An Indian medical student admitted to a hospital in Kerala with novel coronavirus was discharged on Thursday, PTI quoted Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan as saying. The three positive coronavirus cases in India till now have been reported from the southern state.
Vardhan said there had been a significant reduction in the “viral load” of the other two patients. “We are still waiting for confirmatory results before discharging them,” he added. “They are stable and recovering and will be discharged soon.”
A top-level group of ministers, formed on the basis of the prime minister’s directions, met for the second time during the day to go over the current status of coronavirus prevention and management systems. The meeting was held in New Delhi. The Union minister said so far 15,991 people across India are under community watch. Of them, 497 have been identified as symptomatic cases and isolated, and 41 have been hospitalised.
The health minister said so far 2,51,447 passengers have been screened at the airports, and added that screening was also conducted at 12 major and 65 minor ports, PTI reported. He said 402 people quarantined at the Indo-Tibetan Border Police’s facility have tested negative for the virus, and their condition is stable. “All the states have been informed about the guidelines and precautionary measures to be taken,” PTI quoted him as saying.
Vardhan said India had evacuated 645 people, including seven Maldives citizens, from the city of Wuhan city in China’s Hubei province, which is the epicentre of the outbreak. They have been quarantined in two special camps, and will remain under observation for two weeks.
The good news from Kerala came a day after the Indian Embassy in Japan confirmed that two Indians on board a cruise ship had tested positive for the virus. A total 138 Indians, including passengers and crew members, are on the ship. Vardhan said the government, including his ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office, was monitoring the situation.
The virus, officially called COVID-19, is believed to have originated in a live seafood market in Wuhan. It has claimed 1,355 lives in China. As of Thursday, nearly 60,000 confirmed cases of the disease were reported from the country.
Infection symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. It causes respiratory illness, and is similar to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, which had also emerged from China in 2002. SARS killed 774 people around the world.