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436 people who returned to Kerala from China under observation, tests negative


Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 28: At least 436 people, who returned to Kerala from China in recent days, are under observation for possible exposure to the novel coronavirus (nCoV), health officials said on Monday.

Five people are still under observation in isolation wards at various hospitals across the state, officials said, adding, all results of blood samples sent to the National Institute of Virology at Pune have been found to be negative for the virus. While three people are in hospitals at Ernakulam, one each are in Thiruvananthapuram and Thrissur, officials said.

436 people who returned to Kerala from China under observation, tests negative

Two people, admitted earlier to hospitals in Pathanamthitta and Malappuram, have been discharged. Health minister K K Shylaja said necessary steps were being taken by coordinating with district medical officers.

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"We have also opened isolation wards even though we have not received any positive cases in the state," she told the media.

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    Meanwhile, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to arrange for airlifting stranded Indians from coronavirus affected Wuhan province in China, including those from the Southern state. Sharing the concern of Kerala, Vijayan, in a letter to Modi, said the ground situation in the province has worsened and the state had information from relatives of students from Kerala studying at various Universities there that the situation there was "grave." There were also reports that Yichang area has also been affected, he said.

    "It may be appropriate to consider operating a special flight to Wuhan/a nearby functional airport and airlift the Indian nationals stranded there and bring them back to India," Vijayan said, days after he shot off two letters to External Affairs minister S Jaishankar. Vijayan also offered the assistance of medical professionals from Kerala in case the Indians being evacuated from Wuhan needed medical attention. He also wanted necessary instructions to be given to the Indian Embassy in China to "act proactively" and provide necessary assistance and reassurance to Indians, including Keralites stranded in Wuhan and Yichang.

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    A team of doctors deputed by the Union Health Ministry visited the Cochin International Airport and Kalamassery Medical college hospital and expressed satisfaction at the preparedness. At the CIAL airport, the doctors examined the passenger manifests and details of 178 passengers who were screened by airport health officers, a statement from the airport said. The central team also visited the Kalamassery Medical College Hospital where an isolation ward has been set up to observe patients.

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