Coronavirus outbreak: Second case reported from Kerala, parents under observation

Shaju Philip,Abantika Ghosh
coronavirus, coronavirus china

One more student belonging to Kerala who recently returned from Wuhan University in China tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Sunday, taking the confirmed cases of the virus in the country to two. Officials said the 22-year-old, belonging to Alappuzha, had travelled along with the first positive case, now under isolation in Thrissur.

"They have common travel history from Wuhan to Kochi via Kolkata. After reaching Alappuzha, the 22-year-old was under home quarantine and was later shifted to the medical college after he developed minor symptoms, such as sore throat and fever. The symptoms are not serious although he has tested positive," officials said.

Kerala health minister K K Shailaja said the student had been under observation since January 24, and a sample sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV)-Pune had tested positive. The 22-year-old is admitted to the isolation unit at Alappuzha Medical College, and officials are looking into others who might have had contact with him during his travel leg from Kochi-Alappuzha. His parents have also been put under observation.
"Surveillance and control measures have been strengthened across Kerala in the wake of the confirmation of the second case of coronavirus in the state. Those suspected to be exposed to the virus should stay in isolation for saving theirs as well as other's lives," Shailaja said, reiterating the state's experience of successfully containing Nipah in 2018.

Meanwhile, the first person who tested positive, also a medical student, is said to be recovering fast. "Her samples are being sent to the NIV-Pune for a repeat test to analyse the present status of the infection," an official said.

Air India brought in a second plane-load of Indian citizens from Wuhan on Sunday, with the 323 flying into Delhi and subjected to screening and quarantine along with the crew. Ambassador of India in China Vikram Misri tweeted that the flight also had seven Maldivians on board.

Only asymptomatic individuals are being allowed to board the evacuation flights by China, as per international protocol to contain the spread of the disease.