Sixteen patients in Punjab and two in Haryana have been quarantined over suspicions of coronavirus infection, ministers in both the states said on Tuesday. Amritsar, however, has recorded one death due to swine flu.
A 28-year-old man from Mohali in Punjab who had recently returned from China, was admitted to the PGI in Chandigarh after he was diagnosed with symptoms of coronavirus.
The blood samples of all the patients have been sent to the National Institute of Virology, Pune.
Punjab Health and Family Welfare Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said 16 patients have been kept in isolation wards and are under observation. Their samples have been sent to the National Institute of Virology.
He said sample reports of the child, who died in Amritsar on Monday, confirmed that the death was caused by swine flu.
Mr Sidhu's counterpart in Haryana, Anil Vij told the media that two of the five people, who had travelled to and from China, have been hospitalised on suspicions of showing symptoms similar to that of coronavirus.
PGI Director Jagat Ram told the media in Chandigarh that he wrote a letter to the Chief Secretaries of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh not to refer the suspected coronavirus patients to the PGI but to keep them in isolation wards in their hospitals.
He said the 28-year-old man was the only suspected case and the virus can be confirmed only after reports come by Wednesday.
The Mohali man was admitted to the PGI with high grade fever and headache. His family has been quarantined at home.
Mr Ram said the swine flu is still prevalent and both swine flu and coronavirus have almost similar symptoms.
In Punjab, thermal sensors have been installed at Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport in Amritsar and the Chandigarh International Airport to screen passengers for coronavirus.