India reported its first positive case of novel coronavirus infection on January 30th, 2020 from Kerala. The patient was studying at Wuhan University in China and has been kept in isolation in a hospital in the state.
The government sources informed that the patient is in a stable condition and is being closely monitored. Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja has called for a meeting with health secretary and other top officials from the Directorate of Health Services to take stock of the situation.
Meanwhile, the death toll due to the virus has reached 170 in China. The virus has now spread to several countries including the United States, Japan and South Korea. India has stepped up vigil in districts bordering Nepal in view of a confirmed case of novel coronavirus detected in the neighbouring country.
The Cabinet Secretary instructed the Ministry of Civil Aviation to issue of instruction to airlines for managing and notifying anybody reporting illness on all flights with direct or indirect connectivity to China; facilitate in-flight announcements and distribution of health cards to all flights with direct or indirect connectivity to China.
What is Novel Coronavirus?
2019 Novel Coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, is a new virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. It is named novel as it has not been previously identified. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals. Initially, many of the patients in the outbreak in Wuhan, China reportedly had some link to large seafood and animal market, suggesting the virus likely emerged from an animal source.
Symptoms: Acute onset of fever, cough, and difficulty in breathing.
How does the virus spread: The specific modes of transmission of the virus is not clear yet since it is a novel virus. This virus probably originally emerged from an animal source but now seems to be spreading from person-to-person. It’s not clear yet how easily 2019-nCoV spreads from person-to-person. It is thought to have happened mainly when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread.
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