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Home / India News / Kerala nurse in Saudi contracts China virus, 30 more quarantined in hospital

Kerala nurse in Saudi contracts China virus, 30 more quarantined in hospital

After the news surfaced, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan sent a letter to external affairs minister Jayshankar seeking his immediate intervention. “Reports suggest some nurses working at the Al Hyat Hospital in Abha have contracted the virus.

india Updated: Jan 23, 2020 20:42 IST
Ramesh Babu
Ramesh Babu
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
A thermal scanner checks on arriving passengers at Manila's international airport, Philippines on January 23.
A thermal scanner checks on arriving passengers at Manila's international airport, Philippines on January 23. (AP Photo)

At least thirty nurses from Kerala were reportedly quarantined in a hospital in Saudi Arabia after one of them tested positive for deadly coronavirus that claimed several lives in China, said their relatives.

After the news surfaced, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan sent a letter to external affairs minister Jayshankar seeking his immediate intervention. “Reports suggest some nurses working at the Al Hyat Hospital in Abha have contracted the virus. The MEA will have to intervene to ensure proper treatment and protection for them,” he said in the letter. Abha is the capital city of Asser province in southwest Saudi Arabia.

The incident came to light after some of the affected nurses called up their relatives back home and complained about their situation. “We have been herded in two rooms of the hospital for more than two days. No proper tests were done and we are not treated properly. We have also complained to Indian Embassy officials,” one of them told a Malayalam news channel over the phone.

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Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedahran said the condition of the affected patient was stable and embassy officials are monitoring the situation. “More than 100 Indian nurses are working in the hospital and thirty of them are under observation. No fresh case has been reported,” he said in Delhi.

As per details available, a 38-year-old nurse hailing from Ettumanoor in Kottayam was contracted the virus while treating a Filipino who had tested positive for the deadly virus. Later all nurses who came in contact with the affected nurse were isolated and put under observation. But quarantined nurses said it was a panic reaction and they were isolated without any tests or procedures.

“We were told out of 30 nurses swab tests were conducted in 20 and all were tested positive. All of them have been isolated because they have no idea about the incubation period of the virus. Their condition is really pitiable,” said one of the relatives who did not want to be identified.