Fifteen Kerala students, who were stranded in China in the wake of novel coronavirus outbreak, reached Kochi on Friday midnight. None of them have shown any symptoms of the infection, and have been allowed to return home after their samples were collected.
Ernakulam District Collector A Suhas said the decision to send the students home was taken as they did not show any symptoms. However, they would be under observation at home for the next 28 days. The students as well as their parents were briefed about the situation.
The students, from Dali University in China’s Yunnan province, were to take a flight from Kunming airport to Singapore, from where they were to fly to Thiruvananthapuram. However, due to the coronavirus outbreak, the students were not allowed to fly to Singapore, leaving them stranded at Kunming airport.
They could also not go back to Dali University.
Later, following the intervention of the Indian Embassy, the students managed to fly to Bangkok, Thailand, and later to Kochi. On reaching Kochi airport, they were shifted to five sterilised ambulances, which transited them to a medical college.
As on Saturday evening, 3,144 persons in Kerala with recent travel history from China are under observation, including 45 in isolation at hospitals.
An official communication from the state Health Department said 330 samples have been sent to National Institute of Virology, Pune, for testing, of which 288 have reported negative for the virus. Of 70 persons who returned from Wuhan, the test results have been negative for 66 and one result is pending.
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