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nCoV outbreak declared a State calamity in Kerala

Safety first:Medical staff disposing of garbage outside an isolation ward for coronavirus at a hospital in Kochi.PTI

Safety first:Medical staff disposing of garbage outside an isolation ward for coronavirus at a hospital in Kochi.PTI  

Third case confirmed in Kasaragod; 84 under treatment

A third case of 2019-nCoV has been confirmed in the State, this time in Kasaragod district, again from a student in Wuhan University who had returned to his home district after the global alert was sounded on the epidemic recently.

Health officials said on Monday that the timeline of the return of this male student matched those of the other two students from Wuhan who had earlier tested positive.

“He reached his home district on January 24 and later approached the local health authorities when he developed slight flu-like symptoms. He was in isolation at the Kanhangad District Hospital when his sample results confirmed him to be positive for nCoV,” State Nodal Officer for Public Health Emergencies Amar Fettle said.

The patient had only mild illness and is currently stable, he added.

His close relatives are already under isolation and the painstaking process of contact-tracing is on.

GoM set up

Meanwhile, a high-level group of Ministers has been constituted on the directions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review management of the outbreak.

Confirming the third case of the nCoV infection in a student who returned recently to Kasaragod from Wuhan, the Union Health Ministry said, “The patient...is in isolation in the hospital. The patient is stable and is being closely monitored.”

Meanwhile, five people, who were shifted to the Army’s Base hospital from a quarantine facility in Manesar after showing symptoms of cough and cold, have tested negative for nCoV. The five were among the 247 persons evacuated from the Hubei province in China. The symptoms of the coronavirus infection start with fever and dry cough followed by breathing problems, according to doctors.

Intensive surveillance

The Kerala Health Department has taken adequate preparatory measures and framed detailed guidelines as soon as the WHO issued a global health alert and this helped the State respond appropriately when nCoV struck, Health Minister K.K. Shylaja said in the State Assembly.

The Health Department’s disease surveillance teams are now trying to get an estimate of the exact number of students who have returned to Kerala from Wuhan.

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