India’s first coronavirus patient may soon walk out of hospital
Doctors said that the 24-year-old has tested “negative” for the virus five times in a row and that if a final test shows good signs then she will be allowed to go home.Updated: Feb 11, 2020 03:37 IST
A 24-year-old student, who became the first person in India to test positive for novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) after she returned to Kerala from China in January, has “consistently tested negative” in the past five days, doctors said on Monday.
Doctors said that the 24-year-old has tested “negative” for the virus five times in a row and that if a final test shows good signs then she will be allowed to go home.
“The student’s latest sample, which is her fifth, is also negative,” doctors at Thrissur medical college hospital, where the patient has been recovering, said. If she is allowed to go home, she will be quarantined, the doctor, who did not wish to be identified, said.
“…We can say she is completely recovered. To ensure this, we are awaiting another result after this she can go home and can be quarantined there for another two weeks or so,” said a senior doctor at the hospital. He said her age and medical background helped her recover, the doctor said.
All three 2019-nCoV cases in India have been reported in Kerala among students who returned from China’s Wuhan — the epicentre of the outbreak. The other two students are undergoing treatment in isolation wards at hospitals in Kasaragod and Alappuzha.
Kerala health minsiter KK Shailaja, however, said it is still too early to consider the battle won and that the state cannot lower its guard yet. She said the state will only declare itself virus-free after all three students get discharged.
Last week, the state government withdrew the “medical calamity” warning after it successfully restricted virus-affected patients to three. It had pressed the emergency button on February 3 after the third patient was detected in Kasaragod in north Kerala.
The minister said 3,120 people were under home quarantine and 45 others in different hospitals across the state.
Experts working in the area said it was a major success to restrict the positive cases to three. They have also lauded the state’s preparedness and quick response.
“The state’s isolation and surveillance mechanism scored again. Its robust health system and public participation worked as a well-oiled machine...,” said Dr Sreejith N Kumar, Indian Medical Association central working committee member and senior physician.
Though the incubation period recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) is 14 days, Kerala being a densely-populated state is observing a 28-day period, said health ministry officials.
Across the world, a total of 40,490 people have been infected by the virus, according to WHO. The death toll from the epidemic touched 908 on Sunday — all but two deaths were reported in mainland China.