Kerala confirms third case of coronavirus

Our Bureau | Updated on February 03, 2020

File photo   -  PTI

All 3 patients’ condition stable; global death toll rises to 362, with China accounting for 361 and the Philippines, 1

A fresh case in Kerala, with the only confirmed instance of nCornavirus, on Monday took the number of confirmed cases in the country to three, even as the total number of affected persons around the world  rose to 17,448.

The death toll from the virus has reached 362, with all but one being reported from China, the epicentre of the outbreak. The lone death outside China was reported on Saturday from the Philippines.

Wuhan University student

Meanwhile, Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja said on Monday the third patient identified in the State is a male student, admitted to an isolation ward in the Government General Hospital at Kanhangad in Kasaragod district. He had travelled with his two  female colleagues from Wuhan University in China. The other two had tested positive  earlier and recuperating in isolation  at the Government Medical Colleges in Thrissur and Alappuzha. Shailaja said  the condition of all the three was  stable, with the first two having shown improvement.

According to updated information released by the State Health Department on Sunday night, 1,999 persons are under surveillance in different parts of the State, of which 75 are kept in isolation wards in hospitals and the rest at home. The results of 104 samples and two repeat samples sent for tests are awaited.

Arrested for fake news

Separately, an official spokesperson said  three more people have been arrested in the State for spreading fake news about the infection. This is besides the three booked earlier on similar charges.

The  Health Department has set up control rooms at the State and district levels. A list of hospitals equipped with facilities to treat  suspected patients has  been put on display at all district headquarters. In a significant development, the National Institute of Virology, Alappuzha, has been authorised to test the samples. Earlier, these samples used to be sent to Pune for testing. Getting the samples tested at Alappuzha is expected to drastically cut down the time taken to get the  results and treatment started.

Emphasis on personal hygiene

The spokesperson reiterated the need for citizens to observe strict personal hygiene and keep the environment clean in order to boost the self defence against the spread of the virus.

Those returning from the affected regions such as China, Sri Lanka and Nepal must observe home quarantine even if they don’t show any symptoms. They must avoid venturing out to public spaces to the extent possible. In exceptional cases, they may be allowed to go out in special ambulances, but not without the knowledge of Health Department officials. The public may access 24x7 toll-free numbers 0471-2309250, 0471-2309251 and 0471-2309252 and ‘Disha’ at 0471-2552056 or 1056 for help or information on treatment facilities, listed hospitals or any other assistance.

Latest worldwide numbers

China has topped in terms of the number of confirmed infections at 17,302 (out of the total 17,488). At least 2,298 (13 per cent) of all the cases were reported to be in a critical stage. While the death toll worldwide has touched 362, an estimated 523 patients have recovered from the infection, according to available figures.

China alone added 97 new cases on Monday. After China, Japan reported the maximum number of cases (20), followed by Thailand (19), Singapore (18), Hong Kong and South Korea (15 each), Australia (12), the US (11), and Germany and Taiwan (10 each). The  number of cases in Asia outside India is eight each in Malaysia, Macao and Vietnam; five in the UAE (5); and one each in Sri Lanka, Nepal and Cambodia.

Published on February 03, 2020

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