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Coronavirus scare after Indian nurse in Saudi put on watch

The nurse, who hails from Ettumanoor in Kerala’s Kottayam district, is believed to have got the virus from a Philippines national who was under treatment in Al-Hayat Hospital where she worked in southwestern Saudi Arabia’s Khamis Mushait.

Written by Liz Mathew , Shaju Philip | Updated: January 24, 2020 2:20:01 pm
Kerala nurse in Saudi Arabia tests positive for Coronavirus, CM asks Centre to take urgent steps Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan sought the intervention of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in the case.

An Indian nurse working in Saudi Arabia has been infected with coronavirus and is under treatment in the Gulf nation, according to Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan. The Consulate General of India in Jeddah said the nurse was not infected by the strain that has led to 18 deaths in China.

Responding to a Twitter user, the Consulate General posted on its official account: “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.”

The nurse, who hails from Ettumanoor in Kerala’s Kottayam district, is believed to have got the virus from a Philippines national who was under treatment in Al-Hayat Hospital where she worked in southwestern Saudi Arabia’s Khamis Mushait.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Muraleedharan said: “We have been told that she’s not serious and she may be able to leave the hospital in two or three days.”

Tweeting about the case, Muraleedharan said he spoke to the Consulate General about the “quarantined” nurse. “They are in touch with hospital management and Saudi foreign ministry. Have asked our Consulate to provide all possible support,” he tweeted.

“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 posted.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan sought the intervention of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in the case.

Coronaviruses are a specific family of viruses, with some strains causing less-severe damage such as common cold, and others causing respiratory and intestinal diseases. The outbreak in China’s Wuhan province has led to pneumonia-like symptoms in patients.

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