As many as 1053 people in Kerala have been placed under surveillance after one student, who returned from Wuhan in China, tested positive for novel Coronavirus. All the 1053 people came from virus-affected regions to the state.
According to a statement by Health Minister KK Shailaja, 15 people are under observation in hospitals while the rest are under home quarantine.
Seven more people had been admitted to hospitals on Thursday. The samples of 24 people were sent for examination at National Institute of Virology (NIV) Pune. Out of this, test results of 15 people are negative while that of the rest is awaited.
“The virus in the student has been confirmed in the preliminary examination and the secondary result also needs to come,” the minister said.
In a bid to ensure that people can reach out to medical doctors if they suspect they are showing symptoms of Coronavirus, the Kerala government has published mobile numbers of government hospital doctors who are also nodal officers at the particular hospital, in newspapers.
This was also shared by many celebrities.
She added that since alert has been issued against Coronavirus, people should maintain individual hygiene and also keep the surroundings in a hygienic way –both mouth and nose should be covered with a handkerchief while coughing and sneezing, and hands should be washed with with soap frequently.
A control room working round the clock, has been set up at the Thrissur District Medical Office as well as at the district collectorate. Public can reach the control room at 0487-2320466, 9895558784 (Dr Sumesh), 9961488206 (Dr Kavya), 9496331164 (Dr Prasanth) and 9349171522 (Dr Rethi) for clearing any doubts in this regard.
Meanwhile, K K Shailaja held a high-level meeting at the medical college hospital in Thrissur on Thursday. The student who tested positive, has been kept in an isolation ward at the hospital.
Shailaja later told media that awareness campaign would be launched among people to identify the possible infection and that the Health department had alerted all district authorities.
"The condition of the female medical college student from Wuhan University, who has tested positive for the virus, is stable and she will remain in the isolation ward of the general hospital. The medical college here is well equipped (to deal with such cases)," the minister said.
Ministers hailing from the district -- A C Moideen, C Raveendranath and V S Sunil Kumar -- also participated in the meeting along with senior officials of the Health department.
The Health Minister said a meeting with representatives of private hospitals has been convened at 11 am on Friday.
"We need to create awareness among the people. Strong action will be taken in case anyone attempts to spread any fake news. We will hold high-level meetings every day and issue medical bulletin with updates," the minister said.
The medical college has been upgraded with a special isolation ward with facilities to treat at least 24 patients at a time.
"We have taken all precautionary measures and there is no need to panic," Shailaja had said earlier.
With PTI Inputs