Kerala on Monday declared the outbreak a “state calamity” hours after the third positive case of infection was reported from the state. These are the only positive cases reported so far in India. The first positive case in Kerala was reported on January 30 in Thrissur district while the second was reported in Alappuzha. The third patient is being treated in Kanhangad District Hospital in Kasaragod district.
State Health Minister KK Shailaja said the health guidelines that were issued must continue to be followed.
Over 2,800 people are under observation in Kerala for possible exposure to coronavirus, according to PTI. The samples of at least 263 people, who have shown minor symptoms, have been sent to the National Institute of Virology at Pune, and the results of 229 samples were negative.
The novel coronavirus originated in a live seafood market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December, and the first infection was reported last month. It has killed at least 636 people in China itself, and spread to more than 20 countries. The number of new confirmed infections in China has soared to 31,000. Two people have died outside China – one each in the Philippines and Hong Kong.
Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar informed the Parliament that about 80 Indians were still present in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Of them, 10 students who came to the airport had fever and were not allowed to board the special Air India flight by the Chinese authorities. The remaining 70 have voluntarily stayed back.
National carrier Air India has cancelled flights to China and Hong Kong until further notice while budget carrier IndiGo has suspended its flights until February 20. Two deaths have been reported outside China, in Hong Kong and the Philippines, but it is still unclear how deadly and contagious the virus is. Countries have quarantined hundreds of people and cut travel links with China.