1 positive case of novel coronavirus found in Kerala

Kerala student tests positive for novel coronavirus after return from Wuhan University

A Malayali girl student of Wuhan University, who recently returned from the virus-hit Chinese city on Thursday became the first confirmed Indian victim of the novel-coronavirus (2019 n-Cov) that triggered a worldwide outbreak infecting more than 7,000 individuals and killing 170 so far.

 “One positive case of novel coronavirus patient, of a student studying at Wuhan University, has been reported in Kerala. The patient has tested positive for novel coronavirus and is in isolation in a hospital. The patient is stable and is being closely monitored,” the Union Health Ministry said in a statement.

 Kerala Health Minister K K Shylaja said the condition of the girl, who had reported sore throat and was kept at the isolation ward of the Thrissur general hospital, was stable.

 Three other students who returned from Wuhan were also put in the isolation ward of the same hospital. Test results of five more individuals are pending.

 Shylaja said there was no need for panic as the Malabar state had made steps to contain the pathogen's spread.

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 Pune-based National Institute of Virology, which tested the samples, found the 2019-n-Cov in her sample. Its director Priya Abraham said the laboratory would also carry out next-generation sequencing test the results of which would be declared by Friday evening.

 The NIV examined 49 samples so far, out of which only has been tested positive. “Every day 9-10 samples are received at NIV for testing. It takes a day to test a sample for coronavirus,” Abraham said in a statement released by the Indian Council of Medical Research.

 In the national capital Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on Thursday reviewed India's preparedness to fight the new virus for the fourth time with seven ministries and state governments. While a decision has been taken to examine all who returned from China after January 15 (because of the 14 day incubation period for the virus), more laboratories have been allowed to test.

 Currently, five institutions including NIV are permitted to test for the 2019-n-Cov. From Thursday six others have joined the bandwagon. They are (1) NIV Bengaluru unit, (2) Victoria Hospital Campus, KR Road, Fort, Bengaluru (3), AIIMS, New Delhi (4), NCDC, Delhi (5) Kasturba Hospital for infectious diseases, Mumbai (6) NIV – Kerala Unit.

 From Friday, another six will be added to the network. They are (1) ICMR – NICED, Kolkata (2) GMC, Secunderabad (3) KGMU, Lucknow (4) SMS, Jaipur (5) IGGMC, Nagpur (6) KIPMR, Chennai. The Directorate General of Health Services has prepared a portal for the discharged patients while a widespread campaign has been launched to create awareness about the virus and how the infection can be avoided.

 Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan asked the media to keep the “privacy and dignity of the patients in mind” while reporting on the outbreak.

In Kerala, the Health Minister said efforts were on to trace all the persons who were in touch with the corona infected student over the last few weeks.

 The southern state initiated surveillance against corona virus from January 22 with medical teams screening passengers who reach from any 2019-n-Cov infected countries. So far 806 persons were kept in surveillance in Kerala, of which around 20 were kept in isolation wards in hospitals as they had some or other symptoms.

 Hundreds of others were also screened at other cities.