India Reports First Confirmed Case of the Virus from Kerala

India reported its first case of Novel Coronavirus (nCoV) from Kerala on Thursday.

A student studying in Wuhan University tested positive for nCoV. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said in a statement, “The patient has tested positive for Novel Coronavirus and is in isolation in the hospital. The patient is stable and is being closely monitored.”

After this report, the government has decided to test everyone who returned from China after January 15. The health ministry issued a detailed advisory for people who have travelled from China to India over the last two weeks. The people have been advised home isolation for 14 days after the return and to limit contact with family members, avoid visitors and maintain hand hygiene. “In case you develop fever, cough or difficulty in breathing any time within 28 days of return from China, wear a mask immediately and report to nearest medical facility,” the advisory says.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, 49 samples have been tested so far and only this patient has tested positive. Now, another test would be conducted and the final result would be declared on Friday evening. “A next test known as ‘next gen sequencing test’ will be done on her sample and the final result will be declared till tomorrow (Friday) evening,” said Dr Priya Abraham, director of ICMR-NIV Pune.

Meanwhile, China assured Indian government of all support and communication regarding Indian nationals and its fight against the virus. Ji Rong, spokesperson of Chinese embassy in India, said, “The Chinese side pays close attention to the report of the emergence of one confirmed case of pneumonia caused by the novel Coronavirus in India and will cooperate with the Indian side to jointly strengthen the epidemic prevention and control. The Chinese government attaches great importance to safeguarding the safety and health of every foreign national in China.”

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