Other States

Swine flu detected in Manipur as Myanmar border markets screen for nCoV

Representational image.

Representational image.  

Medication being given to man and sister who returned from China

Swine flu or H1N1 was detected in two people during the precautionary screening for the novel coronavirus (nCoV) in Manipur.

The State’s Directorate of Health has said the two who returned from China have tested positive for swine flu. They were screened for nCoV and their samples were sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune.

“We received confirmation from the Pune laboratory that the two from Imphal West district contracted swine flu. But there is no need to panic as they are stable after suffering from mild flu,” Manipur’s Health Director K. Rajo said.

Health officials said the duo – a man and his sister – was being given proper treatment and medication while the other members of their family were being tested for possible contagion. Steps have also been taken to ensure the disease did not spread, they added.

Swine flu was first reported in Manipur in 2010. Five of the 17 people detected with the virus over the years till 2019 died. “We have medicines available for swine flu, but none for the novel coronavirus,” said an official at Imphal’s Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences.

Districts in the north-eastern States along the border with China and Myanmar have stepped up screening at border markets to check the entry of people who might carry the nCoV.

Apart from the geographically-isolated Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh shares a 1,080-km border with China. Arunachal Pradesh also shares a part of India’s 1,624-km border with Myanmar.

The other States on the India-Myanmar border are Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram.

Screening in Mizoram

On Monday, Mizoram became the last of the States bordering Myanmar to install nCoV screening counter and station a rapid response force at Zokhawthar, the border trade point in Champhai district.

“We are screening traders and travellers to and from Myanmar based on their health status and travel history,” said Samuel Laldinthara, the medical officer heading the screening team.

Myanmar officials and health specialists had been screening visitors from Mizoram from January 27. They have been similarly screening people at other border trade points such as Moreh (Manipur).

Officials in Arunachal Pradesh’s Changlang district said the market at Pangsau Pass on the Myanmar border had been temporarily shut down because of the nCoV threat. The operations would remain suspended till March 22, officials said.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 7:58:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/swine-flu-detected-as-myanmar-border-markets-screen-for-ncov/article30741821.ece

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