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    Kerala minister: India’s first coronavirus patient responding well to treatment

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    The condition of India’s first coronavirus-affected woman in Kerala’s Thrissur is stable and the state health ministry has constituted a medical board to review her case, health minister KK Shailaja said early on Friday.

    The minister had rushed to Thrissur after the Union health ministry confirmed the woman, who returned from a medical university in Wuhan last week, had tested positive for the virus.

    Shailaja said, “The condition of the student is stable. She is responding well to symptomatic treatment. We have constituted a medical board and bulletin will be issued every evening.”

    “We want all to co-operate with the government agencies and not to spread any rumours,” she said.

    She has also sought the help of private hospitals and doctors to tide over the crisis.

    There was a plan to shift her to the Thrissur Medical College Hospital but authorities decided against it for now after a high-level meeting.

    The minister said there 1056 people under observation in Kerala and 15 are in isolation wards. Many people who came in direct contact with the first patient have been put under observation that is why the number of those under observation increased steadily.

    Some reports suggest the woman was first screened and found negative and allowed to go home but she was later rushed to the hospital after she complained breathlessness and throat pain.

    A complete block in the medical college hospital has been converted as the isolation ward. The Union health ministry has also agreed to start a virus- testing centre in Alapuzha.

    The government has also sought the advice of the virology experts from Manipal Medical College in Mangaluru and Baby Memorial Hospital in Kozhikode, which worked during the nipah outbreak in Kozhikode two years ago.

    The state health ministry has asked suspected patients to go by the protocol of the World Health Organization (WHO) and not to take homoeopathy or unani medicine.

    The virus, which has killed 213 people, all in China, is said to have originated from a seafood market in Wuhan.

    WHO on Friday declared the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak that originated in China but has spread to at least 17 countries as an international public health emergency (PHEIC).

    The coronavirus is a large family of viruses that causes illnesses ranging from the common cold to acute respiratory syndromes, but the virus that has killed people in China is a new strain.

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