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Goa minister wants a second
opinion on SARS case
Sandesh Manohar Prabhudesai in Panaji |
April 17, 2003 15:03 IST
Prashil Varde, India's first SARS victim has been isolated, but Goan authorities doubt whether he is suffering from the atypical pneumonia that has claimed over 100 lives and caused the biggest global health scare in recent times.
After consulting a Central team of experts over the phone, the state government now plans to send Varde's blood, urine and sputum samples to another laboratory for a second opinion.
Goa's Health Minister Suresh Amonkar said Varde had only mild fever initially and had shown no other symptoms of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome like high fever, pneumonia, constant coughing and breathlessness, headache, body ache or even loss of appetite.
"He is so fit, he can go out and play a game of football or hockey," Dr Amonkar said.
Tests done at the Institute of Virology, Pune had found Varde suffering from SARS.
This morning, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar made the announcement at a hurriedly called press conference in Panjim, but added that Varde had been cured following treatment at the Goa Medical College.
Varde and his wife had been on a holiday trip to Hong Kong and Singapore between March 26 and 30. He stayed in Mumbai for three days before returning to Goa on the evening of April 1.
Since Varde was running slight temperature, his doctor referred him to the Goa Medical College in view of the global SARS alert and the young marine engineer was admitted to GMC's SARS ward.
He was discharged on April 10 and was put in isolation at his residence at Dhawali in Ponda taluka awaiting reports from Pune.
The reports came on Wednesday night. Since the tests were positive he was readmitted to the SARS ward in GMC.
Dr Amonkar wonders how Varde's wife or his parents did not contract the virus during Varde's stay at home.
The minister also refuted reports that Varde's family was being quarantined. "The question does not arise...they have no such symptoms," the health minister said.
However, the Goan health authorities are not taking any chances. Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has appealed to all those who may have come in touch with Varde after April 1 to stay away from public places.