India reported its first confirmed case of novel coronavirus (nCoV) in Thrissur district of Kerala. The patient, who is a student of Wuhan University, China has recently returned to India. The Press Information Bureau (PIB) of India said in a statement, “The patient has tested positive for novel coronavirus and is in isolation in the hospital. The patient is stable and is being closely monitored.” She has been kept at General Hospital in Thrissur.
The health minister said the government has already set up a control room as well and has directed all hospitals in the country to monitor patients indicating symptoms of coronavirus.
According to an official statement by the Indian government, it is prepared to handle any outbreak in the country. “Thermal screening sensors are operational and few more such equipment are being procured. The immigration and other staff members at the airports have been sensitized and dedicated ambulances are placed. Deployment of medical & para-medical staff is also being done for round-the-clock service. Hospitals have prepared isolation wards, preparing for any contingency. Personal protection equipment and masks are available in adequate quantity in all the States/UTs.”
Till now, the virus has claimed more than 170 lives in China while the total number of confirmed cases across the world is 7,783, with as many as 7,678 in mainland China. A total of 15 countries, besides China, have reported a total of 68 confirmed cases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
As per researchers of The Lancet, the coronavirus is zoonotic, which means they are transmitted from animals to humans. Scientists believe it comes from snakes and bats. Both these animals were sold live in the Wuhan seafood market, which is the epicentre of the virus.
Signs & symptoms
Coronaviruses can cause a range of illnesses from the common cold, cough, fever, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties and pneumonia to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).
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— Ministry of Health (@MoHFW_INDIA) January 29, 2020
According to WHO, standard recommendations to prevent infection include “regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
Further, avoid any contact with sick animals or spoiled animal products. Avoid consuming raw or undercooked animal products like raw meat and milk.Posted in International, News