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SARS victim to be discharged today

April 18, 2003 14:45 IST
India's first SARS victim no longer poses a threat of spreading the disease and would be discharged from a Panaji hospital on Friday evening.

The Goa Medical College hospital has sent samples of his blood, serum, throat swab and urine for laboratory tests to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, Delhi.

Tests done earlier at the Institute of Virology, Pune on the samples were positive.

Talking to newspersons in Panaji, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said:  "He is cent per cent cured and there is no threat of his spreading the virus. He will be discharged in the evening, though he would remain under voluntary isolation at home for some time."

The state government and the Delhi-based NICD consulted Union Health Minister Sushma Swaraj in the morning.

The victim, a young marine engineer, was admitted to the SARS ward of GMC on April 10 with slight temprature. Since he had just returned from a holiday trip to Hong Kong nd Singapore, the doctors did not want to take chances.

He was discharged two days later and was put in voluntary isolation at his residence pending arrival of test reports from the Institute of Virology, Pune.

The reports came on April 16 and since the tests were positive he was readmitted to the SARS ward in GMC.

The NICD team has left for the capital. They are carrying with them blood and sputum samples of the SARS victim, his wife, father and three doctors and nurses who treated him at the GMC hospital.

Learning a lesson from this case, the state has now decided to tighten SARS screenings at airports.

Sandesh Manohar Prabhudesai in Panaji