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COVID-19: Gujarat health teams to be trained by US' CDC, WHO

Gandhinagar

06-March-2020

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta will train the Rapid Response Teams (RRT) of Gujarat and other states for the preparedness against the global threat of the deadly coronavirus infection.

The RRT of Gujarat is in Delhi since Friday for the training and all the district teams are also being imparted the training through video conferencing. Till date not a single positive case of coronavirus has been detected in Gujarat.

"A total of 18056 passengers from affected countries have been screened and 1,078 suspected passengers were quarantined not only for 14 days but thereafter we have constantly followed up for further more 14 days through telephone. Even before the centre issued an advisory, Gujarat had thermal scanners screening at Surat and Ahmedabad airports. A total of 38 suspected cases were sent to the laboratory where 37 have been found negative while 1 sample result is being awaited. Not a single case of COVID-19 has been found positive so far in the state," said Jayanti Ravi, Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department, Gujarat.

"Right now our RRTs are in Delhi receiving the training from the experts like WHO, CDC Atlanta. Apart from that, the district RRTs are also getting the same training through ZOOM video conferencing facility against the virus infection," added Ravi.

"From Gujarat there are six such RRTs who are in Delhi right now representing six zones into which the state is divided. The training by the WHO, CDC is being imparted to all the RRTs of the country right now in Delhi," said Ravi.

"Passengers from a total of 145 flights from abroad have been screened at the Ahmedabad airport. A cumulative total of 16,478 passengers have been screened so far. The self declaration is being made mandatory. Besides that, we are advising all the passengers having co-morbid conditions like hypertension, cardiac, TB, cancer, asthma and also elderly patients to stay quarantined for 14 days in their homes. We have also provisioned so that all such co-morbid patients are followed up through telephones," added Ravi.

"Besides airports, a total of 1,454 crew and passengers from 24 ships have also been screened at seaports. Chief Secretary Anil Mukim held a video conference where are all the district collectors have been made responsible to have their districts availed with isolation wards, beds, and ventilators."

Besides Ahmedabad Civil Hospital is being made into a base hospital with 29 isolation wards and ventilators. Surat city has also been readied with quarantine facility at the city's Community Health Center (CHC).

"Besides civil hospital, we are also having quarantine facility being set up at Army cantonment and also at the Sola Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad. The entire state is right now prepared and ready with a total of 576 isolation beds and 204 ventilators," said Ravi.

"Earlier the coronavirus suspect samples were sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) at Pune, but now the BJ Medical College, Ahmedabad has been facilitated with the laboratory set-up. Besides that, preparations are underway to set up similar facility at Jamnagar. The central government's approval for setting up more labs at Rajkot, Surat and Vadodara is also awaited," she Ravi.

"Apart from the government hospitals, all the district collectors are instructed to advise all the private hospitals in the area which are linked with government through Ma Vatsalya and Ayushman Bharat schemes, to create isolation wards, beds and ventilators so that the facilities are more than adequate. However, we strictly advise the citizens to approach government health institutes in case of symptomatic ailments," she said.

The state government has set up a helpline number 104 for simple ailments like fever.

"The citizens can also contact the 104 helpline if there are any symptoms. Our officials are ready to help and even visit the patients at their homes if required," said Ravi.

"The state has also 61 different medical colleges for the possible COVID-19 invasion. More than 3700 Indian Medical Council doctors have been contacted. We need not panic. In our country even the positively tested cases have been handled very well," added Ravi. IANS