Hyderabad COVID-19 patient questioned on contacts

45 people isolated at Gandhi Hospital, samples sent for tests

March 04, 2020 12:45 am | Updated 07:16 am IST - HYDERABAD

Make hay:  The price of face masks has doubled in the light of COVID-19 outbreak in Hyderabad on Tuesday.

Make hay: The price of face masks has doubled in the light of COVID-19 outbreak in Hyderabad on Tuesday.

In his 24 years, perhaps Monday was the first time that this Hyderabad man was persistently asked by someone to give minute-by-minute details of who all he met, places he had been to, how much time he spent with them from the moment he stepped into Telangana.

Officials from the Telangana Health department were keen to know even micro details after his COVID-19 infection was confirmed. Officials found out the exact time at which he boarded the Bengaluru-Hyderabad bus, number of drivers and helpers in it and whether he had dinner with others on the way.

After confirmation on Monday afternoon that he tested positive for COVID-19, isolating and treating the young man was not the only priority for the officials in State Health department. The 88-odd people he was in close contact with after reaching Hyderabad have also been given top priority as they could become source of infection if they too are carrying the infection.

The techie who works for a software company in Bengaluru returned from Dubai to the city on February 20. He worked there for a day and reached Hyderabad on February 22 by a private bus.

Ground level staff, senior officials from the Health department took turns to speak to the COVID-19 patient for over 30 minutes each to know his travel history, places he visited and people he met. Wary of aggressiveness with which the virus spreads, officials spoke to him over phone. And the details he gave made officials and staff wide-eyed.

During the course of journey to Hyderabad and after reaching the city, he met at least 88 people including 27 bus passengers, family members, around 20 doctors and staff at Apollo Hospital, Secunderabad.

The youth said his father picked him up from the bus stop and drove straight to their home. After developing cough and sickness, he consulted family doctors. When the sickness did not subside, he consulted doctors at the corporate hospital as an out-patient, underwent tests and got admitted there later.

Telangana Health Minister Eatala Rajender said that out of the 88 people, 45 have been isolated at Gandhi Hospital and their swab samples were sent for tests.

‘Condition stable’

The Minister said the condition of the techie was stable and the process of tracking people he came in contact with was on.

“The health condition of the man has shown improvement since Monday,” he said.

(With PTI inputs)

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