A specially-prepped Air India Boeing 747 is bringing back Indians stranded in China’s Wuhan, amid the coronavirus outbreak that has killed over 200 people. The plane, which is carrying five doctors from Delhi’s Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and an Air India paramedic, will return tonight.
As infected passenger poses serious health risk to cabin crew, pilots and the fellow passengers, all the Indians would be thoroughly examined by medical practitioners. Another special flight to China is also scheduled on February 1.
The Indians to be evacuated today from Wuhan will be quarantined in a specially prepared facility in Manesar near Delhi on their return, the Indian Army, which has mounted a full-fledged operation for this purpose, said. The facility will house approximately 300 students who will be observed for signs of infection for two weeks by a team of doctors and medical personnel.
Upon their arrival in India they will be screened at the airport by a joint team of Airport Health Authority (AHO) and Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS). Individuals suspected of infection will be shifted to an isolation ward at Base Hospital Delhi Cantonment (BHDC).
During the screening students will be classified into three groups.
The first group will consist of “suspected cases” – individuals with signs of fever/cough and/or respiratory distress. These will be transferred directly to the BHDC.
The second group will consist of “close contact cases” – those who do not show symptoms but have visited seafood or animal markets (the virus is suspected to have broken out at a seafood market in Wuhan) or have had contact with a Chinese person showing symptoms in the last 14 days.
Such individuals will be escorted, in an earmarked vehicle, directly to the facility.
The third group will be referred to as “non-contact cases”. These are individuals who do not display any symptoms or have not had contact with a possibly infected Chinese person in the past fortnight.
This group, which will also be sent to the quarantine facility, will also include those who do not fit into either of the first two categories.
All individuals in the facility will wear three-layered masks and undergo daily medical examination. If, after 14 days, they show no symptoms, they will be allowed to go home.
However, they will continue to be under district/state surveillance and their medical records will be forwarded to concerned authorities for follow-up.
India reported its first positive case of coronavirus on Thursday – a Keralite student from Wuhan University.
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