Three suspected COVID-19 cases in EG, one in Anantapur; Nellore student stable

By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA/KAKINADA/NELLORE: Three more persons in their 30s, who returned from abroad, were admitted to Kakinada Government General Hospital in East Godavari district and one person was admitted to Anantapur GGH with coronavirus symptoms on Saturday. Samples collected from them were sent to the Virology Research and Diagnostics Laboratory (VRDL) at SVIMS in Tirupati.

Meanwhile, the health condition of the student in Nellore who tested positive for COID-19 is reported to be stable. He is under constant surveillance of medical experts. 

A 65-year old woman, who returned to Kadapa from Mecca in Saudi Arabia, tested negative and was discharged from hospital. Two elderly women admitted to Kurnool GGH were also discharged after tested negative. According to Kakinada GGH doctors, three persons were admitted to the isolation ward at the hospital on Saturday. 

A 39-year-old man from Malikipuram in East Godavari district, who returned from Qatar recently, was admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 symptoms. A 36-year old from Rajamahendravaram, who returned from the UK and was suffering from similar symptoms, was admitted to the GGH. A 32-year old man from Ramachandrapuram mandal, who returned from Muscatwas, also admitted to the GGH with similar symptoms.

Health and Medical officials said on Friday that four suspect cases were admitted to Kakinada GGH, of which one, a 30-year old from Raja Nagaram came from Dubai and a 30-year old from Bikkavolu returned from Canada. Two people aged 46 and 32 respectively came from Dubai. Both hail from East Godavari district.  To date, 15 suspected cases were reported at KGGH and eight were discharged after they tested negative. Another 10 people, who returned from abroad, were kept under home isolation in East Godavari district. 

One person, his late 60s, was brought to Anantapur GGH from Tannakalu mandal of Anantapur district on Saturday evening. He was reported to have returned from Hyderabad after a brief stay there and has developed severe cold and cough. He was kept in the isolation ward and samples were sent for testing. 

No one goes missing Dr M Narendra, Nodal officer for COVID-19 of the Government General Hospital in Nellore, said that there were only three patients in the isolation ward and six patients in the quarantine ward in the GGH. “The health condition of them is stable as of now and they are getting treatment as per protocol.

The condition of the COVID-19 infected student is also better,” he said. He dismissed reports circulating on social media that some of the persons from the isolation ward went missing as rumours and appealed to people not to believe them.

Meanwhile, nine cinemas in Nellore remained closed on Saturday also and the theater managements deferred the reopening till the district collector gives nod. 

Though schools — both government and private — were closed on Saturday as per the directions of the district administration, private junior and degree colleges and coaching centres in Nellore city continued to function. There were some instances of people suffering from cold and fever rushing to GGH fearing they might have got infected, but the doctors have not confirmed any new suspect cases. 

In Visakhapatnam, Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Krishna, Guntur, Praksam, Kurnool, Chittoor, Kadapa, no new suspect cases were reported. Another testing lab has started functioning at Vijayawada from Saturday and one more is expected to come up at Kakinada in a week.  

Precautionary measures

The State government is taking every precautionary measure against COVID-19.  The Department for Health has already issued a  notification for containment of COVID -19 in AP under Epidemic Disease Act, 1897. As per the notification, all hospitals (government and private) should have dedicated COVID-19 corners and isolation beds. No private laboratories have been authorised to take or test samples for COVID-19 in AP. All such samples will be collected as per the guidelines of the Government of India and will be sent to designated labs by the District Nodal Officer. 

If cases of COVID-19 are reported from a defined geographic area such as village, town, ward or colony, the District Administration shall have the right to implement containment measures, but not limited to these, in order to prevent the spread of disease. 

Though some states have announced closure of schools and cinemas as a precautionary measure against the spread of COVID-19, the Andhra Pradesh government has not announced any such measures. Only the Nellore district administration took the decision, limiting it to Nellore city and rural. Sources in the CMO said the respective district collectors would initiate necessary measures as per the situation.

Containment measures under ACT 

Containment measures are sealing of a geographical area, barring entry and exit of the population from the containment area, closure of school, cinema halls, commercial establishments, offices and banning of public gatherings, banning vehicular movement in the area, initiating active and passive surveillance of COVID19 cases, hospital isolation of all suspect cases, designating any government building for containment unit for isolation of cases. Staff of all Government Departments will be at the disposal of District administration of the concerned area for discharging the duty of containment measures. 

Epidemic Disease Act

Strengthening the surveillance for containment, control and prevention of COVID-19, the State government has invoked section 2,3,4 of Epidemic Disease Act 1897. By invoking the Act, the District Collectors and District Medical and Health Officers are empowered for containment of any area, if required.

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