With the first case of coronavirus in India occurring in Kerala, health authorities in Telangana have sounded an alert to deal with possible cases of the infection.
Officials said all arrangements were in place at three hospitals in Hyderabad to keep in isolation those having suspected symptoms of coronavirus.
Arrangements have been made for testing the samples for coronavirus at Gandhi Hospital.
Officials said this will eliminate the need to rush samples to Pune’s National Institute of Virology.
Health Minister Etela Rajender appealed to people not to panic. He said the state was following all the guidelines of the Centre for identifying and treatment of any possible case of the infection.
A central team on Wednesday visited various hospitals in Hyderabad to review the preparedness in meeting any eventuality.
A total of 100 beds have been arranged at three major hospitals to keep the suspected cases in isolation.
Forty beds each have been arranged at Gandhi Hospital and Sir Ronald Ross Institute of Tropical and Communicable Diseases, popularly known as Fever Hospital. An isolation ward with 20 beds was set up at Chest Hospital.
Meanwhile, three members of a family have tested negative for coronavirus in Hyderabad.
A couple and their four-year-old daughter, who had returned from China recently, had approached government-run Fever Hospital with suspected symptoms of coronavirus.
They were kept in isolation ward and their swab samples were sent to National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune. They all tested negative, doctors said.
Earlier, two samples sent to NIV also tested negative for coronavirus.
So far eight persons approached the hospital. Barring one, all of them had returned from China.
According to Fever Hospital Superintendent K. Shankar, Telangana has not recorded any case of coronavirus infection so far. “Only some people who suspected to be having symptoms of coronavirus approached the hospital,” he said.
The official said after keeping them under observation at the isolation ward, the samples of only those really having the symptoms were being sent to Pune.
He said those coming from China were being screened on arrival at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad.
Shankar said there was no need for any panic but people should take precautions like washing their hands frequently, using a cloth while sneezing or coughing and wearing masks while going out in public.
He said those having symptoms like running nose, fever, headache and breathing problems should avoid visiting public places and should approach the hospital for treatment.
He also advised people to drop plans to travel to countries like China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Vietnam, where the disease is endemic.