Coronavirus testing facility to be operative by tomorrow

King Institute will put out results in 48 hours: Health Secy.

The King Institute of Preventive Medicine, Guindy, will be ready to test samples for the novel coronavirus (nCoV) from Monday. The laboratory will give out results on samples within 48 hours, Health Secretary Beela Rajesh said.

“The King Institute has been designated a laboratory. The testing reagents arrived on Friday. A trial run is being conducted now, and will be completed tomorrow. Clearance from the National Institute of Virology, Pune, will be obtained, and it will be ready for testing from Monday,” she told reporters on Saturday.

So far, 3,223 passengers have been screened at the airports — thermal screening at the Chennai and Tiruchi airports, and symptomatic screening at the Coimbatore and Madurai airports, she said. “A total of 579 travellers from China and transit countries are under observation. Of this, 68 are Chinese passengers. All are fine, and none of them has symptoms of the nCoV now, but we will watch them for 28 days,” she added.

The two persons who were admitted to the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital and the Government Thiruvannamalai Medical College Hospital were asymptomatic, and no samples were lifted for testing, she said.

Airports have been asked to provide more hand sanitisers and step up sterilisation of surfaces, Dr. Rajesh said. “All airlines, not just from China, will now make announcements asking travellers to fill in the self-declaration forms,” she said.

An additional isolation ward had been set up at the Tambaram Government Hospital, she added.

While adequate personal protective equipment had been stocked, mock drills were also conducted.

The Department will distribute bilingual pamphlets with an advisory for the public, she added.

On Saturday, the Government of India held a review meeting, via video-conferencing, on the preparedness, while the State Health Department held a stakeholders’ meeting with officials from the airport, health directorates and the Chennai Corporation.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 5:06:38 AM |

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