First confirmed case in India: Wuhan student tests positive for coronavirus in Kerala

First confirmed case in India: Kerala student tests postitive for Coronavirus

Doctors come out of an isolation ward after attending to people who returned from China and under observation at the Government Fever Hospital in Hyderabad. (AP)

In the first case in India, a student in Kerala, who just returned from Wuhan tested positive for the novel Coronavirus and was admitted to the isolation ward in Thrissur District Hospital, state Health Minister KK Shyalaja teacher said Thursday. Out of 20 samples that were sent to the lab in Pune, one tested positive. She is stable and is being closely monitored, the Ministry added.

Addressing a press conference, the health minister said, "We have directed all hospitals, including private hospitals, to monitor patients coming with similar symptoms (of coronavirus). The health department is all set to isolate patients and start treatment."

Over 400 people have returned from China and under observation in Kerala for suspected exposure to the novel Coronavirus. Of them, five are in isolation wards and others have been quarantined at home.

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On Monday, Health department sources said a major chunk of those who have been put under observation was directly picked up from airports after they returned from China. “They are students and business travellers. A section of them has reported at hospitals days after landing in Kerala following the alert issued by the health department.’’

Isolation wards have been arranged in all 14 districts. Those under home quarantine would be monitored by the primary health centres in the region. They would be under watch for 28 days. Health staff would be in touch with them at regular intervals on a day.

170 people have been killed by the virus in China so far and more than 7,700 people have been sickened.

The Indian government has announced plans to operate two flights to evacuate Indian citizens from Hubei and isolate them for 28 days, instead of the customary 14-day incubation period, in New Delhi. Health Ministry officials said only those without symptoms of the flu will be airlifted out of Wuhan, the capital of Hubei, to minimise the chances of the infection spreading to people who have not been exposed to the virus, such as those facilitating the evacuation.

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