Telangana, he said his department was taking all precautionary measures and will work round the clock to prevent the disease from entering the state.
All the three Kerala patients were discharged from hospitals last month following recovery.