India’s first coronavirus patient recovers, may get to go home soon
Amid the World Health Organization’s (WHO) latest warning that the coronavirus outbreak outside China can accelerate in the coming days, there is some good news from Kerala which reported the country’s all three positive cases.
The first coronavirus patient, a woman student from Thrissur who returned from Wuhan, is on the path to recovery. Her latest sample, in fact the fifth one, is also negative, doctors at the Thrissur Medical College Hospital said adding one more result was awaited and after that she could go home.
Last week the state government had withdrawn the “medical calamity” warning after it successfully restricted virus-affected patients to three. It pressed the emergency button last Monday after a third patient was detected in Kasaragod in north Kerala. All three were China-returned medical students. The first patient tested positive on January 30, a week after she returned from China.
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Following this, the state had carried out a vigorous drive to contain the secondary infection and started a massive awareness campaign at the grassroot level. Results from the ground show these efforts have yielded results.
“We have nursed her back to life. We can say she is completely recovered. To doubly ensure this, we are awaiting another result after which she can go home and can be quarantined there for another two weeks or so,” said a senior doctor of the Thrissur Medical College Hospital. He said her age (24) and medical background really helped them to win the battle. Officials of the health ministry said the two other patients were also on the road to recovery.
Despite positive signals, State Health Minsiter K K Shailaja, who is leading the battle against the virus, said the time was not ripe to lower guard. She said the state will declare itself virus-free only after the three patients are discharged from the hospitals. Two others are undergoing treatment in isolation wards in Kasaragod and Alappuzha hospitals.
The minister said 3,120 people were under home quarantine and 45 others in different hospitals. 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.
Those under home quarantine are being contacted thrice daily by assigned health workers and they ensure their basic needs including food. Though the incubation period recommended by the WHO is 14 days, Kerala being a densely-populated state is observing a 28-day period, said officials. Fifteen students who came back two days ago after being stranded in an airport in China for three days were also discharged from the hospital next day as they weren’t showing any symptoms.