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Coronavirus confirmed in India: Student who returned from virus-hit Wuhan tests positive in Kerala

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Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 30: India on Thursday reported its first positive case of the novel coronavirus in Kerala. The infected person has been tested positive of 2019-nCoV. The patient has been identified as a student who was studying at Wuhan University in China. The patient is stable and is being closely monitored.

However, several airports have still not reportedly installed thermal screening.

Coronavirus confirmed in India: Patient tests positive in Kerala

Explained: How thermal screening is used to diagnose disease?

At least 806 people who returned from China over the past few days are under observation in Kerala for possible exposure to the novel coronavirus, Health officials said here on Wednesday.

Out of the total of 806 people, 173 had arrived in the state on Wednesday. While 10 of them are under observation in isolation wards at various hospitals across the state, the remaining are under home quarantine. Health Minister K K Shylaja has asked those who have returned from China to avoid travelling to other places and keep themselves under self-quarantine for 28 days.

The health department also gave the phone number, 0471- 255-2056, to make available the details of the hospitals arranged for treatment with isolation wards. The medical bulletin said that at least 19 people had been admitted in various hospitals since the past one week, of whom nine were discharged after a medical checkup.

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    A three-member central team had visited Kerala on January 27 and 28 and held a meeting with Kerala Health authorities, including Principal Health Secretary Dr Rajan N Khobragade, and discussed the preventive measures taken against the backdrop of the Coronavirus outbreak in China's Wuhan province.

    A thermal screening facility was opened at the Thiruvananthapuram airport on Tuesday to scan passengers coming from the neighbouring country, they told reporters.

    Meanwhile, all the three men kept under observation at an isolation ward of the RML Hospital here for possible exposure to novel coronavirus have tested negative, a Health Ministry official said on Thursday. "Their samples were sent for testing to NIV Pune and they have tested negative," the official said.

    Coronavirus: 3 men kept in isolation ward of RML test negative

    With China struggling to contain the fast-spreading novel coronavirus, the Union Health Ministry had on Wednesday urged Indians to refrain from travelling to China.

    The advisory further urged all travellers to China to monitor their health closely. A 24x7 helpline number (011-23978046) to redress any queries related the respiratory infection has been set up. India is planning to evacuate its nationals, mostly students, stuck in Wuhan, the epicentre of the viral outbreak.

    As part of the preparedness, India has also increased the number of airports for the thermal screening of passengers to 21 from seven. The new airports include those at Gaya, Guwahati, Vizag, Varanasi, Goa, Bhubaneshwar and Lucknow.

    The Health Ministry has also made four more laboratories functional other than the NIV-Pune for testing samples.

    The four lab facilities for testing samples have been made functional at Alleppey, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Mumbai. Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on Tuesday reviewed the preparedness to deal with the deadly virus after which the government said India has made a formal request to China for facilitating the evacuation of Indians from Wuhan.

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    India has been making all efforts to detect and check the spread of the virus even as more than a dozen countries around the world have confirmed cases of the deadly virus.

    Several states including Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan have kept some people, with travel history to China, under observation after they showed novel coronavirus-like symptoms.

    India, the US, the UK and Germany have already issued travel advisories against travelling to China. Beijing too has been asking Chinese not to travel at home and abroad in view of the virus.

    Besides India, several other countries including the US, France, Japan, South Korea, are making arrangements to airlift their nationals from central Hubei province and its capital city Wuhan.

    Over 23,000 Indian students of which 21,000 are medical students are studying in China.

    Symptoms of Coronavirus:

    It is similar to any other upper-respiratory infection, that includes:

    Runny nose,

    sneezing,

    coughing,

    exacerbated asthma,

    sore throat and

    sometimes a fever.

    In most cases, you won't know whether you have a coronavirus or a common cold. In advanced cases, the patient can have very serious complications, which can lead to death, such as: Severe pneumonia, Renal (Kidney) failure.

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