India on Thursday reported its first case of the novel coronavirus in Kerala, the government said in a statement.
The patient, a student of the Wuhan University, is stable and in isolation at a hospital, a statement from the Health Ministry said.
The virus has killed more than 170 people in China and is spreading to other countries, alarming health experts.
“One positive case of Novel Coronavirus — a student studying in Wuhan University — has been reported from Kerala,” said a statement released by the Health Ministry.
The patient is kept in isolation in a hospital. “The patient is stable and is being closely monitored,” said the ministry statement. A Kerala report said Health Minister K.K. Shailaja has called for an emergency meeting of top health officials.
“We were waiting for the test results of six samples and we received the result of five which were negative,” said the official who did not wish to be identified.
According to the figures put out on Wednesday night by Kerala health authorities, around 800 people are under observation with 10 in hospitals and the rest at their homes.
Out of the total of 806 people, 173 had arrived in the state on Wednesday.
While 10 of them are under observation in isolation wards at various hospitals across the state, the remaining are under home quarantine.
WHERE DID THE VIRUS COME FROM?
The virus is believed to have originated late last year in a food market in the Chinese city of Wuhan that was illegally selling wildlife. Health experts think it may have originated in bats and then passed to humans, possibly via another animal species.
The World Health Organization (WHO) was alerted to several cases of pneumonia in Wuhan at the end of December. Chinese authorities confirmed they had identified a new virus a week later.
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