Delhi AIIMS to utilise isolation ward for treating coronavir
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The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in the national capital is leaving nothing to chance and has already started setting up an isolation ward with beds ready for providing treatment to any suspected case of novel coronavirus infection.

Novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a large family of viruses that causes illnesses ranging from common cold to acute respiratory syndromes.

The strain of the virus which has so far killed 25 people and affected 830 in China though, is one never seen before. The virus is believed to have emerged from a seafood and animal market in China’s Wuhan.

AIIMS director Randeep Guleria said, “We have an isolation ward and we have beds kept ready for providing care and treatment to suspected coronavirus cases in Delhi or elsewhere in India... All precautionary measures — in terms of personal protection equipment for healthcare workers to prevent the spread of the disease while treating infected patients — are in place.”

Guleria said that hospital preparedness concerning management and infection prevention control facilities has been also reviewed. “If need be, we can increase our isolation ward facilities and provide treatment to such patients.”

According to Guleria, as of now, there is no definite treatment, antibiotics or vaccines available for combating the particular virus strain and only supportive treatment for pneumonia is given.

The Union health ministry has said that 12,828 passengers from 60 flights have been screened for novel coronavirus infection till January 22 but no positive case has been detected in the country so far.

Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan is reviewing the evolving scenario and preparedness status.

She has asked states and union territories to review hospital preparedness in terms of isolation and ventilator management of critically ill patients, identify gaps and strengthen core capacities in the area of surveillance and laboratory support, an official statement said. A travel advisory was issued on January 17 and put up on the ministry’s website and also on the Twitter handle for wider circulation.

Advisory: Better be safe than sorry

AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria said that people should maintain good standards of hygiene, avoid travelling in crowded places and use masks. He also advised people to report to the nearest health facility if one faces symptoms of fever, cough and weakness.

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