India on Sunday reported a second case of novel coronavirus with another person from Kerala, who recently returned from China, testing positive for the infection.
IMAGE: Medics wait to check people, who recently travelled from China, at the specially set up coronavirus ward at Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases, in Bengaluru. Photograph: PTI Photo
The condition of both patients was stated to be ‘stable’ and not serious, officials said.
The second patient is also a student from Wuhan in China, the epicentre of the epidemic. The patient had returned to Kerala on January 24, the state government said.
The country’s first novel coronavirus case was reported from Thrissur in Kerala on Thursday with a woman medical student who returned from Wuhan testing positive for the infection.
Confirming the second case, Kerala health minister K K Shailaja said the condition of the student, currently admitted to the isolation ward at the Alapuzha Medical College Hospital, was “stable”.
Earlier in the day, the minister said in Kollam that the state was awaiting the results of tests conducted on the patient from the National Institute of Virology in Pune.
“Now, we have got the test report of the patient. There is a positive case in Alapuzha,” she told reporters here on Sunday evening after chairing a high-level meeting with senior health department officials.
The first patient, a woman medical student, is in an isolation ward at the Thrissur medical college hospital.
“We are trying to ensure that the virus does not spread. The two patients, who have tested positive for the virus, are stable. Their condition is not serious. But we are monitoring them closely,” she said.
Since the coronavirus outbreak in China, Kerala, which is thickly populated, has been on high alert as a large number of students from the state are studying in the University of Wuhan.
The Kerala health minister said they had started the process to identify people who may have come in contact the two virus-infected patients.
She said police were helping in the process.
With the second case being reported from the state, people need to be more vigilant and follow all precautionary measures, Shailaja said.
A meeting with officials of private hospitals in Thrissur was held and they have kept aside around 87 beds for isolation wards.
A similar exercise was required to be undertaken here in view of the need to arrange maximum number of beds (to meet contingencies), she said.
She said those who have returned from the virus-affected areas of China, besides Sri Lanka and Nepal, must inform the health department as they will have to be home quarantined for 28 days.
“We would like to keep them under quarantine for double the duration of incubation period of the virus. We have followed the same protocol earlier during the Nipah, chikungunya and H1N1 outbreak”.
Those under observation at home should keep away from public functions and should not participate in any events during the incubation period.
Till date, a total of 1,793 people, who travelled from coronavirus-affected countries, have been identified and placed under surveillance in the state.
Of this, as many as 70 have been admitted to isolation facilities and others are under home isolation, a medical bulletin had said on Saturday.