Sunday, February 24, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Hisar health staff in quarantine
Karamjit’s neighbour may also have plague
Tribune Reporters

Hisar, February 23
All 36 employees of the Health Department who had come in contact with Karamjit Kaur suspected to be suffering from plague during her treatment in the General Hospital have been quarantined for three days as a precautionary measure.

Dr R. K. Goyal, Civil Surgeon, told The Tribune here this evening that the quarantined employees included four doctors, several nurses and ward attendants. They had all been directed not to come in contact with anybody for at least 72 hours.

In addition to this, the casualty ward where Karamjit Kaur was admitted had been closed for two days so that it could be disinfected. The ward had been shifted temporarily to another room in the hospital. Dr Goyal said the casualty ward would be given several sprays of disinfectants.

Meanwhile, a team of doctors has been sent to Riyondh Khurd village in Punjab to confirm reports that a neighbour of Karamjit Kaur had also developed plague-like symptoms. If the reports are true, the health authorities in Haryana plan to initiate several steps to prevent the infection from spreading to other parts of the state. The village lies on the Punjab-Haryana border.

Meanwhile, panic has gripped patients and other staff of the hospital.

FATEHABAD: The Director-General of Health Services, Haryana, Dr J.L. Chowdhary, has asked for details of action following the detection of a patient with plague-like symptoms. He has directed the health authorities here to undertake a door-to-door survey of the villages falling in proximity to Riyondh Khurd.

The Civil Surgeon, Dr V.K. Dogra, on Saturday led a team of doctors that visited various villages of the district bordering Punjab. He said the teams had covered almost all villages of the district, and everything was normal.

The health authorities, meanwhile, have asked a private doctor and his four pharmacists at Rattia in this district to remain in isolation for a period of 10 days. The doctor who treated Karamjit Kaur has also been asked to close his hospital for a few days.

RIYONDH KHURD: A pall of gloom has enveloped this village which has a population of over 4,000. Villagers and neighbours said those who had helped bathe and cremate the body of Krishan were scared since they felt that they too might have contracted the disease. They, however, were tight-lipped about the identity of those who took part in the last ritual of the deceased but said many of them had gone to private hospitals to get themselves checked up.

The villagers also said the name of their village should not be highlighted since it took a long time for such incidents to die down.

The body had been brought to the village by Krishan’s elder brother, Balbir Singh, who had been admitted to the PGI.

The Deputy Commissioner, Ms Raji P. Srivastava, said she was monitoring the situation and had instructed the Civil Surgeon to keep a close watch on all family members of the deceased, besides those who had helped during the last rites.

Mansa Civil Surgeon B.D. Sharma said he had visited the village and had examined some neighbours of the affected family. A mobile van had been sent to the village in addition to teams of doctors.

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