Kerala Health Minister K K Shylaja on Monday said that a third person who had returned from China's Wuhan province had tested positive for novel coronavirus in Kerala. The patient, like the two others who had earlier tested positive, is also a medical student of Wuhan University and is now isolated in Kanhangad District Hospital Of Kasaragod district.
As of now, 140 samples have been sent to the National Institute of Virology, Pune. Of these, 36 have been tested negative, and three positive.
It was on January 30 that the first nCoV positive case was confirmed in the country, in a patient who was in isolation in Thrissur General Hospital. On February 2, the second case was found positive. The patient was by then already in isolation in a government hospital in Alappuzha.
Preventive measures have been strengthened after the second positive case was reported in Alappuzha.
Though the incubation period recommended by the centre is 14 days, Kerala being a densely populated state is observing a 28 day incubation period.
Novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a large family of viruses that causes illnesses ranging from common cold to acute respiratory syndromes.
The novel coronavirus started in Hubei province of China and has since spread to several countries, including three positive cases in India, both in the southern state of Kerala.
Outside China, Hong Kong and Macau, other countries with confirmed cases include Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, South Korea, Japan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Canada, the United States, United Arab Emirates, Australia, France and Germany.
As per Chinese government officials, the death toll in coronavirus epidemic has risen to 361 while the number of confirmed cases has climbed to 17,205.