Hyderabad: Two more patients tested positive for Coronavirus was reported in Telangana on Saturday, taking the total number to 21 in the state. Out of the two patients tested positive for COVID-19, one is a 35-year-old male from Hyderabad, who was confirmed positive on March 21st. While the second is an employee in a cruise lancer- USA. The man returned to Hyderabad via Dubai and subsequently confirmed positive, both new patients are admitted to Gandhi Hospital.
Notably, the patient 20th ( referring to the 35-year-old) is the primary contact of a COVID-19 patient (14) admitted to Gandhi Hospital. Probably, this the first case in the state where a primary contact has also been tested positive, which speaks much of the spread of local transmission. Earlier, patient 14 who traveled to Dubai, developed symptoms on his return to the city. According to the health officials, the patient 20th is not someone with a travel history to COVID-19 country however a family/ friend. This is the first primary contact case reported positive in the state.
The government is on edge as the number of COVID 21 positive cases has seen a spurt in the last 72 hours. Of the active cases, ten are Indonesian nationals while the rest are Indians with a travel history to COVID-19 affected countries.
What is worrying about the 13 Indonesian nationals, is they spent two days in Karimnagar. The group reportedly traveled from Nizamuddin Railway station in Delhi to Ramagundem via AP Samparkranti train on March 13. They further proceeded to Karimnagar by road.
This has triggered a storm because 88 passengers were traveling in the same coach in which the coronavirus positive patient was allocated a seat. Besides, the foreign nationals moved around in the district. They visited shops, hotels besides houses of senior community leaders.
Speaking to this correspondent, an official serving at the Karimnagar Collector's office (on condition of anonymity) said, " The 13 are religious preachers from Indonesia, the purpose of their visit was to meet senior leaders of their community in the district. The group stayed at a worship place in Mukurampuram (a stone throw away from the collector's office). They visited a few homes, shops and hotels during their two days stay, besides holding religious activities which include visiting homes of the senior community members '.
The officer further adds, " Towards the end of the first day, that is March 14, 2020, one of them fell ill, the man with cold and cough, approached the district Civil hospital. The doctors had difficulty in understanding the man following a language barrier. It was then, the nationality of the patient was disclosed. The district health medical officials advised him to approach Gandhi hospital in Hyderabad, where he was subsequently confirmed the fifth case positive for CoronVirus'.
A few days later, on March 18th, the Telangana government confirmed that seven more positive cases, all Indonesians. The number of active CoronaVirus cases in the state stands at 19( the first patients has been discharged and recovering)
Notably, the Karimnagar Police had no information on the Indonesians attending religious meetings in the district, they were on a visit visa. A senior police officer serving in the Karimnagar Commissionerate, confirmed to NewsMeter, that no permission was sought or granted to hold religious meetings in the district between 13- 16 March 2020.
Sensing trouble, the state government has now decided to set up 18 check posts across Telangana borders to monitor the entry of people traveling by road. The Karimnagar district health department has been directed to conduct a door-to-door survey to trace contact persons.