A total of 633 people in Kerala are under observation for suspected coronavirus, state Health Minister KK Shailaja told media on Tuesday. This includes seven patients in various hospitals, while the others are under home quarantine.
Of the 633 people, 197 persons were newly added to the list of suspected cases on Tuesday.
According to the Minister, out of the 10 samples that had earlier been sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune for testing, six patients have been tested negative for coronavirus.
“Now, only seven persons who exhibit certain symptoms are under observation at the isolation wards in various hospitals in the state,” said Shailaja.
According to the directions put out by the health department, those returning from China and other countries, where the confirmed cases of coronavirus have been reported, should be in home quarantine for 28 days.
“All those who are coming from the countries where coronavirus is reported, they should directly contact the health department. Passengers coming from these countries should quarantine themselves at home nevertheless as it is said that the virus spreads from a person even though he/she may not show any symptoms. If we do this, we can prevent the disease in the state,” the minister urged.
Meanwhile, Shaukat Ali, leader of the central team, which is currently inspecting the arrangements in Kerala set up to deal with the coronavirus threat, said that “screening of all passengers arriving at the Cochin airport began on Sunday, similar facilities are now in place at the Thiruvananthapuram airport, starting from today (Tuesday).”
The authorities have asked all those people who were in China, and have returned to the state starting January 1, to see that they seek proper medical attention in case of any medical emergencies.
On Tuesday, China confirmed 106 deaths due to the outbreak, with around 5,000 people diagnosed with the viral infection.
Meanwhile, the Indian government on Tuesday began preparations to evacuate the Indian nationals stranded in China’s Wuhan city, the epicentre of the n-CoV outbreak. Wuhan city, which has a population of 11 million, has been placed under lockdown. All modes of transport were suspended and the movement of people outside their houses prohibited.
The Indian officials said that those arriving will have to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine on arrival.
(With IANS input)