India has reported its first case of coronavirus in Kerala. The patient is a student at Wuhan University, the epicentre of the outbreak, has tested positive for the virus that has killed 170 people in China and is spreading worldwide.
India, which is placed by a study at the 23rd place among "high-risk" countries where the virus can spread, has requested China to operate two flights to bring back its nationals from Hubei Province.
"One positive case of
Novel Coronavirus patient, of a student studying at Wuhan University, has been reported in Kerala. The patient has tested positive for Novel Coronavirus and is in isolation in the hospital. The patient is stable and is being closely monitored," the government said in a notification.
So far, there have been confirmed cases of coronavirus in at least 21 countries including China, United States, Japan, Singapore, Australia, Nepal, Philippines, Thailand, South Korea, France, Hong Kong, Macau, Canada, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, UAE and Germany.
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The deadly respiratory virus emerged in the Wuhan area of Hubei province of China and has lead to deaths of over 100 people.
In India, arriving passengers are being thermally screened at 21 airports for coronavirus. An evacuation programme is in place to bring Indian nationals from Hubei province back to India.
Health ministry has asked people to refrain from travelling to China and the states bordering Nepal Uttarakhand, UP, Bihar, West Bengal and Sikkim have stepped up vigil.
"Per day a total of 9-10 samples are received at the facility (NIV-Pune) for testing. All facilities and capacity is available for testing of samples and it takes a day to test a sample for coronavirus (nCoV)," PTI quoted Priya Abraham, director of ICMR-NIV in Pune, as saying.
According to ministry officials, hundreds of people have been quarantined in hospitals, including over 800 in Kerala, and are being monitored by doctors.
According to a ministry official, three men kept under observation in an isolation ward of Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in Delhi for possible exposure to nCoV have tested negative.
Only two Indian airlines that fly to China IndiGo and Air India announced suspension of most of their flights to the country.
Airlines based of Asia, North America and Europe which have also restricted operations to the region.
Apart from NIV-Pune, the health ministry has established four more laboratories to test samples at Alleppey, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Mumbai.
The health ministry has advised those who have recently travelled to China (within last 14 days) or had possible contact with an nCoV-infected person, to stay at home, in isolation for 14 days after returning and sleep in a separate room.-
With PTI input