Panaji: Goa’s first coronavirus suspect, a middle-aged Serbian national, who was on Tuesday quarantined at the newly created isolation ward of a top government facility, had arrived in India after visiting a Chinese city, nearly 750 km from Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus, an official said.
The Serbian, whose identity has not been disclosed by Goa health authorities, had arrived in India last week via the national capital and is currently under observation at the Goa Medical College near Panaji.
“The person has developed a sore throat which is one of the symptoms of the coronavirus. He had visited a city in China which is located around 750 km from Wuhan, where the virus is believed to have originated from,” Jose D’Sa, Director of State Health Services department told IANS.
“We have kept him under observation and blood samples drawn from him have been sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune for examination,” D’Sa also said.
Sources said, that the Goa Health Ministry was informed about the past travel records of the Serbian national, based on the information collated from the central immigration department, which keeps records of international arrivals to the country.
According to Goa Health Secretary Sanjay Kumar, the state government has taken a string of precautionary measures vis-a-vis the new virus outbreak, which includes conducting meetings with airport, port officials as well with associations of medical professionals in the state in order to sensitise them about the measures which need to be taken to identify suspect coronavirus cases and creating awareness about the deadly disease.
“The Health Ministry has also taken stock of available medical equipment to tackle the issue,” Kumar told reporters.
“As a precautionary measure we have also requested the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation to set up a thermal scanner at the Dabolim international airport in Goa,” Kumar also said.