Thursday, April 24, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Suspected SARS case in Bathinda
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

A person suspected to be suffering from SARS under treatment
A person suspected to be suffering from SARS under treatment at the Civil Hospital, Bathinda, on Wednesday. Photo Kulbir Beera

Bathinda, April 23
Mr Jagdish Rai Sharma, a 47-year-old guard in the Indian Railways, was admitted to the Civil Hospital here today on suspicion of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

"The Civil Hospital has taken various samples and is keeping him under observation in the isolation ward," said Dr S.K. Goyal, Civil Surgeon, Bathinda. He said Mr Sharma was suffering from respiratory problems.

The Director, Health, Punjab, and Deputy Commissioner Anurag Verma had been informed about the suspected SARS case.

A team of medical specialists was attending on the patient. Mr Sharma belonged to an area from where so far no case of SARS had been reported. Neither had he been in contact with a foreign national.

Official sources said the hospital and railway authorities were trying to contact the control room set up by the Central Health Services in connection with SARS. Mr Sharma was admitted to the local Civil Hospital at 10 am today.

Mr Sharma, a resident of Railway Colony here along with his wife, had visited Mehidipur in Rajasthan on April 19 for a "yajana" at a dera.

He returned this morning with high temperature and severe breathing problems. He had acute pain in his throat and chest.

"I went to the Railway Hospital where the doctors referred me to the Civil Hospital," said Mr Sharma, adding his guru at the dera had shown similar symptoms.

He said during his pilgrimage, he did not came in contact with any foreign national.

Meanwhile, Dr Goyal said as per the government guidelines, two persons who had returned to the district from Malaysia and Singapore after February 1 had been screened for SARS.


Health Ministry to chalk out counter-SARS plan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 23
Taking serious cognisance of four confirmed cases of SARS in the country the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has decided to chalk out an action plan to tackle the killer disease in consultation with voluntary associations of doctors, state health authorities and representatives from the Airport Authority of India (AAI) and Home and Civil Aviation Ministries here tomorrow.

While confirming four positive cases of SARS at a press conference at the Nirman Bhavan here today, the Director-General of Health Services (DGHS), Dr S.P. Aggarwal, said the Union Health Minister would hold a meeting of state health authorities and representatives from different ministries at the Parliament House annexe and her office in Parliament House, respectively. The DGHS would also hold a meeting with representatives of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and the Delhi Medical Association (DMA) at the Nirman Bhavan tomorrow.

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