Indian nurse tested positive for coronavirus in Saudi Arabia not infected with Wuhan strain: Indian Consulate in Jeddah

The nurse found positive for coronavirus was suffering for MERS-CoV and not 2019-NCoV (Wuhan).

Updated - January 24, 2020 01:54 am IST

Published - January 23, 2020 10:11 pm IST

Photo: Facebook/@AlhayatHospitaljeddah

Photo: Facebook/@AlhayatHospitaljeddah

An Indian nurse working in Saudi Arabia has tested positive for a coronavirus, but with a different strain from the one that has claimed 18 lives in China, the Indian Consulate in Jeddah said on January 23. Earlier in the day, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs V Muraleedharan said an Indian nurse working at Al-Hayat hospital in Saudi Arabia was tested positive for coronavirus.

In a tweet, he said, “Update from @CGIJeddah: About 100 Indian nurses mostly from Kerala working at Al-Hayat hospital have been tested and none except one nurse was found infected by Corona virus. Affected nurse is being treated at Aseer National Hospital and is recovering well.”

The Minister said he spoke to the Indian Consulate in Jeddah after the Indian nurses were quarantined at the hospital due to the coronavirus threat.

Responding to his tweet, the Indian Consulate in Jeddah clarified that the nurse found positive for coronavirus was suffering for MERS-CoV and not 2019-NCoV (Wuhan).


“Dr Tarik Al Azraqi, Chairman, Scientific Regional Infection Control Committee, Aseer Region, has confirmed that d Indian Nurse being treated at Aseer National Hospital is suffering from MERS-CoV & not 2019-NCoV (Wuhan). We request everyone to refrain from sharing incorrect info,” it said in the tweet.

The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012, while the 2019 Wuhan coronavirus is a novel one , meaning a member of the coronavirus family that has never been encountered before.

The coronavirus strain that emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei Province has so far infected over 630 people and left 18 others dead.

Confirmed cases have been reported from several regions including Xinjiang and Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, as well as in the U.S., Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also wrote to External Affairs minister S. Jaishankar to take urgent steps in ensuring expert treatment and protection to those affected from the virus in Saudi.

There were media reports that the affected nurse was from Ettumannur in Kerala’s Kottayam district.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.