After positive case of Coronavirus in Kerala, govt directs hospitals to monitor patients with virus symptoms

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], Jan 30 (ANI): After the first positive case of novel Coronavirus reported in Kerala, Health Minister KK Shailaja on Thursday said that the state government has directed all hospitals to monitor patients with symptoms of the virus.

"20 samples had been sent for tests out of which one was found to be positive. The patient had returned from Wuhan (China) and is now kept in isolation at General Hospital in Thrissur. She is stable," Shailaja told reporters here.

"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," she said.

The minister has asked travellers returning from China to report to the health department.

"The department has directed home quarantine for those who are returning from China," she said.

According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the patient, who has been found positive was a student at Wuhan University.

"One positive case of Novel Coronavirus patient, of a student studying in Wuhan University, has been reported in Kerala. The patient has tested positive for Novel Coronavirus and is in isolation in the hospital. The patient is stable and is being closely monitored," the health ministry said in a release.

The Indian government had also issued a travel advisory, asking people to refrain from traveling to China.

In addition, the thermal screening facilities, as a precautionary measure, have been extended to 21 airports now, including Gaya, Guwahati, Vizag, Varanasi and Goa.

More than 170 people infected with the deadly virus have died in China.

The novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been identified before. The exact source of infection of 2019 nCoV is not known yet.

Coronavirus is a large family of viruses that cause respiratory illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

The symptoms reported in patients with nCoV include acute onset of fever, cough, and difficulty in breathing. The infection results in severe complications and even death. (ANI)