The number of people kept under home quarantine in Odisha increased to 100. (Photo Credit: Photo For Representation)
The residents of Bhadrak district of Odisha have expressed concern that the crew members of the two Hong Kong ships, that anchored at the Dhamra Port two days ago, might have been exposed to the deadly coronavirus.
Assuaging their concern, Bhadrak Additional District Magistrate Shyambhakt Mishra said the crew had undergone screening for the virus and there was no reason to panic. “I have also spoken to Dhamra Port Company Ltd (DPCL) authorities on the matter,” he said.
The port authorities made it clear that the crew members will not be allowed to disembark from the ship as they do not have immigration passes.
They said the ship will leave the port after loading shipment. Two residents of the state who were quarantined in New Delhi on their return from coronavirus-affected Chinese city of Wuhan reached their homes on Thursday and have been kept under home observation for the next 15 days, an official said.
With this, the number of people kept under home quarantine in Odisha increased to 100, he said. Seven blood and swab samples sent for the examination have tested negative for the virus, he said.
Meanwhile, US scientists announced on Wednesday they had created the first 3D atomic scale map of the part of the novel coronavirus that attaches to and infects human cells, a critical step toward developing vaccine and treatments. It came as the death toll from the COVID-19 virus jumped past 2,000, almost all of them in mainland China where 74,185 cases of infection have been confirmed since it first emerged in late December.
The team from the University of Texas at Austin and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) first studied the genetic code of the virus made publicly available by Chinese researchers, and used it to develop a stabilized sample of a key part called the spike protein.