Mysuru/Mysore: The latest coronavirus (now renamed as COVID-19) spreading in China and the SARS outbreak of 2003 have two things in common: Both are from the coronavirus family and both started in wet (meat and fish) markets in China. At such markets, outdoor stalls are squeezed together to forming narrow lanes, where locals and visitors shop for cuts of meat and fish.
Following reports from China’s Wuhan, the deadly ground zero from where the coronavirus has spread, pointing to the seafood market as a possible source, the Mysuru District Administration and Zilla Panchayat have directed all the meat, fish and seafood markets to maintain hygiene with regular cleaning of premises. Unhygienic shops will be closed.
A decision has been taken to this effect at the KDP meeting held at Zilla Panchayat Hall on Tuesday.
The meeting was held under the Presidentship of ZP President Parimala Shyam and health officers, animal husbandry department have been directed to personally visit meat and fish outlets to ensure that strict cleanliness measures are adopted. They have also been told to take immediate action on unhygienic meat shops and the shops that sell stale products.
Briefing the meeting, District Health Officer (DHO) Dr. Venkatesh said that apart from a screening centre at Mysore Airport at Mandakalli, the health department has set up two more check posts in the border with full medical team to check passengers arriving by various modes of transport from Kerala.
Two health teams have been deployed at Moolehole and Bandipur check posts for the screening of travelling public. The teams screen for symptoms and seek the passengers’ travel history besides finding out whether they had any contact with the people who had recently visited China or with the patients, relatives who tested positive, he informed.
“We are distributing pamphlets to educate the public on the disease as an awareness building exercise. On knowing about the presence of the Chinese nationals who are currently running a flower extract unit near Gundlupet, health teams have met them and screened them as a precautionary measure,” he said.
“We have also begun carrying out awareness programmes in the taluks of H.D. Kote and Nanjangud to ensure that persons showing symptoms of coronavirus infection after visiting China or coming in contact with people visiting China approach the health authorities immediately,” he said.
Distribution of handbills is underway at bus stands, Railway Stations and places of tourist interest including Mysore Palace and Zoo. Screening of passengers has also been taken up at the Mysore Airport, said DHO Venkatesh.
ZP CEO K. Jyothi, Vice-President M.V. Gowramma Somasekhar, ZP Standing Committee Chairmen M. Venkataswamy, S.R. Nandeesh, Chief Planning Officer M.B. Padmashekar and others were present at the meeting.
UoM Chinese students asked not to go home
Over 200 Chinese students studying in the University of Mysore (UoM) have been asked not to go to their home country till the virus scare is eliminated. “Before the advisory was issued, 18 students had already left Mysuru and they have been told not to return to India for some time,” DHO Dr. Venkatesh said.