Kerala alert, 1,053 under observation

The state government has sounded high alert in all districts and stepped up surveillance and prevention activities.

Thiruvananthapuram: With a student studying in China’s Wuhan University being tested positive in Kerala for novel Coronavirus (nCov), the state government has sounded high alert in all districts and stepped up surveillance and prevention activities.

This is the first case of novel Coronavirus in the country.

Health Minister K K Shailaja told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram that the medical student from China Wuhan University has been kept in an isolation ward in Thrissur general hospital. She will be shifted to Thrissur medical college hospital soon where a special ward has been set up. “She does not have severe symptoms. Her condition is stable,” the minister added.

Four persons, who were in contact with the infected student, have also been kept in isolation ward. Of the 20 samples sent to the National Institute of Virology, Pune, 15 were negative, one positive and results of four are awaited. Health Minister, health secretary and senior officials have left for Thirssur for a high level meeting to review the situation.

At the moment 1053 persons are under observation and 15 are admitted in isolation ward across Kerala.

The preliminary result on the medical student had confirmed coronavirus. The second result is awaited. However, without waiting for that the health department has put in place all precautionary measures. Earlier union health ministry had conveyed the confirmation of coronovirus during a video conference with Kerala chief secretary and principal secretary health.

Since coronavirus has affected more than 20 countries and the virus has been transmitted by people who arrived from China, the health authorities called for stepping up surveillance. There is a need to check the spread of virus in the society. In case of any suspected symptoms, the person should seek medical assistance to rule out the virus. They should not mingle with the family members or other people.

It is in this backdrop that the state government had called for monitoring of people coming from outside the country especially China. The health department had already issued a directive that those coming from China should voluntarily report to the respective district medical officers.

While some people have voluntarily reported to the health authorities, there are many who are yet to report .

Those who have returned from China should either report to district medical officers or call health department’s emergency number Disha 1056.

The experts said the symptoms of coronavirus are similar to common viral fever.

The main symptoms include fever, cough, respiratory distress and breathing difficulty.

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