Virus scare in Hyderabad’s IT corridor

Etela says no need to panic as a techie, paramedic detected with Coronavirus symptoms

By   |  Published: 5th Mar 2020  12:12 amUpdated: 5th Mar 2020  1:14 am
A schoolteacher explains precautionary measures against coronavirus, at a government school in Hyderabad on Wednesday. —Photo: AP

Hyderabad: A day after the first COVID-19 positive case in Hyderabad was reported, two more persons were detected by health officials here as ‘borderline’ cases who could likely test positive for coronavirus. As a result, the State health officials have sent the samples of the two persons to National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune for confirmation.

The first person is a software employee, working in one of the IT companies at Raheja Mindspace, located in the heart of the IT corridor in Madhapur. The software employee had visited Italy, where coronavirus is aggressive and widespread. The second person who was detected with high viral load is a paramedic from Apollo Hospitals, who came in close contact with the first COVID-19 positive patient in Telangana, while providing medical assistance.

“We still have no evidence that the COVID-19 has spread in the community. Only one person with a travel history to Dubai has tested positive while test results of the two more persons will be released by NIV, Pune, on Thursday. There is no doubt that persons with travel history to countries where COVID-19 is prevalent are vulnerable,” State Health Minister, Etela Rajender said here on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the four family members of the first COVID-19 positive patient, who is undergoing treatment at the isolation ward in Gandhi Hospital, tested negative at Gandhi Hospital.

“There have been reports that people are vacating houses at Mahindra Hills, where the family of the first COVID-19 positive patient resides. There were also reports that companies in Mindspace evacuated a building in Madhapur. I urge people and companies not to get carried away by rumours and fake news and take hasty decisions. Please call our 104 helpline number for guidance, instead of taking unilateral decisions,” the Minister said.

Command and Control Centre

To properly oversee measures aimed at containing the threat of COVID-19 in Telangana, the health officials have decided to set-up a round-the-clock ‘Command and Control’ centre at Koti, where the Health Minister will conduct hourly reviews of the situation.

“I will be available round-the-clock at the Command and Control Centre. We will oversee all measures and will be available 24/7,” he said.

Private Hospitals in Hyderabad can now receive COVID-19 patients.

The State government has managed to take special permission from Union Ministry for Health, New Delhi, to allow private hospitals in Hyderabad to treat persons with travel history to countries where COVID-19 is prevalent. More than 15 private medical colleges in Telangana have also come forward and offered to set-aside at least 50 isolation beds per hospital to treat patients.

People warned against spreading fake news

Cyberabad Police Commissioner V.C.Sajjanar has warned citizens against spreading fake news about coronavirus on social media.

Sajjanar who has been appointed as nodal officer for monitoring the situation in the Information Technology corridor requested citizens not to panic with far from the truth reports.

“Before tweeting about such cases or any information on social media, we request people to verify with experts. Misinformation, at such important time leads to unnecessary problems”.
The cybercrime team was watching social media closely and those spreading false news on coronavirus will have to face legal consequences, the Commissioner warned.

Insurance scheme launched

Digit Insurance, a general insurance company, launched an insurance product that will provide cushion to individuals against the coronavirus. This is a need based insurance cover that has been built under IRDAI’s Sandbox Regulations that encourages insurers to launch and test innovative product offerings for the Indian consumers.

The product covers ongoing treatment, where if the test for coronavirus is found positive from any of the authorised centres of ICMR-National Institute of Virology, Pune, the company gives 100 per cent of the claim amount. There will be no need to wait for the completion of treatment.

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