A third case of the fast-spreading coronavirus case has been reported from Kerala, a day after a patient was confirmed to have tested positive on Sunday, the government said on Monday.
“The patient is stable and being closely monitored,” the Union health ministry said in a release.
Sources said the test result of the student in Kerala, who recently came back from the epicentre of the coronavirus in the Chinese city of Wuhan, returned positive.
The first two patients are also medical students in Wuhan.
The second case of coronavirus was detected in Kerala’s Alappuzha after the first was reported on Thursday last week, prompting the authorities in Kerala to put the state on high alert.
Kerala’s health minister KK Shailaja on Sunday had assured people there was no need to panic and that the state will overcome the challenge like it did when Nipah virus struck two years ago.
“A special care is needed but there is no need to panic. Isolation is the best way to contain the secondary infection. Both cases are stable and they are responding well to treatment,” she said.
She spoke at a press conference in Kollam shortly after the Union health ministry confirmed the second case after obtaining the report from the National Institute of Virology, Pune.
“The second patient is in an isolation ward in Alappuzha medical college hospital. A team of doctors are monitoring his health. We want people to avoid roaming around and talking to patients for the time being,” she said.
She also said that the virology centre in Alapuzha will start testing samples Monday onwards.
The first patient, a woman, is in an isolation ward in the Thrissur medical college hospital and she is responding well to the treatment, said a medical bulletin.
At least 64 persons who came in contact with the first patient have been quarantined.
The government had opened 100 isolation wards in hospitals across the state. It has also decided to start awareness campaigns in all schools and control rooms have also been set up in all 14 districts.
In all, 198 samples have been tested for the novel coronavirus, of which 195 samples have tested negative.
Close to 100 people, with a history of travel to China, are under quarantine in different hospitals across India.
Eight of the 13 patients kept in the isolation ward In New Delhi’s Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital have been discharged. Reports of five suspected cases are awaited.
In a fresh travel advisory issued by the Indian government, e-Visa already issued to Chinese nationals is not valid temporarily.
“The facility for submitting the application online for the physical visa from China is suspended,” the government statement said.
“People having compelling reasons to visit India asked to contact the India embassy in Beijing or consulate in Shanghai or Guangzhou,” it added.