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SARS victim discharged from Goa hospital
Sandesh Manohar Prabhudesai in Panaji |
April 18, 2003 14:45 IST
India's first SARS victim was discharged from the Goa Medical College hospital at 5.15 pm on Friday, after top government officials confirmed that he no longer posed any threat of spreading the disease.
There is still confusion, however, whether he did carry the SARS virus on him when he returned from a holiday trip to Hong Kong and Singapore.
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 for a second opinion.
Tests done earlier at the Institute of Virology, Pune on the samples were positive.
Talking to newspersons in Panaji earlier in the day, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had 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 before taking the decision, the chief minister said.
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 and 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, which left for delhi in the afternoon, is also carrying blood and sputum samples of the SARS victim's wife, his father and three doctors and nurses who treated him at the GMC hospital.
The state has ordered tightening of SARS screenings at airports.