As many as 436 people who have returned from China, mainly the Wuhan province, are under observation in Kerala for suspected exposure to the novel coronavirus. Of them, five are in isolation wards and others have been quarantined at home.
A state health department official said 148 persons were put under observation on Monday, taking the total figure to 436. “The number of people under observation can go up in the coming days if the return of Keralites from China continue. So far, no one has tested positive. We had sent six samples to the virology lab in Pune, but all of them tested negative. Tomorrow, we are sending a few more samples,’’ official said.
Stating that the situation is under control at present, the official said, “We have to be realistic, especially after a positive case was confirmed in Nepal. We fear such a possibility and the department is fully prepared to meet such an eventuality,” he said.
Health department sources said a major chunk of those who have been put under observation was directly picked up from airports after they returned from China. “They are students and business travellers. A section of them have reported at hospitals days after landing in Kerala following the alert issued by the health department.’’
The health department has arranged isolation wards in all 14 districts. Those under home quarantine would be monitored by the primary health centres in the region. They would be under watch for 28 days. Health staff would be in touch with them at regular intervals on a day.
Meanwhile, a Mumbai resident and two Pune residents have been put under quarantine and their samples have been sent for testing. All the three recently returned from China.
The first suspected case of a coronavirus infection in Punjab was reported from Mohali on Monday. The man, who returned from China a week ago, has been referred to Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh.
Pinarayi urges PM to consider special flight to airlift Indians
Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to consider operating a special flight to Wuhan or a nearby airport to airlift Indians stranded following the outbreak of coronavirus.
Vijayan wrote the situation in Wuhan has worsened, requesting the PM to give necessary directions to the Indian Embassy to provide necessary assistance to Indians stranded in Wuhan and Yichang. He also offered the assistance of medical teams in case Indians being evacuated require medical care.
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