A 23-year-old woman, who returned recently from London, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the first confirmed case of the deadly infection in the union territory, an official said on Thursday.
Responding to the development, the UT administration has taken a slew of measures, including the suspension of OPD services at several departments in government hospitals and curtailing the bus service.
The woman had arrived at the Amritsar airport from London on March 15.
The sample of the woman, a resident of Sector 21 here, was tested at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), the official said.
"The sample of the woman, who returned from London, has tested positive," PGIMER Director Jagat Ram told PTI.
She was admitted to a local hospital and her condition was stable, said Ram, adding that it was the first confirmed COVID-19 case in Chandigarh.
Meanwhile, the Adviser to the UT Chandigarh Administrator, Manoj Parida, said the woman was recovering quickly.
However, the adviser said the health authorities will screen and test her parents, maid and driver for coronavirus.
Parida said those who came in her contact will be traced and any person showing symptoms of the disease will be quarantined.
After the detection of the first case in the city, the UT Administration suspended the OPD services at the local government hospitals till March 31.
However, the emergency services, trauma units and the OPDs of gynaecology, paediatrics and medicine will remain operational, said Parida.
Parida said those who returned from abroad and have symptoms of the infections should contact the health authorities and they will be checked at their homes.
The adviser further said quarantine facilities will be created at Infosys Sarai, Parkview Hotel (on payment basis) and the Panchayat Bhawan.
To a question on masks and sanitisers, Parida said there was no shortage of such items and raids were being conducted against hoarders.
"If the need arises, we can also fix the common maximum price of these items," he said.
Parida said ''apni mandis'' will continue in the city.
The Chandigarh administration has also decided to curtail the bus service in the tricity (Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula) and on long routes by 40 per cent, a statement said.
The OPD services at the PGIMER will remain suspended till further orders.
"Around 10,000 patients visit the PGIMER OPDs. One of the most important ways to reduce the spread of this infection in the community, as declared by various experts, is social distancing," an official statement said.
"Hence, it is very important to discourage crowd accumulation. With this objective, the OPD services of the PGIMER, Chandigarh, including all centres will remain suspended till further orders," the official statement said.
The screening facility for COVID-19 will continue to operate in the new OPD block and emergency area, it said.
No elective surgeries will be performed from March 21 till further orders, though all emergency services will continue, as usual, it said.
The administration has suspended the public dealing at the UT secretariat as a precautionary measure.
The departments have been advised to dispose of the public work quickly so that people are not be forced to visit government offices.
All employees in offices will be subjected to thermal scanning. They have been advised not to convene meetings unless these are urgent, the order said.
The administration had already ordered the closure of cinemas, shopping malls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, pubs, spa centres and coaching centres till March 31.
It has also ordered the closure of the famous Rock Garden as a precautionary measure in the wake of the coronavirus threat.