New Delhi: India’s first case of the coronavirus was confirmed in Kerala Thursday, according to a press release by the Ministry of Health.
The patient is a student of Wuhan University, which is located in the epicentre of the outbreak in China.
According to the statement, the student is in isolation in a hospital ward. “The patient is stable and is being closely monitored,” it reads.
So far, the disease has claimed over 170 lives and infected 6,000 others in China.
In India, five other cases in Delhi, Rajasthan, Bihar and Maharashtra were being monitored by the Narendra Modi government. No confirmation has been received on these cases.
Novel Coronavirus (nCoV)
Belonging to a family of viruses called the coronaviridae, the novel Coronavirus or 2019-nCoV is a newly discovered strain. The six other strains before this include Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
However, unlike SARS, the nCoV is said to be transmissible even during the incubation period that is anywhere between two and 10 days.
The infection has been reported in at least 16 countries, including Nepal and Sri Lanka. In India, over 35,000 people have undergone thermal screening, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said in a statement, earlier this week.
State governments have been instructed to work in accordance with the protocol set out by the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) and the technical advice provided by World Health Organisation (WHO).
The government has also been planning to evacuate more than 250 Indian nationals from Wuhan, which has been under lockdown since last week.