COVID-19: 16 docs, paramedics screen B'luru passengers

Corona Virus: 16 docs and paramedics screen Bengaluru passengers while city sleeps

Five persons, including builder Bupendra Shah and a serving village talathi (local revenue official) from Latur, have been arrested for their involvement in the crime, deputy commissioner of police Navi Mumbai Ashok Dudhe said.

 The state health department's doctors, paramedical staff along with those deputed from central government's Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) and regular Airport Health Organsiation's staff have till date screened 20,385 passengers.

They work 12-hour shifts with eight flights arriving from 9.30 pm to 2 am and three flights arriving from 6.30 am to 8.30 am from Corona affected countries like Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand, and other transit flights.

The state health department has deputed six medical officers and three paramedical staff. Dr Raghu GC, 35, Medical Officer from Venkategiri primary health centre in Devanahalli trained in Emergency Medicine says this is the second time he has been part of surveillance activity of the state. The first was during the Swine Flu outbreak in the past.  He has been with the state health department for three years now.

"We have protective gear like eye masks, gloves, gowns and headcover. In each flight there are 90 to 400 passengers. We stand on the aerobridge and screen a passenger's temperature with a thermal scanner. It covers the forehead and the face. If there is profuse sweating and the patient's temperature is above 103 degrees we check for travel history," Raghu said. 

Any symptomatic patient with history of travelling to Wuhan and surrounding region is immediately sent to Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases for further tests. So far there have been only three patients with history of travel to Wuhan. He is not worried about being a part of the surveillance activity though as he is taking adequate measures.

Dr Jagadeesh Maruthi, 30, medical officer of Sadhahalli PHC, told DH, "Since it is a minor screening procedure, we do not feel it is hectic. I am not scared about being at risk as I know how the virus spreads and we are taking adequate measures with hand sanitisers and other protective gear. We also get assistance from other doctors and staff nurses from CGHS and APHO. In all, we are 35 in number."

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