Coronavirus: 15 students returned home from China via Thailand, says report

Topics Coronavirus | China | MEA

Days after the Ministry of External Affairs evacuated over 600 people from China following the novel Coronavirus outbreak, the Haryana Health Department has identified 15 such people who had failed to notify the government after reaching India taking alternate routes. 

According to a report in Dainik Bhaskar, the revelation took place after a man reported fever, body ache, and problems in breathing at the PGIMS, Rohtak. The doctors in the Pulmonary Critical Care department suspected Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection and the medical student from China admitted he had returned to India from China via Bangkok. The student accepted that he left China over fears of being caught and detained after the country imposed a travel ban. He left China for Bangkok and then boarded a flight to India reaching Delhi on January 28.

Dr. Dhruv Chaudhary, HoD, Pulmonary Critical Care Department told Dainik Bhaskar, “The man has been kept in the isolation ward and his samples have been sent to Delhi for tests to determine if he is suffering from Coronavirus or not.” The results would be known in three days. As per protocol, patients with suspicion of coronavirus infection are kept in isolation for 14 days under observation.

According to Dainik Bhaskar, five other suspects are kept in their homes while the health department has formed teams to locate nine other students who returned through this route.

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Indian Council of Medical Research has released a list of laboratories in India to test for 2019-nCoV infections. There are 11 such testing labs in India. There are 28 sample collection and transportation labs too. PGIMS, Rohtak is the collection and transportation lab for Haryana. The samples have been sent to AIIMS, Delhi for testing.

The death toll from the virus in mainland China jumped by 73 to 563 on Thursday, its third consecutive record daily rise, as experts intensified efforts to find a vaccine for a disease that has shut down Chinese cities and forced thousands more into quarantine around the world.

India further tightened visa rules by cancelling the existing visas for Chinese and foreigners who had visited the country in the last two weeks.

On February 2, India temporarily suspended e-visa facility for Chinese travellers and foreigners residing in China in view of the outbreak. Currently, 647 Indians and seven Maldivians, who have been evacuated from Wuhan and Hubei are in 14-day quarantine at a medical camp in Manesar, near Delhi.

While the virus cases increased by the hour, Chinese health officials attributed the spiralling rate of cases and the death toll to shortages of hospitals mainly in Hubei and its provincial capital Wuhan.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Tuesday that the outbreak of the deadly virus does not yet constitute a "pandemic". 

In its report on Tuesday, they WHO said dramatic measures taken by China to rein in the virus has prevented significant spread abroad. "While 99 percent of cases are in China, in the rest of the world we only have 176 cases," PTI quoted the UN health agency chief's aide as saying in a technical briefing to the WHO's Executive Board in Geneva.

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