Mysuru, Feb 11: The University of Mysore has told a team of senior officials from the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Mysuru, that 18 Chinese students currently on vacation in China have not returned to Mysuru and they had been personally told not to return as a precautionary measure until the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (nCoV) scare eases.
A total of 120 students from China were pursuing courses at the university, particularly in the Department of Computer Science, and they were here as part of an understanding by the University with some universities in China. Among the 120, 18 had gone to their hometowns in China. Following the nCoV outbreak in Wuhan, they were asked to stay back. Other students, who were here, have continued with their courses.
The health team led by District Health Officer Venkatesh met Registrar Shivappa at his office in Crawford Hall here recently to know the status of the Chinese students and to urge the university to direct the students for continuing their stay until the scare eases.
Prof Shivappa said that the DHO and other officials met him to know whether the students had returned. They had been messaged not to return immediately over the scare and the DHO was told the department would be informed once they return after the scare subsides, he said.
'The university has communicated to the students not to return to Mysuru until the situation becomes normal in their country. The Chinese students here, staying at the International Guest House, are in good health and pursuing their courses,' District Health Education Officer Prasad, who accompanied the DHO said.
In addition to setting aside five beds at the ICU-type isolation ward set up at the K R Hospital, another isolation ward had been set up at the Epidemic Diseases (ED) Hospital on KRS Road here. 'Only in critical cases, we keep patients at the Coronavirus ward at the K R Hospital and the suspected cases would be treated first at the ED Hospital ward', DHO Venkatesh further said.
The nine Community health centres and taluk hospitals had been asked to procure protective gear for their isolation wards set up following the virus scare. Two agencies had been identified for the procurement, according to the sources.
Meanwhile, four committees had been set up for training, surveillance, quarantine and IEC activities for the prevention and control of 2019 nCoV. Health authorities here said N-95 masks were necessary to those dealing with the patients or suspected cases admitted to the isolation wards and the common public need not necessarily use this for precaution.
Replying to reports on the scarcity of masks, District Vector Borne Diseases Control Officer Chidambar said, 'Some precautions are needed but the three-layered masks are advised to the doctors and nursing staff treating the cases at the isolation wards. The public, if they wish, can wear regular masks for their protection. It’s fine too if they keep distance from people coughing and sneezing, or use a handkerchief as an alternative.'(UNI)