PANAJI: Health Minister Vishwajit Rane on Tuesday informed members in the Legislative Assembly that the government will involve anganwadi workers and teachers as foot soldiers to create awareness about the dreaded disease coronavirus in the State even as three persons had been quarantined at the Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMC), Bambolim as suspected cases for coronavirus while, blood samples of five persons had been sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, for testing.
Replying to a calling attention notice jointly tabled by Leader of the Opposition Digambar Kamat and MLAs Rohan Khaunte, Jayesh Salgaonkar, Vijai Sardesai, Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco, Vinod Paliencar and Sudin Dhavlikar, the minister said that out of the five blood samples, two turned out to be negative while results of three samples were awaited.
Vishwajit said there were 14 persons who had travelled to China from the State. He said situation of nCoV outbreak at China and preparedness in the State was effectively monitored by task force committee under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary.
''Surveillance on travellers from China is monitored on the daily basis by Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme, Directorate of Health Services (DHS). All the asymptomatic travellers from China are asked to be in home isolation for 28 days following arrival in India. All these travellers are followed up on daily basis to check for any symptoms suggestive of nCoV for 28 days by telephonic interviews. All the asymptomatic travellers from Wuhan city in China will be directly isolated at isolation facility identified at sub-district hospital, Chicalim. Any of these travellers found to be symptomatic are isolated at Goa Medical College (GMC), Bambolim, and samples are sent to National Institute of Virology, Pune,'' Vishwajit said.
The Health Minister said orders had been issued by the department of tourism to all hotels in the State to share information of travellers arriving from China and staying in hotels to DHS. Daily reporting of the situation was being sent to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, he added.
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He said screening of passengers had been started by setting up health help desk at international as well as domestic arrival terminal of Dabolim international airport and orders had been issued by Captain of Ports to all shipping agencies regarding surveillance of nCoV at Panaji port. Signages on Novel Coronavirus had been placed at the the terminals of Dabolim airport and screening was being done by port health officer at Mormugao port.
The Health Minister said 12-bedded isolation facility for symptomatic suspects or cases of nCoV was identified at Goa Medical College, Bambolim, and facilities for ventilator management of critical patients available at isolation facility. There were 13-bedded isolation facility for symptomatic travellers travelling from Wuhan city, China was identified at the sub-district hospital, Chicalim.
Kamat urged the Minister to take precautionary measures to prevent spread of deadly coronavirus and install mechanism to screen patients coming to the State from Kerala by trains.
Benaulim MLA Churchill Alemao also urged the Minister to set up screening mechanism at various railway stations in the State to screen passengers coming from Kerala, which had declared coronavirus as State calamity. Vijai Sardesai said that the magnitude of coronavirus was more than SARS, a viral respiratory disease.
The Health Minister said that he will request the Government of India to give more thermal scanners to Goa since flow of tourists was high in the touristic State." We will be putting appropriate mechanism in place to make sure the virus does not spread in the State," Vishwajit told the House.
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