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One student who tested positive for COVID-19 discharged after recovery: Health Minister

One of the three medical students, who had tested positive for novel coronavirus infection, has been discharged after recovery said Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday. He added that the other two have also shown significant reduction in “viral load”.

“We are still waiting for confirmatory results before discharging them. They are stable and recovering and will be discharged soon,” he added. The Minister added that on Thursday a high-level Group of Ministers, constituted on the directions of the Prime Minister, held its second meeting to review the current status and actions for the prevention and management of the novel coronavirus named COVID-19 by the World Health Organisation.

Screening, surveillance

“A total of 2,51,447 persons travelling in 2,315 flights have been screened so far. Also 15,991 people across the country have been kept on community surveillance. Of them, 497 have been identified as symptomatic cases and isolated while 41 have been hospitalised,” the Minister said.

The Ministry noted that passengers arriving from Thailand and Singapore, besides China and Hong Kong, are being screened for possible exposure to the virus at 21 identified airports. Screening is also being done at major seaports and border crossings.

“The country is well-stocked [medicines, protection equipment] for the next two-three months. There is no shortage of medicine,” Mr. Vardhan said.

Speaking about the Indian crew on cruise ship Diamond Princess off the Japanese coast, in which over 200 persons have tested positive for COVID-19, the Minister said that Japan is following the best possible policy for the public. “We are in touch with the authorities and a decision will be taken accordingly,” he added.

Discharge protocol

“Previously, India had evacuated 645 people, including seven Maldivians, from China’s Wuhan city and quarantined them in two special camps. They will be kept under observation for a period of two weeks and discharged after they test negative for the virus. A discharge protocol is in place,” explained Health Secretary Preeti Sudan.

She added that India has extended support to Maldives in testing samples, and to Bhutan in managing COVID-19. “India has agreed to support Afghanistan in testing samples. India is also extending help to China by sending essential items for combating COVID 2019 as per a commitment made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” she said.

Meanwhile, the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak rose to 1,310 China on Thursday while the number of those affected by the deadly virus has gone-up to 48,206.

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