India has reported its first confirmed case of novel coronavirus in Kerala. The patient is a student studying at Wuhan University, China.
The patient tested positive for Novel Coronavirus and is in isolation in the hospital, the ministry said. The patient is stable and is being closely monitored, it said.
Several people have been kept under observation in several states including Kerala, Kolkata and Maharashtra following screening for possible exposure to the respiratory virus.
The Centre has stepped up vigil in areas bordering Nepal in view of a confirmed case of nCoV detected there.
The Prime Minister’s Office reviewed India’s preparedness to deal with any situation amid mounting global concerns over rising cases in China.
A 24×7 NCDC Call Centre (+91-11-23978046) has been made operational to monitor the list of contacts furnished by the Ministry of External Affairs, provide details of district and state surveillance officers to those who seek them, and in case of any clinical query, direct the concerned to the relevant Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) officer.
Thermal screening is being done at seven designated airports – New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kochi.
In Kerala, one person each from Thrissur, Thiruvananthapuram, Pathanamthitta and Malappuram and three from Ernakulam district have been kept in isolation wards of various helath centres, news agency PTI reported.
As a precautionary measure, health authorities in India have placed many people under medical watch. Various airports in the country have started screening passengers arriving from China for symptoms of coronavirus infection.
News agency Reuters reported that a senior Indian government official said bringing Indian nationals from Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus, was not the best option due to the risk of infection but increased pressure from the citizens, most of the students, and their parents had forced them to keep an aircraft on standby.
This week, India readied a state-carrier airplane to travel to Wuhan but was waiting for a nod from Chinese authorities who were trying to sequence the whole evacuation process.
“Only those nationals who don’t have the virus will be airlifted, they will be brought into a quarantine facility outside Delhi,” the official said, requesting anonymity.
Demands from South Asian nationals intensified after countries such as the United States and Japan began pulling out their nationals.